Saturday, April 30, 2011

Personal Touch - Short Take - GULF TODAY Dt. 30.04.2011

Personal Touch - Short Take - GULF TODAY Dt. 30.04.2011

Personal touch


I have a Parrot named Mittu, which whistles back whatever we prompt. I also have a good collection of plants in my balcony. These two have become an integral part in my life since some time. It all started as an attempt by us to return home every night whenever we venture outside. Having the thought of these members who cannot speak remaining un-attended have definitely worked in favour and achieved our goal towards it.

There are times when we cannot remain pledged to this commitment and recently it happened that we all had to go on emergency for an unplanned period.

As usual, I had to rely on my caretaker, who came diligently and fed the bird and watered my plant every day.

On my return, I found that our pet was looking thin with most of its feathers gone and the plants also looking lifeless. I knew immediately what the reason was. Within two or three days, they were both looking fine and healthy as before.

The secret was the personal attention, care and a few minutes of special time spent for each one of them. With the parrot, in addition to his regular food of sun flower seed, we used to give it bits and pieces of whatever vegetarian food, biscuits, bread etc we were having.

Constantly, we were keeping it active by talking or rather whistling to it and it was this personal touch that was missing for it. For the plants, each time when I watered, I made sure, if ever there is any weed or dried leaf on them and made it look neat and clean. This personal touch was missing for both of them.

No wonder the old saying in our epics “a personal touch in our deeds is the best rejuvenating medicine for all living beings” remains true forever.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A welcome change - Promising actions by Abu Dhabi authorities

A welcome change - Promising actions by Abu Dhabi authorities



It is always a relief to see when the authorities carries pro-active measures towards suggestion for a better living environment. Here is one such example of a speedier action by Abu Dhabi authorities. Further to my Community Report in Gulf News dated 23rd April, I am happy to blog that both the dangerous spots have been marked clearly giving sufficient warning for pedestrians. What is left is a garbage bin issue, and I believe it will be also handled efficiently soon.

My sincere thanks to GULF NEWS and Abu Dhabi authorities.

Ramesh Menon
29.04.2011


To read my community report of 23.04.2011, please click here or visit GULF NEWS online.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Exploring Abu Dhabi through Clicks and Writes - Abu Dhabi police celebrates first patrol vehicle

Abu Dhabi police celebrates first patrol vehicle




Under the slogan, our past is our heritage, and our heritage is our treasure, Abu Dhabi police is celebrating the 49th anniversary of launching its first patrol vehicle in April 1962.

The celebration is held at the commercial centers in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain on Friday and continues until the end of April.



“This celebration comes in commemoration of the first patrol vehicle ever launched by Abu Dhabi police in order to promote security and deliver various services, thus increases public confidence in police and develop partnership with the public”, said Major General Mohammed bin Al Awadhi Al Menhali, director general of Police Operations at Abu Dhabi police.

As from 15-30 April the members of the public will view both old and modern patrol vehicles in a procession organized at the Abu Dhabi Corniche. The oldest patrol, a caprice, will be delivering traffic tips and awareness for road users by giving them brochures bearing “ traffic rules are made for your safety and safety of others”.


As part of the celebration, 12 vehicles of various historical stages, including thrilling F999 and the Falcon Bike will be showcased.

To read the original, please read Abu Dhabi Police website.

Recklessness is the root problem - My Letters - THE NATIONAL Dt. 26.04.2011

My Letters - Recklessness is the root problem - THE NATIONAL Dt. 26.04.2011

Congratulations to Abu Dhabi Department of Transport for reducing speed limits. Every afternoon, I witness minivans carrying school children without seatbelts, speeding at the signals.


Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit THE NATIONAL online.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dangers to shoppers and residents - Commuity Report - Gulf News Dt. 23.04.2011

Dangers to shoppers and residents - Commuity Report - Gulf News Dt. 23.04.2011


Dangers to shoppers and residents

Iron rods on the pavement, uncovered openings and an overflowing dustbin near a mall

Text and Picture by Ramesh Menon, Gulf News Reader Published: 00:00 April 23, 2011

The Tourist Club Area (TCA) is a prime tourist, office and residential spot in Abu Dhabi.

Apart from the numerous office establishments, the shopping mall in the area has a good collection of eateries and entertainment and thus attracts many visitors each day.

