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.
I love to visit Mumbai during rainy season. It is because I love to see Mumbai when it rains. To photography it during the rain is something very special.
Normally, I stay in hotels close to the airport. Approximately 14 years during one such, I was waiting outside the hotel with my camera kit to see whether I can get a suitable taxi to go around Mumabi.
It was the days of Maruti Omni’s, and one such high roof car slowed down. I asked him, can we go around for a drive. He asked me where? I said, no such specific places, but take me wherever you feel I can click some good photos. It was around 08:00 am in the morning and we finished the day at 10:00 pm and then straight to airport to catch the flight back to Abu Dhabi.
A strong bond was made that day. Till now, whenever I am in Mumbai, I have a safe person to take me around. With more than 2 camera, and all other valuable items, I can safely travel with him, without any fear. Trust and dependability is a key factor in building relationships. Moreover, he is a safe driver too.
Over the period of years, life has evolved in several ways for him and me. We both lost a few key family members battling cancer. Whatever little help I could, I always passed on to him. In turn he has never ever asked me for a favor.
Only change that has happened in him is his car. He has Hyundai car instead of the old Maruti Omni High roog, (which I still prefer a better one than this). He got married, has children now.
If you are in Mumbai and wish to take his service, you can call him with confidence. His number is there on the photo.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi.
Summer is picking up and it is getting hotter and hotter during the day. Every drop of water is precious. As usual this year too, I witnessed this act of kindness from someone who diligently kept water for the birds and small animals on the street.
You can follow him too. Keep some water outside in small containers for the silent and beautiful creatures of this universe.
Write back to writing days!
A deliberate silence of 125 days away from blog…. I cannot say, it was accidental and I cannot say firmly it was deliberate. Mind Speaks all the time within me and comes out of words and sentences and normally I never hold them. But, this time I did.
Why did I do it?
A good question to me first? The void created by my father’s death was one among them. Indeed, the period from July 2016 till August 2017 was a fast-track time for me to complete and tick-off many items from my father’s wish list. Between us, there was always harmonious and silent communication happening all the time. I knew what he wanted and he knew very well that if it was in my reach, I will do it at any cost for him. It is now emotional as well as memorable to recollect the visits to places and friends we made during those days. I knew very well how fast his life clock was ticking to come to an abrupt and silent end. It happened on 17 August 2017.
Is that the case for me distancing myself away from the blog? Not really.
I continued to click and post on FB or instagram or other social media and kept my presence alive. However, it did not give me the full satisfaction that I get when I am here on the “Mind Speaks” section of my blog. It is where I express myself, what I think about and see around.
I see things in a different way than I used to do before. It is because I believe no one bothers about the other these days. It is also because, I see that all news are of value only for that moment or may be hour or a day. Then it becomes nothing. There are several examples. People go back to their routine very quickly these days. I find excessive use of mobile as one of the reason for this change. There is always something or other thing to take your attention away. It is good as well as it is bad. All along I have been giving extra focus on road safety and community issues. In future, I will be adding some more key elements to my writing to highlight human values like respect, togetherness, friendliness, confidence etc – there are many to add and where we stand now?
One thing is for sure, I cannot hold my thoughts and stop expressing my mind. One other important note is to affirm – it is easy to preach, but difficult to practice all the above.
I am right back here to my writing days. I am sure you will come back as often as you can to read and comment.
04th March 2018
Palakkad Radhakrishnan – One and only combo personality of all Abu Dhabi satsangs. A humble and simple person who plays multiple roles whenever there is a community activity of significance happening in Abu Dhabi. Percussionist, singer, good cook, last to leave – an overall selfless volunteer!.
He might not belong to the category of professional percussionists or vidhwans. But, he plays his beats from his heart with full of strength and divinity, and that covers the completeness of his music even if he is not given a microphone for his instrument as it happens many times!.
From physically assisting the set up of the venue from start till the end and also performing as percussionist of quality, I really admire him and his value to all of us.
I cherish my association with him all along.
Matha, Pitha, Guru Daivam. He is an example and continue to be, as he leaves Abu Dhabi tomorrow, 31st October 2017, after 21 years of Service to serve his aged mother.
May all Sathgurus and Gods shower him with peace, prosperity, good health and overall well being.
He will be available on Whatsapp +97155 657 89 75.
The divine ambience he creates can be enjoyed by listening to the above song where he plays Dholak to a beautiful bhajan.
Life is not easy 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.
To read it in original, please visit the below link:
Short Take – Gulf Today dated 07 October 2017
ദേശാടന പക്ഷികളുടെ സാന്നിധ്യകൂടുതൽ കാരണം ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട റെയിൽവേ സ്റ്റേഷനും പരിസരവും ആരോഗ്യത്തിനു ഹാനികരമായ അവസ്ഥ സൃഷ്ടിക്കുന്നു. അനേകം പക്ഷികൾ തമ്പടിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നതു സ്റ്റേഷനോട് ചേർന്ന് ഉള്ള വന്മരങ്ങളിലാണ്. അവയുടെ വിസർജ്യം വന്നു വീഴുന്നത് റെയിൽ യാത്രക്കായി വരുന്നവരുടെ വാഹനങ്ങളിലോ അവരുടെ ശരീരത്തിലോ ഒക്കെ. കൂടാതെ ഈ വിസർജ്യം അവിടെ കിടന്നു, മഴവെള്ളത്തിലൂടെ ഒലിച്ചു സമീപ പ്രദേശങ്ങളിലേക്കും എത്തി പെടുന്നു. സഹിക്കാൻ പറ്റാത്ത മണത്തോടെ യാത്രക്കാർ മൂക്ക് പൊത്തി പിടിച്ചു നിൽക്കുന്നത് സ്ഥിരം കാഴ്ച. ശ്വാസകോശ സംബന്ധമായ അസുഖമുള്ളവർ ഈയിടെയായി ഈ സ്റ്റേഷനിൽ നിന്ന് യാത്ര ഒഴിവാക്കുന്നു എന്നാണ് അറിയാൻ കഴിഞ്ഞത്.
