AaDhaar – NRIs new fear! To or not to apply for Aadhaar?

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Mind Speaks - Aadhaar 26 July 2017ccTo news reports published in prominent newspapers Khaleej Times and Gulf News have created lot of confusion and fear among NRIs based in UAE.

On 24th July 2017, Khaleej Times came out with the news below:

NRIs urged to apply for Aadhaar Card


Filed on July 24, 2017 | Last updated on July 24, 2017 at 08.29 am

KT Aadhar

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are advised to apply for the Aaadhar card to avail of state benefits and for hassle-free transactions in future.

According to a manager of the NRI section of State Bank of India (SBI), the government has not exempted Indian expats from the Aadhaar card.

Jose GL, NRI section manager at SBI’s Varkala branch, Kerala, told Khaleej Times:

“My advice to NRIs is to apply for Aadhar Card, as there is a chance for the government to make it mandatory for expats as well. Without an announcement, the government has now asked everyone to link their Permanent Account Number (Pan) with Aadhaar, for income tax returns. There is no doubt that Aadhaar will become compulsory and beneficial for several transactions in the coming years.”


Today, 26th July 2017 Gulf News have come out with a totally contradictory version of it:

‘NRIs not eligible for Aadhaar ID card’


Published: 14:32 July 26, 2017

Binsal Abdul Kader, Senior Reporter

aadhar gn

If banks, or any Indian institutions, demand that Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) produce Aadhaar for official transactions, simply inform them that NRIs are not eligible for the identity card issued to residents of India, a top Indian official told Gulf News on Tuesday.

“Just tell them that we [NRIs] are not eligible for Aadhaar, therefore, don’t force us to produce it,” Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said in a telephone interview from New Delhi.






Whether to apply for an Aadhaar, the thought has now become aa dar (upcoming fear) for expatriates here.

Who to follow and what to do is very important and appreciate responsible newspapers should do necessary homework before publishing such important formation of high importance.

Appreciate to have a clarification from the Indian Embassy authorities on which of these reports are to be followed by all.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

26th July 2017




Be part of a drinking water project

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Drinking water project for birds

Summer activity for children (and adults)

It is summer time and here is an interesting project for all.

  • Take your used water bottles (preferably 5L bottles).
  • Modify it for attaching to the date palm trees within the city as shown in the photo.
  • Identify a suitable palm tree near your place.
  • Half fill it once daily (either early morning or evening) with normal tap water.
  • Continue to do it. Encourage others to follow too.

Done and you will be thanked by 100s of birds during this summer!

It was during one of my cycling trips that I noticed this innovative approach by someone. Thought, it should be promoted. Congratulations to all those who take part in this social cause.


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!.

Queuing system a must at bus and taxi stands

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Abu Dhabi city is looking much more beautiful these days with more cycle tracks, walkways, places to sit and relax as well as children’s play areas. What we need now is a queuing system for bus and taxi passengers at every station. I routinely see passengers fighting among themselves to board the bus or taxi first.

There should be proper signs, instructions and marks that will compel people to honour the queuing system.

It’s not that these people are not educated. But they disregard the system in the absence of any guidelines or mechanism.

Abu Dhabi Mall Cooperative taxi stand is an example of an efficient system. This should happen across the city.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

To read it in original, visit, The National online. {Photo courtesy The National}

Teach your children to remember essential contact telephone numbers!

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20170209_185033-2I was reaching my home this evening and as the lift door opened and I walked towards my flat, I saw a young boy walking restlessly in front of the door of a flat. I could see his eyes glow suddenly and face becoming bright and in a flash both went off seeing that the person coming out of the lift is not the one he was expecting!

Reaching near him and seeing his emotions, I asked him, what happened? He said to me that he has been waiting there in front of his tuition teachers home for nearly 15 minutes. Being a Thursday, he was not sure whether she had told him or not about the cancellation of the tuition class as he suspected that they have gone out of the city for the weekend already.

I asked him whether he has a phone to call her. He said, no.

Asking him whether he knows her number, the boy said no.

Then I asked him, whether his father or mother knows her contact number, he said to me, probably his mother. So, I offered him my phone and asked him to call his mother and find out. He said to me that he doesn’t know his mother’s number! I asked whether he knows his father’s number, he said, NO!.

I was shocked. A boy in 7th standard, probably about 13 years of age, does not know the contact number of his father or mother! They are both well educated!!

