Paragraph Writing Contest for Mothers

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PARAGRAPH WRITING CONTEST for MOTHERS
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Contest Rules & Disclaimer

1. OKTATA.COM has organized this contest for mothers towards the end of the kids’ summer holidays.
2. There is no entry fee to enter this competition.
3. By entering this competition an entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.
4. Contestants must be 18 years of age or older.
4. Details are provided at http:// oktata.com/paragraph-writing-contest-for-mothers/
5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The contest is open to citizens of India.
6. Entries must be made by Parents/Guardians by using their own email id.
7. The contest will end at 11: 30 PM, IST, on 2 July, 2017. Participants must Click on ‘Join Contest’ at the above link & email their submission to oktataconstests@gmail.com. Entries received after the cut-off time and date will not be considered.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are not received for whatever reason.
9. The contest may be cancelled due to unavoidable reasons.
10. The winner will be notified by email within 15 days of the closing date. If a winner cannot be contacted within 14 days his/her reward will be forfeited.
11. OKTATA.COM’s decision shall be final and no correspondence shall be entertained.
12. The participant agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry.
13. All content submitted by you to OKTATA.COM may be published by OKTATA.COM and OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to preserve, return, or otherwise make available to you or others any material.
14. OKTATA.COM may use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish, and otherwise make use of the Submitted Content in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created—throughout the world and for any purpose—without compensation to you of any kind.
15. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM, you represent and warrant that the Content does not infringe any copyright, trademark, property rights, rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party and that you have the full and unrestricted right to transfer the Content to OKTATA.COM free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.
16. You acknowledge and agree that OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to post, display, or otherwise make publicly available any Content submitted by you.
17. You acknowledge and agree that Content submitted by you may be made available by OKTATA.COM for viewing, rating, reviewing, and commenting by the public. You acknowledge that comments or ratings that you disagree with or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with the Content that you submit to OKTATA.COM. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM you waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to the Content.
18. You agree to hold OKTATA.COM harmless from and against—and hereby waive any right to pursue—any claims of any nature arising in connection with OKTATA.COM’s use of the Content submitted to OKTATA.COM and used in any manner in its sole and absolute discretion.

1. OKTATA.COM has organized this contest for mothers towards the end of the kids’ summer holidays.
2. There is no entry fee to enter this competition.
3. By entering this competition an entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.
4. Contestants must be 18 years of age or older.
4. Details are provided at http:// oktata.com/paragraph-writing-contest-for-mothers/
5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The contest is open to citizens of India.
6. Entries must be made by Parents/Guardians by using their own email id.
7. The contest will end at 11: 30 PM, IST, on 2 July, 2017. Participants must Click on ‘Join Contest’ at the above link & email their submission to oktataconstests@gmail.com. Entries received after the cut-off time and date will not be considered.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are not received for whatever reason.
9. The contest may be cancelled due to unavoidable reasons.
10. The winner will be notified by email within 15 days of the closing date. If a winner cannot be contacted within 14 days his/her reward will be forfeited.
11. OKTATA.COM’s decision shall be final and no correspondence shall be entertained.
12. The participant agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry.
13. All content submitted by you to OKTATA.COM may be published by OKTATA.COM and OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to preserve, return, or otherwise make available to you or others any material.
14. OKTATA.COM may use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish, and otherwise make use of the Submitted Content in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created—throughout the world and for any purpose—without compensation to you of any kind.
15. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM, you represent and warrant that the Content does not infringe any copyright, trademark, property rights, rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party and that you have the full and unrestricted right to transfer the Content to OKTATA.COM free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.
16. You acknowledge and agree that OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to post, display, or otherwise make publicly available any Content submitted by you.
17. You acknowledge and agree that Content submitted by you may be made available by OKTATA.COM for viewing, rating, reviewing, and commenting by the public. You acknowledge that comments or ratings that you disagree with or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with the Content that you submit to OKTATA.COM. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM you waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to the Content.
18. You agree to hold OKTATA.COM harmless from and against—and hereby waive any right to pursue—any claims of any nature arising in connection with OKTATA.COM’s use of the Content submitted to OKTATA.COM and used in any manner in its sole and absolute discretion.

