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Road Safety

Why think of road safety at all? It is because of the accidents that occur everyday on the road, in which all sorts of vehicles and human beings and even animal are involved. These accidents mean loss of life and loss of property and more often than not obstruction to traffic. In this age of speed and fast moving vehicles and with the congestion on roads, these accidents have became almost an everyday affair. So unless everybody is educated on the importance of road safety, the loss and the sorry spectacles cannot be avoided. Prevention is better than cure. This holds good even in the matter of road accidents. Accidents are due to many causes and may occur under different circumstances. The simplest but at the same time dangerous perhaps is people slipping down on the road caused by an orange or a banana peel. Without meaning any harm, quite innocently a person may throw away the orange peel or the banana skin on the road or the sidewalk. When a person, walking briskly, steps on, it he or she will slip down ending in fracture of bones and sometimes even more dangerous than that. So people must take care they do not throw the pealings on the road but should deposit them in a dustbin. In some countries the offenders are severely punished. The second cause of accident is due to careless crossing in busy roads. While crossing one must look to the right and left for moving vehicles and then cross. Where there are Zebra crossings on the road for the pedestrians to cross, one should cross along them. One should keep to the margin of the road while walking and the vehicles must keep to their lanes in busy streets. In the case of accidents involving vehicles there are many causes. One is trying to overtake and very often taking risk. Another is wrong judgment in crossing. Sometimes it may be not caring for the signals. In crowded streets accidents may take place in a snap second because one does not care for the signal. "Stop, look and go" is the best precept; it will save vehicles from accidents. But where one takes a foolish step, the result is the inevitable accident. Jay riding may be another cause. Riding two or three abreast is always dangerous. Especially one must be aware of this. Scooter riders become victims of road accidents. But if they just wear the helmet as required by law they could easily avoid fracture and hence death. Very often the cause of accidents is the failure of the brake system which means the owner of the vehicle does not bother to keep the machine in good condition. By attending to the vehicle regularly a lot of miseries could be avoided. Road safety is a matter of education in which the school can play a significant role. Through scouting, Red Cross and social education classes, children can be taught the importance of observing the rules of the road. Children must be taught their limbs and lives are very valuable and they must not take risk, especially when leaving the school. As soon as the bell goes children rush out and accidents do happen. Under the circumstances the teachers must feel it their duty to regulate the traffic near the school. The police can cooperate with the school in this respect. To make the people road conscious, the mass media can play a useful role. The

newspaper, the wall poster and the cinema and now the TV come in handy. Shots in the cinema or TV emphasizing the importance of road safety can be highlighted. There may be speeches over the radio by the police officials. During peak hours in crowded areas, the police may direct the traffic and ask people to keep to their lanes.

Our neighbor
Living next to next is the principle of a neighbor. Good neighborliness is the ideal to be aimed at and pursued. People live in the same neighborhood for many reasons. Sometimes it may be aesthetic and very often convenience. It may be the nearness to one's office of work, school, traffic centers and so on. As the saying goes, no man is an island; he has to live with his neighbors. To make life tolerable and bearable one must cooperate with one's neighbor. One's neighbor may be temporary as in the case of traveling by bus or train. Here the neighbor is with one for a few minutes or few hours. Even here if there is understanding between the neighbors the travel will be pleasant. Good neigborliness generates good company and especially during travel it helps to take away the boredom. There are cases when such travel has culminated in longstanding friendship. Whether one likes it or not, one cannot do without neighbors. Even where houses are isolated as in the case of bungalows there is inevitably the neighbor. Normally one may think one can do without neighbors because one can command all comforts and services, so the services or the need for a friend may not arise. However serviceable the radio or the TV may be in providing the recreation, they cannot supply the human elements. The sympathy, the admiration and the appreciation which a neighbor may offer will have a great humanizing influence. To share one's view and sometimes even one's sorrows one needs some neighbors. Because man is gregarious he cannot live in isolation. But all neighbors are not always keeping the cordial relationship. Stresses and strains develop because of misunderstandings. The cause may be very trivial or flimsy, still tension develops ending in animosity and feud. Jealousy may be another cause for such a tension. The neighbor may be doing fine, has earned a lot of money, his children are doing well, he gets quick promotions, these and such others may create jealousy. Once this is generated, this leads to non cooperation and petty quarrels. Very often children may be the cause for strained feelings. Children may quarrel drawing the elders into the fray. The neighbor's son may pick a flower or a fruit from your garden and an argument may erupt. Again he may throw his ball at your window pane damaging it. These are not unnatural so far as the younger one is concerned but it is for the elders to view at them with equanimity and make up for it. This may read easy on paper but not so in practical life. But with some broad outlook one must be able to tolerate. Another reason for tension may be the animals. Your neighbor's dog may be a real nuisance or his poultry which would come into your garden and eat away the young saplings.

In all these cases to keep up good neighborliness some understanding between the neighbors is important. Small differences can be easily patched up or ironed out. Care can at times play the good samaritan and helps the neighbors in a small or big way. Nobody is perfect and it is better not to speak disparagingly of your neighbor. A cheerful word or a nod or a casual enquiry will strengthen the feeling of good neighborliness. Negatively, one must not pry into what the neighbor is or what he does. Tolstoy speaks in one of his stories how neighbors should behave. A child was wearing a new shirt and the neighbor's child threw mud on it and thus spoiled it. Women folk started the quarrel and men folk entered into the fray ending in a few heads broken and so on. By then the children forgot all their quarrel and were playing. Tolstoy draws a moral from the story namely neighbors must be quick to forget small wrongs done. Neighborliness is not only for individuals but it is important also in a great measure between neighboring countries. History has got a lot to teach in this respect. Unless countries learn to live as good neighbors, there cannot be peace on earth. So children must be taught at home and in the school to cooperate with the neighbors and be friendly with them. The basic principle is to give and take and to develop a sense that the other man has as much right as you have and some degree of tolerance is very necessary.

Computer and their uses

Perhaps the single greatest invention of the century is the computer. The computer is essentially a machine that enables humans to complete tasks that may be time consuming or very repetitive in nature. This it achieves by imitating human thought processes. In much the same way that humans think using pathways in their brains that conduct minute electrical currents, computers too use tiny electrical circuits which tell it what to do. The difference being that computers do this at incredible speeds. In this modern age man has grown to be heavily dependent on computers to carry out all kinds of jobs that were done manually before. In banking for example computers allow for millions of transactions to be carried out involving large sums of money which would otherwise require thousands of bank tellers. Computers do the job in a much shorter time and practically free of any errors. Computers are responsible for air traffic control and the running of trains to ensure that travel is made as smooth as possible. In factories nowadays computers operate mechanical devices that produce goods we require for everyday living, in such quantities that would be otherwise impossible to achieve if these factories were run by humans alone. Perhaps the greatest advancements have been made in the field of communications. All of us are by now familiar with the 'Internet'. The internet is a collection of computer systems and individual terminals linked up worldwide through telephone lines and other channels. It offers a cheaper alternative to communicating with people

within a country and internationally through computers. It has also been described as an immense pool of knowledge just waiting for applications it has given rise to a new means for countries to carry on trade with each other through 'E-Commerce'. It must however be kept in mind that as useful as computers are. They are not capable of independent thought and still require human input. In recent times scientists have developed' Artificial Intelligence' in computers that may enable them to function independently of man in the future.

