Thursday, April 30, 2015

There is always light at the end of a dark tunnel


I believe in the well-known age-old maxim: ‘there is always light at the end of the tunnel’. And, another one in the same vein: ‘every cloud has a silver lining’.
I got proof of these yet again because my transfer had its plus points as well as the minuses. On hindsight, I can say with confidence that the pluses far outnumbered the minuses. Yes, the transfer affected my outdoor activities and I had to, ultimately, withdraw from the Naba Nalanda magazine. The patrons and subscribers were disappointed but, I had to choose between my professional and my literary ambitions and the former took precedence.
But, the transfer changed my outlook on life. It gave me new confidence of accepting challenges.
My department was a new one. I had new bosses and the work was challenging because I had to set up the department from scratch. It spoke volumes about my new bosses who had never seen me at work but had already formed so high opinion about me that they did not hesitate to give me the responsibility of setting up a new department.
A room was, therefore, assigned to me, along with four employees and a junior grade officer. And, all these individuals had been transferred because their bosses felt that they would be better off elsewhere – just like me. The task assigned to me was to organize the inventory of material received from Russia against a new project against different contracts. These items would be required at a later date in the factory but, some of the material had already arrived and others were on their way. I had to develop a system to keep tab of physical receipts and subsequent issues.
The best part was that till my transfer, all these activities used to be handled by a Project group but, immediately I was transferred, the officer in-charge of the Project came to meet me. He was all smiles. He shook my hands, congratulated me on my new assignment and said that he would send over whatever documents he held.
Within the hour, a four wheeler arrived and offloaded four steel almirahs full of documents pertaining to various Russian contracts. Also, all packing lists of items received from Russia.
My task was to set up a system to monitor the complete tasks. (to be continued…)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


EU realizes the curse of plastic carry bags – to banish the bags

Pet Pomeranians of Surat married off, 500 wedding guests enjoy the feast

Woman kills her husband because of his dark complexion

Baltimore on fire as protest over death of a black youth in police custody spirals out of control

‘Papri’ and ‘Barood’ - collection of Bengali short stories published from Nashik

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda


Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

1994 was a good and bad year


By the time 1994 came around, the magazine and the compilation of short stories had begun to pay dividends. The first two volumes of short stories had stories of the three of us but, the next one was a selection of stories contributed by other writers of little magazines of Bengal. They had submitted their stories in our stall at the Kolkata Book Fair in 1993.
Yes, we had attended the Kolkata Book Fair in 1992 and 1993 but could not do so in 1994 because it was a year when I ran into trouble in my professional life. It was directly related to my boss. He was a Bengali but his wife was a non-Bengali who loved to try out her hand at writing in Bengali.
It was OK so long as her literary exploits were restricted to the local get-togethers where the audience loved to applaud her efforts but, when it came to writing for a magazine that was going places, we had to take care to ensure that the quality of the writings did not deteriorate. Obviously, someone would have to sit with the handwritten manuscript, decode the squiggles to make sense and then get it into the magazine.
Unfortunately, none of us had that much time at our disposal and the result was that her stories continued to lie in waiting and, she did not like that.
And, my boss, God bless him, decided that I was not fit for promotion.
Why he took such a decision is not nown but, he graded me as ‘below average’ in the Annual Confidential Report and I was transferred out to another department.
The worst part is that I came to know about my ‘below average’ rating only after joining the new department. As per rules, any officer who is assessed as ‘below average’ is not eligible for promotion for 3-years. I had already lost 6-years waiting for my promotion and this ‘below average’ rating meant I would have to wait for some more time. It was akin to hitting below the belt.
Well – I took it in my stride as I have always taken the good with the bad. And, in the new department, I came across a totally new set of bosses who helped me to change my outlook on life. I realized that there are always some good men among a whole lot of bad ones. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

IPL8 – Mumbai Indians break the jinx with first win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Making friends and influencing probasi Bengalis