The rules of the competition and instructions are as follows:

• This is a PARAGRAPH WRITING CONTEST for MOTHERS
• Contestants must enter their email and click ‘Join Contest’ at oktata.com/ paragraph-writing-contest-for-mothers/
• The topic is MY ONLINE SHOPPING SPREE
• Participants must write at least 300 words about the topic provided
• Venue: You can write in the comfort of your home
• Files with .doc & .docx extension should be mailed to oktataconstests@gmail.com by 11:30 PM, IST, on 2 July, 2017. Entries received later than that will not be considered. The subject line should bear: ‘Name of the Participant- PWC for Mothers-June 2017’ (e.g. Suruchi Verma-PWC for Mothers-June 2017)
• Speech to Text facility may be used on Android, iPhone and desktop computers since it can speed up submissions. Care should be taken to correct the text after using Speech to Text technology
• Test the Speech to Text service beforehand. Find a quiet place in your home and request family members to support you.
• The winner will receive a Gift Card worth Rs. 250/- of an online shopping portal. Should this not be possible an alternative prize of similar value will be provided.

*Terms & Conditions
1. OKTATA.COM has organized this contest for mothers towards the end of the kids’ summer holidays.
2. There is no entry fee to enter this competition.
3. By entering this competition an entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.
4. Contestants must be 18 years of age or older.
4. Details are provided at http:// oktata.com/paragraph-writing-contest-for-mothers/
5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The contest is open to citizens of India.
6. Entries must be made by Parents/Guardians by using their own email id.
7. The contest will end at 11: 30 PM, IST, on 2 July, 2017. Participants must Click on ‘Join Contest’ at the above link & email their submission to oktataconstests@gmail.com. Entries received after the cut-off time and date will not be considered.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are not received for whatever reason.
9. The contest may be cancelled due to unavoidable reasons.
10. The winner will be notified by email within 15 days of the closing date. If a winner cannot be contacted within 14 days his/her reward will be forfeited.
11. OKTATA.COM’s decision shall be final and no correspondence shall be entertained.
12. The participant agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry.
13. All content submitted by you to OKTATA.COM may be published by OKTATA.COM and OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to preserve, return, or otherwise make available to you or others any material.
14. OKTATA.COM may use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish, and otherwise make use of the Submitted Content in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created—throughout the world and for any purpose—without compensation to you of any kind.
15. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM, you represent and warrant that the Content does not infringe any copyright, trademark, property rights, rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party and that you have the full and unrestricted right to transfer the Content to OKTATA.COM free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.
16. You acknowledge and agree that OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to post, display, or otherwise make publicly available any Content submitted by you.
17. You acknowledge and agree that Content submitted by you may be made available by OKTATA.COM for viewing, rating, reviewing, and commenting by the public. You acknowledge that comments or ratings that you disagree with or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with the Content that you submit to OKTATA.COM. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM you waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to the Content.
18. You agree to hold OKTATA.COM harmless from and against—and hereby waive any right to pursue—any claims of any nature arising in connection with OKTATA.COM’s use of the Content submitted to OKTATA.COM and used in any manner in its sole and absolute discretion.

Water Purifier

We have been using a water purifier for decades in our home. I do remember ages ago we didn’t when we used to live in a locality with 24 hours’ water supply. We could drink water straight from the tap. In the Winters that is. In the summers we had an earthen pot, the Matka, in which water would stay cool. It quenched the thirst much better than refrigerated water. Not only us but every one had a Matka apart from the fridge. The fridge would turn watery when the electricity would go off. And that was frequent.

In due course of time the 24 hour water supply ran dry. We had restricted water supply in the mornings and evenings. Yet, we didn’t need a water purifier. We would store water in various pots and pans and a steel bucket. Gradually the quality of water deteriorated and we had a water purifier installed in our home. It was an Aquaguard by Eureka Forbes.

As time passed by RO Systems (Reverse Osmosis Water Purifiers) came into the market. These were intially very expensive. Now practically all flat dwellers in Gurgaon and Noida use an RO system. In Gurgaon people use RO Systems to clean the borewell water. It is a slow process.An RO system can cost twice as much as the UV system.

I wonder what chai pakoda made with water from an RO system will taste like.

