Mind Speaks

Mind Speaks – Be there with a word at the RIGHT time. Will you?

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Today is the day for cricket. Posting an old blog post of mine, which I feel remain valid.

Mind Speaks – Be there with a word at the RIGHT time. Will you?

I haven’t come to the Mind Speaks section of my English blogs for some time. It is not that my mind was not speaking or stopped speaking. It is due to the fact that it was speaking too much elsewhere that it didn’t get an opportunity to pass by this side. It was wearing different language and tone caps and expressing it thoughts and moods without any holds as it arrived.

But since few days I have been thinking over about this particular topic which I am writing here today. It was after one of my Face Book friends Sri Ramachandran Vettikkat wrote on his wall about the death of a fellow blogger named Jonavan (Naveen George) from Kuwait. It was a tragic and untimely demise. But, what happened after that is “his story world-wide”. Suddenly his blog became a sensation for media and readers around. Commenting on this sad plight, Sri Ramachandran wrote about his unhappy feelings on actions of fellow human beings around. I am sure this particularly emphasise appreciation towards creativity. The state is such that, either he/she has to die in an accident or commit suicide. This is what he expressed. Either of them is tragic and deplorable for the development of arts, fields and culture. I agreed with him totally in my reply. Although it is a cruel remark, it is the actual case now. In fact, it is true for every budding artist or talent – people tend to ignore when creativity is submitted and do not even raise a thumbs up or down, or a sentence of criticism or appreciation. I hope this attitude will change, and sincerely wish to see it changed.

We have seen it several times, over and over. The other day, when I posted a photo of Kapil Dev in the photo sections, I got a query from one reader, whether I know him or not? Who do not know him? No, that is not the right answer. I was lucky enough to be with him at the VVIP Stand of Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium some months ago during the SAARC UAE Exchange Cricket Tournament. When thoroughly convinced that he was at ease without any crowd hanging around and in a relaxed mood to speak, I joined him for a cup of tea. We were watching the match as it progressed. Conversation progressed and somehow it came to the topic of that beautiful stadium which remained empty even during the finals. I slowly directed him to the topic of IPL and ICL and asked him why ICL did not get the much required boost where as IPL managed a huge success. His answer to me was an eye opener. He expressed to me that it was lack of interest from the sponsors and also attitude by a certain section of people in authority.

“Attitude” – even a man of Kapil Dev’s stature is subdued by this giant killer of creative harmony. It is a serious concern.

We all come from different walks of life, and walk past different routes and directions of it each day. During the same course, we come across several people and some remains within our mind for a longer time and some are easily forgotten. Certain actions by certain individuals will easily capture our admiration and then we follow them and certain others, they might have a slow start and we tend to ignore them totally.

It is time we think about how we could transform ourselves to a society that responds at the right time.

Each day brings out a joy of learning a thing new, irrespective of which side I get up, who double parks in front of my car, and who speeds and misses hitting my car while travelling between work and home. The world is growing in pace and volume and along with it the diverse culture and style.

Even during the holy month of Ramadan, I witnessed women dressing scantly, people smoking discreetly, which a few years down the lane I could have never even imagined or seen. Several times I did ask myself, why public has a tendency to violate rules and values when they clearly know that these are not to be violated during this period to give respect to the religion and numerous people who follow it. May be I will be labelled crazy, if I discuss such things frequently. But, how can I resist expressing myself. No, never, I will never keep my thoughts within.

In my own personal experience to promote creativity without any commercial gains bearing solely the flag of TALENT SHARE, I have received support from several unknown sources. Faces whom I have never met, or even never personally communicated and have come forward and expressed their share of experience related with it.

The idea behind this came to me as a spark. It happened on one evening, when a small child of 7 years old was brought to my home for assistance to develop an attitude for mathematics. A casual talk with the child and his parent made me realize the brilliance of this little boy who is being really put into test by his parents. Children these days are being forced upon to learn several talents at a younger age whether or not they are interested or have an affinity for them. Because, parents, or a relative or a friends child, or someone else is learning them and doing well, it becomes a necessity for many children to follow suite. Talks with several parents on the way across this program I realised that many are not aware of what their child has naturally in him. Where is the time? Or, I have not seen him doing this or that? These were the answers about children from some of the parents. However, this was not the case with everyone. There are some who did find time to makes sure to sit with them, observe them, identify their liking and nurture them accordingly. I am with this group.

