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. 

 

Winter of our Discontent – Enough Already

The ongoing boredom of the winter of 2014 in Central NJ

Panoramo of the Quiet of the Snow

I have not experienced this kind of winter in NJ for years.. With El Nino where each winter was mild for the past few years, this year is wetter and colder than I’ve ever seen. The winter of 2014 in Central NJ has been one storm after another dumping snow and ice and when its not snowing, it’s frigid.

I noticed that this year the weather channel named each storm. Today we are in the middle of Storm Pax. Not sure what that means, but I guess we are on the letter “P” with storms.

I don’t really mind the snow, as long as I have my monster snow thrower to clear the snow, but gosh enough is enough. The kids in NJ are really having fun, as they have now had 4 or 5 snow days.. Of course I look forward to the 4:30 AM call from the Middletown, NJ Board of education to tell me that there is no school today due to ANOTHER Snow Storm!

I have to admit that this town is so wonderful with communications by telephone blasts, email’s and text messages. This township is also amazing with snow plowing.. Even before the snow finishes, the main roads are cleared!

I was just talking to my daughter and she tells me that dad’s taxi is slacking off and not posting enough. Well, things are going on in Dad’s life that really cannot be shared here (for now)….

Whenever it snows, I sit in my semi “man cave” in the back of my house and work.. Yep that’s me, sitting and watching my neighbor’s horses frolicking in the back. This is how boring my life has become.

Horses lounging Horses out for a walk in the Snow

What dad really needs is a vacation.. A vacation where he can just let loose and chill. Now the question arises, is where do I go?

Since my daughter told me I need to write about more interesting things, I’m going to have to reflect and write about interesting things.

For now, I’m going to watch as much Curling as possible at the Olympics in Sochi. I’ve gotten obsessed at watching the men and women slide the rock down and sweep to get points. I still don’t get the scoring system, but the intensity is worth the wait.. BTW, I found out that Curling has become the latest “must see” sport in the schools. One Child even had her phone confiscated because she was watching Curling in math class! I got a chuckle out of that.

At least it’ll be an interesting spring (when it arrives in the next 35 days!).

Hey, pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training next week, so as a NY Mets fan, the annual rite of hope for my metsies starts anew.

Dad’s life is changing and he’s headed for a hard reset of his life. More on this later in postings when the time is right.  For now, Dad has to just get over this endless winter!

 

Plano Revisited 2013

Plano on my Mind.. ramblings of my 2013 visit to Plano..

Last week, I was in Plano for my annual visit. This is the visit where I spend a few days with my brother and his family and spend a few days with my closes 1700 fellow employees from the employee resource groups from the company I work for.

Yet we all know that this post is about my Plano, Texas visit..

The term I want to introduce to my readers is “Tiger Moms”. These are mothers that become so involved with their kids athletic events that they think it’s normal to be total jerks instead of just encouraging their kids to play fair and do the best they can.

I went to see my nephew play at one of his tennis team matches in West Plano. Let me tell you this is serious High School tennis.. East Plano Vs. West Plano at it’s best.  Yet of course I digress.

Two young ladies were playing and it was a tough match. After the match the winner walked over to where I was sitting. The winner was limping and she apparently was playing injured.  Tiger Mom “A” (The Loser’s mom) says to the young lady (winner),  “you shouldn’t have played”.  The Dad casually says “She won (his daughter) anyway”. Well this set off a chain of events that led to escalation to the loser’s coach for the innocent response from the Dad, as “bad sportsmanship”, etc..

Of course the other tiger mom’s jumped in and were saying nasty remarks over this whole incident.. I was so amused by this whole one-act play at a tennis match. These women were living their own lives through their kids with their overbearing opinions and attitudes.

I actually thought the whole exchange was pretty pathetically hilarious! Parents should encourage their kids to show sportsmanship, instead of being role models, they act like they are in high school themselves. Remember these are upper middle class moms whose income exceeds 6 figures at a minimum.

