Saturday, October 29, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
A bat who fell upon the ground and was caught by a weasel pleaded to be spared his life. The weasel refused, saying that he was by nature the enemy of all birds. The bat assured him that he was not a bird, but a mouse, and thus was set free.
Shortly afterwards the bat again fell to the ground and was caught by another weasel, whom he likewise entreated not to eat him. The weasel said that he had a special hostility to mice. The bat assured him that he was not a mouse, but a bat, and thus a second time escaped.
The moral of the story? It is wise to turn unfortunate circumstances in your favor. Look beyond the surface.
You may find a varying perspective or option that can help turn things around.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
A frog was hopping around a farmyard, when it decided to investigate the barn. Being somewhat careless, and maybe a little too curious, he ended up falling into a pail half-filled with fresh milk.
As he swam about attempting to reach the top of the pail, he found that the sides of the pail were too high and steep to reach. He tried to stretch his back legs to push off the bottom of the pail but found it too deep.
But this frog was determined not to give up, and he continued to struggle. He kicked and squirmed and kicked and squirmed, untilat last, all his churning about in the milk had turned the milk into a big hunk of butter. The butter was now solid enough for him to climb onto and get out of the pail!
The Moral of The Story? "Never Give Up!"
Most people are like the circus elephant. Have you ever seen a giant elephant in an indoor arena tied to a little wooden stake. That huge creature can pick up two thousand pounds with its trunk, yet it calmly stays tied.Why?When that elephant was just a baby, and not very strong, it was tied by a huge chain to an iron stake that could not be moved. Regardless of how hard it tried, it could not break the chain and run free. After it a while it just gave up.Later, when it is strong, it never attempts to break free.
The "imprint" is permanent. "I can't! I can't!' it says.There are millions of people who behave like this creature of the circus. They have been bound, tied and told "You'll never make it," so many times they finally call it quits. The may have dreams, but the "imprinting" keeps pulling them back.Today, eliminate the source of your limitations. When you mentally break free, the boundaries will be removed from your future.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Once upon a time, there was a large mountainside, where an eagle's nest rested. The eagle's nest contained four large eagle eggs. One day an earthquake rocked the mountain causing one of the eggs to roll down the mountain, to a chicken farm, located in the valley below.
The chickens knew that they must protect and care for the eagle's egg, so an old hen volunteered to nurture and raise the large egg. One day, the egg hatched and a beautiful eagle was born.
Sadly, however, the eagle was raised to be a chicken. Soon, the eagle believed he was nothing more than a chicken. The eagle loved his home and family, but his spirit cried out for more.
While playing a game on the farm one day, the eagle looked to the skies above and noticed a group of mighty eagles soaring in the skies. "Oh," the eagle cried, "I wish I could soar like those birds."
The chickens roared with laughter, "You cannot soar with those birds. You are a chicken and chickens do not soar."
The eagle continued staring, at his real family up above, dreaming that he could be with them. Each time the eagle would let his dreams be known, he was told it couldn't be done. That is what the eagle learned to believe.
The eagle, after time, stopped dreaming and continued to live his life like a chicken. Finally, after a long life as a chicken, the eagle passed away.
The moral of the story: You become what you believe you are; so if you ever dream to become an eagle follow your dreams, not the words of a chicken.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Yes, we have shrunk distances! The Dreamliner goes a long way from the Boeing 720s and 707s that I used to fly with my parents from Addis Ababa to Mumbai. Then planes had to land in Aden to refuel because they burned a lot of fuel while taking off from Addis, blame the altitude! Then came the 767s, one of which crashed of the Comoros islands after it was hijacked. The moot question is, Do we need aircraft for long distances, or do we need aircraft for shorter hops? The Second question is, in spite of the hype, will the Dreamliner sell? The Airbus A380 is a high capacity aircraft. I wonder whether it will sell in large numbers because it would not be cost effective to fly below its full capacity! The same goes for the Dreamliner, will it be cost effective, will it be a money spinner, would you like to bet your money on it?
