Cerebral Shangrila

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Australia - The Trip Down Under

My christmas break starts from today for the next 3 weeks. I would be visiting Australia over the next 3 weeks along with my mother & Uncle's family. We would be Travelling to the East Coast of Australia ( Brisbane,Gold Coast, Great Barrier Reef,Melbourne,Canberra & Sydney ). I would also be meeting my cousin sister at Sydney and a couple of friends over there . Hope it turns out to be an exciting trip ..

Since I would mostly be travelling , I would not be updating my Blog until the new year. I wish you all a merry Christmas & Happy new year in advance !

Friday, December 10, 2004

An evening in Orchard

Have you ever been on the top of a open Hippo shaped Double decker Bus & travelled across a fully lit Shopping district ? I just did that ! The Singapore Tourism Board offers a free 30 mins ride on this special bus for tourists across the busy Orchard Road ( The Shopping paradise of Singapore ) between 830 to 1030 pm every night till Christmas. The Entire road is decorated with lights , X'mas trees ( All fullt lit and some as tall as 100 feet) , fountains & of course the tall skyscrappers .

There is a free audio commentary describing the origins of Singapore and explaining the various places one sees on the way ( Mostly shopping Malls ) . There are huge Butterflies,Santa Claus, Trees, Baloons all created out of lights all along the road & the city never sleeps in this place. Oh boy , what a great way to start the Christmas break ....

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Mergers & Acquisitions

M&A is a wonderful subject with lot of business insights & taught by a great Prof ( A Harvard Alumni who ran his own M& A firm for several years !) . Its one of the best decisions I made in this trimester.

As the Chinese economy prospers , so does their ambitions. You know what I am talking about. Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's PC Business is a big step for Chinese Hardware Industry . If China can go Global , Why shouldn't an Indian IT Services firm try to acquire the North American business of CGEY ( Cap Gemini Ernst & Young) which is reportedly up for Sale ( at US$ 1 Billion ? ) ....

To end, a nice joke from Ted Turner ( CNN founder -- CNN is part of the Time Warner Empire) about the AOL-Time Warner Merger ( Turner said this in 2003 -- 3 years after the merger) :

" I would rather go live with one of my ex-wives than go through that again "

Monday, December 06, 2004

Golden Buddha Posted by Hello

It is worth its weight in Gold. Literally. I took this photo at the Wat Traimit temple in Bangkok,Thailand (During my Thai visit in Oct'04). This is the world's largest solid gold buddha image and is worth US$ 14 Million ( Around 65 Crore Indian Rupees). .This image is 3 meters tall & weighs 5.5 ton of solid gold. It gleamed like no other gold artifact I've ever seen.

The image still lingers in my mind or as John Keats said " A thing of beauty is a joy forever" !

Sunday, December 05, 2004

MTR - Rava Idli

I had just finished eating my lunch at Woodlands in Singapore a few weeks ago and a pamphlet was thrust into my hands . The pamphlet was about "Namma MTR" , MTR's new restaurant Chain. It had these catchy words in Bold.

What was the result of Second World War ? The birth of Rava Idli . The story goes that during second world war, rice was in shortage and hence the chefs at MTR had tested an idli out of Rava and was thus born the famous " MTR Rava Idli". I remember when I was young whenever we used to visit Bangalore , we used to visit the MTR near Lalbagh and I always ordered Rava Idli ( I used to love the Cashews,Kothamalli in the Rava Idli and the Chutneys used to be awesome) . So it was pretty interesting to know the origins of Rava Idli.

P.S : For all the Non-Indians, Idli (Steamed Rice Cakes) is a famous breakfast dish in South India .

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Anthem by Ayn Rand - Book Review

Ayn Rand never ceases to amaze me. In Anthem, she talks about a dark future where individuals have no name,independence and individuality has ceased to exist. It is a scathing attack on totalianarism & communism where everything gets decided by the committee .In a World where" we" reigns supreme , Rand asks the people to rise upto their " I " .Rand's thought provoking idea is against normal sentiments (Classic case of East Vs West - Society Vs Individual). In a world where " ego" is a bad word , Rand argues its only individuality & Ego which carry forward the mankind. In fact this novel was originally titled " Ego" .

At the root of this fabulous work lies mankind's struggle to find freedom,thought& individuality.This work is also the seed for Rand's famous later books like Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged.If you are a Rand fan do not miss this book.

Some quotes from the book :

" I am . I think. I will."

" I am a man.This miracle of me is mine to own and keep,and mine to guard,and mine to use,and mine to kneel before!"

" I do not surrender my treasures,nor do I share them.The fortune of my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit.I guard my treasures:my thoughts,my will,my freedom.And the greatest of these is freedom".

" I owe nothing to my brothers,nor do I gather debts from them.I ask none to live for me,nor do I live for any others.I covet no man's soul,nor is my soul theirs to covet".

Friday, December 03, 2004

Dancing Peacock Posted by Hello

You need a lot of luck in Photography . I remember waiting patiently for the peacocks to dance at Ranthambore Tiger Sanctuary in Rajasthan, India. Inspite of sighting hundreds of peacocks and hours of waiting couldn't get even a single one to Dance.

I was at the Sentosa Islands,Singapore a few weeks ago. A male was trying to woo the female with a wonderful dance pose and I was able to get a wonderful photo shot ( I am a believer in good Old Film Digital SLR Camera ...This scanned image perhaps doesn't reflect the beauty of the original I have in my album ).

Perhaps flirting is Scientific :-) See how the Peacock (Male) is trying to woo the peahen (female) and she is totally indifferent to his overtures. So Guys take consolation , it happens everywhere :-)