AIMs with Team 1

Poly Varghese – An innate artistic brilliance decant through strings of Mohana Veena

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Poly Varghese – An innate artistic brilliance decant through strings of Mohana Veena

On a recent personal visit to UAE, Poly Varghese, one of the four exponents of Mohana Veena performed at different venues in UAE.

Although, I could not watch live any of them, I could hear the vibrations through audience comments and news reports.

With interest in music and the instrument, I went ahead and searched for his journey thus far. It was indeed a fruitful journey, to know the musician and the innate talent he has for his musical and artistic brilliance.

Poly Varghese had his initial training in music and other art forms from, the Kerala Kalamandalam, a renowned centre for art and music, an institute which Poly entered as a teenager and later emerged from as a leading Mridangam player . Thereafter, he pursued his quest for music at the Viswa Bharati University, Santiniketan. Here, he had the unique opportunity and access to learn various instruments both percussion and stringed out of which he specialised in playing Hindustani music on the Electric guitar.

A chance meeting with Pandit Viswa Mohan Bhatt gave him an opportunity for intimate access to the Mohan Veena which incidentally happened to be an instrument designed and developed by Pandit viswa Mohan Bhatt himself , who is India’ s first Grammy award winner and also the recipient of the Padma Bhushan.

Poly Varghese has played for the programme “sugamana ragangal” that was telecast on the Chennai Doordarshan channel.

Today, Poly Varghese under the guidance and tutelage of Pandit Bhatt has emerged as a noted Mohan Veena player and has a number of concerts to his credit both in India and now, in the Middle East.

His notable performances in UAE include the one at the Arab cultural centre Sharjah which is part of Arab India Cultural Exchange organized by the Government of Sharjah and at the Adishakthi Ashram (headed by Veenapani Chawla a renowned theatre exponent), in Pondicherry and also at the Centre for Experiencing Socio-Cultural Interaction at Madurai.


After this historic performance, which was held on 16th October, 2010, Dr Omar Abdul Aziz (Head of SharjaH Arab Cultural Center Dept. of Culture and Information U A E ) presented him with a certificate of appreciation from the Department.

His concerts in Dubai was appreciated by HE Sanjay Verma, Consular General of Indian Embassy in Dubai.

During his visit, he had two memorable performances at Indian Social and Cultural Centre Abu Dhabi.

and one at Kerala Social Centre Abu Dhabi.

It may not be out of place to mention that he is at ease while playing not only the Mohan Veena but also the electric Guitar.

Poly has also been creative enough to develop the 40 stringed three-neck guitar which he has named as the “Poly String Guitar” (bahu thantri veena).

This guitar is designed as a three neck guitar and it is unique because all the tones of indian classical music can be expressed at the same time in this instrument. morevover there has not been any indian string instrument having 12 octaves..these 12 octaves demonstrate the 3 characters of indian classical music. The three necks (finger board) are the bass neck, lead neck and the high neck.

Poly Strings Guitar can be called as the conglomeration of 4 musical instruments namely the tarab and the three finger boards. this guitar is equipped with four electric pick ups which are unique and distinct in its own way. the pick up used for the bass neck is designed to give an acoustic feel the tarab pick up is entirely different to the three pick ups because tarab expresses the natural tone of all acoustic instruments and for this purpose alone was the pick up created . when listening to the tones of the tarab one can listen to the tones of the sitar and the Mohana Veena. The connection of these four pick ups are embedded in an electronic mixer which is part of the guitar and this mixer helps in complementing and enhancing the tones.

It may be noted that guitars available in the market are mono guitars meaning it doesn’t have a stereo unlike the Poly Strings Guitar which uses the technology of an audio surround system and has a 4.1 surround.

As a continuous learner, he is always in the process of perfecting and pursuing deeper the nuances Mohana Veena. In this pursuit, he has developed his own inimitable style of playing and many times improvises and plays his own compositions too. He puts in about more than 10 hours to practise his music every day, which is a point to note for the new generation of musicians.