It is therefore important to keep the surrounding areas neat, clean and safe for all those who visit it.




The most dangerous thing I have found in the area is a set of iron rods projecting out of the pavement near the Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal in front of the mall.

Several elderly residents walk along this route and an accident could happen at any time.

The section nearer to the mall has uncovered openings, which is another cause for worry.

Adding to all these problems is a dustbin, which is usually full and causes surrounding areas to get dirty because the cleaning staff from nearby buildings dump waste materials on the floor near it before depositing the content one by one into the bin's small mouth.

They do it every morning and this makes the area dirty the entire day.

Through this community report, I humbly request the authorities to tidy up this area as soon as possible.

— The reader is a technical officer based in Abu Dhabi

Be a citizen reporter. Tell us what is happening in your community. Write to us and send us your videos and pictures at readers@gulfnews.com

To read this in original, please visit GULF NEWS online

Caring hearts - Short Take - GULF TODAY - Dt. 23.04.2011

Caring hearts - Short Take - GULF TODAY - Dt. 23.04.2011




I was walking back along the long corridor when I heard a loud prompt from my back. “We know that you write regularly. Please write about our department.”

I turned and with a smile told the chief nurse on duty, “Sister, I had already put it as a topic on my writing list.”

Yes, for the last four years, the long drive to Mafraq hospital in Abu Dhabi and its long corridors leading towards the Oncology department have been a routine.

The doctors, the nurses, administration, support staff and the restaurant employees — They were all caring and were always willing to assist whenever we needed any emergency assistance.

As I collected the discharge report and medical history of my mother from the head nurse, we couldn’t speak to each other.

A wry smile eclipsed on our face. She knew very well that I will not be returning there for my mother’s purpose again.

While passing by the waiting area, I met a familiar patient, who has become a family friend by now. She was anxious to know why I had come alone. I did not tell her anything, as I said, I just came to collect some report.

But, she was smelling something, as we all knew each others’ treatment cycle and stage. Her eyes were speaking of anxiety as she turned her face not to speak further.

Yes, for the past few years, that long drive to Mafraq hospital from Abu Dhabi and the long walk through the scenic areas surrounding it were “our only picnic,” as it was told to me by mother during one of her trips.

It was a place bound to generate compassion but well maintained to conceal each individual’s privacy.

So, each of those patients returned from its exit gate, more revitalised and reassured with a prolonged stay in this world.

Thank you doctors and staff and let God give you more strength to serve patients suffering from the “Emperor of all maladies.”

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Solution for airport woes - My Letters -The National Dt. 19.04.2011

My Letters - Solution for airport woes - The National Dt. 19.04.2011
Travellers from Abu Dhabi airport are blessed with a choice of checking in 24-hours prior to their flight. But the current charge of Dh30 per person is on the high side, especially for those travelling in groups.


Passengers also don't gain any extra on baggage allowance checking in that way. This service charge could be lowered so that more passengers are attracted to it, thus reducing crowding at the airport.

Secondly, boarding passes issued from the City Terminal don't carry the gate numbers for departures. Passengers should be guided appropriately to avoid confusion and a last minute rush. A text messaging system could also inform passengers about their flights and gate numbers.

Thirdly, at the entry gate, staff on duty could allocate a priority line for baggage screening to those already carrying a boarding pass, or elderly passengers or those with special needs. This will avoid long queues.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit THE NATIONAL online.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mind Speaks - Arrival of Kochi Rajas - 2011 IPL T20

Mind Speaks - Arrival of Kochi Rajas - 2011 IPL T20




Well. Well. Well. A few weeks ago, I was writing against the domination of cricket and the prominence its players were getting when compared to other sports. Now, I am changing side. I haven’t got any bribe from the cricketing gods. It’s just because of the starting of the domination by some - individuals - underdogs like Paul Valthaty, Ravindra Jadeja, and - team - Kochi Tuskers Kerala playing in the 4th edition of IPL 2011.

A few days ago, everyone got carried away when Sachin Tendulkar got a 100 although getting out twice on his way to it. That day, while coming in to field, the whole of Mumbai Indian supporters including him and his team never believed the impossible to happen. They silently let loose a winning combination to perform and a team in its teething stages enjoy learning the “Will to Win”. With their bold decision to leave Muralidharan and Sreesanth out of the playnig eleven, Kochi Tuskers Kerala showed that the choice of playing good cricket is in the players hands. Wickets were falling at regular intervals and till the time Ravindra Jadeja hit those two powerful sixes, Mumbai Indians never really accepted that enemy have arrived in their front door, in fact already entered inside. I think it was an experience that would have taught Mumbai Indians to "never underestimate anyone" and today Chennai Super Kings too got a taste of this time proven mantra.

