Monday, March 31, 2008

Madhyamgram - Another Get-together


J K Ghosh, A K Roy

Mrs. S P Chatterjee, Mrs. D K Roy

Mrs D K Roy, D K Roy, S P Chatterjee

Mrs J K Ghosh, J K Ghosh

A K Roy, Radheshyam,D K Roy, K Ghosh

A view of a tree from J K Ghosh's house.The actor in the photo is a little bird.See if you can locate it on one of its branches

L to R:A K Roy, J K Ghosh, D K Roy, S P Chatterjee

The third get together, this time at J K Ghosh's home at Madhyamgram. Since J K usually stays in Delhi, we are trying to make the best possible use of his stay in Kolkata. We seem to have no end of the talk about our school. The ladies also got together and chatted endlessly. My wife could not come as she had not completely recovered from her back ache.J K's wife and his cousin gave us a sample of what good cooks they are. The sweets were especially mouth-watering. Thanks J K for the treat.
JK will be back in Delhi by the 11 th April. Let us see if we can meet again before he leaves.

Radheshyam

LITURGICAL DANCE



OPENING MASS

March Past by Alumini




GOETHALS CENTENARY


These photographs were sent to Matt Lobo by Sushil


Dear Sir,

Here are a few pictures of the Centenary for you to enjoy.

By the way the ex boys are planning to have a cricket match and a picnic on April the 27th (Sunday) will keep you posted.

Warm regards,Sushil Dikshit( 1964 )

E-mail Address(es): sushildikshit@hotmail.com

Some of the Brothers who attended.
Brother T P FitzPatrick was a guest of honour

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Disenchantment in Shangri-La : The Dilemma of Democracy in Nepal


Dr. Viraj P Thacker has sent in his views of the events unfolding in Nepal.He is a Goethalite and a Paulite.
I am sure many of us will agree with him.

Radheshyam


Dear Mr. Sharma,

Greetings and many thanks for posting my message and pictures on the “GMS Blogspot”! Always a pleasure to visit your site and retreat into a world of welcome nostalgia.
I have attached a reflective piece that I recently wrote for several news and political journals – the Darjeeling District was so much a part of our lives and the Nepali culture and people are what made the district so unique – many Goats I’m sure are aware and concerned about the current state of affairs in Nepal.
For Goats that are inclined towards international politics and the issues related to globalization, I have included a review of a book on the subject by the “Statesman”, Calcutta in 2001.
I look forward to staying in touch.
Warmest Regards,
Viraj P. Thacker.





With the dependency and aid agendas engraved on the “Bretton Woods” charter, Nepal in the 1960s, slowly but surely entered the league-of-nations that became the recipients of Northern benevolence packaged in a neat little bundle – “foreign aid”. It brought with it busloads of “hippies” and those that sought true liberation from the pressures of the mundane West. What better place than Shangri-la and a land of genuine people. While the “superpowers to be” clashed and grappled and India aligned itself with the Second World, Kathmandu smelt the first plumes of “sweet hashish”, listened to the sounds of the Eagles and tasted “apple pie”, although most Nepalis were mere observers, fascinated yet confused by the antics of foreigners and subtly corrupted by the sublimity of “flower-power”. Politically, a strong monarchy held the nation and the Nepali identity together, (despite the accusations of authoritarianism), and foreign donors earnestly tried to test the development paradigm working in tandem with the government.

“The Phantom” – What escaped the realm of Nepali politics due to its lack of orientation in the wider world and its increasing dependence on foreign aid was the changing nature of world politics and the increasing influence of world trade on the economies of the Third World. The winds and waves of democracy changed course and swept large parts of the world into a new direction. In the meanwhile, Nepal’s sustainability was on the decline but ironically, while this transformation was taking place, Nepal probably had more donor and aid agencies than ever before. The government had not asked for an accounting of the progress made and donors started becoming immune to basic human problems of Nepal.

The Stagnant 80s – The introduction of the VCR and modern amenities in Kathmandu was a silent phenomenon that did not coincide with any landmark achievement in Nepal’s economy. The largely unorganized tourist industry was the country’s biggest income earner and so called modernization was just an accident of unchecked growth. Nepalis were suddenly exposed to the habits of Westerners and saw standards of living that were humanly inconceivable, on television. Surely, democracy had something to do with such material comforts. Emboldened by these images, and with the measured promptings of those that desired such change, the faithful Nepali public shouted for democracy, and were ready to abandon their age old forms of government that had sustained them through history. Unfortunately, the architects of change chose the Indian model of “free for all” democracy rather than understanding the ideas formulated by Adam Smith and Jefferson or even learning from the experiences of the de-colonized.

Decade of Chaos and Disillusion – the 1990s: A truly “free for all” system evolved in Nepal where political parties cropped up by the dozen, governments changed frequently, donor and aid agencies proliferated, tourism and the black market boomed, corruption was acceptable and the monarchy was marginalized. The Nepali identity saw some major ethnic splits, human rights agencies flourished and Nepal slowly began to accept its place as one of the world’s poorest nations. Yet, there was an attraction for donors and tourists alike although Nepal often found itself more dependent on India than on foreign aid. Issues that seemed unimaginable in the Nepali context (some decades ago) suddenly started appearing – pollution, overcrowding, lack of basic amenities for many, unmanageable boarders became everyday issues.

One clearly noticed a difference in the kind of development expert that came to Nepal. The serious minded academics and practitioners were replaced by a fun loving lot that liked to live large, hang out at the club and party. They were more visible at conferences and forums held at Kathmandu’s premiere hotels than in the remote villages of Nepal (or even the Kathmandu Valley) where development aid was most needed. All concerned seemed to be entranced by Nepal’s “raw” beauty and were content to partake of it while summiteers had managed to pollute even the highest vistas of the mighty Himalayas. While the educated and wealthy joined in the festivities, the masses were experiencing marginalization at an unprecedented rate.

The Coming of the Maoists – In keeping with Newton’s “third law of motion” and Jeffersonian warnings of extreme corruption in “democracies” the Maoists emerged as a movement of the deprived and abandoned. There is little left to be said……the “blame game” is on and the once enthusiastic donors have become passive observers, (listening for the warnings posted by their embassies) waiting to catch the next flight out (should things turn drastic).

Who’s in Charge? – In the rollercoaster politics of political parties and groups acting in earnest self interest; the monarchy trying to hold on; the people confused and easily influenced; and the Maoists dedicated to their cause - the one thing that has escaped all concerned is Nepal’s image in the outside world. Increasingly, the country is looking more incapable, petty, ignorant and wholly unable to negotiate….. a child of welfare; an orphan supported by wealthy and uncaring relatives. Nepalis in every capacity have to understand that only “they themselves” are ultimately responsible for their future and that the crucial solution has to come from them. Instead of rejecting the monarchy, the nation has to rally around the issues, using the monarchy as a stepping stone into the future.
This author would like to see a very basic but crucial development materialize; the coming together (literally) of all concerned parties to the negotiating table. Beyond the pettiness and schoolboy tantrums of the political parties and those who stand to gain by the turmoil, lies a whole avenue of dialogue based on peace, tolerance and understanding. In the nation that gave birth to the Buddha this does not seem impossible (yet). Surely, 5000 years of culture and experience can be positively focused to bear upon Nepal’s problems.

