Meeting new people is one of life’s great pleasures

You never know, your new best friend could be sitting next to you on an aeroplane. Alamy
You never know, your new best friend could be sitting next to you on an aeroplane. Alamy

Do you remember the last time you gave a smile to a stranger or received one back? I am sure this is a simple question is a difficult one to answer, given the amount of time we all spend with our heads bowed down and glued to our mobile phone screens.

We have become strangers in a world of technology and gadgets that keep us ­connected with the virtual world, but leave us with no time for reality.

As children, we are told not to talk to strangers. That is, of course, sound advice, but as adults, we have the freedom to seek out new conversations. For some reason, though, people seem to feel safer and more secure by protecting themselves from all unnecessary emotional distractions. But there are many benefits to reaching out and talking to people we don’t know.

In life, everything is possible. One can easily meet a stranger who will gradually becomes a lifelong friend. We are all, every one of us, is filled with fascinating data – the kind that is difficult to find staring blankly at a phone.

Every morning when we leave the house for work, there are hundreds of chances for us to make new connections and hear new stories, from taxi drivers and sales staff at malls to fellow aeroplane and bus passengers. That’s what makes the world so interesting.

Lamiya Siraz, Abu Dhabi

School bus bullies should have been caught in the act

I refer to your story Five ­accused over Sharjah school bus bullying incident (June 28). Where are the bus assistants when these incidents are ­happening? Also, why are they not reporting back to the school who should have policies and procedures in place to address bullying? The students are able to get away with this behaviour no one is trying to catch them or stop it.

Amirah William, Umm Al Quwain

More Indian pilgrims will see the wonders of Saudi Arabia

I write with reference to your online article Saudi Arabia raises India’s Hajj quota to 200,000 (June 28).

This must have been wonderful news for the nation’s devout pilgrims. The decision was made at a recent meeting of India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit.

What a good idea. With increase of 30,000, even more Indian citizens will have the chance to visit Saudi Arabia, which will help to forge deep personal relationships with the country, in addition to the strong trading links that exist between these two great countries. Kudos to both men for this gesture.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Updated: June 29, 2019 06:32 PM


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