Instagram Influencing …

Posted on September 9, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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Wanna Retire Early??? …

Posted on September 9, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Couple sitting on the beach while watching the sun set.

1. Set up automatic savings …

2. Increase your saving rate regularly …

3. Consistently make small budget cuts to save more money …

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Just a Girl in Love with Travel …

Posted on September 6, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Indian travel blogger, Shivya Nath


The Shooting Star’ – Just a Girl who Loves to Travel 
Do you dream of travelling the world too? 
Read these posts:
How I’m Financially Sustaining My Digital Nomad Lifestyle
Four Years of Travelling Without a Home
How I Fit All My Possessions in Two Bags As I Travel The World
What’s it Like to Travel Solo When You’re in a Relationship
How I Conquer My Solo Travel Fears
Practical Tips to Save Money for Travel
How to Deal With Travel-wary Parents
Solo travel: To Go or Not to Go?
How to Start a Travel Blog
How to Earn Money While Travelling

In 2014, the story of how I quit my job to travel was featured on BBC Travel.

In 2017, my journey was featured on the cover of National Geographic Traveller Indiamagazine!

In 2019, my work was featured on The Washington Post, among travellers changing the way we think of the world.

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1965 War – India’s Strike Corps …

Posted on September 5, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

India’s diminutive but valorous PM Lal Bahadur Shastri ic clearly visible – though somewhat overshadowed by the largish frames of Lt Gen PO Dunne n Maj Gen Shashikant Korla DSO, MC plus other decorations.

Others I do NOT Know/Recognize – But clearly missing are Lt Gen Harbaksh, the Army Commander n Maj Gen Rajinder S Sparrow, GOC Black Elephant Div.

Gen Dunne of the Gurkhas’ had retired on 31 Aug ’65 but was pulled back n promoted to Corps HQ he began to raise n lead into Battle ……

Gen Korla was GOC 6 Div n came with two of his Brigades. He was given two more from elsewhere and sadly his Two Attacks were dismal disasters – having been broke up totally by superb Pak Gunnery much before reaching Pak FDLs!!!

I know because I was there – Here follow extracts from a book THE BATTLE OF CHAWINDA by Maj (Retd) AGHA HUMAYUN AMIN – with quotes of our GOC and Army Commander and of Commender PAK Artillery.

‘Sparrow’ Rajinder Singh’s and Gen Harbakshs’ comments are a tribute to Pak’s 25 Cavalry, the only unit along with R and S elements which opposed our Arnoured Division Thrust..

Gen Sparrow is quoted, “The first day’s battle could not have been a worse start. The Armoured Brigade had been blocked by two squadrons and elements of the R and S Bn and in the first encounter the brigade had lost more tanks than the enemy. The.whole of 1 Corps had gained only a few kilometres”

The Pak author says that “the worst consequence of this day was the paralyzing effect it had on the minds of enemy commanders. It took them near 48 hours to come up with what to do now! This gave the Pakistanis time to move and deploy elements of 6 Armored Division. The advantages of the sudden initial onslaught had been forfeited by the confused chaos of the first days actions of the Indian 1st Armoured Division”.

As per the  author, the Indian Army Commander, summed up the Indian fiasco – “Both 16 Cavalry and 17 Horse failed to determine the strength of the opposing armor and displayed little skill in out maneuvering. The Brigade Commander made the unfortunate decision to withdraw 17 Horse from Tharoah for countering an alleged serious tank threat on the Left flank. This was a grave error of judgement as 4 Horse which by this time had been released to the Brigade by GOC 1 Armored Division, could have been used to meet any flank threat posed by enemy armor”.

More from Gen Harbaksh, “This blunder cost us dearly. We made an advance of only four miles beyond the bridgehead when a much deeper penetration could have been achieved. The fleeting chance that could have been exploited to gain striking success, was lost forever and while we were fumbling about ineffectively in a chaotic situation of our own creation, the enemy had that vital breathing space so essential for a quick rally round from the stunning impact of being surprised’.

“We courted a serious setback through faulty decisions and immature handling of armor which the enemy was not slow to exploit. From now onwards, the thrust which had been intended to keep the enemy off balance and reeling until the final blow by sheer speed of advance, turned  into a slow slogging match- a series of battering-ram actions”.

