May 28, 2012
Eating, Fishing, Manali, Tirthan, Trout
I am sorry I was unable to update you all with any thoughts for the last week. Its been a busy week since I was out-of-town on a short holiday. I did some trout fishing and bird watching in Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh. And then spent a couple of days with a very loving family at their cottage in their orchard near Manali. Its been blissfull and you all can be jealous with a Big J.
I have never been good at casting the rod ( we were not doing fly fishing) but I finally got the hang of it. Unfortunately I could not get a single bite but all in all it was a good two productive days for me. I think it is time to take this hobby more seriously and buy myself some gear. Oh and if you are one of those who has never eaten any trout then you have not lived life.
Manali is one of the most visited towns in Himachal. But to be honest its a bit of dump. I am not referring to the valley, which is beautiful, but to the town itself. But within the town there is an oasis of joy named Johnson’s cafe. I have not eaten better European food in India than I have eaten in this place. Its even made the list of Lonely Planet and Rough Guide etc. Delicious food. Be sure to eat some Roast Lamb in Mint Sauce and Smoked Chicken Salad with a chilled lager. You will not regret it. In fact in conclusion what I say is be sure to visit Manali town just to enjoy their hospitality.
May 19, 2012
Experience, International Relations, Politics, Society, Sports
Cricket, EU, Football, Ford Figo, Hollande, Honda Brio, Indian Automobiles, Indian Cars, Liverpoolfc, Obama, Politics, Sports
Doing a bit more than normal has led to me not updating my once in two days blog. I am planning to update it a couple of times in a week from now onwards. Once on a Weekend and once on a Weekday.
A couple of issues made me sit up and take notice of things.
1. Hollande Wins. Well that was not unexpected. However i did notice a piece of news where he would be meeting the “Socialist” Obama in the White House. Jeez he makes Obama seem like Sarkozy.
2. Greece elected a sizable number of far-right MP’s. They seem to make LePen’s FN look like bunnies. My Advice: EU beware. Don’t discount the democratic deficit in your organisation.
3. IPL and drink driving seems to be the major news story in India. Indian Premier League is a Premier League for that silly game where people stand at one place, like baseball, and think its a sport. Anyways we had incidents of owners throwing a tantrum, organisers throwing a tantrum and players well acting like players. I wouldn’t bore you with details except suggest you google IPL. It will make for an exciting weekend.
4. Disaster – Kenny Dalglish sacked. What do Americans know about football ?
5. I have been reviewing cars lately. I have been specifically looking for a hatchback. For drivers be sure to look at the following when choosing your car. Ford Figo Diesel with its excellent handling and solid feel and Honda Brio for its sexy Engine and Gearbox.
May 11, 2012
A neat little article detailing how London won the games.
May 9, 2012
Cheese, Cheeseboard, Food, Foodie, Milk Products, Taste
A lot of my friends think of me as a booze guzzler. They believe that booze has been a major contributor to the beer belly I have. Well they are correct but only partially. I am a booze guzzler however that does not mean that booze has been a primary contributor to my belly. No Sir, the contributing factor to my belly apart from not exercising is that I am a foodie. For example, in the last three months I have hardly had alcohol however I have put on about 5 + kilos. Hence it could be said that my appetite is the contributing factor to my belly.
Now there is one foodstuff which makes my nose tingle and makes my stomach yearn for some droppings. It is cheese. Slurrrp. A bit of crackers with cheese on it makes Sunny a happy bunny. Of course not necessarily a good poet. I have had loads of Parmigiano, Cheddar etc however there are a couple of cheese’s which I really like.
1. Red Leicester – Made in a similar manner to Cheddar the orange colour is due to the addition of annatto. In a way it was a non toxic way of adulteration when cheese makers started this. To a layman cheese lover like me this cheese is the tastier version of a cheddar and a great cheese to put in a toastie.
2. Wensleydale – Yorkshire’s Own. This cheese has a crumbly texture . The challenge is to get hold of this cheese. Even in Leeds it was tough to get hold of this and I only had it once. Like a man possessed I had the whole block within an hour. I cant explain the taste because I don’t remember but it was too good not to have it one go.
3. Edam – My favourite cheese till date. The one I had was a speciality cheese with Herbs. Excellent with crackers.
So what do the readers think about cheese ?? Leave your comments and recommendations for the next type of cheese I should try.
