Month: March 2016

Mind Speaks: Make it lively & LIVE LONG!

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In the next few days, the world will stand still for some hours!. True, at least some part of the world will definitely will. It will include the India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Middle East, England, Australia and the U.S.

It is not a myth. Certainly, many, not excluding me are die-hard cricket fans and the World T-20 final stages are being played. How can you stay away from the venue or from the TV screen live telecasts!.

True and but! Have you imagined the amount of man-hours being lost because of being a cricket fan!. I was thinking of it during the last few matches. How can I make it productive. Not an easy solution, but not a difficult one too.

After reading about various incidents that took place in some of the cities that killed a youth, or created various online and offline interactions that caused permanent damage, I felt I should write this note.

Enjoy cricket but, enjoy it with the thought that we have to “Live Long” and not end our life being a mad fan of it.

End of the day, cricket players in India and elsewhere are privileged along with sportsmen and sportswomen playing golf and tennis who get paid for a lifelong earning during their playing years!. All others have to opt for other livelihood methods to carry on with their daily living.

Here is my thought for how to utilize our time promisingly and progressively watching the forthcoming cricket matches to make you LIVE LONG and remain a cricket fan forever:

  • List – prepare a list of items to throw away, donate and return which are at home and which you feel you do not need any more!
  • Imagine and Inspire yourself as a talented musician. Comfortably position yourself in front of the TV and play along the musical instrument of your choice or sing along the song of your choice. Visualise yourself as the best of the best, I am sure you will become one!
  • Veggie: why not?! – try to become a veggie for the first time, if you are not one!. Buy fresh vegetables, try and impress your wife and children with your skills to clean them, cut them and present them in the most beautiful way. Let it be a motivation and experience for them to try out what it is to be a vegetarian!
  • Expire the expired: Utilise the time and check all of the items in your bathroom and kitchen that have expiration dates. Dump the expired along with anything else that you aren’t using.
  • Locate: all old and useless receipts, unless they have a warranty on them and discard them for good.
  • Old: Newspapers and Magazines  and Out of date medicine – take them out and dispose them safely. May be donate the old newspapers to the news boy as he can make some money out of it!. Donate the unwanted medicines, if they can be used to some charity as it may be of use for someone else who cannot afford it.
  • Nerd: That’s not me!. Have you ever been overawed by the intelligence of your colleague or friend!. Think and come out with something new that can be innovative to the society. Or try some time with Sudoku. I am sure, if you try it and you will enjoy doing it again and again and the end result, you will improve your language skills.
  • God – In god finally we find solace!. We have seen it several times, especially through the lenses of the high-tech videographers of cricket matches. Those who never pray in their life come and cry out in front of the cameras in the stadium. Why not you also? – It is a nice opportunity to finish one set of your favorite prayers when the the match is in progress. I am sure, you will do it without any hesitation and prompting.

If you feel you miss any prime moment of the match, do not worry, there is a replay within seconds. So, do not focus too hard on the match!. It may save your life!.

If none of the above suites you, plan a travel so that you are away from the temptation of the TV screen and mobile updates during the time of the matches. (I am planning to do it!).

Try it out and let me know. Next few days will not be easy for die-hard cricket fans of those countries who are playing the semi-finals of the World T20 matches. Let there be no animosity or hatred between each other. We have plenty other problems to tackle. Let no life perish!

Last post – Wake up call for print media

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Mind Speaks - Last Post - Wake up call for print media

The Gulf News of Saturday, 27th March 2016 came out with a special post. It was about the final print edition of The Independent newspaper.


It may not be the only print news that is going to call it a day! Over the period of last few years, I have seen several print editions are becoming lesser and lesser attractive and dying a silent death. Some of them have been there for a long time and remained very special to many throughout their period of existence. One such print weekly was the “Young Times” by Khaleej Times. Once upon a time, it was the most popular weekly magazine of the kids in the region. It was taken out with the last edition coming in December 2008!

The popular magazine Young Times came to an end on 31st December 2008. As the saying goes there is destiny and fate and definite ending to all finite and infinite objects in this world, what a fitting departure date for this wonderful magazine for the young (and old).

I was lucky to read each and every issue that was published except the first two years of it’s entry into this media world. The habit of following the prints closely made me more attached to it and Young Times became an integral part of my family. Even the Bangladeshi newsboy Mamtaz who deliver it at home became our family friend. Many of you from the UAE including myself grew older with it, and the horizon of our bits and pieces of knowledge expanded with it. The team behind it did  a great job for the children around. To compete with the visual world and stay alive is a big task and even during the final walks of their journey they remained totally committed for the cause of Young.


