Saturday, January 30, 2010

Goa 24 hour sojorn

A day visit to Goa introduced me two new places. Marriott Hotel at Miramar and Sea pebbles . At Marriott Hotel, while having breakfast overlooking barges plying across Mandovi river, a man with white flag attached to wooden pole marched between tables. I tried hard to decipher his actions and decided to ask him. It seems white flag scares crow away. I must check this fact. But Goan crows were smart, they pounced on plates when this guy reached the other end of the table. Sea Pebbles is a lovely sea food joint hidden along the parking of Dona Paula. A climb and descend of few staircases lead to the backside of open space that is along the beach . Kingfisher beer in the company of Karaoke singer who sung some nice Kishor Kumar and beetles melodies was enjoyable.

I was pleased to read about the life imprisonment sentence given to Haldiram owner in Kolkatta for attempt to murder poor tea stall owner by hiring goons. This speaks highly of police officials, judicial and also politicians of Kolkatta city who didn't fall prey to lucrative offers that this rich man must have made to avoid getting trapped in the clutches of law. I hope he doesn't get acquitted in higher courts like it happened in case of Shibu Soren. A similar justice was meted out to Sarvana Bhawan Chennai owner. All is not bleak with India's judicial system.I am unhappy of giving Padma Sree award to Mr Sant Singh Chatwal who was chargesheeted by Govt of India for fraud and was even put behind the bar and now same Govt accord him the official govt honour.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Mumbai airport @ early hours

Most airports have their lounge after the immigration and security. At Mumbai airport, it is before the security. Once you pass security, you can't go outside.

A lesson learnt as I wait for two and half hours at the most domestic airport. Transfer from international to domestic was smooth affair as the bus goes through the inside prescient of the airport complex. A pink coloured Premier lounge card is given but it has no directions, instead mahindra holidays advertisement proclaim as ' My happiest holidays'. No one has any idea about the lounge location including jet ground staff and crew.

While being in the coach, driven from international to domestic airport , I see contours of new building that extends the current one at international airport. It will look good when it gets over but the unavailability of access road joining the western express highway is the first glimpse a travellers gets of Mumbai airport.

' He must be the biggest fool, if he were to give up Indian citizenship at this time ' - a statement reflected the oozing confidence of young entrepreneur of resurgent India. His statement impacted me as much as my statement of ABCD did on him. ABCD refers to those third, fourth generation of Indians born and raised in Africa, studied in UK buy their race and looks make the world look at them as Indians but they can't associate with India. In turn they join the club of ABCD - African Born Confused Desi.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dubai visit

In Singapore, as the East Coast Highway approaches the city, match boxes of tall buildings appear well placed in a manner that structures blend with each other and create a harmonious spectrum that is pleasing to an eye. Hong kong, Yokohama too follow the pattern and so are the most US cities. I do not know if a building architect needs to get an approval from city council to ensure that his structure doesn't disturb the overall panoramic sky view of the city.
It seems Dubai in hurry to build sky piercing structures overlooked this aspect or they deliberately let each building architect to create the structure that is different from its neighbour. As glass fasaade structures vie with each other on Shiekh Zayed road, an absence of structural harmony is evident. Glass Pyramid of Raffles( ex wafi) juxtaposed with Arabian style building followed by Circular Arc of Grand Hyatt is not all that pleasing sight through the car window while driving past Gharoud Bridge. Overlooking on the left is another glass building of Dubai festival city that looks to me like juicer/grinder. Dubai landmark building - Burj Khalifa -looks like a Sten Gun. A tapered vertical band narrows down to single needle jutting out on top. With haze descended on the Dubai in last three days, view of this building was not so clear. But for me, view of this building from a distance is no match to twin towers of Kuala Lampur. They look spectacular at night or even during the day. I didn't travel by Dubai Metro but elliptical shape of metro station again was an eye sore. Perhaps, there is nothing much in the vicinity of the station and once the buildings come , they may look elegant. Dubai recent financial turmoil did make an impact on Arab Health. This time, big names were missing and so were the European presence but this was compensated by numerous small companies from China and Iran. Display of 'available on rent' signboards was unusual. Just a year ago, so high was the demand for place was that security persons in the building made extra money for disclosing the apartment that would be vacated soon. Dubai banks too annoy me. They are quick to inactivate the bank account but to get it activated , they insist on physical presence and three days to act.
I watched the closing part of US President Obama's state of union address. Terrific speaker. Someone has rightly said, ' A writer can never become a leader, an orator does'. Most leaders have professional speech writing team but a mesmerising speech delivery is an art that very few people have it. In India, Atal Bihari Bajpayee, George Fernandes and Bal Thakrey had that. They could captivate thousands of people. Raj Thackeray too has that gift.

Time to leave Dubai and on way to Goa via Mumbai. I hope my early hours journey from International airport to domestic goes smoothly.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Akshta in Jan 10 - from to photobucket


प्रभाती सूर नभी रंगती

प्रभाती सूर नभी रंगती, दशदिशा भूपाळी म्हणती

पानोपानी अमृत शिंपीत, उषा हासरी हसते धुंदीत
जागी होऊन फुले सुगंधित, तालावर डोलती

कृषीवलाची हाक ऐकूनी, मोट धावते शेतामधूनी
पक्षी अपुल्या मधूर स्वरांनी, स्वरांत स्वर मिळिवती

प्रसन्न वदनी सुहासिनी कुणी, सडे शिंपीती मृदुल करांनी
श्रीविष्णुचे नाम स्मरुनी, तार कुणी छेडीती

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dubai FM

There is one thing that Indian resident carry with them when they leave Dubai. It is Dubai Hindi FM service.

