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Participants enjoy at the 39th edition of Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive 2020 enroute Tilal Swaihan in the Al Ain region. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News Image Credit:

Gulf News Fun Drive 2020: One to remember

I’m from Canada, and I attended the recently held Gulf News Fun Drive 2020 and it was an amazing experience (“As it happened: Hundreds drive into the desert for Gulf News Fun Drive”,, January 17). I was highly impressed by the way Gulf News organised the event and communicated with all the participants starting from giving them their kits to helping them with their tracking application, which was very helpful.

The Marshals were talented and experienced. They managed to guide all the participants and drivers. I was highly impressed with the organisers and with the people around. Everyone was very helpful and cooperative. The washrooms were spic and span, and I couldn’t ask for more. The allotted tents were massive. In my opinion, there should be a separate booth for distributing the non-vegetarian and vegetarian meal boxes. The servers were very courteous and well mannered.

Every year, I believe Gulf News tries to improve by gathering information from the participants. Overall, I was very happy with the experience and would spread the word. I would like to thank the entire Gulf News team for all their hard work and support which they have provided throughout the entire journey.

From Ms Subrata Majumdar


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Participants enjoy at the 39th edition of Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive 2020 enroute Tilal Swaihan in the Al Ain region. Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Indian politics and personalities

It is great news that the warring allies Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Congress party have made peace and salvaged their alliance from the brink of near collapse (“PM Modi attacks Congress for opposing CAA”, Gulf News, January 2). Though there are some differences in opinion between the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President ‎K. S. Alagiri and the DMK party, the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi has taken a firm stand to call the TNCC President to New Delhi, and warn him against any negative strategys. Of course, since there could be some adverse action in Pondicherry, the Pondicherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy was also advised to pave way for peace talks. I hope both the Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu would be wise enough to work with their allies for the benefit of Tamil Nadu voters.

From Mr N. Mahadevan


The Mumbai nightlife

The Bharatiya Janata party wants clarity on Mumbai, India, nightlife rules (“Ajit Pawar, Aditya Thackeray to make it to Maharastra Cabinet”, Gulf News, December 30, 2019). In Mumbai, there are different class of people. There are many prominent people including industrialists, Bollywood celebrities, famous politicians, activists and more. These people cannot move out freely because of the mobs surrounding traffic jams.

By midnight, a majority of the middle class sleep early because of there work timings. The nightlife begins. However, this doesn’t mean discos and red light areas. I’m talking about big shopping malls, five-star restaurants, any activities which have entertainment for children and their families must be welcomed. BJP leader Ashish Shelar wanted the nightlife rules to be spelt out. The state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said that malls and eateries will have the option of being open round the clock.

I think people should think about how the business and economy of country will grow. I welcome the bold step taken by the minister.

From Mr Arvind Dhumale

Abu Dhabi

Is a big fat wedding the way to go?

I attended two weddings in New Delhi, one in November 2019, and one in January 2020 (“Kerala: Hindu wedding held in a 100-year-old mosque”,, January 20). One was a fusion of cultures – the bride Indian and the groom Irish. The people from the boy’s side were from Ireland, England and the US - all senior professionals, they were simply dressed in Indian attire, like the bridegroom. The bride wore a classic red saree, and walked in – hand in hand with her brothers. During the pheras (seven rounds around the sacred fire), a priest conducted the ceremony while another read out the English translation explaining the significance of each chant of the bride and groom. Rajasthani folk musicians played in the background. The function ended with a lively Irish dance by friends and family of the groom. I compare this with another wedding I attended. This wedding was a five-day affair with different functions leading up to the wedding. It was beautiful. The venues were ornately decorated, the bride walking in under a canopy held by her brothers, sisters and friends. The bride and groom wore designer outfits. The groom arrived in a chariot with a lot of music and dancing, and took his bride back in a vintage car! Both were fairy tale weddings, both were memorable and enjoyable in their own way. Do people need to have lavish weddings? Do couples who chose to have simple weddings find themselves being judged? I think people should get married the way they like. If lavish is what you’re looking for and can afford it, by all means. If simple is what you are going for, you shouldn’t feel pressured into spending more money.

From Ms Aruna Mathur


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Bengaluru: India's Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli run between the wickets during the third and final ODI cricket match against Australia, at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak) (PTI1_19_2020_000213B) Image Credit: PTI

An entertaining match

Congratulations to Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and his team for their clinical and remarkable comeback to win the match at Rajkot, especially after the whacking they received at the Wankhede Stadium, to level the three-match series (“Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli star as India defeat Australia in 3rd ODI to win series”, Gulf News, January 20). It was a total team effort, right from the openers to the bowlers ably led by cricketer Jasprit Bumrah. It was painful to see cricketer Shikhar Dhawan missing a well-deserved century by a whisker. Incidentally, the concussion for Rishabh Pant proved to be a blessing in disguise as K.L. Rahul proved to be a better keeper. Keeping him on number five or six is apt. No doubt, our batsmen set a daunting target of 341 runs, but so long as Australian cricketers Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith were at the crease, the target seemed to be within the reach of the Australian team. But Kuldeep Yadav’s twin strike took the wind out of the remaining Australian cricketers, who just caved in. All in all, it was an entertaining match at Rajkot.

From Mr Vinay Mahadevan

Chennai, India

Indian cricketers shine

Congratulations to Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma and Captain Virat Kohli for their wins at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Awards for One Day international Cricket (ODI). Sharma took home the award for ODI Player of the Year, while Kohli took home the award for Spirit of Cricket. It is also a matter of pride that Kohli has been named as the Captain of both Test and ODI formats.

From Mr Ayush Srikanth

Chennai, India

A cricket legend

The demise of 86-year-old former cricketer Bapu Nadkarni is a great loss to the world of cricket. He is known for being an all-rounder and excelled in bowling. His maiden overs and well maintained ball length was superb. He was always appreciated by the commentators for his magnificent bowling. I pray for this departed legend and his family members.

From Mr K. Ragavan

Bengaluru, India

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