High school sports in Texas is a very serious business. Football, Tennis, it’s huge. I don’t know whether any of you have heard of the show “Friday night lights”. That’s Texas sports in a nutshell,

Beyond that my Plano visit in a nutshell. Oh I forgot about my sinus infection and my visit to the local “Minute Clinic” at the local CVS.., What a concept. You make a quick appointment, get evaluated by a physician’s assistant, and get a script all in an hour. No doctor needed. All insurance accepted.

I also saw some amazing pre-construction new houses that are just state of the art in McKinney, Texas.  Keep in mind, McKinney was voted the best place to live in America in 2012. Overall, McKinney is a really nice small town which feels like a place where you can truly call home! Yes, this is coming from a long-term NJ, homey.

Every time I visit Plano, I love it more and more.. If all the stars align.. this may become a reality sooner than later..

That’s all for now..

Where else can you find random ramblings like this which don’t seem to have any logical stream.. Dad’s Taxi of course!

 

 

 

Oh Canada!

Au Canda! Tips and observations of my Canada vacation!

I know I haven’t blogged in a few weeks! I have a good excuse, Dad and his taxi of life was en vacances in Canada this month!

Last week we took a road trip to Quebec and Montreal respectively. Feel free to comment if you have anything to add!

Driving to Canada takes about 8 hours, well actually 10 if you count the health and hunger breaks! This was the first time we didn’t rent a mini-van (to be a frugal dad). Our Camry was fine for the 4 of us. Everyone was happy. Well most of the time anyway!

I had never really visited Canada before last week (except for a Punjabi Wedding in Toronto about 20 years ago!, but that’s another story for another day!).

I could talk about what we did, but my readers don’t pay to be bored with that, so I’ll give Dad’s perspective on the trip!

We saw two totally different cities in Quebec and Montreal.

  • Quebec had amazing mountain ranges and outdoor activities, walking and lots and lots of history and culture. The Old Town area, the Gondola Ride, the amazing waterfalls, and the outstanding countryside scenes were truly breath taking. Of course I took lots of pics, but they are still on my iPhone and not published yet!
  • Montreal felt like NYC, except it was clean and the underground city, the Basillica of Notre dame, Olympic Park, the Biodome, Old Town, were just magnificent. I’ve decided that this will be another road trip next year here to truly get the impact of this city. Oh! I forgot the Metro trains! So efficient!

Some Dad’s Taxi Observations/Tips:

  • Canada is truly breathtaking and worth the trip. The immigration into Canada is a lot faster (minutes) as opposed to the return to US (over an hour). If anything the return delay coming to US was the only negative thing I experienced during this trip.

 

  • The natives are just amazing with their hospitality and their kindness. Even if you don’t speak French (I speak high school level of course!), you are not at a disadvantage!
  • Take along a credit card that doesn’t charge international fees! American Express or debit cards just don’t cut it. Be prepared to be hit with conversion and fees! Boo! I’d recommend you take cash.. and try to find places with minimal or no currency exchange fees.
    • Canadian $1 and $2 coins, are the norm.. so be prepared to jingle your way through Canada with your spare change..
    • The US Dollar is accepted everywhere! Since it’s only a few pennies difference, many establishments will give you a one-to-one conversion. Try giving Canadian currency anywhere in the US and see what happens!
  • Be prepared to spend, spend and shop! The artisans, the tours, and the things to do in both Quebec and Montreal is endless! Now I know why they say Oh Canada!
  • In Quebec, you quickly learn that “Demi Tour” means U-Turn and “Arret” means Stop.
  • You quickly realize that when the speed limit says 90 it does not mean 90 MPH. that’s 90 Kilometers per Hour (about 55 mph).
  • Do not leave home without your GPS! We lived on our GPS, as Quebec is all french when it comes to road signs (Nord is North, Sud is South, Est is East, what’s west again?)
  • We even saw our first “one day strike” in Montreal at our hotel! Oh gosh can they be loud!
  • Don’t take the Grey Line bus tour where you don’t hop-on, hop-off. The bus only tour (which we took) is a total waste of time and money! Hop-on and Hop-off double decker (like NYC) is the way to go..
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, because you will be walking everywhere! We averaged about 5 miles of walking per day!
  • Make sure your iPhone is “Juiced”, you will take many, many pictures!
  • Wireless and/or internet is NOT free and available everywhere. Be prepared for some frustration here. In Montreal, our room was wired not wireless. Of course they had plenty of free computers in the lobby, so that took away this pain.
  • Plan, plan, Plan your trip. Trip Advisor is the way to go if you want to plan your trip.
  • Be prepared for delays on return to US, if you are going through customs/immigration. Please do take back the same children you bring into the country. Our immigration officer at the border didn’t think my younger daughter was mine, and wasted quite a few minutes of looking at her “NEW PASSPORT” and her to ensure, I didn’t trade bring back the wrong 13 year old! Perhaps she was kidding?

