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Showing posts from May, 2008

USA 2008 - Detroit - Week 1

So it's still week #1. We went to Kensington Park and did a tour of the various parks and lakes in the area. It's a beautiful picnic and recreation spot filled with gardens that surround many lakes there. Of course, like the rest of the city, its spotless clean and you won't notice a speck of dirt or garbage lying anywhere. Because of the cold climate and windy conditions prevalent early on the week, there were not many people out there on picnic, but few groups of children and adults were there, having fun, playing games, Frisbees, cycling and also fishing. Long and never-ending roads winding between rows and rows of lush green forest areas take us through this large park and past many lakes. You could also see ducks and swans in the lakes, and also a few kayaks there. It's a beautiful picnic spot to spend your day with your family. If you wish to cycle, there are long and uninterrupted cycle tracks. Provided the weather is bearable, of course.
In between sightseeing…

USA 2008 - Arrival - 16 MAY 08

After a gap of around 25 years, I made my first out-of-country trip. And like last time, it's the USA this time around too. Getting a good deal on airfare was tough even though i started hunting a good 5 months prior to departure date. But then I heard, I should have started 8 months back! So anyways, it Jet Airways finally. The only downside: I had to fly to Newark and then i had to change flights and airlines to go to Detroit - my final destination and base whilst in US.
The flight was damm good and on time. Overall, Jet Airways's experience was very good and the leg room was also quite good, better than we had expected. The food was very good, and we relished the various delicacies that they served us. Choice of Indian and Continental, vej and non-vej was given to us. Service was also good. But the flight was jam-packed and I heard was over-booked.

Brussels was a quick stop where we did not even realise how time flew. We were there for about two hours but the airport was so …

Hypocrisy of Indian students

These days we come across many Indian students wanting to go abroad for further studies. Nothing wrong with that. But while some of these students return back home after finishing their further studies, most don't choose to return. They take up a job there, rent an apartment or if their mommies and daddies are rich, buy homes in suburbs there, and lead their lives there. A significant chunk of the latter type say they don't want to come back to India because India is oh-so dirty and filthy and USA or whichever foreign country they go to study is oh-so clean, etc.

It's quite sad that these people who were born and brought up in India - their motherland - should speak of their home country in such degrading manner. After spending around 20 years of their lives here, after just two months into their stint abroad, they start liking everything and anything about foreign countries. Suddenly, they find all the world's faults in India only.

The worse part is that they equate set…

Sebi Allows Real Estate Mutual Funds

India’s first real estate mutual fund could be just around three months away. What will it offer?

How often have you stared at a gleaming skyscraper in a tony address in your town and wished you could afford to buy a house there? If you have ended up sighing wistfully and walking away, here's some good news. Now, you may easily be able to own a small portion of a very swanky address.

After years of deliberation and planning, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has approved the launch real estate mutual funds (Remf); it issued a detailed set of guidelines on 16 April. All you may now need to shell out is as low as Rs five to 10 thousand to participate in real estate investing.

How will it work?
A Remf is a scheme much like any other MF scheme (which invest in shares and bonds) but it will invest in real estate. The Sebi guidelines mandate that a Remf has to invest at least 35 per cent in completed real estate assets (read flats, row houses, bungalows, shops). These could …

My Favourite Fire-Temples

Although the real prayer comes from - and is felt in - the heart, you cannot deny the peace you get when you enter a temple - any temple. More than it has got to do with any religion, I feel a temple is a place where you can just go and channelise your thoughts and pray to the Lord. But I frequent my Parsi fire-temples regularly and although all temples are equal in my eyes, there are some that hold a special place in my heart. Not because they are greater than the rest or something, but because I visit them often and have built a connection sort of.
Fire-temples are quiet little places tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the street or locality on which they are located. There are around 52 fire-temples in Bombay. You'd be surprised to know that in most of them, no matter how noisy the locality is, once you enter the temple premises and the complex, it gets very quiet and the outside noise gets blanked out. Inside, you'll often see a couple of people here and there, most…

Sreesanth is no saint

Although the ban on Harbhajan Singh was just about well-intentioned, but should have been more severe, its surprising why Sreesanth was let off with just a warning
I am no fan of cricket. I think both the game and its players, especially Indian players, are over-hyped and do not deserve such national recognition, coverage and importance that they are so used to getting. I was terrible at cricket myself - still am - when I was a child. I always used to get picked up last when teams were formed and although my captains (by compulsion, not choice) were never rude or something, I couldn't help but notice that they were going through a WTF moment when I used to be 'inducted'. I do not understand the difference between a square-leg and a fine-leg or a deep square leg, mid-off or even slips. Even today, I do not know how to play - and what to do to win - a Test match, except that both the sides do or can come to the pitch to play their respective innings twice. I used to be a ball…