Friday, June 26, 2009


“2 more slides … and then it’s done” Indrajit was thinking. It wasn’t new for him to prepare presentations while travelling by air or train. Indra was asked by Samsher to handle a meeting in Jalandhar on behalf of him.

Indrajit Pandit was working with one of the leading Marketing & Strategic planning firms in India. He was a senior manager for Western India region. Samsher Tyagi was his colleague; moreover his very dear friend. Both had started their careers in this company at the same time. They had worked together in Eastern region for 6-7 years to make it most profitable region before they got promoted as senior managers. Indra was asked to manage Western region and Samsher was asked to manage Northern region.

Click here to read more ...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

R i Y A D H -- 2 (Last Part)

Part 2 (Last part)

As the background is set now, let me pen down some more experiences –

5) Mamlaka & Fasiliyah

These are the 2 tall buildings which happen to be the only places of interest in the city. Mamlaka (also called as Kingdom Tower) is a beautiful piece of construction and you can go to the skybridge on 99th floor. Really cool view you get from there. (Link). Nothing special in Faisiliyah though.

Click here to read more ...

Friday, April 17, 2009

R i Y A D H

8 weeks project in KSA (kingdom of Saudi Arabia).. I don’t know what did I feel when I got to know this. It seemed an interesting project to work on. But Saudi?? I definitely had some apprehensions before I nodded my head indicating my readiness to take it up.

Something about KSA:
For those who do not know – KSA is one of the most challenging countries to stay in. They expect expats also to abide by their customs and respect their religious beliefs. You are not supposed to schedule a meeting in thier prayer times (5 times a day). All the shops close in their prayer times (approx 25 minutes for each time; 5 times a day). Women are not allowed to work here in offices (apart from a few exceptions). Women are not allowed to drive in KSA. Yes that’s a fact – believe it or not! And, every woman in the country needs to wear Abaya (Burkha) irrespective of the religion she follows!

With this background, I was set to fly to Riyadh – the capital of KSA. Read more ....

Friday, December 12, 2008

B for Bandhavgarh

6 friends (Dipti, Hemant, Jigna, Jaydeep, Ramkrishna, Sonal) ...
5 safaris ...
4 days of isolation from the mainstream world ...
3 shivery mornings which froze us from hair to you know what ...
2 royal sightings ...
1 experience of a lifetime!

Read more ...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Exotic Egypt

Its been a long long time since I've written something in the "Khabar" series..

This time its "Khabar Egypt ki"..

After almost 6 months I had got an extended weekend - from 1st October to 4th October - Thanks to Eid al Fitr.. My Bahraini friends - Hemant & Vikas had planned for a holiday in Egypt.. I thought it will be a great idea to join them for this trip.. Karan, my roomie in Dubai, was also game for the trip.. So the plan was frozen.. Hemant & Vikas would fly from Bahrain to Alexandria (their port of entry in Egypt) and will reach Cairo by train on the same day.. Karan & I would fly from Dubai and would meet H & V at Cairo directly..

I'm hardly gonna put any historical facts in this khabar as its very complicated and even I wont be sure that whatever i'll be writing is true or not.. For instance - One of the Ramses kings had 200 children.. 80 sons and 120 daughters.. He married some 12 of his own daughters and had children from them.. So the mother of that child was also his sister and aunt.. The newly born will again be called Ramses.. One Ramses king ruled for 67 years and one ruled for 31 years.. Guides tried to explain but it was too heavy a dose to digest within 2 days.. If you are interested, please wikisearch for "Tut Ankh Amun", "Nefertari", "Ramses", "Tuthmosis", "Anubis" etc..

So lets get back to the track and get involved this Egypt ki khabar.. Read More ...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jaane tu.. Ya jaane naaaa..

Saturday afternoon 3 to 5.. Dubai office.. Can we meet to close the filing for PQR company?

I hate such SMSs!

But there aren’t many options available to escape from this situation if your manager sends this SMS to you. And thus, I somehow woke up at 11 o’clock on one of the Saturdays and managed to reach the office by 2:53pm. In spite of being a holiday there were 20-25 people in office, mostly from audit department, trying to complete their pending work. I found an empty desk and settled there. I was listening to Jaane tu.. Ya jaane na’s (JTYJN) title track on my mobile phone using the earphones. JTYJN was still very fresh in my mind as I had liked the simplicity and freshness of the movie.