The response we received for our magazine was fairly good - complimentary copy of each issue would be sent by post to new addresses and, new members would keep joining up. But, subscriptions alone cannot meet the financial needs. Hence, our struggle to get regular ads and tap new sources for fresh ads was an ongoing process. And, once we met the requirement for next issue, we would focus our attention to other related subjects.
Like – moving out to local places to make friends with probasi Bengalis. Our mission would be to sell our books, make members for Naba Nalanda and try to identify sources for ads.
That is how we made a trip to Ahmednagar. The journey was tough. We took a night bus and had to remain standing whole night. We reached Ahmednagar early morning and stayed there in a hotel for one day. It was another industrial city and had a reasonable sprinkling of Bengalis.
Later, during the Durga Pujas, we went to Pune. This city was large and had a large population of Bengalis. A number of Durga pujas were held but they were scattered in different corners. We had heard of the Congress Bhavan Durga Puja – it was supposed to be biggest one in Pune and Bengalis flocked to it.
Apart from Bangalore, Ahmednagar and Pune, we had arranged for reps of Naba Nalanda in Bhilai and Raipur. And, all these activities ate into the available time. My domestic life became practically nonexistent and my wife and son had to do most of the shopping and outdoor activities.
My professional life also suffered. I was not able to devote any extra time to my job and my bosses did not like that. I would go for duty at 7am, complete my shift at 3.30pm, take the 3.45pm shift bus to Nashik City to carry out data entry work and return home by the 10pm bus from the city. By the time I reached home, it would be 11pm and I would be famished. (to be continued ...)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

IPL8 – Mumbai Indians break the jinx with first win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Monday, April 27, 2015

Naba Nalanda spreads its wings after Kolkata Boi Mela


After the success of our participation in the 1992 Kolkata Boi Mela, we wanted to spread our wings and tap the untapped potentials of probasi Bengalis – probasi or those who live outside West Bengal.
Once upon a time probasi meant those who live out of India. That meaning has changed over a period of time because plenty of Bengalis have had to leave their homeland in search of jobs and sacrifice the addas in the tea shops of the localities. They have settled in other corners of the country. And, not only the Bengali men but Bengali women also who have got married and moved out of Bengal.
Anyway, to make a beginning, I selected Bangalore as first base to tackle.
The reason of selecting Bangalore was twofold – firstly, it was where our Corporate Office was located and where I would have to go once in a while to undergo training programs. And, secondly, I had taken a decision to visit Lord Balaji at his abode in Tirupati. I had gone once when I was on training in the HAL Staff College and had fallen in love with not just the Lord himself but the temple and the journey.
Incidentally, I had taken a tourist package – the cost in those days was Rs 30 only. The luxury bus would leave Bangalore at 9pm, travel all through the night and land in a hotel in Tirupati early morning 4am. In the hotel, the visitors would be put up for half an hour to freshen up, have a bath etcetera.
Since I was alone, I had to share the room with an aged gentleman. We got to talking and I learnt that he stayed in the United States but would come down every year to pay his respects to Lord Balaji.
That set me thinking. If an old man could come all the way from the US to meet the Lord, why can’t I from Nashik? Therefore, I took a mental pledge to undertake the journey for 12-years, without break.
During one of these journeys, I looked around for a Bengali Association of sorts in Bangalore, the Garden City. It was not too difficult a task and, I came in contact with a lady who agreed to become our rep in Bangalore. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

IPL8 – Mumbai Indians break the jinx with first win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Relation with my bosses sour and I lose interest in my job


It was in 1992 that we attended the Kolkata Book Fair. It was a sort of honor for us because we had managed to get a tiny 100sq foot of space allotted in our name – this was in spite of many reputed publishers of Bengal not getting allotment. The plus point in our favor was that we would be showcasing books and magazines printed in Bengali from Maharashtra. In those days, it was a novelty. Bengalis were used to little magazines and, most of them would be accommodated in a separate enclosure reserved exclusively for them.
The Fair was scheduled towards end of January and, accordingly, the three of us packed the books and magazines along with promotion leaflets for distribution at the fairgrounds. The duration of the fair was nearly a fortnight and we booked our train reservations accordingly.
Obviously, I would have to apply for leave of about three weeks and, my bosses did not want me to be away at that time of the year for such a long duration. Especially my Bengali boss who knew the reason of my going to Kolkata. That hurt. I realized that the time had come when I would have to take some harsh and unpleasant decisions.
Anyway, once in Kolkata, we got busy in arranging for setting up our stall – we had been given only the 10-foot by 10-foot space and had to arrange for its covering, decorations, lighting. My friends had local contacts and they struggled throughout the night. They disregarded the bitter cold of the Maidan, which was the venue where over 500 book stalls would be in business for the fortnight, to create our stall.
And, once the fairgrounds opened up, we felt on top of the world. Word soon got around about our innovative measures and every day, there was a regular stream of visitors and well-wishers. Some of them bought our books, others subscribed to our magazine while others submitted their short stories and poems for inclusion in our magazine. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

IPL8 – Mumbai Indians break the jinx with first win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Publishing business – an escape route from the dull routine


