Short Take

Basic values – Short Take – Gulf Today Dt 07 October 2017

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Life is not easyMind Speaks - Oct 2017 - Basic Values for most of us. People face different challenges, personal and professional tensions. However, some are fortunate. They enjoy privileges that they don’t deserve.

Opportunities for excelling in one’s field are rare. They have to be grabbed with both hands and mind with a “Thank you” note to God almighty.

But, some take it all lightly. For mundane reasons, they resist changes in life and situations happening around them. What one has to remember is there is no assurance that you will be in the position that you are now the next moment.

The only thing one can control is conduct, dedication and self-discipline. Do not add anything more to existing disharmony. Always try to understand from the other side of the fence.
Ramesh Menon

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Short Take – Gulf Today dated 07 October 2017

“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

Connecting to the need of the hour – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 20 February 2016

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Connecting to the need of the hour

I love travelling as it gives me an opportunity to meet people and discover places. Mostly my trips are to meet family and friends in India. Another opportunistic advantage I create is to cut down on time spent in the electronic media. I take my car out and travel to known and unknown places every day. Since I will be travelling, I have the option to connect and disconnect at will. Hence, I do click and share the places and events I come across with my parents and well wishers through social media. At the same time, I can judiciously dissociate myself from any unreasonably urgent tagged request for actions.

When I returned after such a trip and connected to wifi to see my message, I was surprised to see an important message requesting for assistance to find a speaker for the Martyrs’ Day event. The organisers wanted a UAE national to speak about his experiences of knowing or reading about Mahatma Gandhi and his priniciples.

Knowing the urgency and importance, I didn’t have a second thought to refer Sultan Al Hajji,  an established toastmaster,  administrator working in a reputed oil company and moreover a good humanitarian who speaks his mind out in a humorous way reaching the audience.

Back in Abu Dhabi and listening to him at the function addressing the audience at the packed Embassy of India auditorium, I realised, he knew more than what we know about Gandhiji and his values. The applause he received at the end of the speech and also by the congratulatory remarks from fellow speakers confirmed it.

We indeed need a world of non-violence and patience, and if possible filled with mirth and common sense.
Ramesh Menon

Positive approach – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 02 January 2016

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It was a period of no responsiveness from me since September. It was a trial. I have been active on community issues and always tried to express my opinion in my favour or against for the benefit of the community.

Whether it is in the UAE or in India, I never changed this outlook and kept an eye always on issues where I could contribute and create a better environment.

However, some actions and results associated with this committed interaction suddenly gave me an alarm bell and I thought I should try to disassociate myself.

It was a difficult effort and since September I kept a “no response” approach to everything. Whatever I see or hear will have no action from my side. I did it. Not even once did I react.

That was a trial period and is now over. Just to see whether I can stay away from the influence of the surroundings! Yes I did and I can.

Am I like that? No, I am not a person who has no commitment to the family and society.

Our actions speak volumes when we live in a society. So bring positive attitude and effect to all those who are around you. I pity those who try to shout at helpless subordinates for problems of their own! With their actions, they bring a ripple effect of emotions and actions to those who are affected by it.

It will not be positive and will have a detrimental effect on those who they interact with. I always suggest to my friends to become the ambassadors of positivity.

Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online

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

Take the right path – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 11 July 2015

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Take the right path

I love to explore and experience the beauty of this country, its culture and values. 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, or who speeds and misses hitting my car while travelling between work and home.

The country is growing in pace and volume and along with it the diverse culture and style.

Several times I ask myself why the public has a tendency to violate rules and values when they clearly know that these are not to be violated especially during this holy period. A self-realisation from within is essential.

Ramesh Menon

Gulf Today, Short Take Dt 11th July 2015

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



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