Monday, December 04, 2006


I usually do not put such stuff in my blog. But could not help with this one.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bangalore Traffic - An unstoppable monster?

Bangalore traffic needs no introduction. Everyone in Bangalore experiences it everyday and knows that it is a menace. It makes it to the headlines every other day. The ruling party boasts of huge multi-crore plans to improve the situation. And the opposition always finds something to contradict that. The cops put the blame on the IT sector. So is it that nothing can be done to stop this menace?

I do agree that we need better infrastucture to cope up with the growing traffic. But I feel that many things can be done to improve the traffic situation. Here are a few :

  • The truck traffic causes a lot of hazards. Stop truck traffic during peak hours. Say from 8AM - 10AM and from 5:30PM to 7:30PM. This does not mean that the trucks should be stopped on the roads. Also make sure that the trucks do not enter major roads during peak hours. And because trucks move very slowly, trucks entering major junctions should be stopped bout half an hour before specified peak hours.
  • The BMTC bus drivers should be taught something called lane discipline. The BMTC does a great job by encouraging usage of public transport. But the BMTC drivers think they own the roads. They drive the buses on clogged roads thinking themselves to be superior than Micheal Schumacher. The BMTC buses must be made to stick to outer most lanes so that they dont have to cross lanes at bus-stops.
  • The local passenger buses should be banned during peak hours and so should be tractors. The local passenger buses do not have anything like defined stops and so they stop wherever they feel like. And the tractors can never move faster than 20 kmph.This causes major bottlenecks at many places.
  • The signals should not be manned by cops during peak hours by switching off the signal lights. The traffic lights do a better job in managing traffic than the cops any given day. The traffic cops do not know that something called arbitration exists and allow traffic to flow in one direction until they see no vehicles in that lane.
  • There should be a minimum lane speed imposed. Some vehicles move very slowly and cause bottlenecks. A minimum speed of 40 should be imposed for smoother traffic flow during peak hours.
  • Many roads in Bangalore are currently been re-laid. But the state of the roads at the junctions is still the same. The junctions where more than 3 roads meet are mostly in pathetic states. This takes a long time for the vehicles to convey through. The situation could be better if the junctions are also re-laid.
  • Major junctions have a lot of people crossing the roads. Overhead crossings should be provided for people so that vehicle flow is not disrupted.
  • The bus stops should be moved from present places to more convenient locations. Also, by-lanes should be provided for the bus stop. Most of the bus stops are just after a signal or just after a speed bump. This leads to clogging of traffic. Such stops should be moved further down the road.

I have tried to list some of the points which I feel would improve the traffic. But as it said, we need to change overselves first if we need to change the world. I feel that everyone of us should follow proper lane discipline and use proper indicators while driving. Everyone of us is in a hurry when we drive. So we need to co-operate with each other. Also, please try to use public transport or office transport. Vehicle pooling can also be done. If we wish, we can make a difference.

If you feel that there is more that can be done to improve the traffic situation, please comment.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rendezvous with Eternity

Lots of plans all along the way. But sometimes nothing seems to work out. But I had to keep up the promise I had made to myself. So I set out, all alone, to Eternity.

Ok. Enough of philosophy. I had made plans to visit Himada Gopalswamy Betta and Somanathpur. So I set out at 4:30 AM in the morning. Bangalore in the morning is worth a sight. All roads empty and no signals. Awesome !!!

Both these places are around Mysore. So it had to be Mysore road. I stopped enroute at a Coffee Day and watched the sunrise while sipping hot coffee. After relaxing my limbs, I hit the road again and reached Mysore at 6:30 AM. From Mysore, I followed the roads signs and some help by Yes-G towards HGB. The roads till Gundulpet are really good. But the roads after that are bone-rattlers. A turn to the right at Hangala village and you are 11 kms from Gopalswamy betta. The road to the top is very scenic and the ride is excellent. A temple dedicated to Lord Gopalswamy is at the top and the hill is covered with mist most the time (Hence the name). The temple is between the Bandipur National Park area and is protected. Hence, taking a hike is not advised (But rules are meant to be broken, arent they?). So I took a hike in to the hills hoping to find some elephants or bisons. But all I could see was a herd of deer at a great distance (But I did find lots of elephant dung though).