Harbaksh Singh praised the efficiency of Pakistani artillery in dislocating the Indian attacks on Chawinda from the very beginning by effectively shelling both the assaulting Indian brigades in a decisive and effective manner.

Harbaksh Singh wrote ‘Enemy shelling created such confusion that all control was lost. The leading troops lost direction and one unit barged into our own position in Wazirwali. A similar fate befell the other assaulting brigade whose‘Forming Up Place’  was so effectively shelled by the Pakistani artillery that only part of a battalion could reach Chawinda while the rest was repulsed half way”.

“Artillery fire played a major role in defeating the Indian armor whose failure was made certain thanks to advancing in a restricted space. while being hit by 90 artillery pieces including twelve 8 inch howitzers for 15 hours. In contrast the Indian artillery was scattered all along the front and there was hardly any place where it could provide the quality of concentrated fire necessary for blasting a hole in Pak defences.

Pak 4 Corps Artillery under Amjad  Chaudhri –  the man who had trained the 4 Corps artillery brigade in peace and handled it in a masterful and resolute manner at Chawinda noted that ‘most of the attacks mounted by the enemy were broken up by artillery fire on our defensive positions and his will to continue the attack was broken and he was forced to withdraw.

‘East of Chawinda, the Indians was prevented from coming close to our positions by our artillery alone though he made repeated efforts to outflank Chawinda from this direction. The nearest he came to this position was approximately 600 yards when he was forced to withdraw after his leading tanks had been destroyed and accompanying infantry badly mauled. His attacks  were repulsed with massed fire of all our guns. Casualties inflicted on the attacking troops by our shelling were so heavy that in these actions even after he had left our Defenses, his will to fight seemed to have been broken.

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Amrita Pritam …

Posted on September 4, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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Amrita Pritam – Her 100th Birth Anniversary –

‘Brave are the people of my nation
Brave are the people of your nation
They merely know death and assassination
Offering heads as sacrificial libation
That the head is never one’s own
Is a separate conversation
This Man is a corpse
Rare like God’s own corpse
So when in the midst of Man
This piece of God’s own land
Then its disliked odour
Does not rise ever
There is no lover
And neither is proximity a fear
No danger of pain
Just a border which is bigger domain
It makes them a subject of ridicule
Remove those borders which do not suit the rule
So the entire victory is free of disruption
And the whole feast is free of obstruction
On the lip of time a smile
And fixing on their bosom
Many medals of valour, impotent, unwholesome’

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Gen Giap …

Posted on September 2, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Vo Nguyen Giap3.jpg

Gen Giap (1911 – 2013) is considered as one of the greatest military strategists of the 20th century.

Giáp was a crucial military commander in two wars: the First Indo China War of 1946–1954, and the Viet Nam War of 1955–1975 – Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the Tết Offensive in 1968, the Easter Offensixve in 1972, and the final Ho Chi Minh Campaign of 1975.

He first grew to prominence during World War II, where he served as the military leader of the Viet Minh resistance against the Japanese occupation of Vietnam. 

Giáp had no direct military training and was a history teacher at a French-speaking academy, influenced by historical military leaders and personally citing TE Lawrence and Napoleon as his two greatest influences.

Giáp was a mastermind military organizer. During the First Indochina War, he had transformed a rag-tag band of rebels to a ‘fine light-infantry army’ fielding cryptography artillery and advanced logistics  and capable of challenging a larger, modernised French Far East Expeditionary Corps and the Vietnamese National Army. 

He would later earn the moniker “Red Napoleon” by some Western sources.
He was also a very effective logistician, laying the foundation of the Ho Chi Minh trail, recognised as one of the great feats of military engineering of the 20th century.

Võ Nguyên Giáp is credited with the North Vietnam’s military victory over South Vietnam and the US during the Vietnam War.

He played a pivotal role in the second transformation of the PAVN into “one of the largest, most formidable” mechanised and combined-arms fighting force capable of delivering a knockout blow to an increasingly more powerful rival Army of the Republic of Vietnam in conventional warfare.

His proteges also held the PLA to a stand still at the Border Areas in the 1979 invasion by China.

