Friday, 26 February 2016

what's with winning....

Thursday: As the day progressed, the web was flooded with views on a speech rendered by a woman minister in the Indian cabinet. Just to highlight, am far away from Indian politics and have never had any interest/passion on that subject. But the reactions to this speech got me intrigued. Why was everyone reacting so much? Social media platforms of renowned journalists, media houses, friends- everyone was talking about it.
Smriti Irani- Minister of HRD (India)

The curious cat in me got me hooked on too- and what a speech! After ages, I saw an Indian politician speak with so much compassion, emotions and frustration. The recent incidents at several educational institutions has had it's impact on the lady. Did she mean it all? Was it all from the heart? Not something I can answer. But for me (personally), it was after years that I heard an entire political speech and have been following the reactions online.

Will her speech convert into action, will we see quick results? Or is this all one big PR game- no one can tell.
Friday: I recently signed up for my 1st trail run. Well for many it's no great shakes but for me it's one-step ahead of what I have done so far. It's a challenge I have thrown at myself- the new route, the uneven terrain, and being part of something new. I chanced upon The Green Race Ultra Challenge, a few days back and promptly signed up for it. 

I had a lot of thoughts in my mind- running a 10km after long (do I really need to), will I be able to train myself or am I just going to go with the flow? As expected I have been 'going with the flow'. I think what excited me the most was the route. I have been craving to run on the Bukit Timah nature belt and this race offered that route.

The race bib
The race day is tomorrow and strangely I don't feel nervous. Usually my previous evening to any race is a bit mellow. I try to wind down and take things easy. Ironically, tonight I am going to watch a late night movie. I also haven't been training to my best. Except for my usual running routine, I haven't made any extra efforts.

My talk with my 3-year old this morning, may just make the race a wee bit easier. I mentioned to her that I would be away at my race when she wakes up tomorrow morning. To which she quipped, "Will you be winning a gold or silver tomorrow?" My answer to her was, "If I finish the race I am a winner- don't need to get a gold or silver." 

She jokingly added, "Is that all it takes to win and so getting the gold and silver is not so important right." Hopefully she learnt a life-lesson this morning....

Friday, 12 February 2016


There are times when you meet someone and you know that he surely has a story to tell. A first encounter with Ganesh Arun Mulajker (don't think anyone calls him by that name anymore) alias 'Bunty' got me intrigued.

The story starts like this- a few weeks back,we decided to plan a short weekend get-away from Singapore. Our destination choices in the region were plenty- Kohsamui, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali, Krabi

Krabi has always been special. As a couple this was our first overseas trip 13 years ago, a year before the famous 'Tsunami' hit the island. Our first 'backpacking' holiday. So taking the kids back there sounded exciting. Of course the hotel and our requirements were different now- a good hotel by the beach with a kids club, nice restaurants, and enough activities to do as a family. 
Si Kao, Trang Province

As we zeroed in on our hotel- Ananatara, Si Kao in Trang province, one name popped up in every research- Bunty! Every person had something 'special' to tell about the guy. So the name stayed in my mind.

Just as we entered the hotel lobby, this wide smiled (seemed like an Indian) guy welcomed us and said, "Hi, I am Bunty". I had a bigger smile on my face and wondered what's with the guy. As we settled into our holiday, Bunty was quick to gauge that we don't like the crowds and preferred 'off the cuff activities'. 

Everything that Bunty recommended worked perfectly for us. During breakfast time, you could hear tonnes of people calling out for Bunty. Bunty even had his special way to convey that he cares - our 3-year old even had fever one evening. We happened to mention it to Bunty. A few hours later, lovely balloons and an even better worded card was at delivered to our room (as in the picture).

So what was special about Bunty- his personal touch, his ability to connect with anyone- young or old, knowing the names of all the odd 100-room guests, creating personalised itineraries for them, being seen around the hotel anytime of the day (or maybe even the night). He was surely not your 'usual' concierge guy
'Bunty' Mulajker

I was itching to hear Bunty's 'real' story-  what was it like for him to be working in a remote island like Si Kao, doesn't he miss India, does he have Indian friends and many more. My few minutes spent with Bunty at his office gave me a quick recap of his journey. It can easily be passed off as a 'Bollywood' film script as well. 

His tryst with Thailand started 22 years ago in Bangkok and several jobs later he landed in Hua Hin and now Si Kao. His knowledge of the region will amuse you. He enjoys Thai food more than Indian food, speaks Thai better than Marathi, his family home that he misses is not in Pune but in Hua Hin.
I was still curious about the name 'Bunty'. How did he get that name? Even that has a story to it- as a kid he used to have a lot of 'bun' and 'tea'. So his parents used to call him 'Bunty'. So following the Thai tradition of having a 'nickname', he called himself 'Bunty' from the day he landed in Thailand.

Normally at the end of any holiday, you come back with loads of memories of things you did, food you ate, places you visited. For us, Bunty will be a big part of it and like the others I mentioned about him too in my online reviews!