Blog of the Month

Travelogue - Maldives, a reminder that 70% of Earth is Water

Maldives is essentially a group of very small islands. When I say very small, I mean so small that the airport of the capital city of Maldives (i.e. Male) is out of city on another island also known as Hulhule. So basically when you arrive in Maldives, you are on an island which is just the airport! From there on you need to take a ferry ride to whichever island (some of them are privately owned and turned into resorts) you have planned to spend your vacation at.
Maldives is the smallest, in terms of land area, and the least populated Asian country. The average height of Maldivian islands is 1.5 meters above the sea level. Now that means if the polar ice was to melt and the sea level was to rise by 1.5 meters most of the country would be under water!

I had a chance to see a lot of stuff, from the capital city to a rare natural Maldivian beach and from a man-made island to an island that has a ban on motorized vehicles and two-wheelers! I will keep this blog to a few pointers which would…

Are you replaceable?

Around 2013-14, Taxi4Sure was a major competitor of Ola. If I remember correctly, it was also comparatively cheaper. Their phone number was also pretty easy to remember. Infact when you called them, you were greeted by their peppy jingle which was basically their phone number turned into a song - Sixty Sixty Ten Ten (60601010). That jingle is the reason why I still remember their phone number.

Since apps and smartphones weren't as heavily used as they are today, there was an entire process to book a cab. You had to call up 60601010 and their call center would book a cab for you. The best feature was that you could book a cab for a future time, lets say 9 PM tonight. There was also a way to get a cab urgently although it wasn't as efficient as the apps make it today. Now once you had booked for 9 PM, you would receive a text message around 8:30 PM with the driver and cab details.

In early 2015, Taxi4Sure was acquired by Ola. With the arrival of Uber, booking a cab through an App …

Top 5 things to carry on long flights

Long flights are a pain. Much worse than long trains actually because you can never get down from this giant aluminum tube and roam around like you would on a train journey.

There are definitely a few things you can do on long flights and there certainly are a few things you should carry on a long flight. Below are my suggestions on what to carry,

1.A travel pillow and the light blocking eyewear. There is no substitute for sleep and if you want to have a good one these two items are a must have. They will not only avoid the neck pain but also keep you from falling over while asleep. A pair of ear plugs or better yet the noise cancelling headphones will come in very handy because there are usually a couple of kids on the flight who will keep screaming for hours for no god-damn-reason 😁

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2.Carry everything that yo…

Top 4 things to do on long flights

Ever been on a really long flight? More than 12 hours?

It can be a very draining experience to say the least. Before hopping on one, I read a few very lame suggestions on things you can do on long flights (including getting sleeping pills prescription from your doctor!) and none of them actually worked. Below is what worked but before that let me share the lamest of all the lame things that I read during my research,

“If you are on a 16 hour flight, trick your brain into thinking you have 4 flights of 4 hours each.”

This is such a lame suggestion that it doesn’t work after the first 4 hours! 😁

So here’s my two cents about long flights,

1. First of all, it’s totally worth booking an expensive flight if it’s a more comfortable airplane/airline. It will have better services that will just make the entire chore a tad easier

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Silicon Valley in pictures

My original blog on Silicon Valley is here. Below are some of the pictures that couldn't make it to the blog,

A tryst with the Silicon Valley

For an average person working in the IT industry, United States of America is also known as Onsite. And this average IT industry person wants to be onsite, preferably permanently 😉. This involves a lot of discussions with the higher management and might include pleading and scrambling and clawing and every other tactic in the book. Anyways, once in the US you will appreciate the place. After all it claims to be the number 1 country, the super power and the leader of the World. What’s not to like, right?

Well there are certain things you might not like, for instance the flying time to the US from India. Pretty long and totally exhausting! So much so that I have written two blogs on this helping you with what you should carry and what you should do on long flights!

Typically, my travelogues start with a few basics about the place but there isn’t any basic information that you don’t already have about the US, thanks to Hollywood movies and TV series'. So mine was an official trip and …

The 'Poor Mentality' all of us suffer from!

To set the context of this blog, let me cite a relatable situation.

On my recent trip to Dubai, I observed how jam-packed the metro train gets, specifically during the office hours. Equally crowded are the metro stations. Still the folks waiting to board the train stand in a queue and give way to the passengers getting down and board after that. There are times when a metro arrives and there is no space for those waiting to board. Surprisingly, nobody tries to squeeze in. They simply wait for the next metro.

Replicate this scenario and think about our metros and local trains. The queue is missing. Nobody wants to wait for others to get down. And everybody wants to cram themselves in the metro – space or no space.

Both in Dubai and in India, the next metro will obviously arrive. If people in Dubai (Indians included) can be disciplined enough to wait for the next metro, why can’t we wait for the next metro in India? Why do we behave as if the next train won’t arrive at all? As if this is o…

How not to get ripped off while exchanging currency?

This is a ‘sub-blog’ of sorts (check out my original Dubai travelogue here and video playlist here) so don’t expect it to be lengthy. I am discussing currency conversion in this post as it is one of the few tedious tasks you need to take care of before any international travel.

If you don’t want to get into the complexities of converting cash you can get into the complexities of using a forex card. I find the complexities of cash conversion less complex than the complexities of handling a forex card that usually supports only a few countries and might not work on your next international trip. (Sorry for the overuse of the word ‘complexity’ making this post a bit complex right in the beginning 😉)

So the very first thing I want get off the table is how much INR you can carry with yourself if you are looking for conversion at destination? The right answer to this is INR 25000. I have found many different answers all over the web so just wanted to put this up with a picture as well. INR 25…

Dubai in pictures

I have too many pictures of Dubai to share and couldn't include all of them in the original travelogue. So here's presenting just the pictures -

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