Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bharat Ratna for Pt Bhimsen Joshi

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was conferred with the highest civilian award of Bharat Ratna in November this year. It was a truly proud moment for indian classical music. There could'nt have been a more appropriate recipient than him as he has already received all the Padma awards in previous years. At the age of 86, he is an institution of hindustani music. Despite standing at such a height in his vocation, the man exhibits such simplicity and innocence that one cannot help getting impressed with this great man. I had the previledge of meeting him a few years back courtesy my friends in SPIC MACAY and the write up was published in the magazine section of 'The Tribune'

Monday, December 29, 2008

lip service

India completed one month of the Mumbai terror attack on friday last. Being shaken out of its slumber by public uproar;the government has taken 'all steps' to warn the perpeterators of terror from across the border, activated its diplomatic channels to arrange a visit of Condoleza Rice to the subcontinent, sacked few persons in 'responsible' positions, so on and so forth. One of the minister is still keeping the public delusion alive of taking 'action' and of 'options open'.
The biggest misfortune of our country is the intellectual mediocrity of our beaurocracy, non committal attitude of the political leadership and most importantly the short memory of the public. India is perhaps most vulnerable to such terror attacks in future due to its vast coastline. The goverment has not decided on any additional measures to safeguard its maritime boundaries. In my previous post, the requirement of coming up with a BIGGER solutions for LARGER issues was highlighted. The government has done 'too little and too late'. Though the vulnerability of having a large coastline hardly requires over emphasis, the meeting on coastline security at central level is slated in the first week of January. By the time any 'concrete measures' of this important meeting will be 'implemented', the country will probably celebrating the victory of the new government and everything on terror will be forgotten till another terror attack grabs the headlines...

A newspaper cutting from 'The Hindu' on the measures taken by government on coastal security

Thursday, December 18, 2008

writing for 'The Vikas'

[originally published in 1993 in 'The Vikas' ( the magazine of Government College of Men, Sector-11, Chandigarh) of which yours truly was the Editor]
'Miracles occur in contradiction not to nature,
but what is known to us of nature'. - St Augustine
Curious things continue to happen in life which shake the solid pillars of science. A vivid dream coming true the next day, telephone call from the person just thought of. A sudden rememberence of past life. Such experiences however were rarely questioned in a country that gave the world the concept of reincarnation. Long before the term 'paranormal phenomena' was coined,ancient Indians had already discovered the 'Ultimate Conciousness'.
In the past threee decades, a band of investigators called 'Parapsychologists' have begun talking of what they claim as 'scientific peep into keyhole of eternity'.
Many universities are probing into their research, what is commonly called 'sixth sense' or technically the phenomena of 'Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP). ESP types are diferentiated for example TELEPATHY is awareness of thoughts of another person. CLAIRVOYANCE is the ability to know of events that have occured. PRECOGNITION is knowledge of the event before it happened. And PSYCHOKINESIS is the power to influence objects with just mind. The unknown factor underlying all these is 'Psi'. Parapsychology studies these 'Psi' abilities.
Real life examples are gripping. Srikant of a village in Garhwal mountains got up one night in fright for he dreamt his father lying in a field bleeding badly. The next day his mother called from Dehradun to give the same news. Srikant just had the clairvoyant experience. Sudhir is an employee of a Delhi restaurant. He got a visual flash that his friend Kapoor is lying on a road bleeding profusely. Sudhir warned Kapoor not to undertake a journey he was planning but he did not heed his advice. Sudhir got a call later in the day that Kapoor had met with an accident. This is an example of Precognition.
Examples of reincarnation are even more interesting where a casual remark triggered the memory. Ajit Sngh in Chandigarh remembered his previous life whwn his aunt remarked "It's so hot today,that even if I die, you don't have to cremate me,I'll just burn up". Ajit replied -- " Nothing happened to me when they burnt me after I died". He then began talking of his life as a magistrate in Rawalpindi.
Statistics are glaring - 82% of people like Ajit remembered their names and other details. In one NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences,Bangalore) study of 250 cases, most people remembered past life at around the age of three and 77% of the cases were deceased persons whom those people claimed to be.
The research in this field is still very much in infantile state. AP University research found that people practicing Yoga and transcendental meditation had higher ESP scores than others. PU Chandigarh research concludes that extrovert students did well in ESP tests. Garhwal University research on traditional faith healers shows that they do exhibit some psychokinetic ability.
But parapsychologists are still to alter the concept of other scientists towards their research. Despite scientific inverstigations on ESP being conducted since 1927, the august American Association for Advancement of Science reluctantly admitted parapsychologists as members only in 1969.

