Month: January 2014

The Goibibo Office in Mobile Day Mood

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Think of Mondays and a sudden tremor is what begins to flow all through the body. Yes, the khooni Monday is undoubtedly a horror after the comfy Sunday. Ah! Why do good things come to an end? Now there’s something that might just lighten up your gloomy Mondays. Yes, Goibibo has come up with an icing on the cake for all travel enthusiasts. This treat is called the ‘Mobile Day’ and is sure to sweep you off your feet. It won’t be a Monday anymore, it’s going to be Mobile Day.

Haven’t you been wondering as to what this day actually stands for? Your answers are just round the corner. Imagine a day without mobile. Terrible is the word, isn’t it? Life has become so easy with this gadget staying around us all the time that we can’t even think of existing without this magical box. Whether you are sitting idle or you need to urgently browse through a train schedule, cell phone always comes handy. Laptops are a passé now; it’s the mobile that has taken over. Anyone can access internet and a variety of apps through mobile phones. And that is why, Goibibo brings to you something like never before, something to turn your Monday morning blues to cheerful moods.

Goibibo MobileDay

It is an initiative to motivate people to get the maximum out of technology, to reach out to everyone through high discounts because in the end, what matters is the customer satisfaction. Now book flights, buses, hotels and packages through your mobile phone on Monday and take away goodies for yourself. The gifts could include anything ranging from coffee vouchers and movie tickets to huge discounts on travel packages. All that is required is the Goibibo app on an android or iOS based smart phone or simply accessing the URL of Goibibo on mobile browser to select the services so as to avail prices like never before.

‘Mobile Day’ is celebrated with great fanfare at the Goibibo office. This Monday witnessed the premises decorated with blue and orange balloons and the staff sporting trendy tees that spoke out their vigour and enthusiasm for the day. Have a look at the snapshots to savour the flavor of the fest.

Goibibo Office in Mobile Day

There’s certainly nothing better than a colourful workplace

colourful workplace

colourful Goibibo

Mobile Day woo!!

Goibibo Enjoy Mobile Day

Mobile Day is just getting bigger

Didn’t we tell you that Mondays won’t be gloomy anymore, the smiles of everyone reflects our thoughts.

The contest shows a huge flow of responses from consumers booking and availing gifts. Sharing of the app on social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter was on full swing. #GoMobileDay went viral on Twitter with numerous people participating in this innovative concept. Every Monday has just got renamed as Mobile Day for travellers. The month of December asked its customers to share their experience with the Goibibo app so as to win a tablet cover. Another Monday of last month saw mobile covers, coffee vouchers, google bags, movie tickets, T-shirts and a lot more for its winners on offers including discounts upto 30% on hotel booking. On the 27th of January 2014, consumers availed Rs 200 Gocash currency for using Goibibo on their mobile handsets. Aren’t these reasons enough to go mobile? Definitely, yes. If you missed these fabulous services last Monday or rather ‘Mobile Day’, there’s always another one coming next week. Mobile Day is just getting bigger.

By Harshita Srivastava

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Bad-NAAM Admi Vs AAM Admi

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The super rich are the Strawberry Travellers of the world, flying first class and sipping Strawberry Champagne.

Bad-NAAM Admi

The middle class are the Mango Travellers of the world, looking for discounts and budget hotel coupons wherever they can find them.

AAM Admi

The key difference between these two travellers is that somebody else is paying for the travels of the super rich and the middle class are paying for themselves. Stock brokers and Bankers and Business Tycoons and Oil Barons and Reality Majors and Spoilt Celebrities and Overpaid Footballers constitute the bulk of the Strawberry travellers and all the other people of the world fall into the Mango category.

It’s quite easy to move from Strawberry to Mango but it is very hard to move from Mango to Strawberry takes a lot of doing.

The AAM ADMI of India is on the rise and has in fact come to power in the state of Delhi, he is now eyeing the rest of India. This argues well for those catering to the Mango travellers and the Bad-NAAM ADMI i.e. the Strawberry Travellers of India had better watch out. Mr. Kejriwal is coming.

