Sundeep Bhutoria

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Thank you.
ess bee

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Phone: 91 33 2281 6934

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Getting into the Rio mood and WFUNA elections

A view from the balcony of Hotel Royal Tulip
November 7, Rio: The weather got a little better today. From the balcony of my studio suite on the 17th floor of Royal Tulip Hotel I can see the golf course extending till the mountain takes over, rising majestically. 
On the other side there's the beach and the blue expanse beyond. In all, it is one of the many incredible breath-taking views on Rio's portfolio.
Today evening I went to an eating joint named Quiosque Arab located on the Avenida Borges de Mederos near the famous jockey club. Ten years back when I was in Brazil at Sao Paulo I had met Lakhi Daswani - a prominent Indian settled there – who, among many businesses, owned the Tandoor restaurant said to be the best Indian restaurant in Brazil and perhaps the whole of Latin America.
While planning my Rio visit, I contacted Lakhi and he introduced me to Vimarshan Ankola via e-mail. Vimarshan works for a French oil company in India and has been operating out of Rio for a couple of years now on company assignment.  
Vimarshan was kind enough to invite me and many other Indians to his favourite Arab restaurant or Quiosque which is a local name for restaurants on lake or by the seaside with tent-like non-permanent structure. There is provision and permission to heat food but cooking is prohibited.
Knowing that I am a vegetarian, a word which not many in Rio would be interested in, Vimarshan and his wife Ujjwala, who is from Hyderabad, decided on this restaurant.
I am in Rio to attend the 40th plenary of the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA). There are 91 countries eligible for voting in new officials. Many countries like China, Russia, UK, Canada, Cyprus, Armenia, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Hungary, Finland and Venezuela etc., and others have already pledged their support for me in writing.
Last time, in South Korea, when I decided to contest the elections for the first time for the post of Treasurer, I was nominated by Canada and seconded by Armenia. It was the first time in the history of WFUNA that a person was nominated by another country for elections. Oddly, the Indian delegation, for reasons best known to them, hadn't nominated me. 
I was told that the prevailing opinion was that I was too young and there were many senior members in the Indian Federation.
I won that election uncontested. This time, before leaving for Rio, I got a call from the IFUNA office saying India was nominating me for the post of the Treasurer which was a whiff of good news for me. But again the call of support came after 30 countries had already confirmed their support to me and many of them had conveyed it to the election committee in writing and even marking a copy to the Indian Federation. Good, it saved us both – myself and the Indian Federation – from what could have once again a very embarrassing situation.
ess bee

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