Today is the day for cricket. Posting an old blog post of mine, which I feel remain valid.
Mind Speaks – Be there with a word at the RIGHT time. Will you?
I haven’t come to the Mind Speaks section of my English blogs for some time. It is not that my mind was not speaking or stopped speaking. It is due to the fact that it was speaking too much elsewhere that it didn’t get an opportunity to pass by this side. It was wearing different language and tone caps and expressing it thoughts and moods without any holds as it arrived.
But since few days I have been thinking over about this particular topic which I am writing here today. It was after one of my Face Book friends Sri Ramachandran Vettikkat wrote on his wall about the death of a fellow blogger named Jonavan (Naveen George) from Kuwait. It was a tragic and untimely demise. But, what happened after that is “his story world-wide”. Suddenly his blog became a sensation for media and readers around. Commenting on this sad plight, Sri Ramachandran wrote about his unhappy feelings on actions of fellow human beings around. I am sure this particularly emphasise appreciation towards creativity. The state is such that, either he/she has to die in an accident or commit suicide. This is what he expressed. Either of them is tragic and deplorable for the development of arts, fields and culture. I agreed with him totally in my reply. Although it is a cruel remark, it is the actual case now. In fact, it is true for every budding artist or talent – people tend to ignore when creativity is submitted and do not even raise a thumbs up or down, or a sentence of criticism or appreciation. I hope this attitude will change, and sincerely wish to see it changed.
We have seen it several times, over and over. The other day, when I posted a photo of Kapil Dev in the photo sections, I got a query from one reader, whether I know him or not? Who do not know him? No, that is not the right answer. I was lucky enough to be with him at the VVIP Stand of Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium some months ago during the SAARC UAE Exchange Cricket Tournament. When thoroughly convinced that he was at ease without any crowd hanging around and in a relaxed mood to speak, I joined him for a cup of tea. We were watching the match as it progressed. Conversation progressed and somehow it came to the topic of that beautiful stadium which remained empty even during the finals. I slowly directed him to the topic of IPL and ICL and asked him why ICL did not get the much required boost where as IPL managed a huge success. His answer to me was an eye opener. He expressed to me that it was lack of interest from the sponsors and also attitude by a certain section of people in authority.
“Attitude” – even a man of Kapil Dev’s stature is subdued by this giant killer of creative harmony. It is a serious concern.
We all come from different walks of life, and walk past different routes and directions of it each day. During the same course, we come across several people and some remains within our mind for a longer time and some are easily forgotten. Certain actions by certain individuals will easily capture our admiration and then we follow them and certain others, they might have a slow start and we tend to ignore them totally.
It is time we think about how we could transform ourselves to a society that responds at the right time.
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, and who speeds and misses hitting my car while travelling between work and home. The world is growing in pace and volume and along with it the diverse culture and style.
Even during the holy month of Ramadan, I witnessed women dressing scantly, people smoking discreetly, which a few years down the lane I could have never even imagined or seen. Several times I did ask myself, why public has a tendency to violate rules and values when they clearly know that these are not to be violated during this period to give respect to the religion and numerous people who follow it. May be I will be labelled crazy, if I discuss such things frequently. But, how can I resist expressing myself. No, never, I will never keep my thoughts within.
In my own personal experience to promote creativity without any commercial gains bearing solely the flag of TALENT SHARE, I have received support from several unknown sources. Faces whom I have never met, or even never personally communicated and have come forward and expressed their share of experience related with it.
The idea behind this came to me as a spark. It happened on one evening, when a small child of 7 years old was brought to my home for assistance to develop an attitude for mathematics. A casual talk with the child and his parent made me realize the brilliance of this little boy who is being really put into test by his parents. Children these days are being forced upon to learn several talents at a younger age whether or not they are interested or have an affinity for them. Because, parents, or a relative or a friends child, or someone else is learning them and doing well, it becomes a necessity for many children to follow suite. Talks with several parents on the way across this program I realised that many are not aware of what their child has naturally in him. Where is the time? Or, I have not seen him doing this or that? These were the answers about children from some of the parents. However, this was not the case with everyone. There are some who did find time to makes sure to sit with them, observe them, identify their liking and nurture them accordingly. I am with this group.
The influx of financial gains for participation in several talent shows have made it almost statutory for parents to teach their children with dance, music, or cricket. It is now almost a reality that you do not get to see anyone saying that oh, my child is good at painting or good at writing stories. Everything is in short from the childhood days. At the very young age which the child starts going to his play school and the tuition classes following it, he is given a mobile and there starts his membership in SMS (Short Minded Society) life style. Everything he sees and express is short. If this is the state now, I really wonder what it will be in a short time, when we will cease to see any stories, novels or poems? The electronic gaming devices have totally ruled out children from sharing their thought process to be expressed through their coloring or sketching medium.
