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Short Take: Chocolate world
October 04, 2014
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Chocolate world

For those of you that read the title and uttered “huh?” or thought of me a French pastry chef, as much as I’d like for that one to be true, sadly it is not. What it means? Read on and ye shall find witty greatness.

As human beings we all want be accepted for who or what we are.

In reality, however, that rarely happens. Lucky for you and me I’ve managed to figure out a backdoor solution to this problem and am feeling particularly charitable so I’ll share it with you.

The solution is simple: go to a supermarket and walk into the aisle that shelves chocolate. Yes, I am fully aware of how severely my mental health is being judged right now. But trust me on this one, just walk into that aisle stand in the middle and feel the vastness of the chocolate world, the non-judgmental, homely, caring, slightly fattening but all-fault-accepting world of chocolate.

While you are feeling it make sure you stare at Nutella and remember the times it’s accepted and comforted your comfort-craving existence.

Oh and about that witty greatness I promised you earlier sorry it wasn’t very self-evident so I will probably have to put it in words. It’s a combination of Nutella and the word alone. Get it?! “Nutellone” as in not alone when you have Nutella, genius. Yeah, I think I should stop now.
Faryal Anjum

Spirit of sacrifice

I have noticed that in this fast world, very few people have time for others. Many people are so busy that they don’t realise what is going on in their neighbourhood, leave alone the incidents taking place in other parts of the world. But thanks to festivals, these busy people sit with others and talk for at least a while.

That is why I always look forward to festivals. Eid Al Adha, or Festival of the Sacrifice, is one of my favourite festivals. During Eid Al Fitr many people leave for India. But on Eid Al Adha, all of us have time to sit together, especially we children, and discuss  various things — from schools to games, movies to cartoons, etc.

Eid Al Adha is also an occasion that reminds us about making sacrifices and submitting to Allah to seek His blessings.

This festival honours and reminds us of the two prophets of Islam, Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) and Prophet Ismail (PBUH) who submitted to Allah’s will. Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) was ready to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ismail (PBUH), and the latter was ready to give up his life for the sake of Allah. Allah accepted their act and provided a lamb to sacrifice, which we still follow.

Unfortunately, it looks like it has become just a ritual and people do not follow the actual message. It is hard to find people submitting themselves to Allah’s wish or sacrificing for the sake of Allah. I hope we all realise our mistake and begin sacrificing as well as submitting ourselves to Allah.
Saamia Mujeeb
(Student, Indian High School, Dubai)

Little drops of happiness

Life, in a nutshell, is but a pursuit of happiness. The underlying reason for all our actions is to achieve happiness. And in the course of this objective, we encounter frustrations, setbacks, disappointments, rejections, and what not, along with several happy moments too.

The consequences of our pursuit vary from individual to individual. While the experiences may enlighten some to attain a fairly balanced state of mind, a few others may end up being bitter, even to the point of suffering from depression. Of course, there is also the majority who would fall anywhere in between the two extremes.

This being the grind, it is always advisable to put our mental and emotional psyche through a detox programme.

Have you ever noticed a container with murky water placed under a tap that is dripping water, drop by drop? For a while it would seem as if nothing is happening, but, with time, as the dripping continues consistently, the water starts getting clearer.

The container is us and the murky water is the residue or the effects of all the disappointments and heartaches we have had to face. The little drops of water are the simple little happy moments in our everyday life.

When we make it a daily ritual to highlight our little happy moments for the day, however inconsequential it may be, we have taken a significant step to fight our frustration, setbacks and disappointments.

A conscious and persistent effort at identifying the simple joys of life, feeling blessed for all our abundant little mercies, looking at the positive side of an unpleasant situation, and sometimes just doing what our heart prompts us to do will gradually and definitely work out little miracles and bring about changes for the better.

Of course, everlasting happiness is a different concept altogether, but an earnest attempt at an endeavour like this will surely make us stronger to be able to handle our distress and pain better, to live life cheerfully, and to be who we really are.
Vidya Shankar

Ruffling feathers

It was the final year in high school. And the farewell party was thrown at a five-star hotel in the bustling city. The theme was lounge suits for guys and smart suits for girls.

You know, you really don’t want to miss the last party with your high school buddies. It is an emotional moment.

Anyway, the day of the party arrived. Everybody was too busy with preparations. Girls dedicated most of the day to make-up. While the guys were trying to fix their cars, making them shine, so that they looked presentable.

One guy used to live in the suburbs. It was really far away from school. His father was a poultry owner. They had good business. Everybody knew them. They had two pick-up trucks. So he told his dad he would take one of the pick-ups to the party. His dad allowed him to do so as the pick-ups were in good shape.