The Future - Despite the seemingly bleak clouds on the horizon, there is a silver lining of hope if a sustained and diligent effort is made, focusing on the following:
1. A mutual sharing of power after negotiations that recognize democratic values, and also uphold the long-standing tradition of the monarchy in Nepal. It is important that all political parties put aside their personal ambitions and work sincerely with the monarch, to solve the “Maoist” stalemate. It’s time to get beyond the “school-boy pranks” to pursue a sincere national agenda. On the international scene, Nepal is certainly developing an image crisis that is crying out for stability.
2. The Nepali authorities also need to look seriously into the question of “foreign aid”. Donors should be assessed on their performance and practical contributions and those incapable of performing (not just piling up truckloads of reports and documents) should be made to reassess their efforts.
It is time for Nepal to take stock of its own institutions and determine the level of the nation’s human development.
3. A policy distinction between “trade” and “aid” partners with a renewed emphasis on trade rather than aid (only) would be in keeping with the economic imperatives that globalizing nations are adapting to.
4. All policy and economic initiatives should consider one vital issue – to meet the basic needs of the Nepali masses. This is the very basis of political integrity and success as a nation.
5. Nepalis should place their trust in their ancient (but relevant) human values and spirituality rather than blindly aping other societies. This encompasses the realm of politics, society, economy and national identity.
In conclusion, I quote from an ancient proverb that says: “He who speaks about the future lies, even when he tells the truth….. for every glance behind us, we have to look twice to the future”.


Dr. Viraj P. Thacker received his PhD in International Relations from the University of Adelaide, Australia. He holds a MS in International Development from Iowa State University, USA and a BA in Political Science from Luther College, USA. Dr. Thacker’s research looks at policy issues related to globalization and the South. He is the author of “Globalizaion: The Essentials” that was published in Nepal in 2001 and reviewed by the likes of the “Statesman”, Calcutta, among others. His second book “Exploring the Dynamics of Global Change” (2003) was presented at the Kennedy School of Government when Dr. Clark Miller, a contributing author, discussed his chapter on “Technology and the World” at a forum on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard University. Dr. Miller is the co-editor of Changing the Atmosphere: Expert Knowledge and Environmental Governance which explores how advances in scientific understanding of the earth's climate are contributing to processes of political change in global society.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Msgs from Old Boys 15



Msg from Dr. Viraj P Thacker

Dear Mr. Sharma,
I hope this note finds you well. Just wanted to let you know that I’ve enjoyed your “GMS Blogspot” immensely; the exchanges between old Goats and the accounts of the Centenary have been most heartwarming! I recently received a wonderful letter from Brother Fitzpatrick and learnt that the whole affair was superbly orchestrated –wonderful stuff!
I was in India in June’06 and made it back to St. Paul’s and GMS after 25 years! Cherished nostalgia and a pilgrimage of sorts.
I hope to travel to India at the end of April and will spend time in Calcutta and Darjeeling.
Attached is a family shot and one from my visit to Darjeeling in 2006 (with Rector David Howard at SP).
Warmest Regards,
Viraj P. Thacker.
Goethalite’ 1981
Paulite’ 1984
Dr. Viraj P. Thacker
International Relations/Public Policy
Ph.D. (Adelaide, Australia)
M.S. (Iowa State, USA), B.A. (Luther, USA)
1411 Tracy Lane, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA


Msg from Willy Wu

Hi Radhesh,

Although many of us have left India for so many years,
sometimes you come across some pictures that really
bring back a flood of old fond memories. The following
pictures will surely bring a smile to reflect that feeling.

Willy Wu
.

P S: His trains have been attached with my weekly E-mail...........RSS

29th March 08

Msg from Thondup Sherpa

Chief

Don't let this discourage you.... you are the only link we have with the rest of the GMS Alimni as well as the warmest part of our past ...so hang on

thondup


Msg from John Tresham

My guess at the slow response or no response is that people are and should be careful about identity fraud which in the UK is quite prevalent. As I'm on your circulation, you have my e-mail address
Keep up the good work.

Regards

John
22.03.08.


Hi sir....
I have a suggestion ...you could post it on goethals community in orkut. The response cud quicken...well you could also send it to:gms_2000@yahoogroups.com....

Msg sent by Keith Hayward to Sir, Mr. Lobo which I have been given permission to post.

Subject: Anglo-Indians & A Sweet Love Affair.

Hello Matt, I received your Emails regarding the above subject.
Absolutely brilliant!
The first (Anglo-Indians) I relate with the people, i.e. (Charles
Tresham (News Editor) (R.I.P), my uncle & my cousins,
father (John & Hillary), as well as Lionel Lamb, who knew my father,
(John Hayward) who owned (Jute Mills) who are my cousins.
Uncle, Lionel should also remember my Mum (Blossom Hayward) & Aunty
(Violet Tresham) both are sisters and Burmese. There were 8 sisters.
(Ne,Popen) & 5 brothers .
Lionel should also remember a Journalist named Frank Rice.
Matt, do you have Lionel Lamb's Email ID & address.
Richard, John, Hillary & I would love to be in touch.
When we were back home for School Holidays from Goethals (2 & 1/2 months) we used to go there to Dad's Office or to Uncle Charles's at the Statesman.
Matt, did you know Lionel from Calcutta?
Mahoum's in the New Market (A Sweet Love Affair) also relates.
So many memories!
Santi Vyse related to (Sue &John).
Vyse, whose Father was the Principal at
La Martinere College Calcutta (Boys) now in Perth?
Matt, do you know them? Most of our friends are all in Perth!
I hear Richard rang you. Good for him, Keep him in touch.
Bye for now.

Affectionately,

Keith.



Manish Anand
25.03.08


Msg from Marc Sayce

Hello Marc,
If you see our blog post of 8th March, you will see your photograph with the 1964 hockey team.
You should recognize all the other players in the photograph. I am sure glad I have been able to rekindle memories.
There are quite a few of our boys in Australia.
I'll welcome any old photographs you can send by mail to post on our blog.
Do keep writing.

Radheshyam
24.03.08


Radheshyam,

I am not sure if we ever met, I have been reading with interest your news letters and I guess it has prompted me to at the very least as a matter of courtesy to drop you a note and thank you for keeping us old and not so old GMS boys informed of what is happening to each other.

To introduce myself, my brother Steven and I joined Goethals in 1961 - and departed in October 1967 to immigrate to Australia. As I am sure every ex-Goethals student will attest to it was a wonderful part of our lives. I was fortunate to be there for one of the days of the Centennial Celebrations with my daughters - who later stated that they would not have missed it for the world. They had as good a time as I did.

Once again many thanks for keeping us informed - and hope the attached document is useful to you - I will at a later stage send you some old photographs that I took in the 60's and will send you a copy.
Kind regards,

Marc,


Msg from Raj Bose

Good day Mr. Sharma

Please find my details for your kind perusal



Thank you
Best regards

Raj Kumar Bose


Msg from Ralph Reeves

Hello Ralph,

Sorry to hear of the demise of your friend.
We are all now reaching that age when gradually we will be passing to the other world, some early some late.
We should all make the best use of the life God has given us.
I stay only 6 Km from the airport.
My address being:
188, Bangur Avenue, B-Block, Kolkata - 700055
Cell: +91 9331259878
Landline: +91 33 25740583.
Do come home when you come to Kolkata.
We shall be expecting you.
Best regards

Radheshyam


Hi Radheshyam,
I am attaching my details as requested in the form you sent me. Hope you are well and it's not too hot in Cal. My close friend Saroj Kumar Samantha from Maharaja Nanda Kumar Road died recently. He was my roommate for 4 out of the 5 years when studying for my Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering. A great guy and I miss him dearly. Anyway, I was in touch with his family and the next time I come to Cal, I would like to visit you, so please give me your address & phone number or a way by which I can reach a contact list to find your details.
My best regards,
Ralph


Msg from Prakash Bhartia

I'll try that. Normally I just fill in these forms and when I try getting out, the computer asks if I want to save the changes. I click yes and then I forward this. But no problem. I'll try it differently and make sure it is populated.

