Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tickets to India from USA

Couldn't believe the price we got this time for our tickets to India. Even 4 months before our date of flying, the tickets were exorbitantly priced. Most travel agents said that there was no availability and we tried all the routes we could and all the travel agents we could!! Out of so many airlines flying to India, we finally got British Airways and that too when we are flying on dates no one prefers Even then, we paid almost twice the price of tickets we could have got had we been flexible on our dates. We could have got them for less had it been some better dates. Dec 2nd week to Jan 1st week is fully packed for travel. So - take care when you travel in those days. Either book it 6-7 months in advance or be flex on dates.

I have some travel agents to recommend - few of them recommended by a friends:
0. GLOBAL TRAVEL AGENCY: Naren: 510-441-7479 (Ref: Saurabh Batra)- I will take this one back. He said twice he is working on my quotes but did not get back.
1. World Wide Travels: Surender - 800 343 0038 ext 111, 202 659 6430 ext 111 (East Coast) - helped us very well this time
2. Angad Travels: (800)-430-0396 - DC - Gets you a good price for tickets but you have to run after this guy. This time he had no availability for us though.
3. East West Travel, Inc: 202-833-6068
4. International Travel Center: 877 766 7786, 562 860 2559 - They were nice and polite to talk to and gave us some good quotes (when most of the others said that there was no availability for our dates).
5. Trip Explorer: 1 866 trip exp (874 7397) - Not bad
6. Legend Travels: 510-797-9010 - Got us good tickets last time but this time they had nothing available. We had to call them a lot but still it was worth it - last year.
7. Alex (Travel agent in Chicago) – 773-465-1619 - Recommended by Kalpana's friends.
8. Omega Travels in Dallas - 972-518-1268 - Recommended by Kalpana's friends.
9. - 617.923.4810 - Recommended by Kalpana's friends.
9. Universal Travel (Sacramento) - 4400 47th Ave, Sacramento, CA 95824 - (916) 429-2711 (Bobby at Universal was quick and gave me rates that were much lower than what I found on Expedia or Bing. Easy to work with)

I tried calling like 50+ travel agents and these were the only ones who atleast bothered to give quotes. Others would not even answer back even if we called them like 10 times!

Hell and Heaven!

Been a while since I posted the last blog. Reason: my school. Shavi and I hardly find any leisure time in weekdays - My MBA and Shavi's office responsibility after his promotion to CTO/VP of the company, along with our Gym has made our lives hectic but nevertheless we are enjoying this phase of life:)

I still try to find some time to read books/novels. The other day I was reading this book: 'Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia' by 'Elizabeth Gilbert', gifted by a friend of mine. Thanks to her - It's a nice read which teaches you the importance of meditation and love for a peaceful life, through the true life-story of the author.

In this story, one of the Guru's of the author in Indonesia talks about Hell and Heaven. I liked his funda - the way he talks about it touches your heart. I will not be able to put it here as amazingly as in the book but here it is in my words:

He says that Hell and Heaven both are good places - where there is all fun and laughter and good, happy things. But then why do we say that Hell is a bad place - for bad people? That is because the path leading to it is bad. The final destinations are both good. So, it is upto you if you want to make the path good or bad - path means ur present life which is in your hands. Finally everyone has to die but how you die - the impact you leave behind makes the people behind you decide if you went to heaven or to hell.
In other words, probably the Guru meant that worry about doing good and living a happy and peaceful current life rather than worrying about the final destination which you dont even know what it is going to be!:)