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Short-Take: Cancer battle
November 22, 2014
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Cancer battle

On a visit to India last week, I was at the lounge of Abu Dhabi airport waiting to board a plane. The renovation work happening there meant that the space was crowded.

Among the passengers I found a well dressed lady walking back and forth restlessly answering to phone calls and making her own calls.

At some point of time, she came close to where I was standing and I found that she was calling doctors at a Cochin hospital and enquiring about the health condition of someone in the ICU. Feeling for her stressful situation, I started a conversation with her just to make her relax a bit.

Talking to her I found out that she is a medical professional from Washington DC on an emergency visit to Kerala as her father has been admitted at a prominent hospital in Cochin.

She told me that her father was normal a few months ago and had visited her in the US.

Recently, he was found diagnosed with cancer and added heart and other conditions made things worse and his kidney had stopped functioning now.

It happened that there was lack of medical support and things have now turned out to be really worse.

To aid speedy recovery and assist with right medical guidance she decided to take emergency leave and fly down.

We talked about the recent increase in cancer of various types, especially in the region. Our topics also covered lack of proper medical guidance to the patients and their support system.

At the Cochin airport, I assured her all support if ever she required and left for home.

Next day, I was visiting Cochin for a personal reason and was driving in front of the hospital where her dad was being treated.

To my surprise, I found her coming out of the gate and I told my driver to stop.

She too was surprised to see me again. Her face was totally down and she told me that her dad’s condition had worsened and they did not have any hope. They would try and keep him in a ventilator till her husband and children arrived from the US in the next two days.

I felt too sad and consoled her. Having undergone similar situations in my life twice in the recent years, I know how distressing it is. I said goodbye to her, offering prayers for the speedy recovery of her dad.

Although, it was an unhappy situation we met, I never expected her to meet again when I left her at Cochin airport but we met again and hope we will meet again as her love and willingness for her dad left everlasting impressions in me.
Ramesh Menon
 

Movies or books!

Most of us love it when our favourite books come to life in the form of movies, like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Divergent series, The Hunger Games etc.

Most people say the movies that are based on books don’t quite do justice to them or vice-versa.

Well, it might be right in some cases, but then there are always exceptions.

For example, Khaled Hosseni’s The Kite Runner. The movie that is based on the book does near complete justice to it. If you have not yet read it, I suggest you do and try to catch the movie. You will understand exactly when you compare the two.

I do not want to spoil the surprise for you. I am sure that the book and movie will touch your emotions.

I was skimming through my news feed on Facebook and saw an article that was talking about the recently released The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.

It was talking about how the worst book might just be the best movie.

 It actually makes a little sense, for those who have read the final book by Suzanne Collins, you might understand and either agree or disagree with when I say it was not her finest work.

Personally, I liked the book, but it somehow shook me inside emotionally. So I have mixed emotions about the book, but I am excited about the movie.

What is your take on this? Regardless of your opinion if you’re an avid book reader or movie buff or both.

Both The Kite Runner and The Hunger Games series should not be missed.

After all, we need some form of entertainment to unwind, either books, movies, or both or….
Vismay Anand
 

Marketing tactic

Whether for good or for bad, meeting a marketing executive or someone responsible for sales often confuses the objectives in a face-to-face interaction.

There is lot of anticipation hidden throughout their talk, more importantly what lies ahead in their life and business after meeting a potential customer.

When I was asked for an appointment to meet a hotel representative, I politely declined the request due to other commitments.

The gentleman again called me at my direct line a week after, but started casually enquiring about my welfare before shifting to the same subject.

Interestingly, this time his visit was not on behalf of the hotel, instead he wanted me to invest in property that is being constructed next to his hometown. It was another source of income for him.

I was surprised at the way he was narrating the whole story.

Though I did not have a different answer this time, I realised that he was a brilliant marketing person and possibly could reach higher positions.

A week after, he visited again with a female colleague and with more details of his upcoming project.

Just a day earlier, I read in the print media about people being cheated through misuse of funds provided as advance to residential projects.

All the exciting presentations and briefing the marketing team left me with lots of questions that were obviously confusing.

They carried the symbol of great business advocates and with their intellectual approach.

In reality, some of the unrealistic promises attracted me to them, though their intentions were not so committing and straightforward.
Ramachandran Nair
Oman

 

 It’s all about curls

It’s quite funny how girls get over conscious about their hairdo. No doubt, it boosts the face structure and image of a girl, if it is done well.

Being a college student, it has always fascinated me to watch girls enter the premises, fully decked up, with their dressing up to mark and hair done so beautifully, a few with straight long hair and a few with those perfect curls.

It is quite an effort though! Since my friends and I don’t have the patience for that, we just manage to comment, “Don’t know how they find so much time early in the morning.” This seems hilarious because we wouldn’t take the effort, even if we found time.

That also reminds me of the last day of our final exams, when my friends and I decided to have a good dinner, bored with our routine hostel food.

“Let’s go to the best restaurant in town,” my friend suggested.

I agreed, after all, the last day of exam is always our day.

The venue was decided. We began to get ready and got out our best dresses. “I think I should curl my hair,” said my roommate.

“That’s a great idea,” I exclaimed.

