Traversing the Birthplace of Jazz

Situated in southeastern Louisiana, the City of New Orleans straddling the Mississippi River, is a city full of flare, flamboyance, zeal and zest towards life. It is a city of rich history, natural beauty and lively inhabitants. After months of planning, preparation and travel related admonitions by my close friends, I had the pleasure of making a lovely visit to the Big Easy (one of the many names for New Orleans) last year. I was amazed to see how the city had coped up with the devastation brought about by the ruthless hurricane Katrina in the year 2006. Obviously I had seen the destruction on my tele but was really impressed to observe that the people had not abandoned their sprightly way of living despite the hard times they had to go through.

I’ve always been fascinated by history and the lessons it teaches as this is what helps us grow and evolve with time. The American Civil War is one of my all time favorite topics and to see thousands of historical artefacts stacked up all in one place; i.e. The Museum of Confederacy, was a liberating experience. The museum paints a picture of the Civil War seen from the Southern Confederates’ perspective highlighting their motivation for war. Anyways, next I headed towards The National World War II Museum littered with war related anecdotes, photographs, audio and visual accounts. I got so much engrossed in the items on display and their associated stories that I forgot how much time had passed since I set foot in this mesmerizing haven of war history.

New Orleans has an eerie air about itself as ever since its inception, there have been legends and myths about vampires and ghosts. This is what, I feel, adds to the lure and attraction of the city. So, I decided to take a ghost tour of the town and it was absolutely fantastic. Garden District is an area in New Orleans which houses ancient mansions constructed following the French architectural designs. French Quarter is another area where predominantly French historical buildings are the highlights. I had to walk quite a lot in these areas, but it turned out to be a nice experience as the cobblestone streets seemed to possess the uncanny luring ability in them. I also was able to listen to some of the street musicians playing exquisite Jazz numbers in the place where Jazz actually originated.

My university pursuits forced me to come back shortly but I had the privilege of spending a few days of my life in a vibrant city which appreciates the delicacies offered by life and leaves no stone unturned to preserve them from any form of damage or even rust! History is what NOLA is all about!

Get Yourself a Custom Made Suitcase for Better Use

A suitcase is a very catchy term and object. It is very useful in our day-to- day life as we cannot travel without it. For some people it is their way of living. Imagine a custom suitcase that has all the characteristics which makes people believe that it actually belongs to you. These types of suitcases are always able to express your entire creativity, share your sense of pride and also represent your great company. You can choose any suitcase in the ever increasing collection in order to benefit more from them. Customization of a suitcase mostly depends on the three basic characteristics. These are explained as below.

1. The color and size of your suitcase

Any custom suitcase should have an appropriate color as well as size. Both these characteristics go hand in hand and there is nothing that can stop you from getting your own color and size. Always go from something that is fancy in a sophisticated manner and is also catchy. It must also depict that is actually belong to you and no one else. This is what a custom suitcase is all about.

2. Accessories of your suitcase

The accessories of your suitcase are also extremely important as far as customization of your suitcase is concerned. There are many accessories that you can include in your suitcase. This means that you must customize your suitcase in such a manner that there is enough space for all your accessories. Never leave any stone unturned because it must be made in such a manner that you are able to put all your belongings and important things properly without any damages.

3. Your image

Your image is very important. Do you want to maintain a sophisticated image or an image that is very fancy? This is something that you must give a deep think into. This will help you to get the best out of your customization. People are going to judge you on the basis of how you have designed or customized your suitcase. You must keep this fact in your mind. Your suitcase will speak a lot about you in the long run. There is nothing to worry about if you have taken care of all these aspects. You can go ahead and proceed with the customization of your suitcase and there will be no harm at all. It is one of the important things to remember.

Why NOT Choose My Own Homestay Family?

In this day and age of automated-self-serve-online-do-it-yourself-web-based-point-and-click, it hardly seems necessary to pay the extra $ to a 3rd party company to find homestay accommodation for myself when planning a trip abroad. Or does it?

This is the question many international students and travelers are asking themselves. We book our own hotels after all – so why NOT homestay?

The short answer in a nutshell is that homestay is not a hotel. It is an unregulated industry. While a hotel is required by law to meet certain minimal standards of cleanliness, safety, and service, homestays have no such mandated oversight.

This means that booking your own room with an unknown family directly is a complete crap shoot – while you may get lucky and land yourself a fabulous accommodation, you may just as likely book yourself in the homestay from hell.

