Thursday, June 23, 2011

Are you proud of your country ?

Sometime back I got indulged into a group of friends on a rendezvous, a topic which needs a close watch and attention; Guess Wot? “Are you proud of your country?” I was petrified and tad numb, because I know I might get hurt, so I refrained from the entourage. This topic apparently is heavy and leads us into oodles of controversies and reprehension. But, If you ask me the same question, I rather be pragmatic and reply “Yes, I am, not because we won the World cup cricket 2011”.

What exactly makes you proud of your country? Is it when we beats Australia in the cricket? Or is it when your favourite political organization comes into power? ??

We had produced and gifted gazillion of artefacts to the world. We introduced methods of good life like Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra, naturopathy…Etc into the world. We are one of the fastest developing countries with a whopping outsourcing and bullish economy. Our country has a history of phenomenal civilization, magnificent architectural structures and religious sanctuaries. Greatest legends of the histories in the fields of politics, spirituality, arts, science and economics walked on our country. Birth place for the greatest spiritual masters who taught and served the whole humanity about the absolute truths of life. The only diversified country in the world with hundreds of languages, religions/castes, festivals, political organizations, colours, customs and cultural values. We have super speciality hospitals serving the poor with absolutely no charges. We have advanced technologies both in medical and military, higher education, 33% women representation in the parliament, the IT hub of Asia and lots more to be proud of.

But ironically, How far our system (government, organizations & individuals) has succeeded in sustaining the riches of our culture? Our progress has been slowed a bit by the sublime attacks and manifold indifferences. We are inflamed, influenced and indulged by the whirlwind of corrupt bureaucracy, communal riots, skyrocketing crime rates, gender and racial discrimination, foes between states, fight for rivers and resources, terrorism, human trafficking ….an unwinding lists.

We assassinated the father of our nation and many great leaders. We killed assaulted, spearheaded and engineered violence in the streets. Are the tourists safe? We have news of tourists being raped or murdered and how the crippled system let the culprits go uncharged and later those stories goes oblivion. An excerpts from an article I read recently: “she tries to hide the injury on her head with her sari as she describes how she and four other village women, mostly widows were beaten, paraded naked and forced to eat excreta. There were at least 10K villagers watching when these women were beaten up “

Are our children’s, sisters or mothers safe in the roads or the streets? Our security system is in stake, lapses in the system have invited 26/11 and parliament attacks and so on. How about our infrastructure and its associated components like traffic, roads and railways? How advanced and accessible is our health care system? How far our education system has expanded? Is every child of this country accessible to basic education? How about the child mortality rate, child nourishment, girl child discrimination?

I have read comments like “We would have become an Africa if British have not invaded us”. Pre British invasion, the power was vested with the Rajs, Kings or provinces which fought regularly for their personal benefits, a fugitive version of civil wars in Africa. Apparently British invasion was a cause to unite/regroup the entire provinces. Ironically the we raged a massive strike by Mahatma Gandhi and his entourage against them which led to their exit from our country.

In spite of doing nothing and being proud, we can be a good citizen who can resourcefully enjoys the luxury of fundamental rights and treat everyone as equals (We have the habit of treating people based on their positions/levels). Let’s join force with amity to preserve/conserve our resources like rivers, forests, hills, mines, wild life, boundaries and magnificent structures. Spread, share and educate everyone about our cultural values, assets and civilization. Let’s prevent crimes to take over the streets through awareness. Refrain from dumping thrashes into the streets and let’s make our cities a “Green and clean city”. Let’s follow the queue, discipline in the roads, avoid rash driving and violating signals, unnecessary honks, drunken and underage driving and finally drive responsibly. Treat all the religions and castes as equal. Refrain from destroying public properties like offices, bus and trains. Say “Goodbye” to unproductive strikes and protests. Make sure to clean the streets after the Diwali or any celebrations which leaves lots of wastes. Pay taxes and refrain from illegal investments and benefits. Finally, we can earn respect only when we give respect.

Remember, the actual power is vested with individuals / citizens of this nation and let’s joins hands with government to build a graceful paradise. Present and Future of our country is within the control of us and lets preserve our Past, lets hold our hands together and work hard for a better and smarter country blushing with love, serenity and sacredness.

