Happy New Year 2014 at Mahabaleshwar

We have been planning a few places to visit for the New Year and finally zeroed in onto Mahabaleshwar/Panchagni. We hired out a van for our group of eight people and started out around 2 AM from Pune. Our initial break was a few kilometers before Mahabaleswar for a quick morning breakfast. We reached Mahabaleswar around 10 AM. A few of the places we had sighted before lunch were the viewpoint, temples and strawberry orchards. After lunch towards evening we had a little boating in Venna Lake and started back to Pune to reach the city around 11 PM.

We did have an interesting experience en route with a traffic cop asking bribe in a unique fashion — ‘Police Tax’. The picture of the cop and the name board near him showing the various tariffs are indicated here. A report also has been sent to the state administration.

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A Trip to Mumbai

I had an important meeting on 25th and 26th November at Mumbai. Hence started 24th night to Pune station. Yes. The date is indeed interesting. 26/11 in Mumbai and visiting the prime meeting location is enough headache because of heavy traffic to security arrangements.

Though I just had an open ticket got hold of the TTE to purchase an ‘Excess Fare Ticket’ for Mumbai Express from Chennai which came around 12 AM on 25th. The train rolled in to VT (now CST) station around 5 AM. It was another short trip by Andheri Fast train and reached there by 5.40 AM. After checking in to a hotel in Andheri and brief fresh-ups headed over to the meeting at Bandra around 10 AM. Though the meeting got over by 1 PM, I just thought instead of returning back to the hotel and wasting time I would do a little outing. I hence caught a bus to Mahalakshmi temple. Bandra to Mahalakshmi (and yes, the place itself is known by the same name) took around an hour in the traffic. After visiting the temple headed back to the hotel in Andheri around 8 PM.

The second day as usual headed up to the meeting at 9 AM. But now I had the baggage too because I had to check out. After the meeting at 1 PM, I preferred a visit to Prabhadevi (Siddhi Vinayak temple). Prabhadevi is near Dadar and hence had to take a bus from Bandra to Borivali and a fast train to Dadar. From Dadar there are shared taxi rides to and fro for Siddhi Vinayak temple. After a little long wait in the queue and completing the darshan of Lord Ganapathy, returned back to Dadar to catch the Shivneri bus back to Pune at 3 PM.

Shirdi/Shani Shingnapur Weekend

Had been around three weeks since moved to the West Coast of India. My room mate (Sai) told me that the best place to visit around is a day’s tour to the following places:

  1. Shirdi
  2. Shani Shingnapur and
  3. Ranjangaon Mahaganapathy

I hence booked a ticket with Purple Prasanna travels and the bus started on Friday night from near Pimprigaon. It reached Shirdi the next day early morning 3.30 AM at Hotel Vatsala. After a quick freshing up we headed over to Shirdi Saibaba temple for the 4 AM Arathi. It was packed with crowd and after completing the Arathi darshan started back to the pickup point. Our next trip to Shani Shingnapur started at 8.30 AM. Shingnapur is around 70 kms from Shirdi. After completing the darshan at Shingnapur the bus headed over to Ranjangaon Maha Ganapathy. En route there was a halt at 2 PM for lunch.

The bus reached Pune back at 5.30 PM.

My Mobile (GSM) Journey …

S. No. Mobile Image Operator Technology Period
1 Motorola T190  Motorola-T190-01 Airtel GSM 2002-05
2 Nokia 1100  nokia Airtel GSM 2005-08
3 Samsung E1410  samsunge1410 Airtel GSM 2008-10
4 Samsung Alias 2  SCHU750HAAVZW_PA-L_1 Verizon Wireless CDMA 2010-11
5 Samsung Gusto  274402-samsung-gusto-sch-u360-verizon-wireless Verizon Wireless CDMA 2011
6 Cricket MSGM8 4  msgm8III Cricket Wireless CDMA 2011-12
7 LG Optimus  lgoptimus Virgin Mobile CDMA 2012
8 Samsung Dart  samsungdart T-Mobile GSM 2012-13
9 Samsung Galaxy Express samsung-galaxy-express AT&T GSM 2013-14
10 Samsung Galaxy Star Pro Airtel GSM 2014-
11 Nokia Lumia 635 AT&T GSM 2015
12 Lenova A6000 Lenovo-A6000_fonearena-05 BSNL GSM 2015

A Thanksgiving trip to New York

The Thanksgiving Weekend is always a memorable weekend at least in this part of the world. Though it is observed on a Thursday most of the corporate houses give Friday as a paid holiday to facilitate their workforce to take a bit of vacation. The sequence is as below:

  1. 4th Thursday of November: Thanksgiving
  2. Day After Thanksgiving: Wonderful deals at retail outlets
  3. Thanksgiving Weekend (Sat & Sun)
  4. Cyber Monday: Wonderful deals through online shopping websites.

This Thanksgiving we (the N@shua Novelty team) planned out for a trip to New York. Incidentally it also coincides with one of our team members to receive his fiance from India and accompany her to Detroit, Mi from NY. Here was our agenda:

  1. Wednesday afternoon–> Start off to South Station Boston to catch the New York bound Greyhound Bus.
  2. Thursday  –>Sight seeing
  3. Friday –> Sight seeing
  4. Saturday afternoon –> Start back to New Hampshire after lunch

We did package another subtle official work of one of our room mate’s passport renewal at Consulate General of India office. Unlike other places, hotels in New York are a bit expensive and hence we did book a couple of hotels for one day intervals.

Some of the hallmark events of this trip were:

  1. Thursday: Macy’s Day Parade and The Empire State Building observatories.
  2. Friday: Battery NY, Staten Island NY and a cruise around the Statue of Liberty.