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Short Take: On cloud nine
March 08, 2014
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On cloud nine

Once again I was on cloud nine this week. Specially when the clouds covered the top part of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

Taking an exceptionally unique and equally amazing view from the 123rd floor was giving me some refreshing feelings as if I were sitting on a window seat of an aeroplane, mesmerised by the breath taking view of the glittering Emirates.

Similarly, using the world’s fastest elevator to reach  the 123rd floor was itself an excellent experience.

That night, once again, I realised how some people win others’ hearts in their first meeting. Yes. The best quality of not to show off unnecessarily and demonstrating the best gentlemanlines.

Thanks to the charismatic cousin of my friend, a down to earth, young entrepreneur, who owns an apartment in one of the wonders of the modern world.
Zafar Iqbal

I love UAE

A few days ago, I received a call and was surprised to hear the voice of none other than my good friend from Sharjah who had come to Bangalore for holidays with his family.

This friend and I worked in the same company for a few years when I landed in the UAE in 1993. We recollected the golden days back in Dubai. The recollection of those memorable days almost brought tears to my eyes.

I love and miss the UAE and its warm people.
K. Ragavan

Shining example

Passion for photography has taught me a lot of things. From keen observation to contributions for the welfare of the society, there are no limits for a lensman.

Last week, with a view to unwind, I thought I should go out and play some sports. Cricket was an option. I went ahead and as usual carried my camera too.

I met a man, about 25 years old, and he was there with me to click along. I started a conversation with him. He is a student of Architectural Engineering in Dubai. His parents were here, but they had to leave when he finished school. In order to continue his education and support his parents, he stayed back, and took several part-time activities, including RJ jobs, computer graphics and photography.

Over a period of time, he became an established photographer doing independent events. With his pooled income from all these activities, he now continues his studies.

Talking to him, and rather allowing him to talk, I learnt quite a lot about photography, from his perspective and about his worldly experience, the experience of a 25-year-old trying best of his efforts to come up in his life.

This person, who introduced himself as Akbar, has proved to be an inspiring youth. With such ambition and determination, youngsters can sure shine.
Ramesh Menon

The Stole(n) Apology

I believe that a teacher is a teacher wherever she goes, 24/7. When I say this, what I mean is not that, irrespective of the circumstances I am in, I start teaching people I find myself with their ABC’s.

It is just that whenever there is something not quite right I am usually the first one in the crowd to notice it, or sometimes remark about it. The “teacher” in me.

I have, several times, gotten myself into unpleasant situations because of this “teacher” in me.

Like it happened the other day. My husband and I had gone to this movie theatre in Sharjah and found the place teeming with people.

We decided to stand in two different queues so that whoever reached the counter first got the tickets.

The lady standing before me in the queue threw her stole over her shoulders with a flick of her wrist, and in the process the tassels at the end of the stole hit me in the eye.

It was a simple act of arranging one’s garment, not done with the intention of hurting anyone and so the lady probably did not realise she had hurt me and hence, would not have connected my OUCH to her act.

But here I was, rubbing my eye and the teacher in me thinks, “This lady hasn’t realised what she has done.” Public welfare being the motive, I tell her that she hurt me in the eye.

She retorts, “What?”

“When you did this with your stole, these things hit me in the eye.”

She gives me a nasty look and turns away.

I am miffed.

“When you are in a crowd, you need to be a little careful.”

She gives me that dirty look again.

I say in my politest tone, “You owe me an apology, for hurting me, you see.”

“What?” she said.

So I smile to ease the situation and say, “An apology... sorry... you know, you must be saying it.”

She raised her voice again, “You are teaching me?”

“Yes”, I replied.

“Then don’t,” she said.

“That I can’t,” I retorted. “I teach people who don’t know.”
Vidya Shankar

Antidote to anger

I was just looking out of the window when my eyes fell on two men fighting over wrong parking. Suddenly, a school bus stopped by. A few cute children stepped out of the bus with smiles all over their faces.

The men couldn’t ignore and stopped for a while only to notice their beautiful smiles. They were so pleased that they soon forgot all about their fight and started smiling.

I then flashed back to the time when I had a similar experience. Every Friday a few women used to come to our building asking for money on one pretext or the other. We all were very irritated with them.