I recall travelling in an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 727 from Addis Ababa to Bombay in 1981. It was raining heavily when we boarded the trijet through an aerobridge - that was such a wow for me, a 5 year old then! As we took off from Addis Ababa, there was a lovely site of green terraced fields on hillsides - those memories are crystal clear. The majestic Lion of Judah, which symbolised the airline was everywhere on board - on the meal trays, napkins, etc. Then the meal that was served was one of the yummiest I had!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
As our Kingfisher Airlines ATR72-500 turboprop descended towards Rajahmundry's tiny airport, we hit an air-pocket and I was jolted out of my snooze mode. What I was wonderous - the mighty Godavari and magnificently long bridges spanning the width of the river. It took me a while to start clicking on my camera phone, obviously it was in airplane mode.
When I did start clicking, all I could see was endless stretches of enchanting greens and coconut groves, something that places like Kerala are fast losing. We had a bumpy landing and the ATR72-500 taxied noisily, with its characteristic sound (which is undoubtedly so retro), towards the terminal building. There was a private jet - Reliance Industries' Dassault Falcon 900EX with a VT-AKU designator neatly parked in tiny bay. The company operates flights between Bombay and Rajahmundry on a daily basis ferrying executives and engineers to their gasfields in the Krishna-Godavari basin. The terminal building was tiny - no conveyor belts(!) - baggage was brought out in tractor trolleys. Despite the lack of amenities, the emergence of air connectivity has brought about a change. Hyderabad is no longer an overnight train ride, its just 45 minutes away, with easy connectivity to the rest of India, and of course the world. The flight was full, proving the potential, but there is more potential to connect other parts of our country. As we drove out of the airport terminal towards the city, the greenery looked even more inviting. If tourism were to develop in these parts, coastal Andhra could give Kerala and Goa a good run for their money.
After a few visits and meetings, it was time to break for food. There was an amazing array of spicy sambhars, rasams, fiery chicken curry and succulent freshwater prawns, all in true spicy Andhra style. Coming from Bombay, where we are used to sea-water prawns, the freshwater prawns here were different - incredibly sweet, when compared. This was a welcome change - the sweetness of the prawns blended well with the fieriness of the green chilly gravy! Despite being a full-bloodied North Indian, I would concede that spicy Andhra food is best enjoyed with steamed rice! And to top it all, there was a thick green, sour and spicy, gongura chutney that went very well with the rice.
Curd rice brings every South Indian meal to a fitting end and as I was enjoying the curd rice, I was offered a sweet called Sunnundalu - dark brown balls, which were absolutely heavenly. I was later told that the sunnundalu prepared along the Andhra coast has jaggery as an ingredient, which gives it a dark brown colour, whereas the rest of Andhra uses sugar, giving it a lighter texture.
By then the day was almost over and it was time to retire to my hotel room, but I was fixated on one thing - getting a big box of sunnundalu to take back home.
Next morning we had a flight at 11 back to Hyderabad, but markets in Rajahmundry only open at a leisurely pace, so it became Mission Sunnundalu for Hyderabad!
I had a 6 hour stopover at Hyderabad with two meetings scheduled. In between two meetings, I was directed to G. Pullareddy Sweets at Begumpet, where I did get my pack of treasured sunnundalus! Though these sunnundalus were half as good as those I had at Rajahmundry, they did last me long enough till now, as worthy accompaniments to my bedtime cup of tea!
Rajahmundry is one of those many offbeat gems that India has which are unknown, but with unlimited sights that please the soul, with delectable cuisine that can fire up your excitement and what not! I wish places like these prosper with sustainable tourism unlike what we have seen in Goa or in Kerala!
Saturday, October 1, 2011
The first view of the sun rise, snow clad mountains basking in the golden burst of dawn and first sight of the mighty peaks were captured forever by our lenses and still continue to mesmerise me and make me speechless....
"Will I ever die with a sense of contentment that I have lived, I have seen, I have experienced the world?"
"How much is enough?"
These questions bugged me as we flew back from Ladakh, and they still do!