The pleasures of reading

Animals may have moments of pleasure but only man has got a lot to do with it. It is through our sense organs that we enjoy pleasure. The sense of smell, sight, hearing, touch and taste each brings pleasure. Even the baby as soon as it is born feels the pleasure of sucking and the comfort of being cuddled in the wads of cloth in the mother's lap. But for the pleasing smell we will not be able to enjoy our food. We are thrilled by the sight of ice capped mountains or the roaring water falls of the Niagara. So they are the senses that help us to get pleasure. There is no end to the sources of pleasure. But reading for pleasure belongs to a higher order and stands as a category by itself. While external things bring pleasure to the sense organs, reading brings pleasure to the mind. Greater the mind is cultured, greater will be the derived from reading for reading makes a full man. Reading is the end product of writing. Unless there is something written one cannot read. So good writing is a concomitant of reading. Man alone can write, in other words put his ideas in black and white. In fact even before printing came into being man was writing and it is as old as modern civilization. Man can preserve his thoughts and ideas through writing. Thus the whole world of literature is there far one to read. Now reading material is available for all tastes. A scholar may go through serious writing for the sake of enriching his knowledge. Another may read a magazine or a picture book for whiling away the time. One chooses the reading material according to his moods, his literary background, the time at his disposal and the purpose if any. A teenager may like stories of romance and an old man may prefer books on philosophy and religion. Some gifted with imagination and the faculty to reflect may read poetry. One who takes pleasure in reading always tries to build his library. Very often a good library may serve the purpose. The greatest advantage in reading is when one comes across great minds. Whether you agree with what is there to read or do not agree there will not be any quarrel. You may pronounce your judgement on the writer. There will be no harm if your judgment is silent and not published. Given the proper atmosphere like a good silent place, soft light and comfortable seat,

one can read and read and enjoy it. There are great masters of writing in all great languages of the world. English Language abounds in such great authors. Again it may be poetry, novel, fiction, drama, travelogue, and letters. Biographies and autobiographies, form a sizable part. In these days of rush good magazines supply the material for reading. For example, one may cite the Reader's Digest. In order to enjoy reading, one must cultivate that habit. Reading is not the 'be all' and `end all' of life. Yet, it can be ennobling. There is dignity in reading habit.

My favorite outdoor game

Soccer is my favorite game. Ever since I joined the school, I have been playing soccer. The luscious grass field is very much suited to run, to roll over and kick. The game is played between two teams of eleven players each though sometimes lesser number like six or seven may be there in a team. Among the players of a team, some may be forwards, others mid-fielders and defenders, and one goal keeper. Unlike the other players the goal keeper can handle the ball as the situation calls for. As it is a team game, all must cooperate. The forwards must be fast, able to take the ball through the legs of the opponent. The midfielders help not only in defense but also help the forwards in clearing and supplying the ball. Defenders must offer strong defense. The goal keeper must be agile, quick to see, correct in anticipation and should kick the ball high and far. There are well established rules and foul play will be penalized. The referee's job is tough and there have been instances when the poor referee has been man handled by the onlookers. It is the bane of the game that the audience turn partisan. Among the great soccer nations Argentina, Brazil, England, Russia and Germany are a few. The name of Pelee, the great footballer of all times has become a household word among the soccer fans. Football is a manly game so I like it. Whenever I find time in the evening, I never fail to play for an hour or so. I take the forward position because I feel there is more fun in pursuing and heading the ball. Those who do not know much about the game say it is a rough game. Of course there are cases of broken heads, muscle twisting and sometimes even fractures. But these are caused when one does not play according to the rules. Of course they are inevitable in a game like soccer. Nowadays people protect themselves with guards. But for the risks the game is all right. If it is all soft then there won't be any game at all.

How to make your life successful

What we call life is a very complex affair. It is not simply eating, reproducing and finally dying. Every creature does these. But in the case of man he has to lead a highly

complicated life. It is like going through a maze and coming out. He is an economic being and a social animal. He has to earn, make a home, look after his people, attend to his obligations to the society and the Government. So in order to be successful, in all these, he has to develop certain qualities. What do we mean by saying a man is successful? If in his occupation he can do satisfactorily both for himself and others then he is successful. He must be able to look after his people and bring up good children. If he becomes a professional man like an engineer, doctor or lawyer, making money should not be the only criterion; he must also be able to satisfy his clients and be honest at it. In order to be successful one should develop certain qualities. At first he must realize his purpose; in other words what he would like to be. This is the crux of the problem, for the choice does not come to him. Parents decide it very often for them. Let us suppose he decides to be somebody in his life. Once having decided he must work for attaining certain standard in that line. Only hard work would make him fit for the job. It is rightly said that it is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. One must deserve before desiring. One must remember one's education does not stop with the school or college. it is a life long process. Professional people must keep themselves up to date. Then one must get on with others. In the chess board of life one may find himself in any position; it may be the all powerful queen or simply a pawn. It must be remembered that given the chance, even a pawn can destroy a queen. This means in a complex society, everyone finds oneself in a particular position; there may be some above and some below. One need not be favoring and flattering those above and be arrogant with those below. "What can I do for you' is the correct attitude and having done it go about your duty. In getting on with others sweet temperament is really an asset; then only others will like to transact with one. One must not be easily irritable nor give irritants to others. Then one must be reliable. One may be clever but if he is not reliable, he cannot achieve success in a great measure because others will have very little to do with him. Another important quality that would make up for success is doing things then and there. Procrastination is the thief of time. Postponement of doing things means swelling of work for the next day. A small chink may be easily closed today but tomorrow it may be late. If we analyze the life of successful people we could easily see they have been through and never postponed doing things. Still another quality is not to argue. The other may be really wrong. By pointing out that he has been wrong you are not going to improve matters, on the other hand you can help him correct. Arguing not only takes away precious time but also causes irritations. Especially one's superior may not like situation something like this. 'You may be right, sir', or 'This is all right', but 'what about our alternative' and so on. One must be capable of learning from experience. One must be able to learn from the mistakes of others. Only when nations and individuals fail to learn from the past mistakes, they are ruined. History is replete with examples.

Precious water
Water is one of the things we need most besides air, and thank god water is plenty

generally speaking, because three fourths or so of earth's surface is covered with water. This is only a general fact and not all places on earth are having enough water and healthy potable water is a rare commodity. Rivers may bring water and lakes may be having it. From the health point, they may not be fit for drinking. Most of these waters are contaminated and may contain mineral as well as organic impurities, and sometimes epidemic spreading bacteria like those causing cholera and typhoid. Nowadays the chances of contamination of water sources are quite common with industries coming up and sending out their effluents indiscriminately. So to make these waters potable they must be treated before being supplied to a population. Treating water and supplying it to a town or city means cost. The water has to be filtered for suspended impurities and then chlorinated and then pumped to a storage tank from where the water is distributed through pipes. So one must remember that when one draws water from the tap, one is actually buying or paying for water. This has become inevitable with the growth of cities and towns. Once we bear in mind we will be careful in using water. There are many ways in which water is wasted. The tap may be leaky whereby water may be spilled. That means some periodic attention must be paid to the plumbing and leaky taps. The tap may be open and the water running out and nobody would care to stop it. Unless there is need, the tap must be kept closed. This must be particularly remembered when one leaves home on holiday, otherwise throughout their absence water may be flowing out. Just as we see if the electric mains are off when we are away for some time so too is the water tap. Major part of the water is used for bathing, washing, and cleaning. In all these needs water must be prudently used, Take bathing for instance; when one is scrubbing or applying soap to one's body the shower need not be running. Water economy must be remembered in the use of bath tubs. One need not be a Rhino to be in one's bath for hours on end. This prudence in the use of water may be practised in washing and cleaning. Since these consume a lot of water, the municipal corporation, if it is affluent and water is in plenty, can have a separate system supplying water for washing and cleaning alone. The industrial houses must not be allowed to draw from public water system for their industrial use except perhaps for drinking water. One must bear in mind when one wastes water one is depriving another of his share of water. Good water may get scarcer in days to come. With the advent of rapid industrialization contamination of water sources poses a threat. So the industrial people must feel it their duty not to add to water pollution. In areas of acute water scarcity steps may be taken for recycling water. Remember one of the casualties of the so called modernization is that we have to pay for nature's goods of which water is one.

