Monday, March 12, 2007


Been a while Eh!
Plenty water under the bridge. Bush is getting to be a bigger idiot. The world is becoming smaller.The Iraqi death count is becoming larger. Global warming is warming faster. And Harry Potter is selling more than ever, even before being released.
A lot of books read, a lot of movies watched. A lot of people met, a lot of miles done on the ol Jet.
What have I been upto, what have I (thats one 2 many I's) done.
Who cares? Not you. So I wont bother you.
There is a man in a little village in south central India who has never seen an elevator. There is a woman in West Bengal, who has never travelled in a bus.
But then what do we care? We wont bother them.
There is a business man in Orissa, who has never had a close encounter with a computer, and there is a multiplex owner in Mumbai who never saw a hen laying eggs.
There is an industrialist in Ludhiana who hasn't seen a squirrel and there is a farmer in Bihar who thinks a fork is a budget sized plough.
The fisherman in Kerala worries about the tide, the prostitute in Mumbai just wants to hide. (poetry at its worst, and the truth at its best).
Those of you who have this blog on RSS and comment because you have nothing better to do with your lives, go ahead. I am not listening.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hotspots of the World

Nope it is not about the WiFi. Though I wish I write about the WiFi kind when I mention Hotspots.
Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Southern Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal....and the count goes up by the day.
Though one is tempted to blame the United States for all of them, the ground realities state that some of them are areas that the USA has not had a chance to meddle around with, yet.
Why do people keep fighting with each other? Why does it make some so happy to exterminate others. Does allah (I left the capital A out on purpose) really need a bloody sacrifice for an entry ticket to paradise. Does Chairman Mao really have a back door to Heaven. Is Osama Bin Laden, God's speed bump to our excesses? Did the J man really turn his other cheek? Is Krishna, an outdated car (Oop's Chariot) driver? Did Osho have a driving license in spite of his 99 Rolls Royce's? Are the MorMons, hiding something with the redundant "M" in the middle? Questions, questions.
I am watching "Vertical Limit"( In case you went 'Duh...what', its a movie) in a nice little house in the suburbs of London. Its all peaceful and quite, unlike the hotspots of the world, but...but the hotspots of the world were created by a bunch of people not too far from here. I have just give up on democracy, the leaders of the free world are going to end up vaporising the planet anyways, I just hope the idiots don't do it before my time is up.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

People are Crazy!

People are crazy. (Yes, thats the end of the damned statement) People are suicidal. (Greenhouse gases, stupid wars, crazy world leaders leading us to stupid wars, soap operas, hell I am sure people want to kill themselves). People are weird (Do I need to explain that?)
People will be People. Therefore, we are crazy, suicidal and weird among other things.
Why are we like this. We have just one planet, we have probably 70 years on it if you are lucky, out of that, the first 5 are lost with memory developement, the next 5 in tryin to understand the basics of living in this planet, 10-15 on grasping the advanced knowledge on cohabiting with other people, 15-20 trying to build a foundation so you can handle the next 50 years, 20-25 being in love or trying to be in love or hoping to get laid, 25-30 working to build your resume so you can get a better job after 30, 30-35 getting married and juggling a job, 35-40 looking after the first born and hoping that the job you did on your resume will bear fruit (you are a damn fruit CAKE, you ll know that when you lie on your death bed), 40-45 mid life crisis time and you are wondering if you are in the right job doing the right thing, 45-50 finally getting a grip of reality and working in a real hurry to get that retirement fund growing as fast as possible, 50-55 ruminating about all those things you could have done and didnt do when you were 20-25, 55-60 planning yourson/daughters/whateveryouwanttocallyouroffspring's wedding (this is an Indian tradition, if theres someonelse reading this, then you can substitute it with "superannuation planning or "reflection on yourself" time"), 60-65 finally noticing you have someone called a wife or husband whom you have neglected over the past 30 years and trying to make up for all the lost time by travelling to places in the world that you should have actually done when you were 30, 65-70 the idea of death enters the scheme of things you have planned and you are just waiting for it.
People are fucking weird.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Polar Dreams

The Antarctic seems so tempting. So very tempting.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Angkor What?

T'is been a long time. Where did the AM disappear? For starters he broke his hand in an accident and couldnt be bothered typing with one hand. Then he travelled to whacky places where internet is still in its infancy. But more on that later, first a few pictures of Cambodia.

The Angkor Wat. Considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world, this structure dedicated to Vishnu is the largest hindu temple in the world.

A young monk poses for a photograph at the Bayon temple located in the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Built in the 9th Century by King Suryavarman.

A view of the mighty Mekong river from my room. Fish and rice are the staple diet of the Khymer(thats what the Cambodians are called) and the Mekong plays a major part in every aspect of their life.

Another view of the Bayon temple.

A monk with a mobile at the Angkor Wat!

One of the Towers in Angkor Wat.

The Ta Prohm temple. Better known as the Tomb raider temple. The Movie that goes by that name used this temple as a back drop for most parts.

The Ta Prohm.

The Apsara dance is one of the more graceful danceforms in the world. Till a few decades ago, this dance would have been performed only for the royalty. Tourism and the dollars that follow have ensured that mere mortals like me can also get to experience this amazing display of grace and beauty.

