Saturday, 1 September 2018

My Trip to a SIN CITY: Las Vegas

My Trip to a SIN CITY: Las Vegas

Hello All, I am Salman Sayyed, and I visited Las Vegas in December 2017. Not so long ago.
Las Vegas is a city located in the State of Nevada, West side of the United State, and mainly known for resorts, casinos, hotels, nightlife and fun activities. It is said that Vegas is the heaven for gamblers, a party house for bachelors and a paradise for those who want to experience all kind of fun in life including ‘sex’.

Las Vegas Airport
Well, this might be true, but I have something more to talk about Vegas and how having not done all these things you can still make your Vegas trip as an unforgettable memory of your life. So, I am going to break the rule of Vegas… do you know what’s that?

“Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, 

Yes! that’s what everyone says, but not me because now I am going to share what I did in Vegas and what are the things you should also do. Apart from visiting Casinos and Strip Clubs or getting married for one night.

So, I went to Vegas on December 18, 2017, and my first expression after seeing Vegas from the airplane was…. OH MY GOD!... I was not believing what I was seeing at that time. It was totally amazing to see. What I was seeing was a huge Yellow Diamond shining and twinkling. The entire City was lit up with yellow lights (mostly) and it was not for me, 😉 it was a regular thing over there, like a usual life.

We stayed there for three days and three nights. We mean, three girls and I 😉, but honestly, as I said life is way beyond than what you are thinking now. We didn’t do anything.
On the same night around at 2 am, we all went out to eat something because we were hungry as well were as excited to see the city. But we found nothing as it was 2 am and we were kind of far from the strip: the main attraction of Vegas. The strip is a long stretch about 7 to 8 km (around 4 miles) in south Vegas and mostly, mostly all the important things and highlights of Vegas are situated there. A lot of people over there take the car or an Uber whereas I suggest you walk through it. Because then only you will be able to see the movement in the city.

Las Vegas Airport. Salman, Sarosh, Laura, and Nataliz from left to right

Walking on the strip is a like visiting in a fun-fair, where many people gather excitedly walking around, enjoying the views, buying and selling of gifts, chocolate, and other stuff, too much noise (well not everywhere) and acting like shutterbugs.

While you are walking on the stip, which most of the visitors like to do, you will hear people asking you for many different things like, “Hey Do wanna get married for one night? or Hey why don’t try this club or that club and if you use this card or that card (all those cards they will give on the street) you will get that much discount or kind of offer. Most of these offers and discounts are related to casinos, hotels, clubs and commercial sex.

One of the funny and new experience for me was when I saw people were giving a bundle of cards (like visiting cards) to mostly everyone, including men and women. So I thought it might be something good to see. Or maybe it would have some kind of offer. So, I took it and next second I threw all of them. Because these cards had nude pictures of women in most cases and their prices and their phone numbers.

Man!, I got scared and threw it right away because I am from a country where we cannot even talk about it (all those nude pictures) and here they are giving it for free and very openly. So I decided form now onward,  I would not take anything from anyone here. ;)

Glimp of Strips Las Vegas: P.C shot_of_salyo
Advice: if you are going with a family, “which is rare”, please tell our younger ones to not to take anything from anyone, because you would not like it if your younger ones will be asking you,“hey dad/ mom, why this lady is not wearing anything?, or why there is a price? If she is not wearing or carrying anything then what are they selling at this price? lol


We walked through the strips three times because we did not know what things were around to see. We thought everything would be far from one another and that’s why we were just walking very fast. So, we missed many things on our first walk. And we also started from the midpoint on the strips, so we had to go to either of the sides and come back for the opposite side to visit. Therefore, we walked through the strips a couple of times and later we walked one more time because we wanted to experience and see how Vegas looks at night.

