Long Weekend Gateway – Bengaluru .

August marks the beginning of the holiday season. Be it Independence Day or “Rakshabandhan “or “Janmastami “, multiple opportunities are available to plan a long weekend gateway. As monsoon is half passed, we can enjoy the lush green plains or break taking views over the mountains or waterfalls, or just sit in a holiday home sipping coffee and watching rain drops creating magic on earth.

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With 3-4 days available for a trip, we can look beyond the usual weekend gateway. Thanks to dropping airfare and discounts deals, many far flung destinations are now within  budget for all.

Among all, Bengaluru (old name Bangalore) is my all-time favorite destination. This capital of Karnataka state is a year around tourist destination due to its pleasant weather.  Also known as “IT capital of India “, it provides option which suits all categories of travelers with multiple activities to choose from.

Listing up some of the must-visit places in and around the city:

  • Spirituals Places & Temples : From Bull Temple (yes you read it write) to Suryanarayan temple along with Dodda Ganapathi Temple and ISKCON. There are various places of worship for different followers. All these places also offer a unique glimpse of local architecture to its visitors, thus making it to the must-visit places list.
  • Museums : The Heritage Centre & Aerospace is India’s First museum dedicated to aerospace showcasing the evaluation of Aeronautical history in country. Look around for Pictures, Models and even a real time simulator of flights which thrills both kids and adults.  Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum is another must-visit place for people who takes interest in knowing the origin of various scientific instruments.  Opened in 1962, it has lots of interesting science experiments for young travelers to watch and learn, and even implement in real life.
  • Shopping & eating out: MG (Mahatma Gandhi) road is the first place of choice for locals and tourists to pick up good and clothes. This place offers a chance to quickly grab a coffee or beer while roaming around in shops on both sides of the street. For people looking for a respite from High temperature (which rarely happens in Bangalore), Pheonix Marketcity and Orion Mall offer best in class experience for window shoppers & brand buyers.
  • Nearby activities: For people who are just looking for some close country side interaction with nature, options to pick up are many from Bengaluru.
    • Trek to Kunti Betta in night which is 130 km away from Bangalore.
    • Trek to Tadiandamol Peak passes to reach the highest point in Coorg .
    • Enjoy Monsoon delight by visiting Mallalli waterfalls, Coorg.
    • Go for exploring Wayanad on a Cycling and Camping Tour.
    • Take a drive to Mysore and visit the fames Tipu Sultan fort and palace.
    • Visit to Coorg and stay in a Tea plantation farmhouse and recharge yourself in natural surroundings.

How to reach: 

  • By Flight: All Indian airlines have direct Connection from Delhi to Bengaluru with flight time of approx 2 hour 30 min and fares varying from INR 3-6 k.
  • By trains: With 2300 Km by this mode, it takes around 33 – 40 hours and have 8-10 daily trains to the place from Delhi .

Best time to Visit:

  • This place is ideal to visit across the year, but the delighting experience increases after monsoon season for people going for trekking activities.
  • Dasara festival in Mysore is a 10 days celebration and city comes alive for all during this season.

The list can go on and on and totally, it depends on which type of traveler you are as Bengaluru has something to offer to everyone🙂

Keep travelling, keep exploring!!

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THE OTHER LIFE – Changing Destiny

Was it a dream come true or nightmare about to begin. May be CATCH 22 is the perfect phrase to define her state now.
Its 4:15 pm and in next 6 minute after 11 km she have to take a right turn on MG road and just in front of next traffic camera have to be performed the biggest act of her life . She was trying to keep the car at 45 Kmph speed as asked in the E- mail. But her mind and heart was running faster than speed of light. Every Blink of eye was taking her back to her meeting with IG of RAW held 5 days before, exactly when she turned 32.

 
It was her day of duty , yes in her career of 8 years with police force , it was her probably 8th leave which was forced upon by her Ex- Military dad , 2 Super charged kids and AMIT her better better half . They decided to go out for picnic without any RED SIREN chasing them. Anaya, the youngest IPS Officer appointed at age of 24 was an ideal for hundreds of citizens. She was known for managing her job and personal life well.