Paragraph Writing Contest for Kids

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PARAGRAPH WRITING CONTEST for students in Classes IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI & XII in India
This contest expired.
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Contest Rules & Disclaimer

1. OKTATA.COM has organized this contest to encourage kids to hone their skills during the Summer Holidays.
2. There is no entry fee to enter this competition.
3. By entering this competition an entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.
4. The details are provided at http://oktata.com/paragraph-writing-contest-kids/
5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The contest is open to citizens of India.
6. Entries must be made by Parents/Guardians by using their own email id.
7. The contest will begin at 11: 00 PM, IST, on 23 June 2017 and the participants must Click on ‘Join Contest’ before that. The contest will end at 11 PM 25 June 2017. Entries received after that will not be considered.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are not received for whatever reason.
9. The contest may be cancelled due to unavoidable reasons.
10. The winner will be notified by email within 15 days of the closing date. If a winner cannot be contacted within 14 days his/her reward will be forfeited.
11. OKTATA.COM’s decision shall be final and no correspondence shall be entertained.
12. The participant agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry.
13. All content submitted by you to OKTATA.COM may be published by OKTATA.COM and OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to preserve, return, or otherwise make available to you or others any material.
14. OKTATA.COM may use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish, and otherwise make use of the Submitted Content in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created—throughout the world and for any purpose—without compensation to you of any kind.
15. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM, you represent and warrant that the Content does not infringe any copyright, trademark, property rights, rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party and that you have the full and unrestricted right to transfer the Content to OKTATA.COM free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.
16. You acknowledge and agree that OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to post, display, or otherwise make publicly available any Content submitted by you.
17. You acknowledge and agree that Content submitted by you may be made available by OKTATA.COM for viewing, rating, reviewing, and commenting by the public. You acknowledge that comments or ratings that you disagree with or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with the Content that you submit to OKTATA.COM. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM you waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to the Content.
18. You agree to hold OKTATA.COM harmless from and against—and hereby waive any right to pursue—any claims of any nature arising in connection with OKTATA.COM’s use of the Content submitted to OKTATA.COM and used in any manner in its sole and absolute discretion.

1. OKTATA.COM has organized this contest to encourage kids to hone their skills during the Summer Holidays.
2. There is no entry fee to enter this competition.
3. By entering this competition an entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.
4. The details are provided at http://oktata.com/paragraph-writing-contest-kids/
5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The contest is open to citizens of India.
6. Entries must be made by Parents/Guardians by using their own email id.
7. The contest will begin at 11: 00 PM, IST, on 23 June 2017 and the participants must Click on ‘Join Contest’ before that. The contest will end at 11 PM 25 June 2017. Entries received after that will not be considered.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are not received for whatever reason.
9. The contest may be cancelled due to unavoidable reasons.
10. The winner will be notified by email within 15 days of the closing date. If a winner cannot be contacted within 14 days his/her reward will be forfeited.
11. OKTATA.COM’s decision shall be final and no correspondence shall be entertained.
12. The participant agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry.
13. All content submitted by you to OKTATA.COM may be published by OKTATA.COM and OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to preserve, return, or otherwise make available to you or others any material.
14. OKTATA.COM may use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish, and otherwise make use of the Submitted Content in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created—throughout the world and for any purpose—without compensation to you of any kind.
15. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM, you represent and warrant that the Content does not infringe any copyright, trademark, property rights, rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party and that you have the full and unrestricted right to transfer the Content to OKTATA.COM free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.
16. You acknowledge and agree that OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to post, display, or otherwise make publicly available any Content submitted by you.
17. You acknowledge and agree that Content submitted by you may be made available by OKTATA.COM for viewing, rating, reviewing, and commenting by the public. You acknowledge that comments or ratings that you disagree with or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with the Content that you submit to OKTATA.COM. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM you waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to the Content.
18. You agree to hold OKTATA.COM harmless from and against—and hereby waive any right to pursue—any claims of any nature arising in connection with OKTATA.COM’s use of the Content submitted to OKTATA.COM and used in any manner in its sole and absolute discretion.