How to start walking and from where?
And what are the things to see and do at strips while walking?
As per our experience and knowledge about Vegas, and if you want to save time and explore enough. You should first navigate the Las Vegas Fabulous sign from your hotel. It is always good to start from the start point not like us.  If it is close by then walk and if not, then take an Uber or bus whichever fits into your budget. Visit that because it is a must. Then continue your car or bus ride till Luxor Las Vegas Hotel and Casino: which is in a shape of a Pyramid. Here you will feel like you are in Egypt because there are statues of Egyptian Mummies. inscriptions on walls and date trees and all. Very nice to see and take pictures.

Sing of Fabulous Las Vegas. P.C shot_of_salyo
From Luxor Las Vegas, I would suggest walking, but you can continue your ride towards New York-New York Hotel & Casino which is in the opposite direction to Fabulous sing if you are coming from there, towards Strips. Now you have to start walking or else you will miss the beauty of Vegas.

Luxor Las Vegas Hotel and Casino- P.C shot_of_salyo
From here onward you will get a chance to see end number of Hotel and Casinos. Most of the Hotels or Casinos inVegas are replicas of the famous places or wonders of the world. Let me show you some of the picture and their names what they do look like…

New York- New York Hotel and Casino- P.C shot_of_salyo
For Example, Luxor Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is in a shape of a Pyramid,

 P.C @shot_of_salyo

New York- New York Hotel and Casino looks like an entire New York City Including Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building,
 P.C @shot_of_salyo

Excalibur Hotel & Casino 
 P.C @shot_of_salyo

Then there is Paris Las Vegas, which is a huge replica of Eiffel Tower,
 P.C @shot_of_salyo

The Grand Canal, and
 P.C @shot_of_salyo

Statue of David and Caesars Palace,
 P.C @shot_of_salyo

These are some of them I remembered but there are many to see.

Some of the activities to do In Vegas.

Gambling in Casinos
Well, most of the people who go to Vegas first few things they do is Gambling in Casino, which I guess everyone should try. I am not saying you should gamble till you lose all your money but just to have fun for a while like for two to five dollars is enough. Every Hotel and shops in Vegas will have a machine to play. But I would suggest you Go to New York- York New York Hotel to play because here I won about $80. Cheers!!!. Or you can go to any other hotel to play but go to a big one it looks good and cool and you can talk about your this experience with others.

Walk on the strips at night
Yes, Vegas is a sin city, but to see actual sin here, you have to get out of your hotel at night. With yellow lights in almost every street and hotel, entire city shines like a diamond. You will be hearing lots of music and if you are lucky you might get a chance to see some street play or street dance. You should also stop at Bellagio Hotel and casino to see the Bellagio water fountain show. It is synchronized with some kind of music which you will not be able to hear but the water fountain show will leave your face with a wow expression.

High Roller
If you are not afraid of high then you should do it. It worth your money. It is about 550 feet tall which makes it world’s tallest observatory. It takes about 30minutes to complete one round, and you will love it. You will have a 360-degree view of the entire Las Vegas. You can take as many pictures as you want. I personally took hundreds of pictures and some short videos from different angles. There are different kinds of cabins, like normal, for travelers like me. There is also cabins with open bar for those who would like to drink in the air. It is located right in the middle of the Vegas which is like 2minutes walking from the main strips. For tickets, I think you have to do prior booking because we also did the same, but I am not sure about tickets on arrival. I think it is cheaper as well to book prior.

High Roller from outside P.C @shot_of_salyo

View of Vegas from the Top poin of High Roller. P.C @shot_of_salyo

Stratosphere Las Vegas
It is at end of the Strips, and I don’t think it comes under Strips walk, but Yes you have to go there. To me, it looks like a Space Needle tower of Seattle. There are a couple of reasons to visit this Hotel, one it is also an observatory which gives a good view of the Stirps in a straight way. So from High Roller you will have sideways look of Strips and from this Tower, you will be able to see Strips in Straightway but again Strip is about 3 km far from this place so might not be able to see it clearly but you will some view. I don’t how much I am clear in this sentence. The other reason is to do a sky jump from the deck of the building. Yes, if you like it you should do it. And there is also a ride on top of the tower called as thrilled ride. Again if you are not afraid of height you should try it or leave it. I enjoyed it.