The Editorial Team of 'The Vikas'.

Ist Row -Prof VK Devasher,Dr DR Gupta,Prof Bhupinder Singh,Dr K Tandon,Dr Attar Singh(Principal),Dr N Mittal,Dr Maghar Singh,Prof JP Garg.

IInd Row - Shyam Sunder,Biramjit Singh,Ashwani Saini(yours truly),Nishi Kant,Malkit Singh,Anil Sharma,Nirbhay Kumar,Anil Kumar,Francis Olalo

The magazine was released by Sh Y S Dadwal then IGP,UT (presently Commissioner, Delhi Police) who is also the aluminus of the college.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The purpose of Life

Recently I had a chance meeting with a person who explained me the meaning of our daily used salutation 'Namaste'. Every human being has an element of divine in him/her. The word 'Namaste' means that the divinity in me salutes the divinity in you. I was so impressed with the interpretation of the meaning that I wanted to note it down somewhere but the gentleman requested me to just keep it in my heart for if it stays with me, it was worth knowing it. His request somehow reminded me of the words of Helen Killer -
" The best and most beautiful things in the world
can not be seen, nor touched
but felt in the heart".
I was further inquisitive to know as to why we fold our hands when we greet someone. The explanation transcends the spiritual and appears rather scientific. Our body has (+ve) positive as well (-ve) as negative aura ( another name for charge) in it. Folding of our hands is an endeavour to bring that aura ( charge) to neutral. Man across various civilisations has been seeking to know the purpose of his being on this earth. There are varied explanations for it. Here is one such explanation which I really liked.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mumbai afterMATH!

"The best part being a pessimist is that;
most of the time you are proved right,
and when you are not; you are pleasantly surprised!"
Last few days were spent putting all resources at my command to learn more about Mumbai terror attacks and all such previous acts of terror elsewhere. The purpose was not to give a presentation, enrich my knowledge etc but pure curiosity. The Mumbai carnage has not only exposed our intelligence system but also exposed the lack of will of our political leadership. One thing which clearly emerges out of this attack is the setting up of a higher benchmark of terror activities not only by local standards but also by global standards. By conventional standards, all cities/districts/states must be self sufficient in countering acts of terror but these simultaneous acts of terror in one city forced the government to deploy the best of resouces at its command to contain it. If the entire nation was put on high alert; then, Why this incident cannot be defined as a War on the nation itself???
There is an old saying in Panjabi - मैनू सहे दी नहीं, पहे दी पई है ( While I am concerned about what has happened but what bothers me is, what can happen in future!)
If launching of terror attacks from the sea is going to be the norm in next few years, what steps can we take to secure our maritime boundaries? If launching an attack on one city by handful of terror-hands can neccesitate pooling best anti-terror resources from elsewhere; what if such attacks are launched on two or three cities simultaneously. Should we not consider outsourcing our internal security arrangements to some other agency like the United Nations (UN) ?
There are many questions which have been thrown open by the recent attacks on Mumbai. Small problems can be addressed by small or piece meal solutions but larger issues require LARGER and BIGGER solutions.

Monday, November 24, 2008

GOD tussi great ho!

This Diwali I decided to purchase a handycam. After doing some research I decided to buy a Sony HDD model and finally bought it. As a free gift I got a handycam carrying case, a James Bond twin DVD and a lucky coupon. I felt no need to check about the prize details in the lucky coupon till I got a call this friday from Sony Head Office asking me the details of the purchase,invoice number etc. I had no idea what was in store; the gentleman at the other end told me that I had won the lucky bumper prize ( even that didn't ring any bell to me!!).
After the call, it took some time for me to absorb what I had won --- A trip to Sony Pictures Studio, Los Angeles for self and spouse to include return business class air tickets, three night accomodation at a five star hotel with all meals and airport transfer as per pre-determined itinerary. Now this is what you call a Windfall !! , We are really looking forward to the trip,..GOD tussi really great ho!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Barrak Obama

Having little interest in the US Presidential election 2008,my ignorance of its nitty-gritties is understandable. But I had a chance listening to the winning speech of Barrak Obama, the President elect of the United States. His speech touched an emotional chord with its audience specially his reference to Ann Nixon Cooper and the 'Yes We Can' slogan. His speech was straight from his heart giving assurance to the whole world. After listening to him, I think - Yes HE Can.
I am sharing a nice cartoon which a friend shared with me on the just concluded US Presidential election.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Season of Sports.