The rules of the competition and instructions are as follows:

• This is a PARAGRAPH WRITING CONTEST for students in Classes IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI & XII in school

• Parents/Guardians must enter their email and click ‘Join Contest’ at http://oktata.com/paragraph-writing-contest-kids/

• There are four categories: Classes IV & V, Classes VI, VII, VIII, Classes IX & X and Classes XI & XII

• Topic for Classes IV, V – MY DREAM HOLIDAY
• Topic for Classes VI, VII, VIII – MY FAVOURITE HOBBY
• Topic for Classes IX, X – MY FAVOURITE SUBJECT
• Topic for Classes XI, XII – AIR QUALITY IN DELHI

• Classes IV & V participants must write at least 150 words about the topic provided

• Classes VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI & XII participants must write at least 300 words about the topic provided

• Venue: You can write in the comfort of your home

• Speech to Text facility may be used on Android, iPhone and desktop computers since it can speed up submissions. Care should be taken to correct the text after using Speech to Text technology

• Test the Speech to Text service beforehand. Find a quiet place in your home and request family members to support you.

• Files with .doc & .docx extension should be mailed to oktataconstests@gmail.com by 11:00 PM, IST, on 25 June, 2017. Entries received later than that will not be considered. The subject line should bear: ‘Name of the student- ‘Class XYZ’- ‘June 2017’ (e.g. Deepak Gupta-Class IV-June 2017)

• The winner will receive a Gift Card worth Rs. 250/- of an online shopping portal. Should this not be possible an alternative prize of similar value will be provided.

*Terms & Conditions

1. OKTATA.COM has organized this contest to encourage kids to hone their skills during the Summer Holidays.
2. There is no entry fee to enter this competition.
3. By entering this competition an entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions.
4. The details are provided at http://oktata.com/paragraph-writing-contest-kids/
5. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The contest is open to citizens of India.
6. Entries must be made by Parents/Guardians by using their own email id.
7. The contest will begin at 11: 00 PM, IST, on 23 June 2017 and the participants must Click on ‘Join Contest’ before that. The contest will end at 11 PM 25 June 2017. Entries received after that will not be considered.
8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries that are not received for whatever reason.
9. The contest may be cancelled due to unavoidable reasons.
10. The winner will be notified by email within 15 days of the closing date. If a winner cannot be contacted within 14 days his/her reward will be forfeited.
11. OKTATA.COM’s decision shall be final and no correspondence shall be entertained.
12. The participant agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry.
13. All content submitted by you to OKTATA.COM may be published by OKTATA.COM and OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to preserve, return, or otherwise make available to you or others any material.
14. OKTATA.COM may use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish, and otherwise make use of the Submitted Content in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created—throughout the world and for any purpose—without compensation to you of any kind.
15. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM, you represent and warrant that the Content does not infringe any copyright, trademark, property rights, rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party and that you have the full and unrestricted right to transfer the Content to OKTATA.COM free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.
16. You acknowledge and agree that OKTATA.COM shall have no obligation to post, display, or otherwise make publicly available any Content submitted by you.
17. You acknowledge and agree that Content submitted by you may be made available by OKTATA.COM for viewing, rating, reviewing, and commenting by the public. You acknowledge that comments or ratings that you disagree with or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with the Content that you submit to OKTATA.COM. By submitting Content to OKTATA.COM you waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to the Content.
18.You agree to hold OKTATA.COM harmless from and against—and hereby waive any right to pursue—any claims of any nature arising in connection with OKTATA.COM’s use of the Content submitted to OKTATA.COM & used in any manner in its sole and absolute discretion.

My Mobile Journey

My mobile phone journey started with a cellular phone. Well, years ago mobile phones were referred to as ‘cellphones.’ Subsequently the word ‘handphone’ gained ground. Now I am seldom mobile without my mobile.

I wanted to buy the Nokia 5110. It was a robust phone capable of taking a few knocks. Just before the shopkeeper handed it to me I enquired about any other new releases. I was handed a Motorola T300. I bought it and was greatly disappointed. Both with the quality of the phone and with my decision of not buying the Nokia 5110. Very soon the company I worked for deployed a CUG plan for all employees and I was handed an LG phone. Then the company policy changed and we were allowed to buy our own handsets. This time I made the right choice. I bought the Nokia 3310. Texting was a pleasure. The dictionary was wonderful. I swapped from one conference call to another. Like a breeze.