The musical background and base he has travelled thus far may also explains for his excellence. He has studied Mridangam for several years under eminent vidwans including late Korambu Subramanyam Nampoothiri. In addition, he was also a student of Kathakali under Kalamandalam Gopi and leading Kathakali artists. He is also an excellent Tabala player. Well versed in South, North and Eastern style and ragas of Indian music, he automatically enter himself into any musical stage with his awareness, creativity and on stage improvisation. The knowledge of accompanying instruments add extra dimension to his performance. This make him blend more with his accompanying artists and also take them at their own skill level as he transcend himself into a musical journey on stage.

Having travelled with the Baul singers of West Bengal, he is familiar with their music and can render high-pitched Baul songs with ease. He is also trained in Rabindra Sangeet.

To add more dimensions to his creativity, Poly Varghese, has proved his talent in acting and has been in experimental theatre for several years. He has worked with great theater personalities in India like Krishnammoorthy, Badal Sircar, Nasser etc and has acted in plays of different languages. He has also appeared on the silver screen as well.

Poly is also a music composer and has composed music for films and theatre. In 2005 he won the Jeevan Atlas Award for the Best Music Director of the year for the Malayalam film “Kootilekku”. He had the privilege of having closely worked with the famous music director the late Devarajan master.


He conveys his emotions through his music. This is well explained when one gets to listen to him. It also may explain the reason why many conventional musicians do not really understand his brilliance. Like a bird flying through the sky, or like a river silently flowing with it’s designated course, or the same river, flooded and violently flowing through wherever it is taken during the momentary current, his music has no boundaries. No rules and regulations. No wonder, he is being recognized by more and more senior musicians within India and abroad.

Born in Kerala, Poly Varghese has sufficiently good working knowledge of 9 languages including English, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali and Oriya.

Poly Varghese and his wife Sabeena Varghese (a lecturer in Library Science at Union Christian College, Madras) and their infant daughter Mithra Poly Varghese live at Madras.

He can be contacted on:


Face Book:!/profile.php?id=1283735713

Phone: 00 91 99 40 27 39 31

This interview was done through interactions with him during his visit and knowledge shared by him through email exchanges
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi


An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Anil Pakale

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Anil Pakale

My Motto(s) in life : My aim would be to help everyone around me, to stay calm, spread the message of brotherhood.

Remember, Mother Teresa. Treat everyone, be it rich or poor, at par.

When you do good, it brings in precious great feeling that is in fact pure happiness. When you do for yourself, it does bring in some happiness of fulfilment. However, it is far too less when it is done for others.

Respect every individual that comes across you and show that you care for his values and opinions. This will make them feel comfortable in interacting with us.

Environment comes next. We have to inculcate habits and practise what is best for the environment. We have to hand over the world to our kids in a better shape than it is today. There is a lot that needs to happen on that front. Each one of us must make cohesive efforts in that direction. There is no option. Or else, we will see survival war amongst human beings. It is possible to change the direction of the world. We must all play our part.

Now that I have achieved what I wanted for myself, I am now going to devote all my life for serving the community keeping in mind the above values and try to reach it to many whom I come in contact with my day to day life through my own simple possible ways and means. We are all guests in this material world and there is no reason why we should be getting into conflicts. We do not need much for living. Yet, we strive to get more and more. This must stop once for all. We must try to be content with what the almighty has given us and live a life that is full of Peace and Happiness. It is not difficult. I will be devoting all my time in spreading the message to all my friends. And when everyone who reads this, does the same to their friends, we will all be in for a beautiful world.

Good feelings will bring in great values in life free of any stress and nervousness. Health will automatically be at it’s best when we all are sound in our minds.

