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Short take: Mr Fix It
February 23, 2013
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Mr Fix It

Individual talent has immense value. Man himself  becomes his own competitor. These people flourish in every aspect of life. No school or vocational training is required for such people. They learn through experience.

Recently, I met a man at a social gathering. By profession he was a cook. But apart from cooking he could do anything. Trust me, anything. I have heard about his achievements in other fields, but hadn’t seen him in action.

While the gathering was on, the refrigerator stopped working. The maid in the house complained to her employer and was about to ring up the technician. At that moment, Mr Fix It offered his services to solve the problem. And within five minutes he solved the glitch. Much to everyone’s delight. Some people do not require technical or any sort of training to fix things. It is simply God gifted.
Syed Shayaan Bakht

Printed joy

Despite revolutionary innovations in the electronic media, the print media is playing a major role in keeping the society aware about what is going on in the world.

Newspapers wrap the whole world in a bunch of pages to inform its readers about important issues. Topics like international politics, conflicting issues between countries, entertainment and sports all are covered by the print media.

From the beginning of the day till the time the newspaper is put to bed, the temperature of the newsroom remains high. Unending flow of local and international news reports from different sources via wire services, reporters and freelance writers make the environment even warmer round the clock.

The editorial staff of a newspaper are always on their toes. Being a journalist myself, I feel newspaper journalism is a challenging field that has its own charm.
Nabidad Khan

Fun zone

A morning walk along Al Qasba and the corniche area in Sharjah enlivens vivid memories. There is a different view around this time in contrast with the daytime and night.

The wet grass beds, chirping of birds, the blossoming flowers, and health-conscious joggers and walkers all add to beauty of this picturesque place.

The landscape is dotted with various kinds of birds like pigeons, sparrows and crows. Migratory birds like seagulls are yet another attraction. The morning breeze, the rising sun and water waves relax the mind and soul.

One can see people from both genders and all age groups running, walking, doing yoga and other physical exercises to shed the extra pounds and stay in shape.

One fine morning I was surprised to see a woman reading a book while jogging. Around the same time, I heard the reverberating sound of laughter coming from another direction. After a closer look, I noticed a group of men were practising laughter yoga.
M Mazharul Haque

Let actions speak

“Actions speak louder than words” is a proverb with a deep meaning. Some people exaggerate their achievements. It may not be their hard work, but they build castles in the air. There are also people who want the world to know what they have achieved. If your achievements are worth noticing, people will sooner or later come to know about that.

For example, if you are a good student and you keep on saying that I will be the first in my class, it will not give you the pride and respect that you are going to earn when this fact actually comes true. When you will stand first in class, it will be known by one and all that you are a good student.

The day you achieve what you have dreamt of, it will certainly speak louder than words. There were eminent personalities like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, who never boasted about the fact that it was their leadership that brought a change in the world. Ego and pride can kill any achievement. 
Shruthi Unnithan

Bitter half

My wife said she wanted to get her blood pressure checked. Normally, I hesitate going out with her for shopping, weekend buying or any other “purchases” related listing.

But for this request, I agreed. We drove down to a care-well hospital. Her BP was my concern, because it relates closely to my life  - if it is up, I am always in the way, if it is down, I am out somewhere. 

The over-worked doctor was himself looking grumpy as he asked who the patient was! (He forgot to look at the medical card).

He asked my wife the usual questions regarding diet, lifestyle, medicines and family medical history. Here I interrupted and said, “Doctor I have ‘FP.’”

The doctor looked confused. The nurse took the reading and smiled informing the doctor that the BP was normal. On the way out, the doctor asked me what I meant by “FP.” I replied, “Financial Pressure” and rushed out.
Suresh Thadhani

Net choice

It wouldn’t be surprising for me if a friendship request on Facebook had come from a grownup person. Hassan, a 12-year-old student of grade seven, sent me a FB request the other day.

The moment I clicked on the option “confirm,” a thought crossed my mind. The Facebook should not occupy the little mind. He must not spend his valuable time and energy on, presumably inseparable, popular social media networks, which unquestionably have numerous attractions. Playing online games is just one example.

While my mind was preoccupied with the impact of FB on the kid, his first post splashed on my screen: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

His choice of a thought-provoking quote convinced me that it is always up to a person how he uses the vast world of Internet, whether to break or build his personality in the right direction.
Zafar Iqbal

Crossing the line

The most memorable part of a phone call is the greeting — both at the beginning and the end. Last week, I received a phone call from a marketing executive of one of the real estate companies. The caller, without even introducing himself, asked me whether I could spare “two minutes.” I agreed. He started talking about the company and its upcoming projects.

During the conversion, he never allowed me to intervene and instead went on talking for several minutes.  I realised that the caller did not disclose his identity. At the same time, he wanted some clarifications regarding my profession, revenue and family.

I had to finally break my silence and tell  the caller to email me his requirements. I kept the phone down and took a deep breath.  It was a one-sided business approach, wherein the customer was provided little opportunity to realise how people sell their products.