Accidents at home
Let us cite some examples of accidents at home. Cutting, burning, scalding, hurting to cause fractured, bones and getting electric shock are some of them. These may happen

anywhere, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, or on the staircase. These accidents may lead to temporary disablement or permanent ones. Sometimes they may prove fatal. So as in many cases in life it is always better to prevent them; hence the proverb 'prevention is better than cure', but one must be aware of the cure also. Let us consider the preventive aspect first. One must be careful in using cutting instruments in the kitchen. One must learn from those who have experience how to use the knives, manglers and so on. Care must be taken in handling hot things. Use good tongs to remove hot vessels from the oven. Hot things must not be placed anywhere, otherwise one would get scalded. Steam causes a greater injury than hot water so one must be careful where steam is involved. Since pressure cookers work on steam one should be careful when removing the lid of the cooker. So too with hot oils. Here care must be taken not to add water to hot oil when it is on open fire because it will catch fire. Falling down by false step is another accident. Bathrooms, poorly lit landing places, ill fixed mattresses on the staircase are worst offenders. Oil drops or soap bits must not be dropped down in the bathroom as these may help slipping down. The staircase must be well lit so that no false step is possible. The mattresses must be well fixed. Fall from ladder and stools are common. Unless there is somebody to hold or unless the ladder is well fixed, one must be very careful in using ladders. Trying to reach a higher point from a ladder always results in slipping down. So too with stools; broad based three legged stools are to be preferred to four legged ones because of the stability of the former. Electrical wiring must be periodically checked. Frayed wires must be removed. When handling electrical equipment it is always advisable to have the mains off. Too many leads may not be taken from a single pin point as it results in heating and hence some accidents. Electrical appliances must have insulated or protective handles. When using the electric iron it is better to stand on a rubber sheet or dry wood plank. No wet cloth must be hung on any electrical wire for, in case of any leakage, it would prove fatal. Medicines must be kept away from the views of children and kept under lock and key. Otherwise they may be tempted to swallow or drink the wrong medicine and may prove dangerous. Youngsters must be taught how to use knives and other sharp instruments. Nowadays gas is being used for cooking. It must be seen that there is no leakage of gas lest there would be some explosive accident. Children must not be allowed to play with the valves for even breathing of the gas is dangerous. Beware of leakage of gas. In all these cases by being a bit careful, many an accident can be avoided.

Keeping fit
A sick man is a nuisance for himself and a nuisance for others about him. A sick person cannot go about his duties efficiently. He will not be able to work hard and he may not be mentally alert also. If he is regularly sick others will suffer in many ways. Indirectly it is a strain on the government because it will have to run more hospitals for the sick. Economically a nation whose people are often sick cannot be strong

because the hours of work will suffer. Look at the Europeans and the Japanese. They are hardy and are capable of longer hours of work, which means more wealth to the nation. That is why even after being beaten in a devastating war Germany and Japan have become rich nations once again within a period of thirty years. Of course climate may be one reason why certain people are not keeping fit. It may be due to hot moist climate, or mosquitoes and other pests. But where man cannot improve upon natural causes he can try to keep himself fit by trying overcome them. For instance by eradicating malaria, one can be healthy in such areas where malaria was once prevalent. Let us now look into the ways of keeping fit. First and foremost is the diet. Unless one takes a proper, balanced and nutritious diet one cannot be healthy. It is said that a large part of the population in the third world suffers from malnutrition which means wrong diet as well as insufficient diet. While this may sound a social problem, it is also an individual problem. One must take care what he eats and how he eats. One must plan to diet in such a way that it is well balanced, meaning it should contain the necessary quantity of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and so on. He must keep his surroundings clean and neat, which is called environmental sanitation. He must be regular in his personal habits like answering calls of nature, bathing and so on. Even one's clothing contributes to keeping fit. Keep fit also means how a man lives, his hours of work, his sleep, rest and relaxation. While everyone has to work to deserve his food, it should not be all work. There must be hours of relaxation. It may be some reading, playing with children, taking a stroll or taking up a healthy hobby. Hobbies play a major role in keeping one fit. The mental attitude also is greatly responsible for keeping fit. One must take to work like a fish to the water. One must be swinging like a wheel in his work. Work can be play and play can be work. So if one were to take to his work cheerfully then no worry about his keeping fit. Laziness, envy and jealously are some of the reasons which make one hate his work, and in the long run he becomes unfit. To keep fit some physical exercise is necessary. This may be according to the age of the person. Some out-door exercises like running, jumping, swimming or climbing are for the hardy youth. Walking and jogging are good for the old. Some fruitful occupation like gardening may give the required physical exercise but also contributes to the mental satisfaction. Above all, to keep fit depends on one's attitude towards life. If one can accept success and defeat equally then one is said to be a fit person. Even choosing company may contribute to keeping fit. Finally it means to avoid bad habits like smoking, drinking, doping and so on. One must be warned against these as they make holes in one's pocket as well ruin one's health.

The day everything went wrong

There are days in one's life when everything can go wrong. He can get into trouble at every move. I had one such day last week. It was Friday when I woke up at 7 a.m. The sun was already bright. I had to be at the bus-stop at the latest 7.15 to reach school by 7.30 a.m. I rushed to the bathroom for a quick wash and turned on the tap. There was no water, it was dry! However, I managed with a pail of water, which my mother had left there the previous night. I quickly dressed myself up and slipped out of my house without mother's knowledge. I knew my mother would be angry for what I had done that day. I reached the bus-stop within five minutes. Alas! the bus had gone a few seconds before. I concluded as there were no students at the bus-stop. I had no choice but to call a passing taxi. I was lucky to get one and jumped into it. I cheered up thinking that I would reach school on time. When I put my hand in my pocket to pay for the taxi fare, I was horrified to find the pocket empty. I had no money! "What shall I do?" As the taxi stopped at the gate of my school, I met my form teacher. I explained to him my situation and he was kind enough to help me pay the fare. I was much relieved and ran to the class. I regained my spirit when I found that I had reached school before the bell. Then I noticed something peculiar. I was the only student around. "Am I late after all?" I quickened my steps, suddenly I heard a shout "What are you doing here?" I turned back and saw my principal standing in front of me. "Why are you late for school?" When I looked at my watch it showed 7.30 a.m. "I am not, Sir," It is just 7.30 now. I realized then my watch was running ten minutes late. "Your watch doesn't show the correct time, boy; you better hurry to your class now," I blushed at the thought of my blunders and cursed my luck. My teacher reprimanded me for being late for lesson.

The career I would like to choose

I believe that in this day and age when competition is rife among young people to get ahead in life, it is important to get an early start. One should know what one wishes to do with one's life. To this end it is wise to seek advice from one's elders as well as to research the areas of work you might have an interest in, inclination or aptitude for. The idea is to be exposed to as many views as possible. Professional counselling or 'Career Days' may be helpful in this regard. I am fortunate I suppose in that I am reasonably certain what I want to do with my life. I wish to. be a lawyer for I believe it to be a noble and dignified profession. It affords one the opportunity to be of help to others. To a large extent my uncle, who is a lawyer, is responsible for my choice of careers. My uncle has been practising law for the last twenty years and I find him to be knowledgeable in a great many things. My uncle is always fond of saying that a lawyer's trade always involves him having to know about what other people do as well. To put it another way my uncle may be described as a 'Jack of all trades'. Acting on his advice and that of my parents I have decided to work very hard in school so ultimately I will obtain results that are good enough for me to enter the National University. I will have to work hard as places for this course are limited and also much sought after.

At the moment however in Singapore there are a rather large number of lawyers and not everyone has a chance to work in the area he or she has trained for. This does not discourage me although it is a source for some concern for my parents. I am planning to take subjects in school that will be suited for my intended course of study in university. Although some may say that it is still much too early for me to narrow my choices or options in this way, I am committed to my goal.

