Merry Christmas Dear Bloggers

It’s the most beautiful time of the year. Yes, its true Christmas time is here!

Bring out the chocolates, sweets, cakes and pastries.
Out come the smiles & laughter, filled with cheers brought by gifts and Santa stories.

This year has been a remarkable one, mostly owing to the adventurous tours, beginning my blog, and spending quality time with my buddies.

Often people think, this is a time to rejoice, reunite & go out on holidays, however they fail to realize that, its this time of year when we come out of our old closet  and embrace a new reality of life…

We are born-again and just a like a butterfly from its cocoon.

It’s the time when we should let the bygones be bygones…. The soul does cry out when happiness is felt to its core…

Many a things we lose and many we gain, but one thing remains; it’s the quality time spent with our loved ones this year… that passes by…

With all love from this part of the world…I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Feliz Navidad 🙂

Love
Alan

 

 

 

Nothing much to say

What’s up folks!!

How’s life treating you so far?? I know I haven’t written in a long time… (LIKE PEOPLE CARE) ???!! LOL

Has it ever crossed your brilliant mind, sometimes life has so much to offer you, but you are staring blankly at some normal routine and boring stuff…

Yeah! When you start caring about things you love to do … then its your real self that is manifested…

People come everyday in the world and they go.. its right there… the life is blank completely blank…

I believe in making each day count…

Past few weeks, I haven’t been myself… I started working hard for some deals but couldn’t crack… then when I wasn’t looking for it… it came right at my face staring at me… !!

I suppose life will keep surprising us…all we have to do is embrace its offering!!

Love
Alan

How to obtain a US Visa : Tips for your visa interview

What’s up folks!!!!!

I trust you’ve all been happy lately …

People esp. Travellers have a lot of dreams … Like to visit their dream/favourite place or desired destination … So on..

One of the dreams I dreamt was to visit America … Not because of any greatness …. As a historian, I was just fascinated by the American history esp. Civil war and Abraham Lincoln …. New York City, San Francisco etc….

As a child I was so obsessed with multi-culturism, people, languages and food…. But States always had a special place in my heart …… The zenith of this obsession was such … That whenever I would hear someone talk about America or even mention it ..I would give my ear to it… Which really started annoying people… Words likes Washington, parkington would give me goosebumps… I even went to am extend and memorised each different states in the US and their capitals .. Name of the previous presidents .. Which shocked even some of my American friends … One major person who really influenced me to see that place was Mr. Robert nimmo, he was kinda mentor to me and used to teach me about American culture… He served in the US navy and had practically lived in every city in the US…. Cities like Casper, Helena, Bismarck, stove pipe well Death Valley etc… A gold rush prospectus he was…

But it’s not always easy for non American folks to visit America… I know 9/11 changed everything there….

Last year I finally decided to visit America … And I went in for a visa interview … Most people out here mind wonder its just a visa ..why make a deal out of it… Well, like I said… It’s really considered as an achievement in the third world country….

However, I was refused saying that I didn’t demonstrate enough ties to my home country ….I was in grave pain… I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts for a week… I thought I didn’t do anything wrong still I was rejected …. But then I decided I’ll do research and prove them that, I’m not going to live in America but I’m just going to visit the place and appreciate the beauty of the culture….

And finally I made it this year … My visa was approved …

So I would just like to share a few thoughts on your visa interview … Again, each case is different and you can never guarantee … But hard work pays… And a little information can make huge differences …

1) When you intend to apply for the tourist visa for the US, do not hire anyone to do that for you… People can fake a lot of things… I’m sorry but our today’s world is like this…

2) Prepare all the documents in advance and keep it with you handy while you fill in your DS-160 … For with you can log onto www.ceac.state.gov

Fill your DS 160 and make sure you email or print for yourself a copy, in order to know what you’ve written, also never lie about anything in your application, because lying is not good and secondly the consular officer will come to know as they are well trained and they know about you more than you know… Mebbe it’s a cliché but that’s what it is…

3) Print the Stanley form to pay your visa application fees… You can choose your bank to pay on US travel Docs website… Where you’ll have to create an account ….

4) after paying your visa fees, you will receive a detail showing payment update in your US travel docs account, click on the payment token and schedule your appointment … There will be 2 appointments based on your country of origin, as for India, they’ve to go for the OFC which a biometrics, fingerprint, photo and other such information appointment. I suggest to book your OFC appointment a day prior to your visa interview… Makes the job easy ….

5) Arrive at the embassy or consulate on the interview day no less than 15 mins… Dress well, always wear a smile, do not over smile, don’t give any signs of nervousness … Even if you are… I know it’s hard … But think its your dream to see the place..

6) The consular officers usually do not look at your documents … They rely on verbal conversations … When you present facts and figures they start analysing your response and give a conclusion, whether or not to grant you a visa… Show as much ties to your home country as possible, do not be hard in trying to convince the officer, do not volunteer information, which is it asked. If the officer needs additional details he/she will ask you. See, they are gentle people, however their work is very tough.. They are protecting the american borders .. They meet 1000s of dumbs everyday, who do not stick to the answer or the question per se…

7) Once your visa is approve, your passports will be kept for visa stamping, if you were rejected under 214(b), then they’ll return your passport … Remember it’s not the end of the world … You can apply very soon, once your circumstances have changed..

