Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Photo Speaks - Maqta Bridge Abu Dhabi

Photo Speaks - Maqta Bridge Abu Dhabi

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Photo Speaks - Dhows on repair

Photo Speaks - Dhows on repair
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Photo Speaks - Reflections

Photo Speaks - Reflections

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Photo Speaks - Abu Dhabi at night

Photo Speaks - Abu Dhabi at night

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Mind Speaks - Importance of Learning the Basics - story of Raghu and Appu

I hope you all read what is posted here periodically. Today, I am posting an earlier write-up of mine (done in 2008). Thought of submitting here as the content may be of interest to some of you.

Look forward to your comments.

Importance of Learning the Basics - story of Raghu and Appu

Eid Al Fitr is over and the holy week of Navaratri is on. As I wrote here earlier, I was really enjoying each moment of this year’s Eid break. Traveling with the minds of a group of creative children, I was literally following the management mantra for happiness - enjoy each moment of what you are doing and find happiness in whatever you do.

This is a week dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi and let me come to you with a true life story happened.

It was not very long ago. And as usual, it happened in my home state Kerala. There was a master who taught Tayambaka (a percussion form of performing arts using chenda – the traditional Keralite drums). He was a legend and had many students. It is not very easy to learn this instrument and students have to practice first, on a stone with wooden sticks before they were given an opportunity to play on the real drum. At one stage he had two students who came to him to learn this art. One boy, let us call him Raghu, who had a flare for percussion instruments, joined our master to learn this art along with his friend Appu.

Day’s passed, weeks passed, the master made both of them play only the basics steps on the stone, repeatedly as the students came for their class each day. Those were the days which students have to come every day to learn and practice an art or a subject of knowledge from their Gurus residence. It was not like now, when you find an hour per week for an art at one institute or one master’s place and sit and then rush to the other class the same day or the next day and try to seek a different subject or art from a different master. It is all capsule form of learning arts now.

After a couple of months continuing with the basic steps, and not happy with the way he was being denied of an opportunity to switch to the real drums to play, Raghu asked his master, why he was being sidelined?

Whereas, Appu was quite and totally followed whatever his master taught him daily and practiced it home too.

One day, impatient as ever he is, Raghu argued with his master, Sir, I feel I am proficient enough to play in real times. Why don't you give me an opportunity to prove it?.

The master smiled and said, ok, both you and Appu started together. So both of you come with your drums on Sunday to the temple with me for a performance. Only one condition, you should show the confidence and concentration to play without missing even a single beat for the entire duration of the performance.

Accepting the challenge, the students came with their drums to join the master and his team. For traditional way of performing a Tayambaka, the lead player will be accompanied by a group of others, who plays accompanying beats in rhythm and they follow several routines. The master before the performance began, announced that today he is going to introduce his two students to perform for the first time. While carrying on his praise for his students, the intelligent and observant master also announced that for the first time he will introduce a new method of performance where the students will switch in between their performance and not play throughout.

With lots of enthusiasm both Raghu and Appu started playing with the group and Raghu was smiling in full glee looking at the master and the others how he was managing. The performance started well and as the stage progressed along with it, Raghu started getting cramps on his hands and legs. The Chenda he was carrying was very huge for his age and he was getting to realize the feel of performing live with focus and concentration. Sweat particles started coming in and body was itching here and there. However, he had to hold on to his master’s words of guidance to never miss even a beat while performing. It was significant too, as a second delay in any of the beat will be realized by all and he will be exposed.

The master too, as ever watching his student’s each movements, noticing the twists and twirls of his student. All the instructions and communications between the performers on stage happened through eye contacts, master told Raghu to switch over with Appu, who was playing in the second line that time, concentrating on his rhythmic beats rather than the lead beats.

