Friday, October 31, 2008

Off finally!

To Tirupathi. After months of pushing it out. After 5 excruciating hours of wait at the Malleswaram office (in rain that too!) we finally are going this weekend. With S and his wife V. Driving down. Looking forward to it. Should be fun. This is the first non-Hyd trip we are making together after the move. And not for any emergency, aha, life is good! :)

Miss me, my lovelies! Updates from the EMI-paying lord will follow on Monday ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A heart-breaking experience

Subhash had some work @ Tarang which is this Indian arts and crafts store in Jayanagar. He told me a lot about it and thought I'd like it, so he took me along warning me that it was going to be an hour long meeting and I might get bored. Now, I am one to find something or the other to pass time, so I am usually not worried about getting bored and so I tagged along.

We ended up spending more than 2 hours there. And its near impossible to describe the beauty of most of the creations we saw there. I felt proud for being born here, in India, I also felt ashamed for abounding in ignorance about the so many different things that are great about Indian art, both at the same time. Confused? Yeah. Tanjore paintings, Kalamkari work, Brass artefacts, Bronze artefacts, paintings done on this marble slabs, paintings that looked life-like, the list is endless. How to describe so much beauty?

Well, but that is not the point of this post. Here is what we bought at the store, three sets, one for me, one for my mom and one for Subhash's mom :)

What do you think those are? Coasters? Yes, thank you. And how do you think they are made?

Now, I challenge you to guess.

No? You give up?

Well, here goes..

That is right! All the colours in that painting are got from real gem-stones, powdered to fill the space as a colour. The thing is so small that the amount of detailing in it is mind-boggling.

OK. So what is heart-breaking about that you ask?

Can you guess how much it cost? Labeled MRP was INR 300. THREE HUNDRED ONLY!!!

The way we undervalue our artists is what broke my heart. Now I am guessing, this guy is at least the second middle-man between the artist and us. So how much could the artist have gotten for this?! 20 INR per piece is a higher side estimate that I can make.

I felt crestfallen. People with such talent. And working for a mere pittance. Why do we undervalue our own art so much? Apparently the same set gets sold at the Bengaluru airport for 1600 INR. Yet, the money really doesn't go to the artist. It goes to the shopkeeper in the airport (well, considering he has to pay unbelievable amounts of rent in the airport, he probably needs profits of that scale, but hey!), who has done nothing but buy it off the shelf at Tarang.

What needs to be done is pretty clear. We need to create a market for Indian art, different kinds of art, and there are plenty. Need to make it that "desired" thing which people will pride on possessing. AND will be willing to pay a price for, if not a premium.

Whenever I go into public service, I know what I can do and whom I can do it for. Till then I am determined to encourage such masterpieces in whatever little way I can. Either buy it for myself or get them as gifts for friends.

So next time you are in a fix about what to gift someone, try this. Or this. Maybe even this?

And chuck that bouquet :)

So cute!

One of my cousins, my mama's son, works for IBM. Apparently he is out of PTO (Paid Time-Off, Cisco slang for "leave"). And I had invited them for the house-warming in December. So he is now doing extra work, taking on another shift, so that he can earn an extra day of PTO by then. All, so that he can make it to the house-warming.

Ain't that cute :) Needless to say, I am all floored and feeling great! To have cousins like this and an extended family like the one I have, is truly something. They add that bounce to life you know!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And after 8 years.. it is. A Deepavali in India. Of course, I can't seem to get back the same excitement and enthusiasm as I once had (well, I had to come to work today, so what else do you expect!?) but still, its something. I really wish I was in Hyd, but hey, at least I am in India, Hyd can be made to happen next year :D

We bought the usual, flower pots, sparklers, rockets, pencils bhuchakkars etc. Conspicuously missing were the Lakshmi and Hydrogen bombs. Actually even as a kid/adoloscent I never found much for the bombs. They were solely bought for the purpose of entertaining cousins when they came over to burst crakers. Even if I ever entertained the thought of liking those, it was gone for a toss when this Lakshmi bomb once burst unexpectedly even before I could move away leaving that slight beep in the ear. I thought I lost my hearing that day! And that was it, no bombs for me after that ;) The "sivatapakayas" were the only sort of "bursty" crackers I ever handled.