Prakash


Hello Prakash,
Thank you for your good wishes.
I too hope you and your family are all well. God normally takes care of the good people.
The data you sent has come as blank. Of course I should not be teaching you but probably you did not save the data you had entered in the form in a separate file. I have been teaching my Class VIII teacher quite a lot about the computer.
After filling it, it should be saved in a different file and that file should then be attached with your email.

Best regards

Radheshyam


Hope this finds you well and in good spirits. I finally filled out the form. Hope it helps. Keep up the good work. Let me know if there is something I can do to help

Prakash


Msg from Merrill Smith

Thanks Merrill,
That explains it.
I was wondering why the poor response.
I will take care of this problem also when we start the interactive Website. Then we will not have depend upon Excel.
Yes, the blog does keep me busy. I am enjoying my semi-retired life.
Cheers
Radheshyam


Hi Radheshyam:
I don't think many people have excel installed on their computers so they are unable to open .xls attachments, as a matter of fact I was unable to open it until I borrowed a copy of excel from a friend of mine & installed it on my computer so I could fill in the form.
I enjoy reading your blogs & it must keep you pretty busy writing it. Keep up the good work.
Cheers
Merrill Smith.
from Ontario Canada
23.03.08

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Down Memory Lane

These photos were kindly sent by Mrs Joyce Grove to Sir, Mr Lobo who posted them to me. I have put them up so that all of you get the feeling of those days.

Radheshyam


It would be great if you could share your memories.
Radheshyam Sharma has a blog site and by adding a FREE gmail address to your present address, you can be a part of what Goethals meant to us.
Hope you enjoy your memory trip back.

Matt



The Washing Room...clapped out of bed , changed and dashed to the Box Room where we had our washes. Troughs replaced the basins. Behind the arches were the showers and the less said, the better !!

The Study Hall cum Concert Hall was on the ground floor. On the right, the concrete section was a favourite spot for the roller-skaters.The wooden corridor on the left separated the Band Room, Stationery Room, Office, and Brothers' Dining Room.

The "REF" is in the same location but with changes.The room behind the door was commandeered for the Vegetarians. There were eight to a table and we were forever hungry !!! Cakes of soap as "ghoos"to certain bearers supplemented the odd extra and if you were one of the fortunate ones with P M, then "Blackie" was a Godsend !


Two Science Rooms for Physics and Chemistry. Some will remember Mr Joseph, Mr A B Roy and Mr Chatterjee...all brilliant Teachers

The Reading Room was on the ground floor of the main building

Pavilion and "Box Room" on Second field. The 'pav' developed cracks and portions were sinking caused by the underground stream so it was demolished and replaced with two very popular 'Handball Courts'. When the student numbers increased these courts were converted into store rooms for trunks. Behind the Boxroom where we had our lockers, is where the 'paniwalla' would stoke the fire for our twice a week showers... can you blame our vintage for being allergic to water !!!Shortcut to Mt Carmel and the path to Rolly Polly, Red Cross, Doctor's Farm and Chimney. Pity about the deforestation, the trees have gone and monkeys now forage for food in and around the school.

The Dormitory. Now there are several "dorms" in different buildings but in my time there was only one with a floor to ceiling wooden partition that separated the Seniors and Juniors. which was in the main building

The Main building in the background on Third Field. On the left ... Today a three storey concrete building replaces the tin-shed classrooms

Chapel What is the Study Hall now that doubles as the Concert hall was the Chapel in my time. The arch still exists and what was the Sanctuary is now the stage

Second Field Senior boys trained for 'Club Drill' while the junior had 'Dumbbells'. On the right of the building in the background is the path that led to Sepoydhura and Range Road, the 'butts' and shooting range where Seniors were given rifle practice.On the right are the "bogs"and Pavilion.

First Field, Quite a change from today. The Cryptomeria (Cripti, as we knew them)is the cypress family, inaccurate named "Japanese Cedar" They would have blocked the view from the top and were lopped in the late 30's

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nahoum's

This article was sent to me by Mrs Santi Vyse
Matt

Nov 2007
Calcutta & Nahoum – A Sweet Love Affair

This post belongs to: Categories/Profile Issues/Nov 07 - Jan 08


Christopher M. Michael

The writer is a 3D artist and animator with an interest in the esoteric. He is also fond of photography and travelling.

Oscar Wilde said, “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it”. That’s surely true whenever you walk past shop F-20 in Kolkata’s New Market- Nahoum & Sons, a Jewish-owned bakery and confectioner’s, tempts one to enter and indulge the senses with aroma and variety.

It’s the start of a new shopping day and shop-owners are just pulling up shutters for business. The sound of metal grates echo through the market and a few shoppers walk down the aisles to see if their favourite shop is open. Nahoum & Sons is one of the few with an early and punctual opening.

I enter Nahoum’s and walk around for a few minutes, looking at the variety confectionary laid out on the shelves. I hear someone asking me to move aside and I glance to my right to see a man carrying a fresh tray of pastries from the bakery. I step aside to allow him passage and he rushes to the shelves and puts the tray on display. While the freshly baked stock is being brought in, David Nahoum, carrying the family’s business well into the third generation, sits calmly behind an antique cash register reading the day’s newspaper. He pauses only to make payments and note accounts, while exchanging casual talk with the early customers. The purpose of my presence there is to approach him and take a history lesson on one of Calcutta’s great establishments.



David Nahoum

David is the grandson of Nahoum Israel Mordecai, who came to Calcutta from Iraq in 1870. Having a background in middle-eastern Jewish confectionery as a trade from his native land, he began selling home-made pastries and delivered door-to-door, catering to the Jewish community who then had a good number of people in the city. He set up a small shop in New Market in 1902, right in the front of the market. The Jewish specialties baked by him like baclava, chesse samosas, fista mulfoof, almond rings, coconut singaras and the rabbinical unleavened bread or matza, had gentile patronage. His plum and fruit cakes became a novelty for the Christmas season. He moved into the present location in 1916.

The same antique decor still stands today, including the zinc-paneled decorative ceiling then imported from Italy and the teak showcases made by fine Chinese carpentry. The classic wooden cash register is around 80 years old, made in Oregon, USA. The size of the shop is calculated as “equivalent to eight stalls, which is the 2nd largest shop area in the New Market”. “I am not parting with it or sub-letting it to anyone”, says David firmly. A few minutes in the place conveys a sense of timelessness. The magical calm conveys itself to customers.

David talks about a business strategy that customers don’t know much about. “We went into Western confectionery as the Jewish population dwindled and began catering more to the general public. Our style and taste was modeled on Angelo Firpo - the Italian confectioner and Flurian Trinca - the Swiss confectioner. These recipes had much more flavour than traditional English confectionery. At Nahoum’s we have maintained my grandfather’s recipes and style of baking,’ he adds. I tell him no one’s complaining.

David tells me that he worked for Martin Burn as an engineer. His brother, Norman Nahoum, ran the shop from 1948 till his death in 1999. After retiring from service and coping with the loss of his brother, David took over the reins of the shop, keeping it going as part of the family business. “Being a shop owner is different from being a run of the mill businessman or salesman. It is a full time job - not everyone can do it.”

I have always wondered why Nahoum’s never opened another shop elsewhere in the city to expand the business. How is it possible to compete with other confectioners, who have opened up franchise shops all over the city? David says, ‘they have done this to cater to the customers working or living in that area, so they don’t have to travel very far for cakes and patties.” He tells me that Nahoum’s never thought of following in their footsteps as this one shop makes total sales; selling whatever is made for the day. Anything leftover, is donated to old-age homes. They have never thought about expanding the business just for a profit.