Gandhi said “Work is worship”...

Narrowing the road to Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the Wonders of the World. Visiting Taj Mahal is the dream of the millions across the globe, known for its visual assault, architectural glory, engineering magnificence (placing integrated structures in a most fascinating way). By history, it is a symbol of love, a sheer dedication of a Mughal emperor Shah Jehan to his beloved third wife Mumtaz, who died giving birth to their 14th child. Careful study portrays the dark edges of Taj Mahal’s history and the declining charisma due to the pollution and other environmental elements. Ironically, the volume of people visiting Taj Mahal has increased tremendously, which clearly indicates the profoundness and cultural influences, a proud product of Mughal dynasty for the Indian subcontinent and humanity.

On to the road track, my families including the visiting Brazilian family and my parents along with my brother (Janks) and his wife (Divz) took a road trip to this historical location on 02/03/2011. We started our journey around 6:30am from Delhi; it was 5 hours on road to Agra, where Taj Mahal is located. The journey was loaded with fabulous entertainments, like riding on the camel, handshake with the Cobra, encounter with monkeys, heavily packed auto rickshaws, vivid colours and the wildest road side attractions of India. The motorist kept honking throughout the trip which gave us no peace. Around noon we reached Agra, which was unbelievably packed and we stepped Taj Mahal entrance around 11:45am. Agra still maintains the touch of Mughal architecture. We got the tickets, 20Rs for Indians and 750Rs for non-Indians and free entry for children under the age of 15.

Finally, we had the first glance of stunning Taj Mahal in its colossal arcade, a connoisseur work of brilliant artisans, magnanimous overflow of creativity, vision of a grief stricken emperor and victory for triumphant artists. The first glimpse had tears walked through my eyes, hair rising experience and breathtaking travel back to the history. At a distance Taj Mahal looked in a vivid prominence and its image sketched clearly in the pool narrowed between the walkways. It is brilliantly engineered and the tomb is surrounded by other architectural wonders like Darwaza-i rauza (the great gate), mosque (masjid), spectacular gardens and fountains. The vast gardens are bustling and buzzing with flowers and bees. The walkways are finely paved with designer tiles. Walking towards the Taj Mahal gave a gigantic white stone kissing the blue sky.

The first thing scratches the human celluloid will be posing for a picture with Taj behind. Off course we ran enthusiastically capturing pictures of the families very well fitting with the frame of Taj. We had postures of standing, sitting, lying, jumping, cross legged and Padmasana (Lotus posture). We even hired a photographer to capture some stunning pictures. The crowd was massive which sometimes tampered our photo shots, some heads and arms flashed in some of the pictures. Sometimes we need to stay in a queue to get Taj behind. My camera produced an approximate 400 pictures of Taj with my family members. The inside of the tomb was dark with the minaret works at its best and the crowd throbbed inside second. Behind the Taj is the famous tributary of river Ganges, Yamuna and its beauty has its own unique significance. Over the centuries it has served the vital needs of Taj and its surroundings. Capturing the Taj from the banks of Yamuna is always my dream, but left it for the next time due to time constraints.

The whole environment is a design of God, a piece which cannot be put on words, something for the naked eyes to snap it. The man is bestowed with a powerful gift of ideas and execution. A five hundred year old monument is standing proud for India and for the whole humanity, a confession of creativity into action. The trip was a blessing, learning and togetherness. Both the families enjoyed and absorbed the historical contents. I recommend a whole day encounter with Taj, keep up the high spirits and enjoy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Messages received from Sai Baba