By this time I had realized that my mobile phone device would change every year or so. Soon, thereafter I moved to another company and it was time for another device. Yet, again a Nokia.This time it was Nokia 6230i with a camera and Bluetooth. I used the GPRS frequently on this phone and even browsed the net a few times.

The next mobile phone was Nokia 3110. Moving contacts from the old to the new phone using Bluetooth was easy. I didn’t transfer contacts directly between the phones. I first transferred contacts using Bluetooth from the old phone to my computer and from the computer to the new mobile phone using Bluetooth.

Sometime later it was time for another phone change because the Nokia 3110 had suffered more than its share of knocks on the floor. Though I wanted to buy an Android I chose to go in for a BlackBerry Curve 9300 because it had a physical qwerty keyboard. When this wouldn’t go any far even after body and battery changes I opted for a Blackberry Curve 8520. With the Blackberry devices browsing on the phone zoomed up. I browsed in the park, browsed in the parking lot and confess to having browsed in the toilet. The optical track pad was great!

When the time came round for another device change I opted for the Red Mi Note 4G from Xiaomi. The big screen made reading long articles a simple and tiring experience for the neck. The best part was the battery back up of the phone. From that I migrated to a Samsung J7.

I have used an iPhone as well since many of my friends and relatives have one. Certainly the image quality of an iPhone is amazing. My next phone may be an iPhone.

Oktata and Oktatas

I have written this post in English and translated it to Hungarian using the translation service provided by Google. Any error is inadvertent. The English text is provided below the Hungarian text.

Az oktató szó emlékezik egy kemény emberre. A feladat mestere, aki nem szúr semmi ostobaságot. Nem vicceket szórakoztatnánk. Talán egy ilyen egyén volt az inspiráció a Pink Floyd “No need no education” című dalra. Több oktatóval is kapcsolatba léptem, akik épp ellenkezőleg voltak. Arra koncentrálnak, hogy a legjobbat hozza ki egy személyből, felismerve, hogy mindenki nem válhat a legjobbak közé a társaik között. Megértik, hogy mindenki más sebességgel tanul. És azt is, hogy mindenki az oktatási cél egy adott területen más lenne. Két ember tanulhatja a zongorát nagyon különböző okokból ugyanabból a tanárból. Az egyik egy előadóművész, a másik pedig egy sikeres amatőr. Az oktató nem feltétlenül a legjobb személy a területen. A legjobb ember a helyszínen nem lehet jó. Az oktatás megszerzéséhez más készségekre van szükség, mint a tökéletesítőnek a területen. Néhány évvel ezelőtt Novak Djokovic Boris Becker volt az edzője, míg Roger Federer Stefan Edberg volt az edzője. A játék ezen szintjén kíváncsi vagyok, hogy mit mond az edző a hallgatónak. Az indiai krikett csapat tizenöt éve külföldi edzővel rendelkezett. Nemrég váltottak indiai edzőre. Azt hiszem, van egy különbség az edző és az oktató között. Végül is a játékosok sokéves edzésen, kemény munka és többszörös kiválasztási folyamatokon mennek keresztül, hogy a legmagasabb szintű sportot választják.

A Nalanda Egyetem az egyik legkorábbi egyetem a világon. Ki tanított ott? Ki tanult ott? Mi volt a pedagógia? Könnyű volt a felvétel? Hogyan viszonyulnak a mai egyetemek az ő ősi oktatási székhellyel?

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Instructor and Education

The word instructor brings to mind a tough individual. A task master who would brook no nonsense. No jokes would be entertained. Perhaps such an individual was the inspiration for the song ‘We don’t need no Education’ by the Pink Floyd. I have interacted with several instructors who were just the opposite. They focus on bringing the best out of a person realizing that everyone may not become the best amongst peers. They understand that everyone learns at a different speed. And also that everyone’s goal for education in a particular field would be different. Two people may learn the piano for very different reasons from the same teacher. One to be a performer, the other to be an accomplished amateur. The instructor need not be the best person in the field. The best person in the field may not be a good isntructor. To impart education a different skill set is required than to be a perfectionist in the field. Some time ago Novak Djokovic had Boris Becker as his coach while Roger Federer had Stefan Edberg as his coach. At that level of the game I wonder what the coach tells the student. The Indian cricket team had a foreign coaches for fifteen years. Recently they have switched to having an Indian coach. I guess there must be a differnce between a coach and an instructor. After all, the players go through many years of training, hard work and mulitple selection processes to make it to the top most level of the sport of their choosing.

