India Trip – Don’t Lose that Boarding Pass!

I took a few weeks off from my India trip blog, but before I forget.. this one is good and I’ll remember this for a long time!

When we were returning from Goa to Mumbai by Air.. this is an amusing (it wasn’t funny when it happened – trust me)…

I passed through security final security check point and my carry on bag was pulled aside for “questionable content”.. I had some small scissors in a case as part of my overnight stuff. Remember this is has been in my bag since we came to India and it was not flagged in ANY security check points neither in US nor on the flight TO Goa..

So I said to the security guy.. go ahead and take the scissors.. as I had forgotten that I even had them. They removed the offending item and I was on my way.. with my carry on bag.. Of course this is where the fun begins.

I met my daughter and we were getting some snacks pre-flight and I ask her whether she has my boarding pass and she of course says “NO dad.. you have your own pass!”. Of course I did not have it! I had left it behind at the security check point.. and in being flustered at the bag check.. I had left for the gate w/o the boarding pass.

We went to the gate and asked for a duplicate pass and of course.. the gate agent said “We cannot print  you a new pass, you will have to go BACK and get a new pass at the checkin gates”.. Panic sets in.. Keep in mind this airport is ultra modern with all the amenities you want except #IndigoAir cannot print boarding passes at their gates!

The agent tells me to go back to security check point and see if the boarding pass was pulled aside.. I race back to security and of course it’s not there.. The security officials send me to the customer security desk.. monitored by the military.. I go over to the security desk and explain to them my situation (and the officer was very very patient and helpful I must say)… he was aghast that the gate agent asked me to go back through security to get another duplicate from the check in gate agent at the front of the airport!

After I tell him my sad stupid mistake.. he asks me to go back to the gate and get the gate agent.. so I race back to the gate and ask the gate agent to come to the security desk.. so now we both go back to the security desk and she says again.. “Customer must get new boarding pass from check in desk at front of the airport”.. The army officer goes ballistic and says.. “No.. he is the customer.. you go to the front and get him a duplicate”.. After a few minutes of back and forth… the gate agent finally agrees to have a duplicate boarding pass sent back through security  gate.. so I can board my flight!

This wait was about 15 minutes.. whereas the gate agent said they would print the duplicate and be here in 2 to 5 minutes.. Well of course this was not the case.. So here I am sweating profusely at my stupidity for losing my boarding pass after security check.. as well a quite bit embarrassed. By this time my daughter is texting me as our boarding time is approaching for our flight to Mumbai is approaching…

Finally the Indigo Air customer service agent comes and gives me my duplicate boarding pass.. I snatch it and make a beeline to the gate. Can you guess what happens next???

My daughter and I are boarding at the gate and the gate agent (a new gate agent).. says “Sir you cannot board.. Your boarding pass is not security stamped!”.. So the gate agent tells me to “run back to security and get the boarding pass security stamped.. Let me lay out this scenario.. the distance from the gate to the security check point is at least 1/10 of a mile..

So now my daughter boards and I sprint back to the security check.. I ask the military official to stamp the boarding pass.. and he just looks at me in disbelief and and refuses to stamp my pass.. By this time.. I’m sweating profusely and my NY attitude is surfacing with multiple choice words about to be expounded by my vocabulary..

Luckily the security desk guy (again.. I must say this officer was totally amazing!).. sees my distress and comes over and tells the other guy to stamp the pass.. I guess he had rank.. so the security reluctantly stamps the boarding pass.. and I race back to the gate to board the flight finally!

