Kindness of a different genre by ADIS students

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ADIS students at the Spirit of Giving Charity Event organised during the holy month of Ramadan

I always love to encourage children and use my blogging activity named Talent Share with the motto “A Talent or Knowledge Within You Is To Be Shared” for it. It is rare that I ignore such an opportunity when I get to know or notice.

During the final days of Ramadan a group of final grade boys from Abu Dhabi Indian School (ADIS) Muroor approached me and told me about their Principal Mr. Neeraj Bhargava’s captivating words: “An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.”  A simple statement, but it echoed in their mind repeatedly and lead to a brainstorming session to what became the first of its kind by the school during the holy month.

Everything fell into place quickly for the student-teacher led initiative of collecting contributions to buy a thermal flask, fruits and dates for 500 laborers residing in a camp at Mussaffah.

Approximately 5000 students from Grade 3 to 12 participated wholeheartedly in this initiative. Each one of them enacted with a strong sense of respect, value and care to share.

On the evening of 11th June, the children set off with the items in their school buses accompanied by the staff to meet just before Iftar, the unsung heroes. It was a great feeling for the students who participated in this “Spirit of Giving”, charity event organized by ADIS.

“It started off as an idea to give back something small to those who give us silently so much. A week later we were filling the stomachs and setting smiles in many people”, said Ahmed Hashim, Grade 12 and Head Boy of Abu Dhabi Indian School.

Accepting the gifts and seeing the joy which radiated from the laborers made the students realize the infinite value of those simple but by now immensely precious items of love shared.

Participating in such an event for the first time, Aditya Mani, Grade 11 said, “It was a mixed feeling. On one hand, we could experience how they lived their daily life and on the other hand we could see the joy on their eyes. At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or what you’ve accomplished. It’s all about who’s spirit you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made feel better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

Continuing with his ever smiling expression, which was double this time he said, one of the recipient, who received our token of affection said to us “more than the food items, the gesture of giving us a flask brought memories of our families back home. We will take it back home as it will be more useful to our elderly parents”.

His classmate Umang Bhandari, Grade 11 said “We all learnt about how lucky we are. Seeing their happiness, gave us a joyous feeling that we felt couldn’t be fetched from any other materialistic actions. The happiness I saw in their eyes made me experience something inexpressible. It inspires me now to do something even better for them. After all, a human is a human who lives for other humans”.

Elachezhiyan Kavyan, Grade 8 concurred, “This was an amazing opportunity as I wanted to serve people and experienced it first time. Something new. How people live, not like us! Happy to see them. If there is any such activities in future, I will definitely participate”.

Commenting on the students initiatives, Mr. Bhargava concluded “Our school is a large mix of diverse culture in Abu Dhabi and prides itself not only on academic success, but also on creating school ethos which connects community at its heart. We actively encourage all students to get involved in charitable activities locally and internationally. Although our starting point was altruistic, we’ve found that by giving something to others we’re reaping rich rewards as a school of relevance. Specially, this is the Year of Zayed and the students touched base with his values and sure to inspire and contribute humanitarianly more next time.

Photos by Mohammed Adnan and Ahmed Razak (Grade XI).

Best wishes to the entire team and I am sure that this will be an inspiration for the student community of Abu Dhabi Indian School to continue with sustained interest and effort to serve the community around.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

@rameshmenonauh/ rameshmenonabudhabi@gmail.com

Sharjah Vantage Point 6: “Performance” opens

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Sharjah Vantage Point 6 opens.

Vantage Point Sharjah 6 (VPS6) is the sixth iteration of Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual initiative supporting the practice of photography within the GCC. Open call was extended to submit photographs from all nationalities who reside in the UAE and Other GCC Countries on the theme of “𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗠𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘”.

The opening was attended by distinguished guests, artists, photographers and public.

Vantage Point 6: Performance is organised by Sharjah Art Foundation. President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation Hoor Al Qasimi is a practising curator and artist, as well as Director of the Sharjah Biennial.