Received by Seema M. Dewan April 4th 11:05 am U.S. time 8:35 pm India time

From My own self this Universe is born. I create a movement while remaining stationed in My truth and this movement projects Myself as the many. In all this “many” I alone exist, I alone do, I alone create, I alone destroy… I create both sides of the picture only for both sides to return to Me. To Me no one is the other… no one is close and afar… no one is mine nor not mine… all are the same whatever their form… whatever their function… I am fully immersed in them. From the most intelligent to the stone can all exhibit My presence if I will it to be. I am beyond the intellect… beyond emotion… beyond thought and beyond love any one’s body, mind, heart, and intellect can ever experience. Whatever you experience is a minute glimpse of My expansiveness.
Don’t cry… don’t ever fear, have faith- ALWAYS… in what I have said to you. I am indestructible… I have come for your sake and I will NEVER leave you. I am always at work for you alone. You are My breath; You are the reason why I have taken upon Myself a mortal body… you are the reason of My joy… You are My children and I am always your mother. I will never let any harm come upon you… and I will never take away Myself from you. I have come to spend every moment to love you and show you the reality of your own self.
Everywhere today there is suffering due to immorality. The mind of man is slowly destroying his own peace. Even the innocent have suffered due to some that have ignored the call of the atma (soul) within. But I am still the Mother of all. Both are My children, one I need to protect, and the other I need to correct.
The name of the Divine when chanted frees the negative energy that continuously hovers over the world today. I am always in bliss even when my body undergoes turmoil. I do not feel pain… I only remember you… your safety… and I remain in bliss. You remember Me most in times of trouble. But how can I give you trouble? I am your Mother. I always look for your welfare. To see one tear of yours makes me rush to be by your side. I am always by your side. You are not able to see Me for your eyes look for this world.
You are nothing but Me. To drive away the negative energy you must remember the name of God. That is why I have taken upon Myself this sickness. You remember Me… pray and remain in a clean pure frame of mind by that. Just by that positive energy emanates from you and all the troubles and catastrophes that you or your loved ones are about to face are washed out.
As for Me the ailment of the body is nothing. You endure pain when you see Me like this and from it you derive strength in order to pray, love, unite, and do the right thing. That is all that I want for your sake. Your peace lies in goodness alone.
Don’t worry about Me. Remember I am always with you. You are My breath. Only for my children will I continue to live in this body. Even the siblings who fight come together when the Mother’s body is ailing. I want to see you united with love for each other with complete unity and have faith that you are under the umbrella of My protection.
I bless you… now and forever!

Inspirational Message Received by Seema M. Dewan on 04/20/2011 at 9:14 AM EST USA, 6:44
Everything is possible if you shall turn and receive from Me the treasure of faith. Everything is possible if you do not disturb your peace with taunting doubts…Everything is possible if you are patient with time. Everything is possible if you are able to gather the atmic strength from within and remain stationed in My will. My dear children of this Universe…you are in My womb and I am the only mother that you have had in your many lives. With My thousand eyes…My million hands and My unspoken silent love I protect you always…watching you rise and fall in My own presence within My own Self. I am everything to you even though you know it not. And there is nothing…nothing I cannot do for you…

Everything is possible if you are determined in your effort. Everything is possible if you choose Me over all else. Everything is possible if you do not waste time…energy…My guidance always flows through every heart…if you are able to overcome the fears of the mind then your way shall become clear and the guidance from My heart shall enter every nerve of your being and with fearlessness, faith and surrender you shall accomplish anything and receive everything.

Everything is possible…that is what I shall always say to you. The laws of nature rotate along the orbit of purity…and if you My dear child rise with an untainted heart then they shall bow to you. Fate is for those who suffer, that are adamant to be weak and deny their selves of their divine strength. For the children who have obeyed My word…for them fate itself moves and makes way for their determination.
I am your mother…your origin…your root…your love…and your life. Whatever is in Me instantly flows to you if you do not obstruct it with the fear that I am different from you. Whatever I do is to make you believe that I am born within you and the moment you shall turn to My word and utilize its truth everything My dear child shall become possible.

Everything I do is what I have already willed as a part of this play and whatever you shall do is by the strength of faith. You shall not ask the reason of My ways…you shall be determined to complete the task that I Myself guide you to do from within…Then everything is possible…

Even though I govern this Universe I Myself comply with all the rules of the game that you comply with. I do not take any short cuts in my task. In fact I bear the same obstacles of the body that you do. I have to or else I cannot show you the way you need to take to reach the brilliant light of the atma (soul). Even when these obstacles come My way I do not flinch…I do not weaken…I allow nature to take its own course…I allow you to do your duty while I remain immersed in a task that you cannot comprehend.

