Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I am back!!!!!

Wowwww! Finally had a long and deserved break and did lots of travel in Uttaranchal. The long trip was great with loads of fun, excitement and adventure. During this covered a bit of north from Delhi -> Bharatpur -> Agra _> Binsar -> Bhimtal and Nanital. With this travel my never quenching desire for traveling to far north up Himalayan range become more ... and more :-).
Nainital,Bhimtal,Naukuchiyatal,Mukteshwar,Patal Bhuvaneshwar,Bharatpur are the most memorable ones. Will be back soon with reports and photos of the trip.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

People Photography!

Hmmmm…. Inspirations are many for this, really wanted to try out something in this space. Here are few snaps which I like!!!

The first one is the snap of a BaBa. At his age he was sitting quietly there doing this routine pooja. No!! he is not the priest of the temple, interestingly unlike many other temples from south; this one didn’t have any priests and one can actually visit the sanctum sanctorum of the shiv temple and perform pooja there. Later I found out that this practiced in most of the temples in NORTH. What really drew my attention was the calmness/coolness of the baba :-)

The second one is the one which I enjoy most, taken during morning hours, where in my niece wakes us up pretty early with her morning ragas :-)

Need to experiment more in this space. Wish me luck :-)

Friday, August 25, 2006

In the company of clouds

On a rainy day during this monsoon, I was hunting for some good destinations in and around Mumbai which are economical and could be covered within a day. Well need less to say! After a pretty expensive trip in chauffer driven car to LONAVALA and KHANDALA we were really looking for some pocket friendly options! After some googling and bit of research we zeroed on a spot called Tungareshwar (a wild life sanctuary) on the outskirts of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivili.

After getting down from a ST bus at SATIWALI one has to walk for around 1.5 kms to reach the highway junction (Mumbai- Ahmedabad). From here you will have company of our UP-BIHAR Bhaiiyyas for a while on either side of the road till you reach the base point. Its here from where actually the trek starts. The entire trek can be divided into 3 parts,
-Ascent till Tungareshwar Temple, roughly 3~4 Kms
-Ascent from Temple to Ashram , around 7 kms
-Descent from Ashram to Parol( which goes to Virar) around 8 Kms

The second and third leg of the journey is pretty exciting, with most of the noisy Mumbai crowd get exhausted at the first pit stop, then one can enjoy the serenity of the nature along with hustle and bustle of the birds around. Well... Thanks to the incessant rains, except for the beginning we were not fortunate enough to have the company of the birds all along our way. Hmmm…. hang on…. with Monsoon in full swing we could see crabs all along our ascent till the Ashram.

All along our way it was pouring cats and dogs with a little break at regular intervals. When it stopped raining clouds will come along and make the scene more memorable with the visibility of only few feet! We waded through the rough terrain to reach ashram. It was during this time my friend was little worried on what would happen to two souls wandering in the jungles if something/somebody attacked us :-). Nevertheless it is not that hostile place either! Except for some ANTI Maharashtra slogans written here and there by our bhaiyyas from UP and BIHAR.

Upon taking shelter at Ashram premises wherein the visibility was further reduced, we were greeted with cup of herbal tea. We were really not a in a position to say NO :-). After waiting for the “Baba’s Darshan” upon the insistence of a disciple, we headed our way back home. The descent terrain was pretty rough compared to the other one. With monsoon at our backs we finished descent pretty fast to reach a village called parol. After hitch hiking a ride in a Vikram(A big auto which can accommodate around 10 ppl) to reach a nearby bus stop, we took a bus to reach Virar. Return journey was pretty eventful since shivsaniks had called for a bundh, but our good luck made us to reach home safely.

