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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Sanctuary Asia Awards – Inspiring and humbling affair…

Drive anywhere in Mumbai these days, you will see large billboards with DSP Blackrock featuring incredible images of tigers and the company’s support for the Sanctuary Wildlife Awards.

Sanctuary Photography Special Mention - Aditya Singh's In Safe Jaws

Sanctuary Photography Special Mention – Aditya Singh’s In Safe Jaws

It is easy to be cynical in this world yet I must say Sanctuary Asia magazine and its annual award ceremony was an incredibly inspiring, moving and deeply humbling affair.

We were fortunate to meet Bittu Sahgal at a friend’s wedding – a remarkable human being whose genuine passion for preserving nature’s creatures and habitat is infectious!

Beautifully hosted by the enchanting Dia Mirza, the entire ceremony saluted the stories of so many people making a difference.

A few highlights: (more…)

Our Christmas Eve Love Story

Three years ago I was invited to a Christmas Eve party at Christmas Eve Building hosted by theatre personality / advertising guru Alyque Padamsee.

Little did I know how one evening would change my life.

You see… that was when I met my partner.

My partner in crime and I!

Who is that masked man??

From the very first moment, there was something.

The next day a friend and I dropped by Christmas lunch at his home where I met his mother, extended family and friends. Instantly plunged into his nearest circles.

Fuzzy 1st date!

Fuzzy 1st date pic!

Our first ‘date’ was that evening at the Bandra Gymkhana Christmas ball. Can it get any better than a debonair man sweeping you off your feet?

Mad New Year's Party in Bangkok

Mad New Year’s Party in Bangkok

A few days later we flew to Bangkok for New Years. This wasn’t a fancy resort trip, it was to spend time with my adopted family – three siblings, their partners, five kids, parents, two maids and a rambunctious dog in the suburbs. As one sister warned “If he can survive this madness, he’s a keeper!”

Bangkok romance

Bangkok romance

By the time we returned, we had skipped past all the normal dating rituals and started to look for a place to live together.

We just knew… it was that simple.

Cousin's wedding in Calgary

Cousin’s wedding in Calgary

It was the best thing that ever happened and today I give thanks for taking a chance on love and being blessed with such an amazing partner. We enrich each others lives and I am looking forward to a lifetime of adventures together.

Together in New York

Together in New York

PS – In June 2017 we formally tied the knot with immediate family and a few friends in Winnipeg, Canada. And the journey together continues…

Winnipeg wedding..

Related posts:

Agonizing Address Changes – Welcome to Indian Financial Services

As 2014 draws to a close, I’m revisiting my great big long list of pesky tasks that aren’t critical but still kinda sorta need to get done… sometime… You know – the ones you do your best to avoid?

I’ve made ‘progress’ but not exactly stellar:

  • I still have that pesky vexing tax records issue that just doesn’t seem to go away!
  • After changing my address at the Foreigners registration (FRRO)… Guess what? I officially no longer need to even register with the foreigners office at all?! Gaaakh!?
  • Armed with my latest lease and landlord NOC (no objection certificate) trying to track down the form and process to tackle my address update with the Service Tax authorities. After all, I only moved how many years ago?!
  • The “Mr Hickling” gender bender was a pain in the arse but I’m finally officially female (according to Vodafone)

However the worst by far is updating the mutual fund companies. (more…)

Google melting borders – ‘Reunion’ one year later

Last year, my father in Canada sent me a link to a google ad called ‘REUNION

“Have you and every other acquaintance seen the Google ad that has  millions of viewers?”

Aside from immediately recognizing a friend – Auritra Ghosh – it was impossible to ignore the emotional pull of this little ad story.

Reunion is about the fictional reunion between two elderly men from India and Pakistan. They were separated as children during partition with no contact after. Their grandchildren use various google services to help bring them back together.

Seeing this again today was a good anecdote to remind that while politics, religion and atrocities may divide, people still connect on a very human level irrespective of such things.

Today this ad has over 12 million viewers. While fictional, it taps into a deep sentiment that binds Indian and Pakistani people despite all that have divided.

I dare you to not get a little emotional!

Google’s Reunion

For more details, check out:

Related posts:

The majority minority complex – Christmas communalism

I’m a minority. A minority who generally considers herself very fortunate to be blessed with the opportunity to call India my adopted home.

However some elements in the Hindu majority have a ‘majority minority complex’ and recent expressions are quite disturbing.

Fearing losing its place as the majority, certain ‘Hindu’ leaders in positions of political power and influence, are flexing their might with  tactics such as:

  • Telling schools to have ‘good governance‘ activities on Christmas, effectively cancelling the holiday
  • ‘Ghar wapasi’ campaigns with announcements of ‘reconversion’ ceremonies scheduled for Christmas day

Now… good governance is sorely lacking in this country…. (more…)

Bandra’s Equal Streets

Sunday morning I woke to a cool breeze and inclination to go for a stroll.

Now normally this means risking life n limb, dodging all kind of vehicles on the road and trying not to trip on sidewalk hazards.

However that was all before Mumbai joined the ‘Equal Streets‘ movement.

Each Sunday from 7am until 11am, one side of two main roads in Bandra are closed to motorised traffic for community activities. (more…)

Will it be ‘smooth sailing’ or more vexing tax troubles?

I’ve shared past tax grumblings… Now I know you are waiting with bated breath for the update (yeah right!) So… drum roll please!

1. Conundrum of a Canadian living in India working all over Asia

Solved and filed just in time for my flight to Amsterdam… I wanted to ensure it was done, dusted and forgotten (for now).

I’ve dutifully declared earnings less permitted expenses, discovered that earlier estimates of advance tax paid was actually overly generous so it seems that a refund is in order. (more…)

Urban Village – I stand on guard for thee!

It has been a VERY long time since I strolled through the urban village outside our door.

Partly this was because for months I was traveling and hardly home in Mumbai. However it was largely as I simply wasn’t up to the obstacle course with my busted then fragile recovering ankle

However I finally overcame the nervousness of potentially re-wrecking my ankle on the uneven winding paths and took a wander along the familiar twists and turns…

The parrots are inside and post Eid also means the goats are gone. The kitten has become a grandmother with her latest offspring’s offspring doing their own interpretation of a peak-a-boo while a snoozing potted cat was easily spotted. (more…)

Sightseeing Amsterdam’s The Edge

Amsterdam is known for bicycles, canals, gorgeous historic buildings, cheese, fries with mayonnaise, beer, coffee shops & its red light district…

My last day took a bit of a departure from that list… with a rather modern edge!

It started with a delightful breakfast catch-up at a café in Oosterpark followed by a ride on the back of a bicycle to the metro. (pretty standard stuff so far)

And then?

Why naturally hop over to Amsterdam Zuid for lunch in the business district! Isn’t that everyone’s top destination?

Huh? (more…)

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