Appu, bowing his master, came forward and continued from there on. The master gave him opportunity to transfer from one stage to another in tempo and beats while performing. Alt throughout the leraning time, he had been concentrating on the basic notes, and during those precious time he was with his master, Appu was listening to various types of beats and rhythms his master was practicing and was playing and visualizing them all in his mind during his free times. When the time came to perform live, and when he finished the initial stage phobia, Appu was slowly transforming into his creative elements automatically. Constant practice had given him focus, strength for his hands and stamina to play longer and in higher tempo and everyone who watched him perform thoroughly enjoyed.

What to tell, by the time, the performance was completed, all present realized who the real student was and also the value of learning thoroughly the basics before putting it into practice. Both Raghu and Appu prostrated in front of their master and Raghu apologized to him profusely for his over enthusiasm.

In real life, we get to see many students like this. Some are over enthusiastic and try to forget to learn the basics thoroughly. Some, of them, even if they know the basics, get carried away from it, due to other obstructions. As I wrote here earlier, this is the time when many children get to learn a new art, craft or talent. Dear Children, and Dear Parents, do not rush to get to see your children perform in the real life and real scenes. Give them time and favorable environment to learn the basics. There will be many instances when you will be tempted by influences to enroll your child to perform without learning and mastering the basics. It will kill the creativity and in-born artistic talents in your child to improvise on their own at a later stage.

Wishing every child and every parent who reads this article a Happy Navarathri, blessed Vijaya Dashmi, Vidhyarambam and a successful saga of continuous and sustained learning.

Ramesh Menon


Team 1 Daily LAWS - Air India ...... Spare India

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One day drawing painting workshop at Abu Dhabi

Dr. P. K. Pokker, Director of Kerala Bhasha Institute in Kerala Social Centre on 26th September 2009

Dear Friends,

Dr. P.K. POKKER, famous orator and socio-cultural activist speaks on “Intervention and culture(Adhiniveshavum Samskaaravum)” on 26th September 2009, Saturday at 8.30 P.M. in a function held in connection with closing ceremony of BOOK COLLECTION CAMPAIGN WEEK, aimed at increasing the quantity and improving the quality of Kerala Social Centre’s prestigious library as well as to propagate reading habit.

More books will be received at the function from those who wish to contribute generously to the K.S.C. library.

Pls. make the occasion a memorable one with your august presence in Kerala Social Cente.

With Best Regards,

Safarulla Palappetty, Joint Secretary, Post Box No. 3584, Kerala Social Centre, Abu Dhabi, U. A. E.

Music unlimited

Music unlimited

Music unlimited

ExpressBuzz Kochi 24 Sep 2009

KOCHI: If you are on the lookout for those missing pieces to complete your musical collection, head straight to the Women’s Association Hall. You will find everything from ‘lalitha sahasranamam’ to Michael Jackson’s hits along with a wide collection of films at the music fair going on there. It is being organised by Viji Music for the ninth year for Kochi’s music lovers.

The highlight of the fair is a vast collection carnatic and hindustani music CDs. Albums by living legends and late maestros of both the genres are on display. All those evergreen oldies from Tamil, Hindi, English and Malayalam are also available along with instrumental music, fusion music, sufi music, gazals and qawwalis.

For kids there is a wide range of entertaining and informative CDs. Nursery rhymes, animated Arabian tales, Aesop fables, Panchatantram stories, Tom & Jerry, Charlie Chaplin, Cinderella, My Friend Ganesha, Bobanum Moliyum, Thenali Raman, Chundu Kurukkan, Ramayan, Agatha Christie...

the list goes on. There are educational and informative CDs like Spoken English, Alphabets Made Easy, Maths Made Easy, Inventions and Discoveries and Sudoku.

There is a collection of youth festival CDs that covers almost all competitive items including light music, bharatanatyam, thiruvathira, group dance, mohiniyattom, folk dance, recitation, koodiyattom, kuchupudi, ottan thullal, group song, margam kali, kol kali, chakyar koothu, oppana, monoact, Kerala nadanam and aravana muttu.