I can endure any pain of the body. What makes Me sad is when My children come in the way of My task by fighting with each other. That I cannot bear… Those who have remained in the dark… those who have denied My love for them…those who seek ambition and opportunity rather than wisdom and peace will always try to sabotage My work…but they can never be successful for My task for you is imprinted on stone…all you have to do is to show that you carry the strength and light of truth…You must remain silent and not entangle yourself either by word or action with such meddlers. Pay no attention to them and they too shall silence in their babbling of untruths. You do not need to defend Me…You need to be silent and portray My teachings through your silent wisdom and selfless deeds. As for Me I will always extend My hand to all…Whoever extends and holds My hand, to that one I give the gift of truth and pure love…Have faith that I am where I need to be and you have to be always by My side…in spirit…and in devotion…

Everything is possible…but you cannot weaken…You cannot know it all while the task is in motion and before it is complete. I know…I am there always…I am Myself doing what needs to be done…I am fully conscious of everything…I have not come to leave with My task incomplete…I am with you…But you must have faith and be with Me. At the right time all will be revealed. Until then bask in My blessings and realize that everything is possible…if you shall smile and say with all your strength, “I believe…I believe…I believe…”
Everything is possible My sweet little one if you are able to do with faith, wait in patience and live in love!
I bless you with the treasures of these!

Inspirational Message received by Seema M. Dewan, April 23, 2011, 09:00 US time, 18:30 India time

The strings of this entire existence
I hold in My hands
And you shall hold on to
All the wealth
That I have already
Poured upon you…
And while you stand
Tight fisted
With all My wealth
I shall turn
Slowly these dark days
And solemn nights
In which you have despaired…
And before you
Shall be
An era
Of spiritual enlightenment
In which
All those who waited
With patience and complete devotion
Shall receive
The strength
Of a million elephants…
And with that strength
They shall make this world
Shine in My name…

Yes! Truth shall shine
In the time to come
Tears of selfishness
That one has wept
Shall be wiped
With the smiles of heroism…
The greed to be more
Than one’s own Self,
The fears to rise
Above another’s need,
The anger to control
Another’s peace,
The secretful wish
To be happier
Than the simply happy,
All of these
Shall come
To a stillful end…
For the army
That guards My kingdom
Shall place the rules
Of character and truth
And the time
That is to come next
Shall roar
With the voice
I have already placed
In each of you…

A miracle is…to come
My dears…
I alone know it best
If you can wait
For the days to pass
And keep yourself
In fortitude
If you can
Just hold on…
A little more
Than you think you can
Then you My dears
Are about to see
That which I shall unfold
For you to witness…
For you to live…

A miracle is to come
You have prayed
For it…
And even though
It may seem
That I have remained silent…
I have spoken
My will
In this entire universe
That is your home…

“The golden era
Has spread its light
From today’s dawn
And you O child
Shall awaken
To a miracle
That is…
To come…!”

A message received by Seema Dewan April 25 1:00 pm US time, 10:30 pm India time

May Bhagwan be with you....always..... He already has and will always be.................Baba has left a wealth of truth that no Avatar has left behind..............While we are focused on our worldly duties which never end till our last breath we must keep Him as our background, as our forefront, as our roof of protection, and as our vision. As long as the heart is pure and there is no selfishness the way ahead will be clear..................We have trouble making decisions only because the thread between the mind and the heart becomes weak and pulls us to do things that may be convenient. The test lies when one is able to break this invitation of ease and be lead instead by that which is true, which is right, which is soulful, and which emits the love that Baba taught us to live with.

I saw Him in the morning today in the childrens' room. He was sitting on the chair as though it was a completely normal day. I asked him, "Why do I feel so much pain in my heart even though I see you?" He smiled and replied, "Even I get attached to the body of my own self wherever there is Bhakthi, Nishta and Sabhuri (Devotion, Faith, and Patience). As much as you are attached to me I am attached to you. Even though I can watch over you without showing Myself to you I show Myself to you....................sometimes in thought.......sometimes in a dream...........sometimes in a vision...........sometimes by word...........and sometimes as you see Me...................I show all that to you only because I too enjoy your devotion toward Me...............My heart too leaps when you fill with joy....................I too cry when you cry.......................and when you smile................I fill Myself with you.........

