2010 for me

Inspired by similar posts by few folks, I also plan to jot down whatever I did, learnt, felt,saw during the year gone by:-

Spent Jan 1 night on Nandi hill

Got 4-wheeler DL but still not confident

Confusion – Thoughts of shifting from Engineering to consultancy, certification,  Thoughts of Job Switch, Thoughts of other radical shifts – CEED, NID, FTII – a llot of confusion

A gala holi with all college friends

Ran Maiden Sunfeast 10k

Scuba-diving at Netrani

Changes in work, greater responsibilites

Leh – got cancelled

Catching up with the year gone by – Apsarkonda Beach,Honnavar on 31st Dec 2010 – courtsey Ghrunchu

Toastmasters happened

5 Theatre shows – but unsatisfactory performances from me

Exposed to Lots of theatre in general – clowning, forum, volunteering

Trek 4300 arrived and is crying for attention

Revived the blog

Agumbe-Sringeri trip

Shivanasamudra trip

One or two expressions found their way out

Few rounds of disappointments and realizations

Taudi near Kochi courtsey Jithu

Jog-Honnavar-Karwar trip and Gokarna experience on Jan 1 2011

2011 – lots and lots to look forward to, lots of challenges, lots of hopes, lots of people, lots of work

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Serendipity

Finding an orphan 100 Rupee note on a street….

Finding empty roads on a Monday morning (thanks to holiday in other offices)….

Cooking, by chance, an amazing Daal…

Small surprises make life so WORTH living !

Agumbe-Sringeri was such an experience.

Sept 3, Friday 11:24 am : Bohra made us an offer that I couldn’t refuse.  So couldn’t Joshi. Tickets were booked.

Agumbe

I had heard of it as the King Cobra capital of India. I read a little later …..it receives second-highest rainfall in India and Monsoon was in its full glory at that point of time. On the Rajhamsa to Agumbe, we were the only tourists. The practical me cursed myself. But the decision was made.

Morning mist and a blanket of greenery engulfed us in Agumbe.  We had plans of staying in a guest house. Then one boy passed by and talked about one old paying guest house down the road. Why we went down that road ?……no particular reason comes to my mind right now. A blue plastic sheet covered the 2 storey house. There was a small gate. Bohra shouted “Hello” like in those horror movies. A small girl came out and went in again to call her Grandma.

Kasturiakka

There are some people who you meet….

Who even when you are meeting for the first time, exude such warmth that you feel like

Dinner time with Kasturiakka and Shantiakka

knowing them from years….

Who aren’t prejudiced about you or in a hurry to judge you….

Who are plain happy to see you and accept you as you are…

Kasturiakka, the girl’s grandma and Shantiakka her elder sister – were two such persons. They…we….talked…shared a lot of stories.

The House

It was an old structure. Small gate outside, a big verandah inside, again a small door for entry into the dining hall, rooms above the dining hall. Few rooms, lying unattended for years, gave a creepy feeling. The bathroom had two big copper containers, fitted inside a cemented shelf . A small fire underneath the containers, heated the water. There was a well and an animal shelter alongside the bathroom.

We were just feeling that there is something different