The influx of financial gains for participation in several talent shows have made it almost statutory for parents to teach their children with dance, music, or cricket. It is now almost a reality that you do not get to see anyone saying that oh, my child is good at painting or good at writing stories. Everything is in short from the childhood days. At the very young age which the child starts going to his play school and the tuition classes following it, he is given a mobile and there starts his membership in SMS (Short Minded Society) life style. Everything he sees and express is short. If this is the state now, I really wonder what it will be in a short time, when we will cease to see any stories, novels or poems? The electronic gaming devices have totally ruled out children from sharing their thought process to be expressed through their coloring or sketching medium.

It was all these thoughts and fears and also the liking for non-performing arts that made me work on such an initiative to identify and nurture those little ones who has it in them to take us to an entirely different world. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like performing arts and games. These days, I am excited like an expectant parent with a big belly in the good old days. I do not know whether there will be one healthy child, or many from this. As the traditional doctor with his experience carefully examines and declares that the patient has been well taken care during the various stages and child inside is showing a healthy movement, and declares to the parent, be confident, it is going to be a safe and successful delivery. I am sure you all will be keen to see the result too.

Birth obviously brings me to the topic of death. Recent times, I have gone through emotional stress due to the loss of a few close friends. Sometimes, we think, an accidental death is much easier than to have a painful and slow death. It is not the fear of dying, but the agony of seeing them suffering with pain and trauma. Aspects related to these deaths surfaced harsh realities in life. In both the cases, the people around them ignored them with timely assistance and support to their family. As the person on death bed was fighting with the pain, he was also suffering from added mental trauma of what will happen to his immediate family once the inevitable happens. No assistance from any side and the poor souls departed leaving several tasks incomplete. At this point arrives our social crusaders. Let me be positive here too. At least after the death, their eyes opened! May be they will see it from the heaven, if one such thing exists.

Heaven reminded me of speeding and hell. Due to several requirements, I have to travel between Abu Dhabi and Dubai several times during each week. Each drive through Abu Dhabi Dubai highway is becoming a come back to life and normalcy. Drivers are too erratic and every time, I miss an opportunity from being hit from the back or the side, I feel, these drivers do not love to live for self. I am extremely sure they do not love public to live safe too. This is definitely a dangerous world and too short, if people carry an attitude towards his fellow human being.

Let this remark by my friend be an eye opener to all of us. Let us all act with courage, conviction and courteousness to appreciate and criticise a right or wrong at the RIGHT time.

This world is unpredictable, our friends or even ourselves will not be there to cherish our applause if we don’t do it at the right time. It is time we think about how we could transform ourselves to a society that responds at the right time. Pass a smile; say a word of thanks whenever you have an opportunity. Show your presence and be there with a word at the RIGHT time. Will you?

Have a great day ahead,

Ramesh Menon

Originally posted on 14-10-2009….reposting on 18-06-2017

With a Women of “Positive Influence and Contagious Smile” (PICS)

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Labor Appreciation Day photo - Seema Shetty.jpgI very rarely take selfies as I am not good at it. Also, very rarely someone takes my photos as I am the one with the camera all the time! Friday, 28th April 2017 was a special day as I attended the Labour Appreciation Day as part of an early celebration to mark International Labour Day in the capital. HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development was the chief guest of the event.
My friends and I were invited guests as part of a service programme we have been doing at various labour camps in Abu Dhabi. The Master of Ceremony for the day was Ms Seema Shetty.
To add to her several qualifications, she has a new feather on her cap of achievements. She is a graduate from a course conducted by the Ministry of State for Happiness, United Arab Emirates.  Only 15 companies were selected to nominate and participate in this elite program which is modeled on the application of happiness principles at the work place, of which social work is an essential part of the curriculum.
Interacting with her and watching how smoothly, efficiently and energetically she conducted the proceedings which had several VVIP guests, I once again reaffirmed myself, the ministry is not wrong in their selection. She is indeed a #WomenofPICS – “Women of Positive Influence and Contagious Smile” that one can emulate.
I didn’t hesitate to ask for a selfie moment with her at the end of the show!.
Best wishes Seema Shetty. May your parents grace and god’s blessings in abundance shower on you to remain positively influential with health, wealth and prosperity.
#RameshMenonAbuDhabi  #clicksandwrites  #PassionatePhotographers #LabourAppreciationDay #InternationalLabourDay #Happyuae  #SeemaShetty  #WomenofPICS #Positiveinfluence  #Smile #Happiness #LoveAllServeAll
P.S: I got a feedback from her about my poor selfie skills!.

