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Short Take: A day of fun
December 13, 2014
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A day of fun

I got one more reason to feel proud of my school when we came to know about a picnic plan. We got even more thrilled on being told that we would be taken to the famous water park of the UAE — Yas Waterworld, that has 45 rides.

It was a mixed emotion of excitement, thrill and bit of nervousness too when we left the home to have an outing with friends, far from the eyes of our parents, but we had teachers to guide us.

We assembled at the school and then left for the waterpark. The journey was fun-filled. We played, ate and had fun all the while. Though we were told to be quiet, we barely managed to control our emotions.

We were warmly received as we entered into the park, but my mind was stuck with the idea of rides only. Once the instructions were given to us, we rushed inside the park to enjoy the day that lied ahead.

The rides were thrilling. I loved the Bandit Bomber ride that had the Middle East’s longest suspended rollercoaster for 550 metres. The rollercoaster was amazing. It had special water and laser effects too.

The Dawwama was no less, exciting. It was a ride in which a group of six sat together in one big tube and travelled through the huge funnel. It would make one realise how a piece of cloth gets twisted and twirled in a washing machine.

These were among my favourites. But they were not all. I enjoyed many other rides too along with my friends and Slithery Slides, Amwaj and Yadi Yas were among the few.

By the end of the trip, we were also told about the legendary story behind Yas Waterworld. It was about a legendary character Dana, a young Arab girl, in search of a legendary pearl that had once brought prosperity in her village.

The thought of leaving the place left me disappointed, but I was still happy. I had enjoyed my outing well. The day was pulsating!
Saamia Mujeeb
(Student, Indian High School, Dubai)

Dark side of chocolate

Some people have a sweet tooth. And usually they prefer milky chocolates, puddings, cakes and such stuff. There is nothing wrong with it. Having sweet delicacies is an age-old tradition among many cultures.

Dishes are specially prepared for consumption after meals, preferably a diner and it is enjoyed thoroughly. After all, sweetness in any form can make anybody happy and draws a smile on a face.

Recently, a get-together took place at our house. All are kin were invited. We spent some quality time together. We talked about serious issues and also on some funny incidents from the past, which were too embarrassing to talk about. But it was fun. However, dinner was ready, and everyone was called to the table. The food was too good to be described.

Everybody had a great time.

After dinner, it was time for some sweet delicacies. Mousse, cakes, fresh fruits, sweets, and chocolates were served. This was the best part. Some preferred mousse; some engaged themselves in fruits, while some took chocolates. Everyone was enjoying.

Suddenly we see one of my uncles and a cousin choking, and coughing and then spitting out dark gooey stuff. Everyone got scared. Aunt shouted, “Someone call the doctor, please.” Cousin and uncle replied, “We are absolutely fine.”

They then drank a glass of water, took some slices of apple and settled down. Both gulping the food  asked, “Is that a chocolate? It doesn’t taste or smell like one. It is very bitter. It kind of jangled our nerves.”

Then they were told that it was dark chocolate. The uncle replied, “Well, it really made me go through a dark period.” And we all had a hearty laugh.
Syed Shayaan Bakht

Can’t complain, can I?

“Spend one day without complaining and see how life changes.”

Thus ran a meme on Facebook. I decided to take up the test. Not that I really needed it. I wasn’t the grumbling type, you see. Ahem... well, a bit of irritation sometimes but not at all like Q.

Q and I used to work together. Q always had a problem with everything. In fact, her life’s mission was to complain. Her incessant ranting got on to everyone’s nerves and people found ways to avoid her.  Unfortunately for me, we were in the same department so there was no escaping her. Thank God, we didn’t work together any more.

I wondered where she was now. Maybe I should try to find out and send her the meme. But I didn’t think she would appreciate it, because she didn’t think of herself as a fusspot.

I wasn’t like Q, for sure, yet I felt like giving the challenge a try. Tomorrow, I told myself.

Tomorrow came. I woke up with an awful headache. The coffee didn’t taste good (something wrong with the milk maybe), couldn’t eat breakfast in peace (Why couldn’t that phone call wait?), the veggies didn’t cook properly (Why do people have to hurry me so?), couldn’t take even a five-minute break (Hubby has to leave his wet towel on the bed), had to wait at the lunch table (Why can’t people respond when food is being served?).

Around mid-afternoon I got the much-needed rest. 

And that’s when I realised it. All I had done the whole morning was carp and cavil because everything seemed to be so utterly wrong. I had not lived up to the challenge.

What is a challenge all about? To take on life in spite of all the irritants.

Fine. Lesson learnt.

So now I am going to give myself another chance. And this time I’m going to make sure I succeed.

Did I hear someone snigger? Husband, possibly.
Vidya Shankar

Virtual friendship

Ever since Facebook became a popular social media platform, the definition to friendship has been changed.

A few days ago I received a Facebook friendship request from an unknown individual with whom I never had any interaction and ever heard his unfamiliar name.

To my surprise he called me on my mobile phone twice a few hours later. The completely unfamiliar voice turned to be so “friendly” while talking, but I was never convinced of his association.

For me, the days of joy and bliss when contacting people with whom I am already in touch makes a difference every time I open my Facebook page. However, the friendship on Facebook leaves lots of uncertainty.