Let’s face it – every family that posts online will try to promote themselves as the best option for you. It’s in their interest after all. But what’s in YOUR best interest?

A placement Agency? Really? Isn’t the homestay placement agency just in it for the money? Why should they really care if I have a great homestay experience or not? Well, let’s just call it the invisible hand of the free market.

Consider: A homestay agency that doesn’t care about the quality of its homestays is no better than a bad homestay family. In fact, they are worse -they are a bad business as well, and a bad business will not stand the test of time. A good homestay company on the other hand will build its reputation, expand its services across cities and districts, export its model, and organically expand as part and parcel of a natural evolution nurtured on sound and ethical business practices.

So an experienced professional homestay company doesn’t find the best possible homestay for you – they find it for them. Only by making you a happy customer will they prevail. And if a family they have chosen turns out to be less than what it should be, you can believe that as the customer, you will always be right. And that comforting assurance when you are far away from home in a foreign land without any other support network is well worth the small premium a long established professional agency will charge you.

Homestay should be more than just a place to lay your head and get some food on the fly. It is a window into another culture. It is an invitation to live, share, and experience a completely foreign lifestyle from the inside.

It is a rare opportunity to learn from, and teach to, others. Arguably, it is the most valuable experience of your entire travel abroad – probably not the kind of thing you want to leave to long-distance intuition or luck.

Quick Historical Review II: From Arab Conquest to Mamluk Rule

In 640 an event took place that deeply affected Egypt. The Arab general Amr ibn al-As, a companion of the Prophet Mohamed, died 663, was a leader for an army who came to Egypt through Sinai Peninsula to the Nile Valley, defeating the Byzantines at Heliopolis near what is now Cairo. Within two years the Arabs had triumphed over the Nile Valley, the Delta, and Alexandria, marking the beginning of Islam in Egypt that is lasting until now.

Islam

Islam teaches that there is only one God, the Creator and Sustainer of this world and the next, all-knowing and all-powerful, who has made himself known to humanity through scriptures revealed to a succession of prophets, culminating in the revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, who lived in the Hejaz (western Arabia) from 570 to 632. Those who accept Muhammad as the last of the prophets and the Quran as God’s revealed word are Muslims. The word Muslim means “one who makes peace [with God].” The word Arab originally meant a camel-herding nomad living in Arabia, but now is applied to people who speak Arabic as their native language and who embrace what can broadly be called Arab culture. Most Arabs are Muslim, but some are Christian. Nowadays, only a sixth of the world’s Muslims are Arabs.

Successors of the Prophet Mohamed the leaders of the Muslim community were known as caliphs i.e. the person who came after. The first four caliphs are called Rashidun, a term commonly translated as “right-guided.” The third caliph, Othman, was assassinated, and Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, became the fourth caliph. But a dispute arose over the legitimacy of his appointment. Ali did not attempt to prosecute the men who killed the former caliph Othman.

Early Arab Rule (640-868)

Given the lack of pressure by Egypt’s foreign rulers, both Islamization and Arabization occurred only slowly over time. Arabic did not become the official language of Egypt until 706. Between 640 and 868 Egypt was ruled by governors appointed by the caliphs. Egypt’s role as a province in an empire whose primary purpose was seen as supplying the central government with taxes and grain did not change. Egypt’s Muslims, mainly soldiers living in the garrison town of Fustat, that was built by A’mro Bin Al’As, accepted Umayyad rule. Some mawali in Persia objected to Umayyad favoritism toward the Arabs-launching a revolt that brought the Abbasid family to power in 750 and moved Islam’s capital to Baghdad. Egyptian Muslims acquiesced in these changes. Indeed, Egypt’s role in the politics of early Islam was remarkably quiet.

After that, local dynasties took over the control from 868 to 969. Ahmed Bin Tulun who was a Turkish officer ruled Egypt from 868 to 884 and there he built his spacious Mosque in the center of old Cairo near to Saladin Citadel.