IG of RAW ( Research Intelligence Unit )with Secretary of Defense was waiting for her. She has last meet them 2 years back when they handed over POLICE medal on republic day celebration. So an urgent meeting with them was strange as they were not at all related to Police dept . She was asked to sit and watch the ppt which in next 32 slides covered what “Al burk ‘is all about and how their financial money laundering is funding terror across world and why they need to be stopped now .Then comes part on why she was chosen to be joined the gang and be govt. informer and inflate the group right from the roots . But the toughest part was she has to forgo all her past connection and life to erase her police background and record and provide her with new identity , background and a modified face so she is never traced back . RAW clearly has been observing her heroics and work for past 3 year and has specifically shortlisted her . The energy , motivation , power , honor and intelligence she has shown in her role as IPS has grabbed many eyeballs over the year . She is among top 20 cops in India and Every IG wanted her to be part of their team .But this opportunity was larger than life . RAW deciding to bring a complete outsider for this mission was a strategic move . They planned to do plastic surgery to change her face , train her for over 8 months before introducing into Al bak group .But for complete discretion , she has to start afresh with no strings attached to her past . The mission can last anywhere from 4- 10 years without any surety on how and when this will end .
On the request itself she stuck awful ..Clear out identity?? How’s its possible?? She has a family.. with Tina and jay her world , with Amit the perfect husband , PAPA and so many people who live and breathe for her .Although she is patriot , but she believe in border-less world and really felt that only politicians pull up these borders to bind people and raise conflict and install fear among people and encash on opportunity for lifetime . But beyond this she strongly felt for humanity and knew her action could help contain millions of life . But how can she decide?? Because deep inside she knew she is a team member but no leader . She always run away from taking decision. From deciding to which place to party to color of walls of her house to choosing IPS over IFS . She always has fear of taking wrong decision and regretting for life and fortunately firstly her parents , then AMIT and in office her mentor Dr. Palash has been making choices for her . Even on field , being a DCP she has to take multiple decision on site , but it was always a dark area for her . AND NOW she cannot exchange this weirdest idea or even mention to any of her guide and yet have to make a move which will make her past life go away in few moments .

For 2 days , she tried her best to put happy face ON to her family but inside it was a volcano waiting to erupt . She was completely blank . HOW her husband will live without her who is addicted to sharing BED tea  ? How every  parents teacher meeting was incomplete  without her going with Jay? Who is going to prepare Tina for her party and take her on shopping? Will her father survive this shock of getting separated from her , as she is the only purpose of their life to live on? While her head was knocking around to say NO and move ON but her heart wanted to be part of bigger purpose. Since childhood, she used to get excited hearing stories of freedom fighters and wanted to do something on-line of 007. This was an opportunity which she was living all along; she wanted to be part of larger good. She wanted to do more than writing reports and saluting politicians and catching thief. She wanted to be “HERSELF “.
She lost her sleep and was changing sides entire night running in her mind all the possible scenario but all roads lead to dead-end . She has been called for re-meeting 2 days after and the people behind desk wanted answer. Answer which will be like pressing   FORMAT setting on your phone  and everything is restored to factory setting ; completely blank. The Call of DUTY finally superseded all doubts and she said YES. The Moment which may be she will regret for her entire life but may be help save few hundreds of TINA and JAY.

26th as date was finalized for final show as she was asked to wait for an Email on that date at 6:30 AM. On the day, she got an email which was designed to kill itself within 15 minutes. Email contained how she is going to perform the last part of her current life and how transition will happen. It says –
“Call up office and take leave on medical grounds. Perform you daily household duties as usual. Today at 3:30 PM you will start in your usual office car carrying nothing but your wallet with few ID cards . Drive at a constant speed of approx 45 Kmpl so most of the traffic cam captures car & you. At 14 km ahead stop at petrol pump and buy anything from 24*7 store and pay by card. And then continue to drive and take a right on MG road and just before the red light , make a quick stop near juice counter which is a blind spot for camera and get out of car and put on your “ hijab “ and someone will take you along to a car and deport to training facility . Car and rest will be taken care by us. Do not share this mail or any other details with anyone in your personal or professional contact. In case of any emergency, Speed dial 1 from phone provided by us and mention “ Vikara “ .
After 72 hours of un-decisiveness , the plan was now very clear and she now felt the calling of sleep which she was avoiding so long . So she set alarm for 7:30 am and put her arms over AMIT  to feel the warmth of his body for may be last time in this lifetime. But AMIT switched off the alaram and let her Anaya continue her sleep beyond 7:30 . He left a note saying kids gone to school , he is going office and of course he love her  .

It was the first thought that came to her as she woke up. He was gone. and soon his bedroom , the house in whose eastern corner it sat , and the tiny garden outside with its gnarled old red hibiscus and the half grown mango tree they had planted together , all those would be gone as well . it was the strangest feeling ever . and the feeling raising goosebumps will she wished clock to slow down or even shut down before hitting 4:30 . But things went on and so does she as per plan decided on Email .

