Where Leaders Are Made
Al Nahda Toastmasters Club
From The President’s Desk Hello Al Nahdites, Time flies when we are having Fun! Congratulations dear members of Al Nahda Toastmasters on successfully completing 150 glorious meets. This indeed is a great achievement and has become possible due to the dedication and commitments of the members and leaders of this club past & present. I take great pride in the growth of this club. Being a charter member and witnessing the club grow from infancy to its current status has been learning exemplified.
TM Nimmi Shibu ACB, ALB President 2016-17
At ANTC we prioritize fun and believe the learning will come. After all what we learn with pleasure we never forget. In our daily lives we have a set routine and follow the same diligently. It’s during our holidays that we break this monotony and bring in the fun and variety in our lives. Our editorial team shares such stories of our fun loving members which portrays edutainment. “Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; working together is success”- Henry Ford. At ANTC let’s do it together!! Wishing our club many more years of Achievements, Accomplishments and Accolades! Happy Reading and Happy Toastmastering!!
AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
e are delighted to release the first issue of the ANTC Newsletter on our special 150th meeting.
As our Newsletter name “Awakening” suggests ANTC is growing day by day with new thoughts and concepts. The learnings we are acquiring and the idea’s to be shared are numerous. ANTC is an amazing place to learn, to unlearn and to relearn. I am honoured to be part of the ANTC Newsletter.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
My Experiences As An EXCOM Member
We have collated members travel experience and adventures under the theme “The Pursuit of Travel”. The base for any speech is good writing skill and good writing skill develops through passion and when the passion is written as an article obviously it will turn out good. Here in this Newsletter you will find interesting travelling experience of our members and how they turned their dreams into reality.
From Desert To Dreamland
3 Nights With 3 Ladies @ Thailand
I wholeheartedly appreciate all the contributors, irrespective of their busy schedule they devoted lot of time and effort and submitted their articles on time. I would like to give special thanks to our Proof Readers Toastmaster Rajalakshmi and Toastmaster Rajan who came forward passionately and reviewed the articles with a sincere attitude.
To The Home Of Green Mountains
A Memorable Trip
Traveler Or Tourist
Holiday In Its Glory
Jodhpur For Awakening
Learning is a continuous journey, to improve the journey of the newsletter suggestions and criticisms are always welcome. We look forward for your valuable feedback. Last but not the least, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the President Nimmi and to all the EXCOM members for their keen interest and support.
By Toastmaster JEYA DAVID Vice President - Public Relations
AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
Without challenges, success and excellence won’t exist, especially when such a success is meant for the homeland and its fruit is harvested by the citizens. Without challenges, we won’t feel the taste of success and happiness we wish for our
people in this dear land.” Quote from HH Sheikh Mohammed.
My Experiences As An EXCOM Member By Toastmaster SHAFEEQUE ISMAIL
Vice President - Education or me, as an executive committee member, this dear land and citizens refers to ANTC and its members. Every year, seven member are lucky to be selected to serve ANTC in its executive committee. Being an EXCOM is an altogether different experience. It is not same as leading and managing work at office.
While there are many similarities of managerial efforts in office such as planning and its implementation, the leadership style required at Toastmasters is totally different. As an EXCOM member, I am practically learning different styles in motivation and assertiveness. To become successful in our role as EXCOM , this leadership transformation is a must. We are blessed to be in a large club. A large club demands more coordination and ANTC is no different. All these aspects, certainly, increases our inner potential and make us better leaders. Thanks to the ANTC President TM Nimmi, we are functioning as a team and learning to serve the club. There are many members who have extended a helping hand to EXCOM , whenever and wherever needed. Without stating each and everyone’s name, I would like to thank everyone for their magnanimous efforts. Having visited different Toastmasters club in the last two years, I am proud to say that team spirit, wit, sincerity and friendliness in a single package is something unique to our club. Within our Division, our club is recognized for the success in the contests at different levels. Many of our members are well known due to their activeness in leadership events, communication skills etc. As ANTC, we should strive to be No.1 in all things we set out to do. “We, in the UAE, have no such word as “impossible”; it does not exist in our lexicon. Such a word is used by the lazy and the weak, who fear challenges and progress. When one doubts his potential and capabilities as well as his confidence, he will lose the compass that leads him to success and excellence, thus failing to achieve his goal. I require you, to insist on number one.” Quote from HH Sheikh Mohammed.
AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
September-2016, ,Vol: 1
From Desert To Dreamland By Toastmaster VIJI JOHN
n the year 1995, the Shahrukh Khan starrer DDLJ was released in India. I was in my final year in college. As usual, I watched the movie first day first show. The movie became an all-time hit. Shahrukh and Kajol rose to stardom. The world enjoyed the beautiful sceneries of the Paradise On Earth, Switzerland. I am lucky to visit all the places wher e DDLJ was shot after 20 years of its release with my entire family - my wife, my two brothers and two sisters, who joined us from Qatar, Italy and New Delhi. We all joined together at Zurich airport on a chilly morning. For us, it was not just a trip, It was a dream, a fascination and finally a reality. A seven hours flight from a place which was 50 degree Celsius temperature to a land of 6 degree Celsius temperature. From the Desert to the dreamland! We were dumbfounded by the overwhelming beauty of the lush greenery of the Swiss Alps.
It was a dream, a fascination and finally a reality.
What a feeling it was! It took me some time to realize that I am actually in my dream land. Switzerland is a small country that sits smack dab in the middle of the Alps, with 360 degrees of astounding and breath-taking scenery everywhere. It is a land painted blue, green and white by the lakes, dense tr ees and snow-capped mountains. The picturesque valleys and the magnificent Alps boosted the appetite of my scenic-hungry camera. As I love to see the beauty through my camera lens rather than directly with my naked eyes, I decided to capture each and every scenic spot at the drop of the hat. We spent our first day in Zurich, one of the biggest city of Swiss. Then we proceeded to Rhine Waterfalls in our luxury coach to spend the afternoon. Rhine waterfalls gave us rejuvenating feeling with a bonus boating in the river, under the 30 meter waterfall. My passion to capture the untouched and beautiful nature in the villages led me to the countryside whilst my tour-mates enthusiastically headed to the Jungfrau peak, another most beautiful attraction in Switzerland. This experience of walking on the country side can be put in three words, unbelievable, hypnotizing and enthralling. My eyes dr ank the natur eâ€™s beauty like a thirsty traveller gulping water from an oasis in the desert.
AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
What a feeling it was! It
took me some time to realize that I am actually in my dream
Next day was another memorable day.. we were taken to the Mount Titlis, the famous ice mountain where most of the scenes of DDLJ were shot.. Big man-sized cut-outs of Shahrukh Khan and Kajol welcomed us on top of the Titlis Mountain . Most of the men were found clicking photos with Kajol in different poses and the ladies made the most of the Shahrukh Khan cut out. The breathtaking cable car ride over the valley to the mountain peak provided us a panoramic view of the forests, ice filled mountains and the water falls. The spectacular view of the mount Titlis and the walk on the hanging bridge between the two mountains was exhilarating experiences for us. Here goes the most exciting places of this dream land you should not miss in your trips.. For relaxation, visit Geneva and Luzern and the Swiss villages. Those seeking an adventure, don’t miss Ticino- the world famous bungee jump which costs only 200 Franks For another breathtaking experience, take the Glacier express rail through Alps mountains, chocolate factories and mountain adventures in Jungfrau and Titlis
Writer’s Advice Holidays are moments to be cherished forever.. please don’t forget to carry a good camera with you specially when you visit a country like Switzerland.
AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
Leh’d Back! By Toastmaster SMITA AJIT ”Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just been cleared to land at Kushok Bakula Rimpoche airport, also known as Leh airport. The local time is 10 in the morning and the temperature is 17 degrees Celsius. I would like to thank you for joining us on this trip and we are looking forward to seeing you onboard again”.
I learnt that adventures are the best way to grow, learn and most importantly to meet the real you! I learnt that life begins at the end of your comfort zone!