Time flew and before I realized people were starting to pour in. So I escaped from that place and started back. It was 10:30 AM by the time I reached the foothills again. And since Mysore was just about a hour's drive, I still had quite sometime at hand. So decided to drive through Bandipur forests hoping to catch sight of some fauna. But all I could manage was get more sightings of deer. It was deer, deer and more deer all along. SIGH !!!

Feeling frustrated and disappointed, I started back and made a stop at Gundulput to ease my aching bones. After some refreshments, I started back to Mysore. The ride was quite uneventful and I reached Mysore by 12:45 PM. I stopped at a restaurant for lunch and was on the way to Somanathpur soon.

If the road to HGB was a bone-rattler, then the road to Somanathpur was "uska baap". You can feel every bone in your body and every nut in your bike. However, the route is lined with lush green fields and the drive is very pleasant. I reached Somanathpur at around 1:45 PM. The temple appears out of nowhere. The temple is surrounded by couple of shops for the tourists and thats it. A beautiful and well maintained garden welcomes you to the temple. The temple is very old and beautiful. If you love archeology, then this place is your heaven. Some parts of the temple is in ruins and needs to be attended to. But that does not reduce the splendour of the place in any way.

I spent an hour and half at this place. Getting enough rest I started back. This time I planned to go to Maddur instead of going back to Mysore. Hoping the roads would be better, I started with renewed spirits. But no avail. The roads turned to be as bad as before. The drive till Maddur was nothing less than torture. I emerged highly shaken and sore when I joined Bangalore-Mysore state highway. And surely enough, the next stop was around 10 kms from Maddur - A Coffee Day.

I started at back towards Bangalore 5:15 PM and was back home at 6:45 PM, tired but satisfied.

Route Information:

Himada Gopalswamy betta (HGB): HGB is about 240 kms from Bangalore (from my house to be exact). You need to reach Mysore first (150 kms). Then at the entrance of Mysore, take the road towards Ooty. Drive through Nanjangud, Gundulpet and continue towards Bandipur. A few kms drive from Gundulpet, you will find a Karnatake tourism board (at Hangala village to be exact) directing towards right to HGB. You will need to take a left after some 4 kms on this road (There is a road sign which will direct you). From this place, HGB will be visible at a distance. At the foothills, you will find a forest checkpost. You will need to pay the entrance fee.

Somanathpura: If you are travelling from HGB, then continue on the same way back. On a junction, you will find a road sign directing towards Somanathpur. Somanathpur is around 35 kms from here. This road travels through Bannur and you will need to take a right after Bannur to reach Somanathpur. If you are travelling from Bangalore, take a left at Maddur signal and drive towards Malavalli (approx 18 kms). From Malavalli, drive towards Bannur (approx 15 kms) and reach the same junction as before, and take a left (this time) and reach Somanathpura.

Travel Tips:

  • Keep a watch on your fuel gauge. Petrol pumps are present only at some places.
  • Keep a check on your food and water stocks. You wont find any of these at HGB.
  • Knowing kannada is very helpful.
  • The roads are pretty bad. So be prepared for a rough ride.
  • Try to reach HGB as early as possible. This the best time of the day to visit HGB.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Flight of the Phoenix

After a long time... a new adventure begins. The bird was raring to stretch its wings and it finally got the opportunity to display its flying capabilities. The plan was to visit Yercaud, a small desolated hill station near Salem and to cover Hogenakkal Falls enroute.

We started at 6:45 AM on saturday morning on two bikes. The plan was to reach Yercaud by afternoon. One good thing about starting early is that one can easily avoid the Bangalore traffic.

The first stop was for breakfast. We stopped at HP petrol pump just outside Hosur. After a round of idlis, vadas and dosas, we started on the journey again. The drive till Krishnagiri was smooth as we sailed through NH. But after Kirshnagiri, the road till Dharmapuri was real bad. We had to give ourselves couple of breaks before we could persue further. But after Dharmapuri, the road till Salem was fairly good. We reached Salem at around 12:30 PM. After some refreshements, we started towards Yercaud. The road from here starts to get a bit tricky. The road is uphill for about 30 kms and the has got lots of sharp hair-pin bends. One needs to be very careful while driving. We reached Yercaud at around 2:00 PM. It took us an hour and a half to find a decent hotel and to fresh ourselves up. We were very hungry by then, but had to wait till 4:30 PM to get some decent food.