Every one might have thought that it was a one off display until the match that finished a few moments ago at Cochin with Chennai Super Kings. M S Dhoni and his team were unable to digest the fact that a team comprising of no big names when compared to theirs offering winning shake hands. Slow motion TV replays showed many of the players in yellow were unable to look at the face of Ravindra Jadeja. Its true, they just can’t believe or digest it. That was the effect of his sixes in this match that it could be termed the most outrageous act of recent cricket. It was as if he was proving a point or two to many.

Yes, this seasons T20 is proving out to be a commoners sports. Imagine any game that the village boys play with conviction and courage. It reminds me of my own younger days, when we used to play matches between village teams. Having left with limited cricket gears many times we go out to bat with one pad and one glows. We used to have a courageous young boy, Justin, amongst us, who worked part time as a taxi driver for his living. He was our trump card while playing bigger teams. He practiced with focus whenever he could get a chance that he was so accurate to hit the knee cap or toe end at any given opportunity to ball. He was thus lethal. When given the bat, the opposition had to always keep extra balls as his hits were outrageously huge to go far beyond our playground and reach the temple pond. Batters like Paul Valthaty and Ravindra Jadeja and our own RV Gomez with the ball brought back his memories. Its just a matter of will to win and winning ways.

Of course the rain gods kindness yesterday and the winning toss meant that it saved KTK from any further helicopter attack by MSD and company during the end overs.

For KTK batters like Brenden McCullum, Mahela Jayawardane, Parthiv Patil and Ravindra Jadeja have all stood up to the challenge they were thrown in. With no gimmicks or paints around, bowlers like RP Sing, R Vinay Kumar and Raphi Gomez comes in a bowl according to captains plans. We could see fielders throw in and "do all little little things right to get the final thing perfect". I am sure these winning ways and cool approach by Mahela Jayawardane will give sufficient learning opportunities, self control techniques and winning ways to some of our temperamental players. This is a long series and if they re-learn those tricks fast, they too can join the party from within the ground.

Well done KOCHI TUSKERS KERALA. MY COLOR IS ORANGE AND PURPLE from now on. Good luck to all of you in the future games. For viewers these T20 matches gives a few management techniques along with sheer joy of power cricket within the shortest time. No two minds - this game is going to stay longer and its players with more money.

Ramesh Menon
19.04.2011

Good and bad signs at the mall - My Letters - THE NATIONAL Dt. 18.04.2011

Good and bad signs at the mall - My Letters - THE NATIONAL Dt. 18.04.2011


Into the second day of an advertisement campaign about a showroom opening promotional deals for customers, I saw a huge queue of prospective and curious customers to the Abu Dhabi mall trade and business centre. Is it a prospective sign and shows increased customer spending? If so, it is a good sign for all of us.

On the other hand, this resurgent interest to visit the mall has created a complex traffic situation in the area. Traffic was slow moving and standstill for most of Thursday afternoon and continued the trend on Friday evening too. Abu Dhabi Mall area forms the mouth of the waves of traffic coming in and out of the city and any congestion in the area automatically leads to blocks elsewhere. It was experienced by all those who resides or work or had to reach the area during that time.

I wish authorities act fast and implement a systematic routing of the traffic to keep the flow continuous whenever such super scenarios arise.

In addition, mall authorities and shops should plan and provide special sales offers to customers only during after office hours and holidays. It will thus reduce access problems to those who wish to reach the embassies and offices situated in the area during regular office hours.

To read it in original, please visit THE NATIONAL online.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

KT is my Choice - My Letters - Khaleej Times Dt. 17.04.2011

KT is my Choice - My Letters - Khaleej Times Dt. 17.04.2011


* Congratulations to Khaleej Times for turning 33. As a reader who was lucky to read 22 years of your print path and progress, I have only words of praise for each one of your team members.

Let it start from the newsboy who diligently delivers the paper at my doorstep before 5:30 am each day. He has been one of the reasons for continuing the subscription and keeping our interest in ‘Young Times’ all those years it existed.

