Shah Family

Saturday, March 18, 2006

February 28, 2006



Today is Feb 28th and more progress has been made!

I got great replies from Mr. Salmanbhai Ali and Mr.Khalidbhai Omar (inventor of the 1st Pakistani made car and scooter) of the Offroaders Club. Mr. Omar seems to work or manages Syntech Fibres (Pvt) Ltd. www.syntechfibres.com. May be Bharat Shah of KayTee Industries in Mumbai have something in common with him.

Mr. Halidbahi Mahmood, MD of Getzpharma has been very kind and has promised me to get a good hotel in Karachi and send his car and driver at the airport. He is suffering with a slip-disc. I wish him a speedy recovery. He also pointed out that there is no problem in the region (no worse than what one can find in NYC or in Mumbai!) and he has gone hiking there with his brothe-in-law. So I am VERY excited!

I got my Passport picture taken today and will be going to the Pakistan consulate in NYC in a week as the weather improves. It has been rather cold and windy here with wind-chill factor it feels like 15 degree F almost -9 Celsius but the Sun has been out which helps!

I was able to talk to the Vice Consul Mr. Sher after I gave up trying to talk through proper channel since no one answers calls or calls back on messages. He said that there will be no problem - just come over and will expedite the visa to get the same day. Though I have been warned by others that the reality may be different! Khalidbhai had a good joke - the reason I am not getting anyone to answer the call is because the staff is busy getting more parking tickets in NYC - supposedly Pakistan has either 1st or 2nd highest diplomatic/unpaid parking tickets in NYC.

I looked into various airlines and decided to fly to Karachi on Pakistan International Airlines - they have a direct (long) flight from JFK to Karachi every Wednesday. The round trip ticket with taxes would be $1328 and for additional $160 I can have a side trip from Karachi to Dubai as well.

I talked to Pujya Akkaji. She was in good mood and started singing Happy Birthday as soon as she heard my voice. She stayed up all night for the Mahashivratri Puja. I was there last year and have very fond memories of Maha Shivratri Puja and my Shasti Purti. It is also accompanied by sad memory of loss of dear Pannaben with consolation that Pujya Annaji moved me to change the cabs at the last minute and I had almost 2 hrs. with her as we went from Bijapur to Sholapur for the train. She passed away in my hands in the train. Pujya Annaji must have planned that way. I observed dear Mom passing away in my hand some years ago and had to take a painful decision to take dear Ushaben from the life support in 1999. Lost Pujya Annaji also in 1998. SOmehow these people who were dear to me were taken away from me. However seeing Pujya Akkaji I get tremendous strength and happiness. If she can bear the loss of Pujya Annaji and move forward for his disciples’ sake then who am I. She is showing, by leading her life the way she does, the importance of Karma Yog.

On the home remodeling front, just as Pujya Annaji told me not to worry, things are rapidly moving forward. We were able to get the new frame-less shower doors installed in three bathrooms and like them very much. Template has been taken for the Granite Countertop and should get it installed in two weeks at the most. Painting starts tomorrow and will be done in a week and then in one day new carpet will be installed. I still have to get the pond work done but I am not worried. If possible, we will get the pool opened up and the canopy installed before 22nd March. and hopefully the home will be on the market by March 22nd. Not sure, yet, whether we will try to sell it by ourselves or through an agent.

At this point, I will leave JFK on March 22nd - Wednesday at 9:05 PM and arrive in Karachi on 23rd night at 11:10 PM. It will have a layover for 2 hrs (8:30 - 10:30 AM) in Manchester, UK. Total ~ 16 hrs of flight time. Supposedly PIA has acquired new plane that will allow it to fly direct from KFK to Karachi non-stop next year - wow 16 hrs cooped in the plane. PIA has flights also on other days but they go to Lahore or Islamabad before going to Karachi and adding another 3 hrs. Coming back, Tuesdays look like a direct flight from Karachi to New York - JFK. I will get a taste of being cooped up for 14 hrs. in the plane! Though we did, in 1988, similar flight from Seattle to Hong Kong and it was just as long. But I am 18 years older now!

Sat and Sunday March 25 & 26 are Ekadsi (Pap Mochani - Elimination of Sins) and I will be in Hinglaj for the Darshan & Blessings of Hinglaj Mata (Nani Mandir). What a wonderful plan of Pujya Annaji! Pujya Akkaji OKed for me to take the photograph of Pujya Annaji and Akkaji and touch the Mataji and bring that photo to Bijapur. I will need to find coconut, Sindoor and Saree for Mataji at the minimum. I have Friday morning in Karachi to shopping. Either will leave for Hinglaj on Saturday AM or leave for Quetta on Friday afternoon and stay in a hotel in Quetta. I will let Salmanbhai and Khalidbhai advice me. If I can manage then I would like to stay overnight at Hinglaj near Mataji. If possible, I would like to visit the world's largest Mud Volcano nearby and also the Markan Beaches. Monday March 27, I would fly to Mumbai around 10:20 AM and reach Mumbai at 12:30 PM on a 747. Monday, March 27th is also the monthly Shivratri and also Panchak meaning I will have to fly from Karachi to Mumbai 5 times. Looks like I will be going to Hinglaj every year for, at least, five years and will get a chance to explore Pakistan also.

DAYS OF OPERATION

Org

Dst

Dep
Time

Arr
Time

Day Change
(Ground)

Day Change
(Air)

Meals

Flight
Time
(Estd.)

Total
Elapsed
Time

Miles

Smoking

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

dot.gif

KHI

JFK

00:05

04:50

0

0

S /S

14.45

14.45

7292

No



DAYS OF OPERATION

Org

Dst

Dep
Time

Arr
Time

Day Change
(Ground)

Day Change
(Air)

Meals

Flight
Time
(Estd.)

Total
Elapsed
Time

Miles

Smoking

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

dot.gif

JFK

MAN

21:05

08:30

0

1

DR/DR

6.25

6.25

3336

No

dot.gif

MAN

KHI

10:30

23:10

0

0

BL/BL

7.40

16.05

4017

No



21:05 23:10 +1

More progress next week!

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home