The final edition carried all those features that used to be there all these weeks and were more interesting than the previous ones.

I believe strongly that in the recent times very little has been done to improve and increase the art of reading from the print media.

Only one exception I can see is the efforts by The National newspaper to offer discounted rates to student subscribers. This is a commendable positive move to foster reading habits among children.

The art of reading and the art of reading out are very important to inculcate important values in life. More efforts should therefore be carried out by all those who love literacy and education to improve it. What should be done to attract young readers should be done without any slight hesitation. Time lost on this will be money that will be lost in future!.

Time to wake up.

Wish they were cricketers! India Seniors Volleyball team at Abu Dhabi airport :- Campaign PASS – Promote All Sports Simultaneously

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Campaign PASS or Campaign – Promote All Sports Simultaneously is intended to encourage all sports activities and personnel simultaneously for their growth and excellence in respective field.

It could be termed as a deliberate attempt to generate more corporate attention and support towards all Track and Field sporting events other than Cricket, which obviously gets the best for the game and players.

The thought evolved during the 2010 Common Wealth Games, I was looking for opportunities to promote how it could be done. The first of the series came automatically with the news report of Indian Football team’s schedule to train in Dubai.

It is my special appeal to all Indian Social organisations and interested Corporate and Business units to show more support and encouragement to all sports equally.

Let us take the first step and let it begin from this moment. I hope that it will be towards bigger achievement for the sport and all the athletes in common.

A Face Book group has been created to promote this initiative. Please click on the link and join this group and promote it among your contacts.
your contacts.

+ Click Campaign Pass FB group to join.

Please share the FB group and also any sports activity you wish to highlight through it.

Thank you for your support and encouragement to promote it.

Just an example #ifyouarenotacricketplayer

Wish they were cricketers! India Seniors Volleyball team at Abu Dhbi airport

This is the Indian Senior Volley Ball team on their way back to Madras after winning a prestigious tournament. I met them at Abu Dhabi Duty Free. There was no fanfare, no one even asking them who they were.

I happened to meet them, the Indian Senior Men’s Volley Ball Team members at the Abu Dhabi Duty Free on 28th August 2011. They were returning to Madras via Abu Dhabi after winning the 18TH NURSULTAN NAZARBAYEV PRESIDENT’S CUP INTERNATIONAL VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN beating Tunisia in the finals held on 27th August.

Things have improved for many sports since 2012-13. But, there is still a long way to go. We must come out together and encourage all sports which build a good and energetic and intelligent person in everyone.

I wrote this post and kept the title “Campaign PASS – Promote All Sports Simultaneously” for about 3 hours. Not many interests!. Thought, let me bring cricket into it and changed the title to “Wish they were cricketers! India Seniors Volleyball team at Abu Dhabi airport :- Campaign PASS – Promote All Sports Simultaneously”. Curiously waiting the response!.  

#campaignpass  #happinessandpositivity  #clicksandwrites #passionatephotographers

Total UAE celebrates Earth Hour 2016

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Total staff and their families along with children celebrated Earth Hour 2016 with a Desert Clean Up activity on Saturday, 19th March 2016.They all to

Source: Total UAE celebrates Earth Hour 2016

Flowering Mango trees announces the arrival of a new season

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വരവായി ഒരു മാമ്പഴക്കാലം കൂടി !
It is not only the date palm trees flowering, walk around the corniche and you will get to see the mango trees fully flowered. take your children out. show them, the nature’s natural way of informing us the change of seasons!.
This is from Abu Dhabi Marina Mall area.

Technology behind Red Bull Air Race Pylons – A minute with ClicksandWrites

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Red Bull Air Race Abu Dhabi
Friday, 11th March 2016
@redbullairrace #airrace

Made with a special lightweight nylon, the pylons for Red Bull Air Race are designed with maximum safety and efficiency in mind. While they define the course, they are not there to get in the way; quite the opposite actually.
If a plane makes contact with a pylon, it is designed to breakaway or tear, with the air-pressurized structure falling away immediately. From there a specialized team kicks into action, and the ensuing few minutes are poetry in motion, not unlike watching a Formula 1 team perform a pit stop.

