Funny truck slogan

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funny truck slogan 1

Photo speaks: Imagine following a 1980 model Matador tempo van on the road! He was trying to show his old muscles at least with the funny truck slogan.

Compassionate Ramadan 2016 – Photography Competition

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Greatest photo journalism opportunity of the season for all Passionate Photographers! Do not miss out.

Classical Dance performance by Prateeksha Kashi

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Prateeksha Kashi at Soorya Festival Abu Dhabi

Happy to see the amazing classical performance of Prateeksha Kashi for Soorya Festival 2016 held at India Social and Cultural Centre Abu Dhabi. The event was organised by UAE Exchange. Well done. I couldn’t resist clicking some photos of her talented and graceful presentation. A full fledged review on it is under preparation. Wait to read it.

Countdown to Passionate Photographs of INDIA – Photography competition

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Passionate Photographs of INDIA

Exclusive photography competition to showcase Beautiful INDIA

On the occasion of ISC-IPEF Travel & Tourism Expo 2016  being held on 20th & 21st May 2016 at ISC Abu Dhabi

For all Passionate photographers of any age with an attitude of participating in a community event which may lead to a winning moment in their life!

Send us photos and videos (maximum 2 minute length) that you have captured during your visit to India. Photos taken using Mobile and professional cameras accepted. Awesome prizes to win!

Email your entries to: talentshare2016@gmail.com

Include the following details : Name, Age, Address, email, phone and a few words about the location and camera or phone you used to click.

Simultaneously post the photos and videos to Passionate Photographers group on Facebook with hashtags

#passionatephotographers  and #ISC-IPEF-TravelTourismExpo2016

Brought to you by: Passionate Photographers & Team 1 TalentShare

Entries close: 19th May 2016

  • All entries will be showcased at the venue during ISC-IPEF Travel Tourism Expo 2016
  • Photographs from every Indian State welcomed and there will be State wise special prizes for best submissions.
  • Participants are requested to submit photographs that are un-manipulated and real, and that capture their special moments in India.

Vishu and Cashew Nuts – money money money!

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Month of April and it is holiday season for children. Added with many festivals including Vishu.

A quick visit to my home in Kerala and a walk around brought back memories of my childhood days. We used to wait for the exams to finish and then starts the family visits. Children will come to our home as well as we visit their homes. In the villages, with farming and cultivation, it used to be fun all along. For us, the season brings an additional source of income to supplement our expenses, as pocket money used to be very very limited. Except for the 1 rupee or 50 paise given to us as “Vishu Kaineettam” – a tradition where elders give money to those younger to them on the day of Vishu, there was absolutely no source of money to either buy any toys or go for a movie at the local cinema. This is when we gather together and walk around and collect the fallen cashew nuts and then take it to the local vendor and sell them and keep the cash. The nuts are sold and the fruits are mostly eaten while collecting or on the way.

Of course and obviously the vendor will give us only lesser amount than the normal market rate as he knows very well that this is something we do without permission of our parents or relatives (although all parties are aware!).

Gone are those days, and now children have several other ways to keep them engaged, and money is not an issue at all. Engaging or getting them engaged is now a main source of income by means of “Summer Camps”. Advantage and disadvantage of modernization!.

This post is intended to all those who enjoyed the olden golden days will cherish remembering those days.

Flowering Mango trees announces the arrival of a new season

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വരവായി ഒരു മാമ്പഴക്കാലം കൂടി !
It is not only the date palm trees flowering, walk around the corniche and you will get to see the mango trees fully flowered. take your children out. show them, the nature’s natural way of informing us the change of seasons!.
This is from Abu Dhabi Marina Mall area.

Our Story of the Date Palms – 2016

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Invitation to Participate: Our Story of the Date Palms 2016
Time Frame to participate : 09 March 2016 – 10 July 2016
To all:
Have you ever watched the Palm trees flowering process?. If not, watch them from now on. The trees have started the flowering!.
It will be a good observation cum photography experience if you track it.
Inviting you to click them from wherever you are post them at the event page of Passionate Photographers on Facebook with details. Opt to choose the growth sequence in one or two selected trees.
A display of this wonderful event and the result of your efforts submitted to Passionate Photographers group is planned with selected photos from members later during the year – when this seasonal cycle gets completed with the dates ripe, mature and fall down announcing the arrival of christmas and another year end.
You are welcome to post any number of photosper week for the next 5 months on the subject. 16 photos selected by each member / each month , ie March, April, May, June, July – will be exhibited.
Photos taken using Mobile Phones can also be submitted.
Time Frame for clicking : 9th March 2016 – 10 July 2016
Please post your clicks marked for this event on to Passionate Photographers group and also email the soft copy of it to team1dubai@gmail.com 
with the subject line: Photo Competition – “Our Story of the Date Palms – 2016”
Please note to observe the time and date you click along with the GPS location of your object, for jury to identify it before the exhibition.
Original high resolution files will be required to be submitted at a later stage with full information of the photo and photographer. Files should not be modified or altered with.
For those parents with children interested or not interested in Photography, this will be a very good exercise to have them observe the nature, the seasonal changes and to observe and realise how nature announces the arrival of the seasons in its own way. Since it is spread out during a period of four months, it will be also a test to find out how patient you are towards your short term and long term objectives.
Thus, to create interactive interest among parents/children/teachers, photos of participating children below age 16 will be separately displayed and appreciated.
Those children who are participating in this event are also welcome to write a short story – not less than 300 words – on their experience of capturing the season that passed by while photographing for this event.
Please share this event with your friends and family who may be interested.
Please do not hesitate to contact me in case you have any further clarifications.
Welcome to participate and Best wishes in advance,
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
p.s: I welcome corporate and individuals sponsors to this event.
Below is a teaser for those who are interested. The opportunity is infinite!!!