I asked him whether he knows how to go back to his home. He said yes. I told him to not wait there further and go back home.  Then, as a first and foremost thing, memorise their numbers without fail.

I believe that it is the duty of the tutors to inform the parents about the schedule and change of schedules so that parents can keep track of their child ‘s whereabouts. Parents should make sure to give their child with a card detailing full contact address so that in case of an emergency, his/her parents could be contacted.

The over usage of electronic equipment is one factor. But, not educating the children to memorize and remember essential phone numbers is alarming. Is it a sign of poor parenting? I don’t know.

Leaving it to you to do decide.  A weekend point to ponder.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

09 February 2017


Honest Kabali of Abu Dhabi Taxi

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It is my routine to take Abu Dhabi taxi once in a while. An occasional trip in the taxi bring back the memories of my olden days of Abu Dhabi. The taxis during the late 80’s driven by pathans and a few malayali’s. If it was a pathan driver, you can expect the usual routine questions like “thanka kithna he? (What’s your salary?), shaadi kiya he? (Are you married?) Etc…

Those taxis are a history now. The hobby and art of photography was not popular those days, and I do not have even one photo of the old Abu Dhabi taxi! Neither I can search and find them from the web!!.

The new taxis and the company that operates it are modern. The drivers too. Of course, like every other thing, with modernization comes the advantageous and disadvantageous.

For me, the idea of using the taxi within the city is manifold. First and foremost, after a long working day, I do not like to drive. Second, if I take a taxi, I can avoid the search around for a parking. Third and most importantly, I like to meet these people from diverse culture and try and generate conversation with them. Of course, as a person who likes to write, will definitely get his characters and substance many a times from these short trips.

There is also one danger that worries me all throughout the drive. That is the usage of mobile phones by these drivers. Especially, these days the use of social media while driving. Each time I take a taxi and find the driver using the phone, I consider it as an opportunity to talk to them and educate them of the dangers of using mobiles while driving.

Yesterday, was a busy day at work and then followed by the Supermoon, which I wanted to capture using my lenses. I had to leave for a programme at 7:45 pm. But, before leaving I wanted to click the moon and when I got to click the moon to some extent of my satisfaction,  I forgot all my work pressures and then off I went taking an Abu Dhabi taxi.

After the programme too, I took a taxi back home. As usual conversation started with the driver and his second name on the taxi meter attracted me. We talked several things within the short distance. It is my usual practice to keep my spectacle on my lap when I am in the car. Similarly I kept it this time too. While getting down quickly, I felt something fell down, but didn’t realise it was my spectacles. As soon as I got down the taxi took off and it was at that time I realized, there goes my costly spectacles, without which I cannot read!.

From the spot itself I called the taxi operating company of Abu Dhabi on their number 600535353 and reported about the missing item. The person who attended to my call, took the down detail and then told me we will get back to you soon. I gave them the description of the driver and also his second name.

This morning, I got a call from the taxi company that they found the car and the driver and also my spectacles was found by him. They also told me that he will come and personally return it to me.

After some time, there he comes – The “Kabali” of Abu Dhabi taxi. Thanking him for his promptness and honest action, I collected from him my spectacles.

Abdullah Kabali, the driver of taxi 5982, was very humble and upon my request posed for me for a photo. “Kabali Da”.  The name has a magic.

I thanked him and wished him the very best.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

15th November 2016

{The above is the longer version of the story. In short, I wish to thank the driver of taxi no. 5982 of Abu Dhabi taxi and their lost and found section to coordinate and retrieve my lost item and return to me within the shortest possible time. Thank you for your well coordinated effort.}


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adipec-thank-you-2I wish to offer a big personal thanks to the DMG Team members for their wholehearted support for the success of ADIPEC 2016. It was indeed commendable effort by each one of them. Indeed, a diverse and versatile team that worked efficiently to #MakeThingsHappen for #ADIPEC2016 successful organisation.

Claire , JP, Nick, Chris, Siham, Sandra, Salman, Muhammad, Faheem, Savitha, Queenly, Sabrina, Kate, Nour Soliman, Hanadi, Amore, Nagesh………… The list is becoming endless. Great going and May take this opportunity to wish you the very best for the success of your future events.

@ADIPECOfficial@dmgeventsMEA  #WorkingTogetherWorks – I enjoyed every interaction with all of you.