Well that’s all for now, I’m sure I’ll think of more Dadism’s to add..

I could go on.. as many know, I love to ramble!

Au Revoir mon amis! Je suis fatigue maintenant!

Le Dad..

 

 

 

 

Summer of 2012 -Here we go

The Start of 2012 and the fun begins for Dad’s Taxi!

So as we head into the summer of 2012, my wife and I have been working on plans for vacation (multiple revised agenda’s) and plans for the kids. Of course my soon to be Non-Teen makes her own plans so she’s no longer accounted for in our plans. Our newest teen is ready for her US Open tennis classes and her extra curricular “education” at Rutgers! Let’s not forget our planned trip to Dallas..

At work, I coordinated an Asian Cultural Show with huge cast of volunteers and performers. I have to admit, this was my accomplishment for the year.

Oops, forgot the US Open in Flushing Meadows.. And if we have time, we can actually enjoy the pool..

Mom has finalized her plans for her big “50” celebration which will of course be international (literally) this year. By this I mean, spending time with her sisters on a long deserved cruise in Europe.

What do I look forward to? Sitting quietly and floating in the pool and listening to the silence as I ignore all the tasks that  I haven’t done!

Last week, I was in NYC as a tourist with guests that I had and I have to admit that seeing NYC from a tourist perspective is much more enjoyable then showing the NY attitude that I’m famous for.

  • I visited the “happy place” in Grand Central Station, and almost plunked down $700 for an iPad 3.
  • For the first time I actually spent time in St. Patrick’s Cathedral to really soak in the beauty and the majestic environment of this church.  I could have stayed there for the whole day!
  • Went to my favorite Indian Fast Food place on 6th Avenue and 39th street – The Kati Roll Company. No trip is complete to NYC without having some Kati Rolls!
  • Walked up 5th avenue to Central park and after only going 1/10 of the way through the park decided that we had had enough!
  • Spent over an hour in Macy’s at Herald Square. You gotta check out Mickey D’s on the 7th floor.. what a deal, satisfying 2 cravings in one – Shopping an Junk food!

So as I think about how I’m not paying for all the plans that have been planned by my wife and kids over the next few months and  that I can’t afford, I think again… This is why I go to work every day!

Goa – week of March 18, 2010

Goa vacation in March of 2010 for Dad’s Taxi,

So Dad’s Taxi has been in Alpora Goa for a few days now and only a few words words can describe my stay here thus far… Sticky, Hot, Humid, and just overall very difficult. Even if I took a shower 2 to 3 times a day, I’d still be bathed in sweat as soon as I stepped outside my air condititioned Suite

The Royal Goan Resort is ok.. Nothing outstanding… The most memorable thing is paying for all the utilities during my stay and the huge walk up hill that takes your breath away whenever you have to go back to our room… Don’t look forward to that now either while carrying my laptop! 😦

Goa is truly a tourist trap.. I have not been here for 20 years and no way I could recognize the Goa that I knew to what it is today. Today’s Goa is fast roads and cars and new construction everywhere for vacation properties that are being snatched up by everyone. If you got the cash and can stand the sloooow pace, this is the place for you.

