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Daily Archives: July 21, 2008

India from the eyes of Western Expats

Saw this interesting post Shantanu Ghosh's blog on blogs by expats living in India - from Europe and US. Their perspectives - though cliched at times can be humorous and interesting! I spent some time going through these blogs.. you may like them too: Delhi Struggle: by a couple from New York and living in South Delhi (Green Park). I found their take pretty interesting, although it is cliched at times. As they say in the "About" page that living in Delhi has its insanity - I guess it is true for anyone who comes from outside. It takes time to learn that in India there is a language behind this chaos.. a method in the madness that once you learn, its very easy to live then! Anyways, I would recommend this blog.Michael's India: This is a blog by an expat who works for Target Corp. Target has a fairly big hiring for India and has some operation over there. His location is Bangalore and I guess the best thing about his blog are his pictures. He seems to like kids and gets them pretty well in his camera!I liked his Rama Naumi post. Touching that he went to Raghu's village to celebrate the festival there.Snidknits: Is a blog by Cindy who lives in Bangalore and likes knitting. She again does a good job of taking some interesting pictures.. and displays her knitting acumen fairly well. I liked her blogs as well. She has very interesting post on her visit to Hampi and the experience of travelling on Indian train on an RAC!Cindy's husband Bryan also writes a blog and has even more pictures ;-) and this is his post on their visit to Hampi.Loud Americans: yet another blog by an American. She also seems to be related to Target Corp. She explains how her kids are learning Hindi along with other local languages (Tamil and Kannada). Again, very readable blog.

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Dacoit Tourism: yet another Tourism Innovation from Rajasthan

Rajasthan has an amazing past - of Rajput kings and Maharajas. Its princes have used that history well. The Palace on Wheels, and the Heritage Hotels are great ways in which the history has been well preserved and yet been presented for tourism to make money for the present generation!Now, comes the idea which is as original as they come! Along with Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan is also known for dacoits. So, what better way than to have the tourist go through "Dacoit Experience"! I mean one can see those places where they lived - there aren't as many dacoits left now - and how they functioned etc. Only a few of those breed are left so one can watch their life up close.But wait.. better still if the tourist gets a GUIDED TOUR by a real dacoit! That would be a real experience!

The department is mulling a proposal to allow tourists to interact with surrendered bandit kings and queens of the Chambal river valley. To begin with, tourists will be taken to dacoit-infested districts such as Dhaulpur, Bharatpur and Karauli.Former dacoits like Roop Singh, Madho Singh and Bhanwar Singh have welcomed the move, saying that it will help them merge with the mainstream. "If meeting with tourists can help create jobs, I am all for it," says Roop Singh."The very idea of having the morning cuppa with a bandit on the banks of the Chambal will appeal to tourists," says a travel agent. However, some tour operators are wary of the risk involved.But a tourism ministry official allayed their doubts. "We'll make the process completely safe.
Morning cuppa with a dacoit in his local hideout. Now THAT is what I call Innovation in Tourism! Abuses for backdrop "music", with bullets flying around for entertainment? Well, it wont be as exciting, but at least its a good way to give employment to the newly surrendered bandits and help them earn money in their new avataar.

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Where there is possibility of pain, there is no love

The questioner wants to know how he can act freely and without self-repression when he knows his action must hurt those he loves. You know, to love is to be free - both parties are free. Where there is the possibility of pain, where there is the possibility of suffering in love, it is not love, it is merely a subtle form of possession, of acquisitiveness. If you love, really love someone, there is no possibility of giving him pain when you do something that you think is right. It is only when you want that person to do what you desire or he wants you to do what he desires, that there is pain.

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Dishonest Seekers and "Knowledgable Masters" of the unknow-able

Why do we seek? More importantly, do we seek to get an answer or do we seek to find out? Aren't religions a quick-fix for seeker's desires? We seek but our seeking is so shallow and dishonest that we want to catch the next guy who can confidently say "I Know"! Now, I am not saying whether that person who claims he knows actually has gone through it himself or not, but can he or she even begin to explain it to the other? Can he take the seeking of a seeker to its ultimate end? Or does the "knower" merely give the seeker a pacifier to suck on and stop looking on.There is no dearth of seekers in this world. Everyone is a seeker. But all the seekers are in a hurry. It is as if they are gasping in a sea and want to hold on to any rock that comes along. And whether it is a pebble or a rock they come across the seeker stands right there and claims the shore has been reached! It is a great game of pretense. Or make believe. For one Buddha, or a Nanak.. who didn't stop at any rock in this sea.. there are millions and millions of seekers who are stranded in the sea and will remain so. Bobbing up and down in the sea, alternating between sorrow and momentary happiness, are swarms of people who have not only keep deceiving themselves but also beckon others to their choicest deception.Ask any intellectual about the ultimate truth - and it is said.. "It is". If it really "IS" how can it be seeked? There is nothing to be seeked which can possibly end in something knowable.. or something that has been known. If a known "Truth" really existed then it would have been Universal - not varying in every book or preacher's address or place of worship. More importantly, that known Truth would have set everyone free.

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