Three of us had taken the initiative to start printing of magazines because we loved writing and wanted to encourage other like-minded Bengalis from all over the country to become a part of our community. We wanted to break the on-going tradition that only the well-connected can see their name in print. My friend and I have had not-too happy experiences with editors of Bengali magazines based in Kolkata – they all had their own groups and it was next to impossible for others to get a toehold in their well protected domain.
This was the main reason for us to move away from the beaten track and do something that would appeal to the masses. Of course, for me, there was another reason – I was gradually getting disillusioned with my job. I wanted an escape route from the dull routine. No, there was no fear of losing my job but, the nature of work had become boring. And, added to that was the denial of my rightful promotion for three years continuously. Every year, my boss would put up some reason or the other and smile an apology of sorts.
The worst part was that he also was a Bengali. That really hurt.
When I joined HAL Nashik, the General Manager was a Malayalee and, the majority of work force was from Kerala. After him, the General Manager was a Punjabi – and people from the northern states increased. Then came the Marathi regime with Marathis getting preference. In between there was a General Manager from UP – obviously, people from those areas got benefits. And then there was the Orissa reign with Oriyas getting into the limelight.
But, when it came to Bengalis, due to some unknown reason, they hesitated to back their own men – and, I had become a victim of my Bengali boss’s indecision. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

IPL8 – Mumbai Indians break the jinx with first win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Friday, April 24, 2015

‘Papri’ and ‘Barood’ - collection of Bengali short stories published from Nashik


Encouraged by the success of the first issue of Naba Nalanda and the feedback we received through the feedback forms, we took a couple of important steps to boost our presence. One of these was to identify individuals in areas like Bangalore, Bhilai, Raipur, Pune and Jabalpur and request them to be our local representatives. We were fortunate to induct such persons into our fold.
Another project we undertook was to print a collection of short stories. Since we wanted to make a start, we decided to feature our own short stories in the first volume. We named it ‘Papri’ (Petals) and the book, with five stories, ran into around 100 pages.
In the case of books, data entry was smoother as compared to the magazine. There was no question of inserting ads or images or change the layout to accommodate poems.
However, once the data entry was completed, the next problem was funds – the revenue we generated through ads and from subscription of members went towards printing of the magazine. That was a continuous and repetitive process. Therefore, in order to finance the books, we decided to contribute our own funds.
Our publisher friend agreed to get the paper through his sources, the printing of the pages would be by photo offset method and the covers would be printed by screen printing.
By the time our first book ‘Papri’ was ready, our magazine was already into its 3rd issue. It was late 1991 and, we suddenly decided to participate in the Kolkata Book Fair. So, we wrote to the Publishers and Booksellers Guild for the necessary forms.
And, took up data entry on topmost priority of our second book ‘Barood’ (Explosive) to get it published before the Book Fair to be held in January 1992. It would be a collection of crime stories.
We were confident of getting a stall allotted to us because we would be showcasing magazines and books printed outside West Bengal to the Bengalis of Kolkata who love anything out of the ordinary. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

IPL8 – Mumbai Indians break the jinx with first win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The first issue of Naba Nalanda leaves Nashik by post


It was in 1991 that the first issue of our Bengali magazine Naba Nalanda was dispatched by post to a couple of hundred addresses in various parts of India – these were complimentary copies and we were certain that this novel attempt of ours would pay dividends.
We had managed to obtain some ads to cover various elements of cost but, still, we had to invest our labor and time. It was a combined challenge because we had to not only go ad hunting but also sit at the computer to do data entry of the matter that would go into the issues.
In order to do this, we had to get acquainted with the Bengali keyboard and learn various DTP procedures regarding layout of pages, insertion of texts and images.
There were three of us in the project and while two of us were employed in HAL and stayed in township, our third friend ran his own publishing business and stayed in Nashik – his setup was nothing very hi-fi but it was useful for minor works like data entry of address labels, printing of leaflets, printing pocket calendar etcetera.
As to data entry of magazines, our drug-addict friend had, by then, become an asset for us. He would sandwich our work in between his own regular work. Of course, he would pack up by 6pm and at that time, we would take over. The understanding with the ad agency was that we would do our work from 6pm to 9pm on weekdays. On Sundays we would use his facilities based on our convenience.
Obviously, time for us was at a premium because our day began at 6am and, by the time we returned home, it was around 10pm. We would go to Nashik for data entry – it was a distance of 30-Km up and down daily. And, on Sundays, if we did not go ad hunting, we would sit at the computer for half the day. My friend and I had divided the work – if he went in the morning, I would go in the evening. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

