Barrat homes made 200 houses in this development.

Now only 6-7 Vimy 3 bed houses are remaining and rest are sold.

They sold Vimy houses for £284,000 just before Xmas (see the list dated July, 2013 that they had sent to me) and now they have put these houses down for £330,000. That’s £46,000 jump in about a month. I feel that it’s a nexus between the surveyers, valuation agencies and the builder to loot the customer. 

The desperate first time buyers are perhaps not even aware that they are going to get into a negative equity of £46,000 the moment they buy these houses. We all know that the new houses are appreciated by around 20% in price (Crayford has never sold a 3 bed house for £300,000+ even at the peak of the market).

Therefore, if you buy these houses for £330,000 now- they will still be below this price in 5-10 years.





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London Olympic 2012

A cauldron of exactly 206 petals forming the torch of Olympic, representing each of the nations participating, Her Majesty chuting out of a chopper, Sir Paul singing Hey Jude! Boyle’s ‘Isle of wonder’ did not fail to amaze!!!!…..Only his imagination could have connected Isambard Kingdom Brunel to Sir Paul McCartney though Shakespeare, James Bond, J K Rowling, David Beckham, Mr Bean and Tim Berner’s Lee. NHS, Gay Kisses, Sex Pistols, Ken Loach, Mary Poppins, Giant Causeway, Edinburgh Castle and my favourite Rhossili beach of Rhondda valley, there was something for everybody. However, for me the REAL show stopper was…………………the REAL QUEEN Elizabeth taking a majestic half turn on her dressing chair and saying the three favourite words of this mundane world—‘Good-evening Mr Bond’ What a treat! 🙂

Welcome to Holland

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

Freedom of expression!

The Da Vinci Code, The Satanic Verses, Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India ………I am not entirely sure if banning/burning the books is the best way to contain the ‘sentiments’ of people. Shouldn’t the government be encouraging the people to be more tolerant and actually bother to read the stuff-decide for themselves and then make intellectual counter-arguments to the things they dislike. That to my mind, is a virtue of the free world, as we all like it to be. I really think that the whole idea of ‘freedom of expression’ is a collective one. It is not a property of just one person/group or community. Each one of us has to understand it! Let there be peace in the world 🙂

170 million children and 12000 crore rupees later, the whole world is lauding India and her citizens because we achieved the un-achievable.

India’s victory in the fight against Polio is remarkable in several ways.The first thing it teaches us is that ‘we can do it’ so, don’t let anybody tell any different. After the succes of electronic voting machine, which the world was very wary of and which has been a failure in some rather developed parts of the world—Polio was the next big thing. And, we have very proudly done justice to it. Secondly, we have seen yet again, that the whole India has to be one to achieve anything. Everybody from politicians to bureaucrats, from ground workers (health workers in this case) to the citizens (the parents of children receiving the vaccine here). When India becomes one the unfathomable is achieved! Be it the Kargil war, where everybody irrespective of their caste, religion and socio economic strata was speaking the same language or the Mumbai terrorist attack. Victory on Polio shows that we don’t need an attack on national security to be one single country and forget about our differences. Social challenges like Polio could unite us too.

For me, there is only one message-next time we think of something going wrong in the country-we should not just blame the system and politicians. For the system is made up of all of us. Together we can change it. We can’t expect just the political class to be able to make a difference in our lives. We have to to take a stand, a united stand. In the same way, the political class has to learn that to achieve any goal, all the stakeholders has to be a part of it and in democracy, public is the greatest stakeholder!

For now hail India and hail her people! This is hopefully the beginning of an end…….! Hope floats.

Happy New Year

The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the de facto international standard.  Do you know it was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582. Apparently, its motivation came from Julian calendar, which itself was a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar and his astronomer, Sosigenes of Alexandria. ermmmmm…..I am sure their wives would have made them two men to get to work; otherwise it seems to be slightly over the top to think of two such organised men! :p Anyways….the story goes that it probably was designed to approximate the tropical year representing different seasons. 
I believe the universal calendar has to be one of the greatest achievements of our species. Like the lingua franca (English for us), the calendar has made the world more flat, more accessible for everybody.  I, for one, would most definitely struggle to keep up if I had to remember one date twice because of difference of calendars in the two countries I have spent most of my life so far. 
But, that’s not important. The most important part is that it brings us to this time of the year, which all the people irrespective of their country, caste, creed and religion-celebrate in an incredibly tasteful manner. The collective celebration around seems to unite the world better than any major festival. It is the ‘happy new year’ time :)))))

So, here’s wishing you a wonderful, exciting and most charming new year ahead! 
नव वर्ष की ढेर सारी शुभकामनाएं आपके और आपके परिवार के लिए!

Recipe of Lokpal!

After all this broohaa, every reasonable citizen of India would hope that we would get at least a decent new ‘body’ of hope to curb the corruption. Corruption has no place in 21st century. A country  that can not provide her lawful citizens the basic needs of life-roti, kapda aur makaan and fails to protect the most vulnerable sections of the society, should have no place on the map of the world. I would not blame only the parliament and the system for this, and don’t think of it as a problem of lawmakers only. I think of it as a monumental failure of our society as a whole. We have failed for last sixty years for giving ourselves a cleaner environment. Why do we have to wait for a mass-leader to change our thoughts and our system. Are we inherently dimwits and lack the basic ability to choose what is best for us. Afterall, India is the biggest democracy of its kind on the planet. Darwin said that only the fittest would survive on this planet. How could we as citizens be so naive to believe that other human beings with vested interest would work for us without drawing any benefits. Where are the argumentative Indians of Amrtya Sen?

Each one of us would have to change ourselves if we want to see a better India. That would be our best contribution to change the system. Every fiery soul, who have an insatiable complaint against the system, should attain the best knowledge about it and make the others aware. You could win people only by argument. Persuasion is the hallmark of intellectual ability. Our society should engage in a never ending debate. We should debate about others and we should debate about our own motives. Vivekananda’s ‘teacher of the world’ bharat would empower only with that knowledge.

There should be no argument that our beloved country needs a change in the system at its core. The government’s Lokpal is perhaps the first step in that direction (hopefully). I for one, however, think that the integrity and autonomy of the investigation agency (CBI in this case), should be at the heart of this legislation. We have learnt from our experience with Central Vigilance Commission that corruption could not be controlled with a body that has no investigation authority. CVC relies on internal investigations within a department to come to a conclusion on a particular case of corruption. That is the inherent flaw in the system, giving the birth to such a monster in our society. In 1886, when the ‘great’ lord Macaulay wanted us to learn English-he had but one motive and that was to train us to produce impeccable reports for him and the government. We learnt it well and imbibed it in the basic training of our ‘babus’. Therefore, if you ask for a bureaucrat to produce a report about a fish in their own pond, you know what you would get in your face. For that reason, the lokpal should have real investigative teeth with an independent CBI.

I would rather agree with some Anna sceptics that including 60-70 lac class C and class D government official is perhaps not the most practical option. I would hope that state/district/block level lokayukta’s or CVC officials take that burden but again the investigative independence is pertinent.

I agree with most of the BJP’s arguments, opportunistic or not-opportunistic; however-I would be happier to see a clean, strong lokpal bill applicable to the individual states as well. We could make that exception in this particular case, which is perhaps the most important legislation of the contemporary India.

Lets see which way the cooky crumbles in next few days.