Saturday, April 8, 2017

Winston Churchill: A Life

Book "Winston Churchill: a life" written by historian John Keegan is a short biography of Churchill but it gives the complete details about his life, his thought process and events around him when he led his country in second world war. John Keegan seems to be unbiased while describing the character of Churchill. Churchill used his reach to press to glorify himself in wars. Churchill never had a great opinion about India and its citizen, simply because it never fought war or never shown serious resistance towards British.

Book clearly presents the picture on why Winston Churchill was one of the finest prime minister of England. He shown hope to its countryman when everyone was sure about German overtaking the county. He could pulled Unites states in to the war by untiring efforts. Not only this but when German was loosing how he traveled a lot despite his illness just to keep its county head high during negotiations going on between "Big three" countries including Russia and United States.

This Book is one of the best for reading enthusiasts who would like to know about the great statesman of England or hero of second world war.

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Pleasant Trip to Kovalam

Though a travelling enthusiast I could visit Kerala for first time after spending almost ten years in south India. It was a trip to Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari in February end and weather was still expected to be mild. On Thursday evening we left office early and went to Krishnarajpuram station to catch Kochuveli express which reaches Kochuveli station in Thiruvananthpuram in morning. We quickly moved to Kovalam beach which is one of the most famous and beautiful beaches of Kerala. We had booking in Hotel Neelakanata which is on the beachfront only. Hotel is two hundreds meters away from parking but this is not a problem as they send trolleys for luggage. The walk to hotel was interesting along the seafront. Ambiance was not hot but humid. We reached early so rooms were not ready. We had breakfast and then we checked in to the room. Room was clean and comfortable. Quickly we came out to beach and went into water. Our kids were having fun in making sand castle. After a fun of few hours we came back to room. We had a great lunch in hotel's restaurant which serve very appetizing buffet. Then we had a short sleep before going for the plan for rest of the day.

In evening we planned for visit to Padmanabhaswamy Temple which is in the center of the town. This temple is one of the wealthiest and dedicated to lord Vishnu. Like most of the renowned south Indian temples it has magnificent gopurams, dravidian style of architecture and high walls. Approach road to temple entrance was very tranquilizing effect on visitors, with a big pond on one side and old palace on opposite. Men can enter the temple in dhoti and bare chest only whereas women can go in sari. After drashan of deity we had a walk in beautiful and very pleasant premises. A team of girls were performing ritual dance. After coming out we had a short walk in town before we started back for our hotel in beach. It was late evening when we reached back to beach. Soothing sound from sea was making the ambience joyful. All the restaurants on the beachfront were attracting tourists with the fish in display and other items on their menu. We had dinner in our restaurant and then we came out for a walk in night. It was an amazing feeling to walk between calm sea on one side and busy restaurants and bars on other with flashing lights. Lighthouse was showing its powerful torch light on the calm water in sea. We sat near lighthouse for a brief before coming back to hotel for a perfect sleep.

Next day plan was to go to Kanyakumari which is around hundred kilometers from Kovalam. Just after coming out of city our first stop was at Poovar. we hired water taxis or small motor boats to go to Poovar island. Boats were passing though mangroves picturing a perfect greenery schenic place. This drive went through beautiful riverbridges, small jungles, green water and riverside unending coconut trees. In next thirty minutes we reached to island where we spent sometime before return. We headed to Kanyakumari again. It took long three hours as road goes through numerous towns and not very wide. We skipped Padmanabhapuram Palace which was in our itinerary and reached to Kanyakumari in late afternoon. After having a simple but satisfying food near boating dock we reached to dock to catch ship for Vivekananda rock. Wind was blowing mildly. In twenty minutes we reached to Vivekannda rock island which is marvelous, standing tall amidst high wind. View of Thiruvallurar statue is magnificent. After having imperturbable time amid calm breeze, we came back to dock by ship. We went to sunset point which was not very far. Place was a happening abode with every inch occupied by people by time of sunset. After sunset we started back for Kovalam and it was night when we reached to hotel feeling tired but excited.

Next morning I got up early and went for a walk on seafront. Weather was pleasant. After some time we came to restaurant to have delicious breakfast. Fishers's sound was on peak and they were pulling out their net which they put into water on last night. Seeing them fishing was another fascinating experience. We spent a decent time in beach and enjoyed the waves before going to swimming pool of hotel. It was almost noon and we packed our bag and checked out. We moved to Kochuveli station where we had evening train. Waiting room was vacant and we made ourselves comfortable there for next five hours. We had lunch in railway canteen which was surprisingly good. As we had ample time so few of us came out of station and took auto-rickshaws to go to the nearby Veli lake which is another attraction of the town. We just had a walk and few clicks before coming back to station. Our train was on time and we boarded it with lot of foods packed from canteen and nearby dosa shop. Train journey was comfortable. We reached back to Bangalore in next morning with lot of amzing memories and pleasant moments captured in amazing photos from the trip.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Stay in Greenville

I visited Greenville in October on a business trip and stayed there for two weeks. It was my second visit to States and my flight was via Paris again. Unlike last time it was a smooth transition in Paris to take flight to Atlanta. From Atlanta my flight was after five hours but thanks to Delta Airways, they accommodated me on an early flight and I landed in Greenville at least four hours earlier than scheduled. From Airport, taxi took half an hour to reach my hotel "Staybridge Suites".The hotel is situated in outskirt of the town but was near to my workplace. Also it is very near to shopping centers and eateries. The appearance of the hotel is decent and reception was helpful. I asked for a room on first floor. In the lobby there was an uncomfortable smell, may be due to pets. Room was very decent and comfortable for long stay. Breakfast provided is appreciable for a lot of varieties. Dinner in hotel has limited options but fine. For Indian food, nearby 'Saffron' restaurant is the best which serves true and authentic Indian cuisines. I visited this restaurant four times in my two weeks of stay as food there was with a feel like home.

On weekend I went to the downtown. Ambiance of downtown was soothing. I went to Falls bridge which is major attraction of the city. A circular cantilever steel bridge standing high on the falls is perfect photo point. I went down to the falls which is a small spring. This is located in the heart of the town. Walking on nearby roads was mesmerizing experience.

I could meet few people on this trip, had talk about ongoing presidential election, learn about customs in different societies. That is the beauty of traveling when you learn and unlearn so many things about the world you never thought exists.