Fatimid Rule (969-1171)

In 969 Egypt became a Fatimid province of the Fatimids Empire that stretched Northern-Western countries of Africa, now is Tunisia. The Fatimids adhered to the Ismaili branch of Shiite Islam and claimed to be descended from the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima, who was married to Ali. The Fatimids had built up a powerful state in North Africa. They called their leaders caliphs, thus challenging the legitimacy of the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad. Hoping to reunite the Muslim world under their Ismaili standard, the Fatimids needed to extend their empire into Egypt and Syria. Their propagandists found willing ears among the Muslims of Egypt, distressed by quarreling troops, low Nile floods, and high taxes. Egyptian Muslims tended to be Sunni and might have been expected to support the Abbasid caliphs, but Fatimid propagandists allayed their fears and played on their hopes. In 969 the Fatimid leader Jawhar defeated Kafur’s soldiers and established a new capital, Cairo, which was destined to become the largest city in the Muslim world. The Fatimids also established the mosque-school al-Azhar, originally meant to train new Ismaili propagandists, which survives today as the world’s oldest Islamic university. Fatimid rule in Egypt lasted from 969 to 1171. The area controlled by the Fatimids usually included Libya, Syria, Palestine, and the Hejaz, or western Arabia. The first century of Fatimid rule saw general prosperity. Egypt’s peasants continued to produce a surplus of grain that could be sold throughout the Mediterranean world, as well as fl ax, which supported a thriving linen industry. Egypt was a center of long-distance trade, with thriving ports on the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Most of the Fatimid caliphs adopted a tolerant policy toward Egypt’s Copts, Jews, and Sunni Muslims. One exception was al-Hakim (r. 996- 1021), who placed severe restrictions on Jews, Christians, and Sunni Muslims. Al-Hakim disappeared in 1021; it is believed he was assassinated on his sister’s orders. The Fatimid caliphs gave considerable leeway to merchants to manufacture and sell goods, using the head of the merchant guilds as an agent to maintain order. A series of low Nile floods and factional struggles among the troops caused a crisis in the 1060s. In 1073, to restore order the caliph appointed a chief minister or vizier. From that time on the vizierate was a key administrative post in Egypt.

Saladin and the Ayyubids (1171-1250)

The last great dynasty to rule Egypt during this era of Arab Islamic dominance, the Ayyubids, began with a Fatimid vizier. He may well be the Muslim warrior best known in the West: Salah al-Din, commonly called Saladin (c. 1137-93). Saladin succeeded his uncle, Shirkuh, as vizier. In 1171 he deposed the Fatimid caliph and restored Sunni Islam in Egypt. Although Saladin had to face several attempts to restore Fatimid rule, he won strong popular support in Cairo. He ordered the construction of the citadel that still overlooks the city and also strengthened Egypt’s Mediterranean and Red Sea fleets. Saladin built up a Muslim state that stretched from Tunisia to northern Iraq and from northern Syria to Yemen. In 1187 Saladin’s forces recaptured Jerusalem from the crusaders, European Christians who fought to take the “Holy Land” from Muslim control. Saladin has come down in history as a heroic fighter. Yet despite his efforts to master Fatimid court and bureaucratic procedures, he failed to set up an orderly administration in Egypt.

Saladin’s Ayyubid successors did not surmount these difficulties. Egypt lacked an institutional structure that might have limited factional struggles and made the government more efficient. Yet the country prospered, due largely to its extensive commerce with the Italian city-states and with other Muslim countries. By the time of the Ayyubids most of the Egyptian people spoke Arabic and practiced Islam. The collapse of Ayyubid rule came from within. The Ayyubids had built up a corps of Turkish soldiers recruited from Central Asia and trained as slave-soldiers. Known as Mamluks (mamluk in Arabic means “owned man”), these slaves had saved Egypt from European invaders, specifically the Seventh Crusade. Now they took the country for themselves and opened a new chapter in its history.

MAMLUK AND OTTOMAN RULE (1250-1798)

In 1250 Egypt fell under rule by the Turks. A shared religion, common values, and the same social institutions bound the ruling Turks together with their subjects. Occasionally, though, the people grumbled about rulers who taxed too heavily or failed to defend them from invading nomads, plagues, or a low Nile fl ood. This chapter mentions, for example, a major revolt that broke out in 1523, soon after the Ottomans defeated and replaced the Mamluks.

Mamluk Rule

Mamluk means “owned man.” When the word is capitalized, it denotes a class of former slaves who ruled in Egypt and Syria. The first Mamluks were slave-soldiers who served the Abbasid caliphs. These soldiers were recruited as boys, mostly from non-Muslim families in Central Asia and lands around the Black Sea. Because they came from outside the empire, they had no link to any of the warring factions within the empire. Some were kidnapped by slave traders; others were sold by their impoverished families. These boys were housed in barracks or dormitories with other Mamluks the same age. They were given basic instruction in Islam and Arabic, as well as thorough training as cavalry soldiers. This rigorous education lasted eight to 10 years, during which the youths were kept under the strictest discipline. Because they lived and trained together for so long, each group of soldiers developed a feeling of fraternal loyalty that lasted the rest of their lives. When a Mamluk completed his military training, he received his liberation paper, a horse, and his fighting equipment.

