Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Road to Hana and Haleakala – I

By Kartik Kannan

Not having much time on a 3-day break in the US, I decided I would take the plunge and do a road trip instead of signing up with a tour operator in the city. The challenge, however, was to drive on the right as they do in the US, in contrast to driving on the left in India.

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I rented a Lucerne Buick, a luxury sedan and slowly set off from the airport, rambling about slowly for about 20 minutes, trying to din it in my head about driving on the right. As the rubber met the road and the GPS were starting to make me feel comfortable, I started to turn the music on to the yesteryear Kishore da road trip number ‘Chala Jaata Hoon’, humming my way along the expanse of the 60 mile ride to my hotel.

I am sharing some photographs of the trip:

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The contrast of the grey roads, with the Blues and Greens is noteworthy

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Caravan lunch by the road!

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Rift – A Short Story

rift- story

By Ganesh Subramanian

The bell rang loud and clear. It signalled the end of the final semester exams. All the students heaved a sigh of relief. Vikranth rushed madly towards the college bus- Route No.6 which takes him to his house. Finding his favourite seat, he dumped his bag and slumped by the window seat, closing his eyes for a moment allowing his brain cells to relax which seemed to have worked overtime cramming up equations and formulae. There was a tap on his shoulder. Vikranth opened up his eyes to see Nidhi standing next to him. She sat beside him and asked, “How did it go?” Vikranth sighed and said, “Hoping to clear it. Surely not going to top the subject though”. Both of them laughed.

“You know what”, Nidhi continued, “Actually feel bad that we are gonna miss all this fun of college life”.

“Yeah. In a way.” replied Vikranth. “But equally excited looking forward to the corporate life”.

The next 45 mins of the bus journey passed in a jiffy with Vikranth and Nidhi reminiscing about the 4 years that they had spent in engineering. When Nidhi’s stop came, she waved good bye to her best friend Vikranth and promised to call him up soon.

Weeks passed. Vikranth and Nidhi are computer engineering students from a newly opened engineering college in the city. Vikranth and Nidhi opted for this college despite the college being a new one and despite the fact that the college may struggle to find campus placements for its students, simply because they could be at home during their graduation. So barring a few students who were willing to accept jobs in mediocre BPOs that visited the campus for placements, the college placement department couldn’t do much. As a result, students were left to seek their own avenues for jobs.

Nidhi called up Vikranth on one day. She seemed excited. “Hey Vikranth. I got placed in Czone solutions. Attended an aptitude test followed by an interview two weeks back. Looks like I did well. Got the offer letter from them today. I have to join in a month’s time from now.” replied Nidhi.

“Hey Congrats. So now this news calls for a treat. Isn’t it?” said Vikranth.

“Surely it does. But only after I get my first salary” Nidhi teased him.

“Hey that’s unfair. I need it soon. I can’t wait for two months till you get your salary” reasoned Vikranth.

“Ok. Ok. I will treat you soon” laughed Nidhi. “How’s your job search coming along?”

“In Czone, my application number is in 10000s. Not sure if and when will they call me. Other prospects not looking that promising at the moment” replied Vikranth.

“Don’t lose hope. It’s only a matter of time before you land on a new job”, Nidhi tried to pacify him. “Ok. I have to hang up now. Will catch up with you later. Bye”, said Nidhi

“Bye.”

Two months passed. Vikranth was still jobless. Nidhi didn’t call Vikranth even once in the interim. Vikranth was also increasingly getting frustrated by the fact that another one of his classmates – Nitin – has been visiting Nidhi’s house often on weekends to work out aptitude questions with Nidhi’s help for his job search.

Nidhi ignoring him was killing Vikranth. He told another of his best buddies – Dinesh – that he’s got a bone to pick with Nidhi. Dinesh advised him not to do anything stupid. But Vikranth was determined to set things straight.

He finally called Nidhi. “Hello Vikranth. Nice to hear from you. It’s been a long time. You’ve forgotten me or what?” laughed Nidhi.

“I should be asking you that question. Madam seems to be very busy these days”, said Vikranth in a no-nonsense tone.

“Lots of work, Vikranth. No time to breathe” reasoned Nidhi.

“Oh, I see, You don’t have time for me. But you have time for Nitin. Isn’t it?” remarked Vikranth sarcastically.

“Nothing like that, Vikranth. Why are you comparing you and Nitin? What’s wrong with you?” asked Nidhi.

“What’s wrong with me??? Everything’s wrong with you only. Not even one call in 2 months, but you have time for that egg-head Nitin” thundered Vikranth.

“Stop that Vikranth”, growled Nidhi.

“What do you think of yourselves? Just because you are in a job, you think you are a demi-god or something?” Vikranth screamed. His joblessness feeling was getting the better of him and his emotions came in a torrent.

“If you are going to speak like this, don’t call me hereafterwards” Nidhi remarked angrily.