The crew’s announcement came as I had the first glimpse of the brown barren snow layered mountains greeting me. That was a welcome I can never forget. I pinched myself, to see if it’s true. Yes, I have finally made it. A solo trip, without my family, in the company of ten unknown girls! Worrying about my little daughter, who I had left with her father and the excitement and anxiety to experience the beautiful Ladakh with complete strangers boggled my mind- I did not realize it was possible to feel almost every contrasting emotion at the same time! As I alighted from the aircraft, I could see large army presence all over, due to the proximity of Indo China border. I saw the travel buddy waiting for the group of girls. Each one of us who joined the team had a similar amusement in their faces. We clearly did not know what to expect from such a journey. A bus was arranged to the hotel for the girls. A few came with their friends group, and a few others, solo travellers like me. I had a sigh of relief. As an ice breaker, we all greeted each other with “Jhulley” which in Ladhaki language means “Greetings”. I was fascinated to hear all kind of stories. A Delhi girl who always plan a yearly solo trip, the three Coorgi friends who had planned their first trip together, An ambitious doctor from Kerala who took a break after her studies, before starting her career, a 55 year old woman from Kolkata who wanted to travel before retirement. After being split into small groups, we were told to acclimatize until evening in the hotel. We were warned about the nausea and breathlessness which we may feel due to the dip in the pressure. The days where the Itinerary was covered presented Ladakh in its true shining colors. We didn’t have to do much to get beautiful clicks. No make-up, no DSLR, nature does it all for you. I do not want to talk about the beautiful Leh palace, the Santhi Stupa or the monasteries I visited or the Zanskar or Indus confluence or the highest motorable road on Khardungla pass. It was indeed serene and spellbinding that people keep writing about them. What interested me was the modesty of the mountain people, the helpful army jawans, the funny BRDO sign boards, the endless chats with the gang and all such tiny moments.
AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
The Hall of Fame museum, built in the memory of soldiers who lost their lives in Indo-Pak wars, will make every Indian patriotic. After saluting our heroes, we started towards Pangong Tso, worldâ€™s highest salt water lake situated at a height of 14270 feet. This was the day I have been waiting for. Travel was quite challenging with many of us taking oxygen due to altitude sickness. At the first sight of Pangong, I knew it was worth the pain! The climax from the movie - 3 idiots flashed through my mind - the white backdrop and the dazzling blue water! The yellow scooter and the helmet which the local still preserves proved that the movie has surely struck a different chord in peopleâ€™s hearts. No DSLR could do justice to capture the magnificent lake and the scenery. There are some things which cannot be put in words. Love is one of them and then there is Pangong Tso! I sat by the lakeside enjoying its ethereal beauty. I wished time comes to a standstill as I stood at the most peaceful place in this planet. We did camping at the lakeshore for that night. These are the moments which I will cherish forever. We shared our life experiences, danced, enjoyed the bonfire, explored the city market, and walked aimlessly. As the 6 days journey was concluding, I learnt that some of the most beautiful experiences happens when you least expect it! I learnt that adventures are the best way to grow, learn and most importantly to meet the real you! I learnt that life begins at the end of your comfort zone! I am glad I did not hold back. Jhulley Ladakh - for the good friendships and the wonderful memories!
AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
3 Nights With 3 Ladies @ Thailand By Toastmaster ILA MURUGAN During summer holidays in August 2016, I was at Thailand, ‘The City of Smiles’, for 3 nights with 3 beautiful ladies. Let me share my unforgettable experiences but not the censored version . Beach view hotel room, king-size bed, pleasant fragrance, cool breeze, one lady kissing me, one lady hugging me and the third one demanding my attention always. No one in this world can give me more pleasure than these three. Those beautiful ladies, yes the angels in my life are Lavanya my one & only wife, Amritha and Akshitha, our 10 years & 3 years old daughters. By now you all must have guessed who was the one demanding from me always. Thai massage, tattoo, variety of sea foods, long size fried prawns on the street side, the famous walking street, Thai special night club, Singa beer etc. are some of the specialties in Thailand, which should not be missed out by a tourist. But I did not experience any of these wonderful offerings , I was abstaining from all these due to a religious ceremony. In simple words, I was Fasting!! "You are fasting? Then why are you visiting Thailand?" All my friends and relatives raised their eyebrows and asked me this question.
So why did I choose Thailand? The fact is whether I am fasting or not, when I go to Thailand with family, I won't be able to indulge in anything that Thailand is usually famous for. So it does not make any difference. Jokes apart, though we were on holidaying in India, I was busy attending office calls & replying to mails, my elder daughter was busy with her vacation home works and my wife, as always, was running behind my younger daughter. The busy, hectic and monotonous Dubai routine life was continuing there too. I said, “Nothing doing. Let us shutdown all these and get away for few days. Any destination!”. Spoke to a tour operator and we were in Thailand after 4 days. Golden Buddha Temple, Marble Temple, Alcazar Show, Madame Tussauds, Under Sea Walk, Parasailing, Coral island, Wildlife Safari, Marine Park, Gems Gallery, Floating Market etc. Thailand has many places to visit with family too. New people, different culture, unknown language, different life style etc. We had a wonderful break and enjoyed our stay. After all, fun is not only the clubbing, or eating non-veg food and or doing exotic activities but being away from routines and spending time with family was definitely refreshing.
AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
Thanks to Toastmastering which helped me to survive in Thailand. Wondering how? Most of the people, primarily the drivers and shopkeepers, don’t speak English language. My complete mode of communication with them was through Body Language such as hand gestures, facial expression, eye contact and touch (?). They would talk to me in Thai language and I would respond in my mother tongue Tamil. My wife and daughter were laughing and asked “Why don’t you reply in English?. I said, “What difference does it make? Anyway they understand only my body language”.
Writer’s note: In case you are interested in the uncensored version of my experience at Thailand in text, photo and video forms, feel free to contact me personally.
Now, the time to give a final message to my diligent readers:
Please complete ‘Project 5 - Your Body Speaks’ before you visit Thailand.
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AL Nahda Toastmasters Club
TO THE HOME OF GREEN MOUNTAINS ….
t was my long cherished dream to visit ‘Kudajadri’, an inspiration from the movie named ‘Theerthadanam’ which means pilgrimage. We started our one day journey to Kudajadri, ’The hill of Jasmine flowers’, is a mountain peak with dense forest, 1,343 metres above sea level, situated in the Western Ghats, Karnataka Dt., South India. My parents also accompanied with us. A taxi was arranged earlier and as agreed, the driver came around 4am in the morning and our journey began, when the city was sleeping and covered with the blanket in the cold. As the time passes by, raining of the shadow was visible outside. We reached our first destination point, which is ‘Mookambika’. Kollur Mookambika is a Hindu temple and famous for ‘Vidhyaramba’ which is the first step of children to the world of knowledge. It was almost 10am when we reached and the sun almost started shining. We got a room, refreshed and proceeded with ‘Darshan’ in the temple. It was not crowded as expected. We saw elephants pouring blessings and we offered fruits in exchange. Mind became cool with the atmosphere, which was filled with devotional chants. After sometimes, we came back, had lunch and took rest … Next we decided to move ahead to ‘Kudajadri’. I was so excited as I was longing for this occasion. We enquired the people nearby and got information that there are Jeep services available to reach there. We five (myself, husband, son and parents) started our trekking through the rocky pathways. The journey was through the thick forest, right from the beginning. We were enjoying the rhythm of jerking, were able to hear the
By Toastmaster RAJALAKSHMI words of the wind.. Also seen the Holy long distance, even if we tried to keep ‘Souparnika’ river, waving like a away. When we were about reach the toddler. top, unexpectedly my mother and son stopped their journey, as it was too I was recollecting and correlating our difficult for them to climb ahead. I really journey with that movie; but as the time wanted my son, Ayush, to reach at the passes, the road became narrow and top, but I realized, his time has yet to while holding on the jeep, I felt like come! holding on the grips for our life, as it was difficult especially for the kid and the Though the journey began with five, then parents. But I could see the smile on the reduced to four and later two of us. At face of the jeep driver, as it was a matter last we touched the peak, ‘Sarvajna of his existence; He has been trekking Peedam’, by the Grace of Adi Sankaraall his life and that was his only source of charya. Oh God! It was such a blissful income. moment which can’t be expressed in words. That day I was able to touch the By 2 O’clock, we reached at the top of sky. The sky and the scenery looked like the hills, till the place where jeep service a drawing canvas of an Artist. After was available. We continued and reached the prayer, we returned and my eyes ‘Kudajadri’. Yes, the view, the breeze were searching for those who and the divine surrounding etc; from the accompanied us almost three fourth of hill were mind blowing! this journey.