Mr. Anil Pakale, a BE (Mech) from VJTI Mumbai (1986 batch) and studied MFM ( from JBIMS) before opting to move to UAE. Currently working as Sales Manager – Large tonnage chillers at Johnson Controls (ranked 58 in fortune 500 list). Anil is an active member (past secretary / president / treasurer/ committee member) of Maharashtra Mandal and also an active member of IDEA. He played lead role in organising UAE Open Quiz contest. Primarily a sports person, he love to play Cricket, Table Tennis, Carrom, Swimming, Gym, Bridge. Professionally, he has won many prizes including Presidents Merit (Johnson Controls) Award in 2006 and Master of Sales Excellence Award in 2007.

Anil lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife Priya Pakale, and daughter Jaai Pakale. Priya is a banker working for National Bank of Bahrain in Credit dept. She is a choreographer for all the Maharashtra Mandal cultural programmes in Abu Dhabi and has been conducting Bharatnatyam, Cinematic dance and Folk Dance classes for past 15 years. Jaai is a Grade 8th student of Abu Dhabi Indian School. She is an excellent swimmer and have won 2 bronze medals at all India CBSE swimming championships held at Baroda – India in November 2008. She has also won many medals at ADIS swimming meets and UAE open swimming competitions. In addition she is also an excellent poet.

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An Inspiring Moment shared with Team 1 – Nandakumar Perimpilavil

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An Inspiring Moment shared with Team 1 – Nandakumar Perimpilavil

My Motto(s): In every stage of life we need to have a plan which is practical and possible to execute. I like to practise setting up daily targets in life whether it is at the work front or at home which will take you to achieve eventual targets in life.

Considerations for others, a receptive attitude and willingness to learn from mistakes make one’s path to achieve one’s aims easy and comfortable – a theory I believed always.

Sharing the views with and convincing others is an art and mutually beneficial.

Setting up goals in life is not an easy task. One really has to think and set realistic goals. This starts from the early days of one’s life. Right from childhood one hears about setting goals. During school days parents and teachers guide you to channel your talents and aptitude in the right direction. But I do not believe in forcing a child to achieve goals which are unrealistic or not in line with his or her natural talents or aptitude. Children should not be compelled to opt for an art or sport or subject which he/she has no genuine interest in. It is all about identifying their capabilities and tastes and accordingly groom them to set goals.

Getting organised in your daily life with a fair amount of discipline will make your journey in life a lot more easier. One need to have that will power though for same. I try to do the same . Disappointments at times and setbacks are natural and we need to take them into our stride while thriving to learn from mistakes and achieve what we are hoping for. Whatever you do in life ensure to enjoy every moment of it and cherish your memories.

Nandakumar Perimpilavil, or “Nanduvettan”, for all his friends and well wishers, started career as a Bank officer in India and then moved over to airline field. He is in charge of Finance & Admin for Middle East for more than a decade now for Srilankan Airlines. A brilliant student during his school and college days, he was school first for SSLC and did his degree education with distinction. His activities did not remain within the class room. He was active in cricket, chess and carroms in school and college and sang for a troupe in the 90s. The interest continued and recently he sang for a programme called Ninavu in Kairali. Music is passion for him and to an extent cricket too. He considers music as divine and universal that which takes you to a serene world where all your pains are removed by it’s power.

Nandakumar lives in Sharjah with his wife Suvarna Nandakumar, a graduate in Maths and a perfect partner with equal or more interest in music. Their daughter Mrinalini is a student of DPS Sharjah in Gr 8. She is also a student of Kathak and Classical music and plays Basketball with interest.

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Dr. Rajah Balakrishna

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Dr. Rajah Balakrishna

My motto in life is
to work to my satisfaction and leave the rest to God and always think positive.

Thinking positive can change our life and our way of thinking. Tomorrow can be good or bad but both cannot last for long. We have to be prepared to take fortune & mis-fortune equally. Waiting for our turn of beautiful tomorrow keeps our life going.