Even though the mamluks were technically no longer slaves after they finished their training, they were still obliged to serve the sultan or amir who trained them. Each group of trainees tended to become a faction within the army. Many mamluks rose to positions of authority within the empire. In 1250 they succeeded in seizing power in Egypt.

How to Find Peace of Mind With a Patient Transportation Service

If you have an appointment at the hospital and can’t drive yourself, there is a solution. For most non-urgent medical situations, a patient transportation service is the most convenient, comfortable, and stress-free choice. These companies interface between the customer and any medical clinic to make sure you get to your appointment on time.

Patient transportation is a crucial part of the healthcare system. Annually, over three million Americans delay or miss out on the medical care they need because they are unable to find transportation. This is especially true for low-income patients and those with chronic, ongoing conditions.

Thankfully, a transfer service aims to make the whole process easy for the customer. The driver will usually pick up the customer at their own home and wait for them to finish with their appointment. Drivers are also trained to accommodate your medical needs and prioritize your comfort.

Because patient transportation is non-urgent, you often do have to book in advance, unlike an emergency ambulance pick-up. The same-day transfer is sometimes available; however, it’s important to call and ask. Also, many van services are 24/7, so no more asking your relatives to rearrange their schedules for you!

Using patient transportation services makes a world of difference from trying to take public transportation or a taxi. Even family members often don’t have a way to accommodate the patient comfortably or safely. This is especially true for anyone who requires a wheelchair or stretcher.

Dialysis is one common condition requiring weekly transportation. Currently in the U.S. over 60% of those who need dialysis rely on people they know for transportation while another 25% are forced to drive themselves. Van services are a much safer and more reliable option.

These transfer services are also appropriate in the case of handicapped customers, or those with limited mobility, who simply want a safe and reliable way to attend social events. If you’re afraid of missing a wedding or graduation, a private van might be the best option.

Many people make the mistake of calling emergency ambulances for non-emergencies. This is too expensive even with insurance. Using ambulances for non-urgent situations creates problems for the hospitals too, as it delays vehicle availability for actual emergencies.

When choosing a van service, look for a reputable company that emphasizes safety. Your driver should have training in First Aid, CPR, and AED. In the event of an emergency, the driver should be prepared to deal with the situation effectively.

The company should also emphasize clear communication. If the transfer service communicates effectively with you, it’s likely they can also interface effectively with the hospital or clinic. A good transportation company knows that you’re looking for a stress-free experience, and does everything they can to put you at ease.

How to Hire a Taxi for Safe and Reliable Medical Transportation

When it comes to non-emergency medical visits, getting out of the house and to the appointment with your physician or medical team can be incredibly difficult. Depending on your condition, there could be mobility issues that make getting into and out of your car difficult, or you might have a wheelchair or motorized scooter that makes normal travel seem almost impossible. There’s good news – you can hire a service to get you to your medical visit on time and in comfort.

Consider the following points while booking:

1. Accommodating Mobility Issues

Whether you’re talking about public transport or your own personal vehicle, accommodating mobility issues can be tough to do. Buses aren’t built to be particularly easy to enter or exit for those who need a little help getting around. Even passenger cars and vans can be hard to use. Hiring a cab for safe and reliable medical transportation actually ensures that you enjoy an easy entry and exit process, combined with professional, caring service.

2. Wheelchairs and Scooters

The problem of traveling with a wheelchair or motorized scooter is significant, even with standard, folding wheelchairs. Add motorized components and batteries, and things become even more challenging. Working with a company that specializes in providing medical transportation solutions can help. For instance, you’ll find a number of modern vehicles in the fleet equipped to make traveling with a wheelchair, motorized wheelchair or even a motorized scooter a simple and hassle-free process. Accessible vehicles are more than just larger. They’re designed with ramps and wheelchair security systems to lock your chair in place while riding. There is also room for up to three caregivers or helpers to accompany you on your medical visit.

