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Showing posts from January, 2012


Dato Mohamed Mirza Taiyab is one of the quickest thinkers I have known. While on his first Tourism Malaysia promotion in Nepal, as the Director in charge of Promotions and Marketing, he was already tinkering with what Nepal Tourism Board might adopt for its advertising jingle. He told me that The Carpenters' song "Top of the World" would greatly resonate with international tourists alluring them to visit the tallest mountains in the world; would we be able to secure the copyright to it?

Later as the Director General of Malaysian Tourism Board he brought many innovative marketing strategies to offer Malaysia to the world as "Truly Asia". It was he who pointed out to me the connection between our Himalaya and his Malaya. People had travelled from North India to Malaya before Christ and brought to it the Hindu religion and its ruling dynasties. One of the first kings of Kedah, a Malay province known in ancient times as Langkasura, was a progeny of Alexander the G…



The dream I have of flying like a bird was fulfilled in a way when I took off to the air recently as I para-sailed in Penang. The reassuring harness strapped to my body the speedboat took off with a great speed and noise and hurtled me into the air, feet dangling and all, for a sensation I wanted to experience since my childhood. As I soared higher and higher, I watched the Penang beachfront receding into the distance and the horizon widening to unveil a jewel of an island.

Flying was a novelty to most of us back then when I was a child, for both adults and children. Few aircrafts landed at Kathmandu and those pilots who flew them were legendary. Whenever I came across these pilots, pointed out to me in whispered awe by my minders, I used to look up to them both literally and metaphorically. I remember a Sikh pilot and another Anglo-Indian pilot frequently flying the Nepal skies. I cannot remember their names. However the real Indiana Jones of the time was a Polish pilot; more of him …