Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer days in Shillong... Cool breeze and beautiful blooms. Is that spring round the corner?

 *    ***************SUMMER   HOLS IN   SHILLONG, MEGHALAYA**************       *

Overlooking the Barapani from Ryn Kynzai, Outer Shillong.

I never thought Summer would be that lovely in Shillong. Its been so long... While I was looking forward to go home to enjoy the summer bliss... Things happened the other way round and turns of events took me to Shillong, Meghalaya.

It was a sudden decision. So, that year flight fares were so high and we took the tickets at triple times the normal flight fares. The lovely experience was worth it.

Shillong is connected from Delhi via Guwahati by direct flights as well as trains and again reconnected by roadways.

We took a flight to Guwahati and a road trip of 4 hours to Shillong. The road trip was one of the most enjoyable road-trips I have taken so far. Guwahati was hotter during that  time to Shillong, but it was nice and pleasant.

Summer was amazing with the cool breeze and just couldn't believe that one day back I was in the heat wave ,or the so-called sweltering Delhi summer. Once a colleague in Dehradun said, "No one can escape the Delhi summer even inside a cave". That was funny and so true. (Food and Fodder for LOL, Indeed!) No one escapes. Its so hot with hovering 45C to 46 C most of the time. There is no respite of cooling it down after 10 pm like in some small towns of North India.

The cool pleasant weather of Shillong is best enjoyed visiting the Ward Lake, which at that time of summer was full of lilies in the water and lots of other flower blooms and greenery. The walk inside the Ward lake kept me reminded if the weather was for real. The breeze kept coming and I ascertained myself its for sure going to remain nice like that. There were so many locals visiting there and with Umbrellas. Boats rides were there but we decided to take a tour of the whole place by ourselves and inhale the beautiful, sweet smells of the flowers. Sitting inside the lake at that point of time was a blessing by catching up with old friends and sharing of good old days stories.

So, after that trip... Next after a few hours, we took a trip to Ryn Kynzai in  outer Shillong.

That gave the true glimpses of Shillong, abode of clouds. The clouds were all there on the roads and we bought the famous kwa of Shillong. ( Betel leaves & Areca nuts) It was getting so cold and that was height of summer in any other part of North India. After  half an hour drive or so we reached our destination. The sight was amazing with clouds coming in and the beauty of the place everywhere. I love the Maruti Taxis of Shillong which takes to the winding, hilly places of Shillong. Shillong reminded me of my visit to Switzerland somehow and everyone made a fool out of me that I was exagerating things and hilly places ought to look same anyways in someway. Though drivers were quite reliable and good there in Shillong. My cousin was very concerned and sent us with one of her known drivers from her house and we enjoyed more giving us the assurance as it will be friendly & safe journey/ long drive.

Thus, we started a journey to the many lovely places, roads amongst clouds of Shillong which takes us to the  many beautiful, another experience of a new place.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Look East Policy

India’s Look East Policy

          Look East Policy (LEP) was started by our then PM Narsimha Rao. The aim and effort was to have an extensive economic and strategic relation with the South Asian countries so that India does not lack behind its strong competitor China.

           Along economic liberalization and moving away from cold war era, China and India have been strategic competitors for a long time in SE Asia ever since the Chinese invasion of Tibet and Sino Indian War of 1962. China has always had close commercial and military relations with Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Not only that, China became the closed partner and supporter of the military Junta of Burma ( also Union of Myanmar ) which had been ostracized from the international community following the violent suppression of pro-democratic activities in 1988. China's close relation with Pakistan and border disputes in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have threatened the improvement in bilateral relations.

         India’s strategy had always focused on forging economic and commercial ties, increasing strategic and security cooperation and the emphasis of historic cultural and ideological links.

          India has established strong commercial, cultural and military ties with Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia along with Burma.

          In 2006, China and India opened the Nathula pass for cross border trade for the first time since the 1962 war. Trade between China and India increases by 50% every year. India’s support for the exiled Tibetan religious leader, the Dalai Lama also causes some friction in bilateral ties. Mekong – Ganga co-operation, BIMSTEC, forged extensive cooperation on environmental, economic development security and strategy affairs, permitting the growth of influence beyond South Asia and without the tense and obstructive presence of Pakistan and China that has stalled its effort in SAARC (South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation).

          In the light of political scenario stated, LEP was launched with a view to establish closer economic integration with South East Asian states. India did not have any concrete strategy before LEP, to create an economic hub in its NE region, or explore the trade and commerce potential with its ASEAN neighbours. It was a significant shift in India’s policy prioritization. The LEP holds the potential to make NER, the commercial corridor of India, linking the ASEAN Nations enabling its people to harness economic wellbeing through Trade and Tourism. India’s LEP was to look to NE first.

        India has an objective of becoming a superpower by 2020. We cannot neglect the business and potential which has to be taken up with South Asia nations. Their importance is immense. Besides, the policy will enhance the economic status or progress of NE states. India  with its growing economy can comfortably do business with all emerging nations of SE Asia which are rather smaller in size like (Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore ). If India neglects our Eastern neighbours in terms of relations, the overall influence of China will surely be overbearing and too dominant in Economic affairs of SE Asia

***************          From MSK Class Speech/2010/B School)                 ********************