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India Health Card Launched

Posted by vishalsinghal on December 1, 2008

I am a member of www.couchsurfing.com a website for travel lovers. I have travelled far and wide and hosted or entertained a lot of tourists too from around the world. Similarly, I see lot of Indian staying abroad travelling around the world and to India quiet often. All’s well that ends well. But, sometimes even the NRI (Non Resident Indians) get frustated in India when they have to suffer at the hands of authorities paying for their bills in medical emergencies.

For this reason, some Indian in USA got together and launched the first ever India Health Card (IHC) in India for use by Indians staying abroad. Beauty of this  card is that it can be bought from the internet and loaded from the internet too. As of now, it can be used by Indians and NRIs only but I hope this becomes valid for foreigners travelling in India too who face more problems in such situations.

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UK badly hit by Financial turmoil

Posted by vishalsinghal on October 19, 2008

I met a UK girl last night in a party working for KPMG on an assignment in Gurgaon for next 6 months. We exchanged short notes on the effects of global melt down in UK and I was astonished to hear that by end of this month, roughly about 1 million people will be jobless in UK alone. That’s quiet a big number. I wonder when will all this come to an end…

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My fellow Brazilian tourists…

Posted by vishalsinghal on September 18, 2008

It was 7:15 in the morning when I boarded the Janshatabdi Train for Delhi from Roorkee. As always, all kinds of thoughts were cris crossing my mind at great speed about who will be my fellow passengers be in this train today…

I generally travel by normal non-ac chair car but today (180908), fortunately I had booked ticket for AC Chair Car. I should say, it was my good luck today. Why??? Simply because most of my fellow members were either Brazilians, not 1 or 2 but a whole group of 35 (30 women and 5 men) who are visiting India (Itinerary: Brazil – Delhi – Rishikesh – Varanasi – Agra – Delhi-Brazil) for about 23 days and 2 were French and a few fellow country men. I was simply thrilled to see so many foreigners as one of my hobby is to host and entertain them when they visit India. In the past too, I have hosted quiet a few of them at my place and have shown them the local places. I am also a member of the famous hospitality site www.couchsurfing.com

My seat number in the train was 57 in coach C4 and the immediate next person was Daniela, a beautiful Brazilian girl. I asked her what language she speaks and she said Portuguese. Her English was not very good but she was comfortably able to put her message across which is commendable considering she has been in India just for 13 days. I must say that all Brazilian women in that coach were very pretty and were from all age groups ranging from may be 15 yr. old to 60+. I came to know from Daniela that Brazilians are the most friendly people among all countries in the world. May be that’s why everybody was very friendly in that coach too.

Daniela is an investment banker by profession, oldest among her 2 brothers and a sister and always travels alone. Hats off to Brazilian women as all were travelling independently without their families. This shows an adventurous, brave and independent nature of women of Brazil unlike Indian women who are very shy in nature. If it would have been Indian group tour, there would have hardly been any independent travellers. Istead all would have been families as part of the group. I asked her as to why everybody is sleeping in the train and she said that Brazil is 8.5 hrs. behind India thus it was midnight at that time in Brazil and they had been awake since 3:00 am in the morning to catch this train.

The group was returning from Rishikesh after a philosophical visit to some Ashram where they stayed for about 8-10 days. Most people in the group were clad in Indian dresses like salvar kameez, or kurtas etc. with strings of bead around their necks. They were looking absolutely stunning in that Indian ethnic wear.

To pass time…they also sang songs from Brazil and then some chanting of Indian shlokas took place…although all of the Brazilian songs went above my head but, since they were singing in chorus, it was simply entertaining. I had never before enjoyed so much on a train journey from Roorkee to Delhi. I thank all the group members and expecially Daniela who told me so much about Brazilians etc. She also taught me two Portuguese words on my request i.e. Lingul (very Beautiful) and Vinito (Not so beautiful). It was great talking to her. I was also fortunate to get group snaps clicked by a fellow Indian passenger and some Brazilians. Just hope that they post the pictures to me so I can put them up too on this blog post later.

I have personally invited everybody (through their group leader) to my place in Delhi as well for tasting Indian food when and if they are able to spare some time before they leave for Brazil.

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