Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013 was indeed a special year

1. Sports
a. There was no sports world cup of any sorts – Ok Rugby League isn’t really rugby 
b. People came out and said – I am sorry I took drugs and yes I killed my girlfriend. 
c. England proved that they can change from a great team to an unbelievably crappy team in 11 weeks; and gift the Ashes back to Australia. 
d. England have qualified for the football world cup next year and although we don’t have any world class players some critics predict England to go all the way. 

2. Russian politics
a. Let’s look at how they solved the Syrian crisis. When US were about the bomb the Syrians the Russians asked the question – “so what’s the problem here? Hmm chemical weapons? Ok Syria will destroy all of them; it’s alright then?” That happened and there was no attack from USA on Syria. As if the Syrian civilians were not suffering before.  
b. Pussy Riot – group members released. 
c. Green peace – cases dropped. 
d. What’s next? Corruption cases against the Russian mafia?

3. US politics
a. On the other hand the big brother couldn’t get their government functioning for few weeks. Don’t know if the Members of the Congress got their salary for those days. I think that is like legal corruption - “I am not going to work but you still need to pay me!”
b. What’s happening with the free healthcare? 
c. The president thinks taking selfies more important than giving respect to one of the greatest men to live on this planet. I have lost respect for Obama! 

4. Movies
a. Manoj Knight Shamlan hasn’t made a decent film since Sixth Sense. 
b. Kickass 2 was a children’s film which had so much violence that I found Arnold’s films like cute kitten videos. 
c. Matt Damon is a socialist and has an IQ of 170! 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

How to plan a good holiday...

1. While starting to plan do make sure what you want to do on the holiday. 
  • Is it a honeymoon, city break, lazy holiday or business and pleasure holiday
2. While paying and deciding how you want to spend your money, do ask the travel agent or check the website where you have booked if 
  • It is an all inclusive holiday or breakfast only holiday.
  • Do the resort / hotel provide pick up and drop to the airport?
  • Does the resort have activities going on? Are they free or you have to pay for them?
  • There is no shame in asking what's complimentary? We went to a holiday where a bottle of wine was complimentary with dinner.
3. Do plan on where you want to go in advance
  • If you are going on a beach holiday then it would be nice to know how to swim
  • If it's a skiing holiday then learn skiing before you hit the slopes
  • Planning in advance allows you to sort out any visas you need to worry about
4. Packing
  • I believe that take enough clothes, but don't take 10 sets of clothes for a 5 day holiday
5. What kind of clothes should one take on a holiday? It depends: 
  • Cottons for the hot weather
  • Warm Jackets & woolens for the cold
  • Always keep an extra pair of socks & undies
  • Always good to have a nice shirt for dinner in the suitcase.  you never know the hotel might request its guests to not wear t-shirts at the dinner table
  • If going to the Caribbean do not take army shirts or jackets, its illegal to wear them outside. 

6. Last minute checks
  • Passport
  • Not the expired passport but the valid passport
  • Visa
  • Yellow fever vaccination card if travelling   to south America or Africa
  • Currencies & monies
  • Keys, books
  • Phone chargers, iPad chargers
  • Converter plugs
7. Things to buy from the airport
  • While coming back, buy souvenirs for friends and family.
  • Chocolates while coming back
  • I try and buy some gum at the airport when going out, because I have a tendency to get my ears blocked during take off. Wife has that problem too.
8. To tip or not to tip
  • They tip a lot in America but not much in Europe.
  • So tip in America. They tip the taxi drivers too.
  • If in Europe, the normal tip in a nice restaurant is around 10%. Some restaurants add 12.5% as service charge if there are more than 5 in the party.
  • Always check the bill, have they added service charge or not.
I may have missed so many other things. Please do add them on the comments section :-) 

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

10 places

10 places I have visited and would like to visit again

  1. Dubrovnik
  2. St Lucia
  3. Grenadines & St Vincent
  4. Lake Nakuru National park - Kenya
  5. Golden Temple Amritsar
  6. The Scottish highlands
  7. Leh, Pegang Tso, Tanglang La - Ladakh
  8. Calangute - Goa
  9. Konark Temple - Orissa
  10. Tirupati - to see the sheer madness (or belief) of millions of Indians in 1 god!


