Tag Archives: London

Ten Worst Mistakes in History

Everyone makes mistakes but the following fatal mistakes caused huge losses to the individuals or companies. These mistakes are mostly of financial nature. These were published in the Economics Times of India.
10 worst mistakes in History
1. Turning down J.K Rowling: 12 publishing houses rejected Harry Potter’s manuscript before Bloomsbury took her on the advice of company chairman daughter. Rowling has earned $ 1billion till now.



2. Throwing away that Bitcoin portfolio: James Howells bought 7500 bitcoins in 2009 when their value was next to nothing. The stock value rose to $911 per Bitcoin in 2013 giving James Howells a portfolio of worth $6.7 million. Only trouble was that he had thrown the hard drive away without a minute thought. Read “The Guardian Story”.


James Howell

3. Not buying Google for $1 million: Larry Page and Sergei Bin went to sell the search engine to Excite CEO George Bell in 1999. Bell rejected the offer and now the value of Google is $365 billion.


4. Not shooting the Hitler: In 1914 the British soldier Henry Tandey came across the injured and unarmed lance corporal Adolf Hitler in a ditch but decided not to kill a soldier in cold blood.


5. Selling 610000 shares instead of 1: In 2005 a Japanese trader cost J-COM Co., Ltd. company $190 million after a so called “fat finger” trade in which he sold 610000 shares for 1 yen instead of selling 1 share for 610000 yen as he was supposed to do.
6. Angering Genghis Khan: Genghis Khan sought to open diplomatic and trade relations with Ala ad din Muhammad the shah of neighboring Khwarejmid Empire, modern Iran during 13th century. After offer was rejected and a diplomat of Khan was beheaded, Khan attacked the kingdom with 2,00,000 strong army and utterly destroyed the empire.
7. Turning down Brian Acton and Jan Koum for a job: Facebook rejected them in a job interview in 2009 and a few years later Facebook paid $19 billion for “Whatsapp” which the duo founded after being rejected.


8. Ordering trains that were too wide: France spent $15 billion on a fleet of trains this year. Unfortunately they were too wide for 1300 platforms across the country requiring 50 million Euros to fix.
9. Signing Brian Poole and the Tremeloes: In 1962, record studio Decca auditioned two bands in their London studio deciding to sign Brian Poole and Tremeloes. The band they rejected was 4-piece outfit from Liverpool called Beatles.


10. Misspelling a company name: Company sued British government for pound 9 million after a clerical error inserting a rouge “s” in the name causing the wrong company being named for liquidation. The company to be sued for was called Taylor and Son Taylor and Son and with additional s became Taylor and Sons which collapsed after this wrong liquidation.


Dean Mahomet: The founder of First Curry in UK

Sake Dean Mahomed

Sheik Dean Mahomet is credited with being the first Indian to open a Curry House in UK in the year 1810 and it was called Hindoostane Coffee House. It was situated in George Street of central London. It introduced Hookah in England and served Indian culinary dishes. The premises is now a building called Carlton House. To many who are now part of the city’s expansive curry house business, Mahomet was a pioneer. Mr Mahomed’s plan had been to serve “Indianised” British food which would appeal to the Indian aristocracy in London as well as British people who had returned from India.

Portrait of Sake Dean Mahomed (1759-1851), Bri...

“The Indian aristocracy however would not come out to eat in the restaurant because they had chefs at home cooking more authentic food – it was just not a big enough draw to come out.”

He was born in 1759 in Patna then in the Bengal Presidency. He joined the East India Company Army when he was 11 years old. He rose to the rank of captain in the Army. He fought in a number of campaigns and the book is based on his experiences in the army. He resigned from the army in 1782 and two years later arrived in Ireland. He is also the first Indian writer to be published in English. The book was called Travels of Dean Mahomet.

He later moved to Portman Square where he became an assistant to Sir Basil Cochrane at his vapour bath. This is where he is said to have added an Indian treatment, champi (shampooing) or therapeutic massage, to Cochrane’s bath which became very fashionable.

He died in 1851 and was buried in St Nicholas’ churchyard in Brighton.

He was honored for his achievements in 2005. The plaque, which celebrates the achievements of former Westminster residents, was unveiled on Thursday.


From VT to Thane

The suburban railways are the lifeline of Mumbai’s transport network. The system is divided into three different sections serving the Mumbai and suburbs. These are Western, Central and Harbor railway lines. Today about 7 million people travel by the suburban trains daily to their work place in the city and back to their homes. The trains are overcrowded during the rush hours with people packed like sardines. A person has to be physically agile and fit for boarding the train in the morning hours. During rush hours, even with the trains running at 2 to 3 minutes frequency, the platforms seem to be a fertile fields in which the crops of passengers grow before eyes in no time. A train pulls into the platform, jostling and commotion begins for boarding the train even before the passengers inside are able to get down. The platform seems deserted for a minute and within another minute again it is a sea of humanity. Wave after wave of passengers come to the platform and trains take them away from the city. But waves do not seem to abate and trains seem to groaning under the weight seem to dead tired. One cannot even imagine of tomorrow as the population is growing day by day. Passengers arrive at the station, get down and hurry down the roads to catch taxis, buses  to reach their offices in the morning. In the evening the reverse exodus takes place.

The Great Indian Railway story began 157 years ago on April 16 when the first 14-coach steam engine chugged out from Boree Bunder (Victoria Terminus nee Chhatarpati Shivaji terminus nowadays) towards Tannah (Thane) on the Central railway section. According to records,the first train ever to run on Indian soil carried Lady Falkland,wife of the governor of Bombay,along with 400 special invitees (government officials,important dignitaries,sahibs,brown sahibs and zamindars ) only halting at Byculla,important trading post Sion,and a few kilometers away making another halt to fill in water and filling water in the engines.
The 34-kilometre ride,which chugged off at 3.30 pm amidst 21 gun salutes and a grand applause from thousands gathered around,was traversed in exactly one hour and fifteen minutes. The train arrived to grand festivity and travellers were treated to a sumptuous feast with tables groaning with delicacies of the season.In comparison,a fast train today takes 50 minutes with five halts while a slow train which halts at 18 stations en route takes 59 minutes.
Rewinding for trivia of more than a century and a half ago,three brand new brand new steam engines Sahib,Sindh and Sultan hauled the coaches.Work on the CST-Thane route started in 1851 and took just 25 months.More than 10,000 workers saw that the project was completed at 20% less than the projected cost. Records also say that April 16,1853,was an occasion so momentous that it was declared a public holiday.
Villagers compared the train to God and in reverence put red tilaks on the smoke stacks on the engine,left offerings of food,money on the footplate and flowers on the tracks,say CR records.
Meanwhile,on February 3,1925,the first EMU,that is,suburban service started between VT and Kurla on the harbour line with just four coaches.
The same year,CR ran 150 services a day,which is a fraction of the 1,468 which crisscross the length and breath of the city today.And while they were just 80 million commuters per year or 2,19,178 per day in 1925,around 3.5 million are dependent on the lifeline today.Around 50% of Mumbai depends on the suburban railways every day for their daily commute and the system has been dubbed as the city’s lifeline.

Let it Be

Beatles singer Sir Paul McCartney was inspired by the dream he dreamed. In this dream, his mother who had died of cancer, visited him and told him to relax, not to worry. Leave all your tension and fears to God. The God who is so benign and merciful; whose blessings on us are without limits. It is only us humans who are shortsighted and react foolishly to bad and good days.

The song by Beatles titled “Let it be”

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be”