It was all these thoughts and fears and also the liking for non-performing arts that made me work on such an initiative to identify and nurture those little ones who has it in them to take us to an entirely different world. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like performing arts and games. These days, I am excited like an expectant parent with a big belly in the good old days. I do not know whether there will be one healthy child, or many from this. As the traditional doctor with his experience carefully examines and declares that the patient has been well taken care during the various stages and child inside is showing a healthy movement, and declares to the parent, be confident, it is going to be a safe and successful delivery. I am sure you all will be keen to see the result too.
Birth obviously brings me to the topic of death. Recent times, I have gone through emotional stress due to the loss of a few close friends. Sometimes, we think, an accidental death is much easier than to have a painful and slow death. It is not the fear of dying, but the agony of seeing them suffering with pain and trauma. Aspects related to these deaths surfaced harsh realities in life. In both the cases, the people around them ignored them with timely assistance and support to their family. As the person on death bed was fighting with the pain, he was also suffering from added mental trauma of what will happen to his immediate family once the inevitable happens. No assistance from any side and the poor souls departed leaving several tasks incomplete. At this point arrives our social crusaders. Let me be positive here too. At least after the death, their eyes opened! May be they will see it from the heaven, if one such thing exists.
Heaven reminded me of speeding and hell. Due to several requirements, I have to travel between Abu Dhabi and Dubai several times during each week. Each drive through Abu Dhabi Dubai highway is becoming a come back to life and normalcy. Drivers are too erratic and every time, I miss an opportunity from being hit from the back or the side, I feel, these drivers do not love to live for self. I am extremely sure they do not love public to live safe too. This is definitely a dangerous world and too short, if people carry an attitude towards his fellow human being.
Let this remark by my friend be an eye opener to all of us. Let us all act with courage, conviction and courteousness to appreciate and criticise a right or wrong at the RIGHT time.
This world is unpredictable, our friends or even ourselves will not be there to cherish our applause if we don’t do it at the right time. It is time we think about how we could transform ourselves to a society that responds at the right time. Pass a smile; say a word of thanks whenever you have an opportunity. Show your presence and be there with a word at the RIGHT time. Will you?
Have a great day ahead,
Originally posted on 14-10-2009….reposting on 18-06-2017
Feeling really sad to inform the death of my dear little Prakashan, who was an employee of Al Tariq Auto & Heavy Equipment maintenance, Sharjah. He was on holidays in Kerala when he met with a bike to bike collision and hospitalized in critical condition. The picture portrays my first memory of him when I met him 38 years ago. A little boy running behind our car through the village road with the traditional toy of those days for children, the cycle rim and the stick!. He went on to become an aggressive child, fighter and I really cried my heart out that he will fight out from this situation, in coma and CCU for the last three days. But, god has different plans and he left this world this morning into eternal peace. He is survived by his mother, wife and two young daughters.
May his soul rest in peace. I pray for the courage of his family members to withstand this huge loss, their only bread winner and offer my prayers and support.
This is the 3rd accident in the last quarter involving those whom I know, young and educated. Two of them survived and unfortunately Prakasan perished. All those did not used helmets! Two of them were fast and furious! How on earth, I can try and educate the young people to go slow and safe on two wheelers! There needs to be an all out effort. The cry of his mother, who brought him up alone since the age of three still ringing in my ears. It took a long time to pass the news to her and give her the strength to be the pillar of strength for his wife and two young girls!.
Life ahead for them is really long and need full support. May god bless the family.
What surprised me is the laziness of people who just liked this post on social media and left it like that!!! Come out of your laziness, take the three seconds at least to type out RIP (the shortest form of consolation you can key in).
I dedicate a beautiful song on divine mother, thinking of her and all the mothers who lost their children at a young age!
This is an extremely important move from Dubai’s Environment, Health and Safety Control Authority (“Local order against daredevil selfie takers”, Gulf News, March 21). They are curbing the recent craze of ‘selfie-adventurists’ doing dangerous stunts on top of high-rise structures. Not only is this a death-defying act, but also creates negative motivation for others to follow and receive ‘instant fame’ on social media.
In fact, people don’t just perform these kinds of stunts in Dubai alone – it happens everywhere. In one of my trips to Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, I witnessed a family encouraging children to jump repeatedly from the guard rails for a picture-perfect opportunity, while someone else kept clicking pictures on their camera. This happy excursion could have become tragic any time one of them fell down the side of a steep slope. I hope there will be more awareness programs to constantly alert and remind people of any imminent danger. Safety should be our priority at all times.