10 places I have visited & would never like to visit again

  1. Mt Abu - It is over hyped and was a not cold. If I had to go to the mountains I would go to the Himalayas why go to Mt Abu?  
  2. Jaipur - Didn't like the weather. It was very dry, so dry that my nose started bleeding! 
  3. Delhi - Just too loud I must say. 
  4. Brugge, Belgium - Was too boring. Might go there once I am 70! 
  5. Mysore - was over hyped and boring! Was quite little when I went there and even then I got bored. 
  6. Dubai & Abu Dhabi - Would never visit that place ever. The Arabs are racist and treat South Asians as slaves. 
  7. Glasgow - Well may be because we visited Glasgow after sending efw days in Edinburgh that I really really didn't like it. Then I have heard its the murder capital of Europe etc etc. Would stay away from Glasgow and would visit only if it is very very necessary! 
  8. Tuljapur - I have my reasons! 
  9. The London Underground during peak hours. 
  10. The London Underground during non peak hours. 



10 places I haven't visited and would like to visit on my next trip

  1. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  2. Machu Pichu, Peru
  3. Kruger national park, South Africa
  4. Rio Di Janeiro, for the Olympics of 2016
  5. The backwaters of Kerala
  6. Drive on Route 66 ( or drive from the east to the west coast of USA)
  7. Drive from the south to the north of California
  8. Bali -  I was born on the beach
  9. Angkor Wat - it's the largest Hindu temple on the planet & would like to see, how / when did the stories Ram & Raavan reach East Asia
  10. Galapagos - because we all know that, that's where Darwin had his eureka moment




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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Right to Expression in India

Before I write about what the people of India are going through at this moment, let us first go through what is there in the constitution of India on our fundamental rights. 

This is picked straight from Wikipedia and the six fundamental rights recognised by the constitution are:

  1. Right to equality, including equality before law, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and equality of opportunity in matters of employment, abolition of untouchability and abolition of titles.
  2. Right to freedom which includes speech and expression, assembly, association or union or cooperatives, movement, residence, and right to practice any profession or occupation (some of these rights are subject to security of the State, friendly relations with foreign countries, public order, decency or morality), right to life and liberty, right to education, protection in respect to conviction in offences and protection against arrest and detention in certain cases.
  3. Right against exploitation, prohibiting all forms of forced labour, child labour and traffic in human beings;
  4. Right to freedom of religion, including freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion, freedom to manage religious affairs, freedom from certain taxes and freedom from religious instructions in certain educational institutes.
  5. Cultural and Educational rights preserving Right of any section of citizens to conserve their culture, language or script, and right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.
  6. Right to constitutional remedies for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. Fundamental rights for Indians have also been aimed at overturning the inequalities of pre-independence social practices. Specifically, they have also been used to abolish untouchability and hence prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. They also forbid trafficking of human beings and forced labour. They also protect cultural and educational rights of ethnic and religious minorities by allowing them to preserve their languages and also establish and administer their own education institutions.


The constitution says that every Indian has the right to express their feelings, in a peaceful way and have the right to assemble. Is this being allowed to happen in free India? I do not think so. 

Firstly in the capital city of India the women are not safe, and when the citizens go out and demand protection, those who should protect them become wolves. The police should be protecting the citizens and not become puppets of the ministers. 

I saw on TV today that the citizens of Delhi were being beaten with sticks, were fired at with tear gas and greeted with water cannons. Is this what the freedom we dreamt of? What kind of independence did we get then? 

After 65 years of independence the government's ministers have become richer & richer and the natural resources of the country have become the right of every minister but the common man. How is this different to what happened under the British East India Company or the British Raj? 

The government today is autocratic and allows you do only what it wants to see; it is not fair in any aspect. The people of India are now confident, educated and the middle class is growing. A confident and educated nation is very difficult to govern and the government should understand this. If 10% of middle class in India come out on the streets the government will then suffer, and suffer it must for they have brought this upon themselves. 

Corruption has crossed all boundaries. From fodder to 3G technology there isn't a single sector where a minister hasn't dug his teeth to suck money which belongs to the common man. The Fodder Scam guy became the Railway minister & the 2G-3G scam guy was in Jail for few months and then back dancing to "Apdi Podu!" The government is shameless and has taken everyone for a ride. 