And getting back to present she took the turn and at juice counter she was replaced by a totally burned Dead body and the car moved along hitting the Gasoline Truck standing ideal at side of road and BOOM. Explosion happened as planned . For her , It took 2 hours to reach the Training facility at RAW where Plastic surgeons were on standby to operate ASAP. But she asked for 2 minutes and switched on to evening NEWS. Her Car, the explosion, her artifact in-car, her professional life moments, her personal life moments , her relatives and were all over the news. As per Fire Dept and Police it looks like a leaked CNG kit which exploded and burnt the car and the truck with the passenger beyond recognition. That’s how RAW planned it all the way. But she was searching for her family in the news footage but unable to find them on any channel . She so desperately wanted to ensure that her family don’t broke down and take this incident easily. She knew Amit and PAPA always stand up and handle situations . They will surely take it as GOD’s will and makes kids understand the same .How badly she wanted to say good-bye to her husband today when he went for the office , how eagerly she wanted to hug kids tightly like there was not tomorrow . But she was strictly asked to behave as she does on normal day . BUT NOW , So she requested to make a last phone call . She asked the Lady office with her to call her husband number , put phone on speaker and pretend to be news journalist trying to gather their reaction.

“ Hello , Sir this Manjula from Times Now “
Voice of Loud Crying coming from the background
“Sir , I have just one question to ask . Please sir, just one “
Only background Voice of falling emotions and people sobering can be heard. She was able to identify the one of her kids. She is the mother; she can sense her kids especially when they are in pain for millions of km away.
“Sir, How do you wish to remember your wife DCP Anaya “
And phone went silent; She jumped to check if it has got disconnected. But in a moment, She heard a sobering Male Voice of her father saying “ AMIT , Even I can’t put a brave face in front of kids ” .. ”  I am feeling there is cloud of emotions about to burst inside me . This can’t be our destiny ”  .and the line went dead .

“ Is I am going to regret this decision for life ??? “ is the question which going to hunt her for no one knows how long … But there is no going back , as she is already inside the OT gearing up for all new undefined  identity .

{ Image Courtesy : http://www.sk-ii.com.sg/en/changedestiny.aspx }

Strengthening Roots – Enhancing growth in kids

” Hey your kid looks weak , is he suffering from any kind of disease ? “

No , he is all good  , just his weight never increases .  I have tried various combination of food including diff. home remedies but he is wafer thin since birth ” 

” How old is he ? ” 

”  He is already 6 years old and yet his weight is only 16 Kg ” 

” Have you consulted any doctor for this ? ” 

” No ,  My parents and in-laws says it is common phenomenon , some suffer with height issue and other with weight . But over period of time, it improves and everything will be fine, they even ask me to remain worry free and don’t exert over this issue” 

” I would really wish it happens , your kid is very bright and intelligent  and nothing should hold him back to achieve the best ” .

This is a classic conversation; every mother goes through in early phase of their kids.  As Parents are considered responsible for tip to toe of their kids, every Mother thinks her kids should remain at top of his health. …Forever.

Then there are few of our traditional relatives  who always raise doubts about   way of parenting and the Typical Sarcasm  is  ” Kuch Khilate nahi ho kya isko , bahut patla ho gaya ha ” { Don’t you feed him any food , he is getting thin day by day } and rest of them gives false assurance just to calm the situation ” Apne aap ho jayenga , Mera Chintu bhi bachpan ma itna chota sa lagta tha , par a dekho ” { it happens with time , even my kid used to look way small than his age but he recovered ” .

Yes , both of the statements are true . Some do improve over time and gets fits into the definition of being “Health “. But the issue is, in this age of competition, do we really want to take chances with such important phase of our little ones   . With Globalization, they are forced to compete beyond borders of their classroom both on & off the field.  Healthy body and fit mind help them concentrate, learn and grow at par with their friends. Their Energy level must always be kept at top level so they never feel drained out while exploring the world.

Generally, the way to measure fitness comes with a ratio of kid’s age, weight and his height. There are multiple calculators online which can help us monitor if the numbers matches with generally acceptable benchmarks or not.  In case, we can seek advice of specialist help to provide additional supplement.  FMCG and Pharma companies have been coming up with innovative products to fill up this need. These come in powder form which is either milk or water dis-solvable, making it easy to feed them to younger ones . These Nutrients overcame the deficiency of Protein  and vitamin  which helps in catching up on growth . One such product is Horlicks Growth + from house of GSK  which has clinically proven reports to naturally enhance growth .