We were all fed and ready. We first decided on visiting the Shavorayan Temple. This is supposed to be highest point in Yercaud. The journey to the temple was eventful with a bike crash. But we continued, putting all these "adventures" behind our back. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and is said to have a tunnel which leads to Talacauvery directly. Whether the legend is true or not is not known, but the temple was definitely eerie. The view from the mountain top was really beautiful. We spend a good time wandering around the mountain. By the time we started from there, it was already dark. We called it a day after a quick dinner and small stroll.

The next day we started early at 6:30 AM to capture the sunrise. We visited Pagoda point and spent some time there. The sunrise is a very good time to visit Pagoda Point. There are no people there and one can enjoy the serenity. The next stop was Ladies seat, Gents seat and of course, Children's seat. This place is not as majestic as the Pagoda Point. But one gets the view of the road that lead upto Yercaud.

Although there aren't many places to be visited around Yercaud, the place is untouched by commercialization. This is one of the 'feather in the cap' for Yercaud. So we bid farewell to Yercaud pretty early and started towards Hogenakkal. The drive downhill was simply mindblowing. The density of the butterflies you find enroute is ridiculously high. You find butterflies is all shapes and sizes. I guess I must have accidentely killed more than 50 of them when crashed on my bike.

We reached Salem at 10:40 AM. I needed to refuel my bike. At the petrol station, we found that there is an alternative route to Hogenakkal which did not require us to go all the way to Dharmapuri. It was a lucky find and we managed to save a lot of time because of this. We stopped again later to get some refreshments at Reliance petrol pump. I must add the A1 plaza at Reliance station is a great place for travellers. So, all fresh and ready, we continued towards Hogenakkal.

The weather on the way to Hogenakkal was exceptionally hot. It managed to drain all of us. We hoped that we could recover once we reached Hogenakkal. But we had done a great mistake. We had to managed to reach Hogenakkal on a holiday and when Cauvery was overflowing. The place was brimming with people. And the boat rowers were demanding an exceptionally large amount. After a long "discussion", we settled on an amount which we thought was pretty decent. The boat ride was nice. We managed to see quite some waterfalls. The waterfalls fall similar to the Niagara (not as high of course), and when the water are shallow one can ride through the valley and see the other inaccessible waterfalls.

It was 3:30 PM by the time we were done with the waterfall-seeing. And all of us were totally drained of our energy. We quickly recharged ourselves with some bars of chocolate and some water. We started back by 4 PM. Enroute, we found that there is also an alternative route which leads directly to Hosur, bypassing Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri. Because we were already late, we decided to take this route.

This route is exceptionally bad in some sections. Also, the traffic on this road was pretty bad. The truck and bus drivers did not know that anything called 'lane-discipline' existed. It was also getting dark and it added to the trouble. We gave two stops on the way, one for grabbing a bite and the other to relax our aching butts. After a lot of patient riding, we finally managed to reach Hosur at 8:00 PM. Our aching butts were demanding another stop, but we decided against it. We wanted to reach Bangalore as soon as possible. We hit the NH and continued on full speeds. Thankfully, the traffic was not dense and we managed to weave our way through the traffic.

We gave ourselves another break just before electronic city. A quick swig of water and couple of calls later, we hit the roads again. Bangalore traffic was merciful that day and did not display itself in its full grandeur and splendour. So we managed to reach back by 9:00 PM. A dinner together and we called it a grand finale. A great trip it was even though we were fully worn out.

Route Information:

Yercaud: Yercaud is around 240 kms from Bangalore. You need to take the road to Hosur and pursue further on the same road until you reach Krishnagiri. After Krishnagiri, you need to move off from the NH and take the route which goes to Salem via Dharmapuri. Once in Salem, you need to take a left from 'Five-road junction' and continue on the same road. Yercaud is around 30 kms from Salem. The ghat-section begins from Salem. The entire 30 kms is uphill and has a lot of hair-pin bends. So it takes about an hour and half to reach Yercaud from Salem.