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A King’s Godman …

Posted on September 2, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

'Hitopadesa' for Our Times


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Grand Canyon – Things to See n Do …

Posted on August 27, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Shadows cover the south rim in Grand Canyon National Park (Xanterra Travel Collection)


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Battle of Little Big Horn …

Posted on August 27, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Battle of Little Big Horn or Custer’s Last Stand –

Charles Marion Russell - The Custer Fight (1903).jpg

The Battle was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, who were led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall and had been inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull.

The U.S. 7th Cavalry, a force of 700 men, suffered a major defeat while under the command of Lieut Colonel George Armstrong – formerly a Brevet Major General during the American Civil War.

Five of the 7th Cavalry’s twelve companies were annihilated and Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew and a brother-in-law.

The total U.S. casualty count included 274 dead and 55 severely wounded. The Indians lost 30 – 100 men.

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The Modi – Shah Brand …

Posted on August 26, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

By Suhel Seth 

Ideally, under precarious circumstances, we could we be discussing Marks & Spencer whilst referring to M&S: but in the context of India, it would be perhaps both timely and wise to study the influence and writ of Brand Modi and Brand Shah: and of course the reference is to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Home Minister Amit Shah.

Never before in the history of India, other than the Nehru-Patel duopoly, have we seen a political partnership of the kind we are seeing in Modi-Shah. A partnership that is strategic; firm and clear in what it wants to achieve. The fact that both men care very little to offer explanations to various cabals makes them even more appealing. And obviously more feared.

But then this is the new norm of political strong men across the world. They need to (and eventually do) drive both fear and avowed loyalty and its almost as it they whilst striving to unite, often polarise like never before. A fortnight ago, the Government pushed through legislation which obliterated a holy cow like Article 370: since 1950, no one wanted to rock this boat but Modi-Shah did.

They did it because they could and that is the first trait of the M&S brand: they are convinced of what needs to be done and they set out to do it. You may disagree with the idea or the implementation but you cant fault them for being decisive. Decisiveness is a trait loved by the people in their leaders. This will work brilliantly for M&S. 

In order to understand the workings of these two gentlemen, you must also take into account a historical context: they were both pushed against the wall, together, whilst in Gujarat.

They were, certainly to themselves and their supporters targets of abuse and hatred whilst no court of law in the land had actually indicted them. Their vilification by the outside world brought them together: in many ways they took refuge in their isolation as also in their troubles: which is why when Modi ran for Prime Ministership, he leaned on Amit Shah to deliver not just the party but equally the elections, which Amit Shah did with aplomb.

Which is their second virtue: both these men had had a track record of delivering on what they promise. Delivering on a promise is a critical trait for any successful brand: and I have always maintained that consumers don’t buy the brand: they inherently buy the benefits.

Many people took umbrage at the comments that Narendra Modi first made when he took over. One was related to corruption whist the other was a swipe at the prevailing Lutyens Culture.

Amit Shah in his response to queries in Parliament on Article 370 adopted a similar approach: while defending the Government’s decision to abolish Article 370, he also made it abundantly clear that this was a legacy issue for the Congress and that they in the BJP were merely correcting an enduring historical wrong.

Thus what we’ve seen in almost everything that Modi-Shah have done, is to disrupt the status quo. To use surprise as a lethal weapon but with effectiveness and stealth. Disruption is a tremendous tool employed by great brands to draw both consumers as also shift the battleground qua competition.

Political strategy is like a game of chess. You always plan the moves but never make them known. It’s not about arriving for the game and then planning your moves. What the Modi-Shah duo have mastered, over the years, is a sense of discretion.

Discretion in a country like India is both potent and necessary because given the leakages, many of the best laid plans can come asunder. They used discretion in almost every major policy initiative: be it demonetization; the surgical strike or more recently Kashmir.

Discretion amongst brands leave competitions second-guessing which again is both a unique and profitable trait of successful brands. Akin to a brand launch.

In sum, India is now seeing a new political idiom and not just a new political force. The tone and manner of this brand duopoly is different from any other that we’ve seen in the last hundred years, I would wager. It is about firmness and focus and built on the 4 Ds. 

Decisiveness. Delivery. Disruption. Discretion. 

And now compare it to the competitive political brands and you will see why they are wallowing in the kind of misery that they are bogged in..
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