The way to go for Ambulances in Kerala!

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Road safety is always an important element in my life. I try and take care at all times, how I can be safe on the road, keeping in mind of the other fellow drivers and pedestrians safety too.

These days, whenever in Kerala, I have long drives, and thought of changing my car tires as they are reaching the stipulated mileage they are intended to run on normal roads. With that in mind, I went to one of the best shops available in my small town, and as they went on with the work, I watched the traffic that was happening at the evening hours in my town.

It was a weekend, a busy evening and continuous flow of vehicles on the road. I got around 30 minutes to be there and within that time, I happened to see 3 ambulances whizzing past my location.

All of them were being driven super fast, and suddenly my thought went deep inside the vehicles of the patients who are being transported and their condition and state of mind, if they are conscious!!!!.

After two ambulances crossed my location, I thought of recording the third one, as felt, these vehicles are being driven dangerously, ignoring all road safety rules. I felt, whether these drivers ever got any road safety driving training in their life.

I did not hesitate to try and capture the third ambulance as I noticed it coming and posted my comments to one of the active social media groups within my town asking for comments and probable ways of how things can be improved?

The suggestions varied from lack of facilities, narrow roads, no training or guidelines for these drivers.

I wonder whether Kerala State transport authorities along with Police and Hospital regulators consider this post as a plea to improve road safety training to the drivers who sit behind the wheels of these poorly maintained vehicles, called or so called as ambulances to save life.

A curious check with the onlookers in the area provided me with the fact that accidents involving ambulances are common these days and some of them are fatal.

Later on comments received from the social media concurred with the view that these ambulance drivers are never given any training and need for the hour is to make them understand to drive safely within the traffic conditions. A reader even commented that he escaped from being hit by this ambulance at a junction few distance away from the spot where I was staying!!

Road safety is very important and it is the duty of every individual on the road to make sure that the road is safer for transportation for the others who are there at that given point of time.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Here is my post in malayalam:

30 മിനിറ്റ് സൈന്റ്റ് ജോസഫ് കോളേജിന് മുന്നിലുള്ള ടയർ റിപ്പർ കടയിൽ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു. ആ സമയത്തിനുള്ളിൽ 3 ആംബുലൻസ് അങ്ങോട്ടും ഇങ്ങോട്ടും പോയി.
അവരുടെ സ്പീഡും പോക്കും കണ്ടമ്പോൾ അത് ഓടിക്കുന്നവരുടെയും അതിൽ കിടക്കുന്ന രോഗികളുടെയും കാര്യം ഓർത്തു പോയി. കൂടെ മറ്റു ജീവനക്കാർ ഉണ്ടോ എന്നറിയില്ല.
ജഗതി ഏതോ പടത്തിൽ പറഞ്ഞ പോലെ ആ നിലവിളി ശബ്ദം ഒന്ന് ഇട്ടു വേഗം ഓടിക്കൂ എന്ന വാക്കുകൾ ഓർമ്മ വരുന്നു.
ആ പറഞ്ഞ ജഗതിയും, ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ ഈ ട്രാഫിക്കിൽ ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു വണ്ടിയിൽ അവസ്ഥയിൽ പോകേണ്ടി വന്നാൽ, ഒരു പക്ഷെ ദയവായി അതൊന്നു നിർത്തി, എന്നെ ഒന്ന് ഇതിൽ നിന്ന് ഇറക്കി തരുമോ എന്ന് പറയുമായിരിക്കും. 

