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Essa Al Ansari

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Published: Fri 5 May 2017, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 15 May 2017, 11:09 AM

WKND has always included inspirational articles, but I want to personally thank you for the story on Essa Al Ansari (From flab to fab, Apr 28). It was indeed inspiring to read about his transformation - from 130 kilos to 60 kilos. This article was just the push my husband needed to become serious about his health. Reducing weight is not just about looking good but about personal health and enjoying life wholesomely. As soon as my husband read this article on Friday, he promised me he would become more active and actually went cycling. Even though he works on Saturdays, he woke up early to go cycling before work. Finally, he realised that 'Your job cannot be an excuse for an unhealthy lifestyle.' I will keep this article in my file, so that I can make him read it whenever he needs that occasional push. He may not become a role model for the entire nation, but, hopefully, my hubby can be an inspiration to others in our neighbourhood. Thank you, Team WKND for motivating us to improve our lifestyles.
Congratulations on your winning entry, Sakina Shabbir. We will be in touch soon!

I could relate to Essa Al Ansari's story at a personal level (From flab to fab, Apr 28). Having been on the chubbier side for most part of my life, I'd often give myself excuses for not losing weight. Life throws many curve balls, but to duck or to face them head on depends upon us, and what Essa Al Ansari has managed to achieve is quite exemplary in that regard.
Savio Borges, by email

House of dreams
The story of Cara Brookins reads like the plot of a film (How building a house together helped rebuild broken dreams, Apr 28). I couldn't put my head around the idea of a woman and her children building their own home from scratch using YouTube tutorials and without the luxury (as she mentions) of 24x7 connectivity via smart devices that we have today. It's an absolutely inspiring story. Domestic violence is rarely discussed openly and it's good to see a few who find the courage to fight it. Just two days back, I had the misfortune of witnessing a man scream in rage and look dangerously close to badgering his partner in a local park. The lady stood crying helplessly and the passers-by, including me and my daughters, had to walk past quietly. Finally, another man walked up to him and said, "Sir, that is no way to treat a woman. Go home and sort this out in peace. If you don't stop now, I'll call the police." That did the trick and our angry man disappeared with the sobbing lady. My girls felt that the man who intervened was a hero. Pity we don't know his name! Good job, WKND, for publishing tales that matter alongside the gloss and amazing stuff that we constantly enjoy.
Aswati Abraham, by email

The 'she' factor
As a woman, I've always wondered what makes me feminine. Is it my appearance or my personality? Your Bollywood piece (Women Not Quite on Top Apr 28) gave some insight to my dilemma. It rightly explained how aggression is often misunderstood and considered an inappropriate emotion for a woman. The article also quite explained the rather insecure acceptance of female-centric films and how, even today, women are made to play the insignificant second fiddle to their male counterparts.
It is true that one needs to be vocal about their beliefs but as the famous saying goes 'Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument'. Perhaps female actors have got it right by being vocal without being aggressive. After all, women are complex creatures who are capable of being both vulnerable and courageous at the same time.
Rashida Adnan, by email

Friends or foes?
Many of us are apprehensive about allowing ourselves to be friends with our workmates (Working out a relationship, Apr 28). My son believes that his co-workers are not his close friends and that only his school buddies are his real chums. Does it mean you cannot forge a close bond with your colleagues? Can't business and pleasure be mixed? I think it is very much possible to establish a camaraderie with people at your workplace. All you need is to take that extra step: be genial, affable and prove you can be trusted. Allies at work not only act as sounding boards, they also understand you, stand by you during your tough times and boost confidence.
Jayashree Kulkarni, by email

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