The natives are really nice, even as they over charge you for the taxi rides. Rides that should cost 5 to 10 rupees cost 50 to 100 Rupees. God bless the all mighty dollar for the conversion rate.

Today we went to Mangeshi. This is the town where my Mom was born and raised and during my childhood, I always considered to be my second home. The Mangeshi Temple today is a  mecca for the tourists and visitors to Goa. To me it is still home.. Today when I visited the temple and the place where I spent many a summer vacation, I felt the pangs of recognition and the emotions raced through my mind as thoughts and images of my late mother  flashed through my memories.. I had to hold back many a tear as the pangs of these memories at times were overwhelming for me.

Seeing my Uncle and his family also was a joy.. So much has changed in 20 years.. I promised to myself that I would not wait another 20 years before I visit Mangeshi again.. Next time I will stay at my uncle’s house as this is truly where I belong..

In Old Goa we saw the Basilica of Bom Jesus (A world Heritiage Site). I felt at peace when I saw this shrine  for St. Xavier. I could have spent the whole day in this church and listened to the tour guides for this site. If in Goa, you must visit this site!

As I sit under this roaring fan, I’m still sweating profusely and I realize that I could go on and on about the beauty of Goa.. To see Goa is to really appreciate it. We are staying in a European tourist ridden area named Aspora by the Portugese, and this is a beach town!

The variety of Sea food in this area is just beyond belief!

Where we are staying is great, but the biggest annoyance is carrying my laptop down to the registration area for Wi-Fi Access. Don’t know why this is the case that Wi-Fi is only in this small area, but there must be a business reason behind it.. I just don’t think it’s convenient to the guests. I took down 2 stars for this nuisance.. My teenage daughter does not seem to mind as she’s been uploading our trip pictures to her Facebook account and keeping in touch with her friends in the US.

As I take prepare for the trek up the hill to my room, let me leave with this thought.. Goa is a beauty of a place to visit. You should absolutely put it on your list of cities in India that you must see!

Oki! Now back to my kike up the huge slope to our room..

Dad’s Taxi – Sweating it out in Goa!

Diary – Mumbai – 3/19/2010

Dad’s taxi is in Mumbai this week on vacation.. see his travel diary..

We came to Mumbai on the 15th of March and we quickly realized what Indian Summer truly is.. The heat is on! We’ve been here a few days now and I gotta tell you, the blistering daytime heat just drains you of all your energy. You are constantly bathed in sweat (not a pretty picture) and feeling exhaustion. Fortunately for us, my cousin in Mumbai has an amazing house with Air conditioning and the works.. Thank god for my dear Ravi!

When we are at Ravi’s house, we are truly home.. all the conveniences of home, plus all the love and affection that anyone could want. At times, we just don’t even want to leave the house in Mahim. His building is centrally located in Mumbai with easy access to both downtown and uptown parts of Mumbai..

We had planned to do some sightseeing, but due to the heat, we have just spent the last few days Shopping!

My younger daughter is really suffering from the heat. She just refuses to go outside, unless she gets bribed.. oh well nothing new here.

From the last time I visited Mumbai ( 2 years ago), you can see the infrastructure changes that have taken place. Similar to Delhi, there are many more flyovers (bridges) in place to alleviate the traffic congestion. These flyovers do this purpose, but the traffic getting to these flyover’s is just unbearable. Especially if you are sitting in an non air conditioned Fiat taxi..

