Gulf Today

Spiritual discipline – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 20th June 2015

Posted on

Spiritual disciplinedaily ramadan thoughts

The Holy Month of Ramadan is here again. The religious aura it brings along is beyond explanation. Everyone tends to fall in to a spiritual routine and discipline automatically. It also adds up to an ambitious effort each day to remain focused and composed. Angry words and actions will become a history. Efforts to meet colleagues, friends or family each evening to break the fast become automatically a team-building effort towards positiveness in life.

Ramesh Menon

Fruitful thoughts – Short Take – Gulf Today Dt 13 June 2015

Posted on Updated on

Fruitful thoughts

Fruitful thoughts
Fruitful thoughts

To be in the presence of some people is a blessing as they come out with precious thoughts and words that remain everlasting and highly motivating. The other day, I got a repeat chance to be with one such person, Sultan Al Hajji.

After an official function, I was lucky to get a drive back home with him. Several topics came up and at some point of time our talks focused on gardening.

It reminded me of my childhood when we used to plant seeds of coconut, jackfruit and saplings of precious trees like teak or sandalwood in our farms.

There were no campaigns those days to promote environment. Our ancestors were visionaries and they knew the importance of plants and trees and made it a point that children have to play a big role in preserving the wealth of nature.

The acts done those days with a bit of curiosity and compulsion were forgotten over a period of time. We used to even name those trees we planted with our own pet names or names of heroes.

Our talks became emotional and he agreed with me and showed his little garden where the plants are young and growing. People like him who value nature’s wealth for the next generation are rare.

It is holiday time once again and we need to utilise time with children and instil in their minds the importance of preserving nature.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online

Artistic taste – Short Take – Gulf Today Dt 06 June 2015

Posted on Updated on

Artistic taste
I have several hobbies developed over a period of years. It is interesting to develop new skills and it requires a lot of dedication and sustained effort.
Sketching and drawing is one of them. During my school days, I was scared to touch the pencil even to draw an ordinary flower for my school assignments.
But moving on to college and professional courses, there was no choice left other than to try it out. At some point of time, I thought about my maternal uncle, who used to be very good at oil paintings.
I thought about him whenever I had any assignments and some sort of self-confidence developed. The artistic taste grew from there on.
My thoughts on drawing came out recently when I observed an artist exhibiting his skills at an Abu Dhabi mall. He was a professional and started from a blank canvas and used the free brush style and created something extraordinary.
Thinking deeper into it, our life is like that of the blank canvas and the artist. We are born with certain natural and inherited skills and we add up on to them several others through continuous education. This becomes our true wealth.
How we utilise this wealth will result in our immortal contributions to society. This is what I term, Talent Share, with its magic mantra. A talent or knowledge is to be shared.
The joy of seeing someone else taking up your interest in a competitive or entertainment spirit is immense to experience.

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

Social commitment – Short Take – Gulf Today Dt 30th May 2015

Posted on Updated on

Social commitment

I have a Facebook account as well as Facebook page and a photography group that I moderate. On my personal account, I handpick my contacts who are there as friends. On the page and group, I do allow, with limited moderation, those who should be there.
The reason obviously is to select the audience who I wish to read my thoughts or will be interested to read it and whose activities interest me. Obviously, it will be the same with every socially committed person.
Recently, a virus hit one of my accounts. I did a housekeeping of my accounts and removed some names I genuinely thought should not be to in my friends’ or contact list.
I believe in the saying, “You are known by the company you keep.”
Social media should be used effectively. If one has free time, it is better to do something good, voluntary or social work, utilising the knowledge skills rather than wasting time propagating what another person or his family or friends do or how his family is or what his social status is.
It is always best to stay focused on good things.

