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Showing posts with label family and parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family and parenting. Show all posts

Thursday, 5 December 2013

10 Visa Free Destinations for Indian Citizen

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Indian travellers may rule the declining rupee but there are other perks to being an Indian citizen. Holders of Indian passports have visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to about 52 countries and territories around the world. At least 28 of these nations allow Indian passport holders to visit without a 

pre-issued visa. 

In many cases, an Indian citizen's country of residence determines the degree of access to other countries. Indian citizens holding permanent resident (Green Card) status in the United States do not require visas to visit Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean islands. Indians of particular professions with a residency in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are exempt from visas to enter the United Arab Emirates. Indian citizens do not, similarly, need a visa to enter Nepal or Bhutan.


Bhutan, the happiest little nation in the world, is among the most sought-after Himalayan destinations for tourists but the Himalayan mountain kingdom is very conservative when it comes to tourism. Travel writer Pico Iyer mentioned it in his book, Falling off the Map, as one of the world's remotest places. Until recently, Bhutan restricted tourist numbers. Though that has changed.


Most Indians need to look up the British Virgin Islands on a map. They lie in the Caribbean Sea, and include over 60 islands and keys, of which about 43 are uninhabited. Indian citizens are granted a 31-day visa-free stay in the British Virgin Islands for tourism purposes. One of the best ways to visit the islands is by cruise ship, as many cruises operate from the United States to the nearby US Virgin Islands. There are no direct flights between India and the British Virgin Islands. 

Approximate cost of round trip flight: INR 1,60,000 (via Paris and Saint Maarten) 


The Cook Islands lie in Polynesia, off the coast of New Zealand. They are named after Captain James Cook, who discovered them for the western world in 1770. Since 1965, the islands have been self-governed with free association to the government of New Zealand, which controls the islands' defence,Rarotonga International Airport, the main port of entry to the Cook Islands, is connected to Auckland via daily flights and weekly flights from Sydney, Fiji and Los Angeles. 

Approximate cost of round trip flight: INR 1,60,000 (via Singapore and Auckland).


Not to be confused with the Caribbean nation known as the Dominican Republic, the island of Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by the British. It has beautiful hiking trails, rainforests and beaches with great opportunities for snorkelling. Indian citizens are allowed to stay for 22 months without a visa. 

Approximate cost of round trip flight: INR 2,00,000 (via Paris and Saint Maarten)

El Salvador, the most densely populated country in Central America, lies between Guatemala and the Honduras. Volcanoes, mountains and cloud forests offer plenty of nature discovery and hiking opportunities. Old colonial towns and UNESCO World Heritage Sites beckon heritage tourists. Indian nationals are permitted to stay for a maximum of three months without a visa. 

Approximate cost of round trip flight: INR 1,44,000 (via Paris and Miami)


The beautiful Caribbean islands of Grenada offer much to tourists in the form of beaches, waterfalls, historic forts and spice gardens. Indian tourists can travel visa-free in Grenada for up to 90, but must show proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of their travel.

Approximate cost of round trip flight: INR 1.60,000 (via London and Miami).


Haiti is off the travel map for most tourists owing to the devastation left by the 2010 earthquake. One of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, its current political situation and concerns over the safety of tourists has prompted many countries to issue strict travel advisories. That said, Indian tourists are welcome without a visa for a maximum stay of three months.

Approximate cost of round trip flight: INR 1,52,000 (via Dubai and New York)


Jamaica is the most populous of the English-speaking Caribbean countries and its easygoing culture, cuisine and music, besides its many beaches, are attractive to tourists. Indian tourists can stay without a visa on producing a passport valid for six months and sufficient proof of funds and onward travel. 

Approximate cost of round trip flight: 1,53,000 (via Dubai and New York/ Toronto)


Not to be confused with the Spanish region of the same name, Montserrat is an island in the Caribbean southeast of Puerto Rico and once a popular resort. Since 1989, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions forced its closure but the island is slowly limping back. Indian citizens must show proof of citizenship but can travel visa-free on furnishing proof of onward travel and adequate funds. 