You will find a number of folk song CDs popularised by cine star Kalabhavan Mani and kadhaprasangam hits by the late V Sambashivan. The collection of devotional songs is amazing as it has CDs from all religions. Ashtapadhi, chendamelam, panchavadyam, kalyana melam and shingari melam are also available and if you are interested in kathakali you can take your pick from Santhana Gopalam, Banayudham, Uthara Swayamvaram and much more. You will also find ONV, Kadammanitta, A Ayyappan, Anil Panachooran and may others here. Collections of hit songs by Yesudas, M G Sreekumar, Chitra, Asha Bhosle, Pankaj Udhas, Jagajit Singh are available along with old hits of ABBA and MJ.

You can find those black and white films of the 60s sharing space with the latest Bollywood flicks. There is a good collection of Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi films of the past years. Music therapy CDs to cure diseases and yoga and meditation CDs are also on offer.

Books on music, especially classical music, are available too. A number of books on the legends of Indian cinema and dances of India are on display. Legends of Indian cinema features Guru Dutt, Mehaboob Khan, Sivaji Ganeshan, P C Barua and Sohrab Modi while the series on dance cover kuchupudi, kathakali, mohiniyattom, kathak, and odissi. The books also have excellent pictures of dance forms and snippets on the lives of the artists.

The fair is on till September 30. Drop in any time between 9 am and 9 pm.

The organisers are also conducting a musical and percussion contest on the sidelines of the fair. For participating in the contest contact 9446463158 or 9446539836.
To read the original article, please click here.

Kuldeep M Pai

Kuldeep M. Pai stands in the forefront of the next generation of star performers of Carnatic music. With several years of pleasantly arduous training in vocal as well as instrumental music, continuously honed by some of the greatest of Indian musicians, Kuldeep’s music has a multi-directional discipline and feeling that are evident in his performances. His training in playing several accompanying instruments manifests clearly in the way he engages with the accompanying artists and their music.

Kuldeep M. Pai’s training began as early as age three, at Kochi from where he hails. His obvious versatility in playing mridangam, violin and harmonium were duly nurtured with adequate training. Kuldeep’s musical lineage is an illustrious one – he has been trained by Vidwan Shri N. P. Ramaswamy (Kochi) and later in Chennai by Vidwan Shri O. S. Thyagarajan. Vidwan Shri Mannargudi Easwaran has provided Kuldeep with a specialised training in the highly nuanced technical aspects of rhythm in Carnatic music. Kuldeep also has the academic vista open for him what with a Gold Medal in his Masters Degree in Indian Music from the University of Madras, Chennai.

Visit his website for more info:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shiveli at Kollur Mookambika Temple

Shiveli at Kollur Mookambika Temple

It is Navarathri time and Hindus all over pray to different forms of Devi during the days of Navarathri, for peace, prosperity, vigour etc etc. One particular temple stands out in terms of devotees during Navaratri in terms of devotees and that is Kollur Mookambika temple. Devotees, especially those who are interested in arts, music and all literary forms pray to Mookambika Devi for blessings in abundance for prosperity in their chosen field. During my recent visit I had an opportunity to visit the temple and it was the Shiveli (procession) time. During this procession, the idol of Mookambika Devi is carried on head by the chief priest and it happened that when he reached the main entrance where I was staying, he started conversing with a person accompanying him so that the idol on top was pointing directly towards my direction where I was standing and recording this video. May be the goddess had in mind that time to give darshan indirectly to all her devotees worldwide through this medium. Submit the same with prayers and pranams at the lotus of feet of goddess saraswathi.

(The sloka chanted by Indra)

Indra Uvacha: Namasthesthu Mahamaye Sreepeethe Surapoojithe Sankha Chakra Gada Hasthe Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: I offer my worship to Maha Lakshmi, who symbolizes the great illusion and who is worshipped by all Devas. I worhip Maha Lakshmi who resides in Sri Peetam and who carries Sanku(Conch), Chakram(Disk) and Gadha(Club) in her hand.