By Rajesh Baruah

Aam Aadmi Destinations: Places for Masses

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There are two ends of any spectrum and travel is no different. How would one define the two ends of the travel spectrum? The most expensive to the least expensive could be one parameter. The most visited holiday destinations to the least popular vacation spots could be another distinction. In the Indian context while the rich and famous go to Leela Beach and Ananda in the Hills, the AAM AADMI that is the common man of Laxman and KeJriwal fame goes on a pilgrimage to Holy Lands, Temples, Churches, Gurudwars, Dargahs and Fire Temples.

Udvada

Udvada

To think of Parsis as the common man would seem odd to some, but come come ….. given what this community has done in this country and given the humility with which they have gone about their business, anybody with the even the vaguest idea about the Zoroastrians will understand completely and totally why I call the Parsis “The Common Man”. Others need only to look at the picture presented above, the droop of shoulder, the weight of the world on them, the footwear, the easy charm of the boy and they will quickly see what I am going on about.

Top Destinations

The Parsis travel to Udvada in Gujrat state to pray at the Iranshah Atash Behram, the fire temple. After the Muslim conquest of Iran the Zoroastrians became marginalized, one group to the west coast of India in order to preserve their religious customs and beliefs. According to the legend, the Zoroastrians carried ash from a sacred fire which a priest is said to have then used for the bed of the Sanjan fire. Sanjan was attacked by troops of the Delhi Sultanate and the Parsis fled, the sacred fire went with them. Several years later it was installed in Navsari. In the 18th century, a decision was made to return the flame to Sanjan, but along the way, the priests preferred to remain in Udvada, where the fire temple was consecrated in 1742. Today the community is supposedly only 1.2 lakh strong and hence hardly qualifies as a mass, but the impact of this faith and its people can only be defined in one word MASSIVE.

AJMER

AJMER

I see buses packed with people. I see them parked outside the Nizamuddin Basti. I see them cooking, sleeping, talking, praying all in and around the bus. It’s the time for the annual Urs of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer and Muslim people from all over India come to offers prayers and place the Chadar of their love and faith over his final resting place at his Dargah in Ajmer. This 10th Century Muslim saint established the Chishti order of Sufi Islam in India.

During his childhood in Eastern Iran he was always found in prayers. The story goes that he was visited by a revered Sufi, Shaikh Ibrāhim Kunduzi. The boy offered the saint some fruits. In return, Sheikh Ibrāhīm gave him a piece of bread, the boy eat it and got enlightened. He gave away his lands and other property, and distributed the money to the poor. Hence his name Khawaja Gharib Nawaz. He travelled extensively, Samarkand, Bukhara and all the great centers of Muslim culture including visits to Mecca and Medina.

Moinuddin Chishtī then turned towards India after a dream in which Prophet Muhammad asked him to do so.

Ajmer to pray

Muslim people from all over India come to Ajmer to pray to him and the legend is that people who visit and pray at his door will free their soul from the all bondage. Not just Muslim people but people of all religions pray here. It is said that nobody returns empty handed from Khawaja Garib Nawaz’s Darbar.

It was during the rule of the Mughal emperor Akbar that the Chisti order of Sufi Islam came into national importance and the emperor is said to have prayed to Khawaja  Salim Chisti for a son and a heir to the throne of India. He is also believed to have walked from Agra to Ajmer to visit Ajmer and the Khawaja Garib Nawaz’s Darbar, thus the grave importance of this pilgrimage to the common man of India. Allah Be Praised!

Nanded

Nanded

As trains and roads crisscross across India so do Sikh people and you will come across them at practically every corner. Sikh people are the face of this country and the globally recognized face of India. Rather than being a symbol of the Aam Admi these gregarious and mirthful people are in fact the aam admi of this country personified. The roads and Sikh people are synonymous and I don’t say this because you will find them at all dhaba’s all over but because travelling to their centre’s of faith is common and central to their culture. We all know about the most important center of the Sikh faith and most of us have seen pictures of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, but there are 5 very important Gurudwars in the Sikh faith and Hazoor Sahib in Nanded is one of them.

 Gurudwars in the Sikh

Located on the banks of the River Godavari in the city of Nanded in Maharashtra this where the 10th guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji appointed the Guru Granth Sahib as the Guru for all Sikh people and then left this earthly abode. This Gurudwara is called Sach-Khand “Realm of Truth”.