Thiruvananthapuram: Having the Trivandrum Tennis Club (TTC) located just across the road from our house, it was giving in to a workable temptation of putting our daughter Mannat for the tennis coaching. To our mind,it appeared to be the best way to channelise her energies. The club has hired the services of Paul Tornquist, a canadian coach to train the young talent. Mannat at the Tennis Club
A badminton tournament was organised by the office on 19 October at Sri Mulam Club in which yours truly also got a chance to sweat it out.
It was a fun filled day for the families too for watching the non-stop action (and humour) at the court.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fauji Diary - The Interview

Having grown up reading 'How to face an interview' columns in magazines like CSR, Competition Master et all, I could barely fathom the quadrants of personality an interview can explore. At a restless age of 20, expecting pre-conditioned responses is the last thing one can expect. So what transpired during my interview before the 20 Service Selection Board at Bhopal in December 1994 remains itched in my memory till date. It was a cold winter morning and I was sitting in front of Maj Gen B R Verma (Jat Regt) who was the President of the Board.
The President was trying to make sense of my heavily scribbled 'Personal Information Questionnaire' (commonly called PIQ Form), when we started off.

President: So Ashwani, how many friends do you have?
Yours truly: ( to prolong the prized interaction, I felt like giving a big figure but settled for less) I have ten friends.
President: What do you talk to your friends?
Yours truly: Anything from politics to personal matters.
President: ( with a pause) personal matters like what?
Yours truly: ( after a gap) like how to propose to a girl.
President: (writes with the pencil like grandmasters in chess do!) so which is the best suggestion you ever gave to anyone?
Yours truly: (interjection..) Sir,...presently I don't give suggestions, I take suggestions.
President: so which is the best suggestion you ever received?
Yours truly: The best suggestion I ever received was,- 'that first deserve and then desire'.
President: ( after taking some time with his pencil ) OK, ...then what do you think will make you deserving?
Yours truly: Sir, the selection in army through this interview will make me deserving.
President: (after finishing with the pencil, prepared with his googli) Ok, you are selected, you've completed your training and have become an officer, you are in your hometown on leave when you see this beautiful girl in the marketplace. You are attracted to her, you go and propose to her and she slaps you on your face, what will you do?
Yours truly: (interjects)...actually, the way of proposing was not correct, I should have got hold of some common friend, get myself introduced and then gone ahead...
President: (smiles with a BIG grin..) Son, don't challenge the situation, give me a solution after the slap incident.
Yours truly: ( confused....., felt like having already lost in this chess-game)(replied after more than one minute of deep introspection) No matter how hard I try, that girl will remain at the back of my mind, I will grow over that slap incident, get hold of a common friend, get myself introduced, cultivate friendship and then propose at an appropriate time.
President: (I could see a deep appreciation on his face, vibes of approval and affection emanating from him) ( I actually expected him to say something, but this time he took out a pen and wrote about four lines) thank you Ashwani, it was very pleasant meeting with you.(we shook hands)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fauji Diary