The pages, content style, presentation, paper quality, photos, local and regional news coverage, sports coverage, online edition, all have improved over the period.

Indeed, KT can take credit for several innovative marketing ideas, which benefitted its readers like, the insurance scheme for subscribers, KT exclusive business card, KT subscription linked credit card, KT special travel bag deals etc are some that come to our mind straightaway.

One thing we all miss is the absence of ‘Young Times’ from its wings. With limited opportunity for children skilled in non-performing arts, ‘Young Times’ was a boon to display their writing or drawing skills. We sincerely wish the day is not too far to see it back on the newsstands.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Unpredictable life - Short Take - Gulf Today Dt. 16.04.2011

Unpredictable life - Short Take - Gulf Today Dt. 16.04.2011




At the beginning of each week, I set aside a point to express through Short Take and accordingly I had completed a write-up by this morning.

Reaching office, I came to know of the unfortunate demise of a little girl, Nandana, the only daughter of the famous Indian singer, KS Chitra. As a music lover, I like her songs since the time she started singing in movies and have a good collection of them. As a keen observer of things, I have been watching her closely too.

They say when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Chitra with her music was a true example of this. After a wait of 15 years in her marriage, she was given this blessed child, who happened to be with special needs. She had no regrets and during a transit through Dubai airport and speaking to a friend of mine on duty at the transit desk of Emirates, she clearly mentioned about it.

During an early morning with a long queue of transit passengers, my friend noticed a vibrant little girl wearing a green frock playing around with her mother.

Having a closer look at the person, she understood who it was and looking at the girl, my friend thought she would go and help her to reach the front of the queue. They were on their way to South Africa via Dubai.

Denying the help offer, Chitra told my friend, “I do not have any problem waiting or please do not think that my child is giving trouble to me. I was praying all these years for a child, irrespective of a boy or girl and I couldn’t believe even now that God has given me such a loving child.” Indeed, Nandana was an affectionate child as my friend narrated many things about Chitra and her daughter, in disbelief, after hearing the sad news. It is a shock to all of us.

As a person who interacts with schools and organisations like Manzil and the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services taking care of children with special needs, I know how important and affectionate they are. Let me join millions of Chitra fans in offering prayers as no words can fill the vacuum in her life.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lessons from the last pile-up - My Letters - THE NATIONAL - Dt. 13.04.2011

Lessons from the last pile-up - My Letters - THE NATIONAL - Dt. 13.04.2011


In reference to Fog blamed for Abu Dhabi pile-up (April 3), the horrific accident that happened on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway reminded me of the pile-up that happened in October 2008.

At various times between these two periods, the press and authorities have warned road users of the dangers that prevail in this sector during bad weather days. It is a very dangerous situation on this particular stretch from Abu Dhabi to Dubai when visibility is less due to fog or sand storms.

Drivers forget the basics and continue speeding even as they are well aware of the dangers.

On March 26, on my way to Mafraq hospital at 6.00 am, I witnessed three near misses from speeding cars exiting the eastern ring road from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. This scene convinced me that police and transport authorities are helpless even if they introduce progressive measures like LED signage and modern speed cameras.

Congratulations to the Abu Dhabi authorities for constantly monitoring the situation and making changes as necessary to avert road accidents. Those traffic violators who speed ignoring the safety of fellow road users should be given compulsory community service at emergency and trauma units of major hospitals.

Safety is not a one-time activity. It is a 24x7 activity for all to make sure no pileups happen again on our roads.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit THE NATIONAL online.

Mind Speaks - Golden Music from a life without vision

Mind Speaks - Golden Music from a life without vision




  
I see this blind couple every day during my walk towards the bus stop and railway station at Whitefield, Banglore. Both are blind and earn a meager income by singing songs and bhajans on the street. By now, they have a fixed stretch of their own world connecting the Railway Station and the bus station. 

The music is simple, rhythmic and slow. I make it a point, a stop for a minute, watch them, listen to them whenever I pass by. It gives me an unknown joy and also in turn a minute of relaxation and stillness in my life.

I am getting to know them more and they too.

Enjoy a few precious seconds from one such stop.


video

Ramesh Menon
13.04.2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mind Speaks - Speed campigns should begin from individuals and organisations

Mind Speaks - Speed campigns should begin from individuals and organisations

Reading from India, The National online the reports of the horrific accident that happened in Abu Dhabi – Dubai highway and then the new control measures initiated by Abu Dhabi police ( No more 160kph on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai motorway - The National Dt. 11.03.2011)  reminded me of the pile up that happened in October 2008.