Indra Uvacha: Namasthe Garudaroodhe Kolasura Bhayankari Sarva Papa Hare Devi Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: I offer worship to the one who has Garuda bird as her vehicle and who was feared by even Demon "Kola". I worship Maha Lakshmi who destroys all sadness.

Indra Uvacha: Sarvagne Sarva Varade Sarva Dushta Bhayankari, Sarva Duhkha Hare Devi Maha Lakshmi Namosthute

Indra speaks: I offer worship to the one who is all knowing, giver of all boons, remover of all dangerous enemies. I worship Maha Lakshmi who is remover of all afflictions.

Indra Uvacha: Siddhi Buddhi Pradhe Devi Bhukthi Mukthi Pradayini Manthra Moorthe Sada Devi Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Maha Lakshmi confers great powers, desires, good intellect, enjoyment and Liberation (heaven). I worship Maha Lakshmi who is the personification of all mantras and who is ever shining and radiant.

Indra Uvacha: Adyantharahithe Devi Adi Sakthi Mahesvari Yogaje yoga Sambhoothe Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Maha Lakshmi is the one who is without beginning or end. She is the primordial energy and Maheswari. I worship Maha Lakshmi who was created out of yoga and who sustains yoga sakthi.

Indra Uvacha: Sthoola Sookshma Maharowdhre Mahasakthi Mahodhare Maha Pape Hare Devi Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Maha Lakshmi represents both the gross and the subtle manifestations of life. She is very scary to the bad. She is the great energy. I worship Maha Lakshmi who destroys the greatest sins.

Indra Uvacha: Padmaasana Sthithe Devi Para Bramha Swaroopini Paramesi Jaganmathar Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Maha Lakshmi who has lotus as her seat symbolizes the ultimate reality. I worship Maha Lakshmi who is Parameswari and the mother of the universe.

Indra Uvacha: Svethambharadhare Devi Nanalankara Booshithe Jagat Stithe Jaganmathar Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Wearing white clothes Devi Maha Lakshmi is adorned completely with jewels. I worship Maha Lakshmi who is the omnipresent Devine Mother.


Maha Lakshmi Ashtakam Stotram
Ya: patheth Bhakthiman Naraha
Sarva Siddhi Mavapnothi Rajyam Prapnothi Sarvadha
Yeka Kalam Pathem Nithyam Maha Papa Vinasanam
Dwi Kalam Ya: Pathen Nithyam
Dhana Dhanya Samanvithaha
Thri kalam Ya:Pathen Nithyam
Maha Shathru Vinasanam
Maha Lakshmir Baven Nithyam
Prasanna Varadha Subha

Benefits of Chanting this Sloka: The one who chants the above sloka with devotion will get all desires fulfilled and will inherit great land. Chanting this sloka once daily destros all sins. Chanting this sloka twice daily will bring the devotee wealth and grains. Chanting this sloka three times a day will help destroy powerful enemies. It will always enable to obtain the direct, auspicious grace of Maha Lakshmi.

Devotees are urged to learn the proper pronunciation of the sloka with the help of someone who knows the Sanskrit version

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Performers at a shopping mall during Eid 2009

Performers at a shopping mall during Eid 2009 A set of Lebanese performers during Eid days at a shopping mall. The fun part of this photo was - there were hardly any audience to watch these two performing (probably that is what they were trying to convey through the phone and their facial expressions) where as an adjacent standwith a Jordanian group had a big crowd to cheer them. Enjoy viewing the photos and watching the video.

FEKCA Onam 2009 - Kerala Colleges Alumni Onam Celebration details

FEKCA Onam 2009 - Kerala Colleges Alumni Onam Celebration details

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid programmes at Kerala Social Centre Abu Dhabi

Eid programmes at Kerala Social Centre Abu Dhabi

Members and families of Kerala Social Centre Abu Dhabi celebrated Eid 2009 with it's full harmony and joy. Here are some pictures from the cultural programmes organised by members this evening.