Apartment had some rules about bursting crackers, saying everyone should do it in one designated spot etc. We started off with sparklers in our balcony for a shagun and then took the rest down and bursted all of them. Then spent some 15 minutes watching everyone else and walked back home, content.

We had on off on Monday because in Karnataka its Monday. Whereas for us Telugu folks its on Tuesday. So today I wore new clothes, a new watch, new slippers etc ;) Office is empty and wears a haunted house look and I wouldn't have come here today if it was not for Subhash's "I have to go to work today" majboori. What to do alone at home, better off at work, at least will meet a few souls around here ;)

Happy Deepavali to all of you! May the coming year bring in loads of happiness.

(Please to wish me back the same ;) )

Monday, October 27, 2008

And that is final

One gloomy post (a trough) deserves a lighter one (a crest). After all we are a sine wave, no? (Its all in the name, duh!)

We went to Forum Mall yesterday. The first time we went after the move was when Subhash's parents were here. We went to watch the movie "Chinthakayala Ravi". Movie was decent and I think his parents also enjoyed it.

I digress, the point is not the movie. Nor is it Forum. The point is the Transit Food Lounge IN Forum. Ohh ma! It makes me mad. So many things to choose from. I almost instantaneously suffer from lack of appetite resulting from a failure to decide what to eat. So I think, "one at a time Divs, one at a time".

So we tried the "Khandani Rajdhani" counter. Again the same loss of appetite. So much to choose from, how to decide what to eat? Bah! Ok, that Puran Poli looks good and so does the Khastha Kachori. So we went for it. We only wanted to snack and have dinner later, but the food, the sight of the food, and so much to eat, changed my decision, we are having dinner at 7 pm!

Puran Poli was served with pickle and potato curry which was strange, I am used to eating it as dessert :P Khastha Kachori was strewn with lightly sweetened yoghurt which was good the first two bites but got excessively sweet as I ate it. I wonder how the Gujjus and the Rajasthani and of course our Bengalis eat so much sweet! The Puran Poli was smashingly ravaging. Yumm. Yumm. Yumm. Although I was feeling a bout of nausea coming from eating so much sweet, I felt happy. And satisfied.

So you see, I can't help it. I decide one day to start eating "well" by which I mean, not hog. And the next day, as if to test my very resolve, destiny places so much variety of food in front of me, that I begin to eat and mentally go " To hell with restraint, I got to eat when I still can". Forget that excess weight, forget that bulge, I will eat.

And so that is final. I can NOT eat modestly when so much good food is awaiting for me to eat it :D :D My India move is not working out well in just this one over-weight problem! Hmm..

PS: We went to Umerkot yet again. Had their Karari Bhindi Chat which was beyond expectations type of good and the "Subz something something" (can't recollect the name and the thing is not in their online menu). Basically it was a veggie biryani sort of thing. And it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Distinct flavours and yet all blended subtly. The guy who waited on us, recognized us and took extra special care of us saying we were coming after a long time and all. Actually the last time we went he wasn't around. He asked how we liked the Bhindi thing and if it was spicy and that he would adjust the spice of the biryani according to it. Yeah, THAT good service. I also got my standard Fresh lime soda-half-sweet-half-salty and as usual it was good. (Did I tell you I moved over from my standard Iced tea which I always had in US restaurants to this life-saver?) This restaurant never disappoints. They even gave us free paan in the end this time. Maybe the festive season special :D Our team was planning a lunch and I was going to suggest this place and I was immensely happy when someone else suggested it. So another round of Umerkot next week is in order :D

Worried at many layers

Personal level -- EMIs have started. And so has the panic. This is the first loan we've taken in our lives, and I feel the effects of having a huge liability. I am hoping I will get used to it and tide over it.

