IPL– The torchbearer for sports and players.

Happy New Year to everyone and what better way to start the new year by writing few thoughts related to my favorite sport – cricket.

My 6 year old son is a cricket lover – plays, watches and talks about cricket a lot. We were watching Big Bash League match few days back and he asked me about the teams and players. I told him it’s the Australian IPL and he straight away asked what are the cities and their team names?  It was such an easy connect for him since he follows Indian Premier League IPL big time and knows quite a bit about team names, captains and players involved. He remembered and said that the Kabaddi matches also are like this only. He could relate there too and remembered we had gone to see the finals of first year where Jaipur Pink Panthers had defeated Mumbai team UMumba.

Yesterday I was watching Premier Badminton League PBL match between PV Sindhu and Carolina Marin so again he started asking details. I just told him its like IPL of Badminton and he could easily understand and asked me about the cities and team names for the tournament plus who the top players are.
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ROCK GARDEN – Open Air Museum made from Scrap.

I call the Rock Garden of Chandigarh as the Open Air Museum made from scrap. This famous garden started by Mr. Nek Chand (1924–2015) in the year 1957 has become a must visit tourist attraction in Chandigarh. This year in May we decided to go up North to see some snow and enjoy the pleasant green surroundings of Manali, Dharamshala & Dalhousie in the summer vacations. On our way from Mumbai we stopped in Chandigarh for a day and saw the Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake & Rose Garden.



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India gives visa on arrival to 180 countries.

Government of India made a big big announcement for Indian travel industry and hopefully a big boost for Indian tourism by clearing two major steps – Visa on Arrival & Electronic Travel Authorization for all countries except 8 countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China. Basically it will be total shift to online visa system where people who intend to come to India can simply log in, apply and pay for the visa. On arrival there will be  only a bio metric collection, that is it.

Government officials said this system is expected to start by October and this facility will be available at 9 airports in India to start off with and might end by to 26 airports. I look forward to the details on the validation, expiry, number of stays and visits, etc on this kind of visa system which will be out soon.

Also, my main consideration is how many countries will reciprocate this move by India which will ease travel for us also.

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Polio free India – a great Hat-trick !!

It feels really great to know India completed three years yesterday as a Polio free country. A great achievement for a country which has had many battles with this severe disease. It is a like a great win for all the people at different levels and organisations who have been contributors for this noble cause of eradicating polio from our country and I congratulate all with great happiness.

I was a member of one of Rotary Club of South Mumbai and had a great opportunity to work towards this cause in my own small way. Rotary organisation has been very dedicated in this cause world over including India. I also feel very happy for all volunteers who have been regularly coming to my house offering polio drops for my toddler son. They come without fail and do their jobs very efficiently.

Its a great feeling and we all should try and keep up the good work.

3 cheers for 3 years and coming many more years for Polio free India.


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Unbundled Fares for Airlines in India.

The Indian Aviation sector is on track to get a big change after the The Minister for Civil Aviation Mr. Ajit Singh has decided to permit scheduled airlines to unbundle certain services and to charge fees for these services separately.

As per the press release last evening, the aviation regulator has allowed the following services to be charged for separately:

  • Preferential seating
  • Meal/snack/drink charges (except drinking water)
  • Charge for using Airlines’ lounges
  • Check in baggage charges
  • Sports equipment carriage
  • Musical instrument carriage
  • Fee for special declaration of valuable baggage

The above list will be reviewed after 6 months. The ministry expects the fares to get corrected with this step but honestly the way things are I guess the prices will go up with this as the airlines will use these as add on benefits or privileges over and above the existing  fares.

The guidelines have been set in place to ensure airlines don’t take passengers for a ride, and this includes that airlines will need to notify these charges in advance and not club them with the base ticket automatically, rather ask the customer to choose what they want.

I hope this step goes in the right direction and proves beneficial for all customers in the end.

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