A must visit place when you are in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is a dream that was diligently made to a reality.
If you happen to be interested in art, history and photography and carrying a camera with you, I am sure, you will never finish clicking your photos. So many beautiful angles… I do not remember how many times, by now, I took my friends, family and official guests. I still fall in love capturing its beauty through my lenses and delay their return each time.
It is a nostalgic feeling to go back and back to the home where you lived your childhood days. Yes, this is my ancestral home. It used to be a big family. My great grandfather late Sankaran Nair and grandmother Kallyani Amma (fondly called as Narayanankutty amma) and all their children and family lived harmoniously. I remember my nursery school days when we children all sit together for breakfast and walk all the way to school from this home. Then the festival days, specially Onam, which used to be the only 2nd occasion, where we got a new pair of dress, and then gather together and play football and also enjoy the Onam festivities, specially Kummatti. I also remember the Vishu days, where we all lineup and wait for our turn to get the Vishu Kaineeettam from our maternal uncle Appettan, who used to be the senior most and the amount used to be a maximum of 25 paise to 1 Rupee. If he gives 1 rupee, others younger to him lesser than that… All coins collected, all children together will then rush to buy a football and play along for days on and on with it.
No complaints, no regrets, whatever was cooked in the common kitchen was consumed harmoniously. All played together, fought together, slept together.
And an occasional escapade to watch a movie at night for the second show means, we have to sleep outside…means remembering and fearing about the Yakshi’s or ghost stories that our uncle Aniyettan (Ramachandran) used to narrate to us….. Of course, not to forget the sound of rats and other rodents running around at the top of the roof….
Life was beautiful…. We used to talk to each other… We used to read the newspapers daily and most of all, we used to do our daily routines, get up early in the morning, a bath at the temple pond, then worship the family deity Oorakathammathiruvadi, take the prasadam – thirumadhuram – and then reach home…Do our pending assignments and then the regular breakfast, Iddli and chatni and packed tiffin, rice and dhal or tomato curry….
The day also starts with the only radio playing the traditional All India Radio music of the station opening at 6:00 am or so and then the regular news followed by Sanskrit news and other informative audio sections. I do not remember seeing a TV until my high school days.
Life goes on… for the new generation, it will not be easy to understand the depth of this note. However, I am sure, those in my era will really mean what it means..
The life before the electronic media overpowered us!. We will never get it back.
The date palm trees have flowered. It marks the arrival of a new season. Weather is cold now, but very soon it will change and the summer will begin. You can expect hot and sunny days soon. Then in no time, the holy month of Ramadan starts. By the time Eid Al Fitr comes, the flowers would have developed and fully ripened dates will be ready. I have been following them for the past several years. Each time they flower, it is an opportunity to remember about the past seasons. And also look forward to the future ahead.
If you have kids, take them around for a walk in the evening. Show them the changes to the trees and flowers as the flowers blossom to a fresh green date and then ripen to reddish and juicy ones.
Very few know about the hidden treasure from this part of the world. The actual date tree population in UAE is about 40 millions of which 8.5 in AL-AIN region. The gene pool is large and composes about 120 date varieties. New introductions from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Oman included Khallas, AbouMaan, Hallawi, Khissab, Khenezi, Nabut Saif, Jabiri, Hillali, Lulu, Chichi, Khadraoui, Sakii, Sultana and Barhi varieties.
UAE produces 533,701 Metric tons of dates on an average
As a Passionate Photographer, I always believe and propagate, a photo clicked is a history. You can never re-create it. However, you try!. There are several factors involved in the beauty and success of its presentation and representation. A keen eye, ready equipment, swiftness, aptitude and attitude, how you position yourself, how the external and natural lighting are, how you adjust our camera settings, and how the object you are photographing behaves while you shoot….. the list goes on endlessly….
During my recent visit to my home away from home, I was on a phone call, but noticed this happy union of a parrot and a squirrel enjoying a feast of their own!. I couldn’t resist. As usual, my camera was ready, I was ready and here it is, for you all to enjoy.
I am on a mission these days. It is for an important cause. Yes, you do not have to guess. For a Safer Road and safe travel and safe return daily to our homes!.
I am not exaggerating. Every second day, I am seeing an obituary note on the Facebook or Whatsapp groups I am subscribed to, informing of death due to road accidents. Many of them are young and the accidents have happened due to speeding. That is a self made disaster to self and family. On the other hand, I also get to read about many innocent lives being lost due to rash driving by some other people. Whether it be on bike or car or bus or trucks. There has to be some control, SELF CONTROL to prevail on our roads to reduce these deaths and injuries.
The above are photos of adverts created by me and installed on a busy road where my home is situated. I hope, at least a few understand the value of it and reduce their driving or riding habits and bring back sense and security on our roads.
These adverts alert road users on road safety guidelines like wearing of helmets, seat belts, avoid using mobile phones, and of course no driving under the influence of alcohol or any medication.
More efforts, combined with several groups and individuals to follow to make this happen. Till then, no rest.
If you agree with me and see the need for an increased campaign and alertness along with daily reminders on road safety, welcome to share this post.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
11th February 2019
Every second day there is a death happening on our roads in Kerala. Mostly bike riders. In order to remind, alert daily, I have released the 2nd road safety campaign to be printed and exhibited on a big Flex board in our home at Irinjalakuda, Kerala. The road in front is an extremely busy stretch.
This is my photo of the day. 2 minutes of short nap and my colleague caught me…6 days of non-stop effort. 1 more day to go for WFES 2019. Obviously, the photo is extra special as it is captured by our Remote Sensing Specialist, Damien DHONT!. He is the man behind our latest technology – The Subsea Gliders for Oil & Gas Exploration which is exhibited at our Stand A410 at WFES2019. Tomorrow is the final day of WFES2019. Thank you to all visitors who came to our stand welcome to those who visit us during the final day.