For many, rather than having a good friendship and contact, they are keen on increasing the number of friends on Facebook. I recall an article about the widespread usage of social media platforms like Facebook and the intentions of people joining the forums has been very clear in that.

There is no personalised approach for many who have hundreds and thousands of virtual friends spread all over the world.

It is like reaching the top in the number of connections in Linked-In. In reality, a genuine contact seems to be distantly unclear for a majority of the virtually spreading social media platforms.

One of my “friends” on Facebook said he was keeping a distance from the daily browsing of the page, as several of his friends disregarded his posts which he felt had some values of common interests. Often, I too felt the same, as friends on Facebook are found to be very selective when responding to forum posts.

Privacy is left to the discretion of an individual.

I also noticed one of my “friends” who hardly posted any post but found joy in occasionally criticising others simply to draw attention.

For many, it is like a never-ending obsession with an unknown domain. I find a true friendship is lost in this virtual world.
Ramachandran Nair

Too casual

It is human nature to judge people based on their looks. It takes a lot of courage for most to take their eyes off someone without forming an opinion about him or her.

For instance, if we see a woman dressed up nicely, we often conclude that she is rich or is going out for a dinner. Similarly, if we come across someone who is dressed casually, we are too quick to form a different view about them.

What an individual chooses to wear is entirely up to them. However, it is often stressed that one should be modest in dressing. At times, it is our dressing style that can attract or turn people away from us.

We often forget that what seems suitable to us may not seem appropriate to others. While there is absolutely no harm in wearing what feels comfortable, it can lead to embarrassing situations at times.

A few days ago, I was in the elevator when a domestic helper and a tenant entered.  Soon after, a lady got in from a different floor. She started asking the helper if she would be interested in working for her. But sadly, the housecleaner turned down her offer saying she was working full-time and lived with her employers.

The woman then stared at me for a few seconds before turning to the other lady and asking her if she was interested in working as a maid at her home. The lady got so upset and embarrassed that she almost cried before us.

On getting out of the elevator, she told the woman that she herself was looking for a help as she is a working mother. Hearing this, the lady who offered her employment felt embarrassed too for having judged her on her shabby look.

They both gave each other a faint smile as if apologising before going their own way while I thanked my stars that she did not put this question to me.

That moment I realised how important it is to dress up well even if that means going to the grocery store down the road because being overly-casual is not always a wise move!
Fatima Suhail

To bee, or not to bee

Our life is full of predictable and unpredictable actions and activities. That is one thing that makes it interesting. For me, for you and everyone for that matter.

I have been fascinated by a beehive in my balcony that has  developed into a beautiful one in size and population.

As the number of bees started growing, we took more caution to leave them alone. What will happen if by chance, the hive was disturbed!

My interest in nature held me from taking any action to remove the hive. I kept on observing them, their lifestyle and routine. With still and video photography, I kept on recording their activities from morning till night.

At one point, it was sure that the hive had to be removed. I was feeling sad till the last minute, as we had to remove it completely from our area.

The action known to us was unknown to the creatures. It gave me an opportunity to think about various natural calamities that happen suddenly without any notice to mankind.

At times, however equipped we are, we are helpless in front of nature and its fury or even any other destructive force that is on us. There is a lot to think about this and am leaving it to your imagination.
Ramesh Menon

Doing our duty

We all talk of road safety that drivers must maintain, but what about our duty as pedestrians on the roads?

In the UAE, we have strict traffic rules, which are enforced effectively by the traffic police officers. As residents, we must abide by the rules of the law.

For example, we have been provided the pedestrian crossing (zebra crossings) on various roads. Although it is the duty of the driver to stop and wait for us to cross, we must also watch our direction, the flow of traffic etc. You might have noticed various people scrolling on their phones or listening to music while crossing the roads.

You could be one of those people who might do either, or you may be a driver who has seen this. We all have to arrive at our destination, both drivers and pedestrians, then why not do it in co-operation with each other.

Drivers should keep their promise to abide by the traffic laws and we pedestrians also should be alert while crossing roads. If we all follow each of our duties, it would lead to less accident cases and safer roads.
Vismay Anand

Forget us not

For senior citizens like me, a morning walk helps a lot. I have not only improved my health, but also made good friends. For the past few days, I missed my morning walk as I was away from my home city, Bengaluru. When I met a friend, he enquired about my health and said he missed me at the walking zone. I am happy that there are still caring people in this world.

When it comes to senior citizens, friends should always ascertain the cause for absence, so that they can be of help in case there is a health need. 
K. Ragavan

Health secret

Thanks to the rat race out there and busy work schedules, many people do not eat healthy breakfast.

They get up early and leave for work in a hurry.

In the process, they forget that breakfast has got to be the most important meal of the day. When the stomach does not have any food or drinks for long periods, in this case anywhere from 6 to 10 hours over night, it needs to be prepared for food.

So as Adelle Davis (American nutritionist) says, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”

On the contrary, saving the biggest meal intake for night times is definitely not the right thing. More eating at late night can cause weight gain, indigestion and sleeping problems. There is nothing wrong on eating light healthy dinner.

I once thought that by not eating breakfast I could lose weight, but instead I gained more weight, sometimes became tired or starved during working hours. To overcome these problems, I started eating breakfast regularly and began to follow a healthy diet.

I should say that the results are very encouraging, and makes me a positive and happy person.
Zakir Jawed

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