I always thought that they were so hale and hearty; they should work somewhere to earn their bread and butter.

One Friday I thought of giving them a piece of my mind.

That day I opened the door angrily only to find a surprise for me that changed my attitude. There was a sweet girl with a lovely smile on her face.

I was very pleased. Instead of giving her a piece of my mind, she gave peace to my angry mind.
Saamia Mujeeb
(Student, Indian High School, Dubai)

Quick relief

It is a universal truth that God helps those who support others at a difficult time, because for every action there is a reaction. I am a strong believer of this philosophy and I always try my level best to follow it in my daily life.

Recently, I visited Dubai Marina for a press gathering at night.  The event got delayed, but I was worried about my office driver, because he was getting late. I sent him back to Sharjah, saying I would find my own way of returning home.

A person sitting next to me started chatting with me and informed that he was based in Sharjah. I was excited thinking that he would drop me there. I asked him about his driving licence. He replied that he had not applied yet.

I hid my shock.

One of the organisers informed me that someone was heading towards Sharjah and that he would drop me. When I met the driver, I was happy to know that he was living next to our building in Sharjah and also belonged to my country and home village. He dropped me next to my home.

I took a huge sigh of relief thinking that at least I saved the time of my driver and also my own pocket.
Inayat -ur- Rahman

Crazy yet cute

Ever heard of a man who is in love with his car more than his own wife? Yes, of course you have. We all have that one crazy love towards an object, machine etc.

For example, I am crazy about my mom’s car (I wish it were my own), but she has been with the family for eight years. I always kiss her before she goes in for her regular service and the same ritual when she returns.

I always talk to her, calm her down when she is too worked up, and in my heart I truly believe that she is listening and she loves me back.

I know that everyone around may think that some screw is loose up there, but think about it, it’s not just some men who are crazily in love with their cars but some women are also crazily in love with their shoes.

I remember an episode from the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory where Penny is played by Kaley Cuoco. She talks to her expensive pair of heels and tells them that she’s sorry but they have to go back.

Then (she only replies) that they love her and they look so good on her.

As odd as this conversation sound, that’s what makes them unique that we humans are able to bond not only with each other but with objects as well.
Vismay Anand

Time pass

I hear one constant remark every day from someone or the other: “Oh my God. How fast time has gone by.”

When my wife moved from Mumbai to Chennai for the birth of my daughter in 1990, a couple joined me as room partners. They later shifted to another city and we lost touch. The couple recently tracked the wedding photo of my daughter on Facebook and the reaction was, “Oh my God. How fast time has gone by.”

My colleague is quitting after 16 years of service. I heard at least three other colleagues telling him, “OMG. How fast…”

Modern technology offers everything at jet speed. Distances have shrunk, snail-mails are dead, bullock carts are showpieces and virtual shopping is the norm.

So much time has been saved in travel and communication.

Yet, we do not get time to smell the roses or admire the beauty of the twinkling stars.

What’s the reason?

Sorry, I do not have time to analyse. If you know the answer or manage to search it on Google, do email me.

And talking about time reminds me of a joke:

A wall clock fell on the ground and the owner yelled, “I hate this clock. It is always slow. Just a minute ago, my mother-in-law was standing under it.”
R. Ramesh

Inspiring Lister

Hilary Lister is a record-breaking quadriplegic sailor from  England. She suffers from the progressive condition reflex sympathetic dystrophy and controls her ship by using sip-and-puff technology for steering and sails.

Those who had listened to her motivational speech any time in life have to think of how life changes at extreme situations.

The week’s end of the day was filled with the joy of meeting Hilary Lister, who made history by becoming the first ever quadriplegic to sail solo across the English Channel.

The speech had given an insightful look at the daring and brave approach of her perceptions about life. To me it was the second time I have been meeting someone who shares such exciting moments of life in open.

Even though many people were telling her about the impossible task of sailing, Hilary made it with her bold approach.

Hilary, who was awarded the “Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration,” in her early days was a very sporty child and enjoying all kinds of sports activities. 

However, later on for over half of her life she battled with her worsening medical condition. 

Listening to Lister’s voice, that morning turned out to be an incredible start for the day.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman

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