Approximate cost of round trip flight: 1,30,000 (to Antigua, via London) and a 15-minute air-hop from Antigua to Montserrat (about INR 5,000)


The far-flung Federated States of Micronesia are a group of 607 islands in the Western Pacific Ocean, comprising the states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. It is considered one of the most remote and beautiful places in the world, with pristine coral reefs, quaint cultures, exotic food and picturesque islands. Indian citizens can travel visa-free for 30 days upon producing proof of sufficient funds, onward travel and accommodation. 

Approximate cost of round trip flight: 2,04,000 (via Hong Kong, Guam and Truk) 
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Monday, 14 October 2013

Banksy sells art works for $60 in New York's Central Park

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Banksy sells art in New York's Central Park on Oct. 12, 2013. / BANKSY
Banksy, the elusive British graffiti artist who has taken up a month-long residency in New York, sold a few of his pieces on the cheap over the weekend.
And by cheap -- we mean $60 apiece. This is the same artist who has sold his art for thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands.
Banksy revealed on his website that he had set up a table in New York City's Central Park on Saturday with original signed pieces. "Yesterday I set up a stall in the park selling 100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases. For $60 each," he wrote. But they weren't there for long, apparently. "That stall will not be there again today," he wrote Sunday.
Banksy had an elderly man set up shop at the stall, and according to a video posted on the artist's website, it took about four hours before the man made his first sale. A sign read: "Spray Art. $60."
"A lady buys two small canvases for her children, but only after negotiating a 50% discount," Banksy wrote on the video; the New Zealand woman bought two signed Banksy pieces for $120.
Banksy, who hasn't revealed his real name, has been in New York over the past week or so, creating art on the streets of New York. The results have been showing up all over social media.
Banksy was behind the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary, "Exit Through the Gift Shop."
© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Sunday, 13 October 2013

`When Your Communication Styles Don't Match

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Why do people who consider themselves good communicators often fail to actually hear each other? Often it’s due to a mismatch of styles: To someone who prefers to vent, someone who prefers to explain seems patronizing; explainers experience venters as volatile.P
This is why so many of us see our conversational counterparts as lecturing, belaboring, talking down to us, or even shaming us (if we are venters and they are explainers) or as invasive, out of control, and overly emotional (if we’re an explainer and they’re a venter). Facing this kind of mismatch, what do you think the chances are for either person actually listening with an open mind? My answer is… very low. It is tempting to say “zero,” but since it’s not possible (or even desirable) to work only with people who match your communication style, you need to develop the skill to try to listen around their communication style.
Listening around that style, however, can be incredibly effortful. When someone is eitherventing/screaming or explaining/belaboring it triggers a part of your middle emotional brain called the amygdala, which desperately wants to hijack your attentive listening and instead react reflexively with whatever your hardwired reactions are. And resisting that amygdala hijack is exhausting.

What to Do with a Venter/Screamer

If your conversational counterpart is a venter/screamer, your hardwired survival coping skill might be to tell them to calm down (which will only make them more upset), to shut down and get silent (which will only make them yell longer, because they’ll think you’re not listening), or to try to point out how irrational venting is (which, as noted above, they will perceive as patronizing and belaboring). Instead, say to yourself, “Okay, here comes another temper tantrum. Just let them blow. Try not to take it between the eyes and imagine you’re looking into the calm eye of a hurricane and the storm is going over your shoulder.”P
To do this, focus on their left eye. The left eye is connected to the right brain—the emotional brain. Let them finish. Then say, “I can see you’re really frustrated. To make sure I don’t add to that, and to make sure I don’t miss something, what was the most important thing I need to do in the long term, what’s the critical thing I need to do in the short term, and what do I need to get done ASAP?” 
Reframing the conversation this way, after they’ve finished venting, will make sure that your “explainer” self knows what to do–instead of ignoring the venting as another random outburst from “Conan the Barbarian” or “the Wicked Witch of the West.” Chances are, they do have something important they’re trying to tell you–even though they’re not communicating it very well.
After they respond, say to them, “What you just said is way too important for me to have misunderstood a word, so I’m going to say it back to you to make sure I am on the same page with you. Here’s what I heard.” Then repeat exactly, word for word, what they said to you. After you finish, say to them, “Did I get that right and if not, what did I miss?” Forcing them to listen to what you said they said, “because it was important,” will slow them down, will help you stay centered and in control, and will earn you their and your own respect.