FYI: The rule of driving in Mumbai: There are none! Do not look sideways or backwards, only look forwards.. I have to commend the drivers of Mumbai, they certainly would feel at home driving in Manhattan.  Blaring horns and heavy traffic at every turn. Even with the price of gas hovering at about $5 a gallon, it has not discouraged the mubaiites from buying cars.. Cars are smaller of course, but they are quite comfortabe.

Due the enormous influx of money..many families are living the good life, with cars, drivers to drive their car, and over 200 channels of satellite TV!

As a passenger in a car the front, try not to look anywhere but straight forward as this alleviates the anxiety that you will feel when you are in the car. Fortunately, the speed of the cars is only about 25 to 30 mph on the roads. The number of cars, taxis, buses, trucks, pedestrians all sharing the road in unbelievable. Rush hour is 24 hours. You may get better results if you try to travel in Mumbai during early morning hours or after 9:00 PM, otherwise, good luck.

Mumbai is a tale of two cities. The “Haves” and the “Have Not’s.”

In order to survive in this city you have to have Money and lots of it. If you don’t have the lots of the Rupee you will be in serious jeopardy of survival.  Fortunately for me, I’m here spending in converted $ and let me tell you something, the value that you get for the $ here  is excellent due to the 1 to 45 conversion ratio.

If I were to earn in Rupee, it would be difficult for me to spend 2 to 3 Thousand (yes I said thousand)  the way I am right now. Of course this amount only includes the taxi’s, food and miscellenous expenses that you incur on a day to day basis.

If you are coming to India, I recommend you pad your bank account and bring an ATM card… You will hit the bank over and over again. Remember that you will get the highest rate when you do your conversions at the ATM machine and face fees from both the local and your bank. Be careful and don’t take small amounts out.. take larger amounts out?

For the past few days we have been seeing a few of my cousins in Mumbai and doing quite a bit of clothes shopping for the girls. Best thing about shopping in India is that when they know you are spending money, you will be offered soft drinks as soon as you sit down. You are treated like royalty at the mega malls. Of course we are flagged as “foreigners” as we are wearing shorts and have our famous “American Accent”.

The city on the whole is huge bustling metropolis with business and residential towers being built everywhere. The roads are under construction which contributes to the traffic jams!

The construction of tall towers, residential (unaffordable) towers, is just unbelievable. The common man (middle class) will be priced out of most of the housing that’s being built.. In one of my prior blogs, I talked about the slums… Well from what I’m seeing, these slums are being torn down one by one and being replaced with high rise buildings… The rules have gotten stricter so the lower class slum dwellers are now getting new housing and are being forced to utilize them for a period of 5 years. In the past I heard that these slum dwellers, took the money and just relocated. Now these slum dwellers are actually living in the government towers being built. This is great progress.

Don’t misunderstand me, the poverty is still here.. It just seems to be more controlled. I look around and I see a lot less beggers. Perhaps I’m not looking close enough? When I was in the upscale part of Mumbai (by the Taj and the Gateway of  India), the beggers were out in full force.

Everyone here tells me that the difference between lower to middle to upper class has gotten wider.. I do tend to agree, but opportunities abound everywhere. If you want a job, a job is there in the multiple mega malls that continue to spring up all across Mumbai. I went to one yesterday in Mumbai. The Phoenix is a mega mall with food court, Staples, Supermarket, restaurants, Best Buy Type electronic store, Movie Theaters. As you will quickly see, the trend to having a super mall is all over Mumbai. The security and the choice of one-stop-shop is exemplified in these Malls. Every suburb in Mumbai has at least one mall! Oh goodie, more places for me to spend.

These super malls are not driving the local markets out of business. The malls provide an upscale shopping environment. The local markets are a sight to see as well. Fruit stalls, vegetable vendors, small stores.. it is a crazy sight that you have to see to believe!

High Street Phoenix is spread across three zones — Skyzone, Courtyard and Main Street Boulevard. While the leading national and international retail outlets feature in Sky zone, Courtyard represents various eating joints, The Bowling Co and Big Bazaar outlet. MainStreet Boulevard houses formal and casual clothes, premium accessories and jewellery brands.