IPL8 – Mumbai Indians break the jinx with first win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Monday, April 20, 2015

Printing Bengali magazine and books from Nashik


The procurement of the four-language DTP software by the ad agency took a few months and, we had already decided to go ahead with the printing of Bengali magazines and books from Nashik. We wanted the magazine to be registered with the Registrar of Newspapers so we could collect ads for the same.
Since one of our friends was into the printing business, he gave us estimates of the amount of funds we would require to print the magazines. We wanted to print four issues every year to start with and the print order would be a few hundreds. We also had to have a base of subscribers and, hence, we drew a list of Bengalis from all over India. Our sources were the matrimonial ads that appeared on Sundays in Bengali newspapers. Other source were telephone directories of Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune from where we selected Bengali names.
We knew that we would have to invest to get the first couple of issues printed and circulate them. In order to build our subscriber base, we decided to dispatch complimentary copies by Book Post and hoped that the recipients would reciprocate our gesture by becoming members.
Therefore, with all our activities set in motion, we had to go around to collect ads.
The printing of Bengali magazine from Nashik was a totally new and revolutionary concept and, we decided to approach Bengali industrialists. They encouraged us and, through them, we got introductions to some non-Bengali well-wishers who were owners of hotels.
And, this exercise was time consuming.
We would program it for Sundays. My friend and I stayed in township and we would go by scooter to the industrial area in Nashik which was nearly 25-Km away from township to collect the ads and the cheques. We would leave in the morning after breakfast, have lunch in some wayside hotel and return home by evening. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

IPL8 – Mumbai Indians break the jinx with first win against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reforming a drug addict


It was in 1990 that a number of things happened that changed my course of my life.
On top of the list was denial of promotion. The promotion took place once a year and, when my turn came, I was left on the sidelines – the reason given by my boss was that the promotion was given to another senior officer who was on the verge of retirement. The promotion would mean that he would call it a day with a little more money.
I did not grumble because the gentleman was a very senior person and, also knowledgeable – hence, he was a deserving candidate.
However, when next year I was once again sidetracked, the reason given was that the officer who got promoted was my senior in the department. Hence, I should not grumble.
And, at this time, I suddenly got the information that a close relative of mine had fallen into the trap of drug dealers and had become a drug addict. His mother and brother were worried. They had put him into a rehab center but, once he came out, he again went back to his old ways.
Therefore, when I went to Kolkata on leave, they implored me to take the errant young man with me to Nashik. The general understanding in the family was that a change of scenario might help him to mend his ways.
I agreed and when I returned back to Nashik, he and his mother accompanied me and my family. And – during the long 28-hour journey, I had to keep a watch continuously whenever the train halted at a station to see that he did not give us the slip.
After he came into my family, I was wondering how to keep him engaged and, as a first step, I got him enrolled into a typewriting institute so that he could at least learn a new trade and would stand a better chance of getting some sort of employment.
Then I discussed his position with a friend of mine who also happened to be a writer of sorts and he agreed to get him an employed. It so happened that language software was entering the market at the time and one publishing house wanted to buy a package of four language software. The owner had decided on Hindi, Guajarati and Marathi and my friend requested him to add Bengali also. (to be continued …...)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

Contract bridge is a good option on Sundays

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart


Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Nashik gets its first printed Bengali magazine


A beginning had certainly been made but a desire to see their names printed in magazines had been worrying all the new found talents. Therefore, when one of them went to Kolkata for vacations, he took special interest to locate a printing press who agreed to get the magazines printed.
His requirements were not very many – he wanted the complete matter to be dispatched to him by post or sent across through someone who would come down for vacations. In those days, courier service had not really taken off and one had to rely on the Post and Telegraph department. The press owner agreed to do the type setting, layout, proof reading and finally print, bind and send back the complete magazines to us in Nashik.
As can be understood, there were many uncertainties in the project – there would be a need to have a rigorous follow-up and that could happen only via letters or the telephone. Since mobile phones were unheard of in those days, the next best option was to go in for STD calls after 11pm – to get the advantage of low tariffs. And, with the lines busy eve at that late hour, one had to wait to get the connection.
Anyway, there did come a day when the first printed copy of ‘Nalanda’ arrived by post from Kolkata to Nashik. It was a day for celebrations.(to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