P.C @shot_of_salyo

Take Pictures with those ladies
I don’t know what the actual term for them is, but it looks cool to take pictures with them. Remember one thing nothing is free in US, even taking pictures with them, So you have to tip them for taking pictures, which is about $5 to $10. It is a waste of money if don’t like it, but if you want to create a memory of Vegas then You should do it.

Eat Shawarma at Turkish Place
This is one of my favorite part in Vegas. It is not everywhere in Vegas. This is a small Turkish Place just three minutes walking from the Hotel Paris. I liked so much that I ate it every day. They serve it with some tasty spices, chicken, and vegetables. It is more than enough for one person and the price is also cheap.

Some more tips to save money, while going to Vegas, in the Vegas and While coming out of the Vegas.

Usually going to Vegas is way cheaper than getting out of the Vegas. I think That is their strategy to hold you back in Vegas.
So, if you are already in the US, then you can get air tickets at a very cheap rate. What you must do is go to and put your dates of travel. Please book your return ticket in prior.  If you don’t find any good deals, then click on the left corner and go to tracked price and click on the notification. So, whenever there is any cheap flight available you get a notification from Google.

Another important thing is finding out for how many days you are going? Because I don’t think you should spend more than two days there. If you are going for Gambling and for all the nightlife and clubbing, then I don’t know how many days you should spend there. But if you are going as a tourist who would like to see the city have a brief exposure of it. Then don’t stay for more than two days, because there is nothing much you can do after your second day and it will also save your money for your next destination.

Second, usually, getting out of the Vegas is expensive if you are traveling by air but by bus, it is cheaper. So plan your next destination may be as California or Arizona: or any State which is closer to Vegas. So that you will be paying very less amount and will also get a chance to cover few more places.

Stay outside the Strips. Here I mean book your hotel outside the rang of Strips. All the hotels at the Strips or even closer to Strips are nicely expensive. We stayed in Silver Sevens Hotel which was reasonable and little far from the Strips. The price was nicer than other hotels and even the place was clean and neat with less crowd. It was about 10 minutes walking from the Strips but little far from the Airport.
You can also get into Hop on Hop off bus, this will take around the Strips at one fix price so that you don’t have worry about transportations cost when you are in the Vegas. But remember that, this bus will not take to your Hotel Unless it is on the Strips.

Everything on Strips is expensive, so if want to eat out eat. Well, you have no option for water, try to carry your own bottle instead of buying at the hotel where you are eating. There are many stores you can buy a water bottle because in Hotels they are very expensive.

So, this is the story and things I did in Vegas. I did not go to any strip clubs neither I took that cards again or called those girls. Still, I had a good time there. This is the way I traveled in Vegas. Maybe your's way would be different, but that’s fine we all have our own way of doing things.

Me giving my favorite poss at Sign of Las Vegas

Let me know in the comment box if this article is helpful to you. I would also love to know about your trip to Vegas and how did you manage.

Let's connect: 
Facebook: Salman Sayyed
Instagram: shot_of_salyo
Twitter: Salman Sayyed 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Mumbai to Los Angeles

Mumbai to Los Angeles

So as we all know that I am currently in the United States of America (USA). Studying at Houston Community College, Houston, Texas. During my mid-year break, I got a chance to travel some other beautiful parts of the US. Such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles (LA), San Francisco, Boston, New York, New Jersey, Buffalo, and Arizona.

The entire trip was amazing. I felt nothing better than that before, visited many famous, non-famous places, traveled through different modes like bus, train, and airplane, ate unusual food, get involved into weird activities {for example gambling in Vegas ;) }, lived in different time zones, experienced from baking hot to freezing cold weather, took thousands of pictures, and met best of people: some were new and some not.