Family -- Dad is not keeping well. He is under a reel of a bad cough spell. I am hoping it nothing major. Added to that he is worrying himself over things he cannot change and I am quite unsure of how to stop him from doing that :(

Then the world beyond.

I see riots in the name of religion. People seem to be getting more and more polarized. I am not sure, I never saw this when I was a kid. Maybe they were always there, the poles, maybe they've just surfaced now. Not sure. But it makes me sad. And increasingly, talking about Hinduism or taking a stand as a Hindu seems to be getting one the tag of being fundamentalist or extremist. Why is it so wrong for me to respect my religion just because the religion happens to be Hinduism? I believe that Hinduism is an extremely mature religion, and that all its rites and rituals always have a logic and (even better) a science behind them. Yeah, it has been the butt of abuse for the past how-many-ever centuries, but that doesn't make the religion bad. If I take pride in being Hindu, why must I be labeled an extremist. Only if I silently allow for extermination of my religion and its beliefs will I be even considered for the "intellectual" tag. And its immensely sad and disturbing. And the worst part is that I just cannot figure out what the hell to do about it. I went to a Christian Missionary run school. I know enough about Christianity than probably even the Christians do. I've always co-existed peacefully with my Christian friends. I never had any problems with my Muslim friends either. When I make friends, I don't make them looking at if they are Hindu or not. So just because I happen to be a Hindu who is passionate about Hinduism doesn't make me extremist, thank you. And I grew up believing that the rest of the country was full of people like me. Who took pride in what they are without deriding what others believed in. It is possible you know. Yet, I see and hear disturbing things and I wonder. Is it that the people of this country have changed or is it just the god-damned media and an even more damnable-political-fabric of the country.

I see people who really work hard to earn a living. Like this man in his forties maybe, looking very respectable, smartly dressed, trying to eke a living out of selling ball-point pens at a traffic light. There is a lot of self-respect and yet there is innate hardship. I see him and a lot of uncomfortable feelings arise. I feel guilty for sitting inside an air-conditioned car while a man much older than me has to walk the streets to earn a living. I feel sad, thinking about how much he can make and how he will sustain his family. Yet, I am filled also, with pride and wonder. For the sheer resilience of the Indian fabric. Like I wrote earlier, all kinds of people live and survive and what is more, manage to be happy here. If I were someone from one of these omnipresent and annoying media-channels/newspapers, I would write about the sorry state of this country and its poverty and its wretchedness. But I am a blogger, so I will look at the better side of things. After all I believe this country is not a lost cause. I believe in its greatness to heal itself and move on in spite of taking in alarming amounts of abuse from inside and out. And I pray we will become truly "sujalam and suphalam" some day. Once again.

You know you are renovating when..

--Vitrified, semi-vitrified, marble effect and other such hitherto unbeknown terms become uncomfortably familiar.

--You go to the restroom in an upscale restaurant you lookout for what designs they've used for the WC, floor tiles, wall tiles etc, to find the fine distinction between what is commercial and residential as it still beats you ;)

--You suddenly begin to spot all the hardware stores in town, earlier your eyes would have glossed over them and your mind would have never registered their existence.

--You know the difference between a diverter and a basin mixer.

--Suddenly you think colour. And think space-colour. And think effect-space-colour.

--You see the shower in the gym and think, "Ahh, that series in Jaguar" or look at the restroom wash basins and go "Hmm..definitely non-sensor series for the home" ;)

--You see the mason peeling off the skirting (knowing what a skirting is also comes as a package deal) and a part of your brick wall going with it and it rips your heart.

--After a day of shopping for plumbing pipes, you begin to see T-joints and elbow joints in the bus number display on the bus ahead of you when driving.