Contract bridge is a good option on Sundays

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart


Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Friday, April 17, 2015

Creating a Bengali magazine in Nashik


As I have mentioned earlier, there were a few Bengalis who could write – maybe their creations would never have got any award but, they knew their limitations and restricted their literary pursuits to penning a poem once in a while or a write a short story or travelogue.
Those were the days when mobile phones had not invaded out lives and e-mail and SMSes were unknown – therefore, people had to write at least the letters to their families back home. Therefore, they did have the knack of penning their thoughts in the form of sentences. And, when peppered with a few quotes or two liners from Tagore, the end products could pass off as original literary creations.
A handful of writers would assemble once a month for a literary session where the participants would read out their poems or stories and others would applaud them and offer their criticisms. These monthly get-togethers would be held on someone’s roof subject to weather conditions. These were occasions to encourage would-be writers to emerge into the open.
In one such gathering, a proposal was put up to create a magazine of our own – to begin with, it would be cyclostyled and the periodicity would be three-monthly because writing on stencils which had to be cyclostyled was a long drawn process. Moreover, writing on a stencil was the work of an expert and such experts were not very many.
Anyway, putting aside all fears, our Bengali magazine from Nashik finally saw the light of day – it was named ‘Nalanda’ and it contained a number of poems, a couple of short stories and a couple of essays. Obviously, the number of poems was more because these occupy less space and more poets can be accommodated. The more the participation, the better would be the reach of the magazine. to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

Contract bridge is a good option on Sundays

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart


Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Irritating habits of Indians – chewing paan and tobacco and taking snuff


The saying goes that cleanliness is next to godliness but, there are various aspects of Indian culture that do not follow this line of thinking. A few of these, in my opinion, are chewing paan (betel leaf), chewing tobacco (either raw or in the form of gutkha) and taking snuff.
Each of these habits have more of nuisance values and, a large section of Indians are addicted to these bad habits. The result is that they not only dirty their surroundings apart from fears of spreading disease but also cause harm to their bodies – their teeth get affected and they can become cancer patients.
Incidentally, the paan culture is prevalent in Bengal also and, even the women are addicts – in days gone by, the women of the family would sit together after lunch with their paraphernalia and prepare the paans. They would have with them the major ingredients like the betel leaves, whole betel nuts, slaked lime, zarda (scented tobacco), cardamom and cloves. They would cut the betel nuts as they chit-chatted and cracked jokes and prepare the paans. To them it was a ritual to spend some time and get updated on latest gossips – kitty party of yore!!
Incidentally, paan is basically a betel leaf in which are added innumerable ingredients, with some of these being aphrodisiacal in nature. In North India, the paan culture is rampant and the addicts love to experiment with different additives. When they chew the paan, the heady aroma wafts through the air and leaves a trail behind the man who is chewing it.
However, taking snuff is really a nuisance. The individual takes a pinch of the snuff, stuffs it into his nostrils and them uses his handkerchief to wipe his nose clean. The snuff apparently goes into his head and gives him a high. This is a habit which is exclusively for the men because I have never heard of a woman addicted to snuff.(To be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub

British Army wants computer whizzkids to counter the growing menace of ISIS propaganda

Contract bridge is a good option on Sundays

Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart


Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Little magazines of Kolkata and Bengali magazine from Nashik


It is a well-known fact that Bengalis are poets at heart and they understand the intricacies of not only politics but also of football, cricket and the fine arts. They believe in the age-old maxim of ‘what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow’. As a result, they suffer from a sort of superiority complex and they will never admit it.
Anyway, when some Bengalis get together and they have a common bond of writing either poetry or prose, there would be an automatic desire to see their names in print. The Bengalis in Nashik were no different and, I was one of them.
I had already been writing in a few magazines of Kolkata and there was another gentleman who wrote poems – he had managed to get a footing of sorts in the little magazine sector. This little-mag sector was unique to Bengali culture and had been born to allow up and coming writers to try and secure a toehold in the highly competitive world or writing.
Believe it or not, there are established writers who had graduated from little magazines to big magazines and, finally, became big names in the literary world.
Incidentally, little magazines hold a special place in Bengali culture and, in the annual Book Fair held in Kolkata, a separate section is reserved for Little Mags.
Then there was an elderly woman, the wife of one of our colleagues, who was an established writer with a few books to her name. And, along with her, there were some more Bengalis who were poets or writers at heart.
Well – all these faithfuls of Bengali literary world decided to meet one evening every month and read out our literary creations and allow others to comment and criticize the outputs. (to be continued …)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Playing duplicate bridge in Nashik at the state level


