Monday, August 31, 2009

My Daily Ramdan Thoughts - 10/2009

My Daily Ramdan Thoughts - 10/2009


A blessed and graceful welcome to all my readers to the 10th day of holy month of Ramadan. I have deliberately missed to post the thoughts for the past few days. It was due to the turbulence created in my mind due to the untimely demise of a friend and also due to some personal happenings which were not conducive to writing these divine thoughts. Chirayinkeezhu Ansar – a good friend to all who know him and interacted with is no more with us. May his soul rest in peace. Very seldom we get to see human beings like him who go out of the way and help those in need. When I told about his untimely demise to a friend, I was told about his experience of interactions with late Sri. Ansar. Once at the Indian Embassy for a complicated work, he was running around from one counter to another to get things sorted out. It was at this time that late Sri Ansar passed by and seeing his tension, he enquired and intervened to assist him to clear the matter. Very rarely we get to see such act of kindness from those with responsibilities in public and corporate field. In all his areas of interactions with public and the community around he set examples to follow.

May god bless each one of us to develop good thoughts and deeds to the benefit of the society around us.

Ramesh Menon
31082009

Kadugodi Kobra Cup - A Cricket tournament to nurture unity and friendship

Kadugodi Kobra Cup - A Cricket tournament to nurture unity and friendship
video

During my recent visit to Bangalore, I was lucky enough to see the finals of a club Cricket tournament. Kadugodi Kobra Cup - named after the small village which occupies Whitefield and surrounding areas of Bangalore. The initial stages of the tournament had matches played between various local teams and on the day I was there, it was the Finals. The composition of the two teams attracted me very much. One team was filled with members of the building community of Golden Blossom who owned properties there and the opposition team formed workers and management staff of Golden Gate Properties. A thrilling final, typical with moments of heated arguments, run chases, run outs and of course the winning moments. To relive the Lagaan experience, the Workers/Management team won the cup. It gave me another opportunity to share the harmony and joy of winning and losing.

Good wishes to all the participants and team members. For individual photos, please email me at team1dubai@gmail.com

Ramesh Menon

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Passionate Photography Thoughts by Ramesh Menon - Archiving


Passionate Photography Thoughts by Ramesh Menon - Archiving

Dear Passionate Photographers,

A warm welcome to all the new members of Passionate Photographers group on Face Book. As the name denotes, you all have joined this group out of your interest for Photography. For any form of creativity there should be no boundaries or restrictions. Because, what I feel creative may not be the same for someone amongst you. But, it doesn’t mean that what I have done is not creative. So, with the above statement, I relax a mandatory condition kept for photo submission to this group. You can post photographs on any subject you feel interested and comfortable – except children and pornography. This is to keep our forum from any controversies or issues. However, if you are able to find time to post photos pertaining to the selected topics (Best Moments of your Summer holidays, Animals and Birds, Flowers, Smile) provided as Theme for Summer 2009, well and good. The theme is selected keeping in view of a competition planned for children to be conducted by Talent Share blog very soon. Also, please try to post limited numbers of photos each time selecting the best from your collection. This will make reviewing and editing work easy for our expert team.

Please also welcome Mr. J. H. Gaspar and Mr. Sujin Balakumaran to the expert team to guide us through a world of knowledge sharing and team building in the coming days. Mr. Gaspar has immense photography knowledge and a guru who nurtured photography talent to many. Mr. Sujin is a talented photographer, a team person and moreover, a friend for all who love to share knowledge and skills. I am sure we all will gain from both of them and their immense photography experiences.

In my previous communication, I touched the point of Discipline. This time, let me take you to Archiving. As a person who is passionate about photography and who likes to click photos without inhibition, I end up taking many pictures each day. Normally, What I do, is to do a transfer of pictures taken each day at the end of the day to a month-wise folder, systematically designed in my computer. This is done, when I keep my batteries for daily charging, so that main set of batteries and the spare are always fully charged each morning. I always take pictures in high resolution and when the transfer process is done and as I get time, I distribute copies of them to numerous folders, again systematically designed – say birds, animals, city scenes, autos, places, events, faces etc. This makes it easier for me to retrieve photos easily whenever I need a specific photo for a write-up or for presenting to a competition or for press. Normally, before posting on to my blogs or for that matter on any public portal, I resize the picture size to make it convenient for viewers to see them from any type or speed of access point they use, including PDA phones. This way it makes easy for normal readers to view and any time anyone interested in a high resolution of it could revert to me for viewing or any other commercial purpose. In addition, as I keep on clicking, I always keep a stock photo of a particular interesting situation for later use so that it never become a duplicate of what I submitted in the sites. The archiving system I developed is by trial and error and by experience. Currently with the help of bigger storage facilities like 500 GB hard disks and so on, keeping multiple version of our precious photography moments safe have become an easy task. However, for new viruses, there is always an easy access and I try to avoid using USBs and other connectors on common computers.

