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Bottling up your emotions

People generally learn to suppress emotions and feelings (“Are teenagers more prone to depression than adults?”, Gulf News, January 18). And, too much bottling up can result in a severe mental breakdown. It is the same with students too. Students’ inability to open up their bottled-up feelings to the right person, who can give timely and correct advice, makes them take some extreme steps. Teachers and parents should be trained to spot warning signs like depression, lack of enthusiasm, sudden withdrawal from friends, falling grades, low self-esteem and most importantly, devote time to listen to their fears and anxieties. Parents should identify the natural flair of children and allow them to pursue that, instead of pushing them to do things they dislike and try to live their own unrealised dreams through their children. A survey reveals that almost 83 per cent of students said their mental health had negatively impacted their academic performance within the past two years, and two-thirds of the students are struggling with loneliness and feeling isolated during COVID-19 times. Every school should have a facility to identify such students to guide and help them to regain their mental health.

From Mr T S Karthik


As language twist and turns

Through the din and clatter of the day, we often fail to remember the arcane rules and regulations of the English language. Yet, it pains every nerve and sinew of mine to witness even its slightest incorrect usage, whether writing or speaking. For, “I had a tad bit of the pie” stands perfectly correct in its way, yet, “My friends and I are baking a pie” stands wrong, partly so because we are terrible at baking, but more so because “I” is used in this scenario. “I” is a lousy word, both in terms of being spiritually selfish and also making it almost impossible to use English correctly. Again, punctuations are obnoxiously important, for “Let’s eat, Grandma” and “Let’s eat Grandma” are poles apart because the latter implies cannibalism.

All those silent letters, by the hour, invoke wrath, just like the “ueue” in a queue. If this wasn’t perplexing enough, connotations exist too. For example, “I am feeling the Monday blues” seems acceptable, but mostly because everyone prefers the weekend and not so much because blue as a colour is associated with sadness.

I find homonyms strange but, at the same time, powerful, for they can confuse a mere kernel with a revered colonel. That’s not it; what takes the cheese are letters with split personality disorder, like, the letter C just wakes up one day and decides to be pronounced as S. The letter G takes the pronunciation J. English as a language is filled to the brim with ironies, like the two Os in cooperate, don’t seem to cooperate on the same pronunciation, and the fact that cargo is by ship, while shipment is by car is surprising to say the least. Given the sheer complexity, utter disorderliness and extreme absurdity of the various antagonistic rules of this language, it is almost impractical to use it properly, sufficing only for superficiality; this is English that we relish.

From Mr Jash Mehta


Women’s world cup

It is excellent to know that our Indian women’s cricket captain, Harmanpreet Kaur and her team members are excited about their debut participation in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games (“Women’s World Cup: Harmanpreet wants India to carry on the winning momentum”, Gulf News, March 15). No doubt our women will have to face the world champion team, Australia, in their first tour. I believe our Indian team should not worry about its opponent’s reputation and take inspiration from the former Indian captain Kapil Dev’s heroics of the 1983 World Cup. They, too, took on the then world champion team, West Indies, in their first outing and shocked them by winning not only that match but the trophy itself in 1983. Hence nothing is impossible. The team needs self-confidence and belief to beat even the best teams. Where there is a will, there is a way. We wish our women’s team the best during the Commonwealth Games.

From Ms Kavitha Srikanth


India- West Indies ODI

It is excellent that our Indian cricket team, led by Shikhar Dhawan, who, along with young opener Subham Gill, gave a rollicking start to the tour with a century opening partnership to lay a firm foundation to post a target of 309 against the west Indies. But for the fumble by the middle-order batsmen, the target should have been 330 plus. But, thankfully, the bowlers could restrict the massive West Indies team to 305 and win the first One Day International by a whisker. Of course, since then, there has been no live telecast of the match; we do not know how many catches were dropped and runs leaked by Indian fielders. Anyway glad that the death overs were bowled well, and the bowlers could defend the huge total. I hope the team takes note of their shortcomings and corrects themselves before the remaining matches.

From Mr N Viswanathan


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