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Short Take: True value
October 18, 2014
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True value

Anything that is abundantly available in our surroundings does not get its due value. Be it the sun or moon, water or air, we do not realise their true worth. Most of the national languages or mother tongues fall in the same category. Since we find everyone using the same language we rarely think about its true value.

This is what I realised after taking part in the Hindi Divas Programme held in our school recently. The day is celebrated in many parts of India as well as abroad wherever a substantial number of Hindi speakers reside to commemorate the day when Hindi was decided to be the national language of India. The day is dedicated to showcase the rich cultural heritage and values of Hindi language.

In our school too, the Hindi Divas programme was celebrated on a grand level. It started with a patriotic song by a group of girls. It was soothing. It was followed by a play, which was followed by “Hasya Kavi Sammelan,” a poetry session where students had to recite poetry laced with humour and satire. I was one of the poets, who had to regale the audience by representing works of renowned poets.

It was this occasion that made me realise the true worth of a poem and the contribution made by the poets and writers as we were unable to write even one stanza that can match the works of the celebrated poets.

I hope that we all learn to give due respect to our respective national languages and understand the inherent values.
Saamia Mujeeb
(Student, Indian High School, Dubai)

Pursuit of happiness

“I’m searching for happiness; do you find a way to reach there?”

A blogger recently posted this message on his page.

I read this several times to get a little deep into the matter.

Happiness being a repeat topic and debated at several forums, the blogger wants to create new dimensions to the thought of ordinary youngsters.

On television channels, traditional gurus talk lavishly on happiness almost every day. However, for an individual, the willingness to accept change is the fundamental step that brings joy.

A colleague of mine keeps changing his mobile handset, goes for every new brand and model and makes his day elated in every aspect.Such days help him get back to his little world of happiness.

A few days ago, one of the prominent credit card companies released its survey results on almost a similar topic. The objective was to go into the details for defining the essence of joy.

Even though the world looks charming, the joy is still hiding for many. Luxury will continue to be essential for a small section of the society and make them see the world differently as long as they can. The high rise is for those who rise in life, and for others the search for happiness will never end.

While concluding the post, the blogger said that his wife wants to travel all the way to the red planet and to be relieved forever.

People have now started thinking beyond the reach to find happiness.

A compatriot once told me that meeting someone from the same place makes him happier than anything else.

Though happiness differs from person to person, it all depends on how one gives a definition to it.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Exam stress

Exams are often a stressful affair with students trying to mug up their syllabus till the last minute, giving up on their fun time to study and working hard to score better than their peers.

The nervousness that surrounds before the exam is something we can all relate to. Even the best of students go through this phase in life.

I remember back in school days how stressed I would be before the commencement of any exam that I would go blank for some time on seeing the question paper despite being an outstanding student. I had the confidence that I studied well but the fear always took control over the rest.

During the exam, I would make every effort to include all that I had studied. It used to be a race against time, where every passing minute seemed like a matter of life and death. It used to be frustrating when it took time to get an additional sheet or sometimes being denied any due to time constraints.

My worry did not end there. I would discuss my answers with my friends and keep regretting over the fact that I should have done better.

I would only be at peace once I had my results before my eyes and scoring better than my classmates was always an added bonus.

However, I was not really great with numbers. I recollect how during my accounting exam, we business students were made to sit beside a science group. I was struggling to crunch numbers and trying to tally my balance sheets when I noticed my friend, a science student who was doing her Biology paper at the time, seeking help.

At first I thought she needed some stationery, but it turned out she wanted me to help her label her diagram.

In so much stress, she forgot that I was doing my Accounting exam and was not from the same field as hers. She kept pleading with me while I tried my best to put my point across that we both were doing different exams. By the end of it, I was upset since I could barely get my accounts tallied and she was fuming that I didn’t help her.

When I explained to her why I couldn’t be of any help to her, we both laughed for hours. Surprisingly, I topped in Accounting despite losing all hope, while my friend passed Biology with a decent total.

Today, when we talk about it, we can’t help but laugh at those times when exam stress was the only stress in life and a norm!
Fatima Suhail

Time to click

Modern technology gives plenty of options for children to develop several hobbies. At times, I really wonder how children learn things on their own within no time.

The other day, I was attending a function and noticed a young girl sitting next to her mother. She was restless as the programme was meant for adults and she had tagged along her mother.

However, I knew from her actions that she was listening to the speech carefully. As it progressed, I watched her taking her mother’s Android phone. She opened in it an application to take photos. The next thing I saw was her taking a photo of the stage and the speaker. In no time, she edited the photo in different ways, added graphics and text and made a collage out of it. Sitting and watching her closely from behind, I was  wonderstruck. How children expresses their mind in many different ways!