The trend of unauthorized and unprotected stunts and filming them and publishing them for fame has increased recently and become a menace. Authorities should come out with strict rules to punish those who do such dangerous acts without appropriate protections and approval and supervision of necessary protective authorities. These photos and videos may encourage youth to follow them without a second thought about the impending danger if they fail or falter. Safety should never be compromised and this indeed is an unsafe situation, which should never be encouraged.
ഇത് 2010 മാർച്ചിൽ ഫ്രാൻസിസ് കുരിശ്ശേരി അച്ഛൻ അബുദാബിയിൽ വന്നപ്പോൾ ക്രൈസ്റ്റ് കോളേജ് വിദ്യാർത്ഥികളെ അഭിസംബോധന ചെയ്തു സംസാരിച്ച ഒരു വീഡിയോ ആണ്. ഒരു ചെറിയ സുഹൃത്ത് സംഗമം. കുരിശ്ശേരി അച്ഛന്റെ ക്ലാസ്സുകളെയും കാലത്തെയും അറിയാവുന്നവർ ഇന്നും അദ്ദേഹത്തെ ഓര്മയിലും അവരുടെ വല്ലപ്പോൾ്ഴും വിളിച്ചു സംസാരിക്കാനോ കാണാനോ ഉള്ളവരുടെ പട്ടികയിൽ നിലനിർത്തുന്നുണ്ട് എന്ന വസ്തുത അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ വിദ്യാര്ഥികളോടുള്ള നല്ല സമീപനത്തിന്റെ സാക്ഷ്യപത്രമാണ്.
7 കൊല്ലം കഴിഞ്ഞെങ്കിലും ആ വിഡിയോയിൽ പറഞ്ഞ വസ്തുതകൾ ഇന്നും നിലനിൽക്കുന്നു.
മുഴുവനും കണ്ടു നോക്കൂ, താല്പര്യമുള്ളവരുമായി പങ്കു വെക്കൂ.
ഈ ചിത്രം കാണുമ്പോൾ ചിലർക്കെങ്കിലും വായിൽ വെള്ളം വരും!. കൂടെ കുറെ പഴയ ഓർമകളും.
ഈയിടെയായി സമയം കിട്ടുമ്പോഴൊക്കെ നാട്ടിൽ ഓടിയെത്താൻ ശ്രമിക്കാറുണ്ട്. അത് ചിലപ്പോൾ ബാക്കി ഉള്ള സമയങ്ങളിൽ കൂടുതൽ സമയം പണിയെടുത്തും കൂടുതൽ ചുമതലകൾ ഏറ്റെടുത്തും കൂട്ടി കിഴിച്ചു കിട്ടുന്ന ഔദാര്യങ്ങൾ കൊണ്ടും ഒക്കെ ആണെന്ന് വച്ച് കൊള്ളൂ. കൂടെ പ്രധാനമായും വയസ്സായ അച്ഛന്റെയും അമ്മയുടെയും കൂടെ വിലപ്പെട്ട കുറച്ചു ദിവസ്സങ്ങൾ ചിലവഴിക്കാൻ ഉള്ള ആഗ്രഹവും.
നാട്ടിലെ ഓരോ തരി മണ്ണും, ഓരോ മുക്കും മൂലയും ഏതൊരു പ്രവാസിക്കും എന്നും എന്നും വിലപ്പെട്ടതാണ്. പ്രവാസി എന്ന് ഞാൻ ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചത് ഗൾഫിൽ ഉള്ളവരെ മാത്രം അല്ല. നമ്മുടെ സ്വന്തം നാടും വീടും വിട്ടു മാറി ജോലിക്കാര്യത്തിനായി വിട്ടു നിൽക്കേണ്ടി വരുന്ന ഏതൊരുവനും പ്രവാസി ആണ്. എവിടെയായാലും!.
ഇന്നത്തെ ബാല്യം അല്ല ഞാനും എന്റെ അതെ വയസ്സുള്ള അല്ലെങ്കിൽ അതിലും മുതിർന്ന തലമുറയുടെ ബാല്യം. ഒരുപക്ഷെ അവർക്കേ അറിയൂ, ഓര്മയുണ്ടാവൂ, ഈ ഉപ്പിലിട്ട കണ്ണിമാങ്ങയുടെ വില.
