Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Impossible is nothing

I think Sachin can rest easy, in India, Impossible is nothing. See this interesting news. Apparently under pressure from local don, police booked a 4 year old kid under Goonda Act.
The angry don, Gyanendra Yadav, decided to teach Chandrika a lesson and called the police to book Chandrika and his four-year-old son Mukesh. The cops, more than willing to oblige the don, charged the father-son duo under Section 110 of the CrPC of Anti-Goonda Act and even forwarded the file for notification to the additional city magistrate on April 24.

It was only after the boy appeared before a local court and the magistrate took note of his age that the record was set straight on Monday.

Well-versed in legalese, the cops still didn't relent. Since the don had ordered harassment for Chandrika, the police, instead of admitting mistake, tried to get a "rectified" application submitted with the ACM

May be Adidas should signup UP politicians as their brand ambassadors.

Mr. Bachchan has a blog

So finally Mr. Bachchan has a blog. The blog seems to be up for a while and if he is really blogging, it is really cool. But I believe that it may be an flunky of him writing for him.

He talks about his involvement in politics in his blog and why he got out of it.
For the Assembly Elections in that state I was sent to canvass for the party. An error of judgment forced my helicopter to land at the wrong destination. It belonged to the opposition. There was instant physical reaction and the pilot advised we make a hurried exit. As i sat back in the plane, a young student broke the cordon, ran up to me, thrust his fist through the glass window and handed me a piece of paper. It read - â??Mr Bachchan, I am a big fan of yours, but I am with the opposite party. Please leave this State, you are making life very difficult for me for I am torn between two desiresâ?.

Now, I would like to believe him in what he is saying if he was not behaving almost like a spokesman of Samajvadi Party. I think everybody remembers the advertisement that he featured in which was "sponsored" by SP.

Also his wife;s involvement and his active interest in his wife's political career suggests that he has not really moved away from politics, he has just taken a role akin to RSS while his family and friends are BJP.

Not that anything is really wrong with that. It is just portfolio management.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Luxury in the middle of nowhere

I finally took this trip to Kanha National Park and Tiger reserve. I avoided this for so long because I am one of those characters who wants everything to be really well planned before I embark on any adventure. I really can not bring myself to start any travel unless everything is planned to the last detail and everything is reserved in advance.

After doing the usual googling, I narrowed down on this resort called "The Baagh" which is in the village called Guduma near Kanha National Park. The resort is located around 5 kilometers from the mukki gate of the Kanha National Park.

I had not so high hopes from the resort since this was the first time I was visiting this place and I had not heard of the promoters but contrary to my hopes, this turned out to be a really luxurious and comfortable experience. Since we reached on the fringes of off-season, we were the only people in the resort and that helped.

The resort offers a right combination of luxury with remote location. The rooms are air conditioned but television is not provided, which I believe is a plus point. Nobody wants to go to a jungle and still watch TV. If one wants to watch TV, might as well stay in city.
Here is the website of the resort and one can find out what they offer in the resort.

We reached Jabalpur and from there we were picked up in an Toyota Innova which we had booked in Advance through one Capt Golchha from Shreya Travels. One could contact them on mobile no: +919823035666 directly on E-Mail. I just called him once and he confirmed me the pricing and availability of vehicles and everything was well organized and on time.

We reached The Baagh around 12 noon and Mr. Vishnu Sinsinwar, who is the director of the company that runs these resorts was waiting for us right on the gate and welcomed us. We were checked in to a room within 2 minutes and everything was hassle free.

The package that we had bought included one jungle safari per day of the booking and safari was organized in a custom built Maruti Safari 4x4. Keeping in mind the fact that we were going into jungle and jungles do not have roads, the safaris were well conducted by Mr. Ramesh who accompanied us on all three days of our stay. He had very good knowledge of Jungle. Each day we drove approximately 50 kms in jungle lasting 4-6 hours for each trip.

We did see rare most animals like Leopard and a pack of Wild Dogs apart from biggest success story of Kanha i.e. Barahsingha (बारहसि��ा). Unfortunately for us, we ran out of time before we could see a tiger, I am sure if we stayed may be one more day, we might have gotten lucky.

Hotels to avoid

On my way to Kanha Tiger Reserve, I ended up staying at this hotel called Narmada Jackson. It was listed at yatra.com as a welcome heritage hotel, so I chose it. After two, one night stays, I can safely say that this place is best avoided. Here are some of the issues that I found.

  • The hotel charges for A/C rooms but the air-conditioning never really works.

  • The hotel restaurants provide really un-edible food

  • The hotel staff never knocks before entering the room, in one incident somebody opened the room at a time after midnight.

