Monday, April 28, 2014

Remembering the volcano fountain

Remembering Abu Dhabi's Volcano Fountain: If you are a long timer of UAE and if you cherish fond memories of the Volcano fountain, which was there in Abu Dhabi till 2004, please express your nostalgic memories as comments here. Your comments are valuable for a project on Volcano Fountain. Thanks in advance for sharing with your friends and family.

Comments received at FB: 

Rupa Wahi lot of memories attached to this fountain during 90's wish this landmark of Abu Dhabi should have stayed....
27 April at 22:58 • Like • 1

Manvi Gupta When I first came to Abu Dhabi, newly married, young girl........a little nervous, a lot first night husband walked me down to this wonderful place called volcano fountain next to sea! With a light breeze blowing....and him next to me.......i felt the world belonged to me now! That place, that night, that moment and that feeling is forever etched in my heart! And so Volcano Fountain holds a very special place for me!
16 hours ago • Like

Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi - Clicks and Writes It is genius, true we miss the famous Volcano Fountain of Abu Dhabi demolished in 2004, I really regret since 35 year ago nothing is left to remember symbolic monument

I am really touched by your idea
Bravo Ramesh
Céline ABDO
about an hour ago • Like

Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi - Clicks and Writes you made me close eyes and see the place
u made me travel with my brain to remember a place that i didnt see before ... TRUE I SWEAR. AmaZZZzing place and video as well,, BRAVO ! I wish I could take my baby as well from corniche hospital directly to this place : ) , your Speech was like a nice story I can tell it to my daughter about our lovely Abu Dhabi ‘The City of Peace and Affection’’ . I always say that Abu Dhabi is a never-ending love story for each one.
about an hour ago • Like

Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi - Clicks and Writes The Volcano was definitely the landmark of Abu Dhabi, it was a throbbing heart with all the fire-like lighting coming from it.
I remember during the first week of my arrival in Abu Dhabi, my relatives took me to the Corniche and precisely to the volcano fountain. This simple visit made me feel more at home and confident about coming all the way to live in an unknown place.
I was truly touched and impressed by the huge monument and its changing of colours. It was very similar to a true volcano, only that this one was harmless and soothing to the nerves.
Year after year, I got used to my new life in Abu Dhabi, it became my turn to take my guests and visitors to the volcano fountain so that they can rejoice their heart and senses.
Walking up the stairs on the volcano fountain, was an excellent exercise to old and young people, it was a family’s place, good for walking as well as sitting, while you can inhale the sea-breeze.
There was a good distance from the road, so noise and air pollution was reduced in the volcano area.

about an hour ago • Like

Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi - Clicks and Writes I can say that this land mark represented for new the vision of HH. Late Shaikh zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to see our nation as high as the mountain , flourishing it's water( generosity ) the nearby and far people. More importantly it resembles the strength and unity of our house and it's deep roots from the desert where the castle resemblance came from.

Sultan Al Hajji
about an hour ago • Like

Narendra Kulkarni I also remember this icon. I used to stay very close-by on Khalifa street and it is used to be routine for me to visit Volcano fountain from time time.

Ramesh Menon Abu Dhabi - Clicks and Writes
Dear Friends, Please taken 3-5 minutes, watch the video and write to me a short comment which expresses your nostalgic feelings about the once famous Volcano Fountain of Abu Dhabi, and which was demolished in 2004. I am sure, you have many.

Your comments are important, because, I have a talk on 7th May and a workshop on 10th May on this subject, and will be useful to include it in my presentation.

Thanks a million in advance,

Ramesh Menon

Friday, April 25, 2014

Precious moment - Gulf Today - Short Take - Dt. 26 April 2014

Precious moment

It was a very short notice call on Tuesday late afternoon from a friend inviting me to attend a function in Dubai. Normally, I do not rush up on things or commit myself to anything not in my schedule. Especially, if it is out of Abu Dhabi. But, when he explained to me the importance of it, I couldn’t resist myself and say no to him.

His son, Rohin Bajaj, along with two other girl students, Anagha Subash and Devayani Sainath, all from Abu Dhabi Indian School, were receiving the prestigious Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance. He wanted me to be there with him and the other proud parents to witness and capture the precious moment on my camera.

Children are always precious for me and I took off to Dubai, keeping my conscious approach and Safety First campaign always in my mind, Start Early, Drive Carefully, Reach Safely.

I paced myself in such a way that I was there in the auditorium well ahead of the scheduled start and witness the historic moment in the life of those three wonder kids and many other children and academicians who bagged this prestigious award.

In another interesting last-minute call on Thursday, I attended a family union of students from the college I graduated. It was after a long time that I was meeting some of my college mates and brought out memories of our good old days.

