UAE: Expo 2020
Connecting minds, creating the future- This is the tag line for the EXPO 2020 and when I visited this expo site with my family, I was pleasantly surprised ("Expo 2020 Dubai: A sneak peek into ‘Terra — The Sustainability Pavilion’, Gulf News, January 16). Little did I expect that we would be teleported into a different world, the Terra- Sustainability Pavilion had something magical, and left us spellbound. The intricate thought process in re-creating our ancestors' land, showing us how we as humans have traversed through this journey of time and space, is something we all need to know of. The welcome we received, and the aura and the magic this space created has undoubtedly left an indelible mark in our minds. We were truly grateful to witness this magical journey – wandering through the forests, experiencing a dive in the deep oceans, sustainable solutions one being Hydroponic farming. The vibe is something one needs to be there to witness - the visionary leaders of this land have made this country such a beautiful, stellar and indeed a top-notch country. The time spent in this magical arena truly made me feel - recreating the past, creating the future and connecting minds on a global arena, as we forge ahead as one humankind. Can't wait for October.
From Ms Shalini Menezes
2020 was a roller coaster, yet an amazingly unique year for me. Confined to home, I learnt many new things, like baking and painting. Baking has become quite frequent, two cakes a month at least. I have ended up spending most of my time on electronic gadgets during the lockdown. During the summer holidays, my sister and I would travel to India, but corona did not allow us this year. Online school was also a new experience. Right from 7:30am to 1:30pm in front of laptops may sound tiring, but it became our daily routine. We missed meeting friends at school and could see them only on virtual chatrooms. Birthday parties too, had become virtual. I missed seeing my grandmother during the summer holidays. The last time we travelled was to Singapore, towards the end of December, 2019, to early January, 2020. Coronavirus stopped us from having a vacation this year. The first time we went out this year after the lockdown was to the Creek Harbour, in May. It wasn't easy to stay out for a long while with both masks and gloves. Now it has become a part of our attire. I hope we have learnt our lesson well and will treat nature with more care. I am sure that we will overcome this pandemic and 2021 will be a happy and peaceful year. Life will return to normal with the vaccines in place, and we will no longer have to stay indoors. We will be able to meet friends at school and have fun as before.
From Miss Rhea Eappen
2021: A new beginning
As 2020 came to an end, we marked a new beginning with new hopes for 2021. The year 2020 taught us to adapt, reflect and readjust. The year taught us to laugh, cry, and grieve, and as a whole, I believe many relationships were strengthened, as together we faced so many unknowns. To ignore the negatives of this year would be foolish, but as we look at 2020 as a whole, we must choose to focus on the positive. We may be a bit bruised, battered and shattered, but it also made us more resilient, gritty and determined. The reality of 2021 is altered when it comes to the redefined work culture, the notion of leisure and pleasure, the restrictions on movement, the self-restraint on shaking hands or hugging loved ones, nothing will change. The year 2020 did not offer a glimpse of catastrophe that would turn the world within no time, a year later. We have already endured a collective nightmarish experience that still lurks. 2021 can be different on one elementary level, though; hope. The hope that the vaccine will victoriously work its way through the flu. The sincere hope that the world around us will be less intolerant and more cautious. The wish list is long and ambitious, but then, hope is what sustains life. After so many months of chaos and uncertainty, there’s finally light on the horizon. A brighter future awaits us.
From Ms Sumitra Nair
Larry King, a talk show legend
The demise of Larry King the long time CNN host, and an iconic television and radio host, has left a void which will be difficult to fill (“Legendary American TV and radio host Larry King dies”, Gulf News, January 23). In his six decades-old distinguished careers, which included 25 years as hosting his programme on CNN, he quizzed thousands of celebrities from all walks of life, from politicians, sportspeople. His name was synonymous with CNN, which became a household name, at the peak of his career. The 'Larry King Live' show on the television channel brought in 1.5million viewers at night. He carried out more than 50,000 interviews, including exclusive sit-down interviews with every US president since Gerald Ford to Obama. His other high-profile guests include Dr Martin Luther King, Dalai Lama, Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, LeBron James, Paris Hilton, British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Larry King's thousands of interviews with global celebrities, several coveted awards like Emmy and Peabody, and international acclaim, stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.
From Mr Ramesh G Jethwani