--You know precisely the exact functionality of hinges, telescopic channels, tower bolts, mortise locks and the likes after spending a day in Chikpet doing nothing but hardware shopping. (Phew! This was the most boring of all)

--You notice, for the first time in the eight months you've been living in your apartment, that the door patterns are all the same. Till then you don't even realize the inner doors in the apartment have a pattern to begin with.

--You realize that a 5-burner hob just cannot do with a 2ft chimney where till date you wouldn't have even known hob-chimney sizes.

--You can accurately tell how much a foot length is, no matter what surface you are looking at.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Many things ;)

One more porridge post. Please to excuse. I try to patch up many different things when I don't have any single thing to talk about at length ;)

We got dry fruits for Diwali. One neatly packaged gold paper box with Raisins, Kaju, Apricot (I think), Figs, Pista and Badam. It feels good, the festive spirit is amazing :)

I sorely miss going to Hyd for the festival. I was hoping to be able to make it. Its my first Diwali in India after 8 devilishly long years. But we can't, no vacation available :( And all our friends are already leaving for Hyd, so we will probably be all alone! Sigh! At least, we are together, two is better than one I say.

House-warming date almost decided. Although I am too stormed to think about planning for it, my mom and Subhash's mom have collaborated and fixed on the cook for the day preceding and following the event and the purohit as well. Sure makes my life easier ;)

Something nice happened this evening. I had to walk as usual to the gate of our campus to catch an auto when this auto guy was coming out, he asked me where I had to go, I told him and he said he can't go. Then he said he'd drop me till the gate. I almost got into the auto when I asked him how much he'd take for it (sheepish grin, yeah I know, I am paranoid like that!). He said, its Ok anyway he is going in the same direction. And I felt so nice. After all those nasty haggling experiences with auto fellows in Bangalore, this was a pleasant surprise.

Spending more and more time mentoring the young blood in the team. Made an impromptu presentation today for some of them. All those new college hires. It makes me feel damn old! Especially when they introduce me saying she's been around for donkey's years :( Sigh! but new hires are always exciting. Their conviction and energy can be contagious most of the times :)

Well, let me sign off now. More tidbits later ;)

Monday, October 20, 2008

L and the rehab

After spending more than a week in rehab, my very close ally (lets call this ally L) is finally back in business. I sure missed L. No one can match L's speed of thought or rapidity of function. Of course in stylish looks, L is at the top.

Partly I felt guilty about L spending time in re-hab since I believe it is continuous abuse from me which drove L into it in the first place.

I am glad L is back, I sorely missed the monkeys ;)

Here are some pictures of L


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Two very busy days

This week was very eventful. So much so I don't know where to start and end. So I will leave it at that ;)

I need to be in the US next week but I am not sure if I will be able to make it. Some formalities of the house we recently bought are left and so I can't see a good two weeks chunk in between where I can fit in a US ka trip. Lets see. If I do go though I want to bring back that Corelle set and some other miscellaneous stuff that I want (like Bounty kitchen paper rolls, if anyone asked me what I missed about the US, I'd say Bounty;) )

We went to dine at BonSouth in Koramangala on Friday. I must say, at least for having spent so much on the ads, it was an extremely admirable restaurant. Menu was simple (Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala in separate sections, non-veg and veg sub-headers and two to three dishes under them). We tried the "Arati Poovu Bajjilu" which were yummy if you called them Masala Vadas rather. I didn't find the arati poovulu in those (arati=plantain, poovu=flower). We had some Kerala dish (I can't pronounce nor remember the name) which resembled the "gojju" we make in Karnataka and "Maavidikaya Pappu" (Raw Mango Dal). Both were yumm. Above allm this restaurant scored the maximum points for its a) Virgin Pina Colada and b) Its decor and ambience. Simply superb both of them. I only liked the Virgin Pina Colada that Valley Fair's Cheesecake Factory made so far but the one in this restaurant has now replaced it as the newest number one on my list :)

Most of today was spent in discussing renovation for the house. To do this or not to do this. To do that or not to do that. Budget, space, colours, look, ambience, shelves, closets, beds, entertainment centre and all that stuff. Its just day one and its already tired the hell out of us. I am not sure if having a house is such a good thing anymore;) It sure is a damn lot of work, bah!