When asked to do a short presentation, I asked the audience, especially children, whether I should do so in English or in our native language, Malayalam. Many of the children asked me to address in Malayalam. I was impressed as some parents still inculcate in the minds of their children the need to connect with the mother language.

Ramesh Menon
To read it in original, please visit, Gulf Today online.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Feeding of baby Parrots

Have you ever seen the baby parrots are fed at the pet shops? If not, see it here. Do show it to your kids.

Video uploads - Dances of India - Bihu dance from Assam

Video uploads - Semi classical dance by Priya Nair, Pooja Nair and Priyanka S Kutty

Video uploads - Dances of India - Thiruvathirakali by ISC Ladies wing

Video uploads - Dances of India - Vishu Kani - by ISC Abu Dhabi

Video uploads - Meri Sapnom Ki Raani by Sanjeev Nair

Don’t be oblivious - Letters to the editor - Gulf News - 20.04.2014

Don’t be oblivious

Last week, I witnessed a horrendous sight during lunch time at a parking spot in Electra Street, Abu Dhabi. From experience, I have always had the belief that drivers on our roads are and always will tend to be careless towards the safety of themselves and other living beings. This was confirmed when I was leaving from an apartment and noticed blood and crushed body parts of some small animals.

A closer look at the area really made me feel sad, as I found three kittens that had been run over and were breathing their last, thanks to a driver who had parked in the location, and then driven off, without any care. There was no one in the vicinity when I approached the kittens and I was having a hard time moving the two living felines out of danger by myself. By the time I brought a small supporting platform to lift one kitten and place it safely on the pavement, another driver came in a rush and ran over the remaining kitten! Convincing him to move his vehicle and taking the injured kitten to a suitable place and caretaker was not an easy task.

I wish our drivers cared a bit more about their surroundings, and paid attention not only to the road but also the obstacles they might come across the whole time they are on the wheel.

World Safety Day is on April 28. Let ‘Safety first’ be our motto - for all living beings.

From Mr Ramesh Menon
Abu Dhabi

Gulf News - 20th April 2014

To read it in original, please visit Gulf News online

A taste of culture - Short Take - Gulf Today - Dt. 19.04.2014

A taste of culture

The UAE offers a perfect example of unity in diversity where an expatriate gets to know about various cultures, history and traditions.

It was such an occasion for me, being an Indian expatriate living in Abu Dhabi. The entertainment section of the Indian Social and Cultural Centre organised a cultural programme to celebrate the new year of various regional communities in a combined way. 

It was a harmonious blend of various festivities like Vishu, Ugadi, Pohela Boishakh, Bihu, Maha Vishu Sankranti, Varshapirappu, Baisakhi and Gudi Padwa. It united all residents from East, West, North and South of India with unique performances related to their region.

It was such a great evening that gave all a chance to understand that, to whichever part they belong, there is only one derivative for harmony and that is melodious music and rhythmic performance of dancers.

All the artists deserve credit. The organisers gave an opportunity for children and adults to understand deeper the unexplored country they came from. It turned out to be an evening not to forget for a long time.

Ramesh Menon

Gulf Today - Short Take - 19th April 2014

To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Story of the Date Palms - Unearthing a hidden treasure

Our Story of the Date Palms - Unearthing a hidden treasure

If you ask me, what is the most beautiful thing happening in the UAE currently, I will ask you to look at my photos herewith. It is purely natural and currently happening. If you postpone to observe this process for another, you will not get to enjoy it.

Can you see in it a crocodile with its mouth opened? Indeed yes, this crocodile has a big treasure of bounty for the UAE farmers!

A date palm tree with flowers, the branches have been captured as if nature is handing over the flowers to someone. Indeed, time for a new options to think for UAE farmers with date palm cultivation!

Date Palm Tree flower in close up. These look like the Jasmine flowers of our desert. Nurture them, harvest them, and let the nation prosper with another hidden treasure.

They say, there is always someone in a hurry among us. In this natural process too, if you observe, you will see, some flowers bloomed a bit earlier and already into the next stage. This is also a teaser of what awaits you, if you follow this process till the end.

Look at these bloomed flowers you will definitely admit, this is one of the best natural thing happening in the UAE right now. Take out your camera, enjoy the process with your family and friends. Let there be many more natural team building opportunities evolve.

As a long standing resident of the UAE, it is my interest in the local culture and tradition that led me to observe the flowering pattern and process of the date palm trees.

There is lot to learn when one observe it closely. History, culture, tradition, trade and commerce everything embedded in it. The result is an astounding 130,000 ton or more of dates sold and exported from UAE per annum!