അതിന്റെ പിന്നിൽ പാഞ്ഞു പോകുന്ന ഒന്നു രണ്ടു ബൈക്ക് യാത്രക്കാരെയും കണ്ടു. രണ്ടു പേർക്കും ഹെല്മെറ്റില്ല?!

ആംബുലൻസ് വണ്ടികളുടെ സുരക്ഷയും (വേഗത, വാഹനത്തിന്റെ കണ്ടീഷൻ, ഡ്രൈവറുടെ കഴിവ്) എല്ലാം ഒരു പക്ഷെ പ്രത്യേകം ശ്രദ്ധിക്കേണ്ട കാലം അതിക്രമിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു.

1. നമ്മുടെ ഗ്രൂപ്പിൽ എത്ര പേർക്ക് ഇങ്ങനെ ഒരു അവസ്ഥയിൽ യാത്ര ചെയ്യേണ്ടി വന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്?
2 എത്ര പേര് ഇങ്ങനെയുള്ള വാഹനങ്ങളിൽ ജോലി ചെയ്‌യുന്നു ?
3. എന്താണ് റോഡ് സുരക്ഷക്കുള്ള നിങ്ങളുടെ നിർദേശങ്ങൾ ?

നമ്മുടെ ഇരിഞ്ഞാലക്കുട മെംബേർസ് എത്ര പേര് റോഡ് സുരക്ഷ ഒരു പ്രധാന കാര്യം ആണ്, അതിന് വേണ്ടി ഒത്തൊരുമിച്ചു പ്രവർത്തിക്കാൻ തയാറാണ്?

നിലവിളി ശബ്ദം ഇട്ടു ട്രാഫിക്കിൽ പതുക്കെ പോകണം എന്നല്ല, ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചു പോകണം എന്നാണു. ആ വാഹനത്തിന്റെ കണ്ടിഷനും ആ റോഡിലെ തിരക്കിലും അതിനെതിരെയോ, സൈഡിൽ നിന്നോ ശ്രദ്ധയില്ലാതെയോ, മാറ്റാൻ പറ്റാത്ത അവസ്ഥയോ വന്നാൽ ഒരപകടം തീർച്ചയായും കാണാം!

എന്താണ് ഒരു പോംവഴി എന്നതാണ് ഉദ്ദേശം.
പിന്നെ പിന്നാലെ ബൈക്കിൽ വച്ച് പായുന്ന രണ്ടുപേരുടെ ഉദ്ദേശവും ! ആ ആംബുലൻസ് പെട്ടെന്നു പ്രെയ്ക് ഇട്ടാൽ ഇതിൽ ഒരാൾ തീർച്ചയായും അതിനു പിന്നിൽ ഇടിക്കാൻ ഉള്ള സാധ്യത
അതൊക്കെ കണ്ടപ്പോൾ എഴുതണം എന്ന് തോന്നി
ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചാൽ ഒഴിവാക്കാവുന്ന ഒത്തിരി റോഡ് സുരക്ഷാ കാര്യങ്ങൾ നമ്മൾ പലപ്പോഴും മറക്കുന്നു.

ഒരു വിഷുക്കാലം കൂടി !

