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Archive for November, 2006



Sharjah – Gateway to the UAE


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SharjahBudget airlines, more flights and connections direct from city to city have changed the concept of holidaying, and honeymooning. Metros hitherto inconvenient to access or totally inaccessible are now not only within reach but cheaper to travel to than domestic locations.

One such destination is Sharjah in the UAE. While Dubai continues to be a high-density route and not within the low budget fares, the launch of airarabai by the Sharjah government has altered the equation; fly to Sharjah and drive down to Dubai just 15-20 minutes away. Airarabai operates from 5 cities in India and their flight from Nagpur was the first foreign airline to touchdown on that airport. Besides Nagpur and Jaipur in North, Kochi, Thiruvanthapuram, and Chennai in South has not only shortened travel time but saved the additional connecting trip to India’s major metro capitals to catch a flight to the gulf. Chennai or Thiruvanthapuram to Sharjah fares start at Rs.3280 if booked early and air surcharge and taxes do not exceed Rs.1800. Last minute bookings are likely to end at a maximum fare of Rs.3800.

Adel Abdullah Ali, CEO of airarabia has this to say about the comfort level service and quality, “We are operating with brand new Airbus 320 aircraft and offering the best in service and safety. Though the aircraft has a capacity of 189 seats the configuration in airarabia is 162 seats, to provide more leg room.” Meals are not provided free, but when you save 30% on tickets passengers could spend 1% of that on food, he feels. “Unlike big airlines where you do not have a choice when you eat and what you eat, on our flights you can choose from over 5 different cuisines,” he adds. He concludes by saying, “Those who have been unable to afford air travel in the past will be enabled to start travelling throughout the region and those who do travel can do so more frequently; benefiting both business and leisure travel.”

Who does the chasing?


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First moveNina is bright, talented, a little shy and withdrawn..doesn’t send out any big-time signals to guys – her upbringing never encouraged such behaviour. Yet she never seems to lack for male admirers, and in fact quite a few guys are interested in her.

Maya is vivacious, very extroverted, almost aggressive in getting what she wants, and she isn’t bogged down by such “old fashioned” fuddy duddy ideas about the guy-girl thing. When she is interested, she shows it. And she also has a lot of guys around her. But somehow, Maya always ends up getting hurt. Suddenly guys who were around her like moths flutter away to other candles, and make a whole lot of excuses for not sticking around.

What’s the verdict? Try conducting your own private research with a cross section of guys – if they are honest, they will admit they like outgoing girls who don’t act too shy, and most guys say they don’t have a problem with girls doing the chasing. Sure, which guy would have a problem with that?! But if you get down to it, you will probably get most guys to admit that they find aggressive pursuit in a woman exciting – but not on a long-term basis. A woman who needs to chase guys is ultimately perceived as “desperate” whether or not she is. And there is no escaping the fact that the male of the species has still got the remnants of his ancestors’ tendencies (we’re talking Neanderthal man here!)– they like to hunt down their women!! The more of a challenge the better – great for their egos when they finally get her! It works in reverse for the “available” woman – initially it boosts a man’s confidence immensely to have an attractive woman pursue him – but after a while he starts taking her for granted and shunning her overtures.

Getting married? Get your finances together!


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FinanceHere’s a puzzle. I spoke to several couples about the “money” side of marriage, and naturally, got a varied picture, BUT….surprise surprise, in spite of the fact that most were modern, progressive couples, and considering this is supposed to be the age of materialism and go-getting pushiness, it amazed me to find that money was the one thing most newly weds or veterans were a little delicate about!

Ram, a senior advertising executive, says that although both he and his wife work, they have separate accounts, and in actual fact neither knows exactly what the other earns! And it isn’t an issue either. Both earn more than their joint needs require, so after contributing for the home, each gets to keep their own portion, to spend or save, as they please.

Oorna, a creative person in an ad agency says almost the same – she and her husband both contribute. Even for their wedding, while the parents took care of the traditional stuff, the couple spent on their little extras – the honeymoon, doing up the apartment…other touches.

Sumathi, married nearly 10 years, says that although she also works, her husband is still very traditional and ‘male’ about carrying the financial burdens. He insists on paying for all essentials and she is free to spend on an old parent, a piece of art, gifts, new furnishings or other optionals.

Mathew is quite clear that whatever he earns must be handed over to his wife who is the saving savvy person and who makes the money go a long way, spending wisely and well!

In very many cases, the initial concept of saving or investment comes from a parental source – bonds, shares, a deposit etc, invested by a parent for the young couple. Most couples take a little time to get around to deciding what to invest in, what to save for and how.

Ten Small Steps to happiness


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HappinessDid you think achieving happiness involved going away on a 10-day meditation trip, or emigrating…or changing jobs at the very least??  It’s really much simpler than that. Getting a few small corners of your life and mind in order is all it takes to prepare the ground for lasting joy and the ability to get the most out of each moment…and if you’re expecting some really tough or philosophical advice, you are in for a pleasant surprise………….

1. TIDY UP! Sounds crazy? It isn’t. Think of all the times you got late, or messed up your day because you couldn’t find a key, a document, your specs, a ticket or something you really needed. You will probably think – hey big deal, we lose things all the time, what difference does that make? Think again. When you lose things, you experience stress and worry. You waste a whole lot of time searching. Many people mess things up further while searching for things. And always at the back of your mind there is that nagging “where did I put…” thought. So just allot places for things. Dump them in those spots when you are hurried, but take time to really put away once a week. Soon it becomes a habit and you will be surprised at how much easier life gets.
 

So you got dumped…


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Got Dumped?Some people bunk work, stay in bed, neglect themselves and indulge in a deluge of self pity. Others get the battle light in their eyes and launch themselves on a shopping spree to end all shopping sprees, or (if male) an orgy of workouts, leaving trails of smoke as they tear their way through the gym. Still others turn quiet, cut off from friends, become almost reclusive and touchy.

What do they have in common? They ‘got dumped’ - to put it crudely.

You can read the signs a mile away. “We realised we weren’t ready for commitment”.
“ He had some relationship issues” “She needs to work through her past”…these are all the cool cover-ups to what is really a very painful and stressful situation-breaking up. The thing about breaking up is that it is rarely an equal, two-sided business; usually there is one person being left by the other, whatever the reason. And as common as the situation is, and however much people may use the right words to make it all sound okay, the fact is, that it usually leaves the person who is being left, raw, unsure and downright ego-battered.

So you got dumped. What do you do about it?
To start with, just accepting the fact involves some serious moving on. Once you get past the anger, the tears, the denial, you end up face to face with the fact that someone didn’t love you enough to stay with you. Of course the world has around 7 billion people who don’t want to be romantically involved with you and you don’t care, but this is different – someone who fell for you, chose you, experienced a relationship with you – has decided to opt out. Ouch. But once you face the fact you are halfway there. Next step is to figure why – often people try to make others inadequate…you aren’t attentive enough, you are too hung up on your work, you are too much of a flirt, you aren’t allowing your partner enough space. Some of this could be true, but some could actually reflect the other’s inadequacies – maybe he or she has a problem handling real relationships. Once you think about it in a calm manner, you may even figure out that it wasn’t necessarily something YOU lacked; quite the contrary.