Text Source and opportunity thanks to: Red Bull Air Race Team

Red Bull Air Race Abu Dhabi – A minute with ClicksandWrites

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Red Bull Air Race Abu Dhabi – A minute with ClicksandWrites

Red Bull Air Race Abu Dhabi – A minute with ClicksandWrites
Free Practice Challenger Class sessions
Friday, 11th March 2016

Rain and Thunderstorm 09th March 2016 Abu Dhabi

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Rain and Thunderstorm 09th March 2016 Abu Dhabi

UAE is experiencing bad weather these days and it is our primary objective to value safety on the roads, not only for us, but also for our fellow drivers. Safety starts before you drive, and our goal should be to see and be seen. Replace windshield wiper inserts that leave streaks or don’t clear the glass in a single swipe. Make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are properly functioning so other drivers will see you during downpours. Turn on your headlights whenever you drive. Proper tire tread depth and inflation are imperative to maintaining good traction on wet roadways. Check each tire’s pressure, including the spare, at least once a month… and be sure to check the pressure when the tires are cold.

Also, please note to:

• Avoid Cruise Control
• Slow Down and Leave Room
• Respond carefully to a Skid

Our Story of the Date Palms – 2016

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Invitation to Participate: Our Story of the Date Palms 2016
Time Frame to participate : 09 March 2016 – 10 July 2016
To all:
Have you ever watched the Palm trees flowering process?. If not, watch them from now on. The trees have started the flowering!.
It will be a good observation cum photography experience if you track it.
Inviting you to click them from wherever you are post them at the event page of Passionate Photographers on Facebook with details. Opt to choose the growth sequence in one or two selected trees.
A display of this wonderful event and the result of your efforts submitted to Passionate Photographers group is planned with selected photos from members later during the year – when this seasonal cycle gets completed with the dates ripe, mature and fall down announcing the arrival of christmas and another year end.
You are welcome to post any number of photosper week for the next 5 months on the subject. 16 photos selected by each member / each month , ie March, April, May, June, July – will be exhibited.
Photos taken using Mobile Phones can also be submitted.
Time Frame for clicking : 9th March 2016 – 10 July 2016
Please post your clicks marked for this event on to Passionate Photographers group and also email the soft copy of it to 
with the subject line: Photo Competition – “Our Story of the Date Palms – 2016”
Please note to observe the time and date you click along with the GPS location of your object, for jury to identify it before the exhibition.
Original high resolution files will be required to be submitted at a later stage with full information of the photo and photographer. Files should not be modified or altered with.
For those parents with children interested or not interested in Photography, this will be a very good exercise to have them observe the nature, the seasonal changes and to observe and realise how nature announces the arrival of the seasons in its own way. Since it is spread out during a period of four months, it will be also a test to find out how patient you are towards your short term and long term objectives.
Thus, to create interactive interest among parents/children/teachers, photos of participating children below age 16 will be separately displayed and appreciated.
Those children who are participating in this event are also welcome to write a short story – not less than 300 words – on their experience of capturing the season that passed by while photographing for this event.
Please share this event with your friends and family who may be interested.
Please do not hesitate to contact me in case you have any further clarifications.
Welcome to participate and Best wishes in advance,
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
p.s: I welcome corporate and individuals sponsors to this event.
Below is a teaser for those who are interested. The opportunity is infinite!!!


#passionatephotographers #clicksandwrites #Ourstoryofdatepalms2016



Maha Shivarathri – the Universal Pati-Patni Day

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This year the Mahashivarathri is on 7th March 2016.

Let me repost an old article and a presentation named ShivaSakthi created by me marking the relevance of this day.

These days, we blindly follow several different types of days, for eg: Valentines day, mothers day, fathers day, friendship day, no-smoking day and the list goes on and on. When we look at it Shivarathri is the truly traditional family day or Pati-Patni day, as I term it. Because, from the ancient times, devoted wife’s pray and observe fast on this day for the well being of their husband and children and vice-versa, husband’s observe religious rituals and prayers like chanting Rudram and chamakam to give grace and prosperity to the well being of own family and the society.