"I believe in you..............more than you ever can know........................I have wept for several years because I have known that you place yourselves in Me....................and even when your mind come running to Me asking Me to save you from yourself..............I always have and I always will. Remember that in every moment of your life I am one step ahead......................if you fully realize that and utilize from it its will reach your goal................................and My will shall shine and give you the joy that you had walked with faith and devotion and completed My task.

You must believe in yourself.............just like you have believed in must love the purity in yourself...................just like you have loved My purity. You must know that nothing wrong can ever happen........................where have I gone? Where can I ever go? I am stationed in you as much as you are stationed in Me.............that is what I willed when existence began................and My bond with you shall remain..................until the very end and beginning of all times.

You are Mine and you must never forget that..............and I am always yours......................even when you forget that I remember that I belong to you and celebrate our oneness. As much as you come toward Me without a much as you lean toward My purity and make it much as you confirm and affirm My presence in much as you do that, that much you shall see that all of the universe is My form........My body.........My will...........and everything that comes in this orbit is placed by My will and My love for you.

You are undergoing the pain for your mind has begun to believe in My end of this body. It is making you is making you is making you plunge in despair....................but always remember that your heart will not keep quiet for long. The words of truth that I have placed within you and all of this universe shall translate from the cosmos and every being of you shall radiate its strength carrying back the mind to the supreme task whose trails of crumbs I have left behind in every corner of this world.

I have gone nowhere..................know that to be the absolute truth.................................I am there where you are and if you have forgotten yourself then you shall see Me not even though I am watchful of every moment now and forever...................

Remain in joy.............capture the bliss of Myself that I have gifted to you and graced you with..................tears are the instrument of the weakful mind.....................that is not your walking stick; neither is it the glasses that you shall see with................everything belongs to Me.................and I belong to everyone.....................the devoted hearts with a pure mind and a loving heart shall call Me from time to time.......they alone with the strength of their purity shall make Me once again visible to the world...........and I will come once again with My hands must believe in My word for whatever I say never goes to waste..........................whatever I say becomes truth......................always remember Me.....................know that I am before yourself from emotion........................and await My return..................

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Drive through the Brazilian Tourist Visa guidelines

In recent times i am receiving lots of request for information's regarding the Brazilian Visa, life, jobs and lot more. Here i am sharing some valid information's i gathered regarding the Brazilian Tourist Visa and procedures.

Below is the list of documents (some are optional) which might be required for applying the Tourist Visa. Tourist Visa for Brazil can be applied either in Mumbai, Delhi or Calcutta. People residing in the south should apply in Mumbai. These days the visa rules has been very strict (pls refer the embassy website in detail) and will receive only Single entry visa. Approaching a travel agency could fasten the process and makes our life easy

List of documents for Brazilian Tourist Visa
One Application form to be filled in completely and signed by the applicant and it should be filled in BLUE INK and BLOCK LETTERS. (Can download from the website)
- The passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of submission of the visa application.
- Two recent color photographs, 35X45 cm in size with white background.
- Covering letter from the applicant stating the purpose and duration of stay (It is advisable to hold an invitation letter from the invitee, also hold a copy to produce the letter to present at the Indian immigration).
- Foreign exchange endorsement on the passport or receipt/credit card copy along with statement.
No objection certificate from the current employer. (Optional)
- Proof of confirmed airline reservation
e.g. reservation slip. For applicants applying in Mumbai , they should submit confirmed air ticket.
- Proof of sufficient funds with last 6 months statement including mail address mapping to the applicant with stamp and signature from Bank.
- Income tax returns for last 3 years.
- Last 3 months salary slip.
- If you are self employed: registration of the company/ partnership deed/ Memorandum of Article (MOA) is required
- Two copies of passport first and last page to be submitted
- Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required and it should be done before a week prior to travel to Brazil. Yellow fever is not required at the time of the submission of visa application.
- Visa fees are to be paid by pay order only favoring “Embassy of Brazil” payable in New Delhi. Please refer the website for the latest Visa fees.
- In case of Minor under 18 years of age, original birth certificate and a copy, a notarized letter of consent signed by parent not traveling with the minor, or by both parents if the minor is traveling alone and Immunization record for polio for children between ages of three months and six years. If the child cannot be inoculated, a notarized letter from child’s physician is required

For detailed information, follow the links below. The links are huge repository of guidelines and procedures.