Obtaining sponsorship of HAL meant we got two days off to participate and free transport to and from the venue which was in Nashik City.
Once we arrived and got our names registered, we met the players who had come from different corners of Maharashtra. They played bridge regularly and belonged to various clubs. Some of them had played in international tournaments while others played for national teams and were champions within the country.
There were men and women in their 70s and 80s alongside young men and women who were the junior levels of renowned teams of Mumbai and Pune. A couple of the old-timers had remarkable memory and, that was important for bridge players – they had to remember the bids, and proceed with the game based on what they had learned from the bidding.
They had to, also, keep count of how many cards of each suit had been played and which cards still remained. In short, contract bridge was in their blood and they did a lot of study and research on the subject.
The event was an annual one in order to select the best from the state who would represent at the national level and, from there, go to the international level. It was just like any other game and, in the open room, there would be fans hovering around them. Since many of them attended the event every year, they were acquainted with the local authorities as well as the local press.
Our team of HAL appeared to be in an unknown territory – and, in the initial stages of the games, we had the opportunity to sit at the same table and play with well-known names of the Indian bridge world.
However, as the games progressed, there was an automatic filtration because, the teams with high IMPs moved towards the elite end of the open room while the teams with low IMPs remained at the other extreme. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter on the cards says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Auckland girl sweet talks thief to return stolen mobile phone

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Monday, April 13, 2015

Contract bridge is a good option on Sundays


Addiction to cards has been labeled as an evil and, in Bengali, there is a saying ‘tash, dabah, pasha, shakal karma nasha’ – this means the three vices that affect one’s normal working are cards, chess and the game of dice a-la Shakuni mama in the Mahabharata.
I had not become an addict as such but loved a game of bridge.
I began with auction bridge – that also due to circumstances. I had lost my father and so had a close friend of mine. One evening, as I was sitting with him, his brother-in-law came along. He invited me to a game of auction bridge and when I explained that I did not know how to play it, he brought out a pack of cards and explained.
Then we sat down to a game. It needed a foursome, so my friend’s wife teamed up with her brother and I and my friend got together. That was the beginning. My friend is now settled in Kolkata as is his brother-in-law.
Anyway, later, I switched over to contract bridge and would have regular sessions on Sunday afternoons in my quarter. In those days, mobile phones were unheard of and we would fix the schedule while marketing.
One fine day my friends invited me to accompany them to a night session of contract bridge. It used to be held in the Mitra Vihar club on Saturday nights and would begin after dinner at 10pm. The games went on till early hours of Sunday. Since it was duplicate bridge, it offered a level playing field to all and no one could grumble about bad break of cards or complain of any hanky-panky tricks.
I had, in the meantime, linked up with a regular partner and had devised a bidding system of our own. We wrote the details on a sheet of paper and would leave it on the table for our opponents to refer in case of doubt. Those who played by the standard bidding systems of Goran or Precision, just made a mention of that during the play. But, me and my friend devised out own system – hence had to table it as per tradition.
After gaining experience at Mitra Vihar and then at other venues like the State Bank club in Nashik, we decided to participate in the state level championship. Our HAL Recreation Club was kind enough to sponsor two teams and, it was an experience that I can never forget. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter on the cards says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Auckland girl sweet talks thief to return stolen mobile phone

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Understanding the intricacies of playing duplicate bridge


Contract bridge was an indoor game and a new attraction for me and some other Bengalis like me. The duplicate bridge version was really attractive. Many Bengalis were experts at it and could guess the lay of cards with tremendous ease and accuracy.
It all depended on the bidding of your partner and of the opponents and in trying to interpret the meaning of the bids and what they wanted to convey. Even silence at the bidding conveyed some message.
To begin the bidding, one must necessarily have at least 13 counts in the 13 cards he held – his bid should let the other players at the table understand a rough distribution. That would help the others to make an assessment of how the cards were distributed taking into account his own holdings.
Different conventions were followed – like Goran which depended on the minimum total count in hand and identifying the preferred bid based on the highest number of cards of a particular suit. In case there was no specific suit to bid, one could begin with a No Trump indicating a scattered layout.
Then there was the Precision bid – here one had to memorize different bids based on the distribution like 4-4-4-1, or 5-4-3-1 or 5-5-3-0, 7-5-0-0 etcetera.
Another bid was the One Club bid – it meant a scattered distribution with minimum count and the exact suit would be decided after getting the response of the partner.
Anyway – I and my partner decided on a bid system of our own. We had named it GHOTAL – GHO from Ghose (my name) and TAL (from the name of my partner Talapatra).
When it came to duplicate bridge, there were innovations – namely, an open room and a closed room. A team usually consisted of four members who played each deal with the same set of cards. Only, the declarers in the open room would become defenders in the closed room.
Once the cards were dealt, the set would be duplicated by each player and inserted into a specially designed receptacle and taken to the closed room. While the open room was open to public, the entry in the closed room was restricted to only the persons who directed the game. No ne else was allowed.
By playing with the same set of cards, anomalies regarding bad distribution were eliminated because if a N-S declarer arrives at a certain contract and if the opponents arrive at a better contract in the closed room, obviously it was a plus point for them. The final result would reflect that.(to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter on the cards says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Auckland girl sweet talks thief to return stolen mobile phone

