Wednesday, November 30, 2011

whatever you do...don't piss off the snake charmers !!

Here's an article I found (from The Times)about what happens when you piss off the snake charmers in India:

India snake charmer releases snakes, including cobras, in tax office

• by: Robin Pagnamenta
• From: The Times
• December 01, 2011 11:13AM

A man in Basti, India, uses a tablecloth to fend off snakes scattered in a government office by a disgruntled rate-payer. Forty deadly snakes, including cobras, were released by the snake-catcher, causing hundreds of people to flee. Source: AP

PROTESTS against the stifling weight of Indian bureaucracy turned venomous yesterday when an angry snake charmer dumped three bags of poisonous snakes at officials' feet.

The release of up to 40 snakes, including four deadly cobras, sent workers rushing for the exit as the serpents slithered across the floor of a land registry office in the town of Harraiya, in Uttar Pradesh.

People clambered on to tables to escape being bitten while others shook pieces of cloth at the snakes to scare them off.

At least one hooded cobra was pictured rearing into its "strike" position.
"Snakes started climbing up the tables and chairs. Hundreds of people gathered outside the room, some of them with sticks in their hands, shouting that the snakes should be killed," said Ramsukh Sharma, an official, who said that the snakes caused "total chaos".

The snakes were eventually recaptured by police and workers from the state's forestry department but the snake charmer who released them, Hukkul Khan, who lives in the nearby village of Lara, was still being hunted.

Locals said that Mr Khan was frequently called in when snakes had been spotted, to help capture them.

He is said to have become aggrieved because officials in the office had blocked a plan to grant him a plot of land on which to keep the snakes that he had caught.

He alleged that they wanted illegal payments to approve the paperwork.

Bahar Dutt, an animal rights activist who has worked for eight years with snake charmers in India, said that many of them were struggling to find new forms of employment after the practice was outlawed under Indian law.

"Many snake charmers in India are having a tough time. They face a lot of problems readjusting to a new life."

Pushkar Raj, general secretary of India's People's Union for Civil Liberties, said that the incident reflected growing frustration among ordinary Indians with corruption in the country's bureaucracy.

"I wouldn't condone it but increasingly in India this kind of thing attracts public support ... Either you go to the courts, which for many Indians are unintelligible, and favour the rich, or else you make a statement like this."

Amita Singh, professor of law and governance at Jawaharlal Nehru University, agreed.
"For ordinary people in India it's a very difficult battle. Corruption has become such a culture at the grass roots and has become so frequent that it is very hard to remove it," she said.

The Times

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This must’ve hurt

We came in to work after a weekend to find this on the window of the office: a perfect imprint from the bird that hit the window.

That must’ve really, REALLY hurt !!

Photos of the young Andrews & Margarets

Here are some photos of the young peacocks that are roaming the compound. They are the young Andrews & Margarets:

Monday, November 28, 2011

How's this for catching the bus ??

Spotted today.

Must've really wanted to catch that bus !!

Happy anniversary

Today, Tania & I celebrated one year of marriage.

As it turned out, Tania had to fly to Nepal for work (timing....I know !!). make up for the fact that we were going to be apart on our anniversary, we booked Sunday night at “The Imperial” hotel.

“The Imperial” is this great, art-deco hotel located near Connaught Place. It was built in the 1930s & saw alot of the history leading up to Partition . The place is surrounded by photos of old India (Raj India), pre-partition India & a bit of a royal theme & plenty of military photos.

The place is just so stylish & so....well....”imperial”. We just love coming here.

We dined at “1911 Restaurant” to a retro, old-school, French-inspired menu.

Tania started off with the Asparagus Hollandaise, I had the lobster bisque. We both had an Italian white (I think it was a Pinot Grigio) to accompany our starters.

Tania had a steak dish while I went for a pan-fried chicken breast stuffed with mushrooms & goose foie gras. We went for a French Beaujolais which was surprisingly light & quite fruity. Went very well with our mains.

Dessert for both of us was crepe suzette. We decided not to go for a glass of the 2004 Chateau d’Yquem. At $AUD100 a glass, even we couldn’t justify that expense.

This is the cake the hotel made for us when we arrived

This is some of the art work that you find, tucked away in corners of the hotel

Looking down the corridor of this great hotel

Bread anyone ??

Tania's asparagus (yum !!)

My lobster bisque...doesn't look like much but very tasty !!

Tania's steak (so tasty !!)

My chicken ( tasty !!)

The crepe suzette...a gret way to finish the evening off

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Recently spotted

Spotted this sign this morning:

My question: how much then ??

Welcoming the new guy

The night after Angela's farewell, we hosted another function. This welcome David & Helen.

We supposed to have alot of the prep work done the night before but as you probably noticed from the previous post....that wasn't going to happen !!

Somehow....Tania & I managed to pull it off.

The new folks: David & Helen

There's Angela back for yet more !!! (it was only soft drinks for Angela this night)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A farewell for Angela - Part 2

Angela's farewell brunch then continued on at our place. As you can see from he photos, a good time was had by all:

The Amby with some of guards

A farewell for Angela

Last Sunday, we had a farewell Champagne Brunch for Angela; one of Tania's work colleagues. Angela is a really lovely lady & Tania & I have become good friends with her. It's a shame we couldn't spend more time together. Angela...we're going to miss you !!

Here are some photos from the brunch:

A photo of our pride & joy - the rug

Here's a photo of the beautiful rug we bought. It has pride of place in our lounge room:

More photos from Pushkar

I finally got my film photos back from Pushakar. I hope you like them:

As close as I ever want to get to a cobra

This is Pushkar Lake: considered sacred to the Hindus. It is said that this lake was consecrated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe when a lotus dropped from his hand into the vale and a lake emerged in that place.

A rather motley lot at the Pushkar Lake

Something you see quite alot of in India

I really like this photo. The man has such a great face; you want to know what sort of life have you led ??

More Movember action going on here

See if you can figure out what's special about this guy !!

This camel had such a bored look in its eyes !!