What to Do with an Explainer/BelaborerP

If your conversational counterpart is an explainer, your hardwired survival coping skill might be to say to yourself, “Here they go again, make sure you smile politely even if you want to pull your hair out. Try not to let your impatience and annoyance show.” The problem with this is that even though they may be oblivious to others as they go on and on, at some level they may be aware of your underlying impatience and… that might actually make them talk longer. Yikes.
Realize that the reason they explain and belabor things is probably because their experience is that people don’t pay attention to what they say. They don’t realize that while that may be true of some truly distracted people, for others, the reason they don’t pay attention is that the speaker is belaboring something that the listener already heard—and doesn’t want to hear over and over again. Another possibility is that these explainers may not be feeling listened to somewhere else in their life (by their spouse, kids, parents, or boss) and is now relieved to have you as a captive audience.P
When the explainer goes into his explanation/lecture/filibuster, say to yourself, “Okay, this is going to take a while.” Put a mental bookmark in whatever you were working on. Then look them in their left eye with a look that says, “Okay, take your time, I’m fully listening.” Instead of feeling frustrated and reacting by become impatient and fidgety, remind yourself, “They need to do this. I can be patient.”P
Then when they finish then apply a similar response to the venter/screamer with the following minor edit: “I can see that you really had a lot that you had to say. To make sure I don’t miss something, what was the most important thing I need to do in the long term, what’s the critical thing I need to do in the short term, and what do I need to get done ASAP?” P
After they respond to that, say to them, “What you just said is way too important for me to have misunderstood a word, so I’m going to say it back to you to make sure I am on the same page with you. Here’s what I heard.” Then repeat exactly, word for word, what they said to you. After you finish, say to them, “Did I get that right, and if not, what did I miss?”P
Your amygdala is probably saying to you and to me, “I don’t want to do either of those things.These people are obnoxious and unreasonable. Why should I kowtow to them?”P
Here are several reasons:P
  1. They aren’t likely to change. These are deeply ingrained personality traits.
  2. Being more open and inviting them to talk rather than closed and resistant will lessen their need to act this way. Listening patiently hath charm to soothe the savage (or boring) beast.
  3. You will feel more self-respect and self-esteem. The above approaches will enable you to remain cool, calm, collected, centered and communicative in situation that formerly frustrated you and made you react poorly.
How to Listen When Your Communication Styles Don't Match | Harvard Business ReviewP

Mark Goulston, M.D., F.A.P.A. is a business psychiatrist, executive consultant, keynote speaker and co-founder of Heartfelt Leadership. He is the author of Just Listen and co-author of Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In (Amacom, 2013). Contact him here.
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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Clint Eastwood's Son Scott Eastwood Wants To Be A "Man's Man!(Actually not a gay)"

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Modeling for a photo spread in Town & Country, Scott talked a little bit about what kind of person and actor he wants to be…and in doing so he sounded a lot like one of the many hardened, tough characters his father, Clint Eastwood, used to play:
"I want to be a man's man — not a kid or a glitzy pop star but a no-bullsh*t leading man."

Scott will get his chance to do just that in The Perfect Wave, playing a surfer try to catch the ever elusive, and titular, perfect wave, and in Fury, which has him starring alongside of Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf!
Judging by this photoshoot and his upcoming movies, both his figure and his career have no trouble with the curve!
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