Thursday, February 24, 2011

Back from Mexico

I have just been back from a business trip to Mexico city - in 3 words I would describe the city as 'warm people', 'beautiful city outskirts' but 'polluted city centre'. The pollution in the heart of Mexico City really bothered me for the initial few days - red eyes and struggling nose. Air pollution is generally such a predicament, nothing is visible (as in you do not see a layer of black smoke or anything similar around) but the sensitive eyes and nose find it difficult to cope with change of atmospheric cleanliness.

Mexico carries with it a beautiful history, a history of the Aztec warriors who were invaded and conquered by the Spaniards. Over the weekend, on Saturday, I went for a trip to the beautiful pyramids of Teotihuacan. It was a spell-binding experience.

It is a day trip from Mexico city and I took a guided tour from the hotel. Given taxi drivers do not know any English and only speak Spanish (very strange for a city with such a proximity to the US), as a lone female traveller I could only trust my hotel booked tours. The day was well spent in the company of some other tourists mainly from South America and a knowledgable guide who portrayed the city's history as somebody who has lived there since ages and seen it all himself. The fluctuations in his voice added that extra thrill in every story he told about his great country.

I also drank the water from a Cactus plant called agabe, which after fermentation results in the famous Mexican drink Tequilla.

On Sunday I went to a small town of Cuernavaca to see a very ancient and famous cathedral followed by a trip to the Silver City Taxco. Taxco is a sweet little town with lots of silver jewellery on sale. With Mexico claiming to be largest producer of silver, you would expect the prices of silver in this silver city to be lower than anywhere else in the world, but actually that is not the case. On asked why so, 'we have to buy silver from the Government and this way they stabilise the prices and maintain its market price globally', a Silver jewellery manufacturer informed me. The city is on a hill, but the superior quality of mountain roads impressed me a lot.

Overall it was a good experience to visit Mexico. Next time I visit the place again, I will not forget to carry a pollution mask and with me a small vocabulary of Spanish words to communicate with the taxi drivers. Do share with me if you have been to Mexico and shared any similar experiences as mine or anything else that you may want to share! Gracias!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Back with house cleaning

I am back, back with a bang! I know every few months I rise like a phoenix only to get buried again by time constraints. Apologies, but I have been immensely busy with things. However, I suppose never will have enough time or thoughts to blog everyday. I can only say hats off to Amitabh Bachchan who always manages to find time and thoughts to blog even though his schedule is 10 times busier than mine. I will try to follow his foot steps. Just as in my previous resurrections, I have made a few changes to the look and feel of the blog including managing to get approval for the AdSense advertisement feature.

Apart from work which is defined as a job which keeps me quantitatively sound, something more closer to heart and interesting that I have been busy with is my charity work. A blogpost is due where I would like to update you on how 2010 was for the charity along with the recent developments of 2011.

2010 also saw some memorable trips around Europe, to be continued in 2011. The more I see different places in the world, the more convinced I feel that India is a miniature version of the world. It is the most fascinating country which contains the flavour of every possible geographical contour you can find around the world. If you disagree, then please forgive me as I am still in the process of validating the statement by visiting more places. The only thing that we need to work on to really make it a world class place for everybody is cleaning. Cleaning of not only the physical dirt, but also of the convoluted minds! I see the Adarsh Nagar scam on News channels and feel disgusted on the way in which the so called ‘rich’ people do whatever possible to snatch away from those who rightfully deserve things. This is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity in any profession is not too much to expect from anybody, therefore it is high time that we all clean ourselves up.

One thing that scares me when I am travelling in India, which is totally in contrast to travelling in European countries, is the quest of finding clean toilets. Can those who are in public services and reading this blog ensure that there are clean public toilets in your area? There was a point when I really wanted to take UPSC and become an Indian civil servant just so that I can ensure that there are cleaner public toilets than what are available. That dint materialise, but with growing economy in the country, I don’t think this is going to a major investment exercise for the government provided all the money is used for the cause instead of making its ways into the deep pockets.

Some food for thought for you here and some motivation so that you can kick off a cleaning drive in your area; may be the governments should keep awards for nominations of the cleanest state or the cleanest city in the country. Let’s not only have a Green India, but also a Clean India!