Humans are like trees and kids are like saplings, all they need is good food, water, sun light and people who care for them. And if provided in right mix from early stage, fruits in form of success and performance can be seen forever.

 

 

 

Pre Launch Review – DATSUN REDI-GO

Datsun is a Japanese automobile brand of Nissan which caters to entry level car segment. It was recently re-introduced in 2013 after a gap of 27 years and is mainly catering to emerging economy markets. In last 3 years , the brand has done a lot of ground work to enhance its visibility in the highly competitive market .

In India REDI-GO, is 3rd offering by the brand after ” GO “&” GO + “. Pre-launch buzz and experts first hand reviews has created positive vibes and curiosity in Automobile market.  Scheduled to be launched on 7th June 2016, the price for the base model is expected to be in range of INR 2.75- 3 Lakh. FEW noteworthy features of this car which even I am looking forward to explore in a ON- Road test are:

  • REINFORCED CRASH PROTECTION SHELL – With News making rounds about some crash test conducted by a Global Independent agency and majority of car getting below part rating. I am actually looking forward to a more safe and secure car suitable to Indian Road conditions. With claim of being Better Frontal Offset Crash performance & UN94 crash performance compliant, it can set benchmark for others to follow .
  • HIGH GROUND CLEARANCE – With 185 mm ground clearance, driving away from highways would be easy. Majorly this feature is highlighted in SUV or off -road car and this segment is forced to be a city car only. But if the claim is true, I would really drive this one to farthest of villages in Rajasthan without worrying about ground impact.
  • SMALL TURNING RADIUS – For People like me, who are always on lookout to go on a weekend break away from city and especially to hill stations in summers? The tricky part is dangerous curves and small lanes to drive in. Also parking in tight space is one of the biggest challenges for Metro city residents. So this feature of Redi Go will surely help to solve this issue.
  • Stylish Exteriors : With “ Yukan Design “ , D- Cut Grill and High Stance are surely set this new offering of Datsun to look apart from competitors . It will surely find some new loyal followers for the design theory which created a URBAN cross over. A Car for the youth who doesn’t want to stay indoors and wish to be on ROAD , exploring unknown .
  • Comfortable interior : With Spacious Interiors , adding power windows option in this segment and a 89 CC Air conditioner system to survive in these Hot Summers of India is icing on the cake .

It stands to compete directly with Maruti’s Alto K10 , Wagon –R  , Hyundai Eon , BEAT . We give our best wishes that this model help DATSUN as a brand to stand out on its own and create new benchmarks and enhance customer delights by its offering.

Hope Price Conscious Customer can find the drive of this car as catchy as it looks and get the drive to  be READY and go with Datsun this time🙂

In short – Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross – Datsun redi-GO – the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.

 

Movie carnival for kids this summer .

Summers are here and so does the  vacation of kids . Courtesy Sun God , Parents and kids have no option but to remain indoor from 9 am – 6 pm at least , till the temperature drops . So handling your Jumping Jacks  who are unable to sit idle for a moment and make your day  their vacations sounds hell of a time for you .

So to  resolve this conflict , “& pictures”  have come up with a ” KIDS carnival ” Campaign running from 9th May – 13th May daily at 12 noon. So to digest your breakfast before lunch , you can switch ON your TV , set up & Pictures and keep the remote away for next 3 hours .

Yes , Parents do try to keep kids away from TV and specially don’t want them watching those 18+ Movies and ask all unusual questions🙂 . But the line-up of this Carnival will even make parents wish to keep their task aside and join the Kids in the Fun , adventure , thriller , World class animation and Life learning Movies .

Get aboard the &pictures ‘Kiddies Express that will present the following five movies that will transport your kids into a land of imagination:-

No more suspense , the Schedule will be :

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  • So Monday blues will be taken care by  ” KUNG FU PANDA ” – in which  THE AWESOME PANDA with his furious five will take you on the hilarous journey of becoming Dragon warrior with Turtle OOgay delivering the real world inspiration to set aside setback and keep moving .


”  Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”  is surely what                            every grandparents tell their children .

    • So if your kid is not motivated to visit a ZOO ..Madagascar will make him mad about animals and would surely be singing around ” I like to Move it , Move it ” for many weeks to come . Based on a journey of a Lion and his Friends from New York zoo to Madagascar , each character behaves like real life people and inspire child to respect them as living being . So it’s a fun package of Knowledge &  adventure and best way to introduce various animal to your kids .