May 5, 2012
India, Indian Parliament, Indians, Politics, President of India, Sangma
The two traits which i look for in an Indian President would be
a) Understanding Constitutional proprietary - I don’t want the Indian President be to media savvy. I want the President to be measured and reserved in his or her comments. The person should have an academic understanding of the constitutional duties of the Indian President so his or her tenure can be controversy free. The person should not be prejudiced towards any political idea.
b) A symbol of India – The President of India should symbolise the Republic of India. I want that one person to reflect the people of India in terms of their feelings, hopes, aspirations etc. I would want that one person to reflect the hopes and feelings of the tribals of the North East, the disaffected youth of the Kashmir Valley, the aspirational class of Bombay ( I was born when it was called Bombay and no Thackeray is going to make me call it Mumbai), the sensitivities of the Tamils of Madras ( If I am going to call Mumbai - Bombay then I better call Chennai- Madras).
So if a Pranab Mukherjee can do the above two or a Narayan Murthy do the above two I will support them. But they need to reflect the above two points before they get elected.
So do I have a candidate who I wish could become the President of India ? If I had the choice I would support PA Sangma. He is a Garo tribal from the North Eastern state of Meghalaya. Coming from a region , and i am including the entire North East, which has seen a lot of violence he would symbolise the “Unity in Diversity” concept of the Union. He would be a positive role model for various communities with their unique identities on how to live with the contradictions of India. He would be able to represent disaffected youth from all parts of the country. He has been a top parliamentarian in the prejudiced madhouse of Delhi – this shows he is aspirational and a trailblazer. He has been one of the best speakers in the Lok Sabha and was considered to be tough, fair and balanced. Thus he would in my opinion reflect the image of Current Day India as well have an understanding of the constitutional duties of the President.
May 2, 2012
International Relations, Politics
Europe, European Union, Far-Right, Free Trade, Globalisation, LePen, Nationalists
I just read that LePen is not voting for any Candidate in the French Presidential Election. Marine LePen the leader of the National Front in France, and the candidate who stood third in the First Round of the French Presidential Vote has decided not to cast a vote for either the Right Wing Candidate Sarkozy or the Left Wing Candidate Hollande. She has been the most interesting candidate to watch as she has realised the version of Nationalist Parties which would succeed in Modern Europe are the authoritarian, but not extreme authoritarian, versions of SNP and Plaid Cymru. Only this would be palatable to the modern European Voter as Extremes are considered distasteful in that part of the world. Whether she can make the voters forget the history of the NF is a different matter altogether. In that sense parties such as the English Democrats or UKIP do much better in matters of public perception as they don’t carry the historical extremist baggage. If you read about the history of economics by the likes of people like Niall Ferguson etc you realise that Nationalist Parties with Socialist philosophies are the ones to generally do better during a recession. Europe, thanks to the Germans in the 1930′s, has already experienced the fruits of extreme Nationalism. Thus extreme Nationalists will always be abhorred there however moderate nationalist parties do have a chance to fill the gap between the liberal left-wing parties and authoritative right-wing parties. The concern I have about these nationalist parties is not their xenophobic views but their views on Globalisation. The issue which concerns me is that there is a chance that due to their increasing influence there maybe a partial rollback of positive political attitudes towards Globalisation in Europe. As such it would be very interesting to see if pro globalisation parties across the political spectrum can create policies which may calm the fears of the natural voters of these nationalist parties.
May 2, 2012
Abdul Kalam, Corruption, India, Indians, Legeslation, Lok Pal, Politics
Ex Indian President, His Excellency, APJ Abdul Kalam’s views on the Lok Pal Bill is something which i agree with. This man of vision, fair play and hard work has also shown he understands the psyche of India and its people. His assertion that the Lok Pal Bill is just going to fill up jails and not clean up corruption in the Government machinery is absolutely correct. He asserts that it’s the kids of today who would decide if India becomes a less corrupt society or not. He implies that the values of Indians as it stands does not discourage corruption. There seems to be a consent in Society that corruption will happen. Until we don’t bring a change in society which would change us from a country ” where there is someone always willing to sell his mother” to a country ” where corruption and corrupt people are treated as equivalent to murders and murderers” we wont reduce corruption. I don’t not mean to equate the two crimes nor do I mean to suggest that the punishment should be equivalent but I am suggesting that people from all parts of India should treat those who take bribes or offer bribes as equivalent socially to murderers. If this attitude is encouraged in the kids of today only then would we change as a country in the future. And this needs to be a national mission as corruption methods/standards differ from state to state.