We wanted to go to Tirupati (yeah that famous commercial, all powerful god happens to be my favourite) ever since we moved back. But its been more than 6 months now and we've still not made it. So today we went to this local TTD office in Malleswaram to get Darshan for next week. And what do you think? Their printer was broken and so they made us wait for 2 hours (the people who came ahead of us were waiting for more than 3 hours already) in the line and still no signs of anything working. Tired, we just walked out. Got to try our luck again tomorrow. I am hoping we get it. Its not a good sign usually to come back like that. Like the gods are angry with you or something. And THAT is not a very re-assuring thought, I tell ya!

Tonight's dinner was at Gramin. We've (rather I) always wanted to try it but it never happened so far. Subhash told me once that it was a good place to eat. We went early like 7.25 and so we didn't have to wait. Ambience was delightful. Nice villagish setting (true to the name). I had the Soda Mirchi (yeah, what else do you expect? ;)) and its just such a simple concept. Sweet soda water and break 3 green chillies in it. The chilli seeds add that spice and the soda water is sweet and overall its a pathaka drink. Subhash had that masala buttermilk, another hit with me :) We had the Bhindi Masala and Dal tamatar with Pudina Parathas, Garlic Kulchas and a stuffed kulcha. Very satisfying and extremely filling dinner. I recommend the restaurant to anyone who cares to listen :) Beware though! Go early. When we were getting out around 8, there were people sitting outside and browsing menus, just trying to get in and eat:)

All in all a very busy Friday and Saturday. Lets see what Sunday brings :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A rainy adventure

Walking back home to catch the bus. Caught by an unexpected rain. Should have left 20 mins earlier, saw everyone who could potentially give me a ride leave while I was chatting with Y. What to do? Found a thatch which was empty by the service road. Waited a while. Didn't see any bus for a long long time, so was not feeling very guilty for having waited in the thatch. Saw a shiny Red Volvo go by. Very sad this, missing that bus. The mind thinks, maybe its not raining that hard. Walked a little bit. Steadily getting drenched. Caught sight of that shiny red Volvo stuck a little ahead in traffic. Legs picked up a running pace. Crossed that trench dividing the service road and the main road and started running. Only the bus is visible. Soon heard splosh-splash. Didn't look where I was running. Water all around. And that pair of khakhis has gone for a toss. Damn! Ran faster. Got into the bus. Already 15 mins since I left office. Bus still stuck. After 10 more minutes it starts to move. Slowly. No seat. Sat on the platform left out where the Volvo's huge tires are.

What is life without a little adventure eh? ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A nice morning

Subhash's Dad had been telling us about this group of six or so guys who met at the park by Iblur lake and laughed their guts out. I was curious an so went along with him today to check out what they do.

It was disappointing since they decided to take off today :( However, we did walk and when his Dad sat down to do breathing exercises, I covered another round of the park taking in the pretty-ish kind of wilderness and came back. Then I sat on one of the four swings in the park which I had soon as I came in.

Swings. I love them. Swings at school were one of the first forms of adrenaline rush I had ever experienced since I was never the giant wheel type of person. I am sure it holds true for a lot of people. So even today I never miss an opportunity to swing along if I find one empty. You see, finding a swing empty was one of the biggest luxuries of childhood @ school.

There is a play area in our apartment complex itself but I usually walk by it when its full of kids. Not wanting to deny them the chance (read, look stupid) I usually don't swing on them ;) But once in a while, when we go by the area walking in the night, I do snatch a swing or two!!

We walked back home and it was quite peaceful. Saturday morning, the whole weekend ahead of you, the very thought gives you ample energy :D The quietness was only disturbed by some snippets of loud conversations on the higher floors of the apartment blocks, birds chirping, the watchmen talking animatedly etc. Some water birds walking on the Bellandur lake added to the serene picture. I should do more early-Saturday-morning walks from now on.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Yuck! Yuck!