സ്റ്റേഷൻ അധികൃതരുമായി കുറച്ചു നേരം സംസാരിച്ചതിൽ നിന്ന് മനസ്സിലാക്കിയത്, ഇതിനകം തന്നെ പല ഓട്ടോ ടാക്സി തൊഴിലാളികളും, സ്റ്റേഷൻ ജീവനക്കാർക്കും ശ്വാസകോശ രോഗങ്ങൾ വന്നു കഴിഞ്ഞു എന്നാണ്.
രാത്രിയിലെ വെളിച്ചവും, എല്ലാ സമയത്തും ഉള്ള യാത്രക്കാരുടെ സാമീപ്യവും ഈ പക്ഷികളെ ഇവിടേക്ക് ആകർഷിക്കുന്നു. ഓരോ പക്ഷിയും ദിവസ്സേന ഏകദേശം 3.5 കിലോയോളം മൽസ്യത്തെയോ മറ്റു ചെറു ജന്തുക്കളെയോ ഭക്ഷിക്കുന്നു എന്നാണു കണക്കാക്കപ്പെടുന്നത്. ഇത് വൻ രീതിയിൽ ഈ പ്രദേശത്തെ ജന്തു ജല ജീവി സന്തുലിതക്കു ദോഷം വരുത്തുന്നു എന്ന വസ്തുതയും നമ്മൾ മുന്നിൽ കാണേണ്ടതുണ്ട്.
വല്ല വിധേനയും ഇവയെ ഇവിടെ നിന്ന് തുരത്തിയില്ലെങ്കിൽ ഇനിയും നിരവധി യാത്രക്കാരും അവരുടെ വാഹനങ്ങളും സ്റ്റേഷൻ തൊഴിലാളികളും ഈ ദുരവസ്ഥ അനുഭവിക്കേണ്ടി വരും.
സമീപ പ്രദേശത്തെ എഞ്ചിനീയറിംഗ് കോളേജ് / ടെക്നിക്കൽ കോളേജ് വിദ്യാർത്ഥികൾ ഇത് ഒരു പ്രൊജക്റ്റ് ആയി എടുത്തു, റെയിൽവേ അധികൃതരുമായി ഒത്തു ചേർന്ന് ഏതെങ്കിലും തരത്തിലുള്ള ഹൈ ഫ്രീക്യുൻസി തരംഗങ്ങൾ ഉപയോഗിച്ച് ഇവയെ ഓടിക്കാൻ ഒരു ശ്രമം നടത്തിയാൽ, ആ മരങ്ങൾ മുറിക്കാതെ ഈ ആരോഗ്യ പ്രശ്നത്തിന് ഒരു പരിഹാരം ആവും.
Abu Dhabi city is witnessing a lot of fitness enthusiasts these days. People are walking and cycling more than they used to do earlier. The recent hike in taxi fares may be one of the reason. The normal cheap taxi fares no more exist. The moment you hop into an Abu Dhabi taxi, the minimum charge applicable is AED 12/-. This has resulted in many taking up cycling as a more convenient option.
What do you do if you cannot afford to a costlier or bigger bicycle? You look at various online sites for secondhand bicycles being sold. Going for the cheaper ones, you end up buying even children bicycles. Modify it a bit and allow and standing stand for your partner to stand at the back, you are ready for your daily trips. This is what you are witnessing these days in the city.
It is hot, but it is enjoyable. Start early before the sun rises. Work late till it cools down. Cycle your way to office and back home. You are perfectly fit.
Of course, there is a big advantage. However, stressed you begin your journey, after a few minutes, you will forget and start enjoying the beauty around or even reliving your past…
Try it out and tell me if I am wrong. Happy and #SafeCycling #InAbuDhabi
To 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
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
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
ശാരദേച്ചിക്കു ഹൃദയത്തിൽ നിന്നുള്ള ഭാഷ്പാഞ്ജലി !
(wife of late M N Vijayan)
ചിന്തകള്ക്കും ചിന്തകര്ക്കും മരണമില്ല. ആശയങ്ങള് ഫലപ്രദമായി ധൈര്യത്തോടെ എഴുതാനും തുറന്നു പറയാനും അത് മനസ്സിലാക്കിക്കാനും ഉള്ള കഴിവ് വളരെ ചുരുക്കം പേര്ക്കെ ഉള്ളു. ഒരു വലിയ പുസ്തകശേകരത്തിനുടമ. ഇപ്പോള് അത് കൃത്യമായി സൂക്ഷിച്ചു പരിപാലിച്ചു പോരുന്ന അദ്ധേഹത്തിന്റെ സഹധര്മിണി ശാരദ ചേച്ചിയോട് മലയാള നാടിനു വലിയ ഒരു കടപ്പാട് ഉണ്ട്. ഓര്മ്മകള് മരിക്കുമോ ഒരിക്കലും ഇല്ല.
വേദനയോടെ അവരുടെ നിര്യാണവാർത്ത പങ്കുവക്കുന്നു. സാസംകാര ചടങ്ങുകൾ ഉച്ചക്ക് 3 മണിക്ക് കൊടുങ്ങല്ലൂർ വച്ച് നടക്കും എന്നറിയുന്നു.
ആ സന്ദർഭത്തിൽ ഞങ്ങൾക്ക് സ്നേഹപൂർവ്വം തന്ന ഒരു അപൂർവ വിഭവം.