For those interested in photography, I have an event "Our Story of the Date Palm Trees" created to photograph the process in the coming 4 months, submit them regularly along with a 300 words story in your language of the experience of following this natural process. Mind you, it is a challenge and it will test your determination and dedication to achieve a set goal. A good team building activity for parents with children, teachers with students and colleagues. All are welcome.

You may submit them at or in a dedicated event "Our Story of the Date Palm Trees" created at Passionate Photographers group on Facebook.

View each of the photos and start watching them from today. Follow the story at the online event "Our Story of the Date Palm Trees"

Please share this post with friends and family, who, you think will be interested.

The National - 6th birthday edition - 17 April 2014 An exclusive photo

The National - 6th birthday edition - 17 April 2014
An exclusive 

“Start Early, Drive Carefully, Reach Safely” Safety First campaign

“Start Early, Drive Carefully, Reach Safely” Safety First campaign through
Special Message @ Gulf News live coverage of IPL T20 2014 from Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

16th April 2014

Keep cyclists out of motorways - The National - 14 April 2014

Keep cyclists out of motorways

I was alarmed to see a group of cyclists on Sheikh Khalifa motorway last week. It was dark and they were not wearing any high-visibility clothing. Seeing them that way and realising the danger, I stopped at a convenient place and waited for them to arrive.

Upon checking, I found out that they were cycling enthusiasts who follow this route regularly. Some of them live in Musaffah.

While the intention is good, I thought it was extremely dangerous. I request the authorities to take stern action so that cyclists don’t jeopardise their lives and those of the motorists.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

The National - 14 April 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Talented kids

Talented kids

It was a special morning for me today. I was among a group of creative little minds that came to participate in the Blossom 2014 - a UAE open drawing and painting competition conducted by the Literary Section of India Social and Cultural Centre, Abu Dhabi.

Children from 7 to 17 years participated. Various interesting themes were given to them to express their mind and thoughts into a work of art on paper, either by sketching or drawing and colouring.

Believe me, the feelings of watching them express their imagination was beyond words. Some of them were truly talented. The way they started on a blank paper and finished was amazing.

From Abu Dhabi Corniche to Sheikh Zayed Mosque, date palm trees, fish market, pets and various other themes, they freaked out using a wild world of colours and lines.

Such kids have to be encouraged further and as a group we decided we would do our best.

However, it also brought out certain important observations. Some of them had never seen Abu Dhabi Corniche! Where the sun rises in Abu Dhabi Corniche? Some of them did not know how a date palm tree or how the steering wheel of a car looked like! Questions were aplenty.

It is an alarm and a reminder to parents and teachers. Interact with your children and students. Create a two-way conversation and nurture their talents. Allow them to express their minds and thoughts. Let them speak more and give your valuable time to listen to them. Show them and explain to them what is around and what is happening around.

Do not miss it out. Do not underestimate them and their talents! They are indeed a powerhouse of both. Give more time to family and children. End of the day, our world should revolve around them.

Ramesh Menon
Gulf Today - Short Take - 12 April 2014

Evicted Indian family living in lobby in Dubai - Gulf News - 09 April 2014

Evicted Indian family living in lobby in Dubai

It is very sad to see and read these stories coming up often through your columns. Thank god, at least for this person, the credit card debt is only 90K, compared to others who listed in similar situations. Both this and the rental dues could be talked out and sorted out or reduced with the help of experts willing to assist. I am sure, he will be able to sort out things with the help of compassionate readers and take his family back home for better and economical treatment to recover. Hope things will turn around positive for him and he can take care of his wife's treatment back home and education of his children too. An example of Gulf News's CSR commitments to the society. My salute to the team who brought out this story and to all those who came forward to assist.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

To read the related article and my reply in original, please visit GULF NEWS online

Tribute paid to the Ultimate Warrior - The National - Dt. 11 April 2014

Tribute paid to the Ultimate Warrior

In the late 1980s, those living in Abu Dhabi had very limited entertainment choices.

The wrestling shows broadcast on television and played on pre-recorded video cassettes were among the most keenly watched programmes.

It was at that time that real-life “Ultimate Warrior”, James Hellweg, rose to prominence.

Children and adults alike waited for him to appear and thrash his opponents, which often included the then reigning champions.

As I read the news about his demise, it took me back several years, to when life in the UAE was entirely different. The world, and especially in terms of entertainment options, has changed completely since then.

I am sure many who lived here in the 1980s will relive those days through the commemorations to this great artist and athlete.

