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.
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.
Spread the cheer
It is my cultivated nature to keep smiling whatever situation I am in. The routine to office is almost the same pattern every day. Going down the building, I meet my watchman, then the car wash guy and then the municipality gardeners.
My day begins with a short conversation and hello to them and then off to my office in my car. May be as I travel daily at a particular time, I get to see familiar faces on the wheels in adjacent cars.
People rushing to office applying the last-minute touches to their tie or a final makeup touches by a woman lady driver, is almost regular to witness. At the parking in the office again, I meet the same faces, starting with the security staff at the basement and then at the entrance of the office, followed by the coffee boy. They reciprocate with a smile.
One day, I was really tense and somehow, I forgot the smile, all through my journey. At office too, I forgot to greet and smile. The day passed by somehow and by next morning, I had recouped and then carried the same smile and routine.
The coffee boy followed me and asked what happened the earlier day. “We get motivated by your smile and small wishes, but yesterday, it was not there and it affected us also.”
It was then I realised the value of that gesture. Knowingly or unknowingly, I was passing on something that was infectious to those whom I met and valued it.
Whatever be the financial or worldly situation around us, let there be no recession when it comes to spreading goodwill and a sweet smile.
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online.
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.
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today Online
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.
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online
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?
To read it in original, visit Gulf Today online
Take a break
Life 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.