Hogenakkal: Hogenakkal Falls is around 180 kms from Bangalore. There are two routes to reach this place. You can go to Dharmapuri and turn left towards Hogenakkal. Or you can take a right from Hosur and reach Hogenakkal. The first route is longer (by about 20 kms) but has better roads. So because of the roads, the time saved is not substantial. Hogenakkal is very crowded on holidays. Also, the number of waterfalls you can visit depends on the water in the river. The best time to visit is when the water is not too much, then you can sail through the waters and reach the otherwise inaccesible waterfalls.

Travel Tips:
  • Carry your vehicle papers in original.
  • Its always best if someone knows tamil.
  • Be careful with the policemen near borders. They will try to extract fine for no reasons at all.
  • The reliance petrol pumps on the NH are a big boon. They provide good vantage points during travel.
  • Always do as much research about the place as possible before starting on the journey.

Monday, July 24, 2006


A new adventure begins.....................

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Too Late?

Disclaimer: Make a tired and frustrated person to watch 15 Park Avenue, and this is what you get. Read at your own risk.

He had it enough. He could take it no longer. It was one of those days when nothing goes right. He had been facing problems from long. But things were getting messier each passing day. Each day he could feel life was strangling him. He did not know how long he could hold it off. He needed someone with him at that moment. But he knew that such a thing was nothing sort of a miracle.

Whenever he needed someone with him, it would never happen. Not that he did not have friends. He had plenty of them. All of them needed him when in trouble. But whenever he needed them, he could find no one. But he did not complain. He had learnt not to expect things to work your way. But this time things were getting too harsh. He needed help.

He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He had been trying to sleep from the past couple of hours. But sleep seemed to evade him. Thoughts flew into his head of the days when he used to sleep with no worries. Those days were gone forever.

He realised that it was no good trying to sleep. He got up and moved into the bar section in his house. He never drank. The section was meant for his guests only. But today was different. He helped himself with some drink. He needed it tonight.

It was nearly morning. He was still confused. He had thought about it the whole night. He had thought that he could handle it. But things were getting on his nerves now. He could not bear it any longer. His life was pointless. There was nothing left in life for him now.

Suddenly he stood up. He knew what he had to do. He walked up to the top floor of the building. As he reached the top, he could feel the cold breeze hitting hard on his face. It would be daybreak any moment. But he did not wait to savour the moment. He walked to the end of the building. He had made up his mind. He closed his eyes.

As he fell, he opened his eyes. He was basking in the first rays of the sun. He could feel the chillness in the wind being sweeped away by the early morning glory. Then it hit him. He knew what he was missing. He remembered the joyous moments of his life. He knew what it takes to be happy. The times when he had played in the first rains, the times when he felt the first flakes of snow melt on his body, the times when he walked on the beaches. These were moments of true joy.

He knew it was too late now. Or was it really too late?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mr. Patch

Me and Mr.Patch have had a great affinity with each other since the day we met. We had a grand introduction with each other. I still remember that day. I was 7 years old. And my dad decided to teach me to ride a cycle. I had been to my cousin's place to get his cycle. After an hour of serach in his garage, topped with a many cobweb cleaning, we managed to find his cycle lying is one small corner nicely camoflaged with the walls (means that its all rusty and nearly falling to pieces, coz the walls were painted brown). After we managed to extract it from the corner, we found that both its tyres were busted. Now this is a grand intro, isnt it? I had met Mr.Patch even before I knew to ride.

After that day, me and Mr.Patch used to meet each other nearly every week. My cousin's cycle was very fond of Mr.Patch and made sure that me and Mr.Patch did manage to spend quite a long time together. After a series of crashes and mis-adventures, I finally managed to learn cycling.

After lots of pleads and persuasions, I managed to convince dad to get me a new cycle. I got my new Atlas cycle when I was 10 years old. I said a happy farewell to my old cycle, and hoped that I had finally got rid of Mr.Patch. But it turned out that after spending more than 3 years with me, Mr. Patch could not let go of me so easily. I managed to meet Mr. Patch the very next week I got my Atlas. But one thing was sure, the frequency with which we used to meet did get reduced to once a month.

When I was 12, we moved out of Bangalore, and settled in Udupi. But the bonding between me and Mr.Patch had grown so strong that now we were inseparable. We started to meet atleast 10 times a month. I was a regular customer at the mechanic next door. I had a shrewd feeling that he could feed his family just by the money he earned from me. But whatever be the case, Mr.Patch did make me and that mechanic pretty good friends.