Nalanda Univerity was one of the earliest universities int he world. Who taught there? Who studied there? What was the pedagogy followed? Were admissions tough? How do the present day universities compare with this ancient seat of education?

Dharamshala and Dalhousie

Last month we travelled to Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj, Dalhousie and Kajjiar. We made the trip by train via Pathankot. There are plent of trains from Delhi to Pathankokt. All run full to capacity. I think one of the bookings I made was for the last available ticket!

We travelled Delhi to Pathankot by Dhauladhar Express and made the return journey by the same train as well. I had looked up the net for the difference between Pathankot station and Pathankot Cantt and made the booking for the station code PTK. Pathankot Cannt’s station code is PTKC.

The train starts from Old Delhi Sation. The night time journey is very convenient because one can easily sleep with stretched out on the berth. The train arrived towards 8 am at Pathankot. Taxis are easily available as soon one exits the platform. The greatest benefit of train stations in smaller towns is that they are cleaner and one has to walk lesser.

We took a taxi drop to Dharamshala. Of course, we had deliberated whether to go to Dharamshala first or to Dalhousie. I decided by calling up the hotels and was informed there wouldn’t be much difference either ways.

Here are some photographs of Dharamshala

The road trip to Dharamshala was very pleasant. We had breakfast at a dhaba en route. Delicious paranthas and hot chai. Upon arrival at Hotel Dhauladhar of HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tuorism Development Corporation) we were provided a nice and comfortable room overlooking a garden. There was a big surprise in the room. An air-conditioner with heating. This is usually not seen in India and was least expected in a hill-station. Things have really changed in India.

We freshened up at our pace and went in to the restaurant for lunch leaving all travel planning for later. Afterwards, we out for a walk in the market, Kotwali Bazar, near the hotel. The Dharamshala taxis stand was also close by and we enquired about the taxi fare to McLeod Ganj, Dalhousie and what else could one do in those parts. There were plenty of plans available with fixed rates each covering several points.

We located a small and clean sweets shot with coffee and snacks and had a cup of hot coffee.

Upon returning to the hotel I sought the receptionist’s advice and decided upon a short trip to McLeod Ganj the next day.

The next morning we piled into a hired Alto and drove up to Naddi point near McLeod Ganj and later went to the Tibetan Moanstery.We returned to the hotel by late afternoon and had snacks for lunch at 5 pm.

In the evening we went for a stroll in Kotwali Bazar and found our steps took us to the sweets shop again for another great cup of hot coffeee.

The nights were spent watching TV and having a very slow dinner in the restaurant.

HPTDC is great, of course.

Here are some photographs of Dalhousie

Next day, after breakfast, we started for Dalhousie in a taxi. We arrived late afternoon in Dalhousie at Hotel Manimahes of HPTDC. We were shown into a room with a fabulous view of the mountain range. It had snowed a few days ago and the weather was cold. We went down to Gandhi Market to streth our legs. Here again we happened upon the taxi stand which was close to the hotel and equired about the fare to Khajjiar. Then, we went to a confectionary store and had steaming hot momos.

We were advised to have dinner in the room due to the cold weather. It was an enjoyable meal which was had watching a movie on cable television.

We had a buffet breakfast the next morning. We learnt the short route to Khajjiar was blocked by snow and we would have to take the longer road via Chamba. We were very keen on visiting Khajjiar since it is referred to as the ‘mini Switzerland’ of India. It is a long drive of 3.5 hours by this route. The view at Khajjiar is fabulous. It is a large open ground with Deodar (Himalayan Cedar) trees all around. One can see the snow capped peaks through the tree leaves. At times we could see paragliders soaring up above the tree tops.

It started raining lightly on the way back and we stopped for chai pakoda at a dhaba. We returned just as night was falling and went straight to our room. Room service provided us with chai and hot milk. This was followed by another enjoyable and sumptuous dinner in the room with a movie on cable television.