The caller in every aspect overlooked the basic etiquette of a phone call; subsequently the conversation did not reach a fruitful end for both sides.

In this competitive business environment, since telephones and mobiles play a vital role, adhering to good manners always makes a difference, especially while on a phone conversation.
Ramachandran Nair Oman

Sight of history

Last week, we visited Hatta, situated over several small hills with an eye-catching view of the Hajar Mountains and a popular UAE weekend getaway. The trip was amazing, passing from deserts and in between mountains.

We reached there in the afternoon. The sun was shining behind the mountains. Green and fresh trees of dates were moving with the wind and we were enjoying its cool, humidity-free climate and its magnificent mountain scenery.

There were many vegetable fields also and the fresh air was enough to make us relax. Our host took us to Hatta dam. There was very little water but the beauty and calm, and the view was impressive. The deep dam in between mountains was looking beautiful and we enjoyed the silence, away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

We saw the old Heritage Village also where we had some old traditional views of Arab history; it provides a perfect example of villages in the past. The architectural features and style surprised me, which I have never seen before. We admire the idea of saving their old values.

The homes and mosque were built as it was in the past. Old pots and some other home and kitchen equipment were kept there, as signs of their history. It shows their traditional values and cultural aspects. We returned in the evening with many amazing and unforgettable memories.
Jabeen Adil

Best gift

Last week, an old friend made a surprise visit. The most appealing segment of our two-hour meeting was the gift - a couple of new books - he brought for me from his recent tour of Karachi.

As we both have a common interest - literature - we discussed the recent three-day Karachi Literature Festival, held in my native city for the fourth consecutive year.

“The organisers deserve a pat. These are the people who represent the real face of the city where the literacy rate is higher and it (Karachi) has produced most well-known literary personalities in the last century,” he said.

Around 200 writers and the literary personalities from different countries like Germany, France, UK, India as well from other parts of Pakistan took part in different sessions.

The festival was unique this time with foreign writers providing book lovers the opportunity to choose their favourite topic spread over 100 sessions and discussed a range of subjects from literature to politics.

The authors were representing Urdu-Hindi, Sindhi, Punjabi, Russian, French, English, Italian, Swedish and German languages. Around 20 new books were launched.

Prominent writers who attended included  Intizar Hussain, Abdullah Hussain, Kamila Shamsie, Muhammad Hanif and Muneeza Shamsie.

“We need these type of festivals in other cities as they can bring back the younger generation towards literature,” he commented. I nodded.
Jamil Khan

Wealthy message Money can’t buy...

When I go on vacations, my grandmother narrates many value-based stories. One of her favourite topics is money. She tells me about the importance of money and happiness. At first, I was not able to understand anything. But now when I meet people, I recall those stories and try to understand what she really meant.

I have met many people who think that money is everything. They say that we can live like kings if we have money. But I don’t think in those terms. I have seen many people who earn little money but keep smiling. I have also seen wealthy people, but many of them remain tense. Thus it’s not necessary that money is everything. We should not care so much for money as money can’t buy happiness. I see many examples of this in my daily life.

One example of this I can mention is about my friends. They keep on discussing electronic gadgets. Once a friend said that she had got an iPad2, but she wanted an iPad4. Another said that she had Blackberry phone, but she was asking her parents to buy Samsung Galaxy S III. Another of my friends said that she would love to have an iPhone5.

It seems that they spend more time looking for new gadgets in the market than looking towards other people around them. I have noticed that our conductor lives a peaceful life with a simple mobile in his hand. Similarly, the watchman of our building gets very little money, but he keeps smiling.

Recently I was reading a book, where I noticed a very important sentence: “Money can buy almost everything, but not the dignity and respect of being who we are.”
Saamia Mujeeb (Student, Indian High School, Dubai)

Not a miser

Whenever I go shopping, I never bargain. This habit I cultivated from my younger days. However, I found a close friend bargaining whenever he bought things. He also opted for promotion items. I used to wonder why he was so eager to get discounts on purchases.

One day, I asked him directly and he replied: “At the end of every year, I use the money saved through such discounts for donations to deserving students as well for elders’ home.” I was highly touched and changed my opinion of him as a miser.
K. Ragavan

Chocolate boy

The boy with a broad smile thrust a chocolate into my hand when I entered office. Who can resist chocolate? As I read somewhere, a survey revealed that 9 out of 10 people said they loved chocolate. The tenth one lied.

I showered praise on him, gave a hug and rushed to my seat. I then merrily bit the bar, hoping to cherish the melting moment. Phewww. I spat it out at the same speed that I gulped it. It was bitter, acidic, pungent and much more.

The boy laughed out loud. “It was dark chocolate,” he smiled. “But why did you give me dark chocolate? I love sweet ones,” I reacted angrily.

“It is just that dark chocolate is good for the brain. I thought I could help you,” smiled the boy. “You are like chocolate yourself,” I told him. When he smiled, I added: “Full of nuts.”
R. Ramesh

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