ഇന്നത്തെ തലമുറ എല്ലാ വിധത്തിലും സ്വയം പര്യാപ്തത നേടിയെന്നു അവകാശപ്പെടാം, അവകാശപ്പെടുന്നുണ്ടാവാം. അവർക്ക് ഇന്ന് എല്ലാം ഒരു മൊബൈൽ തുമ്പത്തു കിട്ടുന്ന കാലം. അപ്പോൾ അധ്വാനിച്ചു സ്വയം നേടുന്നതിന്റെ വില അറിയുമോ ആവൊ?
സമരങ്ങൾക്കായി സമയം കണ്ടെത്തുമ്പോഴും, സമയം കണ്ടെത്തി പഠിച്ചു മാർക്കു നേടുന്ന പഴയ തലമുറയും ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ പുതിയ തലമുറയും എത്ര കണ്ടു ലക്ഷ്യബോധം ഉള്ളവരാണ് എന്നുള്ളത് ചിന്തിക്കേണ്ട കാര്യം തന്നെ.
ഒരു കണ്ണിമാങ്ങാ കാലം കൂടി അനുഭവിക്കാൻ അവസ്സരം തന്ന സർവേശ്വരനോട് നന്ദി പറഞ്ഞു കൊണ്ട്, മാവിൻ ചുവട്ടിൽ വീട്ടിൽ വീണു കിടക്കുന്ന ആ കണ്ണി മാങ്ങകൾ പെറുക്കി എടുത്തു ഉപ്പിലിട്ടു തിരിച്ചു വരുമ്പോൾ എന്റെ ബാഗിൽ കൂട്ടി. കാലത്തെ പ്രാതലിനു കഞ്ഞി കുടിക്കുമ്പോൾ ഒരവസരം കൂടി തരും അത്, എന്റെ ഗ്രാമത്തെയും, ജനിച്ചു വളർന്ന നാടിനെയും, മാതാപിതാക്കളെയും, കൂട്ടുകാരെയും ഓർക്കാനായി. എന്നെന്നും ഓർക്കാനായി. ഒരിക്കലും മറക്കാതിരിക്കാനായി.
A repeat post to promote road safety – original published on 14 October 2011.
As a regular reader of Khaleej Times, and as a traffic safety campaigner in my own capacity, I am extremely happy to note the Khaleej Times Traffic Safety Campaign kicking off. But I feel that we should not just make it UAE specific, but global.
I happened to campaign for traffic and road safety after the tragic loss of two sets of lives connected to me.
One was my own brother-in- law who was killed by a speeding water tanker in Bangalore and another was my Mathematics teacher and her entire family who died in an accident in Abu Dhabi.
Both were irreparable losses to me, my family and to those affected. A moment of resilience and due diligence and all those lives could have been saved. But it didn’t happen.
I still remember the phone calls of my brother-in-law Rajeev Menon, the pleasing smile of my mathematics teacher Mrs. Victoria D’Souza and her son and their immediate family who perished in that accident. Their memories still remain with me even after many years.
I used to be a speedster myself but after those incidents I can honestly tell you that I have never violated the rules and have never incurred any traffic fines or penalties. Whenever I have witnessed an incident of road rage or an anomaly, I have campaigned heavily using my blog or other available ‘Have Your Say programmes’ to stop or control such acts being repeated in future.
One such incident I still remember was the massive road pile up that happened on the Abu Dhabi–Dubai highway two years ago on a foggy morning. On my way to Dubai Academic City to sit for an exam early in the morning, I witnessed a 35-seater bus speeding and flashing lights behind me, when there was absolutely no visibility due to the heavy fog. Probably, the driver was a regular motorist on the route and he knew the road and turnings inside out, but his actions really scared me. I allowed him to overtake me with some hesitance but noted his number and company details. After reaching Abu Dhabi I tried calling the company to notify them but they were closed.
Next morning when I read the news I learnt of the pile up that happened on the highway and immediately remembered to call them. But, till evening I couldn’t and around 5 pm when I was able to establish contact with the PRO of that company and informed him of the incident of the previous day, I was told that one of the buses was involved in the accident. Probably, it was the same driver, and the same set of passengers.
It is the duty of every road user to report violent driving habits and rash driving. Do not hesitate. One minute or one hesitant instance of your reporting may result in the loss of many lives.
Do follow the safety rules all the time. Let the initiative be taken up by all national associations, all corporate companies, all transport organisations and let us not hear about one human caused tragedy in the coming months.
Do not use mobiles, do not read papers or bills while driving, do not text. Most importantly, do not drink and drive. Best wishes to all safety campaigners. –
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
A repeat post to promote road safety – original published on 14 October 2011.