Thiruvananthapuram: 22 Oct 2008 - A team of senior officers from Army who are attending Higher Defence Management Course (HDMC) at College of Defence Management,Hyderabad visited my Bank today. They are on a field visit to the premier institutions of the country. As I stood greeting them at the gate, my eyes brighten up to see Colonel Rajiv Mahna who used to be my Directing Staff (a term used in army for Instructors) at Officers Training Academy, Madras (now Chennai).He has not changed all these years except for a few more grey hair which lend lot of grace to his personality. I met him after almost twelve years. As I introduced myself to him, I could feel the vibes of affection emanating from him. Colonel Mahna besides being an excellent professional officer; has qualities which are unique to him. When I had joined the academy in 1995, I used to be a 'dead sinker'( a term used for hopeless non swimmers). Despite my sincere effort at learning the skill, I came a cropper for which I was really ashamed. I was about to be given a counselling for not having passed the swimming test, when one day (then Capt) Colonel Mahna reached the pool with his four year old son during the class. He smiled and said something to brighten up the day in his inimitable style. All I remember is that I passed my test on that very day after being motivated by the swimming skill of his four year old son. Twelve years is a long time, life seems to have completed a full circle but I will always remain indebted to Colonel Mahna.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Global Financial Meltdown

With the global financial scene in a gloomy state, and everyone in the banking and insurance sector wondering what is next in store; the entire episode has become an unending ordeal. Since last year, sub prime lending in US mortgage sector was seen as the major culprit. The crisis reached a melting point recently when the 158 years old investment banking firm Lehman brothers filed for bankruptcy. Their bankruptcy will inturn have an impact on the its creditors like Citigroup, Bank of New York and some Japanese and European banks. More trouble in financial markets seems inevitable.
To brighten up the day, one of my friends sent some Bank-Toons which I am sharing here:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Visit to Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari: Kanyakumari derives its name from Kanya Devi, an avatar of Parvati who could not marry Lord Shiva in her life time. It is a great tourist destination, great sights, affordable hotels besides having a number of tourist places in near vicinity. The major tourist attraction is the Vivekananda Rock which has apart from the Vivekananda Memorial, the Sripada Mandapam, which is the temple of Kanya Devi. The temple has foot imprints of Kanya Devi.
The Kanyakumari markets offer a lot of sea shells and other curios at rock bottom prices. Kanyakumari is an excellent destination for a budget conscious tourist.
The view of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Thiruvallur Statue
The only way to reach the Rock Memorial is by means of the ferry boats run by the Tamil Nadu tourism. The main attraction of Kanyakumari is the view of the sunrise and the sunset.
The 'magical' SunriseThe Sunset The Sripada Mandapam (Kanya Devi Temple)

The Vivekananda Memorial which has a meditation room in its basement.

A visit to the place would be incomplete without a visit to the Wax Museum, an indian version of Madame Tussaude. The museum has wax models of Mahatma Gandhi,Benazir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi, Amitabh Bacchan, Shahrukh Khan, Jackie Chan, Jayalalita and many more...these were my favourites

Any tips for me, dear Sir

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ഓണം ൨൦൦൮ (Onam 2008)

Thiruvananthapuram: Onam is the main regional festival of Kerala and is celebrated in the month of September over a period of ten days from atham to thirunam. A number of festivities form part of the overall celebration like elaborate feasts (onam sadya), folk songs, elegant dances, games,elephants,boats and flower arrangements ( pookalam).

Pookalam at the office

The main festivity in the city was at Kanakakunnu Palace which gave a true flavour of the festival; elephants at the gate, traditional dance at the gate and at at number of other places, food festival,craft exhibition,vocal recitals,Kathakali and many more.

The scene at the entrance of Kanakakunnu Palace
Mannat trying out the Mehndi
A scene from one of the dances

The most fascinating dance at the Fest was where 12 girls weave a jhoola during their dance steps for the little lord Krishna. The total feel of the festivity was mesmerising.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Old habbits die hard, they say. One cannot change oneself, how so ever hard one may try. So when Capt Balvinder tagged me, I was caught napping like a back bencher. I had no idea what is to be done when you are tagged. It was only after reading the fellow bloggers that the thought process in me started. The whole idea is to spell out some habits/addictions which are unique to you. Some are in me too, which I am going to share here as it comes to my mind:
  1. Haircut countdown: Everytime I say ' I think I need to go for a haircut' to me wife, she is always of the other opinion. Eversince I remember I have been very ritualistic about the periodicity of the haircut. While being in army, the barber could be summoned anytime, now one has to take prior appointment from the hairdresser or else wait. Hair dresser is a person to be held in high regard as he has the power to make you confident about youself.

  2. slip-over to Punjabi: Being known to be gentle and polite among friends and colleagues, sometimes when I am agitated with someone, I unknowingly slip-over to Punjabi. Having tried my best to control this; my take on this is that since I think in Punjabi, the language just flows out of me.