Dr. Rajah Balakrishna is a multi-talented personality working in Abu Dhabi, which is also the cultural capital of UAE. He holds a PhD in cinema, Feature Film Producer Diploma, Certified Cinema Director & Line Producer Emeritus from Hollywood Film Institute USA, a Masters in Mass communication & Journalism and Diploma in film technology & acting.
He has written several articles in renowned periodicals and two coffee table books on subjects related to travel, poetry, film making, Culture & Heritage. He has directed many documentaries on Health, public awareness, education and culture both in India and abroad. As a visiting professor, he teaches in different universities in UAE and abroad. He has done extensive research on historical sites in this region and have highlighted the important connections these places had with the Islamic World and recorded interesting comparisons of this region in 13th/14th century with that of the present. He also holds the privilege to work as a Consultant for many Film Festivals and Film schools in India and abroad. In addition, he is one of the Advisory Board member of Innovative Development Centre for Educational Aptitude (IDEA). Creativity is not limited in all the above activities for Dr Rajah Balakrishna as he likes to do oil painting,wood burning and carving, which he teach a group of children too.

Dr. Rajah Balakrishna is presently employed at Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (ADACH) as Producer, TV & Film Division and also as Executive Director for the Digi Film Club under the authority. He also serves as the Technical Director of Emirates Film Competition, an annual competitive event held under the umbrella of Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi. He lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife Latha and daughters Sheetal and Shilpa.

If you are interested to read further about Dr. Rajah Balakrishna, please visit his sites: and

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Rashmi Vijayan

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Rashmi Vijayan
My motto in life is not to let any of the obstacles that come in my life take the smile I carry on my face…

The smile I love spreading onto everyone else in my life. There have been incidents in my life where I may have thought that everything and everyone has failed me…but then I gain consciousness to the situation and understand that those are mere obstacles trying to stress me out…worry me unnecessarily and is bound to keep me unhappy, if I let them affect me. So I simply don’t!

If I am unhappy…my loved ones are unhappy too. So why trouble them when all I need to do is focus on my work, keep my goals clear in mind, and maintain a calm inner body.

That way no matter what tries to push me down…I’ll take care of it tactfully and by no means would I allow it to take me away from the “Happy Me”.

What keeps me going is a doze of one song out of my favourites before I go to sleep… it keeps me in a good spirit all through the next day!

Rashmi Vijayan, a Post graduate student of Broadcast Communication is a promising singer with her base in UAE . Singing is her passion, and already she has proved her merit by reaching the final rounds of various music reality shows like Amrita TV Super Star Global, Zee TV Saregamapa Middle East Muqabala and Indian Idol 3. Her talent was rightly noticed by famous music directors from South India including renowned director M Jayachandran who gave her opportunity to sing in two recently released Malayalam movies, the songs of which became an instant hit among the youth. She likes to interact with people and oozes out positive energy and is talked about as the future Usha Uthup from Dubai. Rashmi lives in Sharjah with her parents Vijayan and Ragini.

An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – K M Nair

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – K M Nair

I would like to state that I have nothing much to claim in my life. How ever I am glad that I could assist the needy when ever and wherever possible.

My Motto(s): What ever you are, wherever you are, who ever you are you should always behave according to the character and or the situation.

You should understand the nature of the person to whom you are dealing without egoistic mentality and without forgetting that our original nature should be love.

The following stanza will give us an indication on how to deal in each situation:









The above sloka in sanskrit tells us:

We should have benevolence towards our kindred, compassion and pity towards our servants, wickedness towards the wicked, love towards the suave, virtuous with the royal people, tolerance towards the scholars, intimacy towards the wife.

Mr. K. Madhavan Nair (K M Nair or Nair uncle as he is lovingly called by many) is a B.Com (Honours) graduate from Bombay University and Associate Member of British Association of Hospitality Accountants (ABHA). With 18 years of employment and experience of working in Bombay (1960-1978) moved to UAE and feel this country as his home away from home. After retiring from the position as Area Financial Controller, Rotana Hotels, he is continuing as Financial Controller, Abu Dhabi Trade Centre, Abu Dhabi Mall.

