About Me

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Born in Neyveli, Tamilnadu. Studied in Karaikudi, Madurai and Coimbatore, EHS Professional. Global MINDSET due to Worldwide travel over last 18 years.

Passionate about Cricket;stopped active following after Clive Lloyd Retired in 1985. One of the saddest day was India winning the cricket world cup in 1983, still can't fathom how West Indies Lost. I am told India won again in 2011.... Who cares...

Yes, TEST CRICKET is fascinating to spend some time. Only watch ASHES. Rest all JUNK..

Married Lalitha on 18th Jan 1991( The day Bush Sr Bombed Baghdad in Desert Storm I) Always believed marry and love rather than the other way. Blessed with a Son and Daughter.

Not seen an Indian movie since 1989. I feel they are waste of time; no take home messages. ( Never taken wife and children to movies,So no movie with wife & children barring 3; Titanic and Spider man; AVATAR for meeting the family get together obligations). Consider watching Indian TV Channels a criminal waste of time and miracle if I spent 10 min before TV. (Follow essential information through Web). The least said about Indian TV  Paid NEWS.

Active listening to podcast on Science, religion, Management. Ipod 2007, 80Gb, worth investment in GOLD. Non Fiction is a good way to go. As for Fiction, like Dan Brown, Grisham. Staying away from Indian magazines too. The Hindu,  Mint are an exception.  Subscription to Economist, Fortune, HBR prints helps reading and follow RSS for information. 

Yes on 16th Oct 2010, IPAD became an additional family member. Changed life for better.

I listen to Music of 70s and 80s,Must listen are Aha; Abba; Carpenters; REO Speed Wagon, Eagles, Pet shop boys  that kind. Tamil music of 70s is also OK. Illayaraja I like. Hindi too Mukesh, Rafi.....

My Son is also active blogger; studies  BE (Information Technology) at REC,Surathkal,(A chance for me to visit Mangalore after 12 years!!!) Daughter B.Com III year at St.Joseph's College, She finished her CA Inter (First Attempt!!) Feel proud that Children do well......

Political affiliation Right; A Republican..... Extreme Narendra Modi Follower . Tracking Subramania Swamy from I was 12 years old! (His escape during Emergency 1975) Strong Government Skeptic.Hope Romney makes it with Ryan ( I predicted  "RYAN"rightly 135 days before event!!!). No such hope for BJP for short term of 10 years, they seem to going off the rails. UK verdict May 2010 very disappointing as Tory Follower.

Firm believer in Women are better people managers than man they do a good understanding. (More so on one on ones,being a boss) Experienced it for 7 years and felt good about it. Also I feel the country's growth is directly linked to woman empowerment.  Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher inspired me a lot in my teens.

5 Overwhelming moments
1) Seeing India from Pakistan side of Wagah Border 2001 July. My Friend Zahid Islam arranged this. You can take an Indian out of India but you cant TAKE India out of an Indian.

2) JFK Museum in Boston Nov 2001. Just too much to bear.
3) Being a Reagan Admirer, thrilled to spend time at his Birth place Dixon, Illinois in 2003.

4) La Sagrada Familia Never stopping construction Church in Barcelona going on and on. It just swallows you.

5) 11th Sep 2001, at Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore Pakistan, too much to take....

Stay in touch and you can contact me thro email Karaikudy@hotmail.com

Updated 2nd Sep 2012. (Linked in 2000 connection today!!).

Monday, January 02, 2012

Shirdi visit.... High/ Lowlights

The family undertook the Shirdi trip last week. We missed the trip in 2010 as the train from Agra to Kopargaon was delayed by more than 24 hrs. In the scorching May Summer/ Holiday season we had no option but to return home from Delhi. So this visit was after 2 years and a lot has changed (For worse in my view!!).