#passionatephotographers #clicksandwrites #Ourstoryofdatepalms2016



Maha Shivarathri – the Universal Pati-Patni Day

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This year the Mahashivarathri is on 7th March 2016.

Let me repost an old article and a presentation named ShivaSakthi created by me marking the relevance of this day.

These days, we blindly follow several different types of days, for eg: Valentines day, mothers day, fathers day, friendship day, no-smoking day and the list goes on and on. When we look at it Shivarathri is the truly traditional family day or Pati-Patni day, as I term it. Because, from the ancient times, devoted wife’s pray and observe fast on this day for the well being of their husband and children and vice-versa, husband’s observe religious rituals and prayers like chanting Rudram and chamakam to give grace and prosperity to the well being of own family and the society.

There are many stories associated with Shivaratri and its origins.
One is about lord shiva drinking a poison and he held it in his throat by binding it with a snake. The throat became blue due to the poison (Thus Lord Shiva is also known as Neelakantha) and Shiva remained unharmed. In another story, it is said that the whole world was once facing destruction and the Goddess Parvati worshiped her husband Shiva to save it. Parvati named the night for the worship of Iswara by mortals Maha-Sivaratri, or the great night of Siva. After creation was complete, Parvati asked Shiva of which rituals pleased him the most. The Lord replied that the 14th night of the new moon, during the month of Maagha, is my most favourite day. It is known as Shivaratri. Parvati repeated these words to her friends, from whom the word spread over all creation. Another story is about a hunter. Lubdhaka, a poor tribal man and a devotee of Shiva, once went into the deep forests to collect firewood. At nightfall, he became lost and could not find his way home. In the darkness, Lubdhaka climbed a bel tree, and sought safety and shelter in its branches until dawn. All night, he could hear the growls of tigers and wild animals, and was too frightened to leave the tree. In order to keep himself awake, he plucked one leaf at a time from the tree and then dropped it, while chanting the name of Shiva. By sunrise, he had dropped thousands of leaves on to a Shiva lingam, which he had not seen in the darkness. Lubdhaka’s all-night worship pleased Shiva. By the grace of Shiva the tigers and wild animals went away, and Lubdhaka not only survived but was rewarded with ‘divine bliss’.
While most Hindu festivals are celebrated during the day, Mahashivratri is celebrated during the night and day that come just before the new moon. Each new moon is dedicated to Shiva, but Mahashivratri is especially important because it is the night when he danced the ‘Tandav’, his cosmic dance. It also celebrates the wedding of Shiva and Sati, the mother divine. Night represents evil, injustice, ignorance, sin, violence, and misfortune. Tradition says that Shiva, like his symbol the new moon, appeared in order to save the world from darkness and ignorance, before the world entered complete darkness. Those who observe the Mahashivratri fast only break their fast the next morning, and eat the prasad offered to Shiva. Young girls observe the fast and worship Shiva so that he may bless them with good husbands. They sing devotional songs in praise of the lord, and holy texts are chanted throughout the night. The pandits in the temples perform the puja according to the scriptures. This is done four times during the night.
For this auspicious day, I would like to dedicate to our global forum a painting named ShivaSakthi. It is also a dedication to all the loving mother’s, wife’s and sisters and also to all our fellow brothers for keeping our tradition and values always high, wherever we are.
I would like to also add a few words about this painting.
This is created purely using powerpoint tools and it was done as a result of a few minutes of quite time at a small temple near REC Chathamangalam, Calicut. On that particular monsoon evening (in 1995), it happened to be that there was no power in that area, and the darshan of the deity at the time during deeparadhana created an everlasting memory in my mind. The decoration of the Devi idol, simple and small, by the melshanti (priest) was simply superb. I added to it a similar devotion at another temple, which is Avittathur Mahadeva temple. And the result is this creation – Shivasakthi.
At both these places, the time available by the melshanthi (priest) to decorate the idols during the time the sanctum sanctorum closed for pooja, was barely 10 minutes or so. And imagine yourself the result when the doors are opened. It is the epitomisation of the ultimate sraddha (concentration), the dedication and devotion to provide us a blissful presence.
Can you imagine them practising this art somewhere else? Or re-doing it, if a little more of water has been added to the chandan and kunkum or bhasmam they mix in order to create these decorations.!!
There are many unsung heroes and these are a few among them. And it is also my way of tribute to the many who remain within the four walls of our own religious boundaries, who do not get to watch or listen to any of the niceties which we are blessed with.
No one has the patience these days, and to add ease to it, we have a wonderful creation called remote control. It makes things easy for our wandering minds to switch from one programme to another and to refrain from keeping focussed on one.
We undergo several rigorous rituals and follow procedures for many days and ultimately visit our favourite temples and the moment we are in front of the deity, we close our eyes and fall into deep prayers. At this moment, we go back to the old thoughts, photos etc, forgetting about the opportunity to meet the real lord who is in front of us in full – paadadi kesham. And we are pushed away for someone else to do his minutes or seconds of closed eye prayers. The moment you close your eyes, you forget your objectives.
Open your eyes, look at the realities, and react to it.
As the prayer song “Geet nahi, Sur nahi, phir bhi mem gavoom”, in this spiritual sphere of mental peace and inner joy, the responsibility for success or failure is entirely one’s own.
God bless and have a great time sharing good thoughts and deeds.
Ramesh Menon
6th March 2016
(originally posted in 2008)

