OUTLOOK — By Majed Al Sulaimany — One can call it 'Sour Grapes' but believe me one of the 'merits and advantages' of staying home after a brief stint in Human Resources Consultancy works, that convinced me to be better off at home, is the element of 'driving myself to and back' from work!
It is a jungle out there, like in a war zone! When anytime a 'car missile' out of nowhere can crash into you while you try to maintain control of your senses and try to be the careful driver that you have always been!
That 'defensive driving' course had taught you all about being a 'safe and careful' driver cautioning you to take maximum care and precaution!
In the news I hear the parents talking about their miseries and woes in war-torn Iraq where they are not sure if their children will come back home alive and unhurt from schools or from work or even from the souqs and the markets!
I dare say as parents we still do worry about that our children even if they are married and have their own lives to run! And these are for simple things like driving out or going to films, parties or just taking their children out!
Strangely and ironically, our own parents did not have such worries! Perhaps they were more stoic and courageous or fatalistic in their approach.
Or some will say that they were more 'believing and religious' than what we are now! Hopefully it will carry on to their children too?
Frankly who can blame us? After my article on ‘The Writer's Block’ a few weeks back I witnessed an incident which propelled me to remove the 'fear of writing'!
I had bought a new washing machine and it was being delivered to my villa in Qurum Heights. As I was directing the three-tonne truck driver to reverse into my villa, the young local driver reversed very fast, nearly running into me and my villa gate. He had two Indian helpers with him.
I started to rebuke him as to why he was driving so fast, as if this was a saloon car? He curtly replied to me that he did not see me clearly.
Then he started speaking in Hindi to the two assistants, saying that these rich people (even our own) are ridiculing us like this because I am a poor driver!
The thought of 'being considered rich' because of the area I was staying in made me laugh for quite awhile! I guess he does not read English or my columns!
I heard the lingo. So I told him in Arabic: You got it all wrong son! Please be grateful to Allah you have a job still because if I were still in the offices in HR you will be given a final warning letter the way you are driving now!
This seemed to shake him quite a lot and made him come to his senses! Especially after I had told him that with his Secondary Education he should be thankful that he has got a job, when many youngsters like him with college diplomas are still looking for jobs!
Here is a very angry young man — a local boy 'angry at the world and at himself and the truck he was driving' and can easily cause wanton damages with his kind of driving and in this truck of his! And do you know the scary part? How many others just like him are there on the roads now? Are your children safe?
Anyway, the good news is that I have now finalised the first draft of my new book based on road safety titled Behind The Wheel! I have also created a special website to go along with the book — please visit www.bethesafedriver.com It is now so easy, cheap and convenient to set up websites.
Though it was a subject close to my heart, it was one of the most difficult books I had ever contemplated and made! I have put in some 'sample works' in my website above.
Although I do not have wastah (influence) like the others I still believe deep in my heart that this is still a noble and worthy national cause and even if you have not believed in my previous works for whatever reason, please be ethical, fair and principled, even professional, in lending support and encouragement to this book at least. Even if I never give up hope and do all these things alone by myself!
Ramadhan Kareem! Take Care!