Dubai: He was known for his short temper, says Indian expatriate Vysakh Somarajan, RJ and programme director at the Malayalam radio station Gold FM. “My family members would complain that I was losing my cool over trivial issues. This was more than five years ago. Around that time, I started to get to know the true essence of Ramadan, and everything changed for the better,” says Somarajan.
Although a non-Muslim, Somarajan has been observing the fast for the past five Ramadans. “Every year now, I look forward to the next Ramadan. It is a month that helps you change your behaviour, lifestyle, thoughts for the better,” he said. This year, Somarajan’s wife has also joined him in observing the fast.
“I need to be in the studio for the 7am show. Sometimes, I need to stay back for evening programmes, video shoots or office events but I have learnt to overcome the challenges,” said Somarajan.
I see and hear many people’s stories of struggle and pain and I feel I am increasingly blessed [by comparison].
Over the years, he said, he has changed from being a short-tempered man to a person who actively practices the virtues of generosity and kindness.
“I am [also] able to control the bouts of arrogance that sometimes creep into your attitude,” he said.
He has also become mindful about what he spends his money on. “Personally and professionally, I started helping people more,” he said.
One of the outreach programmes of the radio channel he works for is its support to disadvantaged expats to enable them to go home to spend Eid with their families. “Working in this field, I see and hear many people’s stories of struggle and pain and I feel I am increasingly blessed [by comparison]. Sometimes, for these families, help comes from complete strangers.”
He has also learnt to live in the present and not worry about the future. “Life is more peaceful and I feel content with what I have been blessed with.
“Whenever I get a chance, I try to convey the true message and essence of the teachings of Ramadan to my friends, listeners and others,” he said.