These types of malls are seen all over Mumbai and they are truly a joy to shop in with every possible product you may want to purchase. Some of the prices do compare to the US, yet others (electronics) are easily double.

Tip: Make sure you bring along a calculator to convert from Rupees to Dolllars. You could easily destroy any resembence of a budget by not doing the proper conversions.

Today we just came back from the Colaba Causeway. We did quite a bit of shopping from the street vendors and the exclusive boutiques.. Negotiating with the street vendors is an art..

Tip: Walking away is the best way to get a best price.. Never ever pay the asking price. The boutiques are all fixed price..

Tomorrow we are off to Goa! It is one of the vacation paradises in India.. Beaches and sun! To me Goa is my ancestral home. I have quite a bit of family in this seaside city which is South of  Mumbai.. More heat, yeah!

Leaving Mumbai with this thought: Within the next few years, Mumbai will become wealthier than any city in the US. Technology, wealth, infrastructure and the business’s that call Mumbai home will grow exponentially. I am really overwhelmed by what I see here and hope to come back and spend more time in the city where I was born the next time I visit.

PS: I forgot.. the food.. the food is to die for. You can get any type of food within any locale. Where we stay in Mahim, you only have to about 500 yards  and you have a choice of  vegetarian, non-veg, chinese, goanese and South Indian cuisine.. Oh yeah.. I forgot the pizza joint!  The quality of food is amazing! I can easily gain 10 to 15 pounds if I stay here for more than a few days..

There is so much more I can write about this city.. I am just totally overwhelmed by my visit this time.. I’m not only proud to call myself an ex-pat from this great city, but an admirer of the abilities of the residents of this great metropolis.. You know how they say about NY: “If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere..”, Mumbai can easily step into NY’s shoes and say the same thing..

If someone can make it with success in this city, they can succeed any where!

Ok folks.. will write some more when I get to Goa!

Blogging from India

Blogging from my trip to India upcoming!

Dad’s Taxi is taking a road trip to India for the next few weeks. All my posts will be from there. I’ll be giving my unique perspective on my travels as I make my way through the land where I was hatched.

This blog entries will be interesting in that I will be reporting the trip from the eyes of my 10 yr old child.. I will ask her to give me some feedback on what she observes on her trip. NM has been to India only once and I know her fresh eyes will truly observe and report back on the trip from a wide eyed innocence of youth.  One of her assignments from school is to keep a daily diary of her trip.. hopefully she’ll share this with us!

First stop will be the nation’s capital New Delhi. The field hockey world championship is currently going on, I’m going to try to get tickets to see at least one game, but I won’t hold up high hopes of that happening.

My better half is already there and she already has experienced first hand the smog and dirt which has caused her to head to the doctors with a throat infection.

We get a daily blow by blow activity of her  (mis) adventures as we speak to her every night. Thank god for Vonage.

Kids are so excited for their trip. I’m just queasy and kind of leery of the whole trip. Went there few years  ago and was both impressed/unimpressed with progress in India. No doubt technology is everywhere, but the infrastructure to support the technology still has gaps.  Inflation and corruption is rampant.. Yes the outsourcing has made the country wealthier, yet the gap between classes has gotten wider. I could go on and on.. but I won’t as this article will turn more negative than shine on the accomplishments of the “World’s largest democracy”.

Where else can you go to where the beggers can afford cell phones,  yet still live in cities within cities.

To get a true picture of life in India for the lower class a must see movie is  Slumdog Millionaire. It depicts the life of the lower class (hut dwellers) of Mumbai in it’s harshest of realities. Many Mumbaites will disagree with what is depicted in this movie, but what you see is reality.

If you want to get an really good view of the diversity and the Indian diaspora, you should visit our sister site BharatBeat, where we share insights on Bollywood and various links related to the India.