What is with the damned global meltdown. Yuck! My portfolio has gone into negative digits now :(( Boo Hoo!! I am going to be extremely optimistic at this point and hope that it won't be akin to the Great Depression. But maybe it already is? Sigh!

And of course there is my CSCO stock. Even if someone sneezes or coughs it plunges.

As if being razed to the ground in investments is not enough, this is what my Orkut fortune is saying:

Profile views: Since Feb '06: 46,508, Last week: 116, Yesterday: 15
Today's fortune: The star of riches is shining upon you

(Really now, this is called adding insult to injury)

Riches, my foot!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Domestic abuse and feministic pride

Beginning of last week my maid came home in the morning looking a little down. Not her usual cheerful self. I asked her what the matter was and she said that her husband had beat her the previous weekend.

She was going to her hometown and was off that weekend. Apparently she had asked her husband to be ready by the time she came home so that they can leave in the evening and come back the next day. But by the time she got home he was not ready and for whatever reason (I don't know what transpired between them) he beat her and told her that she can leave their almost-1-year-old daughter and go away from their house. I told her that everyone needs everyone else around them when you are in a family. I asked her to come stay with us for a couple of days and see how her husband manages. Basically tried to tell her not to worry because her husband needed her more than she needed him.

The next day she came to work, she was back to her normal self. I asked her how things were and she said that her husband had pacified her and smothered her. How? I asked. She told me how she said to her husband that she would stop going to work from the next day and how he had promised her that he would never beat her again and convinced her to go to work and assured her that he would take care of her very well from now on.

Now, I am not a big fan of women demanding respect because they "are now earning". Because somewhere that implicitly shows that they are fine with their spouses treating them like dirt when they don't earn, which is even more dangerously lacking in self-respect. However that maybe, in her case I was glad she showed at least some muscle. And probably something like self-respect and human dignity for women and all the other good stuff wouldn't have made much sense to her husband anyway ;)

All in all I am glad for her.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Doodhsagar Falls - A guest post

One of my colleagues recently visited DoodhSagar Falls, and she wanted to blog about it. So I offered to let her be my guest blogger, here goes --

By Anin

Doodhsagar – India’s second tallest waterfall - every trekker’s dream

We are a group of friends who love trekking. All kinds – jungle trails, hillocks, moderate rock climbing.. And it had been quite sometime since we last did something like that. The last few months had been pretty hectic for all of us, workwise. We hadn’t got a chance to go out anywhere to refresh our minds!

One morning, a friend forwarded a mail which had these beautiful snaps of the Doodhsagar Falls. That was enough to light our fire within. We started Googling for info regarding its location/ how to reach/ facilities available, etc.

Surprise !!! We had a lot of hits for our search. But none gave any good info on how to reach this place. We read through a lot of blogs, also went through the Goa Hiking Association links – but none of them elaborated enough on this place. Such a beautiful Waterfall, and hardly any info abt it on the net??? Well what a pity!

So, then we made up our minds – we bunk work for couple of days around the coming weekend and go checkout this lovely place by outself, and most importantly, when we return, we blog about it !!!

Doodhsagar Waterfalls is situated in the Western Ghats, in the state of Goa (Karnataka-Goa border actually). Its about 130 Km from Belgaum. About 80 Km from Panaji.

This is how we reached the Trail head –

We had to visit a friend in Belgaum. So we took the Rani Chennamma Express from Bangalore to Belgaum. The next day morning (September 5th), we boarded a Margoa bus at the Belgaum Bus Stand. The bus goes on the highway NH4A. Road is pretty good. Only in a few places it is a bit torn. It took us about 3 hours to reach this place called Molem. Molem – a small place - is located in the midst of the jungle. Very easy to miss this stop. So watch out! We got off at Molem. There are local mini buses which ply regularly between Molem and this another small village called Colem. We got into one of these and reached Colem. There is a railway station at Colem – but only for the goods trains. The foot of Doodhsagar Falls is 14 Kms from Colem. And the trail starts off from the Colem railway station.