An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Usha Sridhar

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Usha Sridhar

Motto(s): Right from my younger age, I have always believed that our purpose in life is not just looking for happiness but something beyond that. The below mentioned saying was told to me by my Father when I was about 7 years of age and has since then stuck in my mind like a Psalm from the Bible or a verse from the Gita.

“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is just to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, and to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all….”

My Father has been a guiding force for me in my life and it was he who has taught me to approach/face life with compassion, courage and integrity. It is these qualities that have taken me this far in my life.

I sincerely believe that in order to be at peace with one self, we should treat people we come across with respect and compassion.

I also strongly believe in empowering my staff and believing in their abilities and capabilities.

I am able to understand and accept people for what they are and treat them with compassion and respect.

Sridhar’s, i.e. Usha Sridhar and Dr. Sridhar lived and worked in the UAE for about 16 years and recently shifted back there base to Chennai, from where they belong. She works now as the Administration Head of the IT Division of UAE Exchange in Chennai. Dr. Sridhar works as Consultant Diabetologist and Endocrinologist for MIOT hospitals in Chennai.

An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Sreebala Sreenivas

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – Sreebala Sreenivas

My Motto(s): I had many mottos and huge, larger than life, ambitions in childhood which kept me moving and progressing towards the next stage in life, but as I read more, as I learned more….as I saw life more…I realized that at the end of each day all that I wanted was to retire to bed as a good human being who could receive and accept rather than take, who could empathise rather than sympathise, who could feel rather than see, who could live rather than merely exist !

What keeps me going: My ability to learn from every experience in life. Be it good or bad , I attempt to learn something! The realisation that life has a lesson to impart keeps me going. And definitely the positive vibrations associated that reaches me in different forms.

Sreebala Sreenivas worked as an IT Assistant with Union Properties, Dubai. Currently pursuing Post Graduation in MA Public Administration, she has won several prizes at school, college, intercollegiate level for light music, western music, English drama, skit, debate and speech ! She enjoys reading books on self enhancement, philosophy, also fiction. Sreebala lives in Dubai with her husband Srinivas Mohan. According to her, Srinivas , is a completely dedicated , hardworking Architect, a very understanding and unconditional husband . They have a 5 yr old son, Shantanu, who compells both of them for constant updates on General Knowledge! As the only child of her parents, she always turned to them for support and guidance which they provided abundantly. She consider it as the greatest blessing to have been brought up in a house where there was only positivity, love and happiness!

An Inspiring Moment shared with Team 1 – V. K. Shaji

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An Inspiring Moment shared with Team 1 – V. K. Shaji

My Motto(s):

“Love and help everyone as much as you can, especially the needy and struggling people.

Be happy and positive always.

Remember past, live today happily and create tomorrow”

Mr. Shaji V. K., works as Senior Office Administrator (Chief Executive Officer’s Office) in one of the world’s leading Gas Processing Company, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd. [GASCO Abu Dhabi ]. He is Graduate in English Literature, with Technical Diploma in Computer Software Engineering and currently continuing his studies in Tourism. He lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife Sabitha and children Swathi and Shreyas.

An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – V K Basheer

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An Inspiring Moment shared (AIMs) with Team 1 – V K Basheer

My Motto: Don’t Compare Your Life with Others, or Always compare your life with the People who living hardly. “Live today like you want tomorrow to be” .

What keeps me going – We are quite uncertain about the next moment. Still hoping for a better tomorrow.

V. K. Basheer, a M.Com with PG Diploma in computer applications works as Accounts Supervisor with Faysal M. Qahtani Sons Co. Saudi Arabia for the past
9 Years. Prior to this, he has work experience in Sharjah & Qatar. Mr. Basheer’s loving family includes his wife Thaneera, and two daughters Fatima (Nichu – 1year old) and Neema (Allu – 7 years).