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Short Take: I’ll break your neck!
August 30, 2014
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I’ll break your neck!

Everybody! Stop what you are doing. This is a rant, a rant that cannot further be contained by my feeble heart. The good thing about ranting through a newspaper is that hate mail is not as easily thrown back as it is on YouTube.

“hawt, bae, h8r, vit, dat, brb, g2g” these are just a few of the tormenting slangs used by many people all over the world while texting. I address the next few questions to every spelling impaired person out there.

Are you partially dead on occasion when you use these? Or did an axe murderer chop off your fingers? Or do you just like to experiment torture tactics on human beings for fun?

I do not care if you replied yes or no to any of the aforementioned questions you still deserve to have your neck broken and let me just say that I would gladly do the honours. Yes, you read it right, deserve.

Let’s pick one of these words and analyse just to show that this rant is indeed justified. For example “bae” which is a short version of the word babe. Yes, because a four-letter word obviously needs to be shortened.

Seriously just answer me this, would it have killed you to type “babe” or “baby” instead of “bae”? Was adding that extra “b” really denting your lightning-fast texter reputation? If you replied yes to this or you replied with “oh we say it because it is cool”, I’ve got b.a.d news for you. You suffer from the ESS (excessive slang syndrome).

It is not easily treatable but with great help you can overcome this disease. Please contact your grammar and spell efficient friend and seek the help you need.

I only rant because I care about you.
Faryal Anjum

Live for now

My husband and I had gone for a long walk when we ran into some friends. Wanting to chit-chat we went to a nearby cafeteria and ordered for tea.

One of my friends wanted some pastries and sandwich too along with his tea. As it was late evening only his wife warned him that if he had the pastries and sandwich he wouldn’t be able to eat any dinner.

He said, “I am hungry now. I need some food now. It doesn’t make sense to me to go hungry now in anticipation of a meal that I am likely to have in future time. Who knows, we might get delayed and could reach home late, well past dinner time, and I’ll have to put up with my hunger till then.”

He continued, “Another probability is that I may not even be alive then. If that’s the case I sure don’t want to die a hungry man. So what if I am unable to eat any dinner because of the pastries and the sandwich. I’ll just have a fruit or drink up some milk or labaan. But at least I’ll be able to go to bed a satisfied man because I’d have lived life in the present. I’d have lived for now.”

His reply stunned us all. There was a moment’s silence. Then suddenly, because we all realised we were also hungry, we called for more sandwiches and pastries.

The evening turned out to be a memorable one, with love, laughter and food for body, mind and soul.
Vidya Shankar

Annoying invitations

Yesterday, my cousin shared with me an interesting incident.

“Last night when everyone was sleeping, my mobile buzzed. I woke up with a startle. Thousands of thoughts flashed in my mind. Sleepily, I switched on the mobile wondering about the message. The next moment I felt like killing my friend who had sent me an invitation to play the popular game Candy Crush Saga,” she narrated.

At first, I couldn’t stop laughing. But then I wondered about it. Many people are targeted every day by others sending them invitations to play Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, Pepper Panic Saga or other games.

It’s not only the Candy Crush invitation that annoys others. Many people even have the habit of whatsapping late at night disturbing the sweet dreams. While many people get infuriated by companies that send messages to promote their products without realising other’s problems.

One must realise that someone might be sleeping or might be busy in a meeting. They may get startled as the notification tune rings. And when they check it, they come to know it was a useless message. Although no one gets harmed, it worsens the mood.

It reminds me of my uncle who faced a similar situation. He was busy in a meeting when he got a series of messages on the phone. He couldn’t check the phone immediately, but kept thinking about it all the while. Later, when he checked, to his annoyance, the messages were sent by a company to promote its products.

Here I wish to recall in a lighter vein an interesting writeup on a blog, where the blogger had mentioned that the Candy Crush notifications may cause the third World War.

He wrote: “Imagine a situation when the desperate Russian President Vladimir Putin would send American President Barack Obama a Candy Crush invitation just for fun. Obama might then ask the British Prime Minister David Cameron to send Pepper Panic Saga invitation to the Russian President. Then China will come out in support of Russia. This will divide the world in two parts. Thus the World War III will begin.”
Saamia Mujeeb
(Student, Indian High School, Dubai)

Unknown path

At times I am confused about my urge to write my feelings and thoughts on a regular basis. To write or not to write is always a dilemma that I undergo, when I sit to pen my thoughts. However, I end up writing my feelings at the end of the day.

Today too, is not different.

First is about the marriage of one of my nieces. I remember the night she was getting ready to come out from her mother’s womb. It took approximately 12 hours for her to finally land into this real world making all of us happy to see a cute little girl arrive.

Priyanka grew up as a darling of all. She is getting married now and I really wanted to witness the historical moment. Sadly, couldn’t make it due to work reasons. I believe always that a girl child is an asset to the family. I am sure she is and will be in her new role ahead.

The second is about a friend, Joe, who was leaving the UAE for good after a nine-year stint. He was kind enough to part with me a huge collection of books to use for charitable cause.

What has made his departure more special? That may be your thought next.

True, it is special, as he is travelling a distance of around 8000 km by road to his home country Switzerland from Dubai covering several countries on the way. It will be a dream come true journey for any motorsport enthusiast.

It is true that the journey ahead for all is always adventurous. There will be always an unknown path ahead. It is how we walk our steps that make us different each time. I am confident that both will be successful.
Ramesh Menon

It’s confusing

I was walking down Al Wahda, Sharjah’s fashion street. I saw a man eating a huge meal in an eating joint as another man served him that meal. The client appeared richer than the server. Yet, the server sounded delighted to be in the UAE because he was making good money by way of salary and tips.