We were to start our return journey to Delhi the next day. The train was scheduled to leave from Pathankot station at 11 20 pm. We decided to go to the Gandhi Market in Dalhousie in the morning and left for Pathankot after lunch. We placed our luggage in the Cloak room at the Pathankot Station and walked to the City Centre Mall located 5 minutes away. We bought tickets for Badri ki Dulania and followed it with a liesurely dinner in the mall. Afterwards, we walked back to the station. The road felt safe enough. There are shared autos also available.

The train was already lined up on the platform. We collected our bags from the cloak room, located our coach and settled in for the journey back to Delhi.

There were no radio taxis in Dahramshala and Dalhousie. There we no Ola Uber in Dharamshala and Dalhousie.
The mobile signal is straon in Dharamshala and Dalhousie. The internet works fine in Dharamshala and Dalhousie.

Amritsar and Wagah

Last month we travelled to Amritsar by road. Eleven people in a Tempo Traveller. The journey took a long time with a few breaks to stretch legs, have a bite and sip on a cup of tea. Roads have improved a lot in India and it was a smooth journey.

We went to Wagah border near Amritsar for the lowering of flags ceremony at the India Pakistan border. It was very crowded. It was possible to look across the border into the amphitheater in Pakistan when seated high enough.

Afterwards we had a sumptuous dinner and retired for the night.

Next morning we woke up early. Really early at 4 am and got ready to visit the Golden Temple. We arrived at the Golden Temple before 6 am and there were only a few people outside. The adjoining area has been renovated and looked very beautiful. After removing our shoes we dipped our feet into the water at the entrance to the Golden Temple. To our surprise the water was heated!

Inside it was crowded. We realised our visit coincided with a public holiday in Punjab. Afterwards, we visited Jallianwala Bagh.

The air was much cleaner than in Delhi. On the return journey we came across a field in which crops were being burnt.

Since, we had our own bus we didn’t need to hire a taxi. Didn’t see any Uber in Amritsar. Didn’t see any Ola in Amritsar. Didn’t see any radio taxis in Amritsar.

On the way back we stopped at a food court on the highway and had dinner and tea.

We decided a train would have been more comfortable for such a long journey. If possible, an overnight train.

Here are a few photos I clicked.

A Beach Holiday in Goa

Recently I travelled to Goa twice. A beach holiday each time. Doesn’t usually happen. The first trip was self-funded. The second was a reward in an office contest.

Dabolim airport in Goa is much smaller than the Delhi airport. This results in shorter walks in and out of the airport.

The beach resorts were an hour away both times I travelled. The first trip was spent in South Goa and the second trip in North Goa. Both are delightful. There is no Uber in Goa. There is no Ola in Goa. Looks like there are no radio taxis in Goa. But, there are pre-paid taxis available at the airport. Or, one can ask the hotel to provide a taxi. Sometimes, hotels include airport transfers in the holiday package.

I enjoyed my stays at Varca beach and at Candolim beach. A walk on the beach in the morning and evening is refreshing and good exercise. Though I can swim in a pool I restrict myself to floating in the shallow water by the beach. Catching a wave as it comes in and floating on it is a great experience. Para sailing in the Arabian sea is good fun. The boat men suggested we take a dip in the sea with the life belts on and we did after some coaxing. A few minutes of backstrokes a kilometer from the shore is awesome.

Walking along on Candolim road in the night I could hear music wafting out from the cafes along the road. Many had karaokes and it was the guests singing. People of all nationalities throng this road. The breeze is cool and the traffic is gentler than in Delhi.

Here are a few photos I took in Goa.

Odd Even Returns, April, 2016

Just like movie sequels Odd Even is making a comeback. Tomorrow it returns for 15 days.

These links have All You Want to Know about Odd Even in April, 2016

The Financial Express

Zee News

Odd Even formula to say OKTATA to Pollution

Day 1 of the Odd Even formula to curb pollution seems to have gone well. News on TV said that.
I had gone out and counted only 20 even numbered private cars over a 15 km distance. On the drive later in the night past 8 pm there were more even numbered cars. Looks like the people of Delhi are adhering to the Odd Even formula.

Odd-even plan: Delhi, you deserve a bow for rising to the occasion

On Odd-Even’s Delhi Debut, Temporary Drop In Pollution Level: 10 Developments

Odd-even scheme: On Day 1, Delhi’s air quality fluctuates

Phir Milenge