Summary: Roughly 18 Kms trek (both ways) which can be planned for a day.
Difficulty: Moderate
How to reach:
Take a train on central route to reach VASAI JUNCTION (takes an hour or hour and half from Andheri). From VASAI take a ST bus till SATIWALI village (this is around 15 minutes journey). From here walk of around 20~30 mins will take to the gates of Tungareshwar bird sanctuary.
Best Season: June till November
Back Pack: Nothing special required, have some energy bars, candy’s and some lunch. During monsoon water would be available all thru the way. If you are not very particular about the hygiene factor you can relish the fresh water.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

ನಮ್ಮ ಬಾವುಟ

೫೯ನೇ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯ ದಿನಾಚರಣೆ ಸಂಧರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ
ಮೂರು ಅಥವಾ ನಾಲ್ಕನೇ ತರಗತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ
ಒದಿದ ಪದ್ಯವೊಂದು ನೆನಪಿಗೆ ಬಂದಿತು.
ಆದರೆ ಇದನ್ನು ಬರೆದವರು ನೆನಪಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲ :-(

ನಮ್ಮ ಬಾವುಟ

ಏರುತಿಹುದು ಹಾರುತಿಹುದು
ನೋಡು ನಮ್ಮ ಬಾವುಟ
ತೋರುತಿಹುದು ಹೊಡೆದು ಹೊಡೆದು
ಬಾನಿನಗಲ ಪಟಪಟ

ಕೇಸರಿ ಬಿಳಿ ಹಸಿರು ಮೂರು
ಬಣ್ಣ ನಡುವೆ ಚಕ್ರವು
ಸತ್ಯ ಶಾಂತಿ ತ್ಯಾಗ ಮೂರ್ತಿ
ಗಾಂಧಿ ಹಿಡಿದ ಚರಕವು

ಇಂತ ಧ್ವಜವು ನಮ್ಮ ಧ್ವಜವು
ನೋಡು ಹಾರುತಿಹುದು
ಧ್ವಜದ ಶಕ್ತಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಭಕ್ತಿ
ನಾಡಗುಡಿಯ ಮೆರೆವುದು

ಕೆಂಪು ಕಿರಣ ತುಂಬಿ ಗಗನ
ಹೊನ್ನ ಬಣ್ನವಾಗಿದೆ
ನಮ್ಮ ನಾಡ ಗುಡಿಯ ನೋಡ
ನೋಡಿರಣ್ಣ ಹೇಗಿದೆ

Friday, August 11, 2006

Side Effects of getting “Bangalored…”

Scene Uncle and Aunty on a evening walk decide to buy “SOPPU” ( PALAK)

Aunty : Estappa… idu ( How much for these?)
Vendor: Hattu rupaige mooru (3 for 10)
Aunty: Enappa!... 5 koditeeya.. (Can you give me 5 instead)
(by this time there are couple of IT-BT folks back from a heavy duty office work are there..)
Vendor: Illa.. bekadre 3 tagolli.. Illandre beda..
(Some of the folks who have just come... take palak from vendor and just walk away with out even couting the money he has given back..
Aunty frowns and just walks away..)

Couple of day’s back I came across an intriguing conversation, when I visited house of my colleague who is residing in an area where in lot of IT-BT folks/families prefer to stay. His mother was complaining and telling us how the road side vegetable/fruits vendors/auto drivers/small and medium shop owners have changed their attitude towards a simple middle class Bangalore family!
As one of my colleagues puts it the cost of living in some areas like BTM/Koramangala and Indiranagar is higher compared to other parts of the city. From my own experience, When I was looking for 1BHK accommodation for my self few years back, and when I bargained for the RENT.. the landlord gave a weird look( as if I am alien) at me and said, “What you are bargaining here!..No Way!!!!”

Well, Now Getting used to these kind of surprises very often aunty has decided to do a weekly shopping at Gandhi Bazaar in her own usual way 

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Public Transport

Inspired by Aruna and out of sheer interest I started experimenting with Bangalore public transport system some time back. (my earlier post )
Well, it wasn’t that smooth ride at the beginning, but with a bit of luck/timing and a bit of knowledge, now I am kind of more comfortable and accustomed to public transport system in Bangalore. At least I can say that I have taken a leap from “ Oh… Busssaaaa……. Bedappa…” to ..“ Oh .. Bus….. Why not….. let’s try……..” level!
Having used the dreaded/much efficient transport system of MUMBAI where in bus timings are pretty efficient and reliable and actually you can plan your journey and depend on MUMBAI’s sub urban train network and including BEST service. Things in Bangalore should definitely improve after introduction of METRO/MONO rail networks and a bit of more planning and discipline by BMTC in improving point to point routes.