Gadgets at home
One of the symbols of civilization is the many gadgets which one finds in a modern home. Many of these are acquired for the sake of fashion; some really for the convenience as they are efficient and time saving. Nowadays even an average home of middle class family has many of these gadgets. Take the kitchen for instance, there is the gas stove which works on Liquid Petroleum Gas. The stove is efficient, smokeless and at the same time comparatively cheap. Only one must be careful to see that there is no leakage of gas which would prove fatal. There are wet grinders and dry grinders which take away the chores of the housewife. In highly sophisticated homes they may have even dish washing machines. Then there is the fridge. This comes very handy for keeping things cool, for avoiding things gettingputrid or stale, for preserving things and so on. Thus milk, fruits, vegetables, meat and fish are preserved. There is the electric toaster for toasting bread. Then there are other gadgets of utility like the electric iron, and sewing machine. The electric iron is helpful in pressing things; otherwise one will have to wait on the laundry which is very costly nowadays. The sewing machine is very useful since the family's clothes could be made provided of course the housewife at home takes interest in sewing and stitching. With the machine, the work becomes easy and in fact with some modifications in the machine many types of stitching could be done. Then there are the gadgets of recreation, like radio, television and disc and cassette players. To know the daily news and for hearing music the radio comes in handy. The disc and cassette players have taken the place of the gramophone disc; one definite advantage being the disc or cassette could be made and unmade. Music or speech could be easily recorded on the magnetic disc or tape. While the radio could be played only during stipulated hours, the cassette player has no such limitation. Now the disc and cassette players and the radio are found in one. The rage of the day is television. Since it has the advantage of sound and vision it takes the place of the cinema. One can enjoy a program from one's easy chair or couch and one need not take the trouble to go to the theater. The color television makes things more realistic. Video cassette recorder is another device to watch programs of one's choice, particularly movies. But one big question that often comes to the mind is, if a man is really happy with all these gadgets. There is always the law of compensation which works inexorably. Without the coming of gadgets man may not find much use for his hands and creativity may suffer. Unless one knows to shoot the periodical trouble with these gadgets, simply owning them may mean costly

The dream I never forget

One of the human faculties which distinguishes him from others is that he is able to dream. However, one is not sure whether other animals dream; if at all they dream they have no medium to express it is just as the human. Every human being should have had dreams, some of them very pleasant, some of them bizarre and horrible; in the latter case a few have a hell of a life and they call it the nightmare. In a nightmare one may feel as if he is being choked or being drowned. In a dream one feels all one does in wakeful hours, only the body does not move. Sometimes limbs may be moved and people have been seen to beat down their hands. Some cry and laugh, some shiver and weep. So dream is in a sense a semi-conscious state between sound sleep and wakefulness. It should be interesting to know how dreams are caused but there are no valid theories. One thing is sure that something has been built up in the inner recesser of brains which get active accumulating concomitant interests. Very strange things appear in dreams for which there is no valid explanation. One thing is clear; some nerve center is stimulated, how God only knows, as a result many other nerve centers get into operation bringing in a chain of experiences. Things move fast and clear as on a cine screen and the subject taking part in it. The ancient belief was that some dreamsforeshadowed the coming events. How far it is scientific we cannot say. Shakespeare uses dreams in his plays; for example in the play Macbeth. I too dream and had one recently, which may be of interest. I become a ruler of my country. Suddenly I find myself at the head of a procession, to be correct it is a motorcade and I am in a Cadillac. Huge crowds, men and women and children all in their fine dress line the route through which I am taken. There are victory arches and flags and festoons. Photo flashes burst and hundreds of photographers take pictures of mine. At last I enter a massive mansion; the guards present me the honor. I am taken by well dressed courtiers to the throne. The reception hall is big and spacious; there are glittering windows and doors, and colorful chandeliers are hung from high roof. Colored light beams into the hall as sunlight filters itself into the hall thorough stained glass panes. As soon as I sit on the throne, the courtiers cry 'long live the King'. Then a man approaches me; he may be the chief minister. He tells me respectfully that I must announce my concessions to the people who eagerly wait to hear me speak. I am a bit nervous at first but get over it soon. I tell them that the old system of paying one sixth of one's income as tax will come into use. I add that the tax may be paid in kind. I announce that there won't be any admission fee to go into theaters and the Government itself will run all the theaters and only healthy films will be exhibited. At one stroke I abolish child labor and education of children will be completely manned by the Government. I make it known that every town and village will have a play field where the young can play and the old can relax. The production of milk in the country would be stepped up so that everybody gets enough milk. I exhort the youth to

develop robust health and sharpen their intelligence. This dream did not continue long as my alarm clock began chiming, and it was time for me to get up and study. The sweet dream vanished like the snow before the morning sun but that was the best dream I ever had. concomitant foreshadow paid in kind happening and connected with another thing to act as a warning or sign of a future event paid with something of the same kind

Fashion trends among teenagers

Fashion trends often dictate what we wear and how we act. When one thinks of fashion the idea of trendy clothes come to mind. However this is not the only concept of what constitutes a fashion trend. As an example in the nineteen sixties it was considered fashionable in America for men to wear their hair long, also people spoke in an altogether different manner using a lot of slang expressions such as 'groovy' or 'cool' to signify that something was agreeable to them. In present day Singapore we can see that fashion trends have a dominating influence among our teenagers. Most of these trends originate from the West. Bell-bottomed trousers for both sexes once all the rage in the sixties are making a comeback on our shores. Platform shoes although very hard on the feet are very popular too, to complete the look. Perhaps most striking is the way the young people and some older ones have taken to dying their hair blonde, red and even green. Fashion trends in themselves may not be harmful unless taken to extremes, for example, piercing one's eyebrows or eyelids even. They are often merely a way for teenagers to express their individuality. What is sometimes insidious about these trends are that they help to promote a strong sense of wanting to belong which can have negative aspects. Peer pressure may be responsible for compelling young people to do things they would otherwise not indulge in if not for the fear of being a 'fashion outcast'. It is considered fashionable for young people to be seen at trendy night spots just as it is fashionable among some circles to consume the drug 'Ecstasy' because of it's ability to induce a feeling of nonfatigue. The important thing to remember is that teenagers are at a very susceptible time in their lives when the wrong influences can easily take root and express themselves as hostile attitudes or rebelliousness. To a large extent we have to depend on teenagers to make the right choices based on the guidance we give them.

groovy all the rage outcast

very pleasing, wonderful the current or latest fashion One that has been excluded from a society or system.

I am proud to be a citizen of my country

In his poem of patriotism Scott says if a man is not proud of his country, he will be buried without honor. When a man returns after a travel to his country he must be bubbling with enthusiasm and his heart must be pulsating with joy to land on his native soil. We have heard of great martyrs who sacrificed themselves for the sake of their country. So it is only proper and fair that one should love one's country. There are many things why one must be proud of one's country. It may be due to the climate, natural regions, its people and the government, its tradition and culture and manufactures. The relation which the country has with other countries is also a point to be considered. Considering the above norms let me say why I am proud of my country. My country has an equable climate. We are having bright sunshine throughout the year and plenty of rain. There are virgin evergreen forests. There are some good rivers, and hills and valleys make the country beautiful. The sea coast is not straight but has bays so there are some good harbors. Our people are quiet, hard-working and peace loving. They know their land gives them plenty in the form of grains and fruits and so one need not be hungry. The forests have natural wealth and the plantations are rich producing money spinning rubber. Our mines produce valuable tin making the country rich. We are a developing nation and a lot of good things will have to be done. We have a good government which is democratic in set up. We have had a succession of enlightened rulers who have taken measures for improvement. The upheavals we see in some countries are practically absent in our country and the people are law abiding. Our country has had a long history of several centuries. Several cultures have flowed in here and so there we see a mixed culture. This is reflected in the way people dress and eat; the buildings show the effect of these overriding cultures. Our country has very friendly relation with the neighboring countries and we are held in high esteem. Considering all these I am proud of my country. equable overriding high esteem having no change or variation central, most important pride in oneself, self-respect

English : Why it is important to study the language

One may ask why is it important that we learn how to speak English in our schools? After all we live in a region of non-English speaking countries. Would it not be better perhaps to learn the languages more commonly spoken in our part of the world? In fact the most populous country in the world is China which accounts for more than fifty per cent of the world's population. the Chinese people don't speak English but rather Mandarin or their individual dialects. The answer would be that traditionally the cultures of the world have come to be. broadly classified into two groups the Western and the Eastern cultures. English has come to represent the means of communication in the West. With more and more gateways being opened to Asia it is imperative that one language be adopted to suit our needs. As the people of Asia speak a diverse variety of languages it would appear that English would be the logical choice. In Singapore, English is the National Language in a country with a mixture of races. Singapore is also a focal point for trade with the West in this part of the world. English is taught as a language in our schools to reflect it's importance in our society. If this were not so, there is a good likelihood that in time the strong influence of individual cultures here would result in people only being well versed in their mother tongues. However Singapore being a former British Colony and the present education policy have seen to it that most Singaporeans are bi-lingual, that is able to speak English as well as their mother tongues. Another factor which has promoted the use of English as a medium of communication here in Singapore is the rather significant expatriate community here. The process of globalization is not restricted to trade alone but also covers all aspects of our life. The important thing to remember however is that we should not sacrifice or compromiseon our unique cultural identity in order to keep up with the pace of globalization.

