Friday, April 27, 2007

Blogging Break

I will be away for 32 days from my office, from where I blog, from Monday, April 30 to Thursday, May 31.

32 days is a long time in a person's life. Part of my vacation will be for our visit to Kashmir (see post below), and for the rest of days I want to be away from emails, spam emails, blogs, comments, computers and the virtual world. I want to take a break from the virtual world. I promise to myself that I will not walk into a local cyber cafe to check emails, blogs, etc. etc. (I do not have a computer at home). I want to see the REAL world. I want all days to be like Sunday, I want to be happy, for those 32 days.

So, there will be no updates on this blog, till I came back on Friday, June 1, 2007.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mission Kashmir

Last year, we (that is me, wife and my children) had gone to Mahabaleshwar, via Pune. Now train journey from Kalyan to Pune is just two and a half hours. After reaching Pune, my daughter was disappointed with such short train journey, and had said `what, we are already there'. After another one and a half hour journey from Pune to Mahabaleshwar by road, she was doubly disappointed. Well, children, unlike us adults, are passionate about journey, especially train journey, rather than arriving at a destination. For them Life is a Journey.

I had promised my children at Mahabaleshwar that next year we will go to a far far away place, with lots of train journey. So, this year we are going to visit Kashmir. And that too by Rajdhani Express, via New Delhi. Insha Allah, if everything goes as per plan, we will board the train on Thursday, May 3 and will be at Sringar on May 5. Of course, I will record all the interesting details about the trip and the people whom we will meet, and will, of course, blog about them.

One keep reading about Kashmir, but all for the wrong reasons, in the newspapers. I also read it in books, as child, that if there is a paradise on Earth, it is Kashmir. I want to see the paradise.

And yes, I purchased yesterday Canon PowerShot A550 digital camera with 7.1 megapixels, 4x optical zoom lens, especially for the Kashmir trip. This is my first digital camera. Hope I will be able to click some good photographs. It will be a crime to go to Kashmir without a good camera and come back without good photographs.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Good-bye Lara

Brian Lara announced retirement from international cricket last week. What a player, and what a way to go. He could easily have been around for few more years. It is little sad that his team lost out narrowly the last match played by Lara. After the match, which was against England in the on going Cricket World Cup 2007, Lara told the crowd: "I've had a tremendous time playing for the West Indies. All I ask is, did I entertain? If I entertained you, I'm happy. The unanimous response from the crowd at the stadium was YES. Yes, Lara, you did entertain us. Whenever Lara was batting in a match, which was shown on TV, I made it a point to watch, even for few minutes. I was sure that I will get to see at least one exquisite stroke. And I was never disappointed. Thank you Brian Lara for the wonderful cricket, and those exquisite and elegant strokes. None could bat like you.

It will be fun to watch who will break Lara's World records of 400 and 501 runs in an innings in Test and First Class matches, respectively. I personally believe they will remain in Lara's name for the long long time. Maybe for ever.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

आओ kiss करें

BBC reports:

Actor Richard Gere has sparked protests in India after kissing Celebrity Big Brother winner Shilpa Shetty at an Aids awareness rally in New Delhi.

The video is below, watch it if you are inclined to see it. It does not seem a kiss, but just a peck on the cheeks. Yes, Richard Gere almost falling on Shilpa and she bending backwards, makes for good viewing। Both are obviously good actors। The matter should have been left to that. But trust our media to blow the matter out of proportion and various organizations to be unhappy about it. A kiss is just a kiss. Better to kiss kiss than war war. But happenings like this are ready-made or heaven-sent for our media and also our so-called (protesting) organizations. यह तो उनिकी रोजी रोटी है।

Below is video of Shilpa Shetty expressing her anger over media coverage। शिल्पा को ग़ुस्सा कियूं आता है। देखियी ईस विडिओ में।

Friday, April 13, 2007

मेरा भारत महान

यह मेरा प्हेला पोस्ट हिंदी में है।

मुझे बहौत ख़ुशी हुई जब मैंने देखा आज ब्लॉगर के dashboard मैं के ब्लोग्गिंग हिंदी में भी की जा साक्ती हैं।

मैं ब्लॉगर और गूगल को धन्यवाद देना चाहता हूँ। मेरा भारत महान। और गूगल भी महान।

और आब गूगल समाचार हिंदी ैं भी है

तो भारतवासियों हिंदी मैं ब्लोग्गिंग केजिया और दुनिया को देखा लिए जिया का हम भी कीसही से कम नहीं.

News News

I find it very difficult to enthuse
Over the current news.
Just when you think that at least the outlook is so black that it can grow no blacker, it worsens,
And that is why I do not like the news, because there has never been an era when so many things were going so right for so many of the wrong persons.