The minister's have build bungalows bigger than the Lords and Viceroys of British Empire, have cars and gun men protecting them as if they are kings of their area. Where as people do not have land to plough in their constituency and sleep on footpaths. I would spit on the ministers everyday if I could. 

What are the next steps for a brighter India? Firstly the government needs to have a dialogue with the people's representatives right now, not tomorrow but right now. They must pull up their socks, need to implement new laws so that India is a safer, educated, healthier and transparent nation. The new laws which I can think of are: 
  1. New Police Law - Change the way police works in India - they are there to protect and not rule.
  2. New Safety Law - Safety of the people when we step out of our homes - when on the road and off the road. 
  3. New Women's safety - Please do something about these rape cases. 
  4. New Education Law - build a school in every village build 5 when the village is big
  5. New Law so that the citizens have good Sanitation and Clean water everyday - it should not take 65 years to solve the water problem in a country like India. we are called the land of rivers for god-sake; use your head! 
  6. Law which gives electricity to every home  - Why does it take half a decade to build Nuclear power plants after a law has been passed? 
  7. Every administrator must be accountable to the people of India - No one, mister or administrator, is bigger than the common man. 
  8. any other??? 
Another request I have is to the media (TV, Print and Internet) in India. When such a high profile issue is going on in the country can we give cricket a second thought please. A rape happens and the issue comes on TV, then the next day if we have a cricket match; why does cricket take precedence? Isn't it common sense to have a talk about the bigger issue here? So dear media, the issues which concern the common man and can change the country should come first! 

Hope that the government will serve the people first and their wallets later!  

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Annoying things people do on the underground



  1. Hold the doors - It makes your journey 30 seconds quicker but makes 400 other people late. Annoys the driver and he pees off every passenger on the train.
  2. Open the newspaper in the middle of a crowded coach - What's with the newspaper? It gossip - they open it on my face and carry on reading as if I am invisible! Flipping jokers...
  3. Sleep on my shoulder - No this is not your bed dear, this is a train coach! And this is my shoulder and not your pillow, so why don't you go back home if you want to have a nap; I love working and I am going to the office!
  4. Listen to music at maximum volume - Doesn't give me a lot of trouble but I keep thinking and feel bad for the guy's ears all day. The probability of he turning deaf in couple of years in quite high.
  5. Enjoy the music a bit too much and make the drummer moves and the guitar moves! Why do you feel that listening to  music has turned you into a professional musician?
  6. Walk around the coach - Some people think this is a supermarket and they walk around just to see "What's there? Where am I? How far am I from my stop?" Sit there! Keep your ears open. And they go - "Excuse me! Excuse me!" shhhh, sit Tommy!
  7. Walk slowly down the stairs when I am trying to get into an early morning train. Some of them watch films on their smart phones and keep bumping into others. Don't understand what great film was released recently!
  8. Folding bike on the train - This guy must have left home on a bike and jumped into the train... Trying to impress his new girlfriend? Or may be he injured himself while riding the bike?
  9. Tourists that carry huge suitcases in the early morning rush hour - As soon as I see these guys in front of me, I try to move to a different queue. (No generalisation but it looks like they speak good Spanish or Italian! Never seen a Japanese with a huge suitcase - they might have big cameras! )
  10. Passionate gamers - They are smart to carry an iPad (can watch films or read books and newspaper on those things) but stupid to play angry birds on it. They move around the iPad, playing the game passionately and you feel as if this thing might hit my face at the next opportunity.

Nice things people do

  1. Give up seats for those who need it
  2. Go that extra to give back a forgotten wallet or oyster card
  3. Help the senior citizens
  4. Always give you advise on the shortest route to your destination

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Monday, June 04, 2012

Growth in the Western Economies....