A large number of applicants, with a variety of professional backgrounds, skill sets and interests, responded to the call for Vantage Point Sharjah 6. The exhibition presents a wide-ranging selection of photography, which uniquely expands upon the theme and speaks to the development of a vibrant community.

It is the 2nd time my clicks are getting selected to this prestigious international exhibition organised by Sharjah Art, under the patronage of the ruling family of Sharjah.

If you are visiting Sharjah during this period, welcome to attend.

𝗘𝘅𝗵𝗶𝗯𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀: 𝟭𝟰 𝗝𝘂𝗹—𝟴 𝗦𝗲𝗽𝘁 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟴
𝗩𝗲𝗻𝘂𝗲:𝗚𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝟭 & 𝟮 𝗔𝗹 𝗠𝘂𝗿𝗲𝗶𝗷𝗮𝗵 𝗦𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗿𝗲 Sharjah

The photos, artists and myself:

Ramesh Menon

1967, Kerala, India
Lives and works in Abu Dhabi

Photos and narration:

An epic through the eyes
2017

Dr. Haripriya Nambudiri  (as lady character Syrandhri) 

Digital print/Dimensions 47 x 30 cm

Narrating an epic through the eyes
2017

In the photo: From left  Margi Rantakaran (on Maddalam), Kalamandalam Jishnu Ravi ( as lady character Sudeshana), Kalamandalam Dr. Haripriya Nambudiri  (as lady character Syrandhri), Kottakal Madhu (first singer at back), Kalamandalam Vishnu (second singer at back).

Digital print / Dimensions 40 x 30 cm

Ramesh Menon’s photographs depict the traditional art form Kathakali, which is always a ‘feast for the eyes’ as it enthralls audiences with music, action, emotional impact and literary finesse. These photos capture a moment in the performance of the play Keechakavadam, jointly organised by the India Social and Cultural Centre, Kerala Social Centre, Manirang and Sakthi Theatres in Abu Dhabi. Renowned artists, musicians and percussionists added their experience and skills to complete this tauryatrika [triple symphony] experience. Dr Haripriya Nambudiri, a full-time professional female artiste—a rarity in this art form—played the character of Syrandhri.

Menon tries his best to create a family of positive and quality-minded people. Bringing creativity into life and never giving up are the two wheels of his life cycle, which has been revolving and evolving a great deal and determined to continue too. He writes a blog clicksandwrites.com and takes small steps towards his objectives to encourage talent and serve the community around. He believes that all great achievements and success in life, as well as all changes for the better, have one powerful characteristic in common: The First Step. ‘Take the first step, and the journey has a way of taking care of itself.’ Menon is an active participant in various Have Your Say programmes within the UAE and elsewhere. This participation has resulted in his winning several prestigious awards over the last few years.

Menon currently works as Communications Coordinator with Total in Abu Dhabi

 

Time to train and an opportunity to explore Abu Dhabi

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As I move on to day 2 of my training schedule for the forthcoming ADNOC Abu Dhabi International Marathon 2018, it is turning out to be interesting in several ways. 153 days to the event, it is an opportunity to explore Abu Dhabi. I know it will not be easy and hence taking it systematically as much as possible from all aspects.

For morning practice  I opted for the Abu Dhabi Heritage park area as it has some small climbs and generally quite. In the evening, I opted to utilize the cycling track on the Salam Street. The track is really nice to do an extended ride and connect to Abu Dhabi Corniche easily.

The weather now is hot and humid and hence taking it lightly, but steadily.

How can I end my daily post without sharing some photos. It indeed is an opportunity to explore Abu Dhabi.

ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon 2018 an inspiration to keep fit

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The recently announced ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is an inspiration to keep fit. If an opportunity is given take it with both hands. That’s what I love to do.  This is another example of it. What makes me happier is the fact that the daily training schedule I have planned covering the Abu Dhabi city, suburbs and other cities in the United Arab Emirates opens up infinite opportunities to explore these places and capture them with my passionate clicks. Of course, I will share you the location tags as well as any speciality I notice about it.