Now lessons to be learned here:

  • Never ever assume that security in Indian Airports is consistent
  • Never ever let go of your boarding pass when you pass through security check in India.. Of course.. there is NO cellphone boarding passes.. so you are always dealing with paper!
  • Remain calm.. always say to yourself —> “This is India and you are wrong.. as they are just following their directions”.. this will absolutely nullify any anger and panic you are feeling
  • Security at Airports is very very tight… If you don’t pass through multiple security check points with the same information.. something is very very wrong.. The terrorism threat in India is taken very very seriously!
  • Stay Calm! After all you are the one at fault. even if what is the norm in America.. you cannot expect this level of normalcy in India.. even if technologically India has really surpassed America (i.e. Dual Sims Phone are the norm in India.. we don’t have ANY Dual sims phone in US!)
  • Remember that even though technology is superior in India.. they are still living in the paper world with process!
  • Always, Always, Always.. make sure your carry on bags don’t contain anything that may cause you grief.. Well how would  I know that my cuticle scissors that I’ve been taking everywhere would be flagged at this airport??

After I got on the plane.. I did a silent prayer and told my daughter of the whole episode.. She of course was laughing so hard that tears were coming out.. Well what more can you expect??

So my next post will talk about what happened with Air India on the way back to India. Again.. totally my fault.. but who knows what is can happen when in India..

Advertisements

India Trip- Mumbai Airport

When we went to India, we arrived in Mumbai Airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport). This airport is really impressive. Be prepared to walk, this is truly an impressive airport.

When I came here 6 years ago, the airport used to be called Sahar Airport, and it was un-impressive. The design and architecture of this airport now is very impressive. The airport is spacious  and comfortable but let me warn you.. you will walk and walk and walk a substantial distance from the gate to the Immigration area.  I estimated that I had to walk at least a 1/4 of a mile..

Immigration is where the fun starts.

If you don’t know what you are doing (and I’m one of those people), you are guaranteed to go to the wrong lines. In India, you have Indian Nationals, OCI (Overseas Citizens of India) and Visa Holders (me!).

Each of the above has a separate line and you can easily spend an hour on each of these lines as I had to do on two of the lines. The OCI Line for my daughter and the Visa line for me. Of course her line was pretty efficient, but the fun was on my line. I was redirected to the “special” line for Visa Holders.

BTW, you should make sure you print out your e-Visa as this paperwork is absolutely essential.. Otherwise you will not be able to enter India! We almost lost this paper copy of my e-Visa in Newark, as it fell out of our passport folder.. Luckily, I picked it up from the floor at Newark Airport!

In each of the visa lines, there are plenty of stations for visa processing, BUT only a few are  actually manned.. Maybe this was a slow work day?

On my e-visa line, after waiting 45 minutes for the 2 manned stations, I finally got to the counter. My visa was in order.. but of course, they wanted to take retinal scans as well as fingerprint me. Security is a great thing when things work well. I realized quickly that the fingerprint scanner was not working well at all. I was asked to put wax on my fingers to get a better read.. of course the container that the agent gave me didn’t have any wax!

After about 10 minutes of sweat (mine), somehow, I was stamped on my paper e-Visa and allowed to enter India! Both hands were fingerprinted and a retinal scan was done as well.

To get to your baggage, you nave to exit thru the Duty Free Shop. Onward to Baggage Claim!

We get our bags, and I decide to get some local currency.. Bad Idea! Remember the word de-monitization. There were limits on how much US Currency I could convert. I could only convert $40.

Finally we get out and we need to two floor up to get our ride.. Elevators  are a commodity. It took us about 45 minutes as we had to wait among my fellow traveler’s as we patiently waited for the two elevators.

In retrospect, I was really impressed with the size and comfort level of the airport. The inefficiency of the immigration lines need to be addressed. When you see this airport you see the efforts that the Indian Government has made in making the Airport comfortable.

Just make sure you are wearing your walking shoes!

 

India 2017- A Trip in Review

First in a series of posts on my Big fat Indian Wedding in India and random thoughts of my trip to India in December of 2016

In the last month of 2016, My daughter and I went to India for the first time in o
ver6 years. We went for an Indian wedding and to say we had the time of our lives would be an understament.

India
India 

To see India as a native is also an experience that was eye opening. There is no country that is more diverse and has sense of pride than India. This country is a super power and you see this everywhere!