Photography is an ideal opportunity for children and adults to express their creativity. It is a way of looking things with a positive frame of mind. I also believe that photography is a way of putting your stamp on history. Every photo you click is an item added to the history of our life or even the world. We can never recreate the same again. The light, the expression and even the air pattern may change in the next second and you can never reproduce the same effect again.

In order to promote photography interest and also to create interest in the architectural history of Abu Dhabi, a photography competition is organised by the ADIPEC.

The theme “Abu Dhabi Architecture” encourages young photographers to uncover the splendor of modern Abu Dhabi as seen through their lenses by capturing rural or urban city scenes, landscapes, landmarks – both modern and classical, e.g. Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace, Yas Marina, Capital Gate and also view of Corniche, Yas Island.

The theme focuses on uncovering the beauty that modern Abu Dhabi has to offer – be it a secret hideaway, a colorful graffiti wall, a bustling city scene, a unique attraction or spectacular views. Children in the age group 11-18 can participate. More details can be obtained at The deadline to submit the photos is Oct.31, 2014.
Ramesh Menon

Hello, I am ‘giraffe’

Recently, I met an old friend whom I had long been “seeing” only on Facebook. She had with her another lady whom she introduced to me. After the initial courtesy with this woman, I started talking with my friend while the other person was busy with her phone.

I thought it was considerate of her to let old friends talk till she said, “I’ve found you. On FB. And I’ve sent you a friend request.”

I was flabbergasted. What made her think I would want to share particulars of my life with a total stranger to whom I owed only a greeting for civility sake?

At least in this case I’d seen the person. Often I receive requests from people I didn’t even know existed. Oh, but don’t we have ‘1 friend in common’? That isn’t a criterion for a friend request, I’d want to scream.

Sometimes, one of my friends would have sent requests to people who are on my friend list and I wouldn’t even be aware of it till one day this friend pulls me up because my other friends haven’t accepted her request.

And that is not all. I receive friend requests from flowers, cats, motorbikes, and so on.

I am referring to the profile pictures of certain Facebook users.

I can understand their privacy sentiments but isn’t it a little grand that I be expected to unravel who the mysterious person is behind the flower or the motorbike? Sometimes the name too wouldn’t strike a chord and even digging into their Timeline would reveal nothing because of their privacy settings.

Once I received a friend request from a “giraffe” that I chose not to accept because of its “mysterious nature.” Much later, a friend in the neighbourhood asked me why I did not accept his request. Maybe I had overlooked it, I replied. He mentioned a name and asked me to look for it.

Oh, I didn’t know that was his name, I knew him by a different name.

Anyway, I promised to check when I got home. I could identify him by his picture. And he looks at me and says, “You can’t. My profile picture is a giraffe.”
Vidya Shankar

Secret of success

A friend called me recently to say that he wanted to introduce someone. When I reached the person’s home along with him, I was pleasantly surprised to meet a famous Tamil actress of yesteryears, Sowcar Janaki. She has acted in movies in four different languages and has won several awards. What’s astonishing is that even at 83, she keeps a busy schedule and remains active and cheerful. I realised the secret behind her success: Hard work and humility.
K. Ragavan

Home sweet home

Travelling to one’s own city on an annual vacation is the hearty wish for many who live oceans away from their loved ones. Perhaps especially for those who cherish the cool company of their dear friends and family.

Visiting the homeland is an annual ritual for many expatriates.

In the last week of August, I visited my beloved city Karachi too. The moment I disembarked from the plane, I received a warm welcome. But I felt a bit cold.


Because the clouds were hovering all over the sky. A cool breeze was blowing. The sun was helplessly hiding behind the heavy clouds.

It was quite a pleasant surprise which was equally a “feelgood factor” for me.

Well, the weather welcomed me in Karachi with arms wide open.
Zafar Iqbal

Smartphone frenzy

Everyone around us these days either owns or plans on buying a smartphone. I was travelling in the local bus last week, when I could not help but overhear a fellow passenger’s phone conversation.

He was telling the other person on the line, how excited he was to have bought a Samsung phone. He told him he got a good deal on it.

It got me thinking, people who have owned phones for over five years of their lives, do not feel the same excitement than the people who buy a smartphone for the first time in their lives.

One reason that could be was that in the past, as each new phone was launched it had some cool new feature that came with it.

While today, a new phone launch is (if simply put) a larger screen perhaps and almost always some software upgrades, function changes, camera pixel increase etc. They don’t seem to innovate or incorporate new ideas like they used to.

Remember the time when cellphones had just started to make their mark, every six months or every 12 months a new phone was launched with the same basic functions but what made them stand out were the unique designs.

One that I remember from those times could be twisted to move into a different direction to either use the camera or the music player.

So what new things do the companies do these days with their products?

Think about it, and it’s perfectly fine if you do not agree with me. But, you have to agree the smartphone frenzy that existed in the past, seems to have lost its magical touch.
Vismay Anand

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