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.