As many of my readers know, my writing is infused with a sense of humor. Over the next few postings, I’ll convey to you my views on what I saw during my vacation in Mumbai, Goa, Pune and back to Mumbai. Many of my opinions will invoke responses (hopefully). Much of what I saw and my thoughts should be just considered my views and treated with the humor and realism, I try to inject into my postings.

When I go to India, I am a foreigner.

  • I’m what they refer to as an IBCD (Indian Born confused Desi (slang term for a person of Indian Origin)). This year when I went to India with my beautiful 24 year old daughter, I went with an open mind and went without the normal prejudices I bring to the table when I visit India.

My experience in India was amazing! The changes in the lifestyle of the people that call India home (regardless of whether they live there or are NRI’s like myself), has progressed tremendously.

Some ramblings to start:

  • Be prepared to walk – When you get off the plane, the huge rebuilt terminals are just that.. huge and spacious.. your walk from your plane to immigration and customs will be at least 10 to 20 minutes. The vastness of the international airport in India is a sight to behold. The same holds true for the aiport in Goa.  What you experience in these terminals is for another posting.
  • Your Dollar goes further – If you are coming from United States, you are already at an advantage as you are getting a favorable return on currency. One dollar equals $67 Rupees. This number might make you feel rich, but the fact is that even with this favorable returns on currency exchange, it is quite expensive to get around (be it by taxi or other mode of transportation).
  • Currency and De-Monitization: 2016 was the year of demonitization of the 500 and 1000 rupee note.. this made getting money via ATM, via currency exchange an adventure. Empty ATM machines and Limitations on how much you can exchange for currency for me was quite restrictive. At the airport, I could only exchange $40 for local currency!
  • Change Anyone? Make sure you have plenty of cash on hand and change. Due to de-monitization and the basics how things run in India.. Don’t expect to get change easily.. So everytime you get change for currency you are using for payments, treasure it. You will need it!
  • Rules of the Road: There are none.Forget the concept of normalacy and organized traffic patterns  when it comes to automotive traffic and travel. The law of the land is “If u are in a car, Look Forward only, and lane indications are just for sake of having them“.  Remember that when you cross the streets.. you need to always look “right-left-right” and if you are an NRI, for the first few days, you are always looking the wrong direction when crossing ANY street!
  • Traffic is a mess, but rarely do you see any car that has dents or has been damaged due to an accident. The patience and skills that drivers in India show is amazing.. I have to applaud the patience of every single driver that is in a car, motorcycle, scooter, bus, taxi, rickshaw… and any other vehicle that is on the road!
  • Technology in India is at par with what we see in the US. In certain thing we have been left in the dust. Can you get a dual Sim phone in the US for less than $80?
  • Travel is divided into multiple categories: Pedestrian, Car, Public Transport, or Taxi (can be rickshaw, or taxi). Yes there is even Uber in most cities in India!
  • Travel Light: You can literally go to India with a carry on and get everything you need within 24 hours! With Malls and markets readily available buying d Clothes is not a big deal.. be they Indian or western (for me that’s Jeans, shorts and short sleeves).. So my suggestion is pack light and leave lots of room for souvenirs and clothes that you MUST buy!
  • Family is family – For me I met I attended my first real “Big Fat Indian Wedding”. The size of my family is huge and to meet them in one fell swoop is not only overwhelming, it’s touching. Considering I have 17 first cousins and each of them have a few kids, the family in attendance at the wedding was huge!
  • Curb your apppetite – With India comes food. You get the best variety of food in the world. Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. If you are looking for beef you are out of luck! Cows are sacred in Hindu religion, so you will not get any beef (or at least I didn’t find any) in Mumbai). Friendly advice… if your stomach is weak, make sure you take enough meds to settle your stomach, otherwise you will be making constant trips to the bathroom.. Most of these will not be pleasant as you will be running there! I was lucky.. I only had only 24 hours of this unpleasantness, but the symptoms were around constantly!
  • Security – India is very secure. With all the threats of terrorism, you will see plenty of armed military from the time you land to the time you leave. You will not feel insecure when it comes to this. At times this is overwhelming, but you will see that this is absolutely necessary with the world we live in.