Some useful links:


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lonavala - a Photo Essay!

Posting the photos of Lonavala trip which I can count as one of my memorable experiences with the great Indian monsoon so far!


My favorite one!!!!!!!!, On our way back home we had a pit stop at the ICICI bank ATM nearby, where in I spotted this banyan beauty. I am happy to be there at the right spot right time :-)


With plenty of water falls and streams around, its really a treat to watch the GHAT during monsoon.

Curve and the Line
Well maintained roads in the Lonavala valley! Driving down here pouring rains!! hmmmmmmm its is a real pleasure

Valley and the fields

View of lush green fields

Camera: Hand held Minolta(Film)

Check this link for more photos at flickr

Coming Soon: Trekking in the company of Monsoon

Monday, July 24, 2006

Few feathers in the CAP!

Well!!! As I enjoy bangalore's cool breeze enjoying bangalore showers and look back look at last 4 months stay in BOMB-AY, wonder really how did survive with the life there! Where in you have to be on the RUN every minute!

THEN ( 4 Months back)

- Wanted to have a real experience of FastTrack Mumbai and its train/people etc etc
- From the stories which I have heard and seen had a real terrible image of mumbai locals(trains) and the commuters!!!
- Wanted to really live in the city that's alive 24 hours
- Albeit afraid wanted to travel in locals and have a real hard look at Bombay slums
- Wanted to trek and hike places around lonavala/khandala etc etc
- Wanted to experience Mumbais night life!
- ... Well I can go on.. on and on..

NOW( 4 Months Later)

As went there lots of thoughts wasn't really sure how Mumb-ai would treat me and what she would give me back. Well As I enjoy the bangalore breeze, and think

Having weathered Deadly Dadar crowd!, MAD Borivili Crowd, and not so polite Andheri Crowd in Mumbai Locals, this city has definitely taught me how to get touch being very smooth, how to be polite with a bit of rudeness, how to be insensitive to lots of things which are happening around and yet being very helpful when it matters.. blah blah blah........

Mumbai is the city of lot of contradictions! You have people pouring in/out of trains each minute, very same people stand politely in a queue and wait for their turn to board the bus! And people who are generally rude in day to day life go a step beyond what's required in the hours of crisis! You have people who can vandalize and bring the life to standstill at the same time you have same folks decide not to call for any strikes or bundh on a business day( Of course supreme court verdict may be the real reason!) People of this city are subjected to act of terrorism but then very next day city bounces back to normal life! You call it "Resilience", "Insensitive" , "apathy".. Whatever.. Life just goes on here!!!!!

"Ai dil hai muskhkil hai jeena yahaan.. jara hatke jara bachke ............"

Monday, July 03, 2006

Chasing the Monsoon....

I always dreamt of chasing the monsoon in Western ghats. Well all I can say now is that I really started that with a BANGGGG!... Hailing from hilly regions of karnataka, where in sahyadri ranges have always had a big influence on me, finally I got an opportunity to visit one of the most famous destinations in Sahyadri mountain ranges.

It all started on a gloomy Saturday morning. Being one of the lazy folks in our gang, the departure was delayed by an half an hour. Well I would say that was pretty good by my standards. Having rented a car, we hit the road around 6.30AM.
As we hit the most beautifully built/admired Mumbai-Pune express way, rain god was unleashing his power with full force. Well, it’s a real treat to go on a long drive, with monsoon in its full fury and a great express highway, the ghats/streams and the hairpin curves, and the scenic beauty of SAHYADRI for your company, the drive was simply AMAZING!!!. Initially we thought of going to LONAVALA by train, which is of course has its own pleasures, but then renting the car proved to be a good decision.