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

Power of now – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 2nd May 2015

Posted on Updated on

Power of now

 I walked slowly to my senior colleague’s office the other day. It was his first day from an unexpected leave. As soon as he saw me, he came and held my hands. We remained silent for some moments. That was a moment of long conversation without any words.
 He knew very well I will understand his feelings. He had lost his mother suddenly. Death of close ones bring in a sudden vacuum in life. We tend to get lost on words, thoughts and deeds.
Whom to ask and what to do when someone whom we depended always till then is no more to clear and cover our queries and actions!
The other day, I realised a friend of mine, who is now working far away from his family experiencing the same feelings. He was missing his late father a lot. I am sure many of you have or will have this feelings coming again.
What is happening around us these days due to a tragedy of bigger dimension in Nepal also brings in similar feelings when we read about the sad stories coming out each day.
Suddenly, many are left stranded in life and thrown to the mercy of the nature and of several unknown kind.
We don’t know what future has in store for us. But we certainly know our present is in our hand.
Live our life to the best possible way without hurting anyone and always try to help someone who is in need. Devote time in doing good things rather than whiling it away on loose talks about any.
If someone has nothing to do, it is better to remain silent and enjoy the bliss of being in this present world.
Ramesh Menon

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

Short Take: Action pack – Gulf Today Dt 25 April 2015

Posted on Updated on

Short Take: Action pack
It was a short notice invite for a presentation. I couldn’t say no to it when I looked at the presenter’s name and details of the invitees he was speaking to.
The audience were a group of students in their final year of graduation coming from the prestigious French Petroleum university to learn about the finer aspects of the industry in the region.
The presenter was Sultan Al Hajji, a self-made Oil and Gas industry senior in the region. Educated in the US and France, he started from a junior level in the industry and progressed along to one of the senior most level within our company.
In his presentation he talked eloquently about the industry aspects and about the UAE and how and where it stands in the technological and economic forefront of developments happening worldwide.
At the end of the session, while answering the queries of eager students who were extracting more treasures from him, he came out with a gem of an action pack for them.
It was about the importance of networking for students as a means of improving their professional vistas to a greater horizon. He said to them to work hard as there is no alternate option for success.
At the same time, he told them to identify their primary and secondary interest levels and start networking with the right choice of contemporaries, seniors and experts to consistently update them with what is happening around them.
Sharing knowledge and expertise is the pathway to a successful career ahead. Identifying right mentors and right network to be in is essential for students.
Later, at some point of time, whenever these like-minded and networked contacts catch up with each other, it will prove that they all carried the same zest for success in life.
Moreover, it will not be a surprise to see that many of them may be knowing each other, due to their focus and path they opted for their personal and professional success.
Looking at the students’ expression at the end of the session, I felt it would be an everlasting action reminder and impression they would carry along from this visit to their future ahead. 
Pearls of wisdom like these are very rare to get these days.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
Short Take – Gulf Today
Dt. 25th April 2015

Changing world – Gulf Today – Short Take – Dt 11th April 2015

Posted on Updated on

Changing world
Every morning when I go to office, I see a little girl going to her school. She will be struggling to smile and say good morning as she is yet to awake from her sleep. Her mother will be carrying the bags and bottle and literally carrying her to the waiting bus.
Days went on and suddenly one day as I was going to office, I noticed all the three members of the family together. The girl was in a cheerful mood and said to me, “We are leaving for India!” I thought, they were going for school holidays. Then the father corrected, “No, we are leaving for good.” I felt sad.
The other day while going to the office, I saw a pair of old tri-cycles at their doorstep. Abandoned and reminding of a childhood that had moved on.
This brought many thoughts in my mind. The modern age children are victims of several circumstances. When I go to my home in Kerala, I get to see the books, toys and many other items I used during my childhood days. Neatly kept and displayed in my room at our home. The fact that parents remained in one place and availability of place and personnel made those items remain intact for years for me to be reminded of my young age.
How many children these days get this privilege? How many parents have time to think about their children and their personal preferences and choices? Even if they do, can they accommodate those demands, if they have a job that makes them move around the world?
Are these the reasons for children becoming non-materialistic and non-emotional? A point to ponder as I wish this little fairy a blessed journey ahead in her home state.
Ramesh Menon

Gulf today – Short Take Dt 11 April 2015
To read it in original, please visit, Gulf Today online.

