Skip to main content

Trip to Las Vegas

The trip was marred by usual dilly-dallying, and frustration arising out of it and sense of pathos running under, which has been the leitmotif of my life. So the packing done last moment, in the night after watching the unbearable movie "Rock star" in spite of some excellent music. The flight was at 3:30 AM at the unearthly hour. A smooth flight with British Airways with Parathas on the first leg, and none of the nonsense regarding the luggage with which people scared me.
A Limo on the Porch of The Venetian
Reached the land of the Queen, in the morning, had some nightmarish expectation of Heathrow, but unlikely it was pretty big, and nice and systematic. Breakfast options were as limited as they are in the US, so it was Milk and Cake for me. Left UK by around 10:45, with a flight which was on time.Reached Las Angeles some time which seemed like evening, and then with American Airlines to Las Vegas in the evening. Immigration done there, with a quick check out and check in with baggage drop in the same terminal. In between, met up with colleagues travelling in from India through Emirates at LA, and on landing in LV took cab with them to the hotel. The city has amazing skylines, hotels here gives a different definition to the term huge. Awe-inspiring large buildings, which they are, all the time carry a festive look. Right at the beginning from Mandalay Bay, left on the side of the road from the Airport.
Landed at the reception of "The Venetian" designed with great paintings on the roof top, built around Italian fashion. The hotel was all built up to remind on of Venice, reflecting the name, including the Great Canal Shops around a Canal complete with Gondola ride with the hotel. The most amazing thing about the market was the roof top which was designed like a sky at the dawn. Entire market is lighted with such delicately designed light system, that one almost feels as if sunlight were falling on the buildings. It was surprising that even people who had visited the hotel earlier had not seen that. This was one of the great attraction, in addition to the other staple attractions of Vegas like the MGM lions and Sirens of Treasure Island.
Tour Bus to Grand Canyon
 Jet lag and tiredness which carried through the day, went to sleep in anticipation of an early wake up the following day for the trip to the Grand Canyon.
Joshua Trees
Mandalay the Morning
Booked on Las Vegas Grand Canyon tour, with Helicopter Boat and Bus, we were to be picked up from the Hotel at 6 AM. The pick up was around ten minutes late, and the tour was operated with Casino Tours and Travels with an EX US Air force tour guide on board. The tour began with a breakfast,  thankfully, vegetarian one. It was a drive of close to three hours with in which the landscape changed at least three times, so did the weather. The couple interestingly in front of us was in the age bracket of around fifty five, recently married on 11.11.2011 and much in love. Mostly it was couples on the trip. Now coming back to the landscape, it began with the one lined up with plain sights of outskirts of Las Vegas, a testimonial to great human spirit of enterprise in the middle of the desert, giving way to the Joshua trees. When someone asked as to why the name, the reply from the guide was that it was because the tree resembled a man with hands raised skywards, can not vouch for the authenticity of the claim, though.
Heli Tour base
It was a long journey with intermittent commentary by the tour guide on the path as well as other items of interest ranging from US economy, which definitely looks very seriously ailing from inside than one would assume from outside as realty prices have nosedived to half of the pre-recession value. Finally we landed at the base from where the Grand Canyon trip was to finally commence. What we saw next and experienced next was truly beyond the expectation, and it was not about the first time Helicopter trip, which was incidental, it the awe-inspiring grandeur of nature, against which mightiest of men must bow down. The happiness that nature renders is beyond compare.

My Little Bird
The temperature was low, close to zero, but the Nike jacket did its best to stand against it.
the weather notwithstanding, both me and my friend, Tapan were all charged up to go on the ride.
The Birds arrived and we took off. The thrill of Helicopter could not stand in the face of tsunamic thrill of watching the enormity of the Grand Canyon with the Colorado river flowing through it, like a nughty, bubbly dauthter in the watchful, loving and yet, rough embrace of a father.
First Aerial view of the Grand Canyon
The awesome visit to the Grand Canyon was followed by a late night walk through The Venetian's in-house Grand Canal Market, complete with a man made, always morn ceiling, with light placed so cleverely as to create a play of light with illusions of day even in the dark of the night, even an in hotel canal with gandola ride, though must be crazy attention for a single traveller. fFollowing days were like those floating before tired eyes as if in a trance with early wake ups on account of the sales conference, which if not anything else promptly displayed a confident CEO quite capable of speaking her mind, a first in the recent years of HP. One thing very interesting in the whole event was putting in a stand up comedian as the Emcee, which underlined the capacity of the organization to laugh on itself, which is a great thing to have in the times of stress. Evenings went in a quick rush to the next door Fashion Ways mall, which had Macy's as a last resort for all the tired souls after day long sessions on the great thing Cloud as technology is, for buying obligatory gifts for people back home, helpless souls worried with having to go back home empty handed and the eve tempting discounts on aspirational brands like Calvin Klein, Puma and all. Did buy a pair of sneakers and that constituted one of the best buys made in the US. Another best buy could have been Apple iPhone 4GS, which I did not buy merely on account of my eternal dilemmas, on which I had previously have lost a great deal of money on numerous occassion. The buy could have brought a benefit of ten thousand over its Indian price of the equipment, but did not buy it, and same dilemma saw me and my collegue, buy a two hour pass to travel on the bus for five dollars in stead of seven dollar one for twenty four hours, as we travelled from The Venetian to the south end of the strip, hopping on and off as we went to Frys Electronic store resembling an aircraft hanger, loosing track of time and eventually buying another set of pass thus loosing money, and then missing time again as we got down at hotel Bellagio to watch the amazing [and free] musical fountain, truely mesmerizing experience. Lesson learnt, always buy a twmety four hour pass. Dinner for vegeterians was more of a ritual with not much option but milk at Starbucks and some rice at Panda Express. There is also Mamba something for Indian food but could not make it. For return opted for the shuttle in stead of cabs, with a lesser fare even with the mandatory tip of eighteen percent. Before Vegas could even sink in, I was on American Airlines to catch BA, back to India, thinking of buying some apple from the Heathrow terminal in the UK, to make up for my indecisiveness in Frys. The prices there in the UK were like cold shower much higher than what they had in US, even for Chivas Regal, which was coming for fifty five USD for two in Chicago O`Hare airport, again thirty five for one in IGI Airport. Back home, struggle up for meeting the deadlines of BSNL GSM RFP staring back at me with the glean of a carnivore in the eyes on first day in the office.


