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Tribute to Vijayakanth

The news of the death of Tamil actor and politician Vijayakanth is saddening (“South Indian actor-politician Vijayakanth dies at 71’, Gulf News, December 28). He was affectionately known as Captain Vijayakanth. He captured the hearts of millions with his charismatic performances in Tamil movies before transitioning into Indian politics and founding the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK). Vijayakanth’s contribution to the film industry and Tamil Nadu’s political landscape was remarkable. As a political leader, his dedication to public service left a lasting impact on Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. He was not just a mass hero on-screen but off-screen; he was known for his generosity and helpful nature. He passed away without a single controversy to his name. He served as a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Tamil Nadu twice and was the opposition leader between 2011 and 2016. His passing has created a void in cinema and politics that will be difficult to fill for years. May his soul rest in peace.

From Mr Ramesh G Jethwani


Shopping frenzy

I want to share my thoughts on the growing retail frenzy of Christmas in the Middle East, as mentioned in Tariq A Al Maeena’s article in Gulf News, dated December 23 (“Merchandising of Christmas in the region”, Gulf News, December 23). The slogan ‘One family, one earth, one future’ holds significance today and is a positive sign. Suppose we celebrate all festivals with a sense of participation and respect for all religions and communities. The only way forward for a healthy, happy, and prosperous world is through mutual respect, love, harmony, and coexistence.

From Mr Karun kumar singhal


Test match:India V South Africa

Kudos to KL Rahul for his outstanding century, scoring in challenging batting conditions at Centurion Park in South Africa. This was his second century at the venue and one of his most satisfying knocks. It helped the Indian team reach a respectable total of 245 runs in the first innings. Unfortunately, the efforts were overshadowed by Dean Elgar’s unbeaten 140 runs, which helped South Africa surpass the total. The Indian team missed Mohammed Shami’s assistance during this tour. However, there is still a chance for the bowlers to restrict South Africa’s lead. Indian batsmen are known to score big runs in their second innings, so I hope they can put up a fight and set a challenging target for the South African team to chase. I keep my fingers crossed for a positive outcome.

From Mr Vinay Mahadevan



The year 2023 saw chaos, a global economic downfall and the displacement of hundreds due to wars. It’s important to remember that war is always a failure.

I’m proud and grateful to live in the UAE, which ranks first in the region and third globally for tolerance. Going through my memories, I am jotting down a few of them here. COP28 opened doors to the world and united people in pledging to save our planet. The UAE’s recent space mission was another golden milestone, and my visit to the Sharjah International Book Fair was a means of connecting the world through books. Despite the modern era of digital technology, I managed to send over 500 New Year cards to friends and relatives worldwide. Although I don’t have any specific New Year resolutions, I strive to become more humane.

Gulf News has allowed me to express my views on various topics, such as the environment, politics, and poverty. Dubai has helped me grow in many ways, and I cherish every moment spent here. I hope the New Year brings peace and happiness to everyone. May we all have a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.

From Mr Eappen Elias


Healthy resolutions

As the year ends, many people make resolutions for the new year. However, my resolution is the same every year and is easy to follow. It has become a part of my routine lifestyle. By the grace of God, I have never had to register for a gym or follow a diet regime. I resolve to ensure my family’s physical, mental, and emotional stability. However, I always remember to take care of myself, as my good health is essential for the well-being of my family. Instead of making resolutions meant to be broken, I choose a healthy and manageable lifestyle for myself and my family. Nowadays, people are much more aware that mental health is as important as physical health. Also, helping less fortunate people can give them immense happiness in life. Financial planning and time management can keep you from worries and help you achieve mental stability. Listening to inspirational speakers can also be motivating.

My resolution every year is to do aerobic exercise for 30 to 40 minutes only twice or thrice a week. For grocery shopping or visiting nearby relatives, I prefer walking to get fresh air and save money. So, I plan my eating habits in such a way that I can enjoy all the tastes and flavours while also keeping my weight almost stable. I take time for my hobbies, which give me inner satisfaction and keep me going.

When I came to the UAE 21 years ago, I noted down all my wishes on paper which I wanted to achieve for myself and my family. By the grace of God, I have ticked off most of them as achievements in my life. I suggest everyone follow a sensible lifestyle in all respects, and they won’t require any resolutions for the new year. I am proud to be a resident of this country, which gives opportunities for everyone to achieve whatever they want in their lives. I am pleased to be a resident of the UAE, where tolerance is in its inner core, and we all live under one umbrella.

From Mrs Niamat Karmally


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