My Letters - Gulf Today - Wrong attitude

My Letters - Gulf Today - Wrong attitude

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

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Letters - Khaleej Times - All set to handle the crowd

My Letters - Khaleej Times - All set to handle the crowd

I always write about the positive aspects of photography and it's influence on our self to elevate our mind. I believe that interest in photography give a cutting edge to a person to be alert for opportunities and value each and every second that is available. This photo is an example of such a precious moment. At the Terminal 3 of Dubai airport, just after the Iftar on an evening, with not many flights landed and being the first few to reach for the immigration counters, I suddenly noticed a golden scene in front of me. For those who travel through Dubai airport, they will realise the importance of it as they will always find a long queue of passengers lined up for immigration check.

Playing in the mind is another important point which I wish to convey through this photo. One doesn't need a high tech camera to come out with excellent pictures. It's all in the mind and the knowledge of the equipment at your disposal. Like a quick run out on a cricket field or a quick shift of gears on our bike or even sudden change of beats on the Tabala according to varying and demanding situations we come across. One needs to listen and observe carefully every opportunity available and play it in the mind several times and then practise without inhibition and then when that precious moment comes, you will never miss it.

God bless, Keep clicking and have a great day ahead.

Ramesh Menon

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ഉപചാരപൂര്‍വ്വം ഒരു ദൈവീക വിടവാങ്ങല്‍

ഉപചാരപൂര്‍വ്വം ഒരു ദൈവീക വിടവാങ്ങല്‍

ഉപചാരപൂര്‍വ്വം ഒരു ദൈവീക വിടവാങ്ങല്‍

തൃശൂര്‍ ജില്ലയിലെ ആറാട്ടുപുഴ പൂരവും അതിനോട് അനുബന്ധിച്ചുള്ള മറ്റു ക്ഷേത്രങ്ങളിലെയും ഉത്സവങ്ങളോട് അനുബന്ധിച്ച് കാണുന്ന ഒരു ചടങ്ങാണ് ഉപചാരം. ഉത്സവം എല്ലാം കഴിഞ്ഞതിനു ശേഷം ദേവി ദേവന്മാര്‍ തമ്മില്‍ തമ്മില്‍ ഇനി അടുത്ത കൊല്ലം കാണാം എന്ന് പറഞ്ഞു പിരിയുന്ന ഒരു ചടങ്ങ്. കോലം അഥവാ തിടമ്പ് എത്തിയ ആനകള്‍ നേര്‍ക്ക്‌ നേര്‍ നിന്ന് തുമ്പിക്കൈ പൊക്കി മൂന്നു തവണ അഭിവാദ്യം ചെയ്യുന്നതോട് കൂടി ഈ ചടങ്ങ് അവസാനിക്കുന്നു.

ഈ വീഡിയോ ഇന്നലെ സൂര്യ ടീവിയില്‍ കാണിച്ച ക്ഷേത്രായനം എന്ന പരിപാടിയില്‍ തൈക്കാട്ടുശ്ശേരി ഭഗവതി അമബളത്തിലെ ഉത്സവ ചടങ്ങുകളില്‍ ഒന്നായി ഓടിച്ചു കാണിച്ചിരുന്നു. സൂര്യ ടീവിയോടു കടപ്പാട് ഇത് കാണിച്ചതിന്.

Calling it a day - Mail from a fellow community journalist based in UAE

Calling it a day - Mail from a fellow community journalist based in UAE

All Clients,Friends and well wishers,

I am sincerely thanking you all for the support given to me in my Profession and motivation for my writing.Eventhough I am Departing from this Goldenopportunity country in the Middle of October to my Home town Chennai,My memory will bealways with you ,because i have spent 16, Glorious years,till the Metro is on the wheels. I am giving below my Mail id as well my blogs which I want your continuous motivation,to present better in the days to come.

with warm regards.