With plethora of streams around, we relaxed near a road side water fall after reaching Lonavala which was at its scenic best coz of monsoon. Then we went Lions point, at here the visibility was so low due to the mist we could hardly see each other. Then we went to Tiger falls, and the Bushi Dam. Here a guy was selling vadapav with an umbrella in his hand, in the midst of heavy down pour, and water every where near BUSHI dam… Now I really regret of not having taken a photograph of the gentleman (:-

Nevertheless, after having lunch and a brief halt at TATA POWER STATION (which was conceived and built by JRD Tata), we headed towards Karla Caves which also has a temple of goddess Ek Vira Devi. This Buddhist monastery is built around 160 BC and the amazing thing about this is there is 45 mts long and 15 mts high Chaitya which is carved out of the mountain. On our way back we had a glimpse of Khandala Ghat enroute Mumbai.

Having eaten most of CHIKKIs on our way pradeep gloats about the land of CHIKKIShere :-)))

Needless to say, MONSOON was our companion through out the day, and a thus beginning was made :-)


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Bridge on the................

Daily I have to cross this great divide.. for my piece of bread and butter and leaving.. living :)
- I always wanted to blow up this bridge one day!
- I always wished one day this bridge would collapse on its own.. ending traffic woes... err.. rather making more..
- I always hoped some good sense will prevail

Well, on my last visit to bangalore saw a signboard and now finally the good news.. (see attached PIC)..

Hopefully, ppl wont drag this too loooong as they have done.. and hopefully this will ease the traffic and makes things better...

All I can do right now.. is hope.... hope.. and hope

On the lighter side, watchout the first point..
"All IT,BPO/Call Centre and goods transport vehicles....".. How true!!!!!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Monday, June 12, 2006

Being Honest .. Being Indian and Being Aamir

Hats off Gentleman!

CNN-IBN Special

I remember one incident when we are doing Eye donation campaign in our campus, one young girl, supposedly MBA grad came to us

Girl: Ok, so if I donate my eyes, will the recipient know about donor? Or will I know about the recipient?

US: No! Both will never know about each other.

Girl: hmmmmmm... why?

Me: It’s the matter of policy! Hence you will never know about it.

Girl: Then... Who will give me...? Blessings?

Pradeep: Maaam.. "It’s Blessing in disguise"

Girl: hmm... Ok... I am not interested in pledging...

US: Thanks (Just Get out of here...)...

This makes me think, how an educated fellow is so possessive about her belongings even after the death!
No wonder why people in Narmada valley are fighting/fasting after loosing there livelihood... No wonder why people like Medha tayi.. .. supporting them in achieving their cause.. No wonder.. why......

Well, Kudos to Aamir for taking that stance against "Mighty Modi" :-)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Its gonna be official!

Finally the medicos have called off their strike!, Govt said it will look in to their demands! Karan Thapar grilled FM Chidambaram on this.. just to hear our FM say, wait for the affidavit which is supposedly to be filed in Supreme Court, and to stop quibbling blah blah blah blah....

I really admired and appreciated Mr Chidambaram as one of the saner politicians around! But then this interview has really taken that away!

Thanks to vote bank politics! Politicians .. few more ideas for you to provide MORE SOCIAL JUSTICE!

- reservation in public toilets!
- Indian Cricket Team (Whether you perform or not you will be in the team if you meet the criteria)
- Indian Olympics Team
- The Post of President/PrimeMinister/VicePresident/ Armed forces/ etc etc..
- some damn percentage of the shops/business establishments in any city..should belong to reserved category!
- What about TV programs.. Beware guys! you will be asked to dedicate x% (another goddamn percentage) of your air time to program's .. with blah blah blah.......

- I wont get suprised.. when we have reserverd coaches/busses/planis..implementing "Quota System"
- One day Mumbai locals will defenitely have Reserved Compartments... hmm special trains.. well special tracks toooooooo...

well.. better I stop here... catch some lighter moments!


Manmohan Singh to Bush - We are sending Indians to the moon next year. Bush - Wow! How Many?
Manmohan Singh - hmm.. 100

25 - OBC
25 - SC
20 - ST
5 - Handicapped
5 - Sports Persons
5 - Terrorist Affected
5 - Kashmiri Migrants
9 - Politicians


and if possible
1 - astronaut


Santa went to buy TV.
The sales boy showed him a TV.
Santa started laughing and said........
Sorry ...... the last part of the joke is reserved for SC/ST/OBC.



Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Trekking Snaps

Well! Finally I am posting my snaps! Take a look

Sahyadri valley here offers lots of views of sunrise/sunset. I am really sad that I could capture only one of that kind. With a proper planning I could have done better and had lots more there!

View of the Peak

Panna village :-)))

Phool aur Kante

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Journey to Remember!

Woke up to reality as train started marching towards Belguam, took newspapers and started glancing towards the headlines. I was not really sure of what life had in store for me on that day!

Moti Aunty!

As I was reading thru my newspaper couple of strangers surrounded me (one of whom was a fat aunty) and were demanding to vacate the seat which I had occupied, for which I objected and continued to go through whatever I had in my hand! My silence really added fuel to Aunt’s anger and she started using best ever abusive language she can use!
Suddenly another half a dozen of her relatives surrounded me and demanded to vacate the seat. As usual I stayed put at my place and ignored all their tantrums! (Though at times I felt I should have, but then resisted the temptation to have a GO). Well, this continued for a while until other passengers started shouting at Aunty and asked her to keep quiet. Ignorance is bliss at times :-)

Gentleman from Air Force
When all these were happening there was one spectator who was watching all these in silence, and caught up with me later. During my conversation with him what really caught my attention was that he was traveling from Jaipur to Mysore to take an exam, which he has to essentially pass to become eligible for his promotion. What a novel Idea!
I know public sector banks/railways do conduct these kinds of exams which make one eligible for a promotion. I sincerely wish our software guys take this up for promotions to reduce some clutter at the top :-)

Guess the word
Enroute my journey, then I had a company of a family with two little kids. As I was lying around in peace, noticed two girls playing a little game. Game goes like this ->
- One girl covers the ears of other and whispers some thing
- Other one has to yell out what this girl has whispered.
What was amazing was, as they played along these two girls whole range of topics from their family, nature around, some real good scientific terms, plants, animals, birds.. and a host of such general knowledge things. Out of curiosity I just asked elder girl about the name of the game which they were playing, for which she had no answer but replied “Me and my sister enjoy this game”.. She was absolutely right! they had so much fun playing that and had passed on so much knowledge to her younger sibling.

After some time these two started playing “Kaikasu” (a game where in one will rub both hands and try to escape from the hits given by another) with their “Pa” … I couldn’t control humming my favorite Dev Anand’s song.. “ My Jindagi ke saath nibhata chala gaya.. Har Phikr ko dhuvein mein udata chala gaya

After wading its ways though fields/dry lands and bridges train stopped at a signal near Bangalore. I switched on my mobile which barely survived my atrocities on that day :-), to see an SMS.. “Namma Bengaloorige Suswagatha.. “ hmmm…Life is getting better off me.. and getting more beautiful :-)


Thursday, May 18, 2006

My First Avians !

Happy to start my bird photography right in my apartment :-), it took more than half an hour to catch these pigeons from my bath room. My legs started complaining by the time I took these shots

Well, still a long way to go in catching Avian’s!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mumbai Musings!

- People say Mumbai runs on fast forward mode; As such my walking speed was bit high.. Now I have confidence of doing a real fast walkathon :-)

- Well Speed is not just enough.. you gotta practice different styles of walking too..
- Crisscross walking is an art where in for each step you take..each foot will point to totally different directions
- Side walking is when where in you just walk side ways!
- one more point.. the faster you are .. the faster you reach home!

- if you are in a first class of a local train - Total sweat on your body = 90%(yours) + 10% (others) well.. in a general bogey... reverse the formula

- hmm...City makes you sweat for every thing!.. and then sweating is really good for health!

- Sweat it out in the train! Expose yourself to the breeze! You will defnly better!

Thursday, April 27, 2006


As a regular visitor of Bangaloer Met Blogsstumbled upon an interesting article on Kalyan Varma . Well, followed that up to interesting sites on Photography, The articles have come up really well and have some really amazing photos, with great deal of information for pros like me..:-)
Having enrolled here as a member, I am waiting impatiently to return back to bangalore and participate in few of their activities and learn.