3. For Seniors

Another benefit of hiring the right cab is that there are companies that specialize in providing seniors with caring, compassionate travel service. Seniors have specific requirements when it comes to the vehicles in which they travel (lower entry points, easier to access handles, etc.), but they also require professional drivers who understand the differences inherent in transporting seniors versus younger passengers. For instance, seniors often are unable to cope with multiple stops or long waits in the back of a taxi, and will frequently require physical assistance getting in and out, as well. Drivers are also professionally trained to handle assistive devices, including canes, walkers, and more. The right company can offer all this and much more.

When it comes to medical transportation, hiring the right cab company is very important. Not all companies can offer medical transportation, or specialize in providing compassionate transport services for seniors.

The Importance of Wi-Fi in a Cab

Once upon a time, taking a taxi was a pretty simple process. You hailed a taxi from the corner, or caught one outside the arrivals terminal at the airport. You told the driver where you were headed, and then you sat back and rode. The time between catching it and arriving at your destination was dead time – downtime where there was nothing that could be done. That’s changing today. Wi-Fi in a cab allows you access to unprecedented benefits.

Checkout the benefits of Wi-Fi while travelling:

Productivity on the Go

Most of us have become accustomed to doing at least some work on the go. You might network with business associates on your smartphone while riding the train to the office. You might use your downtime between appointments and meetings to get some work done on that report. In these instances, you use your device’s data connection. However, that can be problematic in some area. Tall buildings, bridges, tunnels and the like can all make it difficult to get any signal at all, much less one capable of handling heavier data transmissions. With Wi-Fi in a taxi, you don’t have to worry about that at all.

No Data Roaming Charges

For travelers, the prospect of having to pay steep data roaming charges while using their device during travel is a very daunting prospect. Those prices can be very steep. In fact, many travelers opt not to use their phone, laptop or tablet just to avoid them. With in-car Internet, though, you can access anything from restaurant menus to hotel reservation systems while traveling and never have to worry about paying those high fees.

Setting Trip Itineraries

Those traveling to a new city need the chance to find sights of interest and set their itinerary. That can be problematic during the rush of travel – it’s impossible on most flights, and there’s just no time within an airport, during the rush of deplane and struggling to get to baggage claim. With Wi-Fi, though, it’s simpler than ever to check out the destinations that interest you, the sights to see in the area and much more, all from the back of the car while you’re being professionally driven to your accommodations in town.

Wireless Payment

Another benefit of having wireless connection during travel is the ability to pay without opening your wallet. While this is possible using smartphone apps with some companies, it’s not available across the board. There’s also the fact that using an app requires mobile data, and that can come with high costs. Thus wireless connection gets around that problem handily, allowing travelers to easily pay with their choice of mobile payment methods, including in-app payments, and more.

Essay “Journey by Train in Winter”

A journey by train is an interesting experience. It charms our mind and makes us happy. I got a chance to attend the marriage ceremony of my friend last winter-season. My friend is living at Lahore cantonment. I got seats reserved for all of my friends and family members in the first class compartment from Peshawar to Lahore in a Super Express train. On the day of journey, we got up early in the morning and prepared ourselves for journey. We hired a rickshaw for our conveyance. It took almost an hour to reach Peshawar City Railway Station.

Similarly, we got into the train and found our seats beside the windows. The train started to move slowly. When the train crossed the platform, it attained fast speed gradually. Soon, it ran very fast and after one and half hour, it reached Attock city. I was carrying some novels, magazines and a newspaper with me. For some time, I and my friends read but our minds felt bored due to reading. We gazed outside through the window of the train, it gave us a charming sight. We saw lush green fields, trees groves and forests from the window of the running train. We also saw farmers ploughing in the fields. Then my train reached Rawalpindi Station. We had our dinner here at the dining-stall on the railway platform. There was a lot of rush. The hawkers and vendors were selling the foodstuffs and beverages. Soon, the guard blew his whistle and waved his green flag and the train started to move slowly. We got into our compartment and the train left the station.

A couple from abroad boarded in our compartment from Rawalpindi Station. The couple was very polite in behavior. I inquired from them about their country. The man at once quipped that he belonged to Spain. Then, both the husband and wife began to narrate facts about Spanish. They also compared the same with the facts and information about Pakistan. His wife spoke highly of Pakistani womanhood. She praised the beauty and behavior of Pakistani women. She also praised the culture, civilization, historical places and placed of religious interests in Pakistan. Both were deeply impressed by the grandeur of Punjab. Its folklore and festivals were highly appreciated by them. The chat with the foreign couple was quite interesting and learning for me. They also narrated the brief history and culture of Spain.