From here there are two options –

1. Trek along the railway track for about 7 Kms in the direction of Doodhsagar. Then when you come to a tiny bridge – the railway track goes over a small stream beneath – get down to the stream, wade through the water, below the railway track and get onto the narrow muddy path. Just keep going along the path for the next 7 Kms. The path goes through thick jungle, sometimes gets steep. You will have to cross 4 more streams. Then you come to this moss covered Arch which says – Doodhsagar Waterfalls J. There is a security post and a restroom as you enter – but the jungle has grown over these and now its probably room for a few snakes.
2. There is an association of Bikers at Colem. They are about 20 – 30 of them. Each with a good pick-up & suspension bike. They can give you a ride for most of the distance and then take you till the foot of the falls. With one biker and one trekker on each bike, these guys drive just beside the railway track – on a 1.5 foot wide space. The stones of the railway track on one side and a 12 - 15 feet deep fall on the other side. It gets really scary balancing out there. But these guys are just too amazing – some of the best bikers we have seen. Then you get down and trek the rest of the distance to the falls. The bikers can accompany you, stay there as long as you wish, and then bring you back to Colem. Contact numbers of a couple of bikers - 9420768498 Jayendra, 9421244396 Daya. They will be happy to assist you!

Either way it is going to take a lot of nerve and energy. Be sure to have had some good food early morning.

From the Arch, it’s a good 2 Km trek again. But you know you are near to your destination, so its not so long. This is a pretty difficult stretch, lot of river crossing and climbing rocks. And finally you get to the foot of the waterfall, and you feel you have achieved something in your life. :)

It’s one of the most beautiful falls! You look up, you can see the railway track crossing across the falls hundreds or thousands of feet above you. Water in the fall looks just as white as milk – so you know how it gets its name. You can spend an hour or two there. Actually you don’t feel like leaving that pleace.. J But make it a point to reach Colem before it gets dark.

Carry lots of water. Beware of Leeches and Snakes. There are lots of them out there. You will be lucky if you don’t get a leech bite.

Other ways to reach this place –

Take a train to Castle Rock. From Castle Rock, get onto a goods train which goes to Doodhsagar. But in this case, there is no scope for trekking.

There is a Doodhsagar Resort, about a Km before Molem right by the side of NH4A. You can probably get in touch with them too. (their info is available on the net)

I think there are jeep drives from Colem between October and March. But don’t have much info about it.

If you have car/ bikes – its gonna be much easier. You can drive all the way upto Colem.

When you are searching for info on the net, you will find mention of Molem National Park being the seat of the Doodhsagar falls. Please ignore this. This National park is long closed and its very misleading.

I have trekked to Vyasa Guha in the Himalayas, Yosemite in California and the White Mountains in New Hampshire (apart from many small hills back in India). Of them Doodhsagar has been a special one.:) Its a great Trek! Go for it! We are happy we did!

Hyperlink Image Courtesy : Giri

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Another of those "What's up" posts

After a rather spooky Friday, spent a relatively quiet weekend.

Went out for dinner with friends Saturday night to Mugen again. Food was delectable but the total time spent there was painful, he took too long to serve the orders, phew! We were a big group, 8 people, but hey, not THAT big after all.

