Opinion 2015

Financial planning – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 05 September 2015

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It was Onam, the harvest festival of Keralites on Friday. I attended a traditional Onam lunch. It is always a great feeling taking part in such cultural activities.

The main attraction of the celebration was the traditional Onam feast, ie. Sadhya. A sumptuous lunch with a long list of curries served on a plantain leaf. All in traditional style.

As we were having the lunch, one of the dignitaries was addressing the crowd. He mentioned the value of money. These days we are hearing of several people affected by huge financial problems. Rich and ordinary alike are suffering because of poor financial planning.

His speech reminded me of KV Shamsudheen’s untiring community effort to teach the general public about the perils of bad money management and the importance of systematic financial planning in life.

Money is precious. Handle it carefully. It is hard to earn and easy to lose.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today Online

Electronic world – Short Take – Gulf Today Dt 29 August 2015

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This is the age of electronic communication. This makes things easier for all. Children are well read and if they have any doubt on anything in this universe, they have the Google guru to assist. They don’t need to ask anyone else. They don’t believe anyone else too! Either their friends or what they find from searching on the Internet through Google.

I am amazed and amused by this trend. The other day I was in a shopping mall lift. A family of three came in with their child in the pram. I noticed the cute little boy of 3 to 4 years playing with an Android phone.

I thought he might be playing some games. As I observed closer, I was proved wrong, he was watching videos from a YouTube link active in it. Selecting and changing one after another!

As it was Onam, the harvest festival of Keralites, I went to the vegetable section of the supermarket.

I found a young couple, probably recently married, busy shopping. The boy and the girl were trying to impress each other on their mastery on vegetables and cooking! It was nice to see them trying to make headway in their life journey.

In between the girl too was searching on the Internet for various ingredients to be bought for a traditional Kerala recipe.

As I stood in the queue, I could see her calling her mother to confirm whether the items and quantity to be purchased were correct!

What would we do in this modern world if the mobile or electronic gadgets stop working?

Ramesh Menon

Gulf Today, Short Take Dt 29 August 2015

Hard work – Short Take – Gulf Today – Dt 8th August 2015

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Hard work

I love to visit Mumbai whenever I get a chance. The place has a lot of specialities, which no other city in India can boast about. First and foremost I value is the way people work hard to earn their daily bread. One will get to find people living and enjoying with even a meagre daily income.

My regular visits have helped me connect with a special friend in Mumbai. I met him six years ago during a rainy season, when I was waiting for a taxi outside my hotel.

Many taxis passed by but I was not comfortable as I felt they might stop in the submerged roads. Then came the old model van. Its poor condition with open windows made it convenient for me to explore my photography opportunities. The driver was familiar with the city and took me around for the next three days.

The rapport continued from then on and every time he was my driver to take me around in Mumbai.

This time too I called him, but he arrived in a different car. His owner had sold his favourite (mine too) vehicle and given him a different model.

While travelling, several topics came up for discussion. I asked him whether he wanted to have his own car one day. He said he was happy with the daily earnings he got after paying a fixed amount to the owner.

With his earnings, he takes care of his wife and children, who live in another state. He said, “I believe in hard work and may be one day I would buy a bigger car to take tourists around. I don’t pray for a lottery win or any other way that I do not deserve.”

I am looking forward to the time when he would drive around in his own vehicle.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online

Abdul Kalam left a rich legacy – Letters to the Editor – The National Dt 30th July 2015

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Abdul Kalam left a rich legacy

Abdul Kalam left a rich legacy

Your editorial A humble man with big ideas (July 29) was poignant. With the death of Dr Abdul Kalam, India has not just lost a great scientist, but a great human being.

Two major incidents made this week particularly tragic for the country, as there was also a terrorist attack in Punjab.

Dr Abdul Kalam was a visionary, as he devoted his time to nurture young talent. He realised that the young generation is the backbone of the nation. He was also kind and compassionate. Dr Abdul Kalam strongly advocated an action plan to develop India into a “knowledge superpower”. His rich legacy will keep his memory alive. His books, particularly Wings of Fire and Ignited Minds, will carry his thoughts and ideas to millions of people. May his soul rest in peace.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit The National Online

Point to ponder – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 04 July 2015

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Point to ponder

Point to Ponder
Point to Ponder

It was a foggy morning and I looked through the windows outside. The busy road and the vehicles were not clearly visible as it used to be on any normal day.

Suddenly my eyes caught up with a flip calendar with a quote on it. The words on that day’s page read “Never do anything which you do not wish to do during the last hour of your life.”

I kept on looking at it for a long time. The foggy weather condition and the traffic situation were no more in my focus and thoughts.

My memories went back to a few years to a hospital room near the ICU. It was raining and I was consoling a loving family member who was, unknown to all of us at that time, in the last week of her life. Listening to my encouraging words, she was showing a brave face, but she knew at that condition a turnaround was the last possible thing.

That part of the thought ended then and there and it revolved to the present. Can we really make an effort to have the real essence of that sentence possible in our day-to-day life? I started thinking deep into it. How can we bring in a change that can make our last action everlasting?

Not an easy task. After all, no one wants to die fast. So, is that an excuse to do something unwanted to be given another chance to correct it?

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, visit Gulf Today online

Take a break – Short Take – Gulf Today – Dt 27th June 2015

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Take a break

Take a breakLife moves at a crazy pace. At times I feel the 5W’s of journalism is immaterial in our day-to-day life. Who we are, What we do, When do we have time for ourselves, Where are we moving to, Why life is like this these days?

No one has time for the other. The stories we were taught about birds and tiny creatures storing their bits and pieces of grains for survival during the monsoon season, when it is normally tough to get supplies, were simple management techniques driven hard into our mind to preserve for a tougher time.

Do we have such an ideology to teach for the young generation these days? I don’t think so. Everything is impulsive and instantaneous. You buy the latest phone and within a few months change it with a new model. Same with cars.

I think there is a need to slow down, relax and enjoy the precious moments with peace and harmony.

Ramesh Menon

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Lower the height of signboards – Letters to the editor – The National Dt 22 June 2015T

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Lower the height of signboards – Letters to the editor – The National Dt 22 June 2015

Sign boards

The new Onwani system will make it easier for people to access every location in Abu Dhabi. What we have to do now is get used to this change.

However, I would like to point out that the signboards with the building numbers and QR codes have been placed too high. This makes it difficult for short people or those of average height to access them to scan the QR codes.

Lowering the height of these boards will enable everyone to make use of the QR facility.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, visit The National online

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

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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

Don’t delay the midday break – Letters to the editor – The National Dt 08 June 2015

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With the temperature consistently remaining high, I would suggest the midday break be implemented with immediate effect. If you visit a construction site, you will notice how exhausted the workers are. It’s also necessary to ensure they get an adequate supply of water.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, please visit The National online

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

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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