It was night and was darkness outside. The chilling wind began to blow. My train was nearing its destination. The train halted at Gujranwala railway station. The engine was also changed there. The train then steamed off here at Gujranawala railway station and ran at its full throttle. The piercing wind was penetrating through the open window panes. The train reached Lahore in the early morning. I met my friend at the railway station who had come to receive us. We then, both drove to his home. It was a pleasant journey. It added to my experience and knowledge a lot.

Getting India Right

They never do. Western movie and TV show makers. The India they show does not exist. Not the background music which they imagine is how Indian music sounds; not the accents which are unintelligible to Indians, heaven alone knows what the audiences in the West make of them and certainly not the locales they show. In more than a couple of western TV shows that purport to show call centers in action, the location is usually so outlandish as to defy common sense. Imagine a BPO office in the middle of Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, with hawkers peddling street savories like samosas and gol gappas walking right in front of the building and a cow peering in through the glass door!

And the accents that they show being deployed by Indians speaking in English are a figment of somebody’s extremely weird imagination. Admitted that a lot of Indians speak accented English; but the accents pertain to a region or community, say Punjab or Tamil Nadu or Bengal. In most American or English (British movies), the Indians speak in a strange sing-song accent, sounding like bells going off somewhere even as they actually swivel their heads around their torsos while doing so.

Another constant is the presence of a scheming and manipulative Indian who is constantly trying to throw a spanner in the works and the young virtuous white man with an exasperated demeanour who teaches older but obviously inferior Indians how to stand up for their rights and do the right thing. Then there are constant digs about the eccentricities of Indian people-their many festivals, their rituals, their superstitions, their funny institution of arranged marriage, and their sheer inability to understand the nuances of western culture. Of course there will be a compensating ode to wholesome Indian values like having close-knit families, immense faith in their gods and of their ability to have a good laugh in very trying circumstances. This to dispel the notion that the kindly westerner has any kind of bias or prejudice towards the great Indian people.

Really the craziest of Bollywood movies with the lowest of budgets get the American and Europeans mannerisms far better. A white man in most Indian movies is recognisable by the way he talks, dresses and displays attitude, even if it is an Indian masquerading as one, because the effort is usually based on an honest understanding. Not so in Western movies where they get foreign actors (even if they are of Indian origin) perform to their own bizarre notions of how Indians behave. The script writers of course don’t know whether India is in the tropics or on the North Pole.

4 Tips to Follow While Driving in the Rain

Driving a car of your own has pleasures in itself where you get to modify things according to your requirements and capabilities. Driving on your own is an art in itself where you need to be perfectly skilled with the techniques where you need to handle your car, keep other passengers safe and keep your eyes on the road to avoid accidents. Despite weather conditions outside, you need to have the skills of driving well on the road and reach your destination safely. The weather affects the driver in a great way where the scorching heat can take a toll on and make you feel dizzy or heavy rains can make your eyesight weak so as to not see anything around you on the road. Despite such issues, you need to have the strength to survive in circumstances and it often comes along with practise.

Driving during the rains is something most drivers dread as it is when there is the most number of accidents caused. The drivers cannot see the road ahead or the car tyres tend to skid on slippery roads and thus cause a mishap. Here are a few tips that would help you drive safely during the rains and not fall prey to any mishaps.

• Avoid driving unless necessary – If you are already on the road and there is a shower coming your way, you cannot always afford to go back to where you came from or stop somewhere until the rain passes away. If you are indoors and intend to reach somewhere, try and stay indoors unless it is something imperative. Being out on the road while it is raining is something that should be avoided for safety reasons where slippery roads or water pools could lead to accidents.

• Check your headlights and wipers – Before the rainy season hits; remember to check the necessary accessories of the car. Accessories such as headlights, indicators, wipers, etc. are the ones that are often put to use when it pours heavily. Getting stuck midway with any one of these accessories not functioning can land you in deep trouble or probably an accident. You could consider checking it every day before stepping out as a precautionary measure.

• Maintain safe distances from other cars – Even if you are driving while it is raining, keep safe distances from the cars ahead especially if they are large trucks. The water that they spray with the large wheels is enough to blur your vision and thus to make you lose control of the wheels.

• Equip yourself with the necessities – Necessary equipment such as umbrella, raincoat, torch, food, clothing and waterproof footwear should always be available at hand in your car. You never know when you would require them and miraculously helping you to get out of a tense situation while you are stuck midway due to the heavy rains.

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