Family values – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 28 March 2015

Posted on

Family values
The trend these days is to have a dedicated day to remember someone or something special. So we have a day for water, earth, father, mother etc.
Looking at each one of them and the current upbringing style of children makes me really worried.
Are we becoming fully dependent on these dedications to remember our duty and commitment to all these beneficiaries?
Let us take the example of water. In the early days, it was passed on to children from a young age that water is precious and to be preserved in all possible ways. Likewise the affection of mother. It is perennial. Whatever be our actions towards them, their love and care will continue to follow till the end.
Then comes the important lady in the life of a married man: Wife. The culture and tradition is different among many, but the duty remains the same globally. After marriage, there is always a sense of togetherness in everything one does. If not there, it should be that way.
In many cases these days both husband and wife are working. Activities are in plenty for those who want to socialise around. However, share the duties together, give as much time for each other as possible. Show affection and continue to promote and pamper each other with a sustained interest.
It is a special feeling. The affection and care after your mother, only your wife can give. She is the best person who can judge your best and worst days in advance. Only she will have the patience to adjust the environment according to your mood syndromes.
I am thankful to God for giving me a loving wife. No special day is required to promote her as every day is special. I am sure it is vice versa. That has been the case with my parents too. It is a special feeling when I see that they are nearing the golden jubilee of their married life.

Let love, affection and family values prosper worldwide without the need for any special days or dedications.

Quiet tribute – Short Take – Gulf Today Dt 21st March 2015

Posted on

Short Take: Quiet tribute
March 21, 2015, Gulf Today
A short break of two weeks. In a way tried my best to keep silent from as many activities as possible. It was an effort to join a divine bliss. In the process I learnt a lot of things including an increased confidence to practise the art of not to react impulsively to circumstances and realities.
The silence was indirectly to show my tribute to join the sorrow of a friend whose mother passed away. I know the feelings and void created when a person we love a lot in our life suddenly departs. I had experienced it the recent times, when my mother in law and my grandmother passed away. Many times, I was stuck with whom to ask certain things when I needed guidance. Of course, life went on and will.
Motherhood is a special feeling beyond explanation. Back from my leave, at work on a busy morning, I listened to a colleague of mine busily phoning and ordering birthday cake for her son. It was a hectic day and in between the busy tasks, she found time to order the cake specially decorated with her son’s favorite football teams design. She was arranging other gifts too to the little boy.
It brought tears in my eyes as I suddenly remembered, how my mother who was a teacher during my childhood days, come back from her school with a gift, either a shirt or a colouring set. Those days transportation was not easy and she had to change three buses to get back home from the school. It used to be late by the time she reach back home. But even then, she never missed to show her affection and love for us.
A casual talk with my colleagues revealed the general trend with children these days. They are pampered with costly gifts; mobiles, Ipads, laptops and what not. So, it is a big challenge now for parents to offer them with a gift which will remain impressive with the children at least for some amount of time.
Challenges aplenty for the modern day mothers. But, their affection and love will remain forever, however fast modernisation happens. This is a fact proven many times in the world around.

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

Fountain of joy – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 21 February 2015

Posted on

Fountain of joy
The famous Qasr Al Hosn Festival 2015 is happening in Abu Dhabi now. The event has a deep-rooted history connected with the country and in particular Abu Dhabi.
It was my honour to be associated with it as the festival had a special section to recreate and present the Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the UAE exhibited at the famous Venice Architectural Biennale.
The national pavilion of the UAE was the exact replica of what was exhibited and my exhibits on one of the architectural marvels that existed in Abu Dhabi from 1984 – 2004: the Volcano Fountain were present in it.
On one of the days, I was invited to a presentation and an interactive workshop on it to share my memories and exhibits.
It was a working day and I was keen to be there early and awaited my audience. The crowd started coming in small numbers. As we started interacting, an elderly national and his children came to attend. He was not comfortable following the English presentation and a lady volunteer helped him with the translation.
As he blended with the subject, there came a chest of knowledge treasure from him. He was in the army for a long time and told us about those days when there was absolutely no modern facilities. The then Ruler late Sheikh Zayed is said to have drawn plans with his sticks on the sand and corrected the architects whenever things were not done as per his plans.
By the end of the session, it was one of the most memorable interactions we ever had on the subject in the recent times. We were excited to listen to the way he carried his memories and conveyed to us as well as his children and grandchildren who were with him.
We all wished and enlivened the day when the new Volcano Fountain will come into existence in the new developments happening in Abu Dhabi.
Ramesh Menon

Gulf Today – Short Take – Dt 21 February 2015
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online