-- Ogden Nash
True very true, Mr O. Nash. I personally find that watching news on telly is becomign rather a bore nowadays. Thankfully, at home, I am allowed just few minutes to watch the news, before the remote is snatched away from me. My children just love to watch Mr Shah Rukh Khan on the KBC, which has become under SRK a children's programme. I wonder why does not he, SRK, says Bacche aur Bacheuon, along with Ladies and Gentelmen, Boys and Girls, after he returns from breaks during the programme. Maybe he will say it soon. Another suggestion: maybe KBC should be renamed as ABCD (Aao Bano Crorepati Dude) to make it more popular among children!

The Telegraph, Kolkata, reports :
Tulsi Virani will soon be back in Pakistani drawing rooms. So would the new Kaun Banega Crorepati.
The ban is obviously lifted to keep the masses in Pakistan think of other things rather than when will Gen. Musharraf go or rather steps down. Will SRK keep people of Pakistan happy or distracted? I wonder.

Monday, April 09, 2007

45 Minutes

It is a Saturday afternoon. Due to load-shedding*, there is no electric power in your home in Ulhasnagar. It is early April, and it is getting hotter and hotter. You sweat and sweat, and look often and again at the electric fan above you, just hoping it will start whrilling again. It is five minutes past two o'clock in the afternoon. You were woken up from your slumber as the fan stopped whrilling at exactly thirty minutes past six in the morning. And it suddenly become hot, and you woke up. Since then you are in state of discomfort, but you manage to survive, all thanks to wonderful hand fan which does not need electricity to operate, and keeps you cool and composed. In frustration you call the local MSEB Office, to find out when power will return, as it should have by 2:00 p.m. The phone is picked up, and instead of `Hello', the man says `Bola'. You inform ask, or rather plead with him that it is few minutes 2:00 p.m. and why there is no sign of power. You are informed `Ho Sahib, we got a new order today. Extra 45 minutes of load shedding from today, power will go half an hour early and will return 15 minutes late'. You just sigh and hang up. No point in shooting the messenger. So instead of 7 hours load-shedding, it will now be 7 hours and 45 minutes.

[The above is a true story. Whoever has said that fact is stranger than fiction, owes me a cup of coffee. He was dead right]

A suggestion for MSEB: Kindly distribute hand-fans [see the one pictured above], along with our monthly electric bills. Since you cannot generate enough electricity to meet the demand, the hand-fans will keep the people cool, and maybe smiling. MSEB can, of course, generate extra income by putting on advertisement on the hand-fans.

And yes, all efforts will be made by our Government to keep the Mumbai city free from power cuts.

* = the deliberate shutdown of electric power in a part or parts of a power-distribution system, generally to prevent the failure of the entire system when the demand strains the capacity of the system.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Looking for a New Home

We are looking for a new home. We live in 1BHK flat and with children growing, one feels need for extra space, that is an extra room. We, that is me and my wife, thought we could look for a new home in a new city. Some of my friends have shifted some time ago to Thane and whenever I run into them in Ulhasnagar, they say Ho you still live in Ulhasnagar, you should shift to Thane like us and then see how happy you feel. Now that my son Sachin's board exams are over, we thought we could now begin looking for a new Home seriously. Well, so last weekend we went to our friendly neighobourhood real estate agent. We told him our thoughts on purchasing a new home in a new city. The person curiously said that we seem to be nice persons so he will give us a nice proposal. The nice proposal was we should consider buying a home at Hiranandani Estate, Thane. We told him our budget and our requirement of 2BKH flat. He said with our budget we cannot get a 2BKH flat at HE, Thane, but we could get a 1BHK flat. He said the life at HE is heaven blah blah blah, as he himself had shifted there about a month ago and praised to sky his new home (it turned out that he lives on the 10th floor, so it seems obvious).

So encouraged by his smooth talk, my wife and I made a journey to Hiranandani Estate, Thane, last Sunday, which was April 1. It was quite far away from Thane railway station (about 7.5 kms), but once we reached there, we were quite impressed by the imposing buildings and the location. The agent showed his home, and also showed around the housing complex. He then showed our could-have-been new home. Well it was on the first floor of a 12 floor building. The house was quite good, though it was 1BHK, it had two bathrooms. The flat curiously had a canopy which seems little out of place, as only the first floor flats had it. Well, we then went to the Sales Office to find out the total cost of the flat. The total cost of the flat turned out to be quite high than our expectations --- around rupees thirty lakhs!! I asked the Executive is it real quotation or April fool joke. No, no, he said, it is real quotation and not a joke. The icing on the cake was Rs. 2.30 lakhs for the canopy, as additional cost.

Rs. thirty lakhs for a 1BHK flat is certainly a clear case of over-pricing, taking into consideration its location and the long distance from the railway station. Home are slowly becoming luxuries rather than a necessity. The interest rates on home loans too are rising day by day, to keep pace with real estate prices. So where that leave common man like me. Nowhere, I presume.

Meanwhile, our search continues ...