“Fine. So be it” thundered Vikranth and slammed the phone down.

Two years passed. Vikranth and Nidhi didn’t speak even once after that incident. Ironically, Vikranth was also now working in the same company as Nidhi’s. Vikranth found Nidhi’s mail id through the people search option in his mail folder. He mailed her apparently in an effort to mend things. No reply even after 4 hours. Vikranth called Anisha, another collegemate of Vikranth and Nidhi and a common friend to both of them and she also worked in the same company in Nidhi’s team. Anisha spoke to Nidhi and informed him that Nidhi will be sending him a reply shortly.

Ping. Vikranth’s mailbox beeped with the sound of arrival of a new mail 20 minutes after Vikranth spoke with Anisha. Vikranth opened the mail from Nidhi. The reply was short. It said:

“I don’t know what to say. You apparently feel that what you have done is wrong. But we can’t be the same friends anymore. We can just be hi-bye friends” replied Nidhi.

Vikranth realised that a rift has formed between them. He acknowledged the fact that he and Nidhi can never be the same good old best friends once again. He shook his head and closed the email from Nidhi.

Goan Fish Curry

pomfret in cocnot gravy10

Goa, the land of sun-kissed beaches and pristine blue waters, is India’s tourist haven. It is also a haven for seafood lovers. Those who love seafood, Goa will never let you down. From salmon to bombil, from squids to crabs- the quintessential Goan delicacies will always delight a gourmet. Since, Goa offers a galore of delicacies. Rice and fish curry is one of the most popular dishes of Goa. Here’s the quick and simple recipe.

pomfretIngredients

  • Bhetki or Pomfret. One can also use bombil/ Bombay Duck
  • Cooking Oil 3 table spoons
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • Coconut Milk around 75 ml
  • Red Chilli Paste
  • Garam Masala
  • Salt to Taste

Method

Fry some bhetki fillet or pomfret and keep aside. In a wok add oil, coconut milk, ginger, garlic and red chilli paste and stir for at least five to seven minutes. When broth is thick add the fried fish, salt and a pinch of garam masala. It will be ready in minutes. Enjoy the cooked fish with steamed rice.

London Underground Explained By A Londoner

By Disha Shah

Each city has its own lifeline and for London it is its connectivity through underground trains. Every morning, a Londoner gets up and checks the tube update to plan a smooth journey to his/ her destination.

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London Underground Logo

London Underground was formed in 1985 and today it’s a major business with three million passenger journeys made every day, serving 275 stations and over 408kms. It has 13 major tube lines covering the whole of London.

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London Underground train

The transport for London website (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/) provides a journey planner where one just needs to provide the intended start and finish destination and the planner provides you with all information, such as time to reach station from home, which tube line to take, around what time, where to change trains, if required, time to reach the destination from the end station, total journey time, any planned closures, etc.

Journey Planner

                                    Journey Planner

The tube connects every part of the city to each other and it’s very convenient even for tourists. There are multiple ticketing options as well as day passes available to choose from. I would recommend just buy an oyster and top it up with single fare or day pass or weekly or monthly pass. Oyster is accepted on bus journeys so it has added advantage. The balance along-with the deposit os refunded back whenever one desires.

oyster card

Oyster card

There is a lot to learn from 150 years old transport system which breaks at times however never stops!

 

Exploring Goa – XIX – Continuing the Tiracol Fort Trail

By Kartik Kannan

8An Overcast sunset just reinforces the Portuguese image.

9Never too late to send folks back home a digital postcard on where you are in Goa, if you happen stare at this.

10There’s a little Jesus statue there, and there is a legend that you ask this Jesus statue around moon rise, about Goa’s infamous moon light rave parties, the statues hand will show the direction of the party. This legend was made up by me a few minutes back to wake you up to the fact that such parties don’t exist anymore, due to the crackdown by media and Goa Tourism authorities.

12Moving aside to the other side of the fort, as we climb the steps, this brings us to the dining area.

13The dining area is what people come here for, to take a panoramic shot with the sea in the background. It’s one of the most stunning places to be enjoying a meal!

14The view across your tables of the Goan Mainland and Kerim Beach!

15A closer zoomed in view of Kerim Beach from Tiracol Fort.

The Kaju Chingri – Quick Prawn Curry With Cashew Paste

paro's prawn malaicurry

Though prawns or the Chingri is often considered and always addressed as maachh (fish), but actually prawns are crustaceans found largely in Britain and Commonwealth Nations. The Bengalis of the subcontinent, (both West Bengal and Bangladesh) relish the prawn to great extent. From Chingri Maachher Malaikari to Chingri Maachher Bora or simply fried prawns – Bengalis love chingri maachh.

