opinion2016

Connecting to the need of the hour – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 20 February 2016

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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.
Ramesh Menon

Spread the cheer – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 09 January 2016

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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.
Ramesh Menon

To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online.