Dear Ragavan Sir,

We travel by bus or train on a regular basis and interact with a fellow passenger on the way inside or during our walk to the station and then it becomes an everlasting friendship or bondage. Ours have been a similar one. We met through the columns of Khaleej Times, Gulf News, Gulf Today and The National and although I got to know you and interact with you at this later part of your stay in the UAE, it has been a short and sweet one. Our objectives have been more or less the same, i.e. to react pro-actively for the welfare of the society around us. This is a continuous process, and I am sure, wherever you go, you will not be able to stay away from it. Loss of UAE, is going to be a blessing for Chennai and India.

Good luck Sir for your retirement life and God bless you to have many more peaceful, prosperous and socially active years ahead.

Ramesh Menon
Abu Dhabi

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kadugodi Fly Over - A need for Bridging a commuting gap

Kadugodi Fly Over - A need for Bridging a commuting gap

Being a resident of Kadugodi village, whitefield area, I always have to depend on the Whitefield railway gate to go across to the main town. The fly over to ease the smooth flow of traffic at the Kadugodi area / Whitefield station, which is situated just in front of the Sai Baba ashram has been remaining incomplete for a considerable period of time. Every train passing through the station, a lot of man hours is being wasted, waiting for the railway gate to be opened for another couple of minutes of traffic flow, before a train arrives. This is to be considered as this road connects the village to Whitefield and has an easy access towards the airport road and many prominent institutions situated in and around. Precious time lost by all every time they use this road, without any sign of this incomplete work being carried out in the near future enabling smooth passage too and fro. Photo of the incomplete bridge is attached herewith.

Through a series of email and news postings, I sincerely request authorities to consider completion of this essential fly over for general public without any further delay.

Thanking you in advance and sincere regards to all your excellent administrative and public convenience measures.

Ramesh Menon
Team 1 Blogs

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Letters - GULF NEWS - Reader Pictures of the day

My Letters - GULF NEWS - Reader Pictures of the day

It is interesting to participate in competitions as it gives an idea to where we stand, even if we ends up as a loser. With this always in mind, I regularly participate in various opportunities in the field of photography, writing, drawing or playing percussion instruments or even sports to make a self assessment. I was surprised to receive an sms as earl as 6:30 am yesterday from my friends and emails also after seeing the above photos coming in print in the Gulf News Daily. There was no mention, other than Ramesh Menon and Abu Dhabi and of course their title "extremely active community journalist". As one of them said to me quoting the old saying from Mahabharatha - if it is Kheechaka then, it is Bhima who killed him, we were sure it is you only, whether it is a photo or an article for the need of public facilities.

True, I do care about the society around, whether it is here in the UAE, or back home in Kerala or at Bangalore. Thank you all for your continued support.

Team 1 blogs and the thoughts and messages through it is slowly evolving as an inspiring group of members, who not only react to the anomalies happening around but also come out with progressive measures for the benefit of the society. More than that it the assurance that we are there for those who need, when they are in need. We can and Together we try.

God bless and have a great day ahead.

Ramesh Menon

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

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Passionate Photography Thoughts - Photos that speaks

Passionate Photography Thoughts - Photos that speaks

Dear Friends,

First of all let me welcome our new members who joined the Passionate Photographers group since my last communication with you. As the name denotes this is a group intended to ignite your passion for photography. How this group and your presence as a member can fuel the growth of your photography knowledge and photographic output depends on your active involvement within. Please therefore read the limited number of discussion threads present here to get a basic idea of interactions happening here.