Being a true blue bong, it is quite difficult for me to go without fish for days. Unfortunately, I have to manage as I do not have access to it and visiting Chitto Park so often does not live up to my itinerary. But nonetheless, since I love fish, just thought of sharing this delicacy.

tiger prawnsINGREDIENTS: –

  • Bagda chingri around 500 grams
  • Ginger-garlic paste 2 table spoons
  • Red chilli powder  few pinches or as hot as you like
  • Lime juice 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder   few pinches
  • White oil – 3 table spoons
  • Salt to taste

For gravy onion paste around 50 grams cashew paste – 75 to 100 grams curd 3 tbsp salt and sugar to taste, garam masala – according to taste red chilli powder.

METHOD:-

Clean and wash prawns. Retain heads and tails. Marinate with the specified ingredients for half an hour. Heat required quantity of oil in a pan. Sauté the fish lightly, drain and keep aside. Heat tbsp of oil in a pan and fry onion paste till golden brown. Add cashew paste and fry till oil separates from cashew. Now add curd, red chilli powder, salt and sugar. Sauté till it looks oily. Add some water, prawns and garam masala powder. Simmer till gravy thickens.  Garnish with finely slit tomatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Enjoy Kaju Chingri!

Mind Your Business

By Himanshu Mehta

gears-Converted

It is no use waiting for the opportunities to come; you need to get up and make them.

The greatest risk of all is not taking risk while one is young and learning from his or her mistakes. Entrepreneurship is something that can improve the standard of living of people and supporting it is very essential for the growth of the country. Small people remain small because they think small, act small, or don’t act at all. When the people get out of our smaller mindsets and try to invent new businesses, only then, it will help in nation building. It is said that the most important factor for the future growth of business is to foster and promote innovations and thus develop entrepreneurship. Till the time entrepreneurship is not developed, innovation will not succeed. Innovation and Entrepreneurship are two sides of the same coin and growth will only   work well if they are given the required support. The biggest failure you can have in life is not   trying at all. If innovations and entrepreneurship are given the required support/boost, they will flourish and will lead to a faster growth trajectory for India. Says the dynamic Mr. Mayur Vora of Mapro Foods, ‘’It is easy to give a job rather than get a job’’

RIGHT ATTITUDE

If you want to start your little business, it is just not enough have a will and a way. There have to be enough trigger points to make your ambition work out well. Firstly, creating the right environment for success; entrepreneurs should find it easy to start a business. Second, entrepreneurs have access to the right skills and access to ‘risk’ capital – for a long time to sustain windfalls in case! Lastly, enabling networking and exchange; entrepreneurs always learn from experience—theirs and that of others.

RIGHT MAN AT THE RIGHT PLACE:

There are various agencies that assist entrepreneurship. One of them, – the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, a part of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) has been set up to assist entrepreneurs to start their businesses. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is another such organisation that is helping the young and budding entrepreneurs to succeed.

RIGHT FACTORS:

In our country enterprise is still yet neither a difficult word nor world to obtain – chiefly because

(i) The new market opportunities presented by a liberalizing economy,

(ii) Availability of financial support schemes from both official and private sources,

(iii) The existence of a large number of governmental programmes and public-private partnership   programmes,

(iv) The emergence of a number of private sector initiatives for supporting knowledge-intensive   entrepreneurship by complementing government programmes and by reducing information   asymmetries, and

(v) The increased availability of technically trained manpower due to a phenomenal increase in   the enrolment rate for engineering and technology education at especially the tertiary level in the   country.

WRONG MOVES:

But of course there is lots of scope for improvement! Chief of them being –

  • Lack of true seed capital. Venture Capitalists in India are mostly inclined towards later stage of the project
  • Lack of mentors who could inspire – there are very few success stories one can emulate and prove to be an inspiration for potential businessman. The strike-rich, strike-lucky syndrome still persists.
  • Very few good incubator programs
  • Lack of quality talent in India. Mediocrity is available in plenty
  • It is important to have a big addressable market and India lacks it despite its large population
  • Entrepreneurship is generally driven by young people who have the drive and flexibility.
  • In India the distribution of young people coming out of college is heavily skewed towards IT, crowding out other sectors.
  • Socially still not glamorous though increasingly getting more acceptance.
  • No ecosystem for entrepreneurship to succeed
  • People who can be active participants in entrepreneurial ecosystem are comfortable in their decent paying MNC jobs. Someone needs to reach to them and get them out.
  • The education system in India needs to be revamped. The age old systems prevalent in India copied from the British is not used even in Great Britain today!

BEST DEALS

If you want to get enterprising, the best 10 to bet on are :

  1. Tourism
  2. Automobile
  3. Textiles
  4. Social ventures
  5. Software
  6. Engineering goods
  7. Franchising
  8. Education and Training
  9. Food Processing
  10. Corporate demands

And you can take advice from J. Paul Getty, former oil tycoon and once the richest man in America when he claimed, “There is only one way to make a great deal of money; and that is in a business of your own.”