The shop is frequented by both young and old customers. The young ones take particular interest in the variety of birthday cakes of different shapes and sizes, fashioned on cartoon characters and super-heroes, boats, trains, dolls and houses. “There is no difference in clientele over the years. We cater to the same customers who are also considered third generation, like me”. Just as the business has been handed down from father to son, so have the customer’s, carrying the same tastes down their family tree. It’s quite possible that a ‘sweet gene’ encoded in the DNA of Calcuttans has a special attraction for Nahoum’s!

We change topic when David speaks about the history of the New Market. “Set up in 1874 as Sir Stuart Hogg Market, in my opinion, this is the first multi-shopping mall in the world. Nowhere can you get such a variety of shops in one place selling everything from clothes, jewellery, food stuff, crockery, linen, suitcases, flowers, party favours, etc. Outside you can have a Dosa or Biryani and spend the rest of the day shopping.” The market has a footfall of around 80,000 on weekends. Newer shopping malls have opened up, spewing forth big brand names on Western lines, but they still lack the ‘soul’ which can be found in New Market.

The recently opened underground car park outside the market had been in development for the last three years. Construction extending onto Lindsey Street has ruined the facade of the building. “I was interviewed by a newspaper regarding my opinion on the parking lot; I said it was the ‘death knell’ for New Market. The then Mayor was not amused. In those days, you could walk out and get in your car or grab a taxi. Now you have to park your car somewhere on Chowringhee and walk to the market. Customers coming from Salt-lake or other distant parts have difficulty parking.”

Furthermore, with the current political situation in the city, “frequent rally’s and processions disrupts sales as people are barred from coming to the market for shopping,” says David, with a look of someone who never thought he would see days like this. “We never open on a Bandh for fear of the shop being vandalized.”

He told one the attendant’s to give me a few blocks of vanilla-chocolate fudge to taste while I interviewed him. While savoring the sweet, we are interrupted by a man placing an order for 10 packets of fudge to take to Bangalore while visiting some friends. David introduces me to this customer. “This place has stood the test of time. I was introduced to the shop by my mentor Abraham Sales and have been coming here since 1962,” says Dilip Sarawgi, whose taste-buds drive him down from Salt-Lake. “He tries to come regularly every Sunday”, says David. “If he dosen’t take something home for his wife, he gets some serious stares,” he says demonstrating the same look and having a laugh about it. It is the loyalty of customers like this that puts the shop in a league of its own. David’s friendly rapport with his customers helps maintains their trust and faith in him.

“Our busiest time of year is Christmas which also happens to be Wedding season for the Christian community”, he says. “Before 9/11, we exported about 80 kilos of cakes abroad yearly. But due to tougher air-traffic restrictions and customs it has reduced. However, foreigners still drop in all the time to take back cakes and other goodies,” says David. “Christmas has become a global festival and during the festive season, 95% of the people who are non-Christians, buy our Nahoums’ Christmas cake. It has become a yearly ritual for them.”

“The largest orders undertaken for many years were for the Republic Day celebrations at the Government House for distinguished guests. The variety of items and maintaining a specific time of delivery was strictly looked into”.

With people going in and out all day same famous visitors like Aparna Sen drop in too. Sourav Ganguly’s father-in-law used to send him fruit cakes wherever he was touring. When he once won a tournament and was declared man of the series, a special cricket bat cake was made for him.

The ultimate question on the minds of most customers is – what lies in the future of Nahoum’s? He smiles and says “I don’t know. It is a difficult question to answer. I can’t predict what will happen. I am here now and have no plans on moving. I will continue till I can. I am single and going on my 80th year. My brother’s and sister’s children are all abroad who come for holidays and visit the shop. I can’t say if any of them will be interested in taking over the business, but I do hope one of the children do.”

Whatever the future of this great establishment, Calcutta will always have a ‘sweet spot’ for the New Market shop. The secret to the success of this confectioner extraordinaire has been keeping it - all in the family.


======
To bring back memories of the New Market..
.many would remember my Brother, LOU LOBO (RIP) who was the Confectioner for FLURY & TRINCA and when they split, he made FLURY'S what they were...an Institution.

On one of my visits to Kolkata. Mr JITPAL, the owner of Flury's and Park Hotel said to me, "We are still running on the good name established by your Brother"

Like everything else, Flury's has changed now. For us diehards, not for the better.
Will Nahoum's meet with the same fate?

Matt

Hair today and gone tomorrow: Recognizing and remembering...

From: Richard Johnson (rjj@deakin.edu.au)

The whole issue of recognition is quite interesting and it really confronts one at reunions. In many ways, this Blog provides a space for reunions – you hear names that you had forgotten and when you recall names from the past, you wonder how the person now looks and then you think of how you now look. It can be somewhat confronting, I think. The face-to-face meetings that I encountered at the centenary reunion were fascinating, to say the least. The common denominator is of course that we all looked older, but within that generalisation there were still fascinating variations. There were a few people I just could not recognise and there were names I had forgotten – why, I am not sure. And then, there were those whose names I had completely forgotten and on seeing them I immediately recognised them and remembered their names. Looking at these two pictures then, one such person was Arjun Biswas (GMS 1963, second from the right in the ‘07 reunion picture and third from the left in the Seriously Cool Humanities ’63 picture – see if you can identify the others … answers later…).























The most amazing experience for me was meeting Rajah Banerjee (GMS ’63, see pic. From my ’63 Autograph Book and in ‘07 the picture with ‘KANSAS’).


(Tune into this space and I’ll tell you more about some of the great characters in the group photo a bit later – there are two notables there: Arun Ghazi and Ridhi Pokhral… )

When I first thought about the reunion, in 2006 I imagined there to be a significant lack of accommodation suitable for my wife and I. For example, I had no idea of ‘Cochrane Place’.

But then I remembered a classmate who lived in Kurseong – I could remember his surname of Bannerjee (we tended to call people by their surnames, didn’t we?) and the name of his Tea Estate. So, I summoned Google and entered ‘Makaibari Tea Estate’ and up came this magnificent web site (http://www.makaibari.com/index.html). I emailed immediately though tentatively … was it the same person I knew, could we stay etc. Within an hour I had a response and it was on … the reminiscing, the stories, the names and the networking…

Hello Richard, … Yes I'm still pottering around the place. … As you are the first to contact me, I shall be more than happy to have you and your better half be our guests for the first week of November. … Eugene, I recall as the guy who scooted off to the pav- after being hit on the crown jewels at a cricket match! Obviously he was sans guard! Is jeff the guy who was an excellent elocutionist? A reedy, lanky crew cut topper, a year junior to us?

I replied, trying to place Rajah… I consulted my 1962/1963 Autograph Book…

I do remember: a Science student (Physics & Chem.) very good at Maths., First Division in S.C. I remember the Makaibari car driving up - how lucky to be getting special 'grub' - you getting special hardened cream - ricotta type - a great lump of it in a cloth - sometimes when my luck was in a got a piece - beautiful - I remember it being distributed in the study hall - under the desk of course ... All that seems so long ago 1962/1963...

And it continued:

… I recall two incidents - both concerning expletives. I had muttered "bugger "-and Matt Lobo overheard. He slapped me a couple of times- each time asking me if I knew what it meant. I learnt the meaning swiftly immediately afterwards from no lessa worthy than Archie Scott- where is he BTW. On another occasion - you'd muttered some offensive term- I reckon it was "f---"- and he asked you to leave the class and proceed to the principal's office to address him with your vocabulary. You marched towards the office, with a cloud over your head- halfway across the third field- Matt, asked me to call you back which I did with glee- that certainly was a near miss . Do you have any recollection of this incident? Dorjey Dahdul was with us and is a big wheel in the Sikkim hierarchy…

So, there I was greeting someone I hadn’t seen for forty-four years. I recognised him immediately and there was that connection re-established immediately. Although, I think he had to look and think carefully about me. From the way people reacted there was a general difficulty in remembering me. I think it had a lot to do with my lack of hair. I think that is the factor that renders on most unrecognisable. I think a number of people took me on trust. By the way, I’m not complaining and I prefer baldness to growing my hair long on one side and sweeping it over to cover a balding top or the more extreme solution of growing the eyebrows and sweeping them over the top! By the way, the other guys in the picture are, from the left, Lawrence Keelan, Mohan Shivdasani and Glenn Storey.