As a reader, you might be wondering why I put Los Angeles in bold, and with a link... because LA was or I say is my favorite part so far. And there are many reasons for that.

First, it is one of the most beautiful cities in the US. It is connected to the Pacific Ocean. Which I love a lot because I grew up near the Indian Ocean, and I never thought that one day I would be walking on the sand of the Pacific Ocean. Every evening in LA is a wonder of nature with a beautiful sunset.

Second, it is the center of the nation’s film and television industry.

Third, I have visited so many famous places like Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Griffith Observatory, J. Paul Getty Museum, Santa Monica Beach, Malibu Beach, Sand Mountain, Points Dume, Venice Beach, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and many other places.
(I am sorry I forgot some names) ;)


The Fourth and my favorite reason is, that I met someone whom I knew from India. "Carly", and she is behind the all other reasons. Ok! let me clear this. Why I like LA so much is because I lived it to its fullest, and without Carly, I wouldn't have done all those things. I wouldn't have visited all those places, and I wouldn't have eaten all those new food I ate. In short, my experience would have been different had it not been to Carly.

So it is my BIG THANK YOU! to my friend Carly.

"Thank You, Carly,"

Now again you might be thinking who is Carly, and how I met her or how I knew her back from India. Right?

Well, a short reminder, in India I work as a tour guide in Mumbai. So when she visited India about 8 or 9 months ago I was the guide for her group in Mumbai, and that's how we met. I took her around the city, and I hope she liked it. That is how we became friends.

One good thing about me or annoying thing about me is that I never leave my friends ;) I often keep them updated about my life what I am doing how I am doing and all. And in situations when I need them I try my best to reach them out. Same thing I did when I was planning my mid-year break trip. I tried to reach out as many people as I could. So that I would get another chance to meet them, to hang out with them, and to explore through their eyes. Because I believe, often a local knows more and in a better sense than a visitor.

Let's get back to LA and Carly. I gave her a one day tour, and she returned it with six days. She drove for me everywhere, took me to the places to visit: the places where I would never be able to go. I did not even knew that those places exist, paid for certain things, gave me accommodation, and we also cooked food. After few days we also went to Disney Land in LA: who doesn't like Disney Land? Come on!

This is my small note to Carly for being such a great, helpful, humble, kind, funny and amazing person. I thank you for everything you did for me, all the help, all support I get from you, your advice and your precious time and energy you spent with me.
Thank you for turning my small trip into an unforgettable memory.
Thank you for being kind and accepting.

and the most important one
Thank You for trusting me...

I hope one day we will meet again maybe in LA, Mumbai or somewhere at the different corner of the world. I hope someday I will get a chance to repay you not monetarily but in some other form that you would like. I hope will be friends forever.

Thank You, Carly!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Volunteering: Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day is one of the federal holiday celebrated in the United States of America. MLK day is celebrated to commemorate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. He was one of the greatest influencer and a great civil rights leader in American history.  Martin Luther King Jr is also known for his work against the racism and brought an end to racial segregation in the US. 

In US third Monday of the January is celebrated as MLK day. It is said that this day is also celebrated as his birthday. Lots of people do different things in the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. For example donation of food, clothes, or other stuff. Some institutions also teach about him and his struggles and achievements. One of the most common works or activities people do is volunteering. So I also decided to volunteer with 24th Annual MLK Day Grande Parade Houston

I volunteering doesn't come to me just like that... it began when a very long time ago. But after coming to the US it has gained an acceleration.

July 10, 2017, was the day I flew to Houston, Texas - the US.  For first few months life was different, everything was looking exciting as well as alien. I was happy that I was in the USA, but at the same time, I was nervous because I didn't know many things and anybody.

A few days later, we: the Houstonian, as I live here (I am a Houstonian), faced one of the major disasters in history. Hurricane Harvey showed me a different face of America and American. On one hand, the giant was helpless in front of the supreme power of nature, and on the other hand entire community came together to help and to work with each other to tackle this situation.