  • They can't provide wake-up call service

May be because of the fact that Jabalpur does not have many hotels but I don't think this is a hotel that anybody should choose.

Themed Restaurant

If one visits the restaurant in The Forum mall called "Sahib Sindh Sultan, it is themed like a railway coach. Themed restaurants are always interesting concepts.
But while on my visits to Bhopal, I ended up in this restaurant called Shaan-e-Bhopal (शान-ए-भ�पाल). The restaurant was inaugurated on 17th March, 2007.
These guys have actually used a real train coach with regular seats replaced with nice comfortable seating for train.
The ambiance and decor of the restaurant was good. The food quality was worth the money but the service was pathetic. The fact that it is operated by MP Tourism seem to be in some way responsible for the really pathetic service that the restaurant.
Now if one is interested to visit a interesting restaurant with decent food at not so heavy price and can be patient with the really bad service, this one seems to be the place to visit.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Love hate relationship between BJP and PM

BJP and PM seems to have an strange love hate relationship. Yesterday, BJP jumped to the defense of PM.
Rubbing salt on Congress' wounds, the BJP on Wednesday alleged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been "insulted" because of the "make Rahul Gandhi Prime Minister" chant by a section of the ruling party leaders.

One would think that they would be really worried by the prime minister and insults being heaped on him. But it does seem that way really. In not so distant past the same party had this to say.
Manmohan has lost his mental balance, says BJP

And just before that, they had this to say.
Singh was the target of fresh salvos from Modi who at an election meeting in Bapunagar area here asked the crowd, "Do you recognise the Prime Minister?"

"I am talking about Manmohan Singh... He is our Prime Minister," he said in an apparent attempt to belittle Singh.

I am not sure what they are up to, but it is definitely entertaining.
���ल ब�्�न साहब �� �ुस्सा बहुत �ता ह�। �ब यहा� ह� ल��िय�। ��ल म�त्र� श्र� एम एस �िल न� ऐसा भ� �्या �ह दिया। �न�ा त� �तना ह� �हना था �ि �लम्पि� ए� �िला�िय�� स� स�ब�धित �य��न ह� �सलिय� �लम्पि� �� मशाल �� द�� म�� न�ता�� �र �मिन�ता�� �� शामिल नह�� ह� ना �ाहिय�।

मुझ� त� ल�ता ह� �ि श्र� ब�्�न �ा ब्लड प्र�शर बहुत �्यादा ह� �या ह� �सलिय� �न�� बहुत �्यादा �ुस्सा �ता ह�।

Monday, April 14, 2008

Morons and parenting

I always believed that people who are morons should decide for themselves and opt out of being parents. Today this belief has become more strong.

I am sitting in this really interesting restaurant called "Ada Hind Ki" on museum street and then a couple walks in with a 3 to 4 year old daughter and a maid servant who looked younger than 10 years old. This set of individual during the next one hour has helped me in strengthening my belief.

Parents who need another child to take care of their child do not need to be parent. This group exhibited that behavior. Even to extent that when the child has to visit toilet, the other child needs to be with them to take care of things.

As soon as the child is back, the "papa" shouts "light please" while I am thinking what the hell that means, the "papa" takes out a cigarette (an expensive one, in one of the gold boxes) and the waiter duty fully lights the cigarette. Now the dad is smoking next to the wife, child and the other child. I know lots of smokers believe that the medical industry is telling lies when it tells that cigarettes could kill but as a parent, I would ask why take chances. Even if you are willing to sacrifice yourself through smoking and other strangers through passive smoking, why be responsible for bringing cancer to the door steps of your own child, just in case this happens to be true.

I have nothing against smokers, many of them are my friends but still I found this behavior despicable. Even if one of my friends did that, I would make sure to point this out to them.

To add insult to injury, both the parents are drinking bacardy (or whatever the hell that was, I am not a drinking type so not sure) and I am sure that one of them was going to drive back all those people in the end.

Anyway, I quickly finished and got out so that I need not be sacrificed at the altar of cancer.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pot calling the kettle black