Athirappally Vazhachal Waterfalls Kerala – A minute with ClicksandWrites

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The Athirappilly Falls is situated 1000 ft above sea level on the Chalakudy river, at the entrance to the Sholayar ranges of the Western Ghats.  Athirappalli is a scenic combination of forests and little streams. Falling from a height of 80 feet, this is one of the largest waterfalls in the state. Many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna are found in the forests of the Athirapilly-Vazhachal area. This area is the only place in the Western Ghats where four endangered hornbill species are seen. The Western Ghats is one of the most important biodiversity hot spot in the world. This valuable natural world is already degraded by mining and hydro electric projects. Environmentalists claim that Athirapally is a one-of its-kind riparian ecosystem in Kerala. V.S. Vijayan, Chairman of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board and former Director of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore, has been quoted in Down to Earth magazine as affirming that the Vazhachal forest division is the second most biodiverse area in the State. The International Bird Association has declared it an “Important Bird Area” and the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation has recommended that the area should be declared a sanctuary or a national park, he points out.

Athirappilly is popular among tourists. Athirappilly Falls is one of the best places to visit in Kerala. Another popular waterfall to visit is the Vazhachal Falls. Athirappilly Falls is a part of Chalakudy river and it is approximately 80 feet in height. Athirappilly is easily reachable from Chalakudy by taking a vehicle for rent or by bus from the Chalakudy private bus terminal.

Proper precautions are taken on site to prevent mishaps while swimming and a police camp is always positioned there. Athirappilly is situated on SH-21 highway connecting Tamil Nadu and Kerala, night driving is not advised. But you can enjoy the adventurous drive in the middle of jungle.

Route through Valparai: Coimbatore-Pollachi 40 km-Valparai 65 km From Pollachi onwards, the road climbs up steeply through tea estates to Valparai. From Valparai, the road goes through dense wild jungles after Malakkiparai. Route is as follows: Valparai-Malakkiparai 22 km-Sholayar 24-Peringalkuthu Dam 25-Vazhachal 5-Athirapalli 5-Chalakudy 33 km.

Route through Angamaly: For tourists from Cochin and other northern side of Kerala can take a short cut from Angamaly. After Passing Angamaly take right turn after the bridge. This route will pass through Mookkannoor, Edalakadu, Ezhattumugham, palm oil plantation and connect to Athirapilly Vazhachal route. This route can save time, distance and you can enjoy nature.

Route through Chalakudy: Tourists from Chalakudy and other southern side of Kerala can take the Athirappilly route starting from Anamala Jn. Chalakudy and pass through Kanjirapilly, Vettilapara Athirapilly route.

There is absolutely no human settlement between Malakkiparai and Peringalkuthu Dam. Wildlife—elephants and bison—spill over onto the road, and night driving is discouraged. Both Vazhachal and Athirapalli are on the same Chalakudy river.

Athirapalli Falls is best visited during rains. The rest of the year there is water flow but hardly the spectacle it is from June to October.

There are two water theme parks (Silver Storm and Dream Word) and many resorts on the way to Athirapilly.

A minute with ClicksandWrites is a series designed to highlight various events that I attend or location that I visit through short videos. The video also has a key safety message that is to remind each and every one that safety is a priority for all, especially road safety.

#StartEarlyDriveCarefullyReachSafely is the prime message that is the need for the hour. Beware of other drivers mistakes and drive carefully and cautiously see through to have a blessed day.

#StartEarlyDriveCarefullyReachSafely  #SafetyFirst  #PassionatePhotographers

#ClicksandWrites  #AminutewithClicksandWrites #KeralaTourism #VisitKerala