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Some photographs of Prague – 2012

16 Feb

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Images of Mumbai – Gateway of India & Taj Palace Mumbai

6 Feb

Some Images of Mumbai

View of Gateway of India from Room

 

View of Gateway of India from hotel window

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View of Taj Palace and Harbor

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Taj Palace View

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Gateway of India in the evening, less crowded than usual due to security


Mumbai harbour in the evening panorama

Panoramic view of the harbor in the evening


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Taj Palace, front view


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Harbor and GOI in the evening, with the tourist boats all lined up.


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Night view of Gateway of India from Room

Anatomy of a Five Star Indian Breakfast Buffet

30 Jan

I love breakfast buffets in India, especially those at holiday resorts. Nothing feels better than going for a jog or a walk along then beach, getting back to your room, hitting the showers and then heading out to partake on a sumptuous feast. This is not a meal to be taken lightly (Hah!). One needs to prepare and strategize on how one needs to handle the flow and quantity of food to ensure maximum foodie delight. One needs to carve out a couple of hours from one’s day and plan for at least 8 hours after this meal when one does not see any other food.

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The modern buffets cater to all tastes around the world, while retaining its distinctive Indian flavour.

The buffets are broken into sections catering to different markets and tastes, so there is something for everybody and lots for the food lovers.

Breads and Baked Goods: This section typically holds fresh breads, the famous Indian white and wheat toast breads (more robust than the typical American whites that crumble when you try to butter them without a brush). Some hotels have good french breads, baguettes, chocolate croissants, danish, doughnuts, tarts, coffee cakes, etc. Avoid the entire section if you are on Atkins diets. Lots of fresh butter is always handy, after all – what is good toast without lots of salty “Amul” butter.

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Juices and drinks: This section typically holds fresh juices (Orange, Watermelon and Mousambi [Sweet Lime]) are most common in India, but some hotels have others such as apple, mixed fruit, mango, kiwi, these could be fresh depending on location and season or from cartons. There is usually a vanilla, strawberry or chocolate milkshake with fruit smoothies now available in the better buffets. I get my “paisa vasul” (value for money) in this section.

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Cold Cuts and Cheeses: This section as expected has delectable slices of ham, turkey, chicken ham, and assorted typed of cheeses including camembert, cheddar, brie these are usually served with crackers. Great for people on high protein diets. Frequented by “goras” (white folk) and yuppie kids.

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Breakfast cereal and Milk: An assortment of the usual packaged cereals and some fresh muesli. Lots of fresh cold and hot milk for the milk drinkers. The waiters will usually whip up a hot chocolate if you ask for one. Some Indians like milky chai (tea) and supplement the regular tea with extra milk from this area.

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The Indian Vegetarian food section: This is the favorite section for most Indians. Here one gets to sample Dosas (savory rice and lentil pancakes made thin and crisp), Onion Utthapas(the pancake with onions, chillies and tomatoes added), Idlis (steamed rice and lentil dumplings, staple food for most of South India, probably the most healthy food on the table), Medhu Vadas (fried savoury rice and lentil doughnuts) all served with hot sambhar (soup of spices, vegetables and lentils) and coconut and chilly chutneys. This is where the discerning Indian food lover is heard telling the manager that their chutney is inedible – for anyone used to the authentic Palaghat Iyer chutneys, this comes as a rude shock. The good hotels usually take the feedback and return with suitable modified chutneys with enough chillies to kill small animals but with a flavour designed to go with the Indian meal and bring out the taste of the hot tea thats usually drunk with the meal. Other buffets have Puri-bhaji (A North Indian favourite, rolled and fried dough eaten with a spicy potato and tomato curry), Upma (a spicy savory dish made of cream of wheat, onions, chillies and other spices), in the west and south they have sheera/kesari (a sweet version of the upma with no vegetables, garnished with raisins and roasted cashewnuts). The dosas are typically prepared fresh on the spot by a chef and served piping hot, enjoyed with South Indian coffee. Some hotels also serve fresh aloo (potato), gobhi (cauliflower) or mooli (white radish) parathas, these are incredible when eaten with dahi (plain yoghurt), amul butter and lime or mango pickle. The Indian section has so much variety that its hard to imagine, so one needs to come prepared to spend a few hours and sample each type of food.

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Eggs and meat : This is one of my favorite areas, here a chef will fix you up with a nice sets of fried eggs, a fluffy or flat masala and cheese omelet (with onions, tomatoes, chillies) or masala bhurji “scrambled eggs with the masala). Usually this area is supplemented with sausages, bacon, fried tomatoes, hash browns and tons of tomato ketchup a must for every breakfast. Indians typically eats eggs with crisp toast and butter and hot “ginger” tea on the side makes this go down real smooth.

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Fresh Fruits and Yoghurt: This is great wrap-up to the meal, lots of fresh oranges, apples, pears, peaches, pineapple, plums and other season fruits. My favorite are in the winter when one gets fresh anjir (figs) and chikoo (Sapota fruit imported by the Portuguese from south America). There are different flavors of yoghurt available the most common being strawberry, peach, mango and plain. Some hotels now serve baked yoghurts that are also very nice.

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Armed with this information you are now ready to go to any large five-star hotel and assault their buffet for complete happiness. Enjoy!

Working with Windows 7 Beta

28 Jan

Have now been working with the beta release of the 7 product for over a week and so far the feedback is that its pretty stable.

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It seems to work on my older Toshiba laptop with 1.5 gig’s of RAM pretty well. Some web site seem to cause it to freeze up and I found media player to be quite sad.

The installation process was seamless and smooth, I did an upgrade of my system from Vista so that took more than an hour to do.

Some bugs I have found so far are to do with drivers for my Toshiba built in wireless card and also the system when opening multiple IE tabs seems to load the processor to 100% and sometimes freezes up.

Further some applications such as Outlook 2007 also seem to freeze up if left on for a long time. I think the system leaks memory as the performance seems to deteriorate after the system is on for a few hours.

In summary, I am quite happy with the product at this stage of evolution and will be successful once Microsoft fixes some of the issues listed.

Also if you are reading Microsoft, one version is all we need.

The Stock Market at 16,000, how to invest?

20 Sep

The BSE has hit 16,000 and it looks from all indications that it will continue on this path to 17,000, so how does one invest at this level.

I believe that in such conditions its better to invest in companies that are good, rather than in the whole index.

There are many sectors that have taken quite a beating and are down inspite of the market hitting new highs, some of these are:

Pharmaceuticals:

Cipla

Pfizer

IT:

TCS

Infosys

All of these have sold off significantly and are at least 20% below their 52 week high’s, making them good stocks for the long term.

 

Visit, www.poweryourtrade.com for tips from trading experts.