Wish to hear your comments and see your photography knowledge shared. Please invite any keen photographer who may be interested to share his knowledge and skills for our benefit and let us progress ahead each time we visit Passionate Photographers group.

Always keep your eyes open for a precious moment and have a great journey ahead.

God Bless.

Ramesh Menon
29082009

Friday, August 28, 2009

A journey from one festival to another

video

An elephant with its mahout on its way from one festival place to another.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 06/2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 06/2009


A municipality worker from Abu Dhabi Municipality harvesting the dates

Welcome to read my Daily Ramadan Thoughts on the 6th day of this holy month of Ramadan. Many times we conduct ourselves in different situations under the influence of various thoughts and moods. It may be deliberate or not but we get do these things as if we are under the influence of a magician. However, the almighty god always wish us to think only good and do the same, keeping aside even slightest of evil thought in all our deeds.

The other day, I was returning home from work nearer to the Iftar time. Taking my car out from the parking, I noticed another car blocking my way. Not seeing anyone inside, I honked the horn a few times. I noticed a well dressed person coming out from the nearby shop and then returning back again. I waited for about 10 minutes and seeing no response, I went in to the shop and enquired whether the owner was inside. Immediately the response came - from the shopper - who tried to convince me saying that it might have been by someone who went upstairs of that building. Seeing his quick response and seeing the embarassed face of the shopkeeper who was familiar to me, I realised who the real owner of the car was. I do not know from where I got the patience, I went back to my car and then reversed about 1 km to find an alternate route outside of that parking and proceeded.

A motorcycle specially made for Abu Dhabi Police on display at one of the malls.


Its important to keep away from doing or saying wrong things while observing the holy rituals. I wish all my friends all whom they love the goodness of this holy month of Ramadan.

Ramesh Menon
27082009

My Letters - Khaleej Times - Look Before You Cross



To read my letters to the news, please bookmark and visit Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 5/2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 5/2009



Moon during the month of Ramadan moon as it is seen here in Abu Dhabi

Today is the 5th day of the holy month of Ramadan. Many organisations are arranging Iftar evenings. It is an opportunity to break the fast together with everone, without any type of discremination. It is also an opportunit to feel the oneness and enjoy the blessings of a full days of deovtion to god. Please do not miss an opportunity to participate in an Iftar evening.

Difficulties or sadnes comes in different forms of types to all of us. How we overcome it and how we work our way out of it shows what type of person in life we are and to what level our success factor is. During my recent holidays I met a family of four. A father, mothe and two children. The family has already spent about 18 lakhs for various treatment for a terminal illness which the mother is suffering from. However, we found the family with full of happiness, living the day as it evolves out in front of them and do not worried about what is in store for them for the coming tomorrow. I also happened to meet another family. A young couple. When we went, the father was busy watching the share market analysis on the TV and mother was at work. Their only child - an year old girl - was lying in the bed watching the share market charts moving and the analysis happening with curiosity. When the mother comes back from work, the father will move on for his night shift. I was wondering about the child. Changing faces and changing times for the new generation. When are they going to get a few hours together - may be it also depends on the financial and recessional markets fate.

A mosque illuminated during the holy month of Ramadan.


Praying all good to happen to all the harmonious communities and social groups and gatherings during this holy month of Ramadan, I wish you all a wonderful Ramadan evening.