At various times between these two periods, the press and authorities have fore-warned the road users of the dangers that prevail in this sector during bad weather days. It is a very dangerous situation on this particular stretch from Abu Dhabi to Dubai when visibility is less due to fog or sand storm.

Drivers forget the basics and continue speeding even they are well aware of the danger behind such an act.

What is more strange is the fact that even during good weather days the driving habits are no different. In fact on 26th March, on my way to Mafraq hospital at 6:00 am, I witnessed 3 near misses from speeding cars, exiting the Eastern ring road from Abu Dhabi to Dubai before the 23rd street and after it (where there is a fixed camera which works all the time). These cars are mostly driven by night shift staff returning to their homes away from Abu Dhabi.

The scene was no different and speed no less, nearer to the Mafraq hospital roundabout, closer to 08:00 am as I witnessed staff speeding to reach the hospital before an 08:00 am start, particularly nearer to the roundabout close to the hospital. Could the hospital authorities kindly make a note of this impending dangerous situation which can turn nasty on any given day.

These scenes and experiences clearly convince that police and transport authorities are helpless even if they introduce progressive measures like LED signage, modern speed cameras etc to control speeding and avert dangers on the road.

The onus remains on organizations and individuals to educate the after effect of such a man-made calamity. Congratulations to Abu Dhabi authorities for constantly monitoring the situation and making changes as necessary for averting road calamities. Those traffic violators who speed ignoring the safety of fellow road users should be given compulsory community service at emergency and trauma units of major hospitals.

Safety is not a one time activity. It is a 24x7x365 activity for all to make sure no such incident happen again on our roads.

I also suggest THE NATIONAL to start the road safety campaign once again in co-ordination with the police and road transport departments.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Monday, 11th April 2011



Mind Speaks - Are you an Indian – then a life without cricket is going to be difficult?

Mind Speaks - Are you an Indian – then a life without cricket is going to be difficult?
Watching the ICC World Cup 2011 finals from the oncology ward of a hospital in Bengaluru, I realized one important thing. The sport and its players have the top most privileges and audiences in India. Every activity was suspended during the second session. Even operations were postponed and doctors, patients and bystanders all watched the game on tv screens with interest. The roads were almost empty and as the game progressed the discussions also. Why Sreesanth was played, and then why not he was not given a suitable slip field placement which would have given him one or two prize wickets, why not Ashwin instead of him were all valid discussions happening around till the time MS Dhoni hit the winning six. Then it was all jubilation, everyone forgetting their pain within for a momentary period.

It was interesting to see the after-effects of the victory too. Politicians competing with each other in giving money and then land to the players. I am also joining in the celebration with all my fellow Indians, and at the same time raising my concern about the neglect of other sports by top leaders and bureaucrats to support their development. This frenzy and festivities now followed immediately by the ongoing IPL 4 matches. The feel and fever for cricket is non-stop and persistent in our blood now.

Interestingly, cricket is also bringing in plenty of superstitious elements into the youth and adults alike. May be one may argue it is all statistics but again, is it all statistics? I am not sure.

One thing I am sure, every young player who takes up cricket cannot be as lucky as S Sreesanth or cannot be as hardworking and lethal as Lasith Malinga. Let all sports and personnel get equal coverage.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Monday, 11.03.2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Unique Weight loss Fundraiser : Lose to GAIN by Manzil

A Unique Weight loss Fundraiser : Lose to GAIN by Manzil

Manzil is launching a unique Weight loss Fundraiser. The concept is to “Lose 2 Gain” which will be a collective fundraiser, open to all who want to lose weight. Participants will enrol in the competition and will have their team of supporters who will back them up with donation pledges for kilo they lose. So instead of one winner and a bunch of losers, what is unique about this competition is that, regardless of who loses how much, everyone is helping to benefit the larger cause. While it may be a personal goal for many of the participants, the larger goal that will have them signing up and keep them motivated is the money they are raising for charity.

We would really appreciate your participation in any form & support this cause.

Please pass on the campaign details to your family & friends.

Campaign for Corporates:


Campaign for Public

Please pass on the campaign details to your family & friends.