My school library
Our school library is one of the assets to our school. It is the treasure house of knowledge, past and present. It is so because the world's mighty brains are represented there through their works. Just a glance would show that the names of great writers of the world are found side by side in the shelves of our library. Our library is a quiet spot in our school. It is housed in one of the wings of our school building. Gilded volumes decorate the glass chests. There are different shelves for different languages. Thus one finds books on English, Chinese, Malay, Tamil and so on. For each language, books are classified under different heads. Thus there are books on drama, prose, poetry, etc. There is also a number of reference books. The

walls of the library are decorated with portraits of great writers. The library is very well equipped for comfortable reading. Cushion seats are provided for students to use during the day. One can take any book from the shelves, sit there and read undisturbed by anybody. So one can find a number of boys and girls there in the evenings reading books. Another attraction of our library is the reference room. A number of dailies, and magazines are regularly received. The illustrated magazines are the attractions for us, students. The library service is very efficient. There is an able librarian, who is also well read. One can have a free access to the shelves and pick up any book one likes. There are two index cabinets, one according to subjects and the other according to the authors. So one never finds it difficult to choose the right book. The library is very well utilized both by the students and the members of the staff. The students are well trained in silent reading. The library is a very useful place for self study. When assignments are given by teachers, students make full use of the library to their advantage. Thus our library is a place for intellectual work in our school. gilded covered with a thin layer of gold or a substance that looks like gold

Road accidents
Almost no day passes without the morning paper, bringing some news about one or other of the road accidents. The more civilized we grow, the more we are prone to road accidents. Why is it so? There are many reasons for such accidents. For instance, there are the fast moving vehicles. In big cities speed and greater speed seems to be the rule. So when one vehicle tries to overtake another, gruesomeaccidents may be the result. It is not uncommon to read in the news papers that on festival days, good number of accidents occur. As a result there will be a number of deaths. Another reason, perhaps a major one, is the lack of road sense, among pedestrians. Every one must use the road but everyone should also know how to use the road. The pedestrian and the cyclist are often the victims of road accidents because they don't keep to their end of the road. School children must therefore be taught how to take to the road. The cyclists are very often the victims of their own folly. They indulge in gay riding, two or three abreast obstructing the vehicular traffic. The result is, as one understand the accident. Another cause for road accidents, is the unmanned level crossing. The train may be coming. A car or a cab would try to cross the level crossing and would be hit. So a lot of precautions must be taken at level crossing. They should on all accounts, be provided with gates and perhaps also alarm signals. Mechanical troubles may be another reason for road accidents. The motorist will not

be able to control the vehicle, hence the accident. To avoid accidents periodical check up of public vehicles must be insisted on. Another cause of the accidents is the poor vision due to fog. This very often happens in cold countries. To avoid this, warnings are being given about the fog condition and visibility. On wet roads sometimes, the tyres skid, resulting in accidents. To avoid accidents, as in the case of health, prevention is always better than cure. prone gruesome folly likely to suffer from extremely unpleasant and shocking stupidity

Vandalism is wilful and deliberate destruction of public property by anti-social and irresponsible citizens. It can be of various forms. It is not uncommon to see that the walls of buildings are defaced with scratches or ugly marks. Another target of vandalism is the bus shelter. Scratches on the newly painted seats or even broken seats at these shelters hardly escape the attention of those who wait there for the bus. If we travel by bus we will find that seats are often ripped open and the foam pulled out or vulgar writing on the back of seats. What causes this kind of behavior? The reasons are many. Some youths show hatred for the society and its values. These irresponsible citizens out of frustrations in life are tempted to do these undesirable acts of vandalism. They do not have a sense of belonging or loyalty towards their society or nation. In some cases it could be for drawing attention to themselves or just a desire to see their names written in prominent places. Vandalism is not exclusive in our society in Singapore, it could be a social ill in other countries too. Although there are strict laws to prevent vandalism in every country it is rather impossible to enforce the laws strictly. One way to eradicate or reduce the rate of vandalism is to instill civic sense into the citizens, besides of course, the introduction of compulsory education up to the age of sixteen. Vandalism can be curbed to some extent if the government law imposes severe penalty on those caught in the act. But the permanent solution is inculcating the right values including respect for public property in all the young citizens. If people start regarding that public property is their property, they will not want to spoil it. Schools can provide a healthy atmosphere for children to form healthy attitudes and this in turn would make them realise the values of discipline in life. All of us should realize that we deprive our children of their heritage if we deface beautiful things and damage public property.

wilful instill inculcate

something bad done intentionally to put a feeling, idea or principle gradually into someone's mind to fix beliefs or ideas in someone's mind, especially by repeating them often

A market scene
A market is a place where we buy vegetables, fruits, fish and meat. It is the biggest concentration of noise every morning. It is filled with a crowd of mainly buyers. The Central Market in Kuala Lumpur is not only a landmark but is also one of the best attractions in the city. It is really an experience to go round the stalls during their busy hours. If you happen to be careless about your wallet beware of the pickpocket. Business at the Central Market starts in the early hours of the day. Vans and lorries bring loads of fish and meat to the vendors. Usually nonperishable things are brought overnight. But green vegetables are brought early in the morning. The smooth and efficient working of the market is really appreciable. This market is in a huge concrete building. The stalls are arranged in beautiful rows, They are also classified according to the goods they deal with. Fruits, vegetables, fish, fowls and meat; - all have their respective dealers. There are also the platform vendors who add to the confusion of the place. Each class of vendors also has a portion allotted to them. Nice things are being sold in this market. Buyers and sellers, haggle and haggle over prices. They push and jostle to get the best offer. In addition it is also filled with the angry voices of buyers and sellers. Now and then, a fellow will come to you with an old pen or watch; be careful before buying. It may be a stolen stuff and you may be get into trouble with the police. In the midst of all these confusions, the sellers do abrisk trade. The market is under city authorities. So health inspectors are responsible for its cleanliness. They have to see that the food stuffs that are sold are free from defects. Thus unscrupulous stall keepers and vendors are warned against selling rotten,unpalatable or poisonous food stuff. nonperishable brisk trade unpalatable Of food: Processed or packaged to withstand prolonged storage. trade or business that is brisk is very busy, with a lot of products being sold food that is unpleasant to taste or eat