Rajah and his wife Srerupa were great hosts. We enjoyed every minute of our stay with them. I didn’t really expect to go to Kurseong to see the most inspiring business venture in Makaibari Tea Estate. If you want to see sustainability, conservation, perma-culture and a true model of joint venture of which the workers are a part, you must visit Makaibari. It is a philosophy in action.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Follow-up of Centenary Activity

Dear Goethalites

You will note from the date that Dr Richard Johnson sent this E-mail, that he wanted the Centenary to be more than just a gathering of ex-students.

In theory he made some headway when he conducted a constructive Seminar where small groups, comprised of current Class Ten students and Alumni.

Hopefully many of issues and problems which were addressed and discussed with those in authority at a separate meeting, will be taken up and change will be effected.

Richard will be the person to contact for further feedback and information concerning the salient points that were of concern and that needed action.

Matt
25.03.2008


16th August, 2007

Dear Basant,

I would like to put forward a suggested activity to the Core Committee for their consideration. I am sure your committee has been inundated with suggestions and ideas already and I would fully understand if you have things planned and my idea does not see the 'light of day'.

My first year in Goethals was 1957 - little would I have thought then that I would be returning in 2007! This reflection has started me thinking- What could someone from 1907 have passed on to me all those years ago that may have helped me in my journey?

It seems to me that the reunion is a great opportunity for us 'old boys' to pass something on to the current generation of Goethalites. I have visualised this idea as passing a baton in a relay (graphic attached). For me, a relay is a good metaphor for a reunion - it illustrates that we are all recipients of benefits from the school community passed on to us by the School, the Christian Brothers, teachers, other students etc. But the relay metaphor also gives us the responsibility to be prepared to pass something on to the current generation of students.

So, I am suggesting a brief activity for the Core Committee to consider (obviously Brother Beddoe's approval would be the key here as it brings together current students with the 'old boys') where in an hour or so we oldies could pass on our experiences to the current students.

It would be unfortunate if we believe that the only experiences worth passing on are success stories - stories of the 'great old goats' who played in Olympic teams and excelled through peak performances. We should acknowledge that everyone has something worth passing on, a few words on - experiences/lessons/wisdom/faith/survival/healing/family Š

The logistics of how this may be done may be varied. Here are a few suggestions and I must say that I am willing to expand on any of these and even play an active role in facilitating the process if that is requested.

o Actual baton may be used and all old boys be invited to pass on a written message to a current student. The message could be placed in the hollow of a baton made of bamboo and passed on to individual students in a 'ceremony'.
o This could also be a session (in the hall) where individuals or small groups of students have the opportunity to meet with 'old boys'.

It would be important to make the exchange, whatever form it takes, not threatening and inclusive, that is allowing all 'old boys' to contribute if they wish. The option should be there for not everyone to take part. I would again stress that I am not suggesting that we focus on 'success stories' defined as peak experiences in sport or some other select field but on life stories based on our experiences that we all share - of survival, coping with challenges, successes, family, healing, faith, relationships Š

I hope I don't sound presumptuous - the Core Committee may well have all this in hand - I just thought I'd make a tentative suggestion. My main concern is that the current students gain something from this landmark occasion when so many ex-Goethalites from all over the world congregate.

Thank you and the committee for the great work you are doing. I look forward to the reunion.

Regards

Richard

--

Dr Richard Johnson
Faculty of Education
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood 3125
Victoria, Australia
Phone: 30 92446438


My reply to Richard with copies to Brother Beddoe, Principal, and Mr Basant Lama, Centenary Member.

Hi ! Richard


I like the idea that you propose i.e. "we should acknowledge that everyone has something worth passing on, a few words on - experiences/lessons/wisdom/faith/survival/healing/family "

The concept is good, however I don't think the exchange of a one on one baton changing with a written message would go down well.
Perhaps, as you suggest, a short one hour GROUP session which could take the format of a "Greet & Meet" where questions from both sides cover the points you have expressed.

This could be recorded on Video/Audio, edited and copies made to attendees at a small cost.
I strongly recommend, because of your expertise in this field, that you participate and chair the event if it is to come about, because of time constraints and monitoring reciprocal participation.


Omnia Bene Facere
Matt

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Girlfriend or Wife

Hi friends,
In this IT age we are always upgrading the hardwares and softwares of our computers.
As matter of fact I have upgraded my computer twice. Next time I'll probably have to buy a new one.
Well, given below is one upgradation which comes in almost all our lives, for better or for worse.
You decide whether your upgradation was successful.

Radheshyam


Girlfriend upgrade to wifefriend
Girlfriend 1.0

Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded Girlfriend 1.0 to Wife 1.0 and noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure. In addition, Wife 1.0 installs itself into all other programs and launches during system initialization where it monitors all other system activity.

Applications such as Poker-night 10.3 and Beer-bash 2.5 no longer run, crashing the system whenever selected. I cannot seem to purge Wife 1.0 from my system. I am thinking about going back to Girlfriend 1.0 but uninstall does not work on this program. Can you help me?


Dear Sir,

This is a very common problem men complain about but is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 1.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a "UTILITIES & ENTERTAINMENT" program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and designed by its creator to run everything. It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the program from the system once installed. You cannot go back to Girlfriend 1.0 because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this. Some have tried to install Girlfriend 2.0 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than original system. Look in your manual under Warnings - Alimony / Child Support. I recommend you keep Wife 1.0 and just deal with the situation.

Having Wife 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Protection Faults (GPFs). You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur. The best course of action will be to push apologize button then reset button as soon as lock-up occurs. System will run smooth as long as you take the blame for all GPFs. Wife 1.0 is a great program but is very high maintenance.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Messages from Old Boys 14

Msg from Mr. Lobo

Hari Om, Sir,

Best wishes to you and Myrna on Easter.
I still remember the Anglo-Indian boys getting Easter eggs filled with chocolates during this time.
Holi is a very beautiful festival where it gives an opportunity to everybody to forget past differences and hug each other.
We visit our relatives at least twice a year, after Holi and after Diwali to pay our respects.
I have put a part of Partha's Holi message on our blog.
This time not only Easter and Holi fell on the same day, but also the Muslim Id festival.
Our government Babus were looking wistfully at the calendars for missed holidays.
Poor chaps.

Warm regards and Hari Om to All.

Radheshyam


Hare Om

Recd this from Partha.
I was in Duliajan, Assam a few years ago where I joined in with my Niece and her family along with their colleagues in Oil India.
It was a colourful celebration.
Easter and Holi in the same week...ecumenical .

Matt


Hari Om sir,

I have included Ashley in my mailing list so that he can receive my mails also.
If you have the E-mail ID's of other old boys, you could copy, paste and send them to me.
If they are not in my mailing list I shall include them so that they do not feel left out.
I asked Basant once regarding the official video but I did not get a clear reply.
I think we will have to write to Bro. Beddoe.
But D K Roy, made one Video, I made one and S P Chatterjee too made one.
Let me see, I’ll try to send all three to you soon.
Thanks for thinking of us.
We are always thinking of you and your family.
We were really obliged to you for your stay with us and leaving behind such beautiful memories.
Today we did Holi Puja.
Tomorrow will be color play.