There is so much more that I can write about my trip. I’ll use the next few postings over the next few days to give you my spin on my trip. 

 

Dad’s 2013 working Staycation – Or No Vacation for you!

2013, the year that Dad’s Taxi takes a solo staycation and loves it!

staycationFor those who have been following me for a while you all know much of what I write about is tongue-in-cheek humor.. Well today’s post is from the bottom of my heart.. I’m on a self imposed working  staycation – No Vacation for me!. With due respect to the Soup Nazi from the classic Seinfeld episode!

For those who are wondering what a “Staycation” is here’s the 411 on that. When you are on staycation, you don’t go anywhere when you are on vacation, you stay at home. In my case, it’s a one person staycation. My wife and kids go away and dad stays back on his own volitoin!

My wife and one child is on their California Adventure with their cousins and Aunts and my other “almost legal” child is in Europe seeing the world. At first I thought I’d really be like a fish out of water, but in reality, it’s been kind of nice to have the house to myself and just chillax (that’s another play on words (chill + Relax). See Dad’s pretty cool that way, and he knows the lingo..

One child return tomorrow night (Dad’s taxi will be doing the duties to pick her up of course), so part of my staycation is over, in reality all of it is over!  This child is worse than having the other two (My wife and younger rock star daughter) at home. She’ll come home and run around the house and tell me what a slob I am (which I will not deny) and pick up things and clean the house like a “sharknado”.. Where I’ll be the one being eaten up.

I spent the last few days just listening to the silence that surrounds me and I kind of liked it. I caught up my recorded television programs on my DVR,

Staycation Day 1
Staycation Day 1 (Photo credit: Nostepinne)

played Softball, went to the movies, played tennis and of course went to work..so I can pay for the vacations that my wife and kids are on that I’m not on!

Now don’t feel sorry for me. I chose to stay home. I could have gone to California with my wife, my daughter, my sister-in-laws, their respective kids, but I chose not to. It was my decision. I just didn’t want deal with the chaos that this would have caused. Since, I’m pretty opinionated (Duh!) and would have been the cause of much of the conflict that I know would have happened if I had gone on the party trip!

So where am I going this year? I’m going to India! I just decided that this week. Can you guess who is going with me? Nobody! Just the 3 of us (me, myself, and I) are going. The goal of this trip is not get any bacterial infections (like I did last time), and to really just get back in touch with myself. I’m sure you say, how’s that possible?  It is if you really want to gain closure on a few things and plan for the future.

Perhaps the heat wave that finally broke last night has caught up to me, but to take a solo vacation is good for the soul. It allows the individual to be introspective and really absorb his surroundings with zero distractions. What do you think?

Now my biggest problem is when to go on my real vacation.. I will have to be before end-of-year… Of course I’ll blog on my vacation and my legions of followers (ok there are not legions, maybe 2 or 3), can follow along on my India adventure of 2013!

Hope everyone is having a great Summer 2013 and feel free to share with me your ideas of the best staycation you have had!

Oh I almost forgot the best part of my self-imposed staycation, I was able to just lounge around the house and the pool (on my floating lounge floatie) and listen to the silence! That’s what you call inner peace!

 

 

Terrorism in India – The common man

Indian’s government’s inability to protect the common man in India is shown by the terrorist attack in Mumbai.

This past Wednesday, as I was a conference call with my off-shore team in Mumbai, one of them told me that there were additonal attacks in Mumbai, India. At first I was shocked, then I was deeply saddened.

This past week Mumbai experienced another cowardly attack by terrorists. This attack hit home for me even more as one of the sites was where I roam when I’m visiting and it’s only a mile or so from where I live when I’m in Mumbai!

My best friend AK from Bharatbeat wrote and  an absolutely wonderful article about this attack  on our blog. The post describes how the common man’s interests are NOT the priority of the Indian government, and how the government does not seem to protect the the population. Each terrorist attack is a photo opportunity and an opportunity for the corrupt politicians in India to get face time in front of the cameras.

