Monday Jul 13, 2009

From Kingston, Jamaica

It has been exactly a week since I landed at Kingston in Jamaica. The stay so far has been very pleasant. The days have been quite busy and that coupled with an element of laziness kept me away from blogging for a full one week. Honestly, I haven't been able to see much of Kingston yet. But whatever I managed to see and experience in the last six days or so, I found this city interesting. Perhaps there are problems here, like every other city, that doesn't quite seem visible to a stranger like me, settled in the comforts of a luxurious hotel situated in the heart of New Kingston. Whatever it may be, the fact that many major Corporates have their presence in this part of the world and that the city caters to the need of all its visitors fairly well makes it appear a very good destination to me. And like I said, I have been enjoying my stay in this City so far.

The trip to Kingston from India was rather long. I had to hop a couple of flights before I finally landed at the Kingston airport. Visa is stamped on arrival at Kingston. En route, I halted at Miami for a day and seized that opportunity to see the South Miami beach. On the day when US celebrated its Independence Day, a long stroll through the beach roads exhausted me and I was left with no energy for any other activity except sleep. Luckily, flight from Miami to Kingston was scheduled only on the next day and it was the shortest leg in my whole journey with a flying time of just about 1 hour 25 minutes.

And thus I landed in the Norman Manley Intl Airport at Kingston, located so close to the sea that while landing, for a moment at least, I thought the flight was landing in water!!!

I was charged USD 25 for transportation from the airport to the Hilton Kingston and that I felt was reasonable considering the distance covered. It was water on either side of the road for a good distance from airport to the Hotel and I really enjoyed that sight. Like me, if you also carry a misconception that it's beaches and beaches all over this Island, please be clear that no one comes to Kingston to see beaches. There aren't many beaches in this part of the world. For beaches, there are other exotic destinations within the Island.

Being a strict vegetarian has always thrown some challenges during overseas trips. On my arrival at my hotel in New Kingston, one of the things that I did was to walk around the place to spot an Indian restaurant named 'Akbar," which always stood prominent whenever Google fetched me the results for 'Indian Restaurant in Kingston, Jamaica'. I did drop in there a couple of times for my dinner. It's a decent Indian restaurant worth trying while in this part of the world. They have hotel pick up as well, but yours truly hasn't made use of that facility yet, as 'Akbar' is a just few minutes walk from 'Hilton Kingston', where I am stationed. On one another day during last week, one of my friends took me to another Indian restaurant near by. 'Jewel Of India,' as it is named is also worth a visit. Most of the afternoons last week, I got into the Earls Juice Center to fetch some fresh fruit juice and strict vegetable meals. Not very tasty, but certainly healthy.

I love the beaches. Since Kingston offered no famous ones and because I had a weekend at my disposal I followed a friend's advice to book myself on to the Knutsford Express that carried me from Kingston to Montego Bay, an exotic tourist location in Jamaica, on a Saturday, dated 11 July 2009. I came back to Kingston the same day evening in the same bus.

On reaching Montego Bay from Kingston, after a good three hour drive (approximately) with one stop of ten minutes at Ocho Rios, I went and spent some time at the Doctors Cave Beach and then shopped around for a while. To kill some time, I walked around the streets in Montego Bay. It was crowded with Music floating all around the place. I could even spot a DJ standing on the street and playing music for the public! Some street walkers produced weird noise and actions to grab my attention and my response to all of it, as advised in this website, was to just IGNORE them. It works.

And here I'm resting on a Sunday in my hotel at Kingston. Oh yeah, before I forget, I'm here for a very serious reason, not to enjoy a vacation. A two weeks Boot camp around Sun's Software and Hardware Products at Fujitsu is what really brought me here to this Island. How well I managed to take care of the business purpose of this visit is for the folks in the photograph to comment. May be, their happy faces would well be a positive indication of a good Phase I of the Boot Camp.



Tomorrow I'm starting the Phase II of the program and I am looking forward for a wonderful experience full of learning and fun!

Saturday Jan 31, 2009

Four More Folks in the IDM 345 Club

Today I concluded a small batch on IDM 345 here in Bangalore. Published below is the batch photograph:



To know more details on Sun Java System Identity Manager, click here. In case, if you are looking for details on Identity Manager Certification, this is the place to go.

Thursday Jan 22, 2009

Sun Fire Midrange Server Training at Hyderabad

This evening I'm leaving a city where the father of Java would enlighten thousands of Java aficionados a couple of days forward to the Valentine's day this year in a grand event that's expected to bring a record number of developers under one roof. Well I'm no James Gosling to address an audience of thousands, but came to Hyderabad to teach half a dozen folks some lessons on Sun Fire Midrange Server . The course concludes today and I'm off to Bangalore, hoping to hit Hyderabad soon to find myself seated among a huge audience ,listening to James Gosling and several other distinguished speakers. My dear reader, while you make up your mind to plan and attend this years Sun Tech Days in India, I'll leave you with the batch photograph of this weeks batch at Hyderabad, concluding today.



And yeah, if you decide to take up the rare opportunity to see James Gosling and other visionaries of Sun share their thoughts, live, register for Sun Tech Days 2009 right here.