So here is my day one presentation from Abu Dhabi Heritage Park.

 

ADNOC Abu Dhabi International Marathon 2018

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The Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced, the inauguration of the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, which will be held, for the first time, on December 7, 2018, bringing the world’s oldest race to one of the world’s most modern cities, and deepening ADNOC’s commitment to the Abu Dhabi community.

The UAE capital has added to its sporting portfolio after organisers announced the first Adnoc Abu Dhabi International Marathon will take place on December 7.

The event has been given Bronze Label status from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), but Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), is confident the Abu Dhabi race can achieve Gold Label status – reserved for prestigious races such as the Boston and London marathons – by 2020.

“It has been one of the long missing pillars in our international sporting calendar,” Al Awani said after signing a three-year deal with Adnoc, the national oil company, at the company’s headquarters on Tuesday.

“Adnoc is one of the main pillars of our economy and they have been one of the main supporters of all our sporting activities in Abu Dhabi. With their support, we want to achieve the marathon Gold Label in three years.”

Abu Dhabi already hosts several international sporting events including the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. The capital will stage the Fifa Club World Cup for a second successive year in December as well as host the 2019 Asian Cup starting in January.

Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, Chairman of General Authority for Sports, said the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of international sporting events to arrive in Abu Dhabi.

“It may be the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi, but it will be second to none among established international marathons around the world,” Major General Al Romaithi said. “We expect a world-class elite field and participation of thousands of runners at various levels.”

Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Executive Office Director at ADNOC, said: “ADNOC is excited to play a part in bringing such an iconic event, the marathon, to Abu Dhabi. Our partnership with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council is built on a shared commitment to elevating the health and well-being of individuals and embodies ADNOC’s historical dedication to supporting the communities in which we operate.

“Whether it’s through sporting and recreation, health and wellness, or youth and STEM education, ADNOC’s corporate social responsibility and purpose remains firm: To create a positive and lasting impact on UAE society,” Al Suwaidi said.

The race will be held over a 42.195-kilometer (26 miles, 385 yards) course that will showcase the city of Abu Dhabi to a global audience. In recognition of the Year of Zayed, the race will bring together elite international athletes, seasoned amateur runners and thousands of people taking part in their first marathon. It will offer runners of all abilities the chance to participate in a range of events from 2.5km and 5km fun runs, to the 10km and full-distance marathon. Entry fees for the event range from AED 50-75 for the shorter 2.5km and 5km fun runs, AED 150 for the 10km, and AED 350 for the Marathon race.

Registration for the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon is open at: www.adnocabudhabimarathon.com

Fees structure:

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The announcement has witnessed great amount of interest to the event as seen by registration of more than 80 participants to the site at the time of this note.

Marathons are run in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, who reported the victory. The legend states he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in battle, which took place in 490 BC. It is said he ran the entire distance from the battlefield to Athens, without stopping, to proclaim victory, before collapsing and dying.

The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 800 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes as larger marathons can have tens of thousands of participants

The world-record time for men over the marathon distance is 2 hours 2 minutes and 57 seconds, set in the Berlin Marathon Berlin Marathon, by Dennis Kimetto Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, on September 28, 2014. The world-record for women was set by Paula Radcliffe, of Great Britain, in the London Marathon London Marathon, held on April 13, 2003. Radcliff completed the race in 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds.

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Register Now 

Sites you may find handy:

For running apps: https://dailyburn.com/life/tech/best-running-apps-every-runner/

For running tips: https://www.active.com/running/articles/22-essential-pieces-of-marathon-training-advice

Best wishes to #ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and all the participants for the success of this event.

 

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

@rameshmenonauh

News links and photos – courtesy credits to:

The National   Abu Dhabi Sports Council 

#ADNOC #ADSC #ADNOCAbuDhabiMarathon

#CampaignPASS – Promote All Sports Simultaneously

#TalentShare – A Talent or Knowledge within you is to be SHARED.