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ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട വളരുന്നു!!! അതെ നമ്മുടെ ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട വളരുന്നു!!! ഇനിയും സംശയമോ?
പുതിയ ഹൈപ്പർമാർക്കറ്റുകൾ , സിനിമ തിയറ്ററുകൾ – ഓരോന്നായി അങ്ങനെ വരുന്നു!.
വളരെ സന്തോഷം. അടുത്തവരവിൽ – ചെറിയ ചെറിയ ഷോപ്പിംഗ് കാര്യങ്ങൾ എല്ലാം തിടുക്കത്തിൽ കഴിക്കാൻ ഉള്ള ഒരു ഇടം കൂടി നമുക്കായി തുറന്നു കിട്ടിയിരിക്കുന്നു!.
കുറച്ചു മാറി ചിന്തിച്ചാൽ – മനസ്സ് കൊണ്ടും, ദൂരം കൊണ്ടും – നമ്മുടെ ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുടയിൽ വളരെ നല്ല നിലയിൽ നടന്നിരുന്ന ഒരു കച്ചവട പാരമ്പര്യവും, പ്രതിവാര ചടങ്ങും ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു. – “ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുടയിലെ  ചന്ത”.
എല്ലാ ആഴ്ചകളിലും കാലത്തു നാല് മണിക്ക് മുൻപേ അങ്ങോട്ട് നിര നിരയായി നീങ്ങി കൊണ്ടിരുന്ന കാള വണ്ടികളെയും കർഷകരെയും ഓർമ്മ വരുന്നു. ഇന്ന് അതെല്ലാം ഓര്മ മാത്രം. അതിരാവിലെ പോകുന്ന ആ വണ്ടിക്കാളകളുടെ മണികിലുക്കവും, അടിയിൽ തൂക്കിയിട്ടിരുന്ന റാന്തൽ വെളിച്ചത്തിന്റെയും ഓർമ്മകൾ കെട്ടടങ്ങിയിട്ടുണ്ടാവും ഒരു പക്ഷെ എല്ലാവരുടെയും മനസ്സിൽ നിന്ന്.
അവിടെ പോയി വില പേശി വാങ്ങിക്കുന്ന ആ സുഖവും, ആ കർഷകരും കച്ചവടക്കാരുടെ നടത്തിയിരുന്ന വ്യക്തിപരമായ ഇടപാടുകളും  എങ്ങോ പോയിരിക്കുന്നു. കയ്യിൽ കരുതിയിരിക്കുന്ന ക്രത്യമായി കണക്കുള്ള  പണത്തിനു താഴെ, ആവശ്യത്തിന് മാത്രം വാങ്ങി വന്നിരുന്ന ആ വാണിഭ പ്രക്രിയ ഇന്നത്തെ തലമുറ വീണ്ടും അനുഭവിക്കണം. അവിടെ കൊണ്ട് പോയി കാർഷിക വിളകൾ കച്ചവടക്കാരും ലേലക്കാരും ആയി വിലപേശി വാങ്ങുകയും വിൽക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്ന ആ സുഖം അവർക്കു കാണിച്ചു കൊടുക്കുവാനും അനുഭവിക്കാനും പ്രാവർത്തികമാക്കാനും ഒരു അവസ്സരം നൽകേണ്ട കടമ നമുക്കില്ലേ!
ഇന്ന് ഇങ്ങനെ പുതുതായി വന്നു കൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന വലിയ വ്യാപാര സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളിൽ പോയി ക്രെഡിറ്റ് കാർഡും കൊടുത്തു, ആവശ്യത്തിലും അധികം സാധനങ്ങൾ ട്രോളിയിൽ നിറച്ചു വീട്ടിലേക്ക് തിരിച്ചു വന്നു അവയിൽ ഒരു വലിയ പകുതിയും തുറന്നു പോലും നോക്കാതെ കളയുന്ന ഒരു ജനതയെ നമ്മൾ പ്രോത്സാഹിക്കുന്നു.
വൈകിയെത്തുന്ന ചില കാളവണ്ടികളും അതിന്റെ പിന്നിൽ സ്കൂൾ ബാഗുകൾ തൂക്കിയിട്ടു തൂക്കിയിട്ടു  സ്കൂളിലേക്ക് നടന്നു പോയിരുന്നു ആ പഴയ കാലവും പെട്ടെന്ന് ഓര്മയിൽ എത്തിയപ്പോൾ എഴുതി എന്ന് മാത്രം. അവരുടെ മൂളി പാട്ടുകളും കഥകളും കൂടെ മിന്നി മറഞ്ഞു.
നമ്മുടെ ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട നമ്മുടെ സ്വന്തം ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുടയിലെ തനതായ പാരമ്പര്യങ്ങൾ കൂടി വളരാൻ ഉള്ള ശ്രമങ്ങൾ കൂടി ഇതോടോപ്പോം ചെയ്യും എന്ന് കരുതട്ടെ.
എല്ലാ സുഹൃത്തുക്കൾക്കും എന്റെ വിഷു ആശംസകൾ. ഇത്തവണത്തെ വിഷു ഷോപ്പിംഗ് ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട ചന്തയിൽ നിന്നാവട്ടെ.
രമേശ് മേനോൻ