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sunday afternoons meant Contract Bridge in Officers Club


There was a time in Nashik when there were several individuals who had a common interest in playing contract bridge. They belonged to not only HAL but hailed from related Government agencies associated with HAL. A few of them were diehard bridge players and they took the initiative to launch the Sunday afternoon versions. There are various games of cards from Patience, played by loners, to teen-patti which is nothing but gambling to bridge where the players are tested to their limits.
In bridge also there are two types – the auction bridge and the contract bridge. Both versions of bridge involve four players and a deck of 52-cards but, contract bridge is more sophisticated. Even its scorecard. The chart where the score is maintained ensures equal vulnerability for both the teams.
Anyway, the Sunday afternoons transformed into four to five hours of brain racking exercises to fulfil the contracts of 3-No Trumps, or a Low Slam or a Grand Slam (yes, GS had been contracted and successfully met!)
The game kept every player mentally alert and on tenterhooks. The players included senior managers like the GM, AGMs, and DGMs as well many of their subordinates. On these occasions, all of them sipped tea from paper cups, munched biscuits and, at the end of the session, distributed prizes.
There would be bonhomie all around and, even though there would be arguments between partners and heated exchanges to justify a particular move, the players would come together again the next week. (to be continued…)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter on the cards says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Auckland girl sweet talks thief to return stolen mobile phone

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Friday, April 10, 2015

Buying a Premier Padmini of 1978 vintage for Rs 30,000


In those days, HAL gave Rs 30,000 as car loan for purchase of a four-wheeler because it was that period when there were a few models of cars on the roads. Most popular in the four-wheelers were the grand old Ambassador car of the Hindustan Motors and Premier Padmini, the Indian version of the Italian Fiat. The amount of car loan was just enough to cover the cost of a second hand model and, when I became eligible to get a loan, I applied.
The approval of competent authorities used to take some time because there was an annual quota of loans that would be disbursed and, invariably, there would be someone who would try to squeeze in the queue quoting some reason or the other.
As I waited for the approval, I set in motion activities connected to acquiring a car, activities like carrying out a recee of the cars available in the market. To help me in this work I got hold of a Malayalee – he was a master in automobiles and, most of the garages in Nashik had hordes of Malayalee workers. That helped.
Finally, I zeroed in on a white colored 1978 Premier Padmini and settled for Rs 30,000. I paid the owner a token amount for booking. My application for loan had been cleared but imagine my surprise when I came to know that there was an embargo on issue of further loans for that financial year. It was a directive from HAL Corporate Office.
When I checked with my friends in Bangalore, they informed that the orders had certainly come but the local Finance department had decided to pay the loans to those whose approvals had come and then apply the embargo.
Unfortunately, in Nashik, the Finance department was a stickler for rules and, even though my loan had been approved, I could not get the loan amount. I was in a fix because I had already committed to the deal and had to, therefore, arrange the money from alternative sources.
All this happened just before my departure with the Russian specialist to New Delhi and I had to leave the car parked in front of my quarter. I never imagined that my son would take advantage of the ready availability of the car and, on the pretext of warming it up in the mornings, he would take the car out on the road.
By the time I returned from Delhi, he had mastered the art of driving and, later, taught me how to drive!! (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter on the cards says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Auckland girl sweet talks thief to return stolen mobile phone

