Posted by: Pradeep | June 9, 2013

Indian Consulate in Dubai

We Indians do crib about so many things in life, including our government departments. This is second time in last 9yrs I had positive impression about Indian Consulate in Dubai. Due to some technical snags recently the passport renewal process is bit slow and causing trouble to people. When we highlighted our issue to consulate on phone, they willingly processed the application for our daughters passport renewal the same day. Unfortunately the passport came with an error.

When I visited today, within few minutes I could meet The Consul (Passports) and he immediately took the passport, called in a staff member and asked him to correct it and give back. Within 1hr of me leaving the passport with him, I got a call from his office asking me to get it collected.

What more we should expect, the error was acknowledged and corrected with hardly any trouble to me. This is keeping in view that Indian diaspora here demands about 800 passport applications per day from them. I saw The Consul (Passports) trying his best to help whosoever approached him with genuine problem on passports.

Posted by: Pradeep | January 7, 2012

Desert Safari

People ask me what is there in Dubai to look forward to when visiting. This place is new and has very little which many other places on earth do offer. But still what Dubai offers, no one else does…The fastest grown city in world in all probability…what Dubai we see today was non existent 8yrs back.

On every visitors agenda should be Desert Safari. This is an activity which definitely is not for very faint heart souls. It starts when a 4×4 vehicle picks one up at afternoon and embarks on the journey. The vehicle catches up to Lahbab Road where the sand dunes are at its best here. Before entering the dunes tyres are deflated to increase vehicle hold and movement on the sand dunes.

Then starts the dune driving where one can keep guessing that vehicle may just topple over or skid down the dunes. The skilled drivers following the marshals do not let anything of that sort happen. As the sunset approaches, a stop on dunes with vast sand around gives a perfect yellow/brown sunset…a sight not to be missed.

Post this the vehicle reaches a camp in desert where food, beverages are offered. Apart from that one would find henna painting, traditional costume dressing, sheesha, camel riding, belly dancing as final. The day ends at about 9.30pm with drop at your pick up point.

I have gone through the experience 4 times or so and noticed it is highly dependent on vehicle, the driver, marshal and camp. In December when I took some of our guests for the experience with one of the well known names “Lama Tours” … the experience turned out the be worst of the all 4 till now. The vehicle has start up issues, it gave us a wobbling ride at >80km/hr speeds on tar roads, driver was novice and he was late for sunset. The camp left too much to be desired, food & beverages had long queues and running out stocks. Traditional dance form of belly dancing was not up to the standards. We left the place early. My guests were still happy as they didn’t know about all above problems. For me “never again” for this tour company.

Posted by: Pradeep | October 2, 2011

Haven’t we lost?

This is further to my earlier blog “Will we win?

Team Anna was forced to withdrew without any conclusive result of Anna’s fast at Ramlila Ground in New Delhi. The GoI apathy to put end to corruption monster was and is evident from daily new dosage of corruption pills being put through the common Indian’s throat. The latest to add is involvement of one of the most powerful cabinet minister in 2G scam.

I feel ashamed when our ministers have to rush to their party chief to take shelter or appraise her while they feel no need to appraise the people of India who sent them to Parliament. Team Anna is working on many more issues to be added to corruption issue list (eg Right to Recall / Reject). We see other democracies in world and observe that the accountability the system brings there is much higher than what it is bringing in India. In India people are ignored till next round of elections and people in power feel they are the rulers (aka Kings).

The body language of most of our MPs, MLAs, MLCs, Ministers is that of considering common man a thorn in their way once elections are over. The selective marginalization of society in long run would create great rift between haves and have-nots. The issue of corruption is not being talked of anymore now and people are again back to their routine of living a life at INR 32/day (above line of poverty)!


Posted by: Pradeep | June 30, 2011

Istanbul … an experience not to experience ever

This is my third visit to Istanbul in last one year. Somewhere I started liking Istanbul from my first visit itself, the place looked so serene and worth visit. The people in general are friendly, landscape is worth watching and black and marmara sea play the magic to eyes with beauty all around.

But today while I am writing this seating in my hotel room by the side of Black Sea, the pain in the heart is deep and brain is not ready to accept the ugly face of friendliness. I used a taxi from Blue Mosque area to my hotel and the middle aged taxi driver looked so nice and friendly. .. I wrongly read the person. The taxi meter reflected 41TL at the destination. I handed over 50TL note and this cheat driver replaced it with 5TL note within fraction of second and started asking for balance money telling me that I had given him only 5TL note…it was utter lie from him.

He pulled out balance currency from his pocket and showed that there is no 50TL note on him, proving me wrong…the guy didn’t speak English at all and started talking in threatening tone. Not seeing any recourse on my stupidity and being in foreign land, I handed over him another 50TL note and thus lost 45TL (approx 22Euro) to this conman.

Just before writing this, I googled my experience to only find out that this is Istanbul taxi trick to cheat passengers/tourists. Even police reports bring no results to this. I learned a lesson, don’t handover bigger notes to taxi drivers, but give them smaller notes and one at a time; or at least shout loudly before handing over note to them; don’t stop at not so well lit places (like the one I stopped today).

Such actions by people who want to grow to fast by doing too little only brings bad name to places. Like I heard of Nairobory, this is Ottomanary! Sad to find such elements in society everywhere now a days. Even with change in times, such people have become more sophisticated in their operations.

Posted by: Pradeep | June 17, 2011

Are Indians for politics only?

For quite few days I have been thinking over the title to my new post; thoughts have been building up and so does the heat within and reasons thereof are importance to us and the globe eventually. While Indians comprise of every 6th person on globe, the actions by us would definitely would impact the world at large in times to come.

Politics has always been a topic at heart for all Indians, old or young, living cities or villages, being in caste system or non-believers, god fearing or law breaking…one and all! Probably it is brought in the blood at first sight of life…me sets in! It is start of great journey to Indian politics…most fail to make mark but many enjoy the Raj system created centuries ago by Britishers to rule us.

Recent developments on anti corruption move by non political figures is also to do something with politics at the end. People elected by us to provide governance for us are today calling us “civil society” and themselves ??? The way in which non-aggressive anti-corruption movements of personas like Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare are being suppressed and derogatory remarks are being made by our servants in places of position is pathetic. Are we responsible to the government machinery or they are responsible to citizen of world’s largest democracy.

Some cult figures in the game are highly corrupt as the history indicates. They themselves are not free of accusations at different times and still don’t hesitate to point finger to us. I find corruption so rampant now a days that even probably babies would start asking for it before they enter this world…a wild and dangerous thought.

By 2030 world’s 2/3 population would middle class and primarily from Asia. For sure India would have highest contribution to it. Would it be full of corruptions bringing life to stand still?

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