1) Be prepared for 31/2 to 4 Hrs to stand in queue. I am told it takes as much as 6 Hrs on festive season. Ours took 3 1/2 hrs with a 45 min stoppage time for evening Aarti when nothing moved!!.... (4 to 730pm)
2) Keep edible items, snacks, biscuits, juice etc to survive this agonizing wait(Baba himself says god can't be thought in empty stomach). Nothing is available once you stand in line except for water bottles. I am told in the morning time for some duration some food items are available with a crowd of 75,000 this would vanish in a blink of an eye.
3) If you are with child /infant ( I am shocked that Parents even attempt this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)please keep enough milk, baby food items to last 4 hrs, It was pathetic to see kids screaming in hunger, parents and relatives were in such a situation that they couldn't do much.
4) Once you decide to stand in queue, it is practically impossible to retreat should you change your mind,there are no contact person etc to rescue in an emergency situation etc. Pathetic. The queue length accommodating  25,000 people can be imagined (Single file).  At no time you can contact any organisation interface to help you.
5) Mobile etc are confiscated if you take it in. So please leave it at Hotel room or lockers. It was pathetic sight to see folks taking picture and getting rapped on the knuckles.
6) Women can carry small handbags.
7) Passes/ VIP darshan too have become meaningless, even those lines are in 100s. I remember in my 2009 visit, the Rixa driver chiding me for VIP attempt, his logic is," the more you stand in Queue the more you think of god". Sound logic. This trip we seriously didn't attempt any!?.
8) Dwarkamai also there is restricted access to the sanctum Sanctorum, with every trip, I find the chance to have physical access to places where Baba lived and breathed is restricted to devotees. Be prepared for 1 Hr queue at Dwarkamai. Last time the pleasure of touching Baba's samadhi was taken away. So every year the man- divine contact is restricted.!!!
9) Security guards can be arrogant, nonsensical, and lack common sense (Of course the last trait is expected of them, else they will be our boss!!!) I saw case where a 100% Blind man was  denied entry in to main temple. So much for empathy, what can you expect from a govt controlled setup?? SHAME??
10) On the food side, try eating OLD SHARE PUNJAB restaurant located in the lane (100feet) opposite GATE 2.  
11) Travel to PUNE Airport by Road, takes 5 hrs on a normal traffic condition, anything less is impossible.The Pune Shirdi traffic is a SHAME story for how not to plan Highway layout. Authorities there, should visit, TamilNadu to see how every small town is by passed on highway!!..

12) If you are in Pune on transit for say 3 /4 hrs with no business, try Hotel Ibis near airport to meet/ spend time to relax. Good place. Food decent budget pricing!.

So In short, as I keep telling my FOREIGN friends, we do well in India, IN SPITE of our Government. It was pathetic to see the same extended to even worship god. We go there in spite all hardship!!... YES, the IDIOTIC brain will still want to visit SHIRDI in next 6 months and we will be going despite all the hardships, arrogant attitude of administration!! Such is life of an Indian, the common sense will never PREVAIL. !!!  I have told my wife in future to focus more to visit our temple in family ancestral town where even 1000 people wont visit in a year and there is a beautiful village surrounding/ river Thamirabharani to enjoy watching in full flow.

Let's see!! Will keep you updated if the next visit is done!!.... 

PS: Despite all this wife and children longed for one more darshan at Main temple (Samadhi Mandir) and I refused to join them saying it is madness!! They went ahead without me at next day morning 830am. Imagine my shock!! (I was at Prayer hall reading SAI CHATCHARITHA) that they finished darshan in 35 Min flat!!!! Hmmm Strange again are god's ways!!......


garima said...

Hi Karthik

I write to you on behalf of The Viewspaper (www.theviewspaper.net) which is India's largest youth paper and the 5th largest media company on Facebook.

We are organizing the World's Largest Tweet-A-Thon! and would like to invite you as a panelist for the same.

From American political journalists in the 1950s, to The Economist magazine not so long ago; speculation has run rife about India and whether we will survive as a nation.

Poverty. Corruption. Terrorism. Disease. Currency woes. We’ve got it all, and more. We’ve been written off, doomsdayed, delegitimized – but we keep coming back! What is the root of this appetite for adversity, this solid resilience?

It is our nation’s optimism. No matter how much you bring her down, India feels up!

A first of its kind initiative, the #IFeelUp Tweetathon is a 3-day virtual conference, which delights in the irrepressible state of the nation, in spite of its laundry list of issues. Over 72 hours, we’ll be bringing in 400 panelists for non-stop discussion, and that’s where you come in.

We would like to invite you as a panelist for a 30 minute session wherein you can participate from any part of the world.

If you're interested, kindly email us your contact information so that we could provide you with more details about the event.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Garima Obrah
The Viewspaper

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