Rest in peace, Ultimate Warrior.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Letters to the editor : The National Dt. 11 April 2014

A lively world of sound and action

Following the Mynah's, I have found a highly active group. More about them in detail in the coming days. Mind you, they are very very busy, and have no time to pose!

A Park, Ride and Click project by Passionate Photographers.

Interested to join, contact me. There is always an opportunity to click and write. Its in you and discover it, exhibit it without inhibition at Passionate Photographers group. Share this note, with friends and family interested in photography. Join Passionate Photographers group and display your click.

More encouragement awaits regular members who participate with interest, display their clicks and bring in more members.

IPL tickets issue disappointed fans - The National - 8th April 2014

IPL tickets issue disappointed fans

Ticket sale for the Indian Premier League cricket matches did not start in a smooth manner (It’s just not cricket ... yet: fans are frustrated by delay in ticket sales, April 7).

The website did not list some of the available ticket options for the general public. Fans in the UAE should get the privilege of purchasing tickets of all categories. Currently, tickets for select sections are not available, which was the case even during the opening hours of sale.

Such a denial has deeply disappointed cricket buffs in the UAE. International Cricket Council and other concerned authorities in the UAE, kindly take note.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi 

To read it in original, please visit The National online

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Meri sapnom ki rani by Sanjeev Nair

Meri sapnom ki rani by Sanjeev Nair @ face2face with friends of facebook
held on Friday, 4th April 2014 at ISC Abu Dhabi

Shinkari Melam by Shilpa Sreekumar and team at Face2Face with friends

Shinkari Melam by Shilpa Sreekumar and team at Face2Face with friends of facebook.

held on Friday, 4th April 2014 at ISC Abu Dhabi

Friday, April 4, 2014

Connection with a cause - Gulf Today - Short Take - 05th April 2014

Connection with a cause

This is the age of networking using the electronic media. Many of us have been on different social platforms connecting and reconnecting with new and old friends. So much so that at times we realise even communication within the family members is happening through these platforms rather than straightforward face-to-face talk.

It is with this idea that a few friends among us decided to have a gathering of family and friends who meet and connect through social networking platforms. 

Rightly named Face2Face with Friends, we met. Each of the guests were introducing and it was the turn of one person sitting at one corner. He stood and went to the podium and started speaking about him and his activities. Sitting next to me was a common friend.

When he completed, I was surprised to realise that he was one who was in my friend list, and with whom I regularly interact and ‘like’ each other’s posts, and more over from the same town back home! 

True that we had not met each other and apart from the communication through social networks, we had never bothered or rather got time to call each other and enquire about our well-being!

During my turn and many others, it was one topic that we discovered and discussed.

Try to have a realistic approach and move a few steps ahead of these networking virtual platforms, and try and understand the real problems of those around. Identify those in need of help, whether it is health, financial or mental issues. Promote an awareness to bring out zero suicide situation among the residents. Create increased awareness towards road safety and bring out a sense of financial discipline by guiding people to live within their means, avoiding too many credit cards and loans.

Indeed, it was a day well spent with emphasis on sharing knowledge and having some fun added with tasty food. 

Hope we will be able to take the momentum and good thoughts to a larger audience in the days ahead, of course through social networking platforms!

Ramesh Menon

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

Capital’s energy efforts laudable - The National Dt. 04th April 2014

Capital’s energy efforts laudable

I appreciate Abu Dhabi Municipality’s efforts to reduce energy consumption (New lights at the end of Abu Dhabi tunnel, April 2).

However, one hopes that along with LED lights the authorities will also consider installing more surveillance cameras to monitor children, who often play dangerously in underpasses, as well as other suspicious activities.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit The National online.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

'Beware when clicking your camera in UAE' - Gulf News Dt. 03rd April 2014

Abu Dhabi: Residents across the UAE are finding themselves on the wrong side of the law because they do not realise that they’ve unwittingly committed a cybercrime, leading judicial experts said in the capital on Wednesday.
A simple act such as taking a picture of a bystander or a friend without their permission and sharing it through social media could be construed as a crime in a court of law, Dr Omar Al Ghoul, a judge at the UAE Federal Courts, told Gulf News.
“These sorts of seemingly simple crimes are a result of the increasing proliferation of smartphone use, and the public’s general lack of awareness on the UAE’s stance on internet use,” he said.
“The use of the internet has grown in the UAE to such an extent that, in some legal cases, it is being treated as an addiction, and ‘patients’ are referred to rehabilitation facilities,” Dr Al Ghoul added.

Continue to read at GULF NEWS online.

Very important information for all those who love to click at random. The rules are not clear so that one is always in two minds whether or where to click. It is always good to take permission in advance before clicking pictures of strangers, especially women and children. A good reminder to all.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates