Thursday, July 26, 2007

Been There, Done That…Vegas

Las Vegas, NV (April 6 – 9, 2007)

The Place: The nerve centre of gambling in the USA and everything that says money with a capital M. The trip was part of our annual COEP Electrical foursome reunion.

The Path Travelled: A four hour flight from Chicago I think. All the time zones make it a bit confusing. Towards the end of the journey one is greeted with a breathtaking aerial view of the Grand Canyon.

The Lodging: Sahara Hotel, a couple of miles away from downtown Vegas, Las Vegas Blvd. or ‘The Strip’, as it is known there. Reasonable prices and a great location. Nothing is complimentary.

The Sights to See: The Strip and all the Hotels there. Make sure you visit each one. They are worth it. And visit the Bellagio after 9 p.m. in order to catch the light and water show.
Make sure you catch at least one ride on the Stratosphere. However, being thrown about 85 stories above the ground amidst gusty winds is surely not for the faint hearted.
Madame Tussauds if you haven’t visited one before.
Strip clubs if you’re the types.
The Grand Canyon if you have a day or two to spare (We didn’t).
The Hoover Dam.

The Experience: Yes, it is just as glitzy, glamorous and bright as you saw in all those commercials and movies. It’s Vegas! What else could you expect? Money is everything. The more you have, the more you fit in there and the more you enjoy. (Sadly we hardly fit any of the criteria, but enjoyed nevertheless). You get a quick course in how much further you have to go in life to be at that level. But it is fantastic. The amount of electricity used there everyday would light up 50 towns in India. And all that opulence does leave you with a heady feeling.
The Hoover Dam is also worth a visit if only to see the sheer magnificence of a combined natural and man-made marvel.

The Damp Squibs: Everything is about money and people with lighter pockets won’t feel too good at the end of the trip. If you go in summer it might be a tad too hot. But well, unless you really hate having a good time, just go!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Not Our Cup of Tea

So we have done it. We have proved to the world that we are second to none in sending SMSs and our Orkut skills are legendary. And while doing that, we have managed to get the Taj into being one of the newly elected wonders of the world. Rejoice India! We have done it!
But have we? Does this mean the approach road to the Taj will be cleared out of the mass of humanity trying to lighten your pockets? Will the river bed be cleaned to somewhere close to its pristine form? Will the chemical factories causing the beautiful white marble to turn black be told to mend their ways? Will today’s youth, (the ‘I can’t build a Taj so let me use the one that’s there’ types) stop defacing the monument with their mushy tripe? Will we be able to retain the magnificent yet tragic purity of this 'tear drop on the cheek of time'?
The answer is a resounding ‘No!’ We will continue to neglect it and take it for granted as we have done before. And soon it will be relegated to being an advertisement for a brand of tea.
But till then… Arey huzoor, Wah Taj Boliye!