I could go on and on, but I won’t, as none of my rants will change anything in India. Sad but true..

Do you think that anything will change after the latest attacks? You can provide your opions at the BharatBeat FaceBook page or here..

Below are some articles related to the attack from a few days ago.

Google Plus – Invites available via BharatBeat!

Do you want an absolutely FRE invite to Google Plus?

As many of Dad’s readers know, Dad’s Taxi and BharatBeat.com continue to be partners and we are working to establish a global community for our friends.

Today, we are introducing for a limited time FREE INVITES to Google Plus.

  • We are not selling anything nor is there any obligation for you purchase anything. We are just trying to give back to our community!
  • You don’t have to buy anything, and your information will always be kept private.
  • Follow the directions below or go to the facebook page for and  BharatBeat as we introduce to our friends the new world of Google Plus!
After a very long time, Google has created a big buzz by releasing its own version of Social media called Google Plus or Google+. As of now it is in test phase and access is limited only to invites by members (like they did when Gmail came in).
After Facebook shot down Google’s Orkut, Google has come out with a bang with Google+. It has some really neat features. We will be soon creating a new section for Google Plus discussions.To get an invite for join Google Plus – here are the easy steps you should follow:

  • Once you complete the steps above, the BharatBeat Team will send you the invite to Google Plus ASAP.
  • In the email that you send us, make sure that you include the screen name which you used to post a message in this thread. If we cant match or find the screen name to the registered email, then we wont be able to send an invite.
  • If you are not a registered member of BharatBeat forums  click on Register button on the top of the forums page.
For example – if you sign in to this forum using a name called “email” then include that name in the email so that we can verify that you posted a message.It might take couple of days to get the invite because we have to send bulk invites. So please be patient.

Thank you and we hope you enjoy Google Plus

No Justice for Caylee Anthony – Justice is Blind

Is Casey Anthony’s acquittal on Murder Charges an example of an OJ trial without the fame?

As a parent and as an American, I was appalled yesterday at the justice that wasn’t dished out in the Casey Anthony trial. To see a mother walk away free after killing her 2 year old daughter is without doubt (and as the jurors had “reasonable doubt“) is truly an amazing act of cowardice that can be acted on by any jury in any state, but of course this travesty of justice occurred in Florida.

I guess when they say that “justice is blind”, in this case, justice was deaf too to the inconsistencies of the story that was presented by the defense and which the prosecutors could not refute “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Yes, the “burden of proof” lies with the prosecutors, but come on people, would you see this same verdict if the mother was a minority and could not hire a good lawyer that could convolute the trial with lies and just imaginary avenues of logic (see  Yahoo News).

So Casey Anthony, lied, lied and lied, but for that her time in court,  she will get time served (for her 3 years of incarceration) and walk out of prison within a day or two.  Tell me how many many similar cases of extreme child abuse occur in NYC to the poor and the minority children by their caregivers and parents and  and how caregivers will have the opportunity to have their trial televised literally every day,  to garner the “show” that this trial turned out to be. Personally, I was not riveted to the screen nor the papers when it came to this trial. I just casually observed the progression of this trial as an parent of two girls who was just appalled at the direction that these proceedings went and the end result.

The lack-of-evidence syndrome that is easily played out in today’s courts for the defendants that can show that they have the know how and the resources to play the card of “reasonable doubt” just gets under my skin.

Let’s take this scenario: You have a poor, destitute “person of color” mother who kills her 2 year old, hides her in her car, lies about how her child died, lies about where she worked, and on an on..do yo uthink this woman will get away with Murder??

Extracted from Yahoo News!

She lied about being employed at Universal Studios. She lied about leaving Caylee with a baby-sitter, then again when she recounted to investigators that she had told two imaginary people that Caylee was missing. She also lied about receiving a phone call from Caylee the day before she was reported missing.

I almost forget… With this fame, Casey once freed will make the talk show circuit and gain more fame and wealth with her silly “smirk”. Casey will of course proclaim her  innocence and tell the world how she was molested as a child, and how this caused irreparable damage on her poor fragile psyche.. oh please!