When I was 17, I decided that it was time to say bye-bye to my Atlas and get myself a new cycle. So, my Atlas paved way for a new Hero Ranger. But whatever come and go, nothing could come in between me and Mr.Patch. We shifted our house again, and this time too Mr.Patch made sure that me and the mechanic became fast friends. Although the frequency of our meetings were reduced, it was far from over.

And after 5 years with my Hero Ranger, I moved on to my bike, a Pulsar. I hoped I had got rid of Mr.Patch finally. But he did prove me wrong. I met Mr.Patch again after 7 months I got my bike. And after that, the visits started to get regular. I met Mr.Patch 3 more times in a span of just 2 months. Our last visit happened yesterday. I dont know when Mr.Patch will visit me next, but I surely dont want that meeting to happen even in the distant future. What do you have to say Mr.Patch?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Back to Coorg

Last weekend was special. I was getting a long weekend off after a long time. And so it was decided that we go to Coorg for the weekend. Coorg was special. It was one of the memorable trips I had made during my college days. So, it was like reliving the fun again.

I dont want this post to be a travelogue. So I will skip the details and illustrate only the highlights.

We started on saturday morning in a sumo. And we were in no hurry to reach Madikeri, as we wanted to enjoy the ride. So we managed to reach Madikeri at around 4 PM. With not much time left with us for sight-seeing, we visited Raja's seat and then called it the day. Next morning we visited Talacauvery and Abbi Falls. Both the places were too crowded. Looked like all the people in Bangalore had got the same brainwave as we had. So, by the time we were done with Abbi Falls, the day was ending. We started back next morning, visiting Nisargadhama and Golden Temple enroute to Bangalore. And Bangalore traffic rose to this occasion, giving us a tremendous welcome. We reached home at around 10 PM tired and happy.

This trip to Coorg was more pleasant as the weather was great and the landscape was more greener. But nothing could match the fun I had in my college trip. Man, Am I getting nostalgic?

Friday, April 21, 2006

As wonderful as

What next?

I finally managed to wake up at 9 PM. Only to find the whole house deserted. It took me a whole minute and half to register that my room-mates had gone home for the weekend.
"Hmmm, Now we have a situation at hand" I thought.

After waking up at 9 PM, you dont have much options as well. It had been quite a day. Or rather, quite a day and night. With the deadline to meet, I had no options but to stay over the night and get the work done. So, after all the work and sleep, I needed a break. And at this time of the night, I had limited options. I started to sort them.

Myself: "How bout dinner at a good restaurant?"
Me: "Nah, after all that sleep I am not really hungry"
Myself: "Then how bout cooking dinner?"
Me: "How bout options C and D. You gave me only A and B"
Myself: "Ok, then how bout going for a movie?"
Me: "Am I nuts? Am already having a hang-over. A movie will only give me a huge headache. Nothing doing"
Myself: "Then how bout getting a movie from the video parlour?"
Me: "Hmmm... No good movies have been released recently. Bad idea. Chuck"
Myself: "Well, then how bout a walk?"
Me: "Hmmm... a good idea. but am too lazy to go for a walk right now"
Myself: "Come on.. decide on something..."
Me: "Hmmmm.... Oooooh.... Aaaah.... Uuuummmmm"
Me: "Gotcha!!!!" (Imagined myself with a bulb lit over my head)
Me: "How bout a going for a drive?"
Myself: "Awesome idea!!! You are a genius!!!"
Me: "Ya ya!!! I know!!"

Myself: "Ok Einstein, tell me where to?"
Me: "Oh.. good question! How bout till ulsoor lake?"
Myself: "In this traffic? U gotta be kidding !!!"
Me: "Good point. Hmmm..... then, how bout just aroung Indiranagar?"
Myself: "A decent idea. But, what bout the street dogs?"
Me: "Ah.. an excellent point!!! Hmmm... "
Myself: "Ahem... just to remind you that you are hungry"
Me: "Oops!!! I forgot... Now what?"
Myself: "How bout driving down to the local store and getting some grub?"
Me: "Too good.. driving ka driving... food ka food.. One arrow se two prey"
Myself: "So get moving u lazy idiot !!!! The store will be closing any minute !!!!"