There were 2-3 small temples, shelter, pond etc., well maintained by the ‘Adiga’ family. We spent some time there and they explained the stories and the history of that place. Though our destination was Kudajadri, when I heard about ‘Sarvajna Peedam’, the place where Sri Sankaracharya did his Tapas , we took an immediate decision to visit there. My father abstained from this as the only way to reach there was by walking and climbing the hills. We four (myself, husband, son and mother) started walking through the slope pathways. We met some people who were on their way back. Even at 3 O’clock, it was thick foggy atmosphere with the sounds of birds, monkeys. On the way, we saw ‘Ganesh Cave’, then we moved to ‘Chithramoola’, another adventure place where Sri-Sankaracharya did Tapas to please Goddess Mookambika. I still remember, during our walk, one dog was following us for a
Late evening, we returned home with a divine satisfaction and we decided to come back again for Ayush to get full spiritual experience. Now again waiting for the time to come for another day of intuition ….
A Memorable Trip By Toastmaster HAMIDA KHATRI
eptember 8th, 2012 was indeed a
day full of excitement as a new member was born in the family. I and my spouse went to Canada to rock and cradle our granddaughter. 13hrs40mts nonstop journey to the towering city of Toronto on EK AB 380, was very smooth and comfortable. Our eyes were longing to see her and hands were waiting to hold her, but we had to wait until morning to have a glimpse of the little one. Next morning we visited Toronto East General Hospital with our son-in-law to see our Angel. Though she was a premature baby and had to be fed by the tube, but by the grace of Almighty, she showed a good improvement and we got her home soon. After spending a few days with the family, we started exploring Canada based on an itinerary my daughter had arranged for us. Our first trip was to the one of the most beautiful waterfalls, Niagara. We stayed at the Embassy suites and the scenery of the falls proposed by our room was spectacular. Every evening beginning at dusk, the falls are lit in the colors of the Rainbow. It was difficult to take our eyes off from this unmatched beauty of the falls especially at night.
We bought adventure passes that covered 4 different views of the falls: 1. Journey behind the falls: This is the jour ney below and behind the heart of Niagara where we could stand right in the mist and spray. At this point we could hear the thundering sound of the falls. 2. Maid of the Mist: This is a cr uise near the fall wher e water r ushes all around as you “soak” in the excitement of this thrill of a life-time. Before starting the adventure, blue raincoats are given to protect us from getting wet. 3. Niagara’s fury: It took us 10,000 year s back in time vir tually to experience the “Creation of the Falls”. There we witnessed the power and beauty of nature in 4D. 4. White Water Walk: It is a str oll deep in the Niagar a which was experienced by Great George. During the walk you can view some of the world’s wildest rapids. On special occasion and festive seasons, we can view the splendid fireworks at the Niagara’s, which will be a treat to one’s eyes. We also strolled down to nearby spots: Lundy’s Lane, Clifton Hills and Falls View Boulevard housing a plethora of attractions, retail stores, gaming and adventure zones, eateries etc creating a festive and carnival like atmosphere. Next on the list was a tour to Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Apple factory and 1000 islands. In Montreal, we visited the Biodome, Olympic Stadium and Montreal Tower. The Biodome has replicas of four ecosystems found in the Americas, which includes a variety of animal species of each of the four environments. The Olympic Stadium, nicknamed ‘The Big O’ is a multi-purpose stadium located at the Olympic park, which has the largest seating capacity in Canada. The Montreal tower is the highest inclined tower in the world. Notre Dame Basilica is a church which is known for its beautiful architecture. St. Joseph oratory is the largest church in Canada. A reliquary in the church museum contains Brother André's heart, which he requested as a protection for the basilica.
Al Nahda Toastmasters Club
September-2016, ,Vol: 1
The capital of Canada, “Ottawa” which has many parliament houses. The culture and heritage of Canada is beautifully showcased in the famous “Canadian Museum of Civilization”. The Apple factory has a dummy big red apple outside, which looks real and is very prominent .Quebec is Canada’s largest province which depicts the French culture. The layout of the buildings in the market place takes us to the old era. The thousand islands constitute an archipelago of 1,864 islands that stretch from Canada to US in the mighty Saint Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. One of the attractions of this cruise is the George Boldt Castle built by George Boldt in love of his wife. Last but not the least was the city tour. When we reached the top of CN Tower, the outside scenery was amazing but at the same time standing on a transparent block and looking down was a bit scary too. Ontario Science Centre which was a child friendly place and had Science projects and games for children. Casa Loma is the castle built by St. Henry, and an audio remote helped us on a tour, by describing each area when its number was punched on it. The movie hall plays a 20 minute documentary movie for visitors. Royal Ontario Museum has the displays of different species of dinosaurs, old weapons, fossils of animals and lot of antique collection. The Toronto Zoo has around 5000 animals of 500 species and is one of the largest and exciting centers for children as well as adults. Apart from this, we travelled in the metro and visited many malls in the city. We got carried away by the warmth and love given by the people around us. It was indeed a pleasant and unforgettable trip and each moment will be cherished throughout our life.
Al Nahda Toastmasters Club
September-2016 ,Vol: 1
GERMAN DIARY – STORY OF A FEW GERMANS AND TWO CITIES By Toastmaster MANI PRASAD
lastair did not really look like a MD of a company. He was more than 6 feet tall, had a flat belly and an athletic figure. When I requested him to arrange for a pick up facility from the Hannover airport, I never expected that the MD of the company, where I am visiting, will be there at the airport to receive me.
had a permanent smile pasted on her face, appeared on the door, she fixed the issue within seconds like a software expert. I was surprised with the fluency of her English as Germans generally are not good English speakers... She cleared my doubts by mentioning about her three year apprenticeship in Scotland.
I was meeting Alastair for the first time... His company was located in a small town called Lemgo, which is almost a hour’s drive from Hannover …
When she was about to leave, I asked her, “How is the business?” she was confidently explaining the ups and downs happened in the recent past. She sounded like an owner of the hotel rather than a receptionist.
“You have come at the right time in Germany.” Alastair cut the thick silence Yes, it was true. The climate was fantastic. All the trees around, after the fall and with the fresh leaves looked like a young bride. The scenery around was extremely relaxing with the nature looked at its best.
Alastair is a Bio Gas expert… A German, who did his schooling in Germany and higher education in London... He worked in London and later in Australia before starting his own business in Lemgo… On the way Alastair opened up on various topics alternative energy sources in Germany, Angela Merckel’s dilemma on account of Brexit, historical aspects of the two cities Lemgo and Detmold ( wher e I stayed ), Transport business of Polish people and even about the Indian Premier League. When he was in England he picked up some interests in cricket. Alastair dr opped me in the hotel, which was in Detmold and agreed to come back after few hours, by then I can make myself ready… When I informed the reception regarding the internet connectivity problem in my room, the receptionist, the young German girl, bubbling with energy and
Post visiting Alastair’s office, he took me to taste the Greek delicacies, to a newly opened restaurant, where the waiters were freshly imported from Athens... They struggled to speak in any language other than Greek, Alastair had a tough time to get the food ordered as well as to settle the bill. Evening I went around Detmold… Lemgo & Detmold are cities very close to each other and share many things in common .. One of the biggest rivers of Northern Germany Werese flows through both Lemgo and Detmold... Many buildings with wooden super structure were more than 300 to 500 years old. .There was a church in Lemgo which was constructed Ten centuries before, renovated subsequently... During the Second World War many of the German cities were destroyed, but Lemgo and Detmold stayed unaffected. Detmold was the home town of Hermann, the middle age war hero who defeated Romans by rallying all his disorganized country men behind him. Hermann statue is there in many places in the city, but the tallest one
(40 meter tall tomb) attracts a lot of tourists... Hermann still takes care of the city with the sword in hand, standing tall... The Detmold museum is one of the oldest in the country. The eagle and rare birds sanctuary in the suburb of the town, is an added attraction The city had a Castle where the last Monarch is still living. The national theatre which is established in 1912, is still functioning in Detmold with 300 artists working there. Detmold is also famous for the art & music, where many are mastering these arts. During the next day of my stay in Detmold, Mr. Ian (deputy of Alastair) joined me at the work… Ian was an interesting person… struggled to speak English and whenever stuck up for words, he hit his forehead with his fist closed. Immediately words dropped from his mouth... This happened many times during our conversations (So I understood that when ever we suffer in such situations, we should hammer our head so that brain will feed words in our mouth.)
GERMAN DIARY – CONTINUED Ian was born and brought up in Communist Germany... A year before the fall of Berlin wall, he moved to the Federal Republic... Since it was necessary to get Communist Government’s permission for moving out of East Germany, and whoever applied for this permission was targeted by the Communist Government and were harassed to the core... Ian was one of the victims of this scenario, and had to wait or 7 long years to get the permission... He was put in jail for three months (categorizing him as non-social)... His fiancée parted him and then he never married. One year after he reached West Germany, the wall was broken.... Though so many years passed by, he could not wipe out the scar in his mind.