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Thursday, April 9, 2015

From Hindon, the venue shifted to Chandigarh


After completing a study of the aircraft held at the base at Hindon, it was decided that we shift our area of operation to Air Force Station Chandigarh where some more aircraft were available. Accordingly, I decided to travel by bus from New Delhi to Chandigarh while my Russian specialist chose to fly down with his friend from HAL Koraput.
I still had one set of change of clothes and, I knew that I would have to manage with those in Chandigarh because I would have to put up in the Air Force mess where I would not have the luxury of a room boy to keep my clothes cleaned and ironed very day.
The journey was a pleasant one because the bus was air-conditioned and it halted at a wonderful eating joint where the food was delicious. There was a small body of water in the garden and it added to the atmosphere.
From the Chandigarh bus stand I took a cycle rickshaw to go to the Air Force station and on the way I passed the ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) headquarters – it was scorching hot and there was a guard standing at attention just below the national flag. He stood like a statue with nit a muscle twitching on his face in spite of the heat all around him.
Anyway, I arrived at the mess, and next morning met the officers, explained the purpose of my visit and started the work. They had already got necessary briefing from Air Head Quarters and as the day progressed we were joined by our Russian experts.
The number of aircraft here was less and, hence, we were able to complete the assessment within a couple of days. And, then, it was back to Delhi, debriefing and flying back to Mumbai. Since there was no connecting flight to Nashik I hired a prepaid cab from Mumbai airport and landed up at Nashik. (to be continued …)

A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


Pattern of death changing in India – heart and lung related diseases are top killers

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter on the cards says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Auckland girl sweet talks thief to return stolen mobile phone

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stuck in Delhi in summer with only one change of clothes!!


Next morning, before leaving for continuation of meeting in Air Head Quarters, I handed over my shirt, pant, and banyan etcetera to the room boy of the Guest House and requested him to get them cleaned and keep the set ready within 24-hours because I did not have a spare set of clothes. The room I occupied was air-conditioned no doubt but summer in Delhi can be hot in the open and perspiration made one’s life miserable.
Anyway, in the meeting, a decision was taken that I, along with my Russian specialist, should proceed to Air Force base at Hindon where the aircraft were kept. Once there, we should check up all the available aircraft, note the observations and submit the report to all concerned. We should involve the Air Force personnel in our study.
Obviously, it was a time consuming work of a repetitive and monotonous nature and, for the next 20 days, every morning, I would leave the Guest House after breakfast, pick up my Russian from his hotel and proceed to Air Force Station Hindon.
The car would be provided by the Guest House and the driver was a young man and a very rash driver. He would keep putting on the car’s headlights demanding right of way and keep zigzagging through the heavy traffic of Delhi roads.
After observing his actions for a couple of days, my Russian friend pleaded with me to ask the driver to go slow and not rush. ‘I have a tiny daughter back home in Russia and I want to go back to her in one piece’ – he said. I explained that to the driver and he smiled and slowed down but, that was momentarily – speed was in his blood. (to be continued …)


Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist


A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


Teenage girl of Brighton sat on a needle in a bus and is now getting her blood tested for HIV

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter on the cards says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Auckland girl sweet talks thief to return stolen mobile phone

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Meeting with Air Force officers at Air Head Quarters


Yes, I have mentioned earlier that my TD to New Delhi was for 3-days but, the first meeting at Air Head Quarters set the rend for an uncertain future. The problem was a technical one and it pertained to the engine but, the officer who had come from HAL Korput preferred not to intervene. His Russian specialist also played dumb kept looking towards for a solution – and I had not the faintest idea about engines.
It was all a blame game. While Air Force blamed HAL, the manufacturers, I along with my Service Engineer took the stand that the problem was not that great and was being exaggerated.
The Air Force officers did not appreciate my insinuations and, one of them even threatened that he would complain to my Managing Director about my attitude.
We broke for lunch and the Russians went to their hotel. This hotel in Delhi catered mostly to Russians and they felt comfortable to dine with Russian music floating in the air and Russian cuisine on the table.
As to me I went to our Guest House and was lucky to get my General Manager on the line at the first attempt. I debriefed him on the meeting at Air Head Quarters and he smiled off the threat. He assure me that he would keep our MD informed and ended by saying – Ghose, you are now the GM of Nashik in Delhi. Take your decisions, we will stand by you.
That sort of an assurance does great things to one’s morale and boosts his confidence sky high and I felt I could really pull off this mission with success. (to be continued …)


Another interesting blog - Violence and atrocities

Another interesting blog - Citizen Journalist


A few more must reads -

Nashik Kumbhmela 2015 – a once in 12-years pilgrimage

Trip to Nashik should take in Shirdi and the Ajanta and Ellora caves

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the epic Ramayana

Nashik, a tourist center with links to the Mahabharata

Kumbhmela 2015 in Nashik – guided tours to wineries and vineyards

Nashik transforms from a place of pilgrimage to an industrial hub


Teenage girl of Brighton sat on a needle in a bus and is now getting her blood tested for HIV

Stray dogs attend funeral of Mexican woman who fed them

Nationwide ban on cow slaughter on the cards says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Health tips – lose weight without dieting

Auckland girl sweet talks thief to return stolen mobile phone

Anchovies can boost good cholesterol and reduce risk factors of the heart