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  • Based on friendship goals like determination, trust, respect, and acceptance Stuart Little 2 is one of the best family films of the summer.This visually impressive film provides wholesome entertainment for kids with Stuart enlightening us with some serious friendship goals like determination, trust, respect, and acceptance.
  • My all time favorite movie , which always tickles the right bone for many born in 80’s .  A timeless adventure film, Jumanji is about two kids who play a magical board game. While playing it, they release an adult trapped in the game. They encounter various dangers which will come to an end only when the game is completed.
  •  A crisp narrative and some truly amazing technical expertise combine to make Mr Go one of the best family films with big laughs, big emotion and even bigger thrills. Its engaging plot offers a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all ages. It is based on the classic 1980s comic ‘7th Baseball Club’, the titular character refers to a 285 kg circus gorilla who is the first to be recruited by a savvy baseball agent to join the professional Korean Baseball League What makes it a must-see film is that it makes you smile with its heartwarming, poignant and inspirational story.

    So from PANDA TO LION , RAT TO GORILLA , all of them are waiting for clock to strike 12 and set up a meeting with your kids and You too🙂 .. So this summer TV will turn form  “Idiot BOX to  ” Ideal Box ” for all .

    Catch the ‘Kiddies Express’ from Monday, 9th May to Friday, 13th May daily at 12 noon only on &pictures!

     

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Inside Jackie Chan Film Gallery – Shanghai

Location : Close to  Changfeng Park , Putuo district , Shanghai

Entrance fees :  Approx  128RMB

JC spent almost 53 years in movie industry .So  he decided to try  and  capture  his life journey to offer every fan a  Glimpse through  “JC FILM Gallery”.  It took almost 5 years to design and develop and was Inaugurated on 60th Birthday of Jackie  in 2013 . Fortunately ,  I was among the lucky few on being offered visit to this place on the day of Inauguration and was totally blown up with the detailing and designing aspects of it  .

Inside Gallery each area, every figure & every prop has their own little story . Even the  ticket office is  designed  like a truck  crashing through the side of the building raises  expectations that inside could be a kung fu kicking roller-coaster of a ride through Chan’s film career.

Sharing some memories from the visit because Pictures always speak louder than words :

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Where it all happens
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An outside view of Gallery
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THE TICKET COUNTER 
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The Sci-Fi entry Gate to Gallery
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LOVE ..melts mountain and changes everything
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Story of the ” BIG TYRE ” Featured in LOVE symbol .
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Adopted from Movie namely Zodiac Sign – 
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Just a coincidence
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another replica from his movie set
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Gateway to the life of JC
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Love all over the walls

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Copy of JC foot, hand and nose prints from outside the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood

 

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Chan’s office decked out with a host of awards
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Hanging over the main hall is a replica of Jackie Chan leaning out of an upside down rally car
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Jumping Jack
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No more secrets
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Wax model of Chan bursting through a wall on a police bike dodging cannonballs
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Age is just a number for some🙂

Benchmark Price for Grid Connected Solar Project 2016-17 : CERC

Finally CERC ( Central Electricity Regulatory Authority) has published   Benchmark Capital cost for Solar PV and Thermal Project for Year 2016- 17.  Interesting to see that Solar  thermal project cost has been kept at INR 12 Crore / MW , but for Project using PV Technology   has been notified at lower end of  INR 5.30 Crore / MW with a significant percentage drop observed across component including Civil Works , Module Mounting Structure & PCU . Even with Scaling up  of project size ,  Evacuation cost per MW is estimated to decrease significantly .

In 1 year , Capital Cost has been reduced by  12% from last year INR 605.85 Lakh/ MW  .

When draft was uploaded on CERC website to invite comments from industry players . Most of  EPC/IPP and even state nodal agencies have raised observations  on   :

  • Forex Exchange rate
  • Modules Rate
  • Separate capital cost for Domestic  and Imported Modules
  • Inverter Replacement cost .
  • Transmission Line cost
  • Land Cost ( vary from 2 Lakh/acre to 25 lakh/acre based on Project Site )

But CERC have used data from MERCOM Capital Report and recently concluded  Central /State Govt Bidding result to arrive on the Benchmark Price  .

From a Layman prospective , this seems good and fair as it shows optimism  for future price reduction and increasing feasibility of project .

As  the saying goes , ” Lets put the sunny side up and with sun god on our side , hope to achieve 100 GW by 2022   ” .

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The copy of order uploaded on CERC website can be found at below mentioned link :

http://www.cercind.gov.in/2016/orders/SO17.pdf