If you have any query or you wanna give a mock interview and want to find out whether you are eligible for a visa or you wanna know more, please write to me : alanphoenix18@hotmail.com

I would to hear from you … Good luck and all the best…

Love
Alan

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In conversation with Mr. Clement Gomes of Stella Food Corner : A story of a self-made-Chef

Open Face Burger

Open face Burgers

Chicken Lasagna, One-bite-burgers, Russian salad

Chicken Lasagna, One-bite-burgers, Russian Salad.

In the busy lanes of Kalina, Santa Cruz, lies a food corner “Stella’s”, which, one cannot overlook while passing-by. The mouth-searing taste and the aroma of those delicacies just drags you to their shop & also their kindness and hospitality is one of the main reasons why people are brought there….

Bernard, the guy who started this business with his wonderful brother Mr.Gomes (Gomes dada) as we lovingly call him, opens the shop by 17:00hrs and one can see the queue outside the shop, even before the shutters are up!!!….

I became a frequent visitor to the shop since last 7 months now, and have always been treated with the same kindness everyday. Since its just a stone-throw away from my place, practically, I’m there every evening to munch something… Something from his vast variety of cuisines kept out on the display for the people to choose… 🙂

Yesterday, I sat inside and as I was accommodating myself… and started nibbling, Gomes dada came and joined me… I was quite surprised to see him sparing sometime from his customers and joining me.

I seriously learnt a lot from him yesterday. He is a man full of convictions. He told me how he began working at the tender age of 7 in a small cafeteria in West Bengal and his major job being  “Dish washing” . It was surreal and I was taken aback and started thinking how could a dish-washer be so good at what he is doing now…

He went to an extend and told me that he never learned anything from anyone, in particular related to cooking. He had a love for food & the art of cooking, however due to poverty his parents couldn’t afford him a proper/formal training let alone the school.

However, he never gave up on his passion. He was always eager to learn something new and try his hands-on everything… but to his dismay, no-one was co-operative. They mocked him instead. He recalls, as a teenager, once he was in the kitchen of the cafeteria and saw the chef prepare a dish & he asked the chef, whether it was possible for him to teach him how to make it… He chef got disappointed and said no I cannot teach you because you are a dish-washer and you’re miles away from cooking….

That evening, he decided he will move on and later started hard-working and self-tutoring. In his life he learnt a lot, lost a lot & gave a lot to many/from many.

A few years later, an opportunity knocked his doors; he applied for a job of Kitchen incharge for a British restaurant in Singapore, and was accepted to come and work.

There he met Chef David-Ying who became his mentor and he was kind enough to help him giving some in-dept information on cooking…

Today, this man writes his own menu everyday. You’ll never get to see what you ate yesterday. There is no repetition in the recipes. He changes everything everyday. He has something called a ‘Pan-roll’, he has his own style of making pan-roll; atleast a 120 styles of fillings and making…

I learnt, never judge anyone… You never know, who can become what…

Of course in the darkness of the dark coal mines we find the bright shining diamonds…

Always give it to people, even from the little you have… It will make a difference…

From the conversation of food… I went on to learn a lesson for my life 🙂 !!!

I’ll stop now…

PS: Please avoid any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in the post, as I was in a hurry while I was writing and I had to write it down, before I could forget… I’ll edit it in due course… If you want me to rectify any …please feel free to comment.
Love Alan

The Thirsty Traveler’s Journey to North India

What’s up Loved ones!!

This morning I woke up thinking, what should I write about?? Well, I guess the state of thoughtlessness comes naturally to me!!

So, I thought I’ll just post an update on my current adventure to North India.

A client of mine just visited me recently for some business and we took a trip to North India (New Delhi, Lucknow & Gorakhpur). India is an agricultural country. Most of the agricultural population inhabits 1/3rd of the Northern land.

However, having said that, one cannot deny the most serene beauty one sees while on the road of these villages….

The soul of the nation abides in the farm lands …

The funniest part of the entire trip was, this client of mine happen to be from North-east India which is close to China border, so you can imagine his appearance look-wise is like Asian… and he speaks fluent Hindi & our host happens to be a ‘Dihati’ (villager) who doesn’t speak English at all. Just for fun, knowing how unfunny f*** I am, I told my client, we will take him for a ride, talk in English and deceive him !! LOL

We told our host that our client is from China and he doesn’t speak English. The host prepared so much for his advent and to his utter dismay, the whole ballyhoo and welcome was a damp-squib. We laughed whole night joking about him and making his fun and that poor charlie didn’t even realized it for a second.

Next morning while we are negotiating and discussing on certain issues on which we disagree, the host abused my client in Hindi thinking he doesn’t know the language.

O my god… can you imagine, how we laughed?? Oh god we laughed our ass off and it was totally crazy, and all of a sudden the host started thinking what the hell, why is his client laughing and then we revealed that he is an Indian…. and that was it… Pandemonium broke out hahahahha 🙂 He got so mad at us … I cannot tell you!! LOL

Apart from that, we also went to Agra and saw the ‘Taj Mahal’. It was magnificent and breath-taking.

I plan to take another trip soon in the near future. Also, try to eat (Mutton Desi Ghee) if you are there in that region. It tastes good.

Until next time….

Love
Alan

PS: I’ll try to post some pictures later… In office now…. Boss might be wondering what am I doing?? 😛