Popular posts from this blog

कायस्थ- इतिहास एवं वर्तमान परिपेक्ष्य

सत्यम , दानम , क्षमा शीलमानृशंस्य तपो घृणा। दृश्यंते यत्र नागेंद्र स ब्राह्मण इति स्मृतः।। ( हे सर्पराज , जिसमें सत्य , दानशीलता , क्षमा , क्रूरतारहित भाव , तप एवं संवरण , एवं संवेदना हो , वह मनुष्य को ही ब्राह्मण मानना चाहिए। ) शुद्रे तु यद् भवेल्लक्षम द्विजे तच्च न विद्दयते। न वै शूद्रों भवेच्छुद्रो ब्रह्मणो न च ब्राह्मण : ।। ( यदि शूद्र में यह गुण हैं ( सत्य , दान , अक्रोध , अहिंसा , तप , संवरण एवं संवेदना ) और ब्राह्मण में यह गुण परिलक्षित ना हों तो वह शूद्र शूद्र नहीं , ब्राह्मण है ; और वह ब्राह्मण ब्राह्मण नहीं है। )  - युधिष्ठिर - नहुष संवाद , अजगर कांड , महाभारत , वन पर्व   वर्तमान परिपेक्ष्य में जिसे जाति कहा जाता है , वह वर्ण व्यवस्था का विकृत रूप है। सनातन धर्म का वर्ण जहाँ समाज को व्यवसाय एवं क्षमता के अनुरूप व्यवस्थित करने का प्रयास था और कर्म पर आधारित था , जाति उसी व्यवस्था का विघटित रूप बन कर जन्मगत व्यवस्था बन गई। जाति या कास्ट पुर्तगाल

Pathaan and Polarisation- Movie Review

Many have not seen Pathan, I have. I have a huge tolerance towards stupid movies and I love to watch all sort of movies. What has bothered me most about Pathaan is that in terms of content and characterisation, it is absolutely shoddy, much worse than much lampooned RaOne AND there is no review which openly tells you about it.  Most reviewers have reviewed the movie like a teenager, gushing over VFX generated body of ShahRukh Khan. This reminds me of my schoolmates bunking classes to watch tomato-sauce-laced movies of Ramsey brothers, gushing over semi-nude voluptuous actresses in the late 80s. Only difference being that those were school kids in class XII, with raging hormones and a stupefied intellect when a world around them was fast changing. Here we have middle-aged professional movie reviewers guiding people to their way in or out of Movie theatres. Their primary argument in favour of the movie is nothing but beefed up Shahrukh Khan and the gap between his earlier movie and this

बाल विवाह - हिंदू इतिहास और सत्य

  इतिहास का लेखन उसकी विसंगतियों की अनुक्रमिका नहीं वरन उसके समाज के आम रूप से स्वीकृत मान्यताओं एवं उस समाज के जननायकों द्वारा स्थापित मानदंडों के आधार पर होना चाहिए। परंतु जब लेखनी उन हाथों में हो जिनका मंतव्य शोध नहीं एक समाज को लज्जित करना भर हो तो समस्या गहन हो जाती है। जब प्रबुद्ध लोग कलम उठाते हैं और इस उद्देश्य के साथ उठाते हैं कि अप्रासंगिक एवं सदर्भहीन तथ्यों के माध्यम से समाज की वर्ग विभाजक रेखाओं को पुष्ट कर सकें तो हमारा कर्तव्य होता है कि हम सत्य को संदर्भ दें और अपने इतिहास के भले बुरे पक्षों को निर्विकार भाव से जाँचें।   बीते सप्ताह बाल विवाह को लेकर विदेशी सभ्यता में उठे प्रश्नों को भारत की सभ्यता पर प्रक्षेपित करके और उसकी स्वीकार्यता स्थापित करने पर बड़ी चर्चा रही। इस संदर्भ में   श्री ए एल बाशम से ले कर राजा राम मोहन रॉय तक चर्चा चली। बाशम की पुस्तक द वंडर दैट वाज इंडिया - को उद्धृत कर ले कहा गया कि हिं