During  Harvey, I realized no matter how big you are, or developed and powerful you are, you are nothing in front of the supreme power of the universe.

Well, let's talk about a little bit what Community College Initiative Program (CCIP) participant and I did during Harvey. As all our classes were cancelled due to Hurricane, for first few days we stayed at home and tried to adjust to that sudden unalarmed situations. Later, with the help of our Coordinator Lorin Banja, we started volunteering with American Redcross Society. During Harvey, all together we ( CCI participants from Houston Community College) volunteered for more than 650 hours and tried to serve as many people as we could. Last week I got to know that in last four months, all together (all 158 participants from 15 diffrent countries) we have volunteered for more than 16000 hours in different states of the US.

So far I have volunteered around 180 hours with different organizations like American Red Cross Society, Houston Foodbank, MBDA, Halo Houston 007 Gala, Indo American Chamber of Commerce Gala, Kids Lives matter and some cultural festivals.

Volunteering has not only given me the opportunities to serve our societies through different channels but also created a platform to enhance my communication and networking skills. I met large audience with different social and cultural backgrounds, right from the doctors, to engineers, to soldiers, to social workers, teachers, photographers, and many more. Volunteering had also lit up a flame of volunteering back in my country. I don't know how much I have volunteered back in India, but after completing this Community College Initiative Program when I will go back to India I will give at least eight hours in a week to volunteering.

Some of the highlighted points of volunteering from my CCIP friends:

"I feel so good because I can help people with changing the world: Raflyna - Indonesia

"Devoting part of your precious time to help people in need" Abdulrasheed - Ghana

" Helping community is a great opportunity to serve for the betterment of the communities, and that's why we volunteer" Sarosh Iqbal - Pakistan

"Volunteering has been a great opportunity for us because it helps us to collaborate with people who really need it" Miguel - Colombia

"It allows how to help the community of the Houston and make us feel like a part of the community here, with so people involving and helping the community that shows how good their hearts are" Habib - Ivory Coast

"Getting close to the society" Bhashkar -  Bangladesh

"Volunteer is something very important in society. It teaches us how to care each other. We care we share" Sahrudin - Indonesia

"Volunteering for me is helping people. It's giving back to the community" David - Ivory Coast

"Happiness that is found in making other's happy" Seeta Kumari - Pakistan

Volunteering gives me the inner satisfaction that I can be helpful to someone. It is one of the tasks that I would love doing every day. When I volunteer I help myself grow stronger. It's a learning experience. I get to be a part of events and meet so many people. Kausar Ansari - India

"Volunteering is the desire and ability of someone to give their time, energy, and efforts towards a better income for the strangers and the well being of the community" Lorin Banja - our Coordinator

If you see all the above quoates and phrases, meanings and the purpose of volunteerring is almost same. And we all, the entire CCIP family belevies that we all should give few ours of our lives to our societies. It will work in two ways, one we will be helping our own community to work for its betterment, and will be exposed to an inner satisfaction.

I hope after reading this article you will feel the same as we do...

Sunday, 17 December 2017

A Trip During A Trip

A Trip During A Trip

Houston is one the beautiful and big city of USA. I came here as an exchange student on July 19, 2017. I am from India: currently studying entrepreneurship at Houston Community College, Houston, because I have a dream of starting my own tour company back in my city Mumbai, India.

So far in Houston, I have explored:

Houston Zoo: where first time in my life I saw real Lions and Giraffe.

NASA and Museum: Who would not like NASA?  It was one of the first places we visited in Houston, had a lot of fun with my newly met friends, and now we are like childhood friends.

Museum of Fine Art: Honestly, before this, I had no idea about fine arts, but I loved it.

Galleria Water Fall and  Galleria Mall, it is one big mall where you can buy almost everything of the current trend. right behind the mall, there is an artificial waterfall. It looks so beautiful with a garden right front of it.