I managed to catch up with the store guy just when he was deciding to close down. And for a junkie like me, this store is virtual heaven. For a store not bigger than a cupboard, the store guy had somehow mastered the art to stuff in everything for a junkie. I bought all the Maggi and Lays I could lay my hands on and some Appy as well. And with all such good food, I couldnt wait till I got home. And it hardly needs to be told that, with such anticipation, driving home did not take more than a minute.

So, while I was cooking Maggi, I realised this was like back to square one. I still had not decided what needs to be done. I had only 2 minutes to decide, till my Maggi would be ready. And as I was pacing round the house, my eyes fell on something, a Tom and Jerry DVD. "Now, this is heaven" I thought.

A cold night. A soft bed. A plate of hot Maggi. Couple of bottles of cold Appy. Loads of Lays. A full DVD of Tom and Jerry. WOW !!!!!

"A perfect evening" I thought as I slowly drifted to sleep at 1 AM "But nothing is as wonderful as sleep".

Thursday, April 06, 2006

One night at the Office

One fine friday....

6:00 PM

"Oye Sandy !!! What plans for the evening dude? We are going for a movie. Wanna join?"
"Sorry man. Got some work in office today"
"Oh!! Hard luck buddy!"
"Ya! Maybe next time. Thanx"

8:00 PM

"Sandy!! Coming for dinner?"
"Dont think so"

10:00 PM


"Hi Mom"
"Hi! Where are you?"
"Eh.... In off..i..c....e"
"WHAT!!!! @#$^&%&!@#%@%#$&#@!#$@$#@%@ !!!!!"
"Ahem... Mum.. Bit busy now.. Will call up tomorrow morning.. Love you.. Bye"

11:00 PM

"He..ll....ozzzzzz.. zzzz"
"I will be coming late. Dont latch the door"

11:45 PM

"Haaayyyiiiiii !!!!! How was office today?"
"Well... Am still in office"
"What !!?? What are you doing there at this time?"
"Having a date with Aishwarya Rai"
"Very funny!!!!"
"Listen!!! Got some work to complete... Will call up tomorrow.. Bye"

2:00 AM

BUZZ!!!! (Yahoo Messenger)
"Sandy!!! u missed the movie man!!! it was awesome!!! btw, wat time u reached home?"
"still in office :-("
":-O U r outta ur goddamn mind!!!"
"Hey!!! nothin of tat sort man.. jst need to send this to the client by today..."
"wat today??? Its already tomo!!!"
"ya i know.. nearly finished..."
"ok... gotta crash.. good nite"
"good nite"
(XXX has signed off)

4:00 AM

"hi Sandy!!! wats up?"
"howdy mate!!! howz life in Austin?"
"B-) awesome man... how come up so late? weekend bash huh? ;-)"
"oh man.. wish it was tat.. in office dude"
"Wat !?? i knew u were crazy, but looks like we need to find an asylum for u now!!!"
"ha pj... nothin man... its only today... had to get this thing working... nearly done..."
"ok... carry on then... will buzz later.. tc"
"u too.. bye"
(YYY has signed off)

6:00 AM

"Hi Sundeep!! You done with the code?"
"Ya.. nearly done.."
"Ok.. Expect for a few codes, rest of the codes seem to be fine.. Just check in once you are done"

8:00 AM

"Hi Sundeep!! We have just sent the code. Have a good weekend"
"Ok.. Thanx.. You have a great weekend too"

9:00 AM

"Ah !!! finally !!!"
"Coming for breakfast?"

10:00 AM


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

There I go again


It has been really long since I blogged and the future looks bleak. With a huge load of commitments at office, I am not sure when I will be able to blog next. So this one is just a snippet, only to inform that this blog will be lying dormant for quite some time from now on. Hope that I can be back soon.

Till then.....

Monday, January 09, 2006

Destination : Unknown

Sunday morning. Me and my collegue started from Bangalore 6:30 AM. Where were we going? Honestly, even we had no idea. When we had gone to one of our collegue's marriage to a place called Madanapalli, the driver had pointed at some road, off the main road, and told us that it leads to a temple within a mountain. And this was some 6 to 8 months back. So, all we had with us was just a memory of the road and nothing else.