He told me that. But I was left entirely confused about the two lives. One rich and being served, the other not rich and serving. Confusing because both were human beings with the same physical features, yet one was clearly above the other.

Everything is confusing. Every happening is. Two people born on the same day become two things. One may become a thief, the other a cleric. We have a tendency to blame our circumstances. But at the end no amount of blaming leaves us convinced. What we are left with is confusion.

Man often loses his sense of reasoning and his judging power is reduced to nothing because of that confusion.

There’s always a juncture when man is bound by certain impossibilities like wanting to become something larger than himself. He reads success stories, which inspire, but all flights don’t take the same air corridor. What works in Tom’s favour may not work in Harry’s. Why? Again confusing.

Part of the problem is that man is naturally prejudiced. And prejudice leads to partiality. For example, we invariably forgive our siblings for their mistakes. But often use up an entire lifetime to punish others for the same mistakes. Why we do that is again confusing.

Isn’t it possible for a person to set aside the feelings or sentiments for a fellow-member and act and do what is right and proper? Yes, it is possible, but humans are scared for that could cause them to lose their own secure zone because love, consideration and help are always on the line of expectation. And those things are only found in that zone. Why? Again confusing.

In everything man seeks pleasure. Why? There is no clear answer. Again confusing. But he should seek not pleasure but happiness. Pleasure is a need, a momentary need, man should commit himself to happiness and not become an ardent fanatic of something as momentary as pleasure.

Man should try to solve or make a weapon which can eradicate, kill, erase or drown this ceaseless confusion.

Man doesn’t have an independent mind. He is a slave of habit and often spends a lifetime to overcome them. Why? Again confusing.
Louis J. Rao

Pearls of wisdom

There are certain situations or issues that sometimes may lead us to doubt ourselves.

Some choose to talk it out with friends, while a few people have soothing words (everyone deals with it differently).

I remember back in high school, in the beginning of a majority of our textbooks, Mahatma Gandhi’s Talisman was included. It was as follows: —“I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test:

Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man (woman) whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him (her). Will he (she) gain anything by it? Will it restore him (her) to a control over his (her) own life and destiny?

In other words, will it lead to Swaraj (freedom) for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.”

At first, I did not pay much attention to it, but during the last four years of high school, I started to see the world in a different light.

Whenever I was frustrated, I would apply the Talisman. It always worked; I would see myself automatically getting recharged to go back to studying or finishing an assignment. I would tell myself that if I have the ability to help even one person in the world, why not do so?

In order for me to do so, I must first get through high school and university. Even in between my studies if there is anything that I can do to make a difference in people’s life, I will do it. One day, when I have gathered enough resources, I would like to do something large-scale. Have you ever had a moment of self-doubt? What do you usually do in that situation? Ever considered finding maybe some sort of mantra (words to live by)?

Try it out, the world is full of people who have either left or are leaving their words of wisdom for us.
Vismay Anand

(N)ever alone

At a time when most people complain about the unending rat race, I recently had a chance to meet a close friend in the Indian city of Pune, who stays away from the din of city life, with no neighbours for up to two kilometres.

Adi Aibara, 68, a former colleague, is known among friends to be a gem of a person who cares a lot for others.

He is passionate about justice for all. When the US launched a war on Iraq based on lies that the country had weapons of mass destruction, Adi expressed his resentment by picking up two dogs and symbolically naming them after top American and British leaders.

He did not even have electricity connection for years and drives long distance in a car to fetch and store water.

Lush green trees and plants surround his house. Birds and animals, including wolves, are the only regular visitors.

While that is not a bother for human friends who visit him on and off, snakes that shed their skins before disappearing do leave guests worried.

A woman friend who accompanied me refused to enter the house saying that she was extremely scared of snakes.

We convinced her to move in and have a soft drink when her umbrella accidentally fell on her feet.

“Snakeee,” she screamed, rushing out of the house.

We lost a few more precious minutes convincing her to re-enter the house.
R. Ramesh

Dream destination

A friend wrote to me saying he would be visiting Abu Dhabi for his relative’s marriage. I got nostalgic as I miss the UAE every moment after I retired and left in 2009. I told my friend that he was lucky to be visiting such a dream destination. When I mentioned about this to my neighbour in Denver, he stated that he too wanted to visit Dubai.  The UAE undoubtedly holds tremendous attraction for tourists.
K. Ragavan, Denver

‘Sorry’ to say that!

“Sorry” seems to be one of the hardest words. On certain occasions it is annoying when we don’t hear the word “sorry,” especially when you are on the phone and someone says, “I am getting another call; I will talk to you later.”

When I said sorry to my boss on a simple issue, he got angry.  “Don’t tell me sorry again,” he shouted.  “Do you know the value of the word “sorry”?  He got up from the chair.  For him, the word “sorry” can never be a substitute.

Recently while I was talking to someone on an official call, she was getting another call on her mobile.  With a “sorry,” she disappeared after breaking the conversation.  “Sorry” seems to be hiding everywhere, which has no true compassion over relations of any kind.

It has become a kind of routine for many to mix the word “sorry” even with the casual informal talk.

Avoiding a “sorry” will certainly condense the discussions, saving time and refining confidence.  But the word “sorry” still has a value in life. I am sorry to say that!
Ramachandran Nair, Oman

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