In the year 1708 Guru Gobind Singh was deeply wounded by one close to him. Believing that his time on earth was now over Guru Gobind Singh did not allow anyone to treat his wound instead he ordered his Sikh people to prepare a fire called the ‘Angitha Sahib’ for his light to rejoin with the light of the supreme.  But before that the people built a room where Guru Gobind Singh sat in court and placed holy book of the Sikh “The Guru Granth Sahib” on it. Then Guru Gobind Singh, conferred the title of Guru on the holy Book. He named Nanded as “Abchal Nagar” which literally means the “Steadfast city”. Wahe Guru Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ki Fateh.

Velankanni

Velankanni

Legend suggests that Christianity came to India much before it spread to the western world and that St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus arrived in south India and touchdown on the great and holy land of India at Cochin in Kerala.  While this legend may or may not be true, the fact returns that after 2000 years and a lot of hard work by missionaries and the school system set up by the Jesuits, Christianity is deeply rooted in the Indian ethos and like any other AAM ADMI the Indian Christian too undertakes many a pilgrimage. One of the most popular destinations they travel too is to the arms of Our Lady of Velankanni.

The story goes like this, sometime in the 16th century, Our Lady with the infant Jesus appeared to a boy who was carrying milk for delivery. Our Lady asked for milk for her Son and the boy gave her some. On reaching point of delivery, the boy apologized for the milk being less, however, the man found the milk pot to be full. This was a miracle. On hearing the boy’s story the local Catholic community became ecstatic and the legend of Our lady of Velankanni was born.

Velankanni is visited

Velankanni is visited by millions all through the year. The crowds that come here come from all religions and from all parts of the country. The common man of India comes here to pray and give thanks to Mother Mary, it is believed that favours asked of her never go  unanswered and one feels compelled to return to her arms to give thanks.

Hail Mary Mother of God, hallowed is thy name.

In this complex multi cultural, multi ethnic, multi religious land the common man has many faces and many avatars but common to all common men in India is the idea of pilgrimage. The most common man of in India in terms of religious identity in the Hindu and there is a virtually endless list of pilgrimage centre’s that they visit. Given the fervor of the people and their endless passion to travel you can well imagine that at any given time the AAM ADMI of India is possibly going to or coming from a holy place and these are the true places for masses in India.

Keep Travelling, Keep Praying. Om Namah Shiva.

By Rajesh Baruah

Contest: Write To Fly

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Write To Fly

Goibibo presents the Write to Fly Contest. A wonderful opportunity for travellers to get creative and write a travelogue to share their experiences of a travel destination like a Beach, Hill station, City, Wildlife park, Cultural or Religious place, Historical  monument or adventure experience with the world. Even a wonderful food experience in a new place in your own city is a wonderful travel moment fot others to enjoy.

new place in your own city

All one has to do is pen down your story in 300 plus words. Share this with Goibibo. What did you find in your latest travel experience which touched your heart in such a way so as to leave a mark and add to your enjoyment of any place. Attaching a lot of contextual pictures and associating the story with them will bring the article to life and will go a long way to ensuring that the wonderful prize in the form of a gift voucher for a flight ticket worth Rs 2000/-  comes flying your way.

 life and will go a long way

By Rajesh Baruah

Filmi Escapes – A Book Review

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I have travelled the world on the wings given to me by my dreams…

…and my wings and dreams have been fuelled by the movies – Anon.

Here is a screenplay for scene in a movie;

A lifelong film buff called Vijay Shrivastav is talking to Rita Kapoor in a travel agency. Vijay is an angry middle aged man and Rita is curvy. When Vijay walks in Rita is lolling against her desk filing her nails, a ceiling fan is whirring above.

Vijay Shrivastav in an angry voice – Do you know where I can find Shakaal?

Rita Kapoor dripping ice– Nahin ….

VS – I want an appointment with Mogambo and Dr. Dang …..ABHI !!!!!.

Rita Kapoor getting a bit agitated – Nahin ….Abhi nahin …..Kabhi nahin.

VS – Ok at least tell me where I can find LOIN?

Rita Kapoor, melting and slinking into VS’s arms – Darling, tum ho asli Filmi, yeh lo Lonely Planet ka new guide book, Filmi Escapes – Travel with the Movies, issme aapko sare answers mil jayengi … ye lo … lo na ….