The weather was perfect for driving. It was cold and cloudy. And the roads were not that crowded either. As we had started pretty early, we got out of Bangalore before the roads could get crowded. We reached Hoskote in good time. And we found our first waypoint just outskirts of Hoskote. We took the road towards Tumkur. After some distance, we reached a Y-junction. Now we were confused. We did not know which way to go. After some research on the nearly-invisible signboard we found that we had to take a right.

We started again. The journey was quite uneventful. We managed to find that road, all thanks to the Karnataka Tourism sign boards. After some distance, we got our first sight of the mountains. We stopped there to take snaps and to take a stretch.

We started after some time, and found our way up the mountain to the temple. Though I am not a regular visitor to the temples, I found this temple quite like a "temple". It was calm and quite, with not many people flocking in. When we reached the temple there were only a couple of people inside.

After a quick visit to the temple, we spent quite a long time exploring the surroundings. Me and my collegue, being nature lovers, had a great time enjoying the landscape and the weather. And since both of us had got new digicams recently, we were looking for opporunities to test our digicams. So, we were happily clicking snaps of anything we could lay our eyes on. After a series of photo shoots ( I would rather call it experiments), we decided to start back to Bangalore.

The journey to Bangalore was quite uneventful as well. We stopped to get some fruits to eat. And stopped at another place to refuel our "third companion" (my collegue's bike) and had our breakfast of fruits. We reached Bangalore at around 12 PM.

Another weekend, another unexpected drive. Lets see what is in store for the next weekend.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


It was day before new year's eve. We were racking our brains to find a place to go on new year's eve. I had suggested Mysore. But Nagu was not prepared to drive that long. (For the ignorent, Nagu is my friend. Other character soon to be introduced is Harsha). So we had to think of alternatives. After a series of discussions we decided to got to Mekedaatu.

On new year's eve, I woke up with a back sprain. I could not rotate my neck for more than 45 degrees. But nothing could stop me from a trip.

We started from my place at 8:30 AM. It was bit late than what we had planned. But I thought we should be able to avoid traffic. And I was right. Except for some stretches on Kanakapura Road, the traffic was pretty thin.

We gave out first stop on the outskirts of Bangalore. We stopped for sometime to stretch ourselves. And I started clicking snaps on my new digicam. I must admit that I was waiting for such a trip since the day I had got my cam. Anyway, we started soon after. Nagu zoomed past us as he was trying to set new speed record on his bike (Me and Harsha were on my bike). It took quite some time for us to catch up with Nagu. Nagu informed us that he crossed the 100 kmph mark for the first time. Nagu seemed pretty excited about it.

We reached Kanakapura at around 11 AM. We loaded a bit of food pile and started towards Sangam. We had just travelled about 5 kms from Kanakapura, the adventure (rather misadventure) started. My tyre blew. I mean not literally. My tyre had got punctured. And thankfully, Nagu noted it pretty soon.

Me and Nagu examined the tyre, but found nothing. Nagu had to go to Kanakapura to get a mechanic. Meanwhile, me and Harsha started re-examining the tyre. And this time we found the culprit. A nail hiding neatly between the tyre threads. Not knowing how to kill time, I started clicking snaps of the place and Harsha started on the food. Soon, I was giving company (competition would be a better word) to Harsha. We called up Nagu and asked him to get more 're-inforcements'.

It was nearly 12:30 by the time we could start again. We stopped again after some time to stretch ourselves. We realised that we should move soon if we were to reach in time. Not wasting any more time, we started again. But soon we found a stretch where the landscape was so captivating that we do anything, but stop and watch. We stayed there for quite some time and emptied most of the 're-inforcements' Nagu had got. We started again half-heartedly and reached Sangam at around 2 PM.

Then came the second shocker. To reach Mekedaatu, we had take a bus across the river and then 4 kms further. Because of time crunch, we decided against it. We decided to spend some time at Sangam and then start back. Harsha promptly waded in to the water, while me and Nagu sat on the banks. It was here that Nagu mentioned that he had seen a board about some falls enroute. So we decided to give a visit to the falls.

We started at around 3 PM. Forunately we found that road to the falls without much ado. The road to the falls was out of a postcard. It passed through many small villages and green plains. The falls was called Chunchi Falls and was at a decent distance from the road. So we parked our bikes and started walking.

