Saturday, February 28, 2015

Union Budget 2015 - What's there for me ?

This Budget simply defends the statement "Rich getting richer, Poor getting poorer" J.

Corporate tax is reduced to 25% Whereas service tax is increased to 14%. Individual tax slab is not increased. Middle class people, like me will suffer huge burden on their shoulders..!!

However, the finance minister Arun Jaitley has not forgotten to throw out a few pieces to the salaried middle class tooL . Below is the summary of tax benefits we get. 
  • Deduction u/s 80C - Rs.150,000;
  • Deduction u/s 80CCD - Rs.50,000;
  • Deduction on account of interest on house property loan (Self-occupied property) - Rs.200,000;
  • Deduction u/s 80D on health insurance premium - Rs.25,000;
  • Exemption of transport allowance - Rs 19,200;
          Total = Rs.4,44,200
Yes, I agree. I too cry like the one in the ignorant crowd - where everyone is looking what is there for them in the budget, but don't want the government to give the slightest benefit to Industrialists who are going to create jobs for Indians thru' which a lot of families also benefit. 

But what to do, we have such a positive belif on our politicians and tt’s human nature to think only about the immediate benefit, right J

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Well!.. finally we are in Belgium now :)

We live in “Antwerp” - a city known for its diamonds, its best brewed beers and  ofcourse for the world’s most delicious chocolates!!!. It is also a place that averages a mere 1320 hours of sunlight a year, which translates into slightly over 4 months. It is about 40 minutes drive from the capital Brussels, and the second largest city in country next to Brussels.  

As always, am excited to know about the new place, new people, new culture, history…etc. I wish, I should write the whole story of my Belgium trip, starting from the work permit/visa procedures to the day-today life here. But, this time work is too hectic, not sure how well I could fulfill my wish ;P.

I already have a big list of interesting stories to write about, so I'll try to post often. Keep reading the stories at the label TRAVELOGUE-BELGIUM

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lakshmi Narasimhar Temples - Singrikudi, Poovarasankuppam and Parikkal

We had the privilege to visit all these three Lakshmi Narasimhar Temples - Singrikudi, Poovarasankuppam and Parikkal,  on a single day. These three temples lies on a straight line in the map. Singiri Narasimha and Parikkal Narasimha temples are in a straight line and facing the Poovarasan Kuppam Narasimha.
Sri Lakshmi Narashimha Swami Temple, Singrikudi/ Abhishekapakkam

We started our trip from the Singirikudi temple. This is temple is situated about 3kms west of Abhishekapakkam road junction , off Pondicherry--Cuddalore Highway. We reached the temple very early at 7.30am before even the temple opens, and had beautiful first darshan. Here, the God Narasimhar is found in sitting posture as Ugra Narasimhar by killing the Demon King Hiranyakashipu with his hands. This seems to be one of the very ancient temples. After a very peaceful darshan and prashadams, we started at 8.30am, direct to the Poovarasankuppam.

Sri Amirthavalli Nayaki Sametha Sri Lakshminarasimha Swami Temple – Poovarasankuppam
After a quick breakfast in between, we reached the Poovarasankuppam temple at around 10.30am. Poovarasankuppam about roughly 20-25kms North of Panruti and the same distance East of Villupuram.

It’s believed that the lord appreared here in the same form of Narashimha after the Hiranya Samharam at Ahobilam, hence, this temple is referred to as Dakshina Ahobilam. A unique feature at this temple is the posture of Lakshmi. One eye of the Goddess is turned towards the Lord and the other eye is welcoming the devotees. 

This is also another very ancient temple, There are culverts inside this temple dating back to the 3rd Century AD. Also, there are references to construction during Narasimha Pallava’s reign (7th Century AD). There are also inscriptions indicating Krishna Deva Raya’s visit to this temple (about 500 years ago).

After a very pleasant darshan, we quickly packed-up, as we need to reach Parikkal before 1pm since the temple will be closed by 1.30 and will open again around 4 pm.

Sri Lakshmi Narashima Swami Temple, Parikkal –Villupuram
We could reach Parikkal only at around 12.30 and there was already a heavy crowd over there. For a moment, we thought, whether we will have the fortune to see the darshan before noon or to stay till evening. We’re blessed, had the good darshan at Paraikkal too, well before 1.30 pm.

People said, it’s a great fortune to get the darshan of all these three temples on the same day. We’re very blessed and made it on the same day.

For more details, you may also refer the post Divine Blessings

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Who's going to Win the "ICC Cricket World Cup 2015"

ICC World Cup -2011 Final: India v Sri Lanka at Mumbai – What a day it was ! , just feels like yesterday. But we are all set for the next big world cup – 2015 already. Time really flies J.

So who’s going to win the World Cup 2015? Who are your favorites?

I am not saying “India” this time , team India looks to be at their worst form ever :P . We may reserve a Semi-final seat, crushing poor UAE , Zimbabwe and West Indies. But definitely, getting into the finals or winning the trophy looks a mere impossible task for the #Men in Blue :( .

I feel Australia seems to be the favorites of the World Cup -2015. As of today, they are the #1 ODI team in the world. If they put their best efforts together, the 4 time champions may lift the trophy once again on 29 March,  in the finals at Melbourne.

First reason, is their home advantage. I don’t think they have lost any ODI series at their home country in the recent time. They are such knowledgeable and confident on their home grounds. Ofcourse, their batting is too dangerous, their bowling is too good. Most of their players are at their peak form.  If they could handle their big threats South Africa, they are sure to lift the cup one more time!

Again, as people say "Cricket is a funny game", any thing can happen. Its’ a proven history that the favorites never win the trophy :P . Let’s see how the series goes?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

American Sniper (2015)

I’d been noticing a lot of talk over the “ American Sniper” for quite some time. Especially the terrific box-office stats just hard-pressed me to watch the movie.

The film is actually a biopic of Chris Kyle, a Texas Cowboy who became a Navy SEAL sniper, credited with 160 confirmed kills while on duty in Iraq. Soon after retired from the services in 2009, he wrote a book about his war & life experiences as “American Sniper”, and this movie is just the on-screen version of the book. Bradley Cooper has played Kyle and Sienna Miller as his wife – Taya, and directed by Eastwood.

Plot: A few years ago, I saw a movie where an American soldier posted in Iraq during the invasion, who goes through a severe psychological changeover. He’s so into the war and he’s so good at war techniques and  he finds it difficult to go back to his normal life back home in the peace. Social life makes him awkward. Shopping seems like a boring activity to him. And the only thing that makes him smile during the whole day is when he speaks to his mates at the warfront.

That movie was called as “The Hurt Locker”. I saw the same plot here too, but this movie is called as "American Sniper" :P , it’s a very similar film.

My Comments: There’s a lot of debates and controversies already over the film’s authenticity, making and message. I don’t want to write anything more and get into trouble :). Let me just share that how / what I felt about the movie.

American Sniper might have been an important movie, especially for the US Veterans. But, it’s not that exciting and engaging like other war films; many scenes were too lengthy and redundant- particularly the war fronts. (Ofcourse, that’s how the war scene would be :P , but still an interesting screenplay could have made a difference).

Bradley Cooper’s performance as Kyle and the struggle he portrays as a man forever altered by war, seeking to find his identity when it’s over – is simply remarkable. It’s definitely a great movie for Bradley Cooper at least !.