Onam is here

Avial, Steaming rice, parippu, pappadam, pickles, Kalan, Thoran, Banana Chips, Payasam, Kichdi…. Yummy. Onam is coming and this is one time i miss my mother’s cooking the most. Every Onam, at home we go vegetarian. My mother makes some of the best mallu vegetarian food i have ever eaten. Some of the best Kerala delicacies. No steel, glass or china crockery that day. Food has to be served on banana leaf. Payasam would be kept in the fridge to chill before eating. Mmmmm….heavenly.

Staying so far away from home, i can only dream of the food. This time, i have decided to cook a few of them. Have downloaded the recipes of a few of them from the net. Even though Onam is on 27th (Monday), i will have a feast at home starting saturday itself. My cooking success or disaster will be mentioned here for sure. Anyway, will call up my mum to ask for some cooking tips.

Onam is a harvest festival. Since its more of a cultural festival, people of every religion have taken to it. Christians as well as Hindus and Muslims celebrate it with gusto. Schools are closed for 10 days vacation after the quarterly exams. Its something on the scale of Christmas in Kerala. Wikipedia has a good writeup on Onam.


The Indian President is worth US$ 175 billion

rashtrapati bhavan

Did someone say Bill Gates ? Carlos Slim ? Warren Buffet ?

This includes about Rs 600,000 crore (US$ 150 billion) worth shares in the name of the President of India across about 50 listed firms, while shares worth another Rs 100,000 crore (US$ 25 billion) in another 10 companies are registered in the name of the President’s nominees in the central government.

The Indian President holds shares in NTPC, Indian Oil, National Aluminium, MMTC, Neyveli Lignite, PFC, Punjab National Bank, SAIL, BHEL etc. Read the rest of the article here

Now, I want the fund manager who does all the stock picking for the President to do the same for me.


India – Aussie Bhai Bhai ?

Aha, this is something. After all the dust raised by Australian Prime Minister, John Howard and his ministers vowing not to sell any uranium to India, it looks like the big brother America’s push seems to have done the trick.

Australia woos India with new strategic initiative

MELBOURNE: Intending to radically reshape its ties with India, Australia has endorsed a new strategic plan that proposes a raft of measures, including active diplomatic support for New Delhi’s bid for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council and negotiating an FTA. The submission by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer was endorsed by a full Cabinet, ‘The Australian’ reported on Monday.

The strategy contains specific initiatives and is designed to elevate the India relationship to a core element in Australia’s international orientation, along with the US, Japan, China and Indonesia, it said. Apart from allowing the export of uranium – approval for which was announced last week by Howard – the recommendations include formal and active diplomatic support for India’s bid to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

This is a move that indicates Canberra’s elevation of India to core relationship status, the daily said. Australia has been a supporter of Japan becoming a permanent member of the Security Council and the Howard government in the past has also suggested Indonesia should acquire such status.

Apart from the obvious synergy in energy trade, the familiar common-law system in India and its dazzling success in IT mean that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) should also provide enormous opportunities for Australian companies in the services sector which could be worth billions of dollars, the daily said. Surprised at how rapidly the Indian economy has grown, the Conservative government of Prime Minister John Howard wants to enhance relations with the country.

News courtesy: Times of India


What i once wanted to be…

It was 1992 when i first passed the Combined Defence Services (CDS) written exam and was selected for the interview to be conducted at Allahabad. It was an interview to join the Indian Military Academy, one of the finest military academies of the world. I failed to make it. Undeterred, i tried again twice and went for interviews in 1993 and 1994. Same result. Switched lines and joined the IT field and here iam today.


Its more than 13 years hence and sometimes i ask myself if i would take the same path again if given a choice? Knowing fully well that i can make a career in any other field. My answer is again YES. Make no mistake, India is not an easy country to defend. Not only is it a vast swathe of landmass, but has lots of internal strife and some extremely vicious neighbours (China, Pakistan and Bangladesh). Everyone trying their best to scupper the applecart.

indian army

Now that iam so happily ensconed in my job far away from India, will i go back to fight for India? Of course, i will. If tomorrow a war is declared and the Indian government gives a call for all able bodied men & women to take up arms, i will resign my job and fly back. No questions asked. And iam sure my parents wont stop me either. Nothing beats the honour of wearing your country’s flag on your chest. Nothing beats fighting for your family, your land. Nothing beats the ultimate honour of your dead body being wrapped in your country’s flag. Like the motto of the Indian Military Academy says:

The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command comes next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety comes last, Always and every time.