Fried crickets and locusts are common snacks for the locals. For around 10 cents you can get a paper bag filled with this crunchy snack. Rich in protiens and inexpensive. On the shock value scale this ranks pretty low. I saw a 20 litre plastic tank filled with the local Mekong whisky and a 10 feet dead cobra soaking in it. They let the cobra soak for around nine months and remove the cobra before drinking the whisky. Supposed to be a great aphrodisiac! Whew!

Friday, April 07, 2006

More Travel Plans

The AM is restless. This does not portend well for a lot of people. He is leaving to Bush Land for a few weeks and maybe do a peekaboo in Vegas to play a game of Blackjack sometime in between the nuisance called ‘work’. After that it is the Scotch trail in Scotland.
A bit more about the Scotch trail: Scotland is the home of Scotch (You knew that already? Wow, aren’t you the smart one) There is a tour which takes you on a circuit of all the major breweries there. You get to taste the whiskey made in each of them and hopefully will get drunk in the process. In case the samples are not enough, there are thousands of pubs that serve quality scotch to help you reach your goal. The tour lasts about four days and if that isn’t bliss, then ‘bliss’ needs a makeover.
Going to plan out a trek to Tibet. Anyone wanna join, drop me a mail, this will be happening in the last week of May and it will last two weeks.

More Havana photos (Do I come up with creative titles or what!!)

The Marina Hemingway. Senor Hemingway used to sit right here and sip on Mojitos and Daiquiris while he wrote whatever it was that he used to write.

Fruit and vegetable market La Habana Vieja. Not many choices for the discerning connoisseur. Hell, the locals are lucky if they can afford a dozen bananas. Economy in Cuba is as healthy as Dick Cheney.

People waiting patiently for their turn to use the Internet in Avenue Obispo, Old Havana. If the locals want to use the internet, they have to apply to the government. They get 15 minute coupons that they take to one of the few internet cafes that the locals are allowed to use. Browsing is a no-no, emails only. Foreigners get wireless internet in their hotel room.

The Avenue Malecon, one of the better places to spend an evening in Havana.

The Russians with their brilliant sense of architectural beauty built this monstrosity of an embassy.
In a road filled with lovely Spanish colonial mansions built in the early part of the 20th century, this eyesore stands as a testament to the “whose willy is bigger?” competition of the cold war era.

The Capitolio. Funded by the Russians and built during the cold war to rival the Capitol in DC. It is in ruins and filled with rats, though they dont wear suits like their counterparts in DC.

One tends to find hoardings like this all over the country, some depicting him as Hitler, some as, dracula. Though I searched high and low, I couldnt find Bush in a Santa Claus costume. One reaches the conclusion that President Bush isnt exactly a popular figure here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Photos from Cuba

The Partagas Cigar factory. The birth place of 'Cohiba', 'Monte Cristo', 'Romeo Y Julieta' (Nope they are not Comrade Shakespeare's legacies, they are cigars)

Taxi Taxi

Old Havana

Opposite the Swedish Embassy that houses the United States Trade Centre (The US doesnt have an embassy here).

Public Transportation "Revolution style"

A View from the Avenue Malecon

Thursday, March 16, 2006

More notes from Havana

My eleventh day in Havana. Crappy food has resulted in my weight going down by 4 Kgs. Looking and drooling at skimply dressed, Latin American women has resulted in a further reduction of 2 Kgs. Walking up and down La Habana Vieja (means, Old Havana...I am just showing off, dont mind me) has also contributed to further reducing the quantity of physical space I take up in the universe.
There are few websites that give you a fair amount of information about travel to Cuba. is one that I found quite useful. If you intend going there, then theres your online travel guide. ME. Internet is a carefully regulated concept here. Most Cubans have access only to their emails. Browsing is a no no. Even to access their emails, they need wait in a line which sometimes stretches for a couple of blocks. For foreigners its different, they (or rather, WE) have wireless internet in the hotel!!
Oh yeah, and the smart ones reading this might ask, why cant the locals use the wi-fi in the hotel? They cant because, 1: Locals are not allowed to enter the hotels. There are dozens of security types in front of each hotel to make sure of that. 2: Even if they did manage to enter the hotel, they dont have a laptop to connect to the internet. More on regulations in Cuba at a later date (It is actually quite fascinating).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

More Havana tales

Being in a country where you can’t pronounce 'toilet' the right way (I know as much Spanish as you know German) (Note. If you know German, change that to Mandarin), (More Notes: If you know German and Mandarin, you should be spending your time doing something more useful than reading this), and get sent to the bus station instead of the loo be a bit of a pain at times. Though I won’t complain about my life, there are times when I feel lonely. With an extended family back home and a girlfriend to boot (she reads this, I'll get booted for sure), the life of traveler gets on ones nerves at times. Oh well, the shoe is always better on the other foot, the pasture is always greener on the other side et al.
Typing this out in my room at the Hotel Saratoga in Old Havana, listening to A.R.Rahman's Jana Gana Mana,(internet in Cuba exists now! as does feel a tad bit lost and lonely. Never mind the fact that I'll get over it, it just goes to prove that...oh to hell with it, who cares what it proves.
You only live once, Live it well, Yeah yeah yeah, we went through it before, but that fact is important enough to be repeated over and over again.