I went to meet the Plant Manager and to my surprise the Sewage Plant was managed by a lady in her mid-thirties. When my companion Stephan appraised, Cesarina (Plant Manager) about the reason of my visit, she volunteered to come with us to the plant…
She laughed and replied: “Yes it is true that I am handling shit, but it gives me a living and there is a lot of money in shit ...”
When we are about to close the session, Cesarina asked me whether I am first time in Germany... When I answered her Cesarina wore safety boots and I felt the that this is the 12th time I visited safety helmet did not really suit her... Germany, she cracked a joke:’ They should give you PR (permanent But within few minutes of interaction I residency) now ‘’ I just laughed. cleared all my doubts and changed my opinion… I parted with Stephens and on my way back I found an Indian restaurant (Hotel She explained the process of the plant, Taj Mahal) in Hannover. As I was better than any Process Engineer... The experimenting with German, Italian, 22 meter tall Digester Tower she climbed Greek and Spanish food for the past few like an expert through the narrow ladder days, I thought I will close it in style with to show me the Operations. I was feeling the Desi Cuisine… dizzy to look down when we reached the Ian was in Mumbai once. He went to a top. Again, in the absence of the Sludge During the evening, I started getting restaurant with few people. When the bill Turning Machine, Cesarina operated it unbearable abdominal pain … came the costliest item in the bill was by herself. I almost fainted... Pepsi. So Ian still thinks all food items in While returning back, I dared to ask Yes! ‘Taj Mahal’ has started working! India are cheaper than Pepsi. Cesarina a foolish question: “How do During the third day, Mr.David the you feel working in a Sewage Treatment Technical Manager joined our group for Plant, being a lady?” discussions… David was a health freak who uses bicycle to reach the office... David took me to the best Spanish Restaurant in the town… David’s Spanish connection started when he went to learn painting in Barcelona... Though he was a Mechanical Engineer, painting was his passion. He learned painting in Barcelona and also met his wife... During the fourth day, I left Lemgo and Detmold and went by road to Bielefeld... I was supposed to go to one of the Sewage Treatment Plants to see the functioning of certain equipment, which we are intending to buy in Abu Dhabi…
Traveler Or Tourist By Toastmaster NIMMI “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore…Dream… Discover.” – Mark Twain Am a person who loves to travel and explore the world and was blessed with the opportunity to do so. During my single and ready to mingle days’ work gave me the liberty to explore the South and Far East Asian countries. Learning was double fold as those days I was a traveler and not just a tourist. If Korea showcased development of all sorts, Singapore showed me what a man-made jungle looks like. If survival was for the fittest and the finest I learnt that skill at Vietnam tasting their delicacies of all sorts. Australia made me strong with their professional approach whereas Laos made me feeble with their personal approach. Culture and values were inherited from Indonesia and Fiji helped me to rewind and relive life in their exotic beaches.
After exploring one end of the globe my next aim was to explore Europe. If profession didn’t demand travel …..I did make personal demands to travel. After all marriage does have its fair share of fun and frolic. So why beat around the bush when you have someone who can bear the expense in the name of second honeymoon. After a decade of persuading, persuasion and pestering my better half took the lead and we decided to go on a proclaimed dream vacation. 9 countries in 21 days. This time we were tourist who took on the Thomas Cook package and were of the firm believer more the merrier. So we were joined by my extended family and formed a dozen to hop on the tour. Entire tour we were addressed as Dozen! The whole fun of this trip started from the inception of the idea, visa application and its chaos, shopping for summer and winter clothes, buying suitcases that are handy and smooth and the list went on and on. Though the trip wasn’t too heavy on our pockets the pre and post expenses did leave some big holes in our pockets. Thanks to social media and our selfie craze. I was very clear that I would not repeat my dress on the whole tour. As tourist we were promised maximum quality sightseeing and in minimum travelling time. Few of the star attractions included the London eye, overnight cruise to Holland, wooden shoe factory visit, Amsterdam canal cruise, Swarovski crystal museum at Wattens, Rhine waterfall, Vineyard and Champagne making, Eiffel Tower, romantic gondola ride in Venice to name a few…. However, my favorite from the whole experience was the visit to Titisee in the Black Forest and the Alps of Switzerland ….Mt Titlis & Jungfraujoch. Some experiences can’t be shared in words as it needs to be experienced by oneself. “NOT I – NOT ANYONE else, can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself.” So plan your next holiday destination and help us all plan our holiday too. For it doesn’t matter if you are a traveler or a tourist…what really matters is to Explore…Dream… Discover!