I can hardly wait for the book and the movie to come out! Oh wait.. I think that’s been done already!

If it were My Home

Find out more if you lived somwhere else than where you live! Must Read!

In my endless thirst for obtuse knowledge, I wanted to share a site that I found while I was drinking my Chai on a Saturday Morning (After my Facebook of course!)…. Did you ever want to compare you hometown to another country?

If it Were my home does an excellent job of comparing your hometown to almost every country in the world. The comparisonc can be socio-economic or by size? If It Were My Home lets you do just that.. I always thought that I could put a few countries the size of India in the physical mass of the US. 

Allow the site to use your zip code or your location and you can compare your hometown to almost every country in the world. I’m impressed, you’ll find this on my links site for future refeference

What a great way to compare where you are to how others live in other parts of the world! So when your kids ask you the benefits of where you live you could always say.. you could be living in… I’m sure you will enjoy this one!

I bet you didn’t know the facts below:

If India were your home instead of The United States you would…

have 8 times higher chance of dying in infancy

The number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in India is 49.13 while in The United States it is 6.14.

This entry gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year; included is the total death rate, and deaths by sex, male and female. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country.
Source: CIA World Factbook

consume 96.38% less oil

India consumes 0.0956 gallons of oil per day per capita while The United States consumes 2.6400

This entry is the total oil consumed in gallons per day (gal/day) divided by the population. The discrepancy between the amount of oil produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating factors.
Source: CIA World Factbook

use 96.12% less electricity

The per capita consumption of electricity in India is 484kWh while in The United States it is 12,484kWh.

This entry consists of total electricity generated annually plus imports and minus exports, expressed in kilowatt-hours. The discrepancy between the amount of electricity generated and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is accounted for as loss in transmission and distribution.
Source: CIA World Factbook

make 93.32% less money

The GDP per capita in India is $3,100 while in The United States it is $46,400

This entry shows GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year. A nation’s GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries. The measure is difficult to compute, as a US dollar value has to be assigned to all goods and services in the country regardless of whether these goods and services have a direct equivalent in the United States (for example, the value of an ox-cart or non-US military equipment); as a result, PPP estimates for some countries are based on a small and sometimes different set of goods and services. In addition, many countries do not formally participate in the World Bank’s PPP project that calculates these measures, so the resulting GDP estimates for these countries may lack precision. For many developing countries, PPP-based GDP measures are multiples of the official exchange rate (OER) measure. The differences between the OER- and PPP-denominated GDP values for most of the wealthy industrialized countries are generally much smaller.
Source: CIA World Factbook

die 11.78 years sooner

The life expectancy at birth in India is 66.46 while in The United States it is 78.24.

This entry contains the average number of years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year, if mortality at each age remains constant in the future. The entry includes total population as well as the male and female components. Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages. It can also be thought of as indicating the potential return on investment in human capital and is necessary for the calculation of various actuarial measures.
Source: CIA World Factbook

have 54.3% more babies

The annual number of births per 1,000 people in India is 21.34 while in The United States it is 13.83.

This entry gives the average annual number of births during a year per 1,000 persons in the population at midyear; also known as crude birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the level of fertility and the age structure of the population.
Source: CIA World Factbook

spend 98.72% less money on health care

Per capita public and private health expenditures combined in India are $86 USD while The United States spends $6,719 USD

This entry contains the per capita public and private health expenditure at purchase power parity using US Dollars. This figure combines government, personal, and employer spending on health care
Source: World Health Organization

experience 18.22% less of a class divide

The GINI index measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of family income. In India is 36.80 while in The United States it is 45.00.