I would personally recommend Thomas Cook, who helped me get my tourist visa without any pain. ( The charges are reasonable and the process is organized.

Note:- Yellow Fever Vaccination has been made very strict for tourist visiting Brazil and returning to India. It is advisable to take Yellow Fever 15 days before traveling to Brazil as the rules has been very strict in India rather than Brazil.

For any concerns, corrections and updates pls connect with me.

Boa Sorte e Bem Vindo!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A different birthday celebration

Birthday is a unique celebration for individuals, families and organizations. It is a versatile celebration having no boundaries for gender and age. There is plethora of options to celebrate, like going to restaurants, pubs, parks, family house; some celebrate spiritually and so on.

My 28th birthday turned out to be a mesmerizing experience, celebrating in 3 continents, all in the airports. It was also my first birthday together with my wife. Accidentally our planned return date to Brazil fell on early 04/03 and the flight duration was 24 hours from Delhi to Sao Paulo. As Indian time was ahead of Latin American time, I had the rare privilege to begin and end the travel on the same date, ie 04/03.

Indira Gandhi international airport, New Delhi, I got checked in Delhi airport at around 11:30pm on 03/03, my wife and I did a quick shopping, took few snaps with the gigantic Buddha inside the airport and roamed around. While we were boarding the plane, my wife’s family gathered at the flight gate and sang the birthday song. They sang the typical Brazilian birthday song “ParabĂ©ns pra vocĂȘ, Nesta data querida, Muitas felicidades,Muitos anos de vida!...”. We exchanged hugs, kiss and received blessings, wishes from the family members. It was a grand surprise for me and for the fellow passengers as well.

CDG, Paris, we arrived at the CDG airport in the early morning 5:30 am 04/03 and our flight to Sao Paulo was only at 10:45am, rest of the family headed to Ireland. My wife bought a chocolate muffin and delicately placed a tooth pick on top depicting a candle; it was strikingly beautiful and memorable, thanks to my wife. We took couple of snaps in remembrance of this day at this location. Remember, it is still 4th March and I am still a birthday boy. Inside the plane we received champagne, followed by wishes from air hostess.

GRU, Sao Paulo, I am still on the spree, it was 6:30 pm, 04/03 and I waited for the bus to go to E.S Pinhal. There has been a huge delay in the bus timings due to Carnival in Sao Paulo, rain and usual Friday evening encounters. Finally we decided to head over to our friend living in Campinas, reached there around 11:45pm and we finally winded the wildly stretched birthday ceremony by eating delicious pizza.

To surmise, I had a fantastic birthday celebration and will be remembered forever. It was wholly different as I am away from my parents, resuming married life and the cumbersome travel. Thrown in these wild events, sometimes celebrations like birthdays play a pivotal role in mustering relationships and rejuvenating available resources. I thank my wife, both families and friends for remembering and sending wishes through emails and social networking communities. Yet another year full of adventures and experiments…..

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Electronic Commerce Processing

Here is a brief discussion between two friends about the electronic commerce processing and these sessions will be continued in future blogs.

Alex: I am curious to know about the credit card transaction. I just go to a shop, swipe my card and everything happens in less than a minute. Wow….amazing right?

Rico: Yes you are right; it is one of the most intelligent creations of mankind and offcourse complex architecture.

Alex: Which was the first credit card?

Rico: Diner’s card, during early 1950’s.

Alex: OMG….i didn’t know about that…

Rico: since its introduction into the world market, electronic commerce has undergone numerous enhancements and the evolution was phenomenal.

Alex: Electronic commerce? Are you talking about Credit card?

Rico: oh well…Electronic commerce cards are Debit, credit, prepaid….etc

Alex: Who are the main stakeholders of a transaction?

Rico: Basically five major stakeholders are involved. They are Associations (Visa or MasterCard), Issuer, Acquirer, Merchant and Cardholder.

Alex: Who is cardholder?