My best teacher
During my school life, I have come across several teachers. None has impressed me so much as our English Teacher. Courtesy requires that I don't give his real name here. For convenience, I shall call him Mr. Leo. Mr. Leo has been teaching me English for the last two years. He is a very lovable person, soft spoken and good mannered. He is not a giant in his stature but it is very well made up by his intellectual attainments. He used to come, neatly dressed. There may not be anything gorgeous about it but he always dresses in an elegant way. He used to move about quietly, though he always bears an assured look of a scholar. Naturally therefore, everyone respects him. It is a pleasure to listen to him when he teaches English whether it be prose or poetry and he would leave his mark on it. There, is nothing bombastic in his use of words, because he always uses very simple ones, so that even an average student could follow him. He has always been very methodical in his approach. He would never proceed further unless he has made everyone understand the passage. When he finds somebody has difficulty he would spare no pains to make the student understand. His teaching of poetry has been marvelous. He would simply get into the spirit of the poet. Gifted with some histrionic talent, he would carry the whole class with him in the enjoyment of the poem. Whether it be "Oh! Captain, My Captain!" "The Solitary Reaper" or "Patriotism", he would impress the class, with his dramatic teaching. For all these things, he has been a very good coach so far as the examination is concerned. But he used to say, that examination is not everything. During his leisure hours, he can be found in the school library browsing among literary magazines. One can approach him easily and have doubts cleared. By his knowledge, character, and day to day life he leaves a profound influence on the intellectual and moral character of his pupils. He leaves the permanent stamp of his personality on their moral character. One great quality in him is that he never bears malice towards anybody. He is a model for all teachers. May his tribe increase! bombastic histrionic malice using long and difficult words, usually to make people think you know more than you do very emotional and energetic the wish to harm or upset other people

An exciting picnic in Sentosa

During our last school break for the millennium my classmates and I decided to make the holidays one to remember by planning a visit to Sentosa Island. There were fifteen of us in all and we eagerly set down to discussing the trip. We decided unanimously that no girls would be allowed as this was a boys only trip. We set out bright and early one Sunday morning for Sentosa by ferry from the jetty of

the World Trade Centre. We could barely contain our excitement. The first thing we did upon landing on the pier at Sentosa was to make our way single mindedly to the monorail. We boisterously boarded the monorail for a trip around the island. The train took us along a narrow track through lush green foliage and valleys. We were spellbound by the scenic beauty all around us. Alighting at the terminal station near the jetty, we walked straight to the park where we strolled along the well worn paths for a while. Then we sat down for a while and talked over what to do next. We first visited the Coralariums where we saw a variety of coral fishes and other marine creatures. The so called lion fish caught our attention with it's strange form and coloration. It was easy to see how it derived its name. Little did we realize that coral was a living organism! Our next stop was at the wax museum which displays life size figurines of men and women who have left their mark in history. The figurines were so life-like that one almost felt like reaching out and touching one and at the same expecting it to react. We recognized some of the figurines from our history books but were at loss as to who the others were. Equally exciting were our next two stops, namely Fort Siloso and the Insectarium. Among all the sights we experienced that day the most captivating was the Musical Fountain. We spent some time there just watching the surroundings and listening to the music wafting through the air so soothing to the ears. We began to feel hungry just then so we promptly wolfed down the sandwiches we had brought from home. Later that afternoon some of us went down to the beach for a swim. There were a number of tourists there, mainly Japanese, who were enjoying the beach as well. As it was getting late in the day we decided to go back home. Our launch brought us back safely to the World Trade Centre at about seven in the evening. We took along with us memories of beautiful Sentosa. set out waft wolf down begin a journey to (cause to) move gently through the air to eat a large amount of food very quickly

Television and its influence on viewers

Television is a very powerful visual medium. Practically every household has one. Unlike radio the messages and ideas that are conveyed to the viewer are further reinforced by visual images that accompany these messages and ideas. It is a fast and inexpensive medium by which to communicate with the masses. Satellite dishes and all kinds of other receiving devices enables us to not only to receive news and programs from within the country but also transmissions from abroad. In some countries viewers may have access to a hundred or more channels through their televisions. It is however important to note that communication in this setting is one way and not interactive. Considering that hardly a day passes without watching TV, it indeed has the potential of having a strong effect on us. For the discerning viewer being able to

differentiate between which programs have useful content and which do not, this may not be a problem. However when we are dealing with impressionable young minds it may be difficult for them to separate reality from make believe. Responsible censorship by the authorities and careful monitoring by parents is necessary to ensure that young people are not adversely affected by watching this medium. The phrase 'couch potato' has been coined to describe viewers who are constantly in front of their television sets. Their senses are continuously only subjected to the images they see sometimes for the better part of the day. Violence is a common feature in most entertainment programs to the extent that films have to be rated accordingly as most scenes are too horrific for younger viewers. Television is not all bad as there are positive aspects to it. Educational programs nowadays incorporate all kinds of ways to entertain as well as to educate. Programs such as 'Sesame Street' have a large following among children. Documentary films are informative and instructional. The expression that 'too much of anything is bad' applies here. The idea is for viewers to have a healthy balance of the different kinds of programs available. discerning impressionable showing good judgment, especially about style and quality someone, usually a young person, who is very easily influenced by the people around them and by what they are told, and who sometimes copies other people's behavior

For getting one's things, one has to do some shopping. Sometimes shopping is undertaken for fun. Shopping on special occasions, is really exciting. For example, when one goes shopping on the eve of Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali, Chinese New Year or Christmas, the experience is really exciting. Shopping is not simply buying things for our needs. It is much more than that. First of all one must know what one wants to buy. He must know, where those things are available. In fact, this is not a problem in a small place but in a big city, one must know where different things are sold. There may be, chain stores, selling things at a higher price. The same things may be had at a cheaper price at a grocery. Then there are the genuine goods and the spurious ones. Unless one knows one is likely to be deceived. This reminds one of the famous chapter in the "Vicar of Wakefield". Moses went to the fair, to sell his mare. He was deceived by a sharper, who exchanged the mare for a gross of silver spectacles. When Moses returned home, he found they were not at all silver. This may happen to anybody unless one has the wit and wisdom. Shopping requires some experience of the market. Shopping requires bargaining ability. It is not always fixed prices in all markets. So one must be able to bargain. It requires certain ability to choose the right stuff. For

instance if one goes into a big cloth shop, one finds it easy, one must have made up his mind as to what stuff to get. He must be careful to see whether correct weights and measures are being used. It is here that very often people are deceived. Shopping, during week end is really exciting. One has to wend through a stream of shoppers. There will be, the crowd of roadside vendors crying their wares. One must not be tempted to buy all and sundry, otherwise, he will find he has wasted his money. In fact shopping is a good school, where one can learn about men, moods and manners. chain stores wit wend One of a number of retail stores under the same ownership and dealing in the same merchandise. intelligence and the ability to think quickly to move slowly and not directly

My pet
Rosy, is a dog which I have been keeping for the past four years. It was sheer accident that Rosy came into my hands. Our neighbor Mr. Jones was a dog fancier. He had a good kennel in his house where he reared different breeds of dogs. Suddenly, he got transferred from the town and he wanted to dispose of some of the dogs. He was talking about it to my father. Then I told my father that we could have one of the puppies; though reluctantly, my father agreed. Thus, Rosy came into my possession. Why it was named Rosy, I can't say. It is an Alsatian. She is of medium height. She is grey colored with dark spots near her belly. The dog has a bushy tail and glisteningeyes which has grown wonderfully well and can easily be the envy of many. Rosy, can be seen about our house when she is not engaged in playing or when she is not sleeping. She takes pleasure in sneaking about the corners when she has nothing particularly to do. She is as docile as a dog in our presence. When we are not there she will be in her mettle. None can easily come near our gate. Though she doesn't bite, she will bounce on the person and paralyze him. Since the postman regularly comes, she recognizes in him a friend and so does not do him any harm She will try to catch the sparrow and it will be a splendid sight to see. I give her a Spartan food. She takes some biscuits and milk in the morning and meat mixed with rice in the afternoon. Usually she is not given any food in the night. When we are at our table, Rosy keeps company with me but she shows no eagerness to touch even a crumb unless offered. So my father likes it. Rosy cries in a peculiar way. It is between barking and howling. Sometimes, she raises a cry like moaning. That means she wants to go out to relieve herself. Whenever I go out in the evening, she accompanies me. My friends are afraid of her

because she doesn't like silly mischief of boys. She shows her displeasure by a big bark and that is enough to unnerve the boys. My father says, Rosy would soon become a mother. Then I will have a litter of nice puppies. glistening docile mettle to shine by reflecting light from a wet, oily or smooth surface quiet and easy to influence Inherent quality of character and temperament

