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Month: January 2016

Life in a village – Thursday market at Kadugodi

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It’s one of my routine to visit the Thursday market at Kadugodi, if I am free and available there. The site of farmers coming from villages nearby and bringing fresh vegetables and other associated produces and selling them on bargain rate is to be experienced. As usual and by now, I have many familiar faces and they also know me as they know, I do not come to buy anything but to capture them through my lenses. Sharing it to you to experience the feeling. You may share it if you like it.

Photo Speaks – The Solitary Reaper

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A time to unwind and touch base with nature. That’s what visit to my native village in Kerala is. Always and ever. It is an unbelievable experience. I do travel light, but at the same time do not! Confused?. I travel light on clothes and other items, but pack my bag with as many different cameras and lenses as possible. By now, the customs people are familiar with my bag and its contents. In fact, this time the officer who was screening my bag even asked me, do you have anything new that we have not seen so far?!

It is really interesting to walk around and see the nature as it is and at its best. With good amount of plantation, vegetation and water sources around, there is no dearth for birds, insects and other creatures.

On one such walk, I found this bird sitting and whistling in a beautiful voice. It reminded me of the poem “The Solitary Reaper” by William Wordsworth studied during my school days.

Do not miss out on any such opportunity, if ever you get. Unwind, explore and experience.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

27 January 2016

Mind Speaks – Always Punctual

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I am currently on holiday in India. During the stay with my parents, I realised how difficult is it now to get manual workers to handle certain jobs like harvesting of cocount, tamarind, pepper etc. My parents complained and I realized myself how difficult it was to get a manual labour now in Kerala. A guy came to pluck tamarind and pepper, after several calls and pleadings. He arrived at 11:00 am and did finish the job with the tamarind trees by around 2:00 pm and then had lunch and then looked at the pending jobs and said, I will come tomorrow. Now, I am tired. My mother asked him, what is your rate. He said Rs 700/-. No choice and no talks – we paid. Next day, he never turned up!.

Meeting friends and family, I reached Ernakulam. Even there the conversation lead from one to another and then to the exodus of workers from Bengal. Although many of them say that they are from West Bengal, looking at them, I believe they are migrants from Bangladesh. They are now the reliable source of manpower for physical labour in Kerala and many other states.

Our conversation went on and on and it was dusk time. We were sitting outside the home and suddenly I had a whistling sound and it was solitary first and then it became like an orchestra starting to perform. In a minute, I had to rush inside the home.

That was the arrival of the only punctual set of activists now in Kerala. The mosquitoes!. My cousin told me, they are the only group who are punctual now. They arrive sharp at 5:30 pm or maximum 6:00 pm. They are there to stay, whoever rules and whatever changes brought in!.

A Cochin without mosquitoes is unimaginable!.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

26 January 2016.

Photo Speaks – Flash back

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I am on a short holiday in India. Visiting my parents in Kerala and then travelling to Bangalore. On one hand, this is an unwinding process for me. But, on the other hand, it is a visit that is looked forward by my parents. They are old and although, these days, one can get any service done, there are some special things that, as parents, they prefer to have their children do it for them. With limited connectivity and with very weak internet connection, what more you can ask for, during your holiday. This is the time, I make it a point to revisit my village, where I grew up. Luckily, there are some spots which are as original as they were and the location captured is one such. During monsoon season, this paddy field will be flooded and small country boats will be ready for children to play around. DSC_7983.jpg

Children these days have different types of enjoyment options, but if ever you have an option to make them experience what you enjoyed during your childhood days, do not hesitate. Let them get a feel of it, at least.

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Spread the cheer – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 09 January 2016

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Spread the cheer

It is my cultivated nature to keep smiling whatever situation I am in. The routine to office is almost the same pattern every day. Going down the building, I meet my watchman, then the car wash guy and then the municipality gardeners.

My day begins with a short conversation and hello to them and then off to my office in my car. May be as I travel daily at a particular time, I get to see familiar faces on the wheels in adjacent cars.

People rushing to office applying the last-minute touches to their tie or a final makeup touches by a woman lady driver, is almost regular to witness. At the parking in the office again, I meet the same faces, starting with the security staff at the basement and then at the entrance of the office, followed by the coffee boy. They reciprocate with a smile.

One day, I was really tense and somehow, I forgot the smile, all through my journey. At office too, I forgot to greet and smile. The day passed by somehow and by next morning, I had recouped and then carried the same smile and routine.

The coffee boy followed me and asked what happened the earlier day. “We get motivated by your smile and small wishes, but yesterday, it was not there and it affected us also.”

It was then I realised the value of that gesture. Knowingly or unknowingly, I was passing on something that was infectious to those whom I met and valued it.

Whatever be the financial or worldly situation around us, let there be no recession when it comes to spreading goodwill and a sweet smile.
Ramesh Menon

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

Education key to taxi congestion – Letters to the editor – The National Dt 07 January 2016

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Mushrif mall taxi

Taxis wait near Mushrif Mall entrance on Al Dhafra Street blocking the flow of traffic leading to the car park. Ravindranath K / The National

Education key to taxi congestion

Your news item, Packed Mushrif Mall taxi rank a headache for drivers (January 4), was a real eye-opener.

I also see this regularly in front of Abu Dhabi Mall but in my view, Mushrif Mall is better placed than the other malls in terms of parking options.

There are two reasons causing this problem at Mushrif Mall. One is the lack of training and education for taxi drivers to not block traffic.

Even if they know that there is no space for them, they will often still squeeze in, ending up either blocking other vehicles entering the mall parking area or even creating the dangerous situation of placing them in the path of the speeding vehicles on the road.

If the taxi companies won’t train their drivers, the mall authorities should have security staff controlling the area.

The second and most important point is the lack of patience by all drivers. When a vehicle – whether it is a taxi or a private car – is trying to park, the drivers behind express their impatience rather than giving them a little bit of time.

We need to develop a culture of patience and harmony.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

The National Dt 06 January 2016