Opinion 2014

Hopes and Dreams 2015 – Peace and Harmony – Gulf News Dt 31 December 2014

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Peace and harmony
The year 2014 was one with mixed feelings filled with disappointments and achievements. From a global perspective, I am saddened by the manmade calamities happening around for known and unknown reasons or ideologies. As educated people, we can stay focused on goodwill and harmonious living. There is no other alternate way to win over the current situation. Do not fall prey to the call for extreme actions at any cost.

Looking ahead into 2015 gives lots of hope and optimism for those who wish to bring good to their communities. Personally, I am keen on seeing a peaceful and prosperous world around. To fit in my humble role towards this goal, I will try my best to create positive vibes through my writings.

From Mr Ramesh Menon

Abu Dhabi

Avoidable anger – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 27-12-2014

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Avoidable anger
The year that is passing by swiftly and silently has been one with mixed emotions and experiences. There were plus and minus aspects as always. Travelling around gave several opportunities for thoughts and photography opportunities, which led to many useful insights that I shared with interest through the Short Take column.
Last week, I was at the airport check-in. The line was long and the airline system was working slow due to some connection problem. A pregnant lady was at the counter handling the passengers. The delay made everyone restless. But, one passenger was more expressive. He reached the counter and as the process took extremely long, he started raising his voice and showering strong words at the girl. The lady was helpless and kept her silence and emotions well.
Standing behind him and watching all the actions, I asked him whether there was any need to raise his voice in such a tense situation unnecessarily as it raised emotions of others as well.
He said to me that it is his way of doing things and he felt comfortable by shouting at her. I smiled at him as well as the lady who was listening to the conversation, as she felt relieved to get some support.
We moved on to the security check point and a person ahead had some items inside his bag which was creating an alarm with the security system.
The screening process had to be repeated several times and it took time.
The man who created ruckus a few minutes before was behind and was standing without any option to show his emotions at the security staff.
We all who watched him shouting looked at him to see how he expressed his anger this time. He knew what we intended and gave us a helpless smile. It was sure he was sorry about what happened before.
A smile has several positive values at all situations. Let the year ahead be a positive one and let us all spread happiness and positive spirit with a sweet smile to those we meet.
Ramesh Menon

Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 27-12-2014

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online

Life without a phone – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 20-12-2014

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Life without a phone
Weekends are always special. But the last weekend was extra special. I got myself ready with my cameras early morning and set out to capture the sight of the race boats participating in the Volvo Ocean Race reaching Abu Dhabi. It was interesting as the non-favourable wind and weather delayed the arrival. What was supposed to be a two-hour boat trip got extended to more than five hours.
The experience was really good enough to understand the difficulties of the sailors out in the sea. It was all the more tough with limited facilities for those in the race boats participating in this extreme sport.
Closely covering and photographing the journey of the first three boats, I became friendly with the crew and wanted to have some personal shots and thought of taking it using my mobile phone instead of the professional camera. I was happy to pose with them and have some personal memorabilia shots taken.
Someone else had other ideas. As I moved along the crowd and got out to my car, I could not find my phone. I thought it would have fallen down. Reaching home, I searched all over and rang my number. It was ringing. In a few minutes it was giving a switched off mode and gone!
It took a few days for me to get a replacement SIM and phone and reorganise myself. At the beginning, I was feeling sad for the lost phone and the precious photos with the super heroes of Volvo Ocean Race. After a while, I did surrender to the reality and changed it to a blissful situation of absolute silence.
Life without a phone and calls. Unbelievable and absolute peace. Should I thank whoever took my phone and made it possible!

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today Short Take – Dt -20-12-2014

To bee, or not to bee – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 13 December 2014

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To bee, or not to bee
Our life is full of predictable and unpredictable actions and activities. That is one thing that makes it interesting. For me, for you and everyone for that matter.
I have been fascinated by a beehive in my balcony that has  developed into a beautiful one in size and population.
As the number of bees started growing, we took more caution to leave them alone. What will happen if by chance, the hive was disturbed!
My interest in nature held me from taking any action to remove the hive. I kept on observing them, their lifestyle and routine. With still and video photography, I kept on recording their activities from morning till night.
At one point, it was sure that the hive had to be removed. I was feeling sad till the last minute, as we had to remove it completely from our area.
The action known to us was unknown to the creatures. It gave me an opportunity to think about various natural calamities that happen suddenly without any notice to mankind.
At times, however equipped we are, we are helpless in front of nature and its fury or even any other destructive force that is on us. There is a lot to think about this and am leaving it to your imagination.

Ramesh Menon
To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online

Communal Harmony – Reader Pictures – Gulf News Dt 08 Dec 2014

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Gulf News reader Ramesh Menon took this photograph in Bengaluru, India. The Abu Dhabi-based reader said: “Wherever flowers blossom, you are sure to see honey bees. Our apartment complex was no exception. Pictured is a bee hive getting bigger, better and more beautiful each day, in my balcony. It would be a disaster if they are disturbed or hurt. They exhibit true communal harmony, which is very important for peaceful living.”

To read and see it in original, please visit Gulf News online

Busy bee – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 06-12-2014

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Busy bee
I like to travel and of course without fail my camera is always there with me. Visiting different places and meeting people known and unknown give me opportunities to explore new horizons.
Thanks to a long holiday in the UAE, I am currently exploring various cities.
This time my subject is not human beings but a colony of honey bees at a particular spot. Last time, when I visited, the hive was in a substantial size and shape. This time, they have become bigger and better. Without disturbing their habitat, I am exploring their life through different zoom lenses.
It is interesting and keeps me busy. Every story has to have an end and this one too. Very soon, the hive will be removed and harvested for honey and wax.
That makes me wonder if man is the greediest of living beings!

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online

Public speaking – Short Take – Gulf Today – Dt. 29 November 2014

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Public speaking
Public Speaking is an art. Some people are very talented at it. So much so, that we love to hear them speak for any number of hours.
It may be natural for some but for others it may be developed over a period of years. Both require indepth knowledge on the subject they speak and also huge amount of preparation before.
It is also the same case when it comes to answering questions spontaneously after the speech on the subject they talked as well as various others.
I was lucky to listen to two such speakers recently. One was a US scientist, who elaborated his mastery and presented it in the simplest manner that even a layman could understand.
The other one was one of my own seniors. With experience in the industry for about 40 years, it is a treat to watch and listen to him on any day. It comes so natural that the audience will never realise how much time and topic is covered until he leaves the podium.
It doesn’t end there as he has a natural way to answer post-speech questions. I haven’t seen him carrying a manuscript for his speech.
However, it was new experience for me and all others gathered who listened to him the other day at a huge gathering.
As he came in front of the podium, he took out a set of papers. Before reading out the key messages from it, he said to all. “Today, I am a virgin! It is the first time I am reading out from a pre-written note!”
It was really an icebreaker to capture the huge audience. Though he ventured out from the note at times, it blended perfectly.

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