The sport meet in the national stadium

Sports lovers here always look forward to the month of August or September because there is the Inter School Sports meet at that time. Such occasions are very colorful and attractive. Just like previous years, this year also, the meet was enjoyable. The sports were held in the National Stadium. The stadium was cheerfully decorated for the purpose. The rubberized tracks were neatly marked in white paint. The sports officials wearing their official badges were busy the whole day. At about 2 p.m. that day, there was the march past by athletes in their respective school colors. The Minister of Sports and Culture took the salute. With the singing of the National Anthem and the hoisting of the National Flag, he declared the meet open. There were many interesting events, separately for boys and girls. The competitors were tense and serious. They were excellent specimens of physical fitness. Some new records were set. The 100, 200 & 400 meter races, the hurdles and relays were some of the interesting track events. The girls' events added color and mirth to the spectators. Among the girls' items the tug-of-war was a never ending source of merriment. Throughout, our school band was in attendance. After the events were over, the Minister of Sports and Culture gave away the trophies and certificates to the winners. He complimented the athletes on their performance. The Secretary of the Inter School Council thanked the distinguished guests. With the singing of the National Anthem, the meet came to a close. It was on that particular day, I shared the atmosphere of real joy and excitement. One of the most enjoyable days in our academic life, thus drew to a close. take the salute When a person of high rank takes the salute, they stand and watch while soldiers march past saluting them. laughter, humor or happiness a respected and admired person

mirth distinguished

My best friend
I have a number of close friends both at school and outside of it. Although I am close to all of them I like and respect a particular one above the others. He is Peter my best friend. Peter and I go to the same school and live quite near each other. It is therefore no surprise that we may often be found in each others company. Peter's house is like a second home to me and vice versa. Peter's parents are also close family friends of ours. As both Peter's parents work, Peter is often entrusted to my mother to watch over when they are away at work. My mother doesn't mind as she considers Peter one of her own. Peter is my best friend for a number of reasons. I can always come to him for advice on any difficulties I may be experiencing and I value his advice as it is sensible and very practical. Everyone who knows Peter says that he is very mature for his age. It astounds me how much Peter knows on a variety of subjects. He is well read and never ceases to try and instill the reading habit in me. Needless to say it is Peter who helps me with my school homework when I encounter problems. I remember the time that I foolishly joined a few friends from school and experimented with cigarettes, Peter as a school prefect found us out and was duty bound to report the matter to the disciplinary teacher. All of my friends who were involved in the incident thought that Peter was simply being a tattle-tale but. I knew that Peter took his responsibilities seriously and only had my well being in mind. I often wind up in difficulties through my own doing and Peter is always around to bail me out without expecting any gratitude or explanation, his friendship is unconditional. Our teachers and friends at school have taken to calling us the 'Two Musketeers' as we do everything together. It seems that some of my interests have rubbed off on Peter as we are both in the school debate team. I quite enjoy public speaking but Peter dreads addressing crowds as by nature he is a very reserved person. I suspect he finally gave in to my constant cajoling and agreed to join the team. What Peter really enjoys is sports. He excels at football and track and field events. He has won numerous trophies for the school at inter-school sports meets. Peter is admirable as a friend and a person and is well spoken of by everyone who knows him. I am glad that I have his friendship and feel that I have grown wiser as a result of it.

A day in the life of a housewife

People may think, that everything is all right at home, because menfolk are able to go to office in time and children are regular at school. When they return home in the afternoon, they find pleasant life again. All this is possible because of the care and sweat which my mother is able to bestow on the smooth running of the household affairs. This is almost true of all homes. Now let us look into a day in the life of my mother. She gets up quite early in the morning. She attends to the cleaning of the house. By that time the bread-van arrives. She receives the bread and starts the cooker for morning coffee. While water is

boiling, she may attend to small duties. Young ones are to be attended to after their toilet. Now the water hisses in the kettle and she prepares coffee. Children are given horlicks or ovaltine. Elders are given their cups of coffee. There may be comments from the elders and cries from the children. For all these my mother stays calm. She moves about with a philosophic attitude. Then she prepares the breakfast. At the same time, she attends to washing of clothes and bathing of children. In between she will be attending to the vegetable vendors or giving directions to the maid-servant. Now it will be time for breakfast and it is always an ordeal for her to serve the breakfast in the midst of noise raised by children. Then children dress up for school. Even then, my mother will have to attend to them. Every day some scene will be enacted at that time and she goes about taking them as a routine matter. Once the elders have left for office, mother breathes a sigh of relief. Now she can go about her chores in a somewhat leisurely way. She bathes and plans for lunch. When it is ready, she waits for us to return for lunch. After lunch she takes a little nap. She can do some stitching and tailoring. She mends children's clothes. If time permits and if her hands are free she may spend some in talking with her friends. In the evening father returns home and we are served with tea. Again noise starts. While preparing the dinner, she attends to the younger ones in their studies, helping the one here and the other there. After the dinner, she has some time to talk family affairs with our father. Sometimes she may turn on the television, if there is any interesting programme. Children comfortably laid in their beds and doors secured, she is the last to go to bed, only to begin her arduous day the next morning. Thus she is a picture of patience and service.

A fishing trip
There are few hobbies, which are so absorbing as fishing. People say that old men only seek fishing when they feel lonely. I don't agree. After all I am not old, still I have so much liking for fishing. My school work stands in my way, so I could find time for going fishing only on week-ends. During holidays, of course, weather permitting nothing pleases me more than fishing. I have a special bowler hat, a small fishing basket and my favorite fishing rod. I purchase the necessary worms from the market and put them in the basket. Usually I start after breakfast. I leave word at home that I will return only in the evening. Taking my coffee flask, and a few slices of bread, I walk off. My favorite fishing ground lies some two kilometers away from my house. Once I reach the place, I sit comfortably on the bank of the stream with reeds all around me. Fixing the worm to the hook, I throw the line into the water. It requires a lot of concentration to have an eye on the plumb. Sometimes I succeed in landing one or two good fish. Sometimes I wait for a long day, before I could catch even a small fish. But that does not detract me from going fishing.

Sometimes I while away the slow moving time by singing some popular hits. I feel that I am the monarch of all I survey. There is nothing to win and there is not much to lose. There is nobody to converse and only nature keeps company. So one feels as though one is a Yogi. I enjoy the ripples in the water. I enjoy the shoals of fish. I take pleasure in seeing the king fisher. Now and then I may be rewarded with the music of a bird. In short, for those who can temperamentally enjoy loneliness, there is nothing like fishing.

How I spend my holiday

Holidays are always welcome. Who can deny that? After a term of school-work, one eagerly looks forward to the holidays and yearns for them. But when the holidays come, many find it boring. After the first flush is over, many find it hard to spend time. It is all because they don't plan for a holiday. It may be quite useful to plan for a holiday. But how one is going to spend them depends on one's facilities. As for me I cannot afford to spend money on long trips visiting places and seeing things. Still I plan always for the holidays. The following is one such plan. I will attend to some arrears of school work like copying of notes, getting the records up to-date and so on. Exercises which were not done in the class will be completed. I will go to the library regularly, both in the morning and evening and do some useful supplementary reading. After all one cannot always be reading. For a change I attend to some garden work. I am keen on gardening. It may be preparing the soil for a new plant or weeding out grass; it may be pruning the fence. The plants require regular watering, that I shall do myself. Now I have made up my mind to learn chess. I have already bought chessmen and a board for that. I will try to answer the problems on chess given in the newspapers. It is not always work for me. When I feel I must have a change, I mingle with my friends and enjoy some time in fun and frolic. This time I want to learn some trade. I have made up my mind to learn watch repairing. So, I shall go and sit in the watch maker's shop. My father has promised to introduce me to one. I think it will take a good part of my time and it will fit me up to be a watch maker and repairer. Not that I want to take it as a profession but it is worth knowing such a trade. I have drawn up a very big plan but it remains to be seen how far I can fulfil it.