In the evening he got dressed up in his lounge suit. Realising he was late, he just rushed out, took one of the pick-ups and drove away.

At every traffic signal, he drew bewildered looks from the public, wide eyes from those zonked, and giggles.

He didn’t care. At high school, you think that the whole world is mad and you are the only sensible person alive. But it is the other way round.

While reaching his destination, the five-star hotel, at first he was denied entry, but eventually they allowed him. At the valet parking, he only saw people staring at him. The guy stopped his pick-up and asked a valet to park it. The valet looked at him, seemingly with disgust, and then his pick-up. Irritated by his reaction, the guy asked, “What man?”

The valet pointed out to the rear end of his pick-up.

He put his head out of the car to check what the valet was pointing at.

It was then that the shocking sight greeted him: Hundreds of hens hanging upside down from the bar grill of his pick-up, ready for delivery at the market. The guy was shocked and said, “Goodness, what in blazes is this?”

A pungent poultry odour spread across the arena and small feathers were flying around like you see much when you are in a chicken coop. And of course the hens were clucking and moving their heads in a stupid manner.

Oh boy! All hell broke loose for him. The embarrassment he faced after that incident was unimaginable.
Syed Shayaan Bakht

Click trick

A few days ago, I met some friends at the airport. Meeting me after a long time, one of them teased me. “Where is your camera? We get to see you posting on social media immediately wherever you go!”

I was in a hurry at that time and also this is a question I hear often.

During my childhood days, it was a routine for us children to go for sight seeing trips to distant towns in the southern states of India. Most of these trips were directed at pilgrimage centres and historic places of importance.

A family of my father’s friend and my family were part of the tour party most of the time. Nine passengers in a good old Ambassador car, which my father still maintains in a good condition!

It used to give us exposure to different places, culture, food and tradition. It went on till we children grew up and parted ways due to our own business or work.

Now my parents are old and cannot travel easily. Adding to their problems is poor eyesight. I realised the solution was to install a computer at home, provide them a Facebook ID and teach them the basics. Since then, it has become a routine for my parents to see the world through me.

Thus, there are some silent well-wishers out there who regularly read my posts.

It is the same way, I get to see and travel around many parts of the world through some good friends who share the world and news through their clicks and posts.
Ramesh Menon

‘K’ kills joy

In this modern age, we all have to text each other at some point. It is customary to use abbreviated words while texting as it makes the messages shorter that lead to faster response from the other party.

The issue is not the use of short forms of words, but the use of certain short forms. How many of you like me, dislike it when your friends use the letter, ‘K,’ as a short form for, “OK”?

I am sure most of you find it daunting as it clearly kills the conversation that already is quite bland as a result of being on an electronic medium. I believe the use of “K,” as defined by online social norms, is when you are angry or upset with the other party.

Most people do not even realise how much they use this as they are constantly juggling through their daily tasks this seems to be the easiest way out.

Imagine this, If you are having a bad day say, and while texting your friend replies to one of your yes or no questions with a “K”, how would you feel? I am sure it won’t uplift your mood. Since we have no way of knowing how the other person’s body language is, as it we are in the virtual zone.

So, I am simply trying to say that if took a little more extra care when we are texting/whatsapping/IMing, we might avoid upsetting people. After all, I am sure most of you would be tired by the way, “K,” kills conversations.
Vismay Anand

Deadly prediction

I just returned to Bangalore after six months in America. Before I left for Denver, a friend casually told me that he wondered whether he would be alive when I returned. He was a cheerful person and a good caram player. On my return, I was shocked to hear that his words had actually come true. With a little prayer, I consoled myself philosophically that both in travel and life, arrival and departure are not in our hands.
K. Ragavan

Daring doctor

Wandering around a mall recently, I picked up a book “Think before it is too late.”

An incident I read in the book touched my heart. It was about Dr Barry James Marshall, an Australian physician who won the Nobel for Medicine in 2005.

This doctor and his research partner Dr Robin Warren made the startling discovery that stomach ulcers are not caused by stress, spicy foods or too much acid. They felt that bacteria Helicobacter pylori was the cause of most stomach ulcers.

When they declared this, scientists and doctors, who did not believe that any bacteria could live in the acidic stomach, ridiculed their theory.

In order to prove his point, Dr Marshall undertook some daring action. He drank a petri-dish of the bacteria and soon developed gastritis. He then fought the condition with antibiotics. The bacteria disappeared after two weeks.

Marshall was later quoted as saying “Everyone was against me, but I knew I was right.”

Hats off to such great contributors to humanity.
R. Ramesh

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