VS with a nirvana expression – WOW ! Ye hoi na baat !!!!

And the curtain falls and then err ….reopens to reveal.

Filmi Escapes

Sorry, this is supposed to be a book review but .. mere andar bhi ek film hai sir.. so maine suna di.

Anyway, this is great effort from Lonely Planet and seems to be written because it had to be, rather than to just sell copies. I read it like a thriller, mostly on the Delhi metro and I got a lot of “looks” mostly because I would suddenly start chuckling, or get a distant look in my eyes, or start humming a song (now that’s a BAD scene [Gandi Baat], as my wife knows well) or i would  suddenly start mumbling a “dialogue”.

The images created by the author are vivid and often had me with a smile on my face. The effort to keep things contemporary does show from time to time but then it is easily lost in the obvious love for the silver screen.

Some locations get a “Triple Khan” rating – Loved that idea and the fact that Raj, Rishi and Ranbir have all romanced in the same garden was the paisa vasool moment of the book. I started thinking about rating some locations as “Super Star” which would mean that Rajeshjee, Amitjee and Shahrukhjee would have shot there.

I did feel bad that the entire category of the “Muslim Social” was given a miss while on the subject of  Lucknow.

Why … Lonely Planet WHY ???? Tell me … warna yeh 2.5 kilo ka Haat !!!!!

Pity they did not go all the way and make this volume as FAT as their India guide because surely the author can delivery enough material for that to be possible.

And now I am waiting for the sequel …Filmy Journeys Part Two – Indian Films shot aboard.

From …An evening in Paris…. to…. New York.

By Rajesh Baruah

SATTE 2014 will be seen from 29th to 31st Jan in Delhi

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Travel and Tourism Event

In New Delhi, South Asia’s Leading Travel and Tourism Event (SATTE) will take place from January 29 to 31 at Pragati Maidan and from February 3 to 4 at the Nehru Centre, Mumbai. SATTE will be spread over an area of 17,500 square metres gross at Delhi. SATTE will centre on bringing a significant number of buyers from India and across the world to render great business opportunities this year.  Over the years, said that SATTE has become the most important exhibition for the Indian tourism industry Sajid Desai, Group Director, SATTE & Publisher – Travel Trends Today, UBM India Pvt. Ltd. The Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India, has authoritatively decided to expand its support to SATTE 2014 and for the first time has approved SATTE to use the implausible India logo, he educated.

The main objective of SATTE 2014 is to set up India as one of the most sought-after tourist spots on the global tourism map. To attain this goal, SATTE is running towards contribution a world-class networking platform to Indian and global tourism trade business. Desai added we are now determined to improve SATTE’s stature as a global tourism show and want local partners to reinforced ties with the global tourism fraternity.

The global tourism fraternity

Further, this year the improved buyer agenda at SATTE gives a profitable Pre-Scheduled Appointments (PSAs) classification that permits buyers to plan appointments, guarantying opportunities for global and regional senior-level consumers to source new destinations, travel products and amenities. The figure of SATTE India Conference has also been improved and they are expecting it to be much better in terms of content & form.

The National Tourism Offices (NTOs) of Abu Dhabi, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Argentina, Brand USA, Dubai, Kenya, Zambia, Mauritius, Indonesia, Malaysia, Seychelles, New Zealand, Fiji, Maldives, Nepal, Spain, Oman, Taiwan, VisitBritain, Thailand and  Turkey  will be present at SATTE as exhibitors.

Like preceding years, this year too SATTE will be given support by international organizations and leading bodies such as United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and Indian trade relations such as TAAI, TAFI, IATO, ADTOI, ATTOI, ETAA, OTOAI and IAAI.

SATTE 2013 had witnessed participation of 590 exhibitors from 35 countries and 23 Indian states Desai stated, who met, got involved and spoke with buyers and attendees from over 43 countries and 74 cities of India. With 7,419 unique competent buyers and sellers, apart from repeat buyers and unregistered walk-ins from all over India and abroad, SATTE 2013 inward 9,764 appointment requests from guests and exhibitors. It saw over 18 per cent augmentation in visitor’s attendance over 2012. Desai added, “Our goal is aligned with the industry’s goal. We are thankful to have support of the entire industry. We will continue to work towards making India’s tourism industry stronger,”