Posting the links here
Bangalore Photography Club
Beyond Shotz
And the site which I have been following up since long time..and been a great admirer of Sudhir's photos
The Jungle Book

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lots to visit still :-)

Came across an intersting site, and checked the %of world I have visited, and its just 3%. Well! Still there is lots left out there :-)

create your own visited countries map

Monday, April 24, 2006

From Wisemen's notebooks!

Those who are in love with practice without knowledge are like the
sailor who gets into a ship without rudder or compass and who never
can be certain whether he is going. Practice must always be founded
on sound theory
-Leonardo Da Vinci

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"Panna" the Ultimate Drink :-)

I had a chance to savor this ultimate drink during my recent trek to
. As it always happens with me this was planned in the nth minute, after googling different options to spend a weekend nearby Mumbai, Well! I must mention this site here which really had some credible information :-) This site has hosted some real good info on trekking spots in Maharashtra.

Well coming back to my story, after trekking for nearly 2 to 21/2 hours in really hot and humid conditions, we came across a village called Ambivali. After wading through village by lanes, a gentleman at the Hanuman temple asked us in Marathi 'do you need panna' or something. Both me and my friend first said no without really knowing what this man is up to! Then the fella asked in mixed Hindi that do you want "aaam ras". Well we didn’t think much ordered two glasses!

Couple of minutes later we had this wonderful drink called "Panna" which is made of raw mango (which is available at abundance in jungles nearby).. Well I must admit that was the most the amazing drink I ever had...

Thanks to the man from the village :-) Well! On our journey back, I made sure that I went to same house, but then our good old gentleman was not around and his family was also not there :( Apparently they have gone to fetch some water!

Meanwhile we took some rest in the temple nearby. Once the family was back had panna again. Needless to say there were repeat orders from both of us :-)

Few things I noticed about this village

- These folks don’t lock the doors when they are away
- There is no electricity in this village
- Folks have to walk nearly 6-8 km to fetch some water; surprisingly there are water pipes around the village, but no water!

TODO: Still need to post photos :-)

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Mandal Divide!

The Mandal Divide!
Again HRD Ministry is playing politics! I am really suprised whether this will really translate in to some votes as our the great HRD minister has planned. Can't we have some real statistics before we really make 50% reseverations in one of most prestigeous institutions of the country.
Sometime ack I also saw a debate on NDTV where Government of India had formed Group of ministers to study and formulate the policies on " Reservations in private Sector Just look at the members of this GOM.. Its has all those care takers of Dalit/Minorities and OBS's interest (so called!)
So Corporates beware!!!!.. You are in the queue.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Eye Donation!

I am finding little more time to blog now a days! Thanks to my new assignment :-)

Well couple of months back I had a chance to participate in an Eye Donation awareness campaign. Took out some time from my very busy schedule and spent lil time at the counters explaining people about the "Eye Donation". Kudos to my colleague Pradeep who had taken up this wonderful initiative.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Trekking in Maharashtra (PETH)

a la, am in Mumbai these days,
The last week end was pretty good :-) I started my first weekend with a trek to a fort built by Marathas, Could have planned it better to avoid the scorching SUN :-)
Location: PETH, neverthe less it was worth every drop of sweat :-).
District: Raighad
Fort Height: 3100 ft
Route - Mumbai -> Neral -> Kashele -> Ambivali
How to Reach:
- Take a local from Mumbai ( on Central route) towards Kajrat (around 2 Hrs) and alight at Neral.
- From Neral either you can Board State transport Bus towards Ambivali or
You can take an auto rickshaw ( around 1 hour)

Season: After the monsoon (JULY till DECEMBER), But if you are planning in summer, Plan your trek either early in the morning, (0600 hrs from Base camp) or Late Evening (1600 hrs from base camp)
Accommodation: A small cave on the fort can accommodate around 5/6 people.
Food: Better arrange for your self, even if you cannot good Samaritans at Ambivali village, and other village which you get on your way will provide a decent food ( of course at some nominal cost)

Will upload the photos soon.

Friday, February 24, 2006

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