Hindi film industry is well known for plagiarizing but this is clearly the case of pot calling kettle black. After Mr. Roshan "got inspired" from the tunes from Mr. Ram Sampath, he sued them in Mumbai High Court. The high court judge gave a judgment against Mr. Roshan. Now he is claiming that Mr. Ram Sampath schemed against him. He should have sued him earlier. That is a strange logic. Mr. Roshan copied stuff that was right fully Mr. Sampath's and then he is fully entitled to choose a time when he would be able to pressurize Mr. Roshan. I tell you sometimes I just can't believe these people.
हि�द� �िल्म व्यवसाय म�� ��र� त� बहुत ह� �म बात ह� पर रा��श र�शन साहब त� ��र� �र �पर स� स�ना��र� �� �हावत त� स� बनान� म�� ल�� हुए ह��। �भ� �न�� �िल्म �्र��्�� - ४ �� स���त �� ल��र �न�� मु�ब� ��्� न्यायलय न� द�ष� ठहराया त� �स पर �न�ा �वाब था �ि राम स�पत न� �न�� �साया ह�। �न�ा तर्� यह था �ि राम स�पत पहल� न्यायालय म�� �्य�� नह�� �य�। �नाब �ब �प न� ��र� �र� त� �प न�� नह�� स��ा �ि �प ��स स�त� ह��।

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Interesting story

Very often one comes across really interesting happenings in this world. Here is such a story. Apparently one farmer was given a judgment to share all his property with his wife. He was just so pissed at the judgment that he took a very interesting route.
Instead, he bought a grinder and cut in two all his tools, including large items such as cattle scales, a harrow and a sowing machine.

"I still haven't decided how to split the cow," he told the newspaper. "She should just say what she wants -- the part with the horns or the part with the tail."

Friday, April 4, 2008

Idiot of the year award goes to...

Here is a guy, just because he has reached UK, he thinks he is better than everybody. I had heard some people thinking that people in western countries are better than people in eastern countries, but this guy takes the cake. He thinks even animals/fish are better in UK than in other countries.

The wiki page on the award mentioned in this news item also says that the standards of this award have become very lax which is very clear from the fact that they have started giving it to morons.

Here is another interesting item on the troubles with the publication that doles out the awards. To quote

For the last three years, however, something has happened each year to cause the Red Guide itself to appear to be losing its grip. So far, the thick skin of Michelin is doing an impressive job of protecting the brand.

The first two years of the Red Guide's troubles began through no direct fault of its own. On February 24, 2003, amid rumors that he might be losing his Michelin three-star rating (a loss that often leads to a quick demotion to culinary has-been status), famous French chef Bernard Loiseau committed suicide.

Some of the biggest French chefs immediately pinned the blame on a too-influential Michelin. Cooler heads eventually prevailed, and it was decided that Loiseau had his fingers in many pies, some of which were turning sour prior to the Michelin rumors.

The troubles continued last year when a Red Guide inspectors, Pascal Rémy, published a tell-all book, L'Inspecteur se met à Table (The Inspector Sits at the Table or The Inspector Spills the Beans), alleging that Michelin plays favorites with chefs, doesn't visit reviewed restaurants as much as it lets on, and is generally less on the up and up with its readers than might be thought.

Michelin promptly denied what its inspector had to say, going as far as to take out newspaper ads pleading innocence. After 16 years of service and one tell-all book, Rémy was promptly canned; he lost the court case, where he pleaded unfair dismissal (remember, we are in France).

This year's Red Guide troubles, however, seem to prove some of the inspector's allegations correct, and this time, the wounds are self-inflicted.

Just before the Red Guide's 2005 home opener in France on 2 March, Michelin got caught trying to pull a fast one in Belgium. It very favorably "reviewed" L'Ostend Queen restaurant for the Benelux guide, which came out 26 January. Trouble was, the restaurant hadn't yet opened for business. The Brussels daily, Le Soir, promptly caught Michelin with its bib down.

Actually this Michelin guide guys tried to pull similar trick on restaurants in Japan but the treatment that they got there was really something that Indian media and chefs should follow.
It found much to like, even love, and showered the cityâ??s restaurants with more of its coveted stars than those in New York and Paris combined.

Michelin, based in France, made the splash it had hoped for, and has sold more than 290,000 copies of its familiar red-colored guides since November.

Many prominent figures of the Tokyo food world, however, are saying to Michelin, in effect, thanks for all the attention (which we deserve), but you still do not know us or our cuisine.

Food critics, magazines and even the governor of Tokyo have questioned the guideâ??s choice of restaurants and ratings. A handful of chefs proudly proclaimed that they had turned down chances to be listed. One, Toshiya Kadowaki, said his nouveau Japonais dishes, including a French-inspired rice with truffles, did not need a Gallic seal of approval.

â??Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it,â? Mr. Kadowaki said in an interview. â??How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?â?

The mixed welcome reflects the challenges Michelin faces as the guide and its star-based ranking system enter a gastronomical milieu as far removed from Paris as teriyaki is from tête de veau.

I don't think Mr. Atul Kochhar should open his restaurants in India. We don't want him. People in India whom want him will go to UK and eat the "fresh" fish that he gets there. Meanwhile, we are happy with not so "fresh" whatever we get here.