The school canteen

For students of a generation ago, the canteen of our school would have sounded strange and for parents atrocious. But any school today without a canteen has something curious about it. The school canteen serves students and members of the staff, with light refreshment in hygienic condition. Somehow children want to eat and when there is no provision in school, they buy things from street vendors and that way

spoil their health. But they can get clean things from the school canteen now. The members of the staff also can have their cup of coffee or soft drinks. Yet there is objection from the parents that the school canteen encourages boys to spend a lot on eating. This should not be a very serious objection, when the overall advantages are considered. Our principal is a forward looking gentleman. He always welcomes new and good ideas. So when somebody suggested that there could be an improvement in the facilities available at the school canteen, he jumped at the idea. The result has been our present improved canteen. There the food is always fresh and clean, and served in disposable containers. The prices and quality are reasonable and there are sufficient types of food to cater for the needs of the pupils. Pupils' suggestion for more variety in the food is always welcome. The canteen is run by different stall-holders. The food is cooked under strict supervision. Every effort is made to ensure that students get the best food at the cheapest rate. Fruits like bananas, oranges, and dry fruits are also sold. During the interval, there is a great rush but boys behave themselves and the service is not a problem. The prefects have worked out an excellent system for supervising pupils and for maintaining good discipline. The class prefects deserve to be complimented for planning the method which is working smoothly. The canteen is also a place for gossip. When there is leisure time, members of the staff would be seen in the canteen sipping tea and talking over that. Students stay in the school almost every day for five or six hours continuously, with little break during the time. Hence to have something to fill their hungry stomach in between is not a luxury but a necessity.

What I would do after leaving school

Given the chance, I would be an air pilot. People may have their own views about it. It is of course a risky job, and many would discourage me from becoming an air pilot. But I think only of the adventure it offers. To become a pilot, one requires a good physique, nerve and eye-sight. Before becoming a fully trained pilot, one has to do a lot of ground work and many hours of flying. He must be a good student in physics, especially in aerodynamics. The training is very hard indeed but the game is worth it. A pilot gets a fat packet of salary. He gets other privileges. If he joins an international commercial line, he will get a chance of visiting foreign countries very often. If he joins the air force, his services are very much required for saving the country's frontiers. Any system of modern defense, will be nothing, if its air wing is not highly developed. So the air pilot will play a prominent part in the defense of his country. Then, think of the thrill of being in the air. Modern jet planes, keep to a height of more than seven thousands meters. What a grand sight the pilot gets at the time, the earth below and the sky above! It can't always be fair weather piloting. There used to be tense and anxious moments. Sometimes, the plane will have to negotiate through an air pocket or through heavily charged clouds. Then, there may be the flat landing tyres. These are only a few of the dangerous situations. In all these, the pilot should know how to carry on his duty coolly and safely. Any wrong judgment would mean

disaster to all. In spite of all these, I like to be a pilot because the thrill of adventure is so much that I cannot resist it. After all one can die only once.

How to repair a puncture

Bicycle, the common man's vehicle, gets easily punctured when it is used on rough roads. It is not uncommon even on fine roads. The villain of the piece may be a nail, a thorn or very often a discarded bullock's shoe. After all the bicycle is able to give a smooth ride because of the inflated (pneumatic) tyre. If a hole happens to occur in the tube the air inside escapes, the tyre becomes flat and so the bicycle cannot run. It is not enough, if one owns a bicycle. Sometimes, he must be able to attend to its working and keep it in a good repair. One of the things he may often be called upon to attend is the puncture. Of course it can be attended to by a professional repairer but one should know how to do it oneself. For repairing the puncture, the following accessories are needed: an air pump, two tyre levers, rubber solution, rubber patches, sulphur stick, a tub of water and a scraper or a sand paper. Now the punctured tube will have to be taken out of tyre. The tube itself is taken carefully out of the tyre with the help of tyre levers. Then the valve tube and the checkout are replaced and the tube is inflated with air. The tube is immersed in water and by trial and error, the punctured spot is detected. Round the spot a pencil mark is made. Then the air is let out. The punctured spot is dried, scrapped and rubbed with sulphur stick. A suitable size of the rubber patch is taken, the side to be stuck is scrapped and solution applied. The patch is applied to the tube over the punctured hole and pressed well. When it is dry the tube is dried and carefully placed within the tyre. It is easier to write than to place the tube correctly within the tyre. This comes out of practice. Once the tube is in, the valve tube and the checkouts are replaced and the tube inflated. But it must not be fully inflated first; inflate a little and see if there is any twist in the tube. If so, the process of taking out and replacing must be repeated. Then of course, the tube can be inflated. So, it is better for those who own their bicycles to know to repair a puncture. They should carry their tools kit. Then they can attend to the puncture even in an out of the way place.

A train journey to Penang

Every year my father makes it a point to take the family on a vacation. This year as it is every year, we put it to a vote to decide what our holiday destination will be. Even though we all decided on Bali in Indonesia, we gave in to my little sister who insisted on visiting Penang in West Malaysia, otherwise known as 'The Pearl of the Orient'. After all the preparations had been made, a week later, we found ourselves standing on the platform of the railway station awaiting the 'Langkawi Express'. The train would be taking us to Penang as my father firmly believed that half the fun of a

vacation was in getting to one's destination. My sister and I were very excited as this was the first time we would be going on such a long train journey. We would even have to spend the night on board the train. The train arrived promptly on schedule. We found that our father had booked us two compartments on board the train. I had to share my compartment with my little sister while my father and mother occupied the other one. The bunks were rather hard, but who could sleep anyway ? We were too engrossed with staring out the window into the darkness that was punctuated only by the lights of all the little towns that our train passed through and sometimes, stopped at to pick up passengers. There were a number of Caucasian tourists on board. We were unable to make out what they were saying as they seemed to be speaking languages other than English. We had our supper in the buffet coach and I must say that the food was delicious but expensive. My sister and I decided to do a bit of exploring and made off on our own after promising our parents that we wouldn't wander too far. we ran into the train conductor who was kind enough to give us a guided tour. He told us that the train had twelve carriages and that the diesel driven locomotive pulled all of these along. some of the carriages contained compartments like ours, while other contained sleeping berths and ordinary seats. All the carriages were air conditioned and quite spacious. I could see my little sister starting to yawn, well so much for staying awake the whole trip. we started to make our way back to our compartments and were soon fast asleep. we were still asleep when our train pulled into the station in Butterworth from where we look the ferry to Penang Island.

A day of happy moments

Pleasure is something which satisfies our senses but happiness is something deep seated. It is something which is much nearer to our soul. A hot cup of coffee on a chilly day would surely bring pleasure and not happiness. Now I shall say when I was very happy. Even from my early days, I used to take interest in games. My elder brothers used to take me to the sports and matches. Whenever I saw the victors receiving trophies, I eagerly wished that I must be on the victory stand one day. As I came to the secondary school, I took interest in long distance running. With some boys of my class, I used to take to the track and run. In one of the inter-school competitions I came first in the one kilometer race. This gave me not only satisfaction but also encouraged me to put in more and more effort. I was regularly on the track practicing. I learnt the techniques from my physical instructor. From one kilometer I Learnt slowly to run two kilometers within three minutes. The day when I can do it, is still far-off. Still unceasingly I practice long distance running. The Inter-district Sports Meet of the schools came and I was selected for 1000 meter race. It was a red letter day in my life. The event was announced and along with five others, I was standing on the track. Hundreds of people were looking at us. We were set on the mark and the gun went off. I started steadily and knew that I must have spare energy for the last lap. It was a three round business. In the first two rounds, I

kept myself the second or third. In the third round, Picked up speed and was running like a colt, left others far behind and breasted the tape in the record time. The excitement was so much that I was almost unconscious for a few minutes. Then I ran to the victory stand. My joy knew no bounds when my name was announced first and I took the salute. It was the glorious day and I enjoyed boundless happiness.