Slowly the trek started getting tricky. The path was full of rocks (read boulders) and was very slippers. But my wet shoes soles were more than a match for the rocks. I couldn't walk straight even on normal surfaces, let alone on slippery rocks. It took great effort for me to reach the falls. But the falls was worth all the effort. It was simply mind-blowing. The water flowed through the rocks, dropped down from a great height and passed though a deep valley. We rested there enjoying the serene atmosphere. We finally decided to start at 4:30. By the time we reached back to our bikes, we were tired and Nagu was out of breath. Nagu and Harsha cooled themselves with some coconut water. It was 5 PM by the time we started back.

The trip back to Bangalore was full of pit stops as we were tired and could not manage to drive for long. We reached Bangalore at around 7 PM and reached Nagu's place at around 9. All the three of us broke through the door and crashed into the bed. After a brief rest, we had dinner at Wangs.

I was all for making some plans for celebrating new year, but Nagu and Harsha were fully drained. So I went back home and sat with my roomies watching movies. We (now refers to me and my roomies) went to the terrace just before midnight.

The fireworks started at 12. The sky was filled with beautiful multicoloured showers. It was after 5 minutes my roomate realised that we were not taking snaps. And by the time we could get the cam, most of the fireworks had stopped. So we went back home and wished all our friends. And crashed for the day.

So, it was an eventful day. A long day trip with Harsha getting ample chances to hit me on the pretext of massaging my paining back. A memorable day where we decided something and nothing happened as planned, but which finally turned out to be good. Let me see what the new year has in store for me.

Note: Please visit my photo album for the snaps.

Book Review - Eldest

Eldest - Christopher Paulini. Book Two of Inheritance.

This is the second book of the three book series. This book continues the story from where the Book One - Eragon stopped.

Now if I have a give a brief description of the book, I would spoil the fun of Eragon. But nevertheless, I will try not to reveal much. The book focuses on Eragon's training and Roran's adventures. And the book ends by revealing what the 'Eldest' is all about.

Now coming to the book, this one gives the same feeling as the Book Two: The Two Towers of LOTR. Its bit dragging at places. You need to push yourself to finish one chapter after the other. The chapters related to Eragon's training are very well written and you dont feel like putting the book down. But when the chapters turn to focus on Roran, the story drags. Well, I dont say that the story is boring. The chapters are very well written and if you consider these chapters separately, then it is fabulous. But since the chapters related to Eragon and Roran are intervened, the flow breaks.

Imagine, you read couple of chapters full of magic and adventures. You start to wonder whats coming next. Then suddenly, the chapter ends and next chapter starts on adventures of Roran which does not even come close to containing 'm' of magic. This breaks the flow. Something similar to the Book Two of LOTR. But towards the end, both the adventures of Eragon and Roran unite and story gets such a flow that it was impossible for me to put the book down.

The climax of the book is just awesome. The story unfolds some very exciting moments. The author has described these moments very well. And when you are done with book, you cant wait to start on Book Three of Inheritance.

As a whole, the book is very good. The climax is something for which one should read the book. The climax puts an altogether different perspective for the series. A must read because you wont understand the third book without reading this one.

Disclaimer: This views expressed here are my own. And does not refer the opinion of general public. If the opinion is found to be similar to that of general public, then it is purely coincidental.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Book Review - Eragon

Eragon - Christopher Paulini. Book One of Inheritance.

Another treat for fantasy readers. A book which reminds one of LOTR.

The books starts with a boy called Eragon who finds a stone. This stone later turns out to be a egg of a dragon. The story then unfolds how the egg changes the life of Eragon.

The author handles the flow pretty well. But one misses the depth of the characters which one finds in LOTR. The characters in Eragon have not been crafted with great skill. But considering that the author is in his early twenties, the story is very well written. The flow is smooth and there are no hiccups in the flow. This prevents the reader from putting down the book once he starts. The adventures have been very well described. The reader gets a flavour of Rowling's writing at places.

Having said all this, I highly recommend the book for all fantasy lovers. A must read.

Statutory Warning: This is my first book review write-up. Please read this at your own risk.

I am Back!!!!

Long time no see....

I have been away from blogging for quite some time now. I had been held up with things and then had gone on a vacation. Now "I am Back!!!"

I now have a lot of things to blog on. So I hope to add lots of things to this blog pretty soon.