Well that’s what I believed. Once we were all done, we set out, more than the food it was about our looks, to ensure our selfies hit a hundred likes.

As we stepped out of the gate and walked to catch a cab, out of nowhere, it began to rain heavily. “OMG! My curls!” screamed my roommate, as she tried searching for any possible way to save them.

Not only time and tide, I think even rains wait for none. Since we found no shelter on that lonely road, we stood there, fully drenched in rain, wondering where to go next.

Though I felt pity at the sight of my roommate, who took the maximum effort to look glam, I could not help but joke. “Hey, have you heard that song, It’s not about the money? I guess it’s true! It may not be about the money, but it surely is all about the curls!”

All of us burst out laughing. I’m glad I didn’t do much of a makeover that day, for being natural has always saved me!
Pavithra Ramesh
 

Not a smart move 

 I was delighted to meet an old school friend after a long time while travelling in the Dubai Metro recently. Armed with excitement, I began the conversation.

“Hi! How are you?

“I am fine,” she replied, while playing with her smartphone. I was taken aback at her cold response.

But I thought of conversing a bit more and further asked, “So how are studies?”

“Good. See this photo. It’s my new tab and this is my father’s new car,” replied my friend. Hence my excitement vanished in a few minutes. She didn’t talk much and even if she talked, it was more about her gadgets.

This wasn’t the first time I have noticed people paying more attention to gadgets than the actual person. I have noticed that lots of people don’t even look at each other and hardly talk. Whether they are travelling in a train far back in India or commuting through the Dubai Metro, interaction with co-passengers is on decline with the onset of modern gadgets.

I wonder sometimes why life is limited to the world of tech only. It is a smart world in which we live, containing smart tech and smart people, we should realise that smartness lies in sharing and caring, not only putting all our energy into only mechanical devices.

We should not forget that we are living in a smart world, hence we should make a smart move.
Saamia Mujeeb
(Student, Indian High School, Dubai)
 

Birthday blues

Birthdays are great, they bring a lot of joy. But it is only when you are young. As a kid, we really enjoyed these moments. When we are young, we get fascinated by stuff that moves.

When parents take us to the parks and put us on those slow moving rides and rocking animals at the malls’ playing arena. So much of dependence is there on these things.

As we grow up, fast cars and jaw-breaking stuff thrill us. For in everything we see some kind of amusement. Full of weird ideas, ideologies, pranks, and of course some embarrassing moments.

One such would be imitating action comic superhero “Superman.” Wearing just underpants and a bedsheet tied around your neck running in your room, when suddenly your cousins show up.

Oh boy, oh boy, those moments would be a horror. And those catchy phrases and lines like, when someone asked, “What’s your plan for the birthday?” You just replied, “Survive till the next birthday.”

Then we have responsibilities. Everything appears work-oriented.

The dynamics of society now changes the dynamics of life.

Then we grow too old. Hardly anything matters to us. We sit on a rocking chair, and get fascinated by every bit, “while people around us get fascinated by the fact that we are still moving.”
Syed Shayaan Bakht
 

Living it our way

It was unimaginable. For a minute I thought I was dreaming, but the delicious strawberry gateau in my mouth said it was not an illusion.

I was looking at the latest bestseller. It has been only two weeks since the book has hit the stands and here I was looking at it. The book was in my hands and it was real.

No, I was not in a bookstore. I was in my room at home, and it was midnight. The clock had just rung in my birthday and I was already in a state of euphoria because my husband and our nephew had sprung a surprise midnight bash for me.

As my nephew stuffed my mouth with the choicest strawberry gateau he had specially ordered for me, my husband had trust into my hands the most fabulous present I could ever think of then — Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography Playing it My Way.

Sachin Tendulkar had made his debut 25 years ago, in the year 1989 — the same year my husband and I got married. It is only apt that even as we celebrate 25 years of togetherness the bonding is made even more special by such a precious gift.

Twenty-five years is indeed a lot of time to be in a relationship, be it with a partner, a loved one such as a nephew, or maybe like Sachin and cricket.

Over the years there is a constant stream of give and take of support, unexpected pitfalls or zenith of joy and success, moments of frustration or peace, impulsive decisions or planned actions, healthy exchange of ideas or irritating doses of advice, that it may seem to the casual observer that one lives in the other, and gets identified with the other.

There are some who, however, feel scared about this beautiful merger of identities. It makes them feel insecure, they feel their privacy, their individuality is being encroached upon and all they want to do is back off. But how wrong they are.

A healthy relationship in fact is a gold mine that enhances the personality of either.

It is like Sachin and cricket. Cricket is what made Sachin and Sachin’s contribution to the game is phenomenal. Yet none is greater than the other.
Vidya Shankar
 

After a long time

Recently, I attended a wedding of my cousin’s daughter in Chennai. Seeing me, most of my relatives were surprised. The reason is I could not attend any of my relatives’ marriage for the past 17 Years.

I was away in the beautiful land of the UAE. I was happy to see my cousins. Some had grown tall and some had put on weight. They also spotted a lot of changes in me, particularly my weight, which had reduced.

Apart from good friendship, good relatives are also an important part of life.
K. Ragavan
 

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