“Adib, where’s file number 3? I need to see the financial statements and audit opinions of 2007 for ABC company. I had told you to keep that file ready. Can you get that file please?”

I looked up.

Read more ...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bare skies

[ Note: This is the last part (3rd part) of the story "Bare Skies". For the 1st part, click - "It rained that night ..."

and for the 2nd part, click - "Swissed" ]


Abhay could read those questions on Sanchita’s face.

“Too much of travelling dear! Exhausted a bit coz of this jet lag; that’s it!” He replied. Sanchita knew about Abhay’s busy and hectic schedules, so there were no further questions left in her mind.

After having breakfast, they started for Milan. Abhay said, “Lets go via Bern and Luzerne.” Sanchita had a broad smile on her face as she didn’t bother whether Abz gonna drive via Bern or Zurich or Luzerne or any other place for that matter. She just gave him a tight hug.

Highway 18 of Swiss was as beautiful as Sanchita. Abhay took many detours ‘en route as he knew the places in that area really well. Sanchita had been to Swiss before but she was experiencing the real Swiss with Abhay.

1 day stay in Bern, 2 days in Zurich, 1 day in Luzerne, 2 days in Lugano and finally 3 days in Milan………With Abhay….

Sanchita was having the best time of her life!

Sanchita came back to Mumbai from Milan ‘n Abhay got started with his project in Milan. When they were in Swiss, Sanchita had asked about their engagement. Abhay had replied that he’s ready for it but it’d be great if the engagement happens when he completes Milan project. That project was timed for 23 weeks but Sanchita didn’t have any problem with that.

As expected, Sanchita got a deal from Rolex and her life in Mumbai got even busier. Elegance was now spread across 4 metros and she had big plans to take it to even more places in India. Even Abhay was under tremendous pressure as 2 of his team members from Milan project team had resigned and there were no resources available with necessary skillsets. So Abhay was handling their parts of work also. Burning midnight oil had become a routine for him. He had almost forgotten what a weekend feels like. Thrice a day calls had reduced to a call in 2-3 days.

5 months had elapsed since they had met in Europe.

Their communication got reduced to a text message in a day. Sanchita had started getting a feeling that Abhay is going away from her. Sanchita tried twice reaching Abhay over phone. Abhay couldn’t take her calls as he was in a long meeting with Milan International Airport Company’s Director. Abhay returned the call after the meeting and Sanchita felt even strongly that there’s some problem at Abhay’s end. But she couldn’t gather anything specific from their conversation. She thought about giving a call on coming Sunday as Abhay would be working from home and wouldn’t have any meetings in the office.

Abz.. Abz dear.. Please tell me what’s the matter.. Please dear.. Please dear..” Sanchita was worried.

Sanchita gave a call to Abhay’s parents also. Sanchita was in regular touch with Abhay’s parents. She had a normal, casual conversation with them. No traces of tension at all at their side!

“Sanch, I’m under tremendous stress. I need you. Can you come down here? Please…..” Abhay had called Sanchita on Sunday morning at 4 o’clock IST.

Sanchita understood there’s something seriously wrong with Abhay and Abhay needed her badly. But she had to wait for 5 days to get a new visa stamped on her passport. In between, Abhay had called again and had asked Sanchita to fly down to New York as he had wrapped up the Milan project and he was flying to New York on the same day.

It took 5 more days for Sanchita to get her documents in place for a new visa for US; and a day more to delegate the responsibilities for Elegance. She landed at JFK on a bare skied morning. Abhay was supposed to pick her up but she didn’t find him at the airport. His cell was also switched off. She decided to wait for him for a while. While she sat in one of the lounges, she picked a daily from one of the stands.

A small news item on page 5 caught her eye.

Indian professional found dead in his apartment… “Abhay Sheshadri, 33, working with Hudson & Mitchell as Senior Consultant in Terminal Design team was found dead in his apartment in Clayton Towers yesterday night. Garreth Smith, his colleague at H&M, informed police about it immediately when he entered Abhay’s apartment at 9:30pm to meet him. Police have found traces of cocaine in Abhay’s apartment and they suspect drug overdose to be the cause of death. Mr. Smith has also confirmed Abhay’s drug consumption habit of last 5-6 months. He also informed police that Abhay was about to join rehabilitation center in a day or two after his fianceĆ© who was about to fly to US from India. The body is been sent to forensic department for further investigations.”

New York’s bare skies seemed nothing as compared to Sanchita’s eyes.