Radheshyam

Radheshyam

Ashley is just a few years my junior. I sure he would appreciate the GMS news.

R S What news of the official centenary video? I would like to see some of S P Chatterjee's
work downloaded.

Thinking of you and the Family especially during the Easter week.

Hare Om
Matt

Msg from Hugh Porter

Hello Hugh,

Pleased to have received your mail.
Do I put the new ID in the mailing list and discontinue the old one? Or do I send in both please confirm.
You passed out in '57. I had joined Goethals in '55.
I remember you were one on our faster sprinter. If I remember right you were in Red House.
If you have your old and some recent photos, I would request you to send the same to put on the blog.
These letters and photographs have opened floodgates of emotions from past friends.
I am sure your past class mates would also like to know about you now.

Warm regards

Radheshyam

Radheshyam,
I have a new w-mail address: hugh40@optusnet.com.au
Hugh Porter



Msg from Thondup

Dear Chief...

Way to go!!!!!!!! Thank you for this site

Thondup



Msg from Myrna Lobo

Hari Om Myrna,

Thank you for your mail. It was very nice of you.
It was really our pleasure to have been able to take care of sir. I had always wanted him to come and stay with us for some time. It was a long wish fulfilled. Only your presence was missing. During your next visit to India, you too must come with sir to our house and stay for a few days.
I am happy sir is now well and has started writing for our blog. It will keep him occupied. I would also request you too to give us some time and write. I am sure everybody would really enjoy your writings.
Yesterday, I took my wife to see a homeopath and we have started his treatment. Let us see how it goes.
Sir was saying you were renovating the house. Has it been completed?
Do keep writing.

Hari Om.

Radheshyam


Hello Radheshyam,

Firstly I'd like to thank you for taking such good care of my 'old man'. He hasn't stopped singing your praises, and was also very appreciative of your wife's warmth and generosity.

He has already told you about his illness, which was really scary....he had about 5 specialists checking him out, and had numerous tests.....thankfully they were all negative, and it turned out that he had a very serious bout of Influenza B. It has taken 5 weeks, and he has only started to come good in the last 3-4 days.

Matt tells me your wife is not very well. Please convey to her our wishes for a speedy recovery.

Sincerely

Myrna

Wishing All Our Boys a Very Happy Holi

Partha Sengupta has sent a Holi Message.
I have forwarding a portion from it to

Wish You All
A Very happy Holi.
May your lives be as colourful as the Holi Colours

Radheshyam




Quiz

Variety is the spice of life.
Our blogg should have different ingredients.
Lalit Narayan has sent in this interesting Quiz.
I admit I did not know any of the answers.
Do you?
Check for yourself.

Radheshyam


SANTA " is in a Quiz Contest trying to win the prize money US$ 1 Million. The questions are as follows:

1) How long was the 100 year war?
A) 116
B) 99
C) 100
D) 150
===> SANTA says "I will skip this".


2) In which country are the Panama hats made?
A) BRAZIL
B) CHILE
C) PANAMA
D) EQUADOR
===> SANTA asks for help from the University students .


3) In which month do the Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
A) JANUARY
B) SEPTEMBER
C) OCTOBER
D) NOVEMBER
===> SANTA asks for help from general public.


4) Which of these was King George VI first name?
A) EDER
B) ALBERT
C) GEORGE
D) MANOEL
===> SANTA asks for lucky cards.


5) The Canary islands , in the Pacific Ocean, has its name based on which animal:
A) CANARY BIRD
B) KANGAROO
C) PUPPY
D) RAT
===> SANTA gives up.

SCROLL DOWN.......



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If you think you are indeed clever and laughed at
SANTA , then please check the answers below:

1) The 100 year war lasted 116 years from
1337-1453.

2) The Panama hat is made in Equador.

3) The October revolution is celebrated in
November.

4) King George's first name was Albert. In 1936
he changed his name.

5) Puppy. The Latin name is INSULARIA CANARIA
which means islands of the puppies.

Don't ever laugh at SANTA again !!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Holi – Victory of Good over Evil



Just as the Christians have the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost we Hindus to have our Trinity.
Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Provider) and Shiva (The Destroyer).
These three maintain the balance in the universe.
All the three receive their powers form Par Brahma, symbolized by Om.
Om is formless and yet occupies all forms. Whatever we see is a part of Om. Om is All Pervading, Omni Present.
We believe Om is present in animals also and so the first three of our Avatars take the form of animals.
Matsya (Fish), Kurma (Tortoise), Varaha (Wild Boar) were all animals.
The fourth (Narsimha) about which I am going to write was half animal and half man.
Thereafter we have Vishnu in human avatars.
Vamana, Parshurama, Rama, Krishna. Buddha,

All Hindu festivals are occasions for celebrations as they herald the victory of Good over Evil. Be it Durga Puja Festival, Diwali or any of the other festivals for which India is famous.
Our Vedas are full of such stories, which bring out the best and carry a lesson for mankind.
It is said that Lord Vishnu has assured mankind that whenever sinners shall become strong and try to destroy good people and dharma, He shall take an incarnation and come to the earth to destroy evil.
In the Narsimha Avatar Lord Vishnu takes the form of half animal (Lion) and half man.
The story goes thus.

Hirnyakashyap, a demon, was angry with Lord Vishnu because Lord Vishnu had killed his brother Hiryanaksha in his previous Avatar as Varaha (Wild Boar). That is a different story.
Hirnyakashyap would not tolerate the utterance of the name Vishnu in his kingdom. All temples dedicated to Vishnu were destroyed. All sages and religious persons who prayed to Vishnu were harassed, warned and then killed, if they did not obey.
HKP wanted to acquire even greater strength and power so that he could destroy Vishnu.
He prayed and did penance to please Brahma, the Creator. His penance lasted ages.
While he was on penance, the Devatas, led by Lord Indra attacked HKP’s kingdom and took his pregnant wife as prisoner.
(Devatas are the good forces of Nature as opposed the Rakshas, who are the Evil forces).
The Devatas wanted to kill his wife so that HKP’s progeny would be destroyed and they could live peacefully.
But the wise sage Naradji, who is the devata’s sage, advised them not to do so.
He took HKP’s wife to his ashram and recited to her daily all the prayers in praise of Vishnu.
The embryo, which was in the mother’s womb, heard all these praises and became a strong devotee of Vishnu.
HKP’s son Prahalad was born in the ashram.
After birth too, Naradji, continued his teaching of Prahalad so that his love for Vishnu grew more and more and he could thing of nothing Lord Vishnu.
During this period, HKP continued his penance.
Lord Brahma was satisfied with his penance and appeared and granted him a boon.
HKP asked immortality.
Brahma said this could not be granted, as everybody who is born has to die. He could ask for something else.
HKP then asked that no man or beast should have power to kill him, he should not die during the day or at night, he should not die with any weapon nor should he die inside or outside any house or room or on the ground or in the sky.
Brahma granted the boone.
HKP returned home very happy. He thought he was now indestructible.
When he reached home he found that Indra had taken prisoner his wife and he was furious. Just then Naradji brought his wife and his son, who was now five years old and explained what he had done.
HKP was happy with Naradji but still angry with Indra.
With his newfound power he started terrifying the holy men even more.
He wanted his son to have the same hatred for Vishnu but found that his son loved Vishnu.
He tried educating his son by sending him to the school of evil but that had no effect.
On the contrary, Prahalad would convert all the demon children to good.
HKP then decided to get rid of Prahalad.
He tried poisoning him and tried throwing him from the top of a hill but everywhere Lord Vishnu saved him.
HKP had a sister Holika who had been given a boon that no fire could destroy her.
Holika then suggested to her brother that she would help him to destroy Prahalad.
She took the child in her lap and sat on a large pile of wood and asked her brother to set fire to the wood.
She surmised that she would come out unscathed because of her boon and Prahalad would be destroyed.
No such thing happened.
Nothing happened to Prahalad but Holika was burnt alive.
HKP could not take it any more.
He asked his son, “Show me your Vishnu.”
Prahalad said, “Vishnu is everywhere, He is in me, He is in you, He is in the sky, He is in the ground, He is in the wall, and He is in this pillar.
HKP repeated “Is He in this pillar?’
“Yes’” said Prahalad.
HKP then took his Maze and hit the pillar to crush it.
Prahalad closed his eyes and prayed to Vishnu to appear.
Vishnu then came out of the pillar in the form of Narsimha.
After a fierce battle, just as the evening set in, Narsimha took HKP on his lap at the entrance of the room and using the nails of his fingers, he tore open the body of Hirnyakashyap and killed him.
Vishnu thus once again kept His word of destroying evil and allowing Brahma’s boone also to be fulfilled.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Get Together with Matt Lobo