This index measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of family income in a country. The index is calculated from the Lorenz curve, in which cumulative family income is plotted against the number of families arranged from the poorest to the richest. The index is the ratio of (a) the area between a country’s Lorenz curve and the 45 degree helping line to (b) the entire triangular area under the 45 degree line. The more nearly equal a country’s income distribution, the closer its Lorenz curve to the 45 degree line and the lower its Gini index, e.g., a Scandinavian country with an index of 25. The more unequal a country’s income distribution, the farther its Lorenz curve from the 45 degree line and the higher its Gini index, e.g., a Sub-Saharan country with an index of 50. If income were distributed with perfect equality, the Lorenz curve would coincide with the 45 degree line and the index would be zero; if income were distributed with perfect inequality, the Lorenz curve would coincide with the horizontal axis and the right vertical axis and the index would be 100.
Source: CIA World Factbook

have 15.05% more chance of being unemployed

India has an unemployment rate of 10.70% while The United States has 9.30%

This entry contains the percent of the labor force that is without jobs.
Source: CIA World Factbook

be 50% less likely to have HIV/AIDS

 

Another Year another year older

On the eve of my birthday, some reflections by dad and his taxi of life!

So another year has passed by and it seems that each birthday comes faster and faster. Seems like only yesterday I was turning 18, 21 and now wow much much older. I would reveal my age, but that would just make me feel old, so I won’t.

I guess this year can best be characterized as the year of travel and illness. I had a great trip to India and of course I came home with eColi. Let me tell you something eColi is something that can easily drain your physical and emotional energy. Luckily I survived this one and came out somewhat unscathed. Except of course for the medical bills!

What I’m really grateful for this year is my family. Through everything my familial links and bonds have kept me sane and upbeat. Of course when I say family, I’m talking about my kids and my better half. I also have to credit my humor for keeping me focused and upbeat.

Financially, the year was a disaster, but hey which single income family doesn’t struggle and live paycheck to paycheck?

I think the best thing that happened to me this year is this blog and my new venture with my buddy AK.  We continue to plod along as we develop a South Asian Community based global portal. Even this, we have not really made much headway, but we keep pushing forward! We know that we won’t be the next Facebook or even Rediff, but this venture allows me to utilize the excess creative energy that I seem to be always searching for.

I guess the best I can say about the past year, I really matured as a person. I finally realized that holding on to old bitterness only does harm and does nobody any good. I finally realized that growing older does not mean you have to feel sorry for yourself, but to really appreciate what you have achieved and to enjoy your family. I’m also starting to realize that as I get older, I’m becoming more self reliant and care less what others say or think of me! Is that my arrogance speaking or is that my self-confidence showing its true self?

Overall, I think I finally grew up this year, or at lease some sense of maturity has finally crept into my existance. Let’s see what next year holds for me financially and emotionally.

Dad..

Harry Potter – 11/19/2010 – Movie Opens Today

Harry Potter is opening today and I want to see it!

So after much anticipation, the New Harry Potter movie opens today. Of course, my tween and teen with all their BFF’s are going to see it tonight. I have to admit, I look forward to joining my kids if only to see what the new story line is which I can guarantee, that I will have problems following. Don’t get me wrong, I can watch each of the installments of the Harry Potter movies over and over again.. yet I don’t get it.. What is the madness about? Everytime I watch these movies, I have more questions than answers.. Maybe it’s just me, but I typically want some resolution to conflict.

Since this is a “Part 1 movie”, I’m sure the kids are going come out of the movie talking with a fever pitch about the final chapter due in June of 2011! So the hoopla will just work of the final installment will start even before the first movie is out for one Day. The “final chapter” as they refer to it, will be “R” rated! ooh! sounds exciting. Oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself!

I’ll be going with my kids to the movie and provide yo uwith my review.  Harry Potter is a tidal wave that comes and sweeps anyone that gets in the way.. This is regardless of which one you see! Even if you don’t understand all the dialogue in the movie, you will just ooh and and aah through all the spectacular CGI and special effects! I guess, the story doesn’t really matter!

Oh you know what I realized that since this was a global Midnight release, If I was in India, I could have seen this movie yesterday and thus today, I would have been one of the select billions that saw the movie first!

Go out and enjoy this movie! Tell me what you think of the movie. I’m going to ask my daughter to make me a Harry Potter T-shirt so I can be really really cool!

Dad..