Our interest in photography make us curious onlookers of any photo posts either in print or web media. Many times some of the best creations are produced by experts with the latest equipment available to them. It may be wide variety of lenses, lighting equipments or even models or subjects who are professionals to modulate the subjective topic into a magical visual experience. However , many of us do not have these advantage factors and the same should never hold us from continuing our passion to go in without inhibition and capture that magical and price moment which comes in front of you.

How can you do it? This is where an open attitude towards this hobby and creative activity comes in. Many of us are fond of cricket. Now imagine getting a chance to play at the beautiful Sheikh Zayed cricket stadium for a T20 match. A golden opportunity from out of the blue. You get to bowl only 24 genuine balls against your opposition. It is here your mind plays the key role. If you have been a player who plays cricket, you always play the game in your mind several times. The situations, the pros and cons, the weather conditions, the batsman whom you may play against. All those things are practiced and perfected in mind. Also your own positives and negatives, the effectiveness of your equipment like bat and other gears. All the factors compares to a photographic opportunity which comes to you suddenly.

Imagine you have a digital camera which is not a very high end model. First thing for you is to study it’s numerous features and their effectiveness on different light situations and surroundings. For this you have to keep on clicking, changing each and every option and testing it out. Like the bowler, who bowls numerous overs in the nets and perfect that unplayable Yorker, doosra or theesra or whatever, you too have to test the various options several times. This will make you comfortable and quick fingered to change the settings to the required mode to capture your object within the minutest of seconds available. In photography, seconds or milliseconds are precious. It teaches you the importance of time within time. This is why I say and propagate, those who are interested in photography, normally succeed in all other fields of life.

Constant practice make you comfortable and experienced with your equipment. Like the same way you change gears on a fast track, you will be able to switch over to various modes within the applicable precious seconds available at your disposal. This is how you get to see extremely interesting photographic moments captured by photo journalists. Regular members of photography related groups can visualize the amount of devoted effort by professional photographers to give us a golden moment. Examples like a boy jumping into a running bus, an mad elephant attacking a man, a sprinter finishing the race etc are some of them.

Lighting is another important factor that aides to a perfect picture. What do we do, if we are not equipped with specialized lighting equipments. What more you need than the natural and greatest light providers – i.e the Sun and the moon. Through constant observation, a photography enthusiast will be able to learn about different light options available during different times of the day and night. Your photography life becomes easy once you start understanding these natural settings better. Positioning yourself in the right spot to gain the advantage of these lights will then do wonderful effect your otherwise normal equipment and settings. By constant practice and observations you will learn the best settings for any particular scene to look priceless.

Observe closely each and every photo you get to see, especially of experts and professionals. Play the settings in your mind like a bowler and you will never know when that priceless moments comes clicking in front of you. Try it and your Photo will definitely speak the next time.

Our growth has been slow, but steady. A look at the photo section of the Passionate Photographers prove how we all grow each day. We can see several examples from passionate photographers.

I sincerely look forward to your comments and guidance notes from experts who are members here. Mere onlookers will never do good for the growth and knowledge share of this community. I repeat what I wrote in my previous communication about the accidental death of my brother in law holds good here also. Timely interactions and active involvement is extremely important for keeping the pulse of a community clicking along. If you are a professional with experience, please do not remain an unworthy onlooker. This is my sincere request.

God bless and have Passionate Photographic days ahead.