Nani Gopal Kar
A K Gazi, Anup Daw, Manos Chouwhury
A K Gazi, Matt Lobo, Manos, N G Kar, Leslie Mascarenhas,
N G Kar,Matt Lobo, Manos Choudhury
Les,Matt Lobo,
Manos Chowdhury, Bobby Chowdhury,N G Kar,A K Gazi, Anup Daw





Manos Chowdhury organised an impromptu gathering for Matt Lobo at Kolkata Rangers' Tent on the Burra Maidan in January 2008.
It was Netaji Chandra Bose's birthday anniversary with huge processions making their way to this monument and snarling movement around Chowringhee. It didn't deter the Goethalites from turning up on a warm and dusty morning.
It was a nostalgic few hours when Matt was treated to Lunch washed down with amber fluid.

WELCOME TO GULF

Hello friends,

We Indians are always looking for greener pastures, be it Europe, States,Australia, New Zealand or the Gulf countries. We are ready to hop on the next flight to these countries to raise our status in life without caring to work out the economics.
Well. if you would like to work in the gulf, somebody has worked it out for you.
Take a look.

Radheshyam


To make your dreams happen...... ..life would turn out to be a shocker here. The common problem for youth in India is that they want to make too much money in too little a time. They are willing to leave India on the first offer from any country of repute (or even without repute) without considering the pros and cons. As for the millions of U.A.E . aspirants in India ..........guys hold on do a self assessment based on the under mentioned facts:-

· Just don't multiply the AED salary by 11 and convert the
same in to rupee earnings. That would be the first of the many mistakes
are likely to make. The conversion if at all should be done for savings
and not gross earnings.

· If you a married person, consider the cost of family accommodation in U.A.E and more importantly in Dubai

. The minimum requirement of a one BHK (bedroom, hall, kitchen) flat would cost you a minimum of AED 5,000/- per month (not per annum, guys) any where in downtown Dubai . Add a minimum of 15-25% annual increments in rent. Don't expect the salaries to rise by even half that %.

· If you are smart enough to realize that you can look for apartments outside Dubai(Sharjah, Ajman, RAK) to save AED 500 - 750
per month in rent , please allow yourself three to fours hours for
commutation every day(given the present traffic situation, which can only degrade with influx of millions of immigrants every year).Add that to a normal 10 hours day would mean you would end up spending around 14-15 hours a day on job......and you thought family life would be so much fun in Dubai.

· Be prepared to shell out AED 100/- for a routine check up at doctors in UAE ( that is if your company does not cover you with health insurance) . If you are lucky you will not fall ill, but God forbid if you do, then you will have a big hole in your pocket.

· If you aren't used to summers of north India and hail from places like Shimla, then you are in for a treat of your lifetime. Temperatures can run up to 50 degrees on a normal sunny afternoon and such days are pretty regular. And did I mention the humidity levels of 95% .........I am sure I did.

· If you don't have children you are lucky......because if you have 2-3 children going to school...... add at least AED 12,000 (per annum per child) to the cost of living in U.A.E

· You know that petrol here is cheaper and so would be the taxies ........try taking a cab from airport to your hotel ........the meter would touch AED 75-100/- before you will be able to make yourself comfortable in the Country.

· You might have the fanciest of all cars available here, but when it comes to parking the same, you might regret buying one. Imagine roaming around the streets of Dubai for 1 hour just to find a parking space....... ....alas. ....even that's not free........ .don't forget to display your parking ticket .......else a fine awaits you. Parking fee comes to AED 2 per hour for all main roads toll collection also there !!!!!!!!

· Last but not the least of all woes is a triple call rate to your loved ones in India . INR 30 per minute from U.A.E to India ..........whereas as INR 8 per minute from India to UAE ........it must give you an idea what awaits you in Dubai . Don't you dare think you can use skype in Dubai ....... ..guys it's banned and it's illegal..... ...even sites like Orkut are banned here.......so much so for the communication.

So if you are fascinated by the growing number of glam malls in Dubai
..........the ever-changing skyline ............ all the hype and glory that surrounds this place ...........the bollywood stars flocking to Dubai every Thursday night .........the cute cars ........the chic cafés .........BURJ DUBAI....... .BURJ AL ARAB ......Dubai Marina; think twice buddies !!!!!! (Remember what is yours is what you take home after a lifetime in Dubai ).No matter how long you stay here you will still be an expatriate ......no UAE passport .........no home.

Trust me, there's nothing like home!!!

This is GULF

There are some advantages, no doubt. These are:

* Local calls are free
* Petrol is cheaper than water, Payment for drainage too
* Any building construction finishes in 3 months
* Unqualified get more salary than Qualified
* Show-off matters more than real quality & performance
* Laborers are paid less than what they can earn back in their own country
* Companies can kick out their employees without any reason
* Wastas (recommendation) are more powerful than money
* Cleaners have more Wasta than officers
* Watchman has more Rights than the Building Owner
* Office boy & Drivers have more influence on Boss than Manager
* Gulf climate changes so fast, in one hour u can see raining, dust storm, hot / humid / chilling weather
* Gulf is located in desert, still u find greenery everywhere
* If u can't earn money in the Gulf, u can't earn anywhere in the world * In Gulf, time goes very fast, Friday to Friday comes u never know, its sooo fast
* Every bachelor has a dream of getting married and buying a house in India
* U love your parents, friends, relatives 100 times more than when you were together
* Being at home is more painful than being at work
* Indians appear/pretend to be more religious/God fearing than they really are
* Theatres are full of Arab nationals whenever there is a movie of Salman / Sharukh
* Gulf girls sing Hindi songs but don't understand anything
* Prostitutes available, but cheaper than beggars
* Dance Bars and Pubs more than that in B'lore
* A ladies hair saloon every 5 meters
* Food/Grocery delivery to the car
* A Starbucks every 10 meters
* Hard Rock Cafe with no alcohol
* A Shopping Mall located every 5km
* Highway lanes differentiated for slow & fast drivers
* Getting a license is more difficult than getting a car
* Smashed cars are more than bugs
* Parking charge: 2 Dirham for 1 hour - 5 Dirham for 2 hours & so on
* No Queues for women

TRAFFIC SIGNALs TOO ARE DIFFERENT IN GULF:

* GREEN : Signal to go for Americans, Europeans and Indians

* YELLOW : Signal to go for Egyptians and Pakistanis

* RED : Signal to go for Kuwaitis, Saudis & Palestinians

Inspite of all the above, you still decide to go,


Best of Luck

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An Appointment with Dr. P Banerjee

Today, we went to visit Dr P Banerjee, the noted Homeopath.
These Dr. P Banerjee’s have become an institution in Kolkata.
They have been practicing in Kolkata for ages.
While sitting in their waiting room I saw their father’s photographs the Late Pareshnath Banerjee with year 1956 mentioned in the photograph.
So their practice is more than 50 years old.
I went to visit Dr Pranab Banerjee at the Hatibagan crossing. He was supposed to come at 11.00 AM but old age (he is around 75) has slowed him down and he came at 12.45 PM. I agree he is entitled to slow down with age but at least he should inform his patients.
If you want an early appointment, you are to come book your place at dawn.
There was a family who had come at 4.00 am in the morning from Bagnan, about 50 Km from Kolkata to seek an appointment.
My friend S P Chatterjee, who lives near Dr. Banerjee, himself volunteered to set up the appointment for us.
We reached his place at 11.45 am but our appointment with Dr. Banerjee matured at 2.00 PM. He has a very vast knowledge of his profession. My wife was prescribed three types of pills.
I’ll report next week how effective they are.
I pray they work. Seeing her is very painful, so how much more must it be for her.

