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Showing posts from June, 2009

Random Thoughts in the Rains

You know when it's the monsoon when you go to Marine Drive and the water comes rushing out of the sea and drenches you completely. Or, you walk into your office building and suddenly find that carpets are laid out in the elevator. Or just when you are about to walk into a building, you find hordes of people without umbrellas waiting at the reception for the rains to subside, and in the meantime, cast envious glances at the few sensible who walk past them armed with umbrellas. Or you walk into a coffee shop and find a bucket lying there with umbrellas in them.
So after a lot of dilly-dallying, after teasing us with is-it-going-to-rain or is-it-not-going-to-rain-instead-only-drizzle sort of showers the past three to four days to a week, the rains have finally arrived in Mumbai. I woke up in the morning amidst the soulful sounds of rustling trees swaying in the crisp morning rainy breeze and raindrops pouring on them and coming down vigorously in the hillock outside my window. And …

Is A Foreign Degree That Important?

In its continuing, more than a week-long, coverage from across Australia reporting on the horrific attacks on Indian students and the implications, Venkatesan Vembu of DNA newspaper, makes a valid point. Cheap labour often gets attracted to foreign destinations in the name of mundane courses by throwing a bait of permanent accommodation, later. I am not saying that because of these unfortunate, but extremely sick, incidents in the land of the Kangaroo (whose kick should hit back at the perpetrators, nice and hard), we should abort our plans to go abroad for further studies or settling down, completely.
Racial discrimination happens everywhere. They happen even in India and goes by the name of communal discrimination. Sure, we shouldn't buckle under pressure and abort our plans totally about going abroad for further studies or a job. But one thing is clear. It's time we reassess our priorities. Do we really need to go abroad for studies or are we just attracted, as usual, by so…

Blessed by Buddha

A trip to Lantau was on today's agenda. Ravi and I met at Hong Kong underground station to catch the MTR to Tung Chung (last station on the HK - Tung Chung line). HK's public transport system is as good as it can get. Or atleast, as good as I can imagine. Starting right from their airport- that is nothing short of being world-class-to its public transport like buses, taxis, boats, ferry and underground railway, it's very convinient to get to practically anywhere in the country using its public transport. Not only do they have every conceivable mode of public transport, they are also well-developed and well-maintained. But they also care for the environment I am told; like the place where venky lives, he tells me there are no vehicles allowed in that area. Something like our very own Matheran where vehicles are banned. Also, like in London, there are a few stations here in HK as well where there are layers of railroads under the ground. Further, since HK and Central station…

Ocean's Park, Venky, Shopping, etc

Conferences over, today was the first of the two full days that I was going to spend in Hong Kong. And I wasn't in the mood to waste it on shopping. It's not like I do not like shopping; I love it. I am bit selfish here actually; whenever mom and I go out for shopping, I usually shop first for myself and am all so interested in snooping around, painstakingly checking out varieties till I find the right match. But once done- and when it's my mom's turn to buy stuff for herself- I somehow suddenly loose interest! But anyways, when I have just about one or two or very handful days and I get this chance to be at a touristy place, I hate spending time in shopping. Moreover, I feel I have done shopping to my heart's content when I went to US last year. Plus, with the way Rachna was shopping around in HK, I wonder whether she left anything for others to buy. Besides, I was forewarned by several people back home; when shopping in HK, be careful of rip-offs. So my philosoph…

Symphony of Lights

Day Three was the last day of the conferences. Most of the speakers were quite good and it was nice to know what they thought of the global economy, especially India and China. But the organisation of the presentations were cleverly done so as to accommodate many speakers with clearly defined areas on which they'll comment. As if more proof was required on hosts' organisational skills, we were treated to yet another sumptuous, but an extremely appetizing lunch of Dim-Sums. Hong Kong, I am told, is famous for Dim-sums as that is a Cantonese delicacy and the place to have the best Cantonese food is HK. The venue was a very upper crust 'The Banker's Club' at the Landmark Building. As we took in the nice view of the Harbour, we savoured multiple varieties of dim-sums, carefully prepared to suit our taste palettes. Never knew dim-sums could taste that good and they just kept coming.

Once the conference got over in the evening, we were pretty much on our own. The group di…

The Peak

Day two was mostly work and attending day-long conferences. In the evening, it was time to go to The Peak; a scenic place right on top of the Hong Kong main island, for a sumptuous dinner and beautiful night-time views of HK city and the harbour. The dinner was so elaborate that I felt that I was going to eat my whole share of the full week's food in about two hours or so. Even the vegetarians had a lot to eat; one would think if this is the food available for vegetarians in a place like HK, why should they complain? But then again, if you're willing to spend money, you can get anything. But that also spoke a lot about the host's elaborate arrangements and the attention to detail that they paid to. Ultimately, if one is vegetarian in countries of the far-east and the East, it's a bit of a tragedy.
The views from The Peak are absolutely spectacular. The pains of carrying a tripod all the way on my shoulders finally paid off when I could click pictures I never thought I …

Happy Valley Racecourse

Flying Jet Airways is always a pleasant experience, be it within the country or abroad. I said it last year when I flew to US and I will say it again...over a period of time, Jet Airways will emerge as a world-class competition. Though I feel they have some more precious miles to go. Overall their service was nice, food was great as always but they could still build up on that and as I were to observe during the course of the next five-odd hours, they have certain areas to work upon.
I landed in Hong Kong on a wet Wednesday morning at the beautiful Hong Kong International airport. Immigration was a breeze, but we could see that the Swine flu has scared the shit of everyone there with almost everyone wearing a mask over their mouths and noses. And I thought only the Americans were paranoid!!! But no, I can understand why they won't like any chances. Infact it's a good thing. This is one of the many things that differentiates proactive nations like Hong Kong and US to the rest …