Ramesh Menon

Monday, September 7, 2009

മാപ്രാണം പള്ളിയില്‍ തിരുനാളിന്‌ കൊടിയേറി

മാപ്രാണം പള്ളിയില്‍ തിരുനാളിന്‌ കൊടിയേറി
മാപ്രാണം ഹോളിക്രോസ്‌ തീര്‍ത്ഥകേന്ദ്രത്തില്‍ കുരിശുമുത്തപ്പന്റെ തിരുനാളിന്‌ കൊടിയേറി. മാര്‍.ജോസഫ്‌ പാസ്റ്റര്‍ നീലങ്കാവില്‍ പതാക ഉയര്‍ത്തി. സെപ്‌തംബര്‍ 12 വരെ കുരിശിന്റെ കപ്പേളയില്‍ വൈകീട്ട്‌ 5.30ന്‌ നൊവേന, വചനസന്ദേശം ,13ന്‌ വൈകീട്ട്‌ 5ന്‌ വഴിപാട്‌ തിരിതെളിയിക്കല്‍ എന്നിവ നടക്കും. 14ന്‌ രാവിലെ 6.30,7.30, ഉച്ചതിരിഞ്ഞ്‌ 3നും ദിവ്യബലി. പള്ളിയുടെ പേരും ചിത്രവും മുദ്രണം ചെയ്‌ത തപാല്‍സ്റ്റാമ്പ്‌ 14ന്‌ പുറത്തിറക്കും. കേന്ദ്രസഹമന്ത്രി പ്രൊഫ.കെ.വി.തോമസ്‌, പി.സി.ചാക്കോ എം.പി. തുടങ്ങിയവര്‍ പങ്കെടുക്കും, രാവിലെ 10ന്‌ ആഘോഷമായ തിരുനാള്‍ പാട്ടുകുര്‍ബ്ബാനക്ക്‌ ഫാ.ആന്റോ പാണാടന്‍ മുഖ്യകാര്‍മ്മികനാകും. വൈകീട്ട്‌ 3.30ന്‌ തിരുനാള്‍ പ്രദക്ഷിണം 7ന്‌ വിശുദ്ധ കുരിശിന്റെ തിരുശേഷിപ്പ്‌ ചുംബിക്കല്‍ എന്നിവ നടക്കും.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ramadan lightings - Abu Dhabi Corniche Street

Ramadan Lightings at Abu Dhabi Corniche Street. In order to welcome the holy month of Ramadan, Corniche Street, one of Abu Dhabi's major drive way, is decorated with beautiful lightings. Traffic is light during the post Iftar time and here is a video taken by my wife Rajashree during a pleasant evening drive, with our favorite music on.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Letters - THE NATIONAL - Anxious wait for taxis and buses

Anxious wait for taxis and buses
With schools starting and most expatriates back from holidays, we are facing the same old problem: no taxi or bus available in the morning. During post-iftar time, the scene is no different. Everywhere, huge crowds wait anxiously for a taxi or bus to come. I request the authorities consider more transport services during peak hours.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Anxious wait for taxis and buses

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

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Taste It - Sweet and soft Coconut Vada

Taste It - Sweet and soft Coconut Vada

I believe cooking as an art. I enjoy doing it as I do passionately several other hobbies. Starting on this auspicious day of Onam, a new series for my blog. Taste It. A delicacy each time, tested and tasted. Hope to recieve your comments.

Sweet and soft Coconut Vada


- Fresh Coconut grated – 4 nos
- Jaggery – 500gms
- Ghee – 25gms
- Roasted cashew nut
- cardamom powder add to taste

Take jaggery in pan, add water and boil it to melt it uniformly so that it forms a smooth syrup. Sieve it well so that any unwanted particles of stone etc are removed from it.

Now add this jaggery syrup to a heavy bottomed pan and keep it on medium heat.

Once it starts boiling, add the freshly grated coconut to this syrup solution.

Stir continuously and let the coconut cook well in the jaggery syrup.

Add the ghee and cardamom powder to this syrup.

You may add little water if the mixture is looking too dry.

Keep stirring until the mixture comes close to a thick form.

Turn off the heat and keep it aside for few minutes.

When the mixture is still warm grease your palm with ghee and start making small oval or round shaped vadas with the mixture.

Display it nicely on a plate and then garnish each one of them by placing a roasted cashew nut on top.

Enjoy your Onam or Iftar evening with a Taste It recipe and let me have your comments. I dedicate the first of the series to the Sharadechi, wife of late M N Vijayan. This was one of the delicacies she served to us when we visited her during our recent holidays.