Radheshyam

P S: I am giving below a list of ten books, which are regularly read by doctors, not Dr. Banerjee but those about whom I had written in my earlier post on 14th October


10. How To Turn a Lung Transplant Into a Vacation Home
9. Your Waiting Room's a Financial Bonanza: The Simple Use of Vending Machines & Pay-Per-View TV
8. All the Things that 9 out of 10 of Us Recommend
7. Chicken Scratch: How to Not Only Write it, But Speak It
6. There's Big Money in Second Opinions
5. "Cat Scans to Bed-Pans" -- The novel that finally puts some humor into diseases.
4. Bedside Jokes to Tell the Chronically Sick
3. Recurring Revenue: Getting Your Share of the Hypochondriac Market!
2. How to Convince a Patient That He or She Needs the Entire Battery Available Diagnostic Tests
1. 101 Places to Buy 6-Year-Old Magazines For Your Waiting Room

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Dam Letters

Rex Baxter on his site site "Jokes of the Day" sometimes posts very good articles. This is one of them.I hope you like it.

Radheshyam


This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania. The man's response follows...

DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County
Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:
Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.
A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.
The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2006.
Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action..
We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
D Price
District Representative and Water Management Division. avid L.

***
Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County
Dear Mr. Price,
Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Pennsylvania.
A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood 'debris' dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials 'debris.'

I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.
My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?
If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.
(Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)
I have several concerns. My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.
If you want the stream 'restored' to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).
So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2006? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump!
Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.
THANK YOU,
RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS


A drunk staggers into a Catholic Church, enters a confessional booth, sits down, but says nothing.

The Priest coughs a few times to get his attention but the drunk continues to sit there.
Finally, the Priest pounds three times on the wall.

The drunk mumbles, 'ain't no use knockin, there's no paper on this side either!

The Rat Race


Some food for thought.
Matt



Such is life...

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, "Only a little while, Senor. "

The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, Senor."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.

Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.

You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But Senor, how long will this all take?"
To which the American replied, "15-20 years."
"But what then, Senor? "

The American laughed and said, "That's the best part.

When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions, Senor? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

"You mean being a Harvard MBA, you have to go thru all that to finally get to where I already am, Senor?"

Monday, March 17, 2008

Island of Calm.


For those in the share market, this is another article by Ajit Dayal from Equitymaster.
We should have been calm like the girl in the centre inspite of all the distractions around. But no, we had to invite all the American vices like Credit Cards, P-Notes, Hedgefunds, Derivitaries to shore up our bourses to give a boost to our egos.
We are paying for it now.
Our Indian system of buying only when you have the money brings more peace and serenity to the lives of the people.
On the other hand the American system of buy now and pay later and eat drink and be merry can only bring sorrow,
You choose which path you will follow.

Radheshyam


Email your friends, cousins, children in USA.
Ask them to walk around their homes and make a list of all the things that they own.
Request them to note down in which country that item was made.
And what that item cost them.
Add it up, get a total for all the “things” they have in their homes: the beds, the tables, the sofa, the chairs, the kitchen appliances, the TV, the stereo, their clothes, their shoes.
Now ask them: how much of these “things” they own have a “Made in India” tag.
If the people you sent the email to are of Indian origin, chances are that they have some Indian furniture, the pressure cooker to make rice, and a few Indian paintings on the wall.
The total value of “Made in India” products may be 5% of the value of all the things they have in their home.
If the people you sent the email to are not of Indian origin, the chances are that the total value of “Made in India” products is likely to be zero.
India, as a country, is not an export-led economy.
India had nothing to benefit from the massive build out in new home construction in USA.
India should have nothing to lose from the massive decline in new home construction.
A recession in USA should have little impact on India’s economy.
Yet, the Indian stock market swoons and twists to every piece of news on the condition and health of the US economy.
Blame our lust to Dance with the Devil for that. (Please read "Dance with the Devil")
India could have – and should have – been an island of sanity in an insane world.
But we chose to Dance with the Devils, we chose to be seen with the beautiful people.
As a thoughtful individual, would you build a house by borrowing short term money? Would you take a loan for this house from people you do not know, even if they were willing to give it to you? Even if they queued up at your door with a bucket of cash?
India needs to build – for a long time.
We have to find homes for some 500 million people. And improve the quality of life for maybe another 400 million people.
We need schools, colleges, hospitals, roads, power plants, airports, ports – the list is endless. The number of people to be helped in some way or the other seems countless. There is so much to do. So much building to be done.
It will take one generation of sacrifice and hard work for a future generation to enjoy the fruits.
All this building needs capital. A lot of capital. A lot of patient capital.
Long term capital that supports this sort of long term building.
But India took the easy way out.
India opened the door for the people in the queue.
The people willing to give us money while the going was good.
Now they want their money back. The times are not so good anymore.
And things will remain difficult for some time.
The world was overwhelmed by greed. Everyone was out there looking for the next free lunch. And they had a lot of free lunches. But nothing is really “free”. There is always a price to be paid. The bill finds its way to you - eventually.
Bear Stearns just got their bill. It is a big one.
One of Wall Street’s most well known firms has been hit by a series of write-offs. It was trouble at one of the funds of Bear Stearns that caused the August, 2007 sell-off in global stock markets.
The world got its first whiff of trouble that something was wrong with the business of lending money to people who can’t really afford to repay the loans they take. The sub-prime business had provided a free lunch to all the distributors and investment bankers who lived off the fees they got from creating these loans. Now the bills were coming home.
In October 2007 the Chinese stepped in to help.
China’s largest broking company, Citic Securities, agreed to buy a 6% equity stake in Bear Stearns for USD 1 billion. And Bear agreed to buy a 2% equity stake in CITIC for USD 1 billion. Since then, the share price of Bear Stearns has declined by 75% and the share price of Citic has declined by 45%.
The Indian stock markets should have been oblivious to all these events.
Yes, the Indian economy is influenced by the events in the US and the developed world.
The recession in USA and slowdown in Europe will mean less consumers shop. There will be less credit card activity and banking activity. There will be fewer bills to be processed. Not good for the call centre business.
Maybe tourism will be hit a bit.
Maybe fund inflows from persons of Indian origin will decline a bit.
Nothing dramatic.
Nothing scary.
Yet, the Indian markets are spooked by all these events and we wait like slaves for “global cues”.
The short term capital was the terrible bridge that India built.
We are paying the price for it.
An island of sanity surrendered to the temptation of the P-Notes.
India’s economy is not coupled to the US or the developed world but the Indian stock markets are very much coupled.
We are stuck in their insanity.
Stay calm. Stay sane.