One more death – #RideSafely

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Feeling really sad to inform the death of my dear little Prakashan, who was an employee of Al Tariq Auto & Heavy Equipment maintenance, Sharjah. He was on holidays in Kerala when he met with a bike to bike collision and hospitalized in critical condition. The picture portrays my first memory of him when I met him 38 years ago. A little boy running behind our car through the village road with the traditional toy of those days for children, the cycle rim and the stick!. He went on to become an aggressive child, fighter and I really cried my heart out that he will fight out from this situation, in coma and CCU for the last three days. But, god has different plans and he left this world this morning into eternal peace. He is survived by his mother, wife and two young daughters.

May his soul rest in peace. I pray for the courage of his family members to withstand this huge loss, their only bread winner and offer my prayers and support.

This is the 3rd accident in the last quarter involving those whom I know, young and educated. Two of them survived and unfortunately Prakasan perished. All those did not used helmets! Two of them were fast and furious! How on earth, I can try and educate the young people to go slow and safe on two wheelers! There needs to be an all out effort. The cry of his mother, who brought him up alone since the age of three still ringing in my ears. It took a long time to pass the news to her and give her the strength to be the pillar of strength for his wife and two young girls!.

Life ahead for them is really long and need full support. May god bless the family.

Om Sairam.
Ramesh Menon
Wednesday, 12th April 2017.
#Roadsafety
#Ridesafely
#StartEarlyDriveCarefullyReachSafely
#Ridesafe

What surprised me is the laziness of people who just liked this post on social media and left it like that!!! Come out of your laziness, take the three seconds at least to type out RIP (the shortest form of consolation you can key in).

I dedicate a beautiful song on divine mother, thinking of her and all the mothers who lost their children at a young age!

“Thank you” note – Short Take

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This generation now is entirely different from the generation that I belong to. I am surprised by the ease with which they adapt to modern technology. For everything there is a solution that they can come out with.

Talk about the art of reading, and the situation is very different. Now, children are well aware of everything. They have an easy and always reachable guru in terms of Google search.

The art of reading from the books and gaining knowledge and engaging oneself is slowly dying down. Children reading newspapers have become a rarity.

It was, therefore, a surprise to notice a young graduate UAE national girl who joined me at office recently, keenly reading books and newspapers both in print and online. Curious, I told her she seemed a different kind.

She replied: “When I was a child, I used to have a nanny from the Philippines. Rosie was a teacher before she came to work with us. When we children used to get bored, she would tell us and teach us how to read from story books. At first, it was difficult and out of compulsion we followed. “Later on, when the words and photos got into our minds and thoughts connected with us in various ways, it became a natural process to reach out to story books, novels and newspapers. It is now part of our life.”

This being the Year of Giving, she expressed her thanks to her nanny Rosie, who is now settled in the US, through this short note.
Ramesh Menon

Read it in online in Gulf Today01 April 2017 - Thank you Note - Short Take Gulf Today

‘Instant fame’ is not worth endangering yourself

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Readers write to Gulf News about issues affecting them and their community

‘Instant fame’ is not worth endangering yourself

Readers write to Gulf News about issues affecting them and their community

Published: 14:02 March 25, 2017Gulf News

‘Instant fame’ is not worth endangering yourself

This is an extremely important move from Dubai’s Environment, Health and Safety Control Authority (“Local order against daredevil selfie takers”, Gulf News, March 21). They are curbing the recent craze of ‘selfie-adventurists’ doing dangerous stunts on top of high-rise structures. Not only is this a death-defying act, but also creates negative motivation for others to follow and receive ‘instant fame’ on social media.

In fact, people don’t just perform these kinds of stunts in Dubai alone – it happens everywhere. In one of my trips to Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, I witnessed a family encouraging children to jump repeatedly from the guard rails for a picture-perfect opportunity, while someone else kept clicking pictures on their camera. This happy excursion could have become tragic any time one of them fell down the side of a steep slope. I hope there will be more awareness programs to constantly alert and remind people of any imminent danger. Safety should be our priority at all times.

From Mr Ramesh Menon

UAE