After a long time, I am listening to 89.1 and was glad to hear to Charu being there. She was all of giggle and paired with crack jokes with Gaurav. I also admired Gagan Mudal - a consummate performer with mellodious voice


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Knowing about 'Snigdha'

What is the meaning of 'Snighda ' ? From school days, I had heard the word the word ' Snighda Padarth ‘ - a dish or an ingredient rich with contents of 'Snighda' . Later it became part of Marathi science vocabulary and food cuisine. All these years , I presumed it to be as a Marathi word for Protein with an adjective of ' Richness in contents' . A name by the word Snighda made me curious to ascertain if my knowledge was correct.

Snighda means gentle, calm and soothing. Now does that mean the food that has these three qualities make it a ‘ Snighda Padarth ? I was wrong. It is not a food with high protein content but with a fatty content. Perhaps fat means oily that is gentle, slippery and soothing. Bhaktivedanta vedabase covers the word Snigdha from references in Bhagvad Gita , Brahmsamhita and Isopnishada. It mentions the meaning as affectionate, slick, gentle, lovely, moist , loving , pleasing , attractive , glistening.

It is interesting and challenging to explain the meaning of Indian names to people of other cultures. In the process, we get a chance to decipher and realize the richness of Indian languages.


Friday, January 08, 2010

Death and Survival - all by chance

A man flung himself from the high rise building to kill himself but landed on the man who was walking on foot path below. Pedestrian died on the impact, the man who wanted to end his life survived .

Today, Japan newspapers reported a man aged 93 years who had survived both Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombing passed away. Yamaguchi San was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding firm on August 6, 1945 and suffered serious burns when atomic bomb detonated. He returned to his hometown, Nagasaki , which suffered another atomic bomb three days later.

A young man from Mumbai was not so lucky during 1992, when string of terrorist deadly bombs unleashed on Mumbai. He was at Bombay stock exchange when first bomb triggered causing many casualties. He survived and was happy. He called up his home telling them about his being safe and carried on his next visit to Oberoi hotel where another bomb blast awaited him. He didn't survive this time.

I have great fascination for Salmon and Octopus , two species who embrace death with fair degree of certainty and willingness. Most human beings with the exception of few are unaware when death strikes them or even brush past them giving a fresh lease of life.


Monday, January 04, 2010

i phone : A new gadget for Akshta

Time has come to rewrite alphabet learning textbooks for small kids . M for Mac, K for KFC , C for Coke , P for Pizza Hut and Power Rangers, D for Diaper, B for Blackberry , I for i Phone . Thanks to visible brand merchandising, Akshta has learnt alphabets well before any textbook would put into use. Add to that the tool of ' You Tube' with karaoke tagline, the learning is at rapid pace with entertainment . i phone is the hallmark of GUI. Even a child of two and half years can effortlessly use it.

In Singapore , there is more crowd at mobile phone service operator's customer service center than could be at bus depot or airport. With the availability of I phone at all three service providers, it's a minimum an hour's wait to get anything done. Singapore must be one of the top countries with smart phones users per million population. Poor Nokia, it's relegated in the league of Samsung and LG. Just couple of years ago, Nokia was one of the top 10 global brands. Maintaining 'Technology Edge' is more relevant in mobile phones than any other product segment. I am keen to see if the Singaporeans craze for new gadget continues after the arrival of Google phone.

'Connectivity or Wired country ' could be another description of the Singapore . Notification about the change of home address is a mandatory requirement in Singapore . A visit to the neighborhood police station does not just the change the address on the ID but also makes change with 20 plus govt establishments ranging from defense to dental centers.

I have realized that the post surgical recovery is less dependent on the wound and it's healing but more on the immobility and the non functioning of any organs. At least this is so in my case . Inactivity of my feet muscles is creating more hardship for me to swing back in normal condition I have also realized that simple sheet of rubber strip , to tone up the muscles is perhaps as effective as any of the modern physio therapy gadgets.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Xin nian yu kuai (Happy New Year)

Q: How do you (Indian) celebrate New Year?
A: Drinking Beer! ‘wow.. Drinking beer?’.Nope, I immediately corrected myself. This must be true only with some in cities.
Q: But Jan 1st is not New Year for Indians.
A: Yes, It is not
Q: When is the New Year?
A: Sometime in March.
Q: What is it called?
A: There are several names in different parts of the country. And celebration too is different to the different regions. But this is just one of the New Year. We have many new years. Hindu calendar New Year, Accounting New Year ( Chopda Pujan), Financial and taxation new year ( March 31st) and also Jan 1st universal new year.

The conversation ceases. It is too much to absorb for any foreigner who is keen to understand and know the Indian customs of celebrating New Year.

Y’day, at the East Coast Park, two ladies approached us to know about how we were celebrating New Year. They were doing an article for ‘resident’ - a magazine for eastern suburbs residents of Singapore. We look forward to seeing our group picture in the magazine. At the East Coast, New Year was ushered without any cacophony of noise or the barrage of blast from car horns or fire crackers. Instead, amidst crowded beach with barbecue filled air had radioluminacent strips shaped in the form of rings and bangles aided by the ‘sparklers’ and ‘snow spray’ adding visual dimension to the live music band played in the front of beer guzzlers.

Previous Year ended with dosa, vada and pav bhaji and the new year began with some quick sips of red Martini (tasty kadha for me). Xin nian yu kuai