Once upon a time there were 10 friends. They all thought it would be good if we all started a business together. They started a factory and in the beginning it was all supposedly good.
But slowly everyone realised that although 7 friends were very hard working; 3 of them were not exactly good for the group. One of them lied a lot; the second wasn't very hard working and kept partying all day with under-age girls and the third was just lazy. One day all the other seven decided that for them to keep the business afloat the other 3 would have to leave the group. And so it was decided that Greece, Portugal and Ireland would leave the Euro Zone on 1st of January 2013!
  • For the West to remain an economic power I think that the Euro Zone must break and only the stronger economies should remain within the Euro Zone. The countries I think should be in Eurozone are Germany, France, UK, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria & Sweden. That will make it a stronger economic area and will surely bring stability to the region & the world. With the stronger economic area we get a stronger currency and ultimately growth.
  • But then there should be growth in every sector. I believe for any economic sector to progress, there should be strong financial fundamentals, good manufacturing, efficient transportation, healthcare and housing for all. I strongly believe that with all the manufacturing moving to India and China, the West has found a huge hole in its pockets. The Euro Zone must try to innovate and manufacture high quality items in this area. Things like smart phones, Integrated Circuit chips, Satellite, Air-planes, etc should be the main focus and this can help in the growth of manufacturing in this zone.
  • Also, with Rising Inflation in Asia I think that the growth in that economic zone will slow down  in future. There are two ways to move ahead faster than others; first is you run fast and leave others behind and the second is that the others slow down. So, it comes to such a situation that for the West to grow faster, they need to pray that India and China slow down a bit!
  • We can only hope that the West doesn't manufacture everything in China. This weekend when my wife and I went to the supermarket to do some shopping for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee; we found that the commemorative mugs for this occasion were "Made in China!" - This is an absolute joke. For the West to have growth we need some - COMMON SENSE! And may be some good luck.
  • And lastly, when countries like India and China change from "Developing Countries" to "Newly Developed Countries" I think the salaries will go up, the cost of living will go up, the good manufactured in India and China would not be as cheap as they were 10-15 years ago and the companies that outsourced manufacturing to India and China would have to bring back the manufacturing and that will bring growth back in the West.
I look forward to watching what happens to the West in the next 2-3 years and hope for the best...

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Friday, March 23, 2012

What Indian Parents Say...

Indian parents, when going out:
  1. They want you to get ready at 7 am even if we are leaving at 12 noon
  2. They will start making food for the journey at 5:00 am. As if there are no restaurants or dhabas or train food available. I now have to eat cold paronthe from aluminium foil.
  3. Don't talk to strangers in the train.
  4. Dad won't use the map and knows all the directions. My dad gets lost on the second left turn.
In general
  1. Don't go out in the sun you will become dark. Mom I am brown already can't become darker!
  2. Study every evening from 6 to 9 or else you won't get into IIT. If you won't get into IIT, you are a loser in life!
  3. Don't leave food in your plate. Eat it! Eat eat eat it! Don't let me get up from my chair. You want thappad?
  4. Are our neighbours from Africa? I - Dad he is Michael & works for JP Morgan in Canary Wharf, lived in London for 25 years! Don't teach me you dog, I know he is kaala from Africa, no need to get close to him.
  5. If you won't study you will become a builder. I don't want you to be a builder; you must become a doctor or accountant! Go go go to your room and study. I - Dad I like civil engineering I would like to become a builder! Get out of this house. I- Dad I like cooking, would like to do some hotel management & hosputality degree! Out comes the gun! Shoots my ear off!
  6. Switch off the TV! Switch it off now! Go Study! Remember IIT...
  7. How come you got 85%? How much did Ravi get? 87%. You have brought shame to my family! Out comes the gun, shoots my other ear off!
  8. Its cheaper in the other shop
  9. When there is a 5 second kissing scene on TV, the parents go - Why are you watching this? What are you learning? Do you want to do this? Do you have a girl friend? Are you virgin? Poor kid - What??? How is the kissing scene on TV related to my virginity?
  10. Where is the respect? Show some respect! Why won't you say Sat Sri Akal Uncle ji? Go and say now! Go! Go! Go! Don't let me get up, you want thappad?
  11. Give me the TV remote. Only I can change the channel. I am watching it even when I am sleeping!

Patents love saying to newly wedded couples
  1. Beta you must respect her & her family now. "oh I didn't know that, thanks for reminding, as if I curse my folks everyday!"
  2. Beta I want to see the grand child before I die. "Mom last month you were 50, you didn't speak about dying; this month you are still 50, why are you talking about dying?"
  3. Start saving you will be 3 very soon

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