 

 

Wheeling ahead

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Summer picking up and also it’s time to save on daily living expenses. Many are opting to cycle their way to work. You can get to see here the big brothers trying to show their power ahead. Motorised two-wheelers that doesn’t require any registration are increasing in numbers. Watch your way when you are on the wheels as many of these riders do not follow any safety rules and just zoom past on signals, even when it is red.

#SafetyFirst

Water your way to kindness during this summer

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Summer is picking up and it is getting hotter and hotter during the day. Every drop of water is precious. As usual this year too, I witnessed this act of kindness from someone who diligently kept water for the birds and small animals on the street.

You can follow him too. Keep some water outside in small containers for the silent and beautiful creatures of this universe.

 

Ramadan Delights

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#Ramadan delights from Sabir refreshments #inabudhabi
25 years and more, holding on, one of the oldest restaurants favoured by many bachelors and families for tasty food. Many of them used to avail the monthly payment system. During the holy month of #Ramadan they come out with tradional Kerala specials to break the fast.
Years back, It used to be a muddy path towards the restaurant, that has been well laid now. Still a good opportunity to #cycle #inabudhabi and test and taste who serves the best during this time of the year.

Ramadan Wishes

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Ramadan Kareem to all my friends. Wishing you and your family a blessed Ramadan.

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When the fingers speaks!

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A tribute to my guru late Korambu Subramanian Nampoothiri.

A comment on one of my earlier post about him prompted me to sit down and record this video.

I was lucky to learn mridangam from him during my childhood days. He used to come home all the way from Peruvanam temple, approximately 15 kms away from my home, after finishing his temple duties. Half way walking and half way by bus, to save money for taking care of his family with his meagre income from the temple. The fees that time was somewhere very very small (if I remember correctly Rs. 10/-). There was no greed or instinctive approach to get the students to the so-called mainstream limelight by way of arrangettam within 1 or two months of learning during those days.

Again, if I remember correctly, a group of students including me, did our arrangettam during Koodalmanikyam Temple Festival after several months or years of training. I still remember the songs and my stage fear during that day in front of the large audience. His humble and simple presence sitting in front of us encouraging us not to miss even a single beat.

Again, if remember correctly, Uma was singing and then Rajesh, Ranjith and other stalwarts amongst us joining the group. The small start that day then slowly transformed to a bigger and better version and became the first of its kind in percussion history, named as “Mridangamela”, which is now being diligently presented each year at Koodalmanikyam temple festival by his children with students who are learning directly as well as through online.

I am really worried about the parents these days who force and influence different channels to get their children to play musical instruments or get on to stage with a short stint of direct training or alarmingly even with online training!.

Relax, they are children and let them practice and play on and on… Daily practice is very important. And do not expose them until they are well versed and get the full go-ahead from their gurus.

Again, I am also worried about the gurus who give consent to children performing within a short time period of training…If you do that you are doing injustice and spoiling a genuine talent.

My pranams to my guru late Korambu Subramanian Nampoothiri.as I present this practice session of today. Nothing special, just played and recorded what came into my mind. No mathematics, physics or whatever involved….purely divine presentation to him and also to my divine guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Yes, it is also very important to have a good musical system and also great support from the person behind the sound console for the success of a musical presentation. There should be also strict discipline among those accompanying artists to play within the framework and guidelines.

My humble pranams to all my manasa gurus, to whom I listen and observe online as well as through phone or other channels and whenever possible directly and learn various tips and tricks from them.

Each day, yes I practice every day, in front of him and my only prayer to him is bhagavan – when I play, please be with me and let you play through my fingers and not to miss even one beat. Hence the name for this video : When the Fingers Speaks”. Sri Gurubhyo Namah and Om Sri Sairam.

Once again, this is just a practice session and have not followed any strict patterns or guidelines.