Downtown Aquarium of Houston: for this, I would like to thank our coordinator Lorin Banja because he suggested us to go and it was worth. The highlight of the aquarium for me was a WHITE TIGER. I am sorry, it was Tigress.

Texas Renaissance Festival. Texas Renaissance Festival woke up my inner photographer again. On that day I took more than 700 pictures of the visitors as well as the workers over there. it was a festival where people were wearing the costumes of the Renaissance period. I had never seen such thing before.

Houston Zombie House, Houston-. HA HA HA, when I think about Houston Zombie walk I just laugh and laugh, because it was placed where people in zombies attire try to scare you. you go through different houses and people suddenly appears in ghost and zombie's attires and scare you. Well for me, it was funny because first I wasn't scared at all and in addition to that there was I lady in a scary attire and her job was to scare other but unfortunately for her, I scared her. ;)

Likewise, I did many other activities and visited many such places, like
Houston Downtown Parade, A ghost story of Christmas: at Alley Theatre,
Dickens on the Strand festival at Galveston Island,
Magical Winter Light, American Football match at UH,
Natural Science Museum of Houston, Zuma Fun Centre.

Each time was excited and funnier than the previous.

But today I am way way more excited than any other time so far in Houston. I am not saying that those days were not good or were not excited, but this time I am going for a trip by my self with my three other friends to visit other states in the US.

First place which I am visiting on my trip is Las Vegas. I have only seen this place in 'movies', and I can't believe today I am going there. Just a few more hours left for me to take the flight. I wish I could capture this moment to share with you all, and then I will go to Los Angles, then San Fransisco to Boston, then New York, New Jersey, to Buffalo and finally back to Houston on January 4, 2018.

Wait!  my trip is not over here. Again on January 7, 2018, I am going to Arizona for 7 days. I am super excited to explore, and to learn more about the world.

Some glims so far in Hoston....

Wish Me Luck!!

And my trip is not over yet...because  I am here for four more months.....  :) 

Friday, 22 September 2017

Volunteering At American Redcross Society

I have been volunteering here for last couple of days. I have noticed lots of help and supports from the state and society towards the victims of Hurricane Harvey - Houston.
I come here almost every day.  (from 9 or 9:30 am till 8 or 9 pm)
But on September 1, 2017, was one of the most memorable and satisfying days for me.

I saw a little baby fell down and got hurt on the nose. It was bleeding, but I had to do something to divert his mind. I took him on my ark and started teasing the place where he hit himself a moment ago. I shake my arms and showed him animated fingers and did something funny with my voice. Ta da! he forgot that he had been hit by something.
My task wasn't finished yet. I had to find his family (in the crowds of thousands) and had to take him to the medical supports. Luckily, after a couple of minutes, I found his family. his mom already had few more kids around her and plus she was carrying some food and other stuff. His grandmother was also carrying some huge box of toiletries and stuff. So instead of giving them their son, I decided I would take him for medical.
He was still in my arms. I took him there but there was a huge line opposite the medical desk. But I went in front as was wearing a volunteer batch and no one stopped me. I explained them the incident.
While registering the boy, the doctor, and registrar, they all thought it was my kid. he was so happy with me, playing with me laughing and all. while I was giving him to his grandmother, he looked at me and continuously was looking and looking. Like he wants to say something, that don't go we were having fun or maybe, hey! I will miss you or something like that.

While Serving food to the people, a pregnant woman came and asked for four more packages of food for her family and for her three kids. But at that moment for her it not possible to carry them all together and the place where she was placed, was also a far. Her family was in Hall 'A' and we were serving food in Hall 'E'. Each hall was huge,  like the double size of a Tennis Ground. Which means she was supposed to cross four halls to get back to her place.
I offered my service to drop the food to her place. While walking she blessed me, she said: "I pray when you get married you will also have a girl child, as your first baby". In some places, this kind of blessing might be seen as a curse, but for me, it was really a blessing. Thank you, Lady, for this.