  3. List fetish: Since one has to function simultaneously chasing various goals in the required timelines, I have always been a slave to preparing lists, though not very perseverant at completing 100% of the tasks in hand.

  4. A stitch in time...: This one generally I dont spell out as it is considered a very feminine trait, but I am very fond of tailoring activity like putting buttons or repairing the clothes. I make it a point to lend it a good finnesse which I have developed over a period of time.
  5. Anti TV: Most of the time I wonder how people are able to watch so much Tv. Most of the time we end up with the information from the Tv which is of no relevance to our lives. Women end up being more sobby after soaps, children end up being more hyperactive after watching cartoons; even the daily news have become unsavoury, advertisements are not far behind, sometimes there is no bottomline and we end up watching the 'Amul Macho' ad half a dozen times in a day.

Having listed the five addictions/ qualities specific to me, I hope I have fulfilled the 'Tag expectations'. Now I take this oppertunity to 'TAG' Capt Bisht, Ratnakar and Sarabjeet to carry out the assigned task of listing their five addictions.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Feedback - Training aboard a Houseboat

Training aboard a houseboat in Kerala backwaters is a very novel idea started by Sterling Events India. 'Infotainment', in the right meaning of the word, the training on one hand explored the beauty of the Kerala backwaters touching the mouth of the Arabian sea, on the other hand offered a chance to learn and refresh the complexities involved in day to day job performance. The ambiance was just perfect for a three day joyride into the lap of nature. The Conference room on the first floor deck of the boat The ground floor housed the kitchen, porch and AC rooms for participants.
The boat explored the vast dimensions of the Vembad lake during the day and was anchored in the evening where a cultural evening of Kathakali demonstration was organised. Kathakali demonstration gives a peep into the basics of the dance form to the audience. The costume generally associated with Kathakali is not worn during demonstration and is only worn while enacting any scene from the epics.
A boat parked for the night.
A fellow participant, Sh Ashok Mishra from Bank of India appreciating the beauty of Kuttanad. The view of Kuttanad paddy fields. The water-bus ferrying passengers to Kochi The luxury cottages which have come up by lakeside
The evening view of the lake is truly magical

Friday, September 19, 2008

Training aboard a Houseboat

I have been deputed to undergo a three day training at Kumarakom Palace Conference Boat from September 24-26. The training program is on ' Leadership Skills for Effective Management' and is being conducted by Sterling Institute of Corporate Conferences & Events, Kerala (http://www.sterlingeventsindia.com/). More about the training event in my next post.

Friday, September 5, 2008


The other day my daughter had her maths exam. In her syllabus,among other things, she had chapters on - How to read time on a watch ? Despite her best efforts, she would somehow mistake half hour to mean 50 minutes or read 3'O Clock as 3 hrs 60 mins and so on. I could somehow relate to her learning woes. Learning about time is perhaps among the first steps towards growing up.
When I was as small as her I had no sense of time. I don't remember if I had any chapters on time. At that stage the summer vacations meant fun, no time to quantify it in weeks,days or hours. We generally spent our vacations at our nanke ( Nanaji's house) at Jalandhar. In those days, TV had not intruded the indian household, going to movies was a once in a while affair and children generally played in various groups either with cousins or with the children from the neighbourhood.
Evening time after dinner was reserved for stories from Nanaji when all the kids will curl themselves on the big manja ( charpoy) for his story. His stories used to be long as they were told in enormous detail. The children were told to give hunkara ( Confirmation) so that he could know that we are awake and are listening to the story. The stories continued over several days; one could catch up the next day if one had missed some part due to sleep. His stories were also thought provoking, always giving out some message in them. I always had questions on the plot of those stories as I always wanted the stories to have pleasant endings as we have in our films.
In all the stories, the characters went through good as well as turbulant time. One such story had a moral which I could recall even today:
आस का बाप,
(a father will always have expectations from his child)
निराश की माँ,
( a mother loves her child irrespective)
चलते की बहन,
( a sister keeps in good stead only if the brother is doing fine)
संग की स्त्री
( a woman will only be a companion if staying together)

