Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

It is good bye to 2008!
Numerology gave 2008 a perfect '10' (2+8). But, looking back it was no way near perfection, perhaps farthest in the recent years...
  • We may be on the threshold of a yet another great depression, an event in a century ( or are we deep into it already?!!). While things may not look up much in the coming year, I feel it is right time to LIVE FRUGALLY! ( check my earlier posts)
  • While economic voes are attributed to uncontrollable greed, living frugally just became more relevant.
  • On a personal front, it would have been a year of mixed experiences: some ups, some downs... some joys, some sorrows... some success, some failiures... But the key is to pick up the 'experiences' and lessons thereof, and welcome the new year.
  • NY Resolutions will never go out of fashion. So, time to resolve on key areas such as physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life...
  • Before soon, we would be ready to welcome 2010. Let 2009 not be a missed year...
  • Let us Eat well/healthy, read right stuff, work-out to optimum level, work harder (without expecting fruits of action), rest to the right level ( don't over-sleep & waste time), extract maximum quality out of Time... and, meditate unlimited ...

I sign off praying, Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Egypt Holiday

Books: I was weak in history, just did not enjoy the subject ( like so many other subjects!). So, I decided to read and get some basic knowledge before embarking upon the Journey!

I am hooked to the world of web. But, I was not satisfied with the initial results. Decided to pick up Amitav Ghosh’s From the Antique Land. I walked up to the top book store here. The salesman, a fellow expat from my homeland said, 'not availabe/not heard of'!!! He thrust a copy of Lonely Planet (LP). I was reluctant seeing the price-tag! I went by his strong reco and picked up. As I flipped through the pages of LP, I was overwhelmed by the sheer depth of information. I kept dipping into the info all along the trip and tagging it/making notes….
(I have lost the book and I am desperately trying to retrieve it thru my travel agent/Cruise)

I continued to look for Amitav Ghosh’s book all along the journey in Egypt. No luck ! Even Cairo’s leading bookstalls did not carry a copy of it. People were not even aware of the book, though it is rated as one of the best on Egypt!!

I also got to know more about their famous author, Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz. As I read more about the author, I was interested! He led the life of a common man, almost like R K character, like visiting cafes, getting together with friends, etc. But, he was not allowed to write for sometime by the establishment and was even attacked by radicals!! Hence, I was keen to know about his thoughts than to read his famous books such as the Cairo Trilogy, etc. I was very fortunate to see a book in the most unexpected place, at the Nubian museum and was quick to grab it, Naguib Mahfouz at Sidi Gaber. And, I read it just like I would read an ‘unputtable’ fiction!

A separate posting is planned for some the thoughts that stuck me. But, would like to share a favorite…Friendliness can develop only when there is sense of spiritual closeness...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Egypt Holiday

Planning(!!): I have heard how people in the west plan vacation month in advance. I always wondered (and admired) how they are able to do. What normally happens with me is I plan a trip for a long time, but the plan remains in the ‘planning’ phase longer than required. Then it is last-minute finalization of tickets, accommodation, etc. Egypt was different, as I managed to plan and execute, a bit in advance. It was destination – Egypt, the land of Nile, Pyramids and Pharos.

Background: As the travel date approached, lot of developments around me, on all fronts!
Sudden demise of the closest family friend of my parents and the declining condition of a relative. Both, courtesy cancer. The report Cancer is likely to become the No.1 health problem seem to be happening ‘around me’! Then, the terror attack at Mumbai !.....
Hence, when a friend wished ‘bon voyage’, I was prompt to respond, ‘I would have preferred the solitude of Himalaya’. Thanks to the fantastic effort of the reputed travel agency, we were on board to Egypt on the scheduled date.

“EGYPT’ conjures up the images of a great ancient civilization, few centuries BC! Their sheer creation of structures such as Pyramid and other ‘temples’ and more importantly, to withstand the effect of the natural forces for all these thousands of years indicate the proof of their progress. Early morning flight ensured lack of sufficient sleep previous night.
We landed early afternoon, quickly checked into a hotel, dumped our luggage and rushed out to catch a glimpse of Pyramids at Giza. On the way, we picked out a few local versions of sandwiches as we did not want to waste time. The priorities were very clear.

The guide, an Egyptologist, had joined by then to give us some gyaan. We reached Giza. At we reached the ticket counter, behind we saw the upper portion of the majestic and mesmerizing Pyramid.

As we waited for our guide to pick up tickets, we finished our sandwiches.We drove for couple of minutes and then stopped to step out of our Toyota van. There stood the Pyramid in its full splendor. The sight was nothing but breathtaking !

As some of us, esp children, were fascinated by an opp to take camel rides, I was just glad TO BE THERE, near Pyramids of Gizaaaaaahhh!!!
We went out, had a late lunch and got back in time for the Light and Sound Show. The Sphinx and Pyramids, in the evening sunlight looked more beautiful!