Thursday Aug 21, 2008

IDM 345 - The Noida Batch

Though I wrote about my entry to Noida in my earlier post, I haven't yet talked about my exit. Reached Bangalore at late night on the day forward to the India Independence Day. Things went well. With only a half an hour lunch break on all days, with absolutely no tea breaks in between and with only five members from an organization sitting through the training (see them in the snap below), it was quite obvious that the sessions would end quite smoothly, well in time. Thus on the day of Raksha bandhan, the day next to the India Independence Day, we closed our discussion on IDM well before 3:00 in the evening. Now, that doesn't happen often for an IDM 345 course.



Thursday Aug 14, 2008

Celebrate the Independence Day

On a telephonic conversation with my parents, a week back or so, when I conveyed to them about my journey to Delhi for a training on the week of India Independence Day, I could feel a pause and then a sigh of anxiety on the other end. They had every reason to be anxious, especially after a series of unfortunate events like serial bomb blasts, unfolding itself in some of the well-known places in India. Some one else advised, before I set out my journey to Delhi this week, to try and keep myself away from all crowded locations on the day, when India would celebrate its 62nd Independence Day. As an Indian, it isn't encouraging, having to celebrate the country's freedom with a mind that's not completely free from fear. And it's unfortunate that the situation is such as above and that many wouldn't know whom to point the finger at for such a sorry state of affairs.

Having said all these, it's no doubt a matter of pride, remembering India to be the motherland of some great visionaries, whose inspiring words are reasons for solace and hope for all of us. And with our country finding its way to the list of Gold Medal Winners in the worlds biggest stage for sports, one would only be hopeful to see such fabulous stories of human achievements repeating itself for our Nation and that all of us would continue to strive for such perfect accomplishments in our respective fields that includes but not limited to Arts, Agriculture, Science, Sports, Spirituality and Technology, placing India among the top contributors to the world in all aspects mentioned above. Wouldn't that be a reason to feel proud of our Nation and hold its flag flying high? Well and truly yes and so be it.



On a day as this, it isn't sufficient to look forward to a promising future, but would also be appropriate to sit in retrospection, remembering the heroic deeds of thousands of Freedom fighters, paying them tribute at least in thoughts. Honestly, I have never been able to feel with my heart any amount of pain while reading about the freedom struggle in India! Their pain, their struggles, only they knew. People like me who is living in an era much forward to the pre-independence period cannot even touch one dimension of the pain that the freedom fighters went through to gain Independence. The magnitude of sufferings of many Indians during the course of fight for freedom is indeed hard to imagine. All I can say is, I'd be gasping for breath if I walk a few kilometers at stretch, I'd be wanting for food if I starve for a day, leave alone marching 240 miles on foot, fasting for weeks and that too not for any selfish reasons, but for the sake of generations to follow, which is you and me. It's very clear, they weren't ordinary men, who fought for our freedom, but brave souls, who lived and died for a noble cause. It's their victory that we celebrate today, saluting them mentally for all the heart-throbbing chapters that they wrote in the Indian History

Lastly, before I leave this space, I would wish to mutter under my breath, the words of Gurudev, which I feel is no less significant in an era that we live in. In fact, it is more appropriate to utter this prayer in this present age:

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake"

Let's all Celebrate the India Independence Day with a heart full of gratitude and respect towards all those who devoted their entire life for the freedom struggle and with a pledge as neatly expressed by one of my mentors in his reply to my Independence Day wishes, "Every citizen of this nation, I believe, should think and work on those lines to take this great nation to its cherished destination devoid of poverty, unemployment and other evils afflicting society." Jai Hind.

Wednesday May 28, 2008

Sun Microsystems declared a Business Superbrand

Read more on the title of this blog here, here, here, here and here.

Wednesday Feb 13, 2008

Memoirs of a Lovely Evening at Little India.

It was in the month of November 2006 that I met Yusuke for the first time. We had landed at Singapore with a common interest of picking up some lessons on Solaris Internals. How much can you know about a person in just five days? May not be much. But at times it takes only a few minutes to develop a good rapport with someone. Else, how could it happen this way that a stranger from the Land Of Rising Sun offer to join for an outing to the streets in Singapore.

And thus on Monday, 20th November '06 we set out for a journey to Little India in the late evening after our sessions. Some times, even such a short segment in life carry an impression that last quite a long period. So many months have passed, still those memories haven't faded: walking through the busy streets, jostled by the men and women of all ages, trying to educate each other on the cultural differences between India and Japan, and finally getting into an Indian restaurant to gobble down some food at night.

It's not that all of a sudden those memories just popped up and I decided to publish in the blogosphere. I've already written about that evening in here. The reason why those thoughts came up again is because Yusuke was here in Bangalore last week and I spent an entire Saturday with him moving around in the city. When I was confused about various destinations that I could take him to in Bangalore, he pulled out a Japanese book from his bag which had a map of India and detailed descriptions about top tourist destinations in and around Bangalore and other Indian cities. It is with that kind of preparations that these folks travel! He flew back to Tokyo the same night, but not before evoking in me the good old memories of that lovely evening spent together at Little India.

Thursday May 24, 2007

Report on Scott Mcnealy's visit to India & Japan

You may read Scott Mcnealy's report on his visit to India & Japan here. Enjoy reading the Sun Executive Perspectives.
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