Ramesh Menon
26082009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 04/2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 04/2009



Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi decorated to greet the customers during the holy month or Ramadan

Into the 4th day of the holy month of Ramadan, my thoughts revolve around the same topics which I covered yesterday. Sometimes it is like this, some or other things remain for a longer time. It is the thought about the have's and have not's. It is about an interaction with a friend of mine who lost his job here due to recession recently. Well settled, he used to enjoy life in the fullest of possible ways. Leaving nothing for him every month, after his regular payoffs to his family, he enjoyed it to the best. Back home, with nothing much in hand as balance, thinking that whatever he transferred, he had a different approach from his relatives waiting for him. Just the same way it has happened for many others from here. Not easy to get a good job, and not used to this situation, he is in distress these days. On a casual meeting, I asked him, what do you do these days? And his answer to me was " Our state is very big and we have several long distance services during the day and night? I sit inside one of them and there goes by days or nights problems."

Let this holy month of Ramadan be an opportunity for all of us to think about those in need and help them in whatever we could.




Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi decorated to greet the customers during the holy month or Ramadan


Wishing another blessed day of Ramadan to all my friends.

Ramesh Menon

25082009

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 03/2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 03/2009

Abu Dhabi mall decorated to greet customers during the holy month of Ramadan

Within no time we are into the 3rd day of this years holy month of Ramadan. First two days of fasting and prayers have groomed our body and mind to a pious and divine environment. When I thought of writing today’s two points of importance came to me and presenting to you all as it is. Both are somehow connected with Iftar.

As part of Ramadan, we all donate generously to the poor. Sumptuous and pompous Iftar celebrations are also part of the daily fasting. While planning ahead with a detailed Iftar, take a minute and think about the numerous poor who cannot even afford to have a light refreshment to break their fast. Arrange only what is necessary and if you come out with excess fund, try to organise an Iftar for the poor and needy at their place. It may be a labour camp which you know of, or it may be offering to an association who does it on behalf of you. This is one of the most benevolent way of caring the poor and in turn following the path of devotion as guided in our holy books.

Second thought which came into my mind is of the road rage which happens regularly on our highways and streets before the Iftar timings. Many accidents happen and many arguments follow unnecessarily for several unwarranted reasons. Mainly just to reach home to break the fast with friends and relatives. Keep your calmness and observe the traffic rules and regulations. This will benefit you and your fellow road users to reach home safely and observe this days and the coming days religious observance with its fervour and blessings.

Abu Dhabi streets decorated to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan

Wishing another blessed day of Ramadan to all my friends.

Ramesh Menon
24082009

Dancing temple elephant of Kukke Subramanya

Dancing temple elephant of Kukke Subramanya
video

The most interesting part of my summer journey. The forest road towards the temple was extremely scenic and quite and it was raining while we drove towards the temple. Reaching there, and doing our routine prayers, we found that it was time for arathi and special pooja. So, with all the devotees we waited patiently and did not give much attention to the little temple elephant stationed inside. As soon as the temple bell rang, I noticed some changes in the elephant and then it became more prominent as the intensity of the ringing increased. As it was dancing, it held on to the bell tied on its neck and was ringing it to the tune of the music played by the musicians.

The temple is specially famous for removing sarpa dosha. Sachin Tendulkar visited this temple and performed special poojas one or two years ago when he was doing badly in cricket. Many others too visit for progeny.

I don't want to miss sharing a wonderful experience with you all. The temple is very famous and often visited by celebrities.

To read more about the temple, visit: Kukke Subramanya temple Kukke subramanya can be reached by road from Mangalore and Bangalore .KSRTC operates buses on a daily basis from these two places. The nearest airport is the the Bajpe Airport, the Mangalore International Airport, at a distance of 115 kms. The nearest railway station is Subramanya Road (SBHR) railway station on Mangalore-Bangalore railway route, which is 7 km from Kukke Subramanya. There is a daily passenger train service from Mangalore (Train No. 061/0652). The train leaves Mangalore at 10:30 a.m. and reaches Subrahmanya Road Railway Station by 1:00 p.m. One can catch a local transport from the station for a journey of 15 minutes to the temple (approx Rs. 20 per head).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Letters - THE NATIONAL - Catching up through letters



To read my letters to the news, please bookmark and visit Letters to the Editor

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 02/2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 02/2009



A supply tent by Abu Dhabi co-operative society to distribute free Iftar packets during Ramadan


We are into the 2nd day of this years holy month of Ramadan. Mankind celebrate religion and the rituals and festivities associated with it in various different ways. There is a saying in Malayalam which corresponds to the meaning Different people Different ways. Everything corresponds to it. While reading my thoughts, some of you might be wondering why all these?