While returning happily I saw another old lady carrying lots of blankets and pillows on a cart kind of thing. It was a bed but a temporary one.
I asked her, "May I help you, ma'am?", 
Lady, "Yes please young man!"

We together pushed that cart to one the area in Hall 'C'. There she asked me to make two beds for two new coming people ( Survivals of Hurricane Harvey). We tried to make beds as comfortable as we have in our home with enough of blankets and pillows. After that, I dropped those remained blankets and stuff back to the corner of Hall "C'.

Though I had done lot of other works today but these three things were asking m, again and again, to write about them. I do not know what are they. I do not whether they are big or small. I do not know whether they are considered as volunteering of not, but after each incident, I was happy. there was a kind of satisfaction. There were smiles on face with pride.

From my these experiences with American Red Cross, I had learnt a lot of new things not only about Humanity, but also learnt something really new and interesting about the American. For example, how the entire country came together to work with the survival and needy people. How millions of lives were saved by the volunteering work of people. How nation works together to tackle the problems.

Thank you everyone for showing me and the world one more new side of USA.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Coming to America

United States of America, it is a land of opportunities, land of migrants and land of dreams.


Who would have thought that one day I will be studying here, in the United States of America. 

Last year when I visited to New York, I was amazed with the things, people and lifestyles I saw there. I was in NY only for 7 days and I knew it is very far from the place I was born and grew, but  still I promised to myself that, one day I would come back to USA and for longer stay.

Today here I am...

Though I made it, but coming to the USA was not something which I easily got. It required long term planning, hard-work, Community College Initiative (CCI) process, helped from people and my favorite one- my hunger to learn.

From the day of my returning to India, I started looking for the ways through which I could come back. Money was one of my concerns. so I started making little extra saving by cutting off all my unnecessary expenses.

While interacting with people and looking into the resources, I got to know about CCI from Robin Chaurasyia ( the founder Kranti Organization). She not only helped me through the entire process, but also introduced me to Devika. Devika helped me in writing. Sounak Mitra helped me in mailing and assignments process.

A big THANKS to all of you for helping me to make my dream comes true.

The process of getting selected into CCI was not simple and short. It includes first application, Phone Interview, English test (which includes listening, reading and writing), Medical Examinations, rewriting of the applications and some other forms, and finally visa process and pre-departure orientation. Therefore for me it was one of the longest process I have ever experienced. It took around seven months. It was also very hard, because they not only checked our social background, but also tested our passion for the society through different tests to make sure that we are capable for this opportunity.

I believe all the above process worked out only, because I have a hunger to learn. I have this one good quality that, I am always ready to gain more and more knowledge and experiences. For me US is one of the greatest ocean of knowledge and experiences.

Though I have come here as an exchange student to study Entrepreneurship as my major, but I am going to gain more than just academic achievements. During my stay in the US, I will be doing lots of volunteer work and some internships too which will help me in gaining more knowledge about my field of study as well as the global environments.

As I am living with 17 different people from different parts of the world, CCI becomes a platform of opportunities which will help me in gaining firsthand experience about cross cultural environment, business specific understanding and absorb the diverse perspective- cum-cultural preferences. At the same time these cross culture interactions will also help me to improve my communication skills, team building efforts, language and networking as well as enhance my confidence and knowledge in business.

Further, my journey in America will not end here. There are lot more things to do. I not only want to fly the highest peak, but also want to dive under the deepest ocean of America. This includes eating the authentic food to wearing American attires. In short I have a desire to explore as many places as I could, to meet and interact with end number of people, to eat best of American food and to live the life of an American.

Coming to America was not an easy task because, I went through different process, which were hard, long, competitive and challenging. But yet I believe that this hard work will pay me off with lots of knowledge, experiences, learning and  memories, I made to this point after being helped and supported by so many people and organisation. Therefore I promise to them that one day you all would see me and would say that “ Yes we have invested on a right person”.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Our Work or Job

My work.
What I did, what I am doing, and what I dream of doing in future...........