There are many stories associated with Shivaratri and its origins.
One is about lord shiva drinking a poison and he held it in his throat by binding it with a snake. The throat became blue due to the poison (Thus Lord Shiva is also known as Neelakantha) and Shiva remained unharmed. In another story, it is said that the whole world was once facing destruction and the Goddess Parvati worshiped her husband Shiva to save it. Parvati named the night for the worship of Iswara by mortals Maha-Sivaratri, or the great night of Siva. After creation was complete, Parvati asked Shiva of which rituals pleased him the most. The Lord replied that the 14th night of the new moon, during the month of Maagha, is my most favourite day. It is known as Shivaratri. Parvati repeated these words to her friends, from whom the word spread over all creation. Another story is about a hunter. Lubdhaka, a poor tribal man and a devotee of Shiva, once went into the deep forests to collect firewood. At nightfall, he became lost and could not find his way home. In the darkness, Lubdhaka climbed a bel tree, and sought safety and shelter in its branches until dawn. All night, he could hear the growls of tigers and wild animals, and was too frightened to leave the tree. In order to keep himself awake, he plucked one leaf at a time from the tree and then dropped it, while chanting the name of Shiva. By sunrise, he had dropped thousands of leaves on to a Shiva lingam, which he had not seen in the darkness. Lubdhaka’s all-night worship pleased Shiva. By the grace of Shiva the tigers and wild animals went away, and Lubdhaka not only survived but was rewarded with ‘divine bliss’.
While most Hindu festivals are celebrated during the day, Mahashivratri is celebrated during the night and day that come just before the new moon. Each new moon is dedicated to Shiva, but Mahashivratri is especially important because it is the night when he danced the ‘Tandav’, his cosmic dance. It also celebrates the wedding of Shiva and Sati, the mother divine. Night represents evil, injustice, ignorance, sin, violence, and misfortune. Tradition says that Shiva, like his symbol the new moon, appeared in order to save the world from darkness and ignorance, before the world entered complete darkness. Those who observe the Mahashivratri fast only break their fast the next morning, and eat the prasad offered to Shiva. Young girls observe the fast and worship Shiva so that he may bless them with good husbands. They sing devotional songs in praise of the lord, and holy texts are chanted throughout the night. The pandits in the temples perform the puja according to the scriptures. This is done four times during the night.
For this auspicious day, I would like to dedicate to our global forum a painting named ShivaSakthi. It is also a dedication to all the loving mother’s, wife’s and sisters and also to all our fellow brothers for keeping our tradition and values always high, wherever we are.
I would like to also add a few words about this painting.
This is created purely using powerpoint tools and it was done as a result of a few minutes of quite time at a small temple near REC Chathamangalam, Calicut. On that particular monsoon evening (in 1995), it happened to be that there was no power in that area, and the darshan of the deity at the time during deeparadhana created an everlasting memory in my mind. The decoration of the Devi idol, simple and small, by the melshanti (priest) was simply superb. I added to it a similar devotion at another temple, which is Avittathur Mahadeva temple. And the result is this creation – Shivasakthi.
At both these places, the time available by the melshanthi (priest) to decorate the idols during the time the sanctum sanctorum closed for pooja, was barely 10 minutes or so. And imagine yourself the result when the doors are opened. It is the epitomisation of the ultimate sraddha (concentration), the dedication and devotion to provide us a blissful presence.
Can you imagine them practising this art somewhere else? Or re-doing it, if a little more of water has been added to the chandan and kunkum or bhasmam they mix in order to create these decorations.!!
There are many unsung heroes and these are a few among them. And it is also my way of tribute to the many who remain within the four walls of our own religious boundaries, who do not get to watch or listen to any of the niceties which we are blessed with.
No one has the patience these days, and to add ease to it, we have a wonderful creation called remote control. It makes things easy for our wandering minds to switch from one programme to another and to refrain from keeping focussed on one.
We undergo several rigorous rituals and follow procedures for many days and ultimately visit our favourite temples and the moment we are in front of the deity, we close our eyes and fall into deep prayers. At this moment, we go back to the old thoughts, photos etc, forgetting about the opportunity to meet the real lord who is in front of us in full – paadadi kesham. And we are pushed away for someone else to do his minutes or seconds of closed eye prayers. The moment you close your eyes, you forget your objectives.
Open your eyes, look at the realities, and react to it.
As the prayer song “Geet nahi, Sur nahi, phir bhi mem gavoom”, in this spiritual sphere of mental peace and inner joy, the responsibility for success or failure is entirely one’s own.
God bless and have a great time sharing good thoughts and deeds.
Ramesh Menon
6th March 2016
(originally posted in 2008)