Different religion, various gurus, several hundred thousand types of rituals have all fascinated me from my childhood. Similarly my effort to continue education in various fields. This constant effort has developed a continuous approach in me to find good in all whom I meet and all religions they follow and to provide me with a strong belief in god to do a devoted life for family and mankind. During my school and college days and all throughout the 22 years of expatriate life here, I have had the chance of having plenty of muslim friends. Knowing them well and caring about them and their families provided me opportunities to learn about their religion and culture more and more each time. This has strengthened my respect for them as well as the religion. I strongly believe, if one is good at science, there is no rule which says that he should not learn maths or arts? Offering good wishes to all good things associated with this holy month of Ramadan, may I continue to my thoughts on this 2nd day of Ramadan.

Having completed the 1st day of Ramadan and the Iftar, I am sure a certain group might find it exciting to follow. They are none other than our children. As we all know, many times, they observe quietly what we say, and do and carry with them an urge to carry out and follow their peers. The rituals associated with Ramadan is also one among them. As they see their parents, relatives and friends fasting throughout the day during the holy month of Ramadan, and in the evening, after sunset, pray together and the break the fast by taking Iftar together as a group. It creates a dedication within themselves to follow suite on their own for the first time and they do it with utmost devotion. A challenge to make sure that they are at par with their peers make them more dedicated to follow these holy rituals with ease. No wonder, the seeds of unity, dedication and oneness automatically gets planted in their mind from a very young age.

Let me take this opportunity to narrate an interesting interaction I witnessed during my travel back from summer holidays via Goa recently. A young goan guy and his son studying in Gr 2 was sitting next to me. They kept on talking about all topics under the son and the interaction was really interesting. As the airhostess came around serving soft and hot drinks, the father asked for two beers. Pointing towards his sons seat, he requested the airhostess to keep two more if permitted. She did it with a smile and turned. Immediately, the boy opened out, Dad, you are cheating. You know that I don’t drink. You should not have ordered on my behalf.! Myself, the airhostess and of course our dad, were surprised by the momentary reaction by that small child. Children they are innocent and their mind is simple and pure.

The holy month of Ramadan and the short working hours associated with it is a blessing in disguise for many to spend maximum time with children. Utilise it to the maximum and you will find god in everything. Through various bits and pieces of Talent Share activities I will be also here around and if you find it interesting, please do spare a few minutes to make sure your child participate in them.

Wishing another blessed day of Ramadan to all my friends.

Ramesh Menon
23082009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Daily Ramadan thoughts - 01/2009

My Daily Ramadan Thoughts - 01/2009


Mosque near Madinat Zayed Shopping complex Abu Dhabi

Today is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. It is the 9th month according to the Muslim calendar and very special to all muslims. From the time, I came to gulf, I enjoy following the fast and festivities associated with Ramadan. May be it is due to the religious upbringing I followed from my childhood which gave prominence to all religion and taught me to consider every one with importance irrespective of their caste or creed. May be this enthusiasm and belief is the force behind me to do the second edition of the Ramadan thoughts this year too. The first edition done last year was in Malayalam and many of my friends were unable to read it and I am following their request this year to do a version in English.

This is the month of August and days are longer than other months. That means fasting during the entire period of the day is a tough proposition to all, especially who do not fast regularly. It gives an added importance and virtue to this religious ritual and give a person a test to his commitment and belief.

During the month of Ramadan, muslims fast from dawn to sunset. It is therefore important that muslims and non-muslims do not eat, drink or smoke in public places during this period. All these are considered as an offence to the belief. Please also do not express any type of anger or swearing in public during this period.

Muslims pray five times during Ramadan. When the call for prayer is announced, it is required to keep silence and reduce the sound of any loud music or public announcements happening around.

Display of affection between men and women in public places should also be controlled during the holy month of Ramadan. Provocative clothing should also be avoided during Ramadan period.

Fasting muslims eat two meals a day during Ramadan, namely Suhour and Iftar. Suhour is a pre-dawn meal, taken to give enough strength to fast. Iftar marks the end of the fast just after the sunset and mainly water, fresh juice and dates are taken. The main course of food is taken later during the evening after performing the Maghrib prayers.


Iftar tents situated near the mosque at Madinat Zayed shopping complex Abu Dhabi

I will try to add daily a few pictures of how the society celebrates the holy month of Ramadan in this part of the world.

I wish all my friends blessings of this holy month.

Ramesh Menon
22082009