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Holiday In Its Glory By Toastmaster MEGHNA
love visiting my country! With so many places enriching her beauty, you will never have time to see all of her in just one trip. I spent my holidays for one month in Kerala, the southern state of India. But this time, it was like no vacation. Firstly, it was my sisters' wedding and secondly keep reading until you find out.
We started planning on her wedding celebration a year before. But that just seemed too late! My sister, being a very creative person, wanted her wedding to be just her way. So much, so more that she would go to any place or spend her time to get that one thing sheâ€™s been looking for. Probably that was why a year of planning wasnâ€™t enough! We had to schedule her for makeup artists, meet the photographer, finalize menu and flowers and so much that we felt the days got shorter. Finally, the day of happiness and unity had come. On the previous day of the engagement, our house was filled with guests all clad in golden attire. Lights and flowers added to the charm! I was so excited to be the maid of honor and also the emcee for the wedding. My sister looked stunning in her wedding gown and my brother-in-law, handsome in his suit. Finally, the three-day celebrations came to an end. It was hard to move on without shedding a tear over the fact that I would no longer spend more time with her. Our lives were so interwoven that we shared all secrets and laughed over nothing in particular. But the best always happens! I cheered up myself and moved on. The joyful and hectic days drained out our energy. My sister was taken to a new family. Three of us- Dad, mum and me, decided to unwind ourselves for a day in some serene place. Since all three of us had to get back to Dubai for work, we decided to keep it short. We glanced through the list of places that supported our time limit. Most of them already visited, there was one that we felt was appropriate. Allapuzha-the backwaters of Kerala.
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Being on the day of 'Eid, all the house boats were previously booked. Blame us for our last minute planning! However, luck befriended us. There was one boat just for us. We got in with our luggage and started our journey. Our luxury double deck boat cruised along the silvery waters and lush green islands fringed with majestic palm trees. The lunch was served on a plantain leaf with varieties of vegetables, chicken, fish and rice cooked with savory spices. After my lunch, I laid on the upper deck and stared into the beautiful skies studded with merry birds. I felt like I found heaven on earth! In the evening, hot tea was served and we sipped it with glory. After a while, the boat was anchored along the coast. We ate our dinner and got to bed.
The next morning, the boat set back its journey. We hurried up to the upper deck. That's when I felt that this was the best for me. The air so fresh calming my mind, I saw all the boats sailing back to the destination. Within an hour we reached the coast and got back to our home. A haven of serenity and a perfect destination to a peaceful mind!
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Jodhpur For Awakening By Toastmaster NAYANA SHAIJU Congratulations Al Nahda for yet another issue of Awakening. As the theme is Holiday I want to write about this city in India which is rated as “Most extraordinary place for hospitality by lonely planet". I would second it whole hear tedly after my visit to his city. Men wearing Multicolored turban called SAFA, with attractive overgrown but well-maintained mustache and Females with colorful clothes with long veil covering their forehead is a common site in this city. JODHPUR !! – Is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Jodhpur is also known as "Blue City" for the blue color on the houses in the old city and also called as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all the year round.
We got the chance to visit Jodhpur last Dec and among many places we visited One place I recommend you all must visit if you get the chance is Magnificent Mehrangarh Fort .
It’s a gallery displaying mesmerizing Royal lifestyle of King Rao Jodha build in 1460.
It’s a Museum : house of traditional artwork, has record breaking collection of ancient Swords and palanquins with enchanting and jaw dropping collections.
Its temple: where the faith and devotion is still alive.
It’s a historic monument and a famous tourist spot.
The glorious past is presented to tourists with an aid of an audio device explained in detail gives a feeling as we are watching National geography live. Story narrated in Audio takes you back in history and brings the characters live as we visit the museum. The artwork, equipments and traditional items are preserved and maintained with high security surveillance. If you love history this is a must, if not you will fall in love with this sandstone hillock. There is a Hindu temple at peak of the fort visited by newly wed couples which I found very interesting. Seems its the respect locals pay for their historical monument.
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