Felt bad a little but about leaving Subhash's parents home and going out for dinner. But they were saying that we should go. Sometimes I feel extremely lucky for having them around. His mom, after her bout of hospitalization, is being extra careful with her health mainly because she doesn't want us to stop whatever we are doing and attend on her. She doesn't want our routine to be disrupted because of her. How many people do I know who would think like that? Not many, I confess. Lucky? Lucky :)

Been clocking close to 13-14 hours of work everyday. I am waiting to see if it touches my previous record of about 16-18 hours everyday. I wouldn't have noticed it had it not been for Subhash's mention about me working round the clock once or twice. You see, when I set my previous record, I used to be all alone most of the time since he was traveling, and I would work simply because I had nothing better to do that would completely engross my mind and get rid of that feeling of loneliness. So I never realized it. Only in retrospection I knew what had happened ;) This time around since he has mentioned it, I've realized it much earlier and am feeling bad about it. Work-life balance is still there I'd like to imagine. I still stick to my routine, still work out, still make sure the house is in top order and all that but I feel bad for being such a workaholic. And I am also in a queer position. The team I am doing it for, is miles away and can't even see it. The local team couldn't care lesser about this work since its not in their plate. So I am working without even knowing if I'd be recognized for it. Thank god that the work in itself is mentally rewarding, else it would be a rather tough spot to be in. Anyways, I got to do what I got to do. So I am trying to finish this as soon as I can and get onto something locally. Hopefully this juggling will end soon and I'll get a break.

The coming week is something I am looking forward to. Dasara, a major festival, is on the 9th. My parents and sis are traveling to Bangalore from Hyd along with my uncle. And Subhash's parents are already here. The whole family together, everyone in one place, a festival and all its excitement :)

Have a good week ahead!

Friday, October 03, 2008


Something rather spooky and scary happened today. I went in to work only to find a picture missing from its frame in my workspace. Now if whoever took it, would have taken the whole frame, I wouldn't have worried so much thinking that they took it for the frame (it is a really cute Disneyland frame). But no. The frame was right there but the picture was gone!

Scary. What would anyone want to do with a picture of me with Subhash taken in Disneyland. I don't want to think about it. Of course I escalated it and all that but still it surprises me. And I am thinking about it more than I expected I would. Why? Why is the question that keeps haunting my mind.

Its strange how some little things shake you up and make you alert. I am hoping this one will pass over.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

And what do you think, I am a CJ now :D

And what a day to start off, October 2, Gandhi Jayanthi. Me is thrilled :)

Moi article

PS: CJ=Citizen Journalist, sounds cool, no? ;)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dip ye bloomin lights!

If you have driven at night in Bangalore you know what a pain it is. Even if don't drive in Bangalore you will know how much night traffic hurts. Your eyes that is.

In good old Bharat, we got half blackened headlights. Because a high-beam was painful and it was deemed best to cover the top half of the light in black paint so that everyone's eyes were spared.

But for whatever reason (if any of you know, please to write in) the dipped lights have gone! And what we are left with is a city-full of morons driving around in high-beam. And it hurts! Whether you are driving or sitting in the front or even sitting at the back, the glare emanating from all those high beams is painful. So much so that Subhash drives with his Oakley on at night. No kidding! Looking silly is way better than having a permanent eye damage, I agree.

So why do people drive on high beam in back to back traffic? Most of them probably think that unless you see that headlight symbol on in your dash, your headlight is not really on. Some bus-wallahs do it on purpose to get people out of their way (those bus-wallahs are a frustrated lot I tell ya, what else do you expect with all that driving day and night in mad city traffic). And I am guessing a majority of the rest just don't know that there are two forms of light in a vehicle. A low-beam for normal traffic/roads and a high beam for deserted ghat roads while going over a mountain.

So how can this mass be educated. I am not sure. I decided to start by posting it here. All those RJs who keep blabbering on and on during rush hour traffic can actually start to educate people on how to distinguish between these two lights and encourage people to drive on low-beam. I am sure if people drive on high-beam just because they are unaware, they will toe the line. I saw this very nice illustrative poster outside Secunderabad RTA (in Karkhana) which showed the difference between low-beam and high-beam and which one is the right one to use. (I am proud of Hyd man, did I already say that? :D) Sure, the Bangalore RTA guys can and should do something similar. But when was any damned Karanataka government agency so enterprising. I don't know, I never saw it in the whole course of my life, sigh!

So to start things off, here is a post. I am hoping my few readers will pass it on and spread the word, and save the pain to many a night driver.