Nanaji passed away last year, but his timeless words will always remain with us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

ਧਰਮ ਹੇਤ ਸੀਸ ਦਿੱਤੇ , ਬੰਦ ਬੰਦ ਕਟਵਾਏ, ਖੋਪੜੀਆਂ ਲੁਹਾਈਆਂ, ਚਰਖਾਰਿਆਂ ਤੇ ਚਢਆਏ ਗਏ

Gurudwara Mehdiana Sahib: I visited Mehdiana Sahib in July 2005 when I was visiting the Gurudwaras of Panjab. The speciality of this Gurudwara are the sculptures depicting the various events from the Sikh history. The sculptures leave an indelible impression on one's mind. The various verses which are ingrained in our conciousness are effectively portrayed by means of these sculptures

The Gurudwara owes its development to the untiring efforts of Baba Zora Singh, a one time transporter who is said to have lost his only son in an accident at Canada.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

بسملﻻح ( Bismillah)

Perhaphs the first person to take notice of my blog was Capt Balvinder, whose own blog' Frankly Speaking' is going great guns! (typical fauji lingo). Capt Balvinder is an ex 3 Dogra officer which also happens to be my parent unit in the army. He was commissioned 18 years before me in the same unit. His popularity can be gauged from the fact that he was still remembered in the unit among others by Colonel P S Bhagi and
Colonel S K Sharma, who served with him while the unit was stationed at Trivandrum in late 70's and early 80's. I now work in the same Bank as Capt Balvinder. The above picture is of October 2000, when he had visited the unit at Jalandhar (Panjab) during the Centenary Celebrations of the battalion.

Friday, August 29, 2008

RBI - For Common Man

The other day I was invited for an official dinner at a hotel. As I was waiting in the gallery for others to join in, I involved myself in small talk with the people around. On getting to know that I am from a bank, one of the gentleman wanted to have a specific information regarding foreign exchange. As I was about to get back to him, when during the course of the discussion, he informed me that he has asked for this information from many bankers but none has given a precise reply. I asked for the mail Id of the gentleman with a assurance to provide the information.

The next day, I was lucky enough to get the information online within a few minutes. I immediately mailed the link and almost forgot about the incident till a couple of days later when I received a mail back from him.

His mail somehow touched me, gave me a satisfaction of a job well done. Quite often, we become indifferent towards our job to realise the magnitude of the expectations the other person has from us. It happens all the time, in all situations, to almost everybody. Sometimes this indifference spills to the personal side, towards children, family and friends and so on. The answers we are looking in our life are sometime within reach, only we need to remain organised, balanced and in a state of harmony with ourselves.

I've posted the said link in my links under 'RBI for Common Man' for use by everyone.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Independence day at Thiruvananthapuram

August 15,2008: Thiruvananthapuram- One of the residential colony of the Bank is located inside the compound of the Belhaven Palace at Kowdiar. The Palace has now been converted into the VOF (visiting officers flats) . In the late 80's ,the Belhaven Palace housed the administrative office of the Indian Airforce during Operation PAWAN in Srilanka.
The Independence day is celebrated by the residents of the colony by Flag hoisting in the morning and a cultural program by the children of the residents in the evening. My kids Mannat and Aryaman also participated in one program which was based on 'Mile sur mera tumhara' which used to be aired on Doordarshan a few years back.

Mannat & Aryaman, all decked up before the cultural evening
The Kids giving the salute to the National Flag during the cultural program.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The day I received my transfer orders..

April 16,2008: The entire day was spent at Bhitargaon, a remote village about 50 kms from Kanpur city. My Bank had organised a Financial Literacy Camp for the residents of the village with assistance from the local administration. I had no idea where we were heading or what will be in store. But I guess, that's how life is. It was only after reaching there and interacting with people that I realised that rural india is in such a bad shape. Even till date, the village is without power, drinking water is scarce, agriculture is on the mercy of the almighty.The majority of the population in this village is living below poverty line. We were given a nice welcome by the locals, expecting some big announcement.

I felt awkward for the luxury vehicles in which we were travelling, not sure of what difference will our endeavours will make in their everyday life.
I was totally cut off from the rest of the world as there were no mobile signals. The entire proceedings were stereotype and I felt an unending uneasiness.