I was around 7 or 8 years old, when I  started working.
My first work was begging, yes, begging at HajI Ali Tomb, Mumbai.  
Though my father didn’t allow this, my sister and I had to do it for our food. We (My sister and I) used to go to Haji Ali every evening to get some food for us and for our mom.
Days and months passed like that and I started noticing that my mom collected old and used materials like plastic, iron, steel, coconuts, bottles and others stuff from the seashore to sell them to get some money for us.  So I decided to join her in her work.
I don’t remember for how long I did that but I remember for two or three Eid festivals we bought clothes from that money.
Few years later when I was around 11 years old I started selling books at Haji Ali Signal (Traffic light). I still remember, The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon was the first book I sold on my very first day at the traffic light.
I think coming onto the signal was one of the transforming decisions of my life. I have not only earned required money from there but also learnt so much.
It was my home, my office and also my school. Whenever I was hungry or needed any money. I just had to pick up the books and had to go to the signal. I also started asking  my customers to help me in reading English. I used to ask about the title of the books and the meaning and how to read, what is written on the books.
Well… I used to work only from Monday to Saturday and on Sundays I worked on the Stalls (Non-authorized stalls on the roadside). These are the stalls of Nimbu Paani (Lemon Juice) or Vada Pav (A kind of a snack that  looks like a burger) or sometimes costume jewelry.
Selling books was always fun. I never felt like I was working. There was always something interesting and enjoyable.
I met a lot film stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Amir Khan, Hritik Roshan, Govinda, Akshay Kumar, and many others.
I would say, "I think I have met almost all the Bollywood actors and actresses".
I have also met cricketers like MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Mohammad Kaif, Partiv Patel, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and others too. I met some international stars like Rey Mysterio and John Cena (WWE wrestlers) and Johnny Depp (Hollywood actor).
Many times, people didn’t pay for the books and drove away, and there were also times when people  paid extra for our hard work.
I ran thousands of kilometers behind the cars during my time on the signal. But never felt lost, even when people ran away without paying. I always felt that my life is fun. There were no dreams, there were no fear of loss, there were no planning for tomorrow, there were no rush for so called monetary success. There was only today and tonight.
Signal is also a place where I met Caroline Didi (Mentor, Teacher, Sister and Mother)
Please read my previous article on ANGEL to know more about how I met Caroline didi and how that meeting transformed my life.
It was also a place where  I learnt to be an independent, and a responsible person.
After giving my 10th grade examination I joined The Foundation, a non-profit organization, run by Rahul Bose (a Bollywood actor, director, rugby player and a social activist).
I worked there as an office boy for four months and then left and went back to the signal. During this phase of my life I also worked as a waiter in marriages and as a bar tender in parties. That’s how I gained some knowledge about wine and other drinks.
Well… all these jobs were not my full-time work. I did all these for a couple of months and then left them. During my 12th grade I started working with a Senior Agency (an authorized distributor of Godrej Safe) as a sales man. Unfortunately, or fortunately I didn’t do any good over there too and had to leave after four months.
I think there was something else that was waiting for me. Something which I really wanted to do or something which I would love to do, and would never want to quit.
Yes! That is tourism.
Few months later I joined Mumbai Magic as a student tour guide in Mumbai.
Today it’s been four years and I am still working as a tour guide in Mumbai and worked in the admin department of the same company for one year and six months. From the last year I started working with another tour company called Be The Local as a tour guide in Mumbai.
Today, I dream of "Starting my own tour company for students like me, who face a lot of problems while completing their education. I want to create a platform for these students so that they would get some financial support while studying.
I have learnt through my life that, if you have vision, then no matter where and what you are, start from there. "When there is will, there is a way".

My Trip to a SIN CITY: Las Vegas

My Trip to a SIN CITY: Las Vegas Hello All, I am Salman Sayyed, and I visited Las Vegas in December 2017. Not so long ago. Las Vegas i...