Rico: Well, it is the customer who holds a valid credit card issued by some banks.

Alex: What is the role of an Issuer and an Acquirer?

Rico: Issuer is the bank which issues the credit card, where us the Acquirer is the bank which holds the POS machine or the bank of the merchant.

Alex: What is POS machine?

Rico: It is Point of Sale, the machine used to swipe the card. It is issued by the bank which the merchant hires. There are third party processors which provides POS machine as part of their services.

Alex: Can the issuer and acquirer be the same banks?

Rico: Off course, both can be same or not. Some countries have restrictions like in Canada.

Alex: Associations?

Rico: Yes, They are non-profit organizations which provide medium/channels between banks for speedy transactions. The revenue they yield is utilized for the technology enhancements and the employee benefits.

Alex: How will be the Visa and MasterCard benefited?

Rico: Visa and MasterCard charges every transaction which happens through their network, a small service charge.

Alex: How exactly is the transaction happens?

Rico: The time when the Cardholder swipes the card in a POS machine, it undergoes a cycle of processes starting from authorization until billing.

Alex: Who are processers?

Rico: Ah!!! They are third party vendors or processors, who help the banks in transactions. They do authorization, billing, report generation with the help of Visa and MasterCard channels.

Alex: How does the Merchant receives money?

Rico: There are applications which pull the merchant files and the files are fed into batch jobs (which run during the night). After successful batch run the merchants will receives the money. Also, some service charges are deducted from the merchants for using POS machine.

Alex: you mean to say that merchants will not receive money when a customer swipes the card???

Rico: No, merchant will receive only after the successful batch run.

Alex: Rico, lets continue the topic some other time…I need to push off now……

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Boas Festas – my Christmas celebration 2010

2010 was a year of overwhelming surprises and marked an era of self realization, knowledge, acceptance, adaptability and significantly in embarking new scales of adventures.

I got a unique opportunity to celebrate Natal (Christmas) with Dani’s family. It was the union of Felippe, Toffoli, Debuire (French), Petareli and Vadakkedath (Indian) families under an umbrella on a well decorated table. Bringing all these families together signaled a salient upcoming change, prosperity and was an opportunity to cement the declining family relations

hips. To me, it was the perfect opportunity to introduce myself into the big family. The gathering constituted 45 people with mixed age groups, living in neighboring cities and of multiple professions. The magnitude of this year’s Christmas commemoration was significantly high because of international participation, as we have a French family, Debuire and an Indian. The celebration was held at the newly constructed house of Dani’s tia (aunt), Teia. She is a retired physical instructor from military and an artist.

Julien from Debuire family is married to Helen from Toffoli family is cousin of Dani. Recently they are gifted with a new born cute baby boy, Cauan. They were accompanied by their visiting French parents who are on a short visit to see the new born baby. Not to ignore, myself, an Indian native who was recently tweaked into the Felippe family through Dani.

The celebrations started with an introduction, were everyone gets a chance to introduce themselves, like belonging to which family, profession, plans for the coming years …..etc. I gave a very pleasant introduction and thanked the families for the hospitality and support in the last couple of months. I appreciate the idea of this theme, but there was lot of annoying interruptions, unwanted comments and teasers from some of the participants. The Dani’s uncles gave an awesome introduction and thanked the other families for inviting them.

Food, an integral part of all the celebrations in Brazil, was diversified this time, with the presence of an Indian dish and variety of typical Brazilian dishes. Honestly, I ate a lot and decided not to eat for another couple of days. Followed by this heavy food were the delicious deserts. Another interesting event of the celebration is the exchanging of gifts. I enjoyed this part incredibly because I received numerous gifts. To list a few, my dream shoes from Dani, a suave shirt from mae, a football shorts from Mariana and goes on. Sadly, I was not able to gift Dani on our first Christmas together.

The fiesta continued until early morning 3:00 am…

On the flip side, I missed my family back in India and I sent good vibrations, blessings and wishes from here. Julio's absence had a huge influence in the family and everyone got the opportunity to speak with him on phone. Again, I Thank all the families for the immense support, motivation and unity for realizing many dreams. I wish all the families, individuals across the globe are blessed this year and the following years….