Above pictures courtesy: Bharat Rakshak


New Hyderabad Airport on 2nd March 2008

hyderabad airport

Was thinking that i will go back home next year when the new Hyderabad airport opens. But looks like i will be making a trip this year itself, so the chances of me touching down at the new airport is nil. Maybe i will try to make a trip to the new aiport to see how its shaping up. Also lotsa changes in the city since i went last. During my last trip, i didnt have time to go around the city. Just stayed home and rest of the time, shopped like mad 😉


Even though Hyderabad airport started construction last, its on track to breast the tape first before the Bangalore airport that will only open in April. Hyderabad will be the first city to have a completely new greenfield airport built from scratch through the Public Private Partnership (PPP). Isnt that a reason to celebrate? Yes. With companies like GMR, Malaysian Airports Authority, Airports Authority of India, Govt of Andhra Pradesh, Munich Airport International involved, its indeed going to be a rocking city. GMR is in talks with at least 15 airlines to fly into Hyderabad (and that includes British Airways). The New Hyderabad airport will also be hosting Routes-2009 (an annual congregation of international airline companies and airports.)


Hyderabad, Aug. 16: The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad will start functioning from March 2 next year. At the stroke of the midnight hour, the Begumpet airport will fall silent. Operations will formally shift to the new airport from 12.01 am. Sources said the Hyderabad International Airport Limited conveyed its readiness to start operations at Shamshabad from March 2 to the Airport Authority of India and the government.

“The first flight will land on the newly built 4.62 km long runway in November for a trial run,” a senior official said. The Director General of Civil Aviation will issue a notification on the date of commencement of operations. “Pilots will then be informed of the new flight path,” said the official. Transfer of operations will be done with so much precision that flights will be controlled by the Begumpet Air Traffic Control before 12 am and by the new ATC at Shamshabad after that. HIAL has engaged Munich Airport International, a specialist in transfer of operations, for this. It had shifted airports at Munich, Athens and Bangkok.

News courtesy: http://www.deccan.com
Pictures courtesy: http://www.hyderabad.aero


Why China is an ass headed nation

Trust the communist rulers of China to come out with either statements or actions that make them look like asses. Just a few pointers in the past 1 month or so.

1. China threatens to dump all the dollars it holds as foriegn exchange and switch to some other currency (Euro, Yen, Pound etc). China is not going to dump the more than 1 trillion USD it holds into the garbage dump for sure. When it will exchange it for some other currency, someone is buying it up. So where does the question arise of the US economy collapsing due to the dollar dumping? Also does China believe that 1 trillion dollars is enough to condemn the whole US economy? There are the Japanese, Arabs, European countries who will be gladly willing to mop up the excess dollar liquidity in the market. Surely the Europeans would not want the dumping to make the dollar cheaper and hence their products costlier in the market. So, to pre-empt, they will will simply buy all the excess dollars in the market.

2. The Indian navy will have joint maritime exercise with USA, Japan, Australia, Singapore in the Indian Ocean. Now China objects to the fact that all democratic countries are ganging up against them. A few questions. Is Indian Ocean, the Chinese govt’s father’s property? Or should a sovereign country like India ask for permission from a tin pot dictatorial country like China for naval exercises? Or is it a crime to be a democratic country? The writ of the Indian navy runs in the Indian Ocean. Every country realises that which is why they like to have joint exercises with the Indians.

3. Its the familiar story again. China has banned another movie. This time, the movie of its favourite son “Jackie Chan”. They say, the movie speaks about Chinese mafia. You mean, there is no Chinese mafia? Does the Chinese tin pot commies want us to believe that its all peace and happiness in China? There is no crime? Its a fuckin movie for Gods sake, you morons.

Other Oscar winning performance of the Chinese govt include

Putting a blanket ban on any news that will be reported in the Chinese media about the thousands of toys that have been recalled by Mattel. After cardboard buns, poisoned pet food, poisoned food, medicines, SARS, Bird flu…. Trust China to come out with a variety of diseases every year to keep the global pharma industry profitable.

Manhandling the reporters from RSF (Reporters Sans Frontiers) who held a silent protest about the thousands of civil liberties, human rights and journalists imprisoned in the chinese prisons.


My prediction comes true

india win

On 18th July 2007, the day before the first test match, i had predicted here that India will whip the English asses. And boy, they did a good job out of it. Even though they botched the attempt to win the series 2-0, neverthless 1-0 is also a good whack on the English ass.india win1

Good to see some English arrogance down the drain. A sweet series victory on English soil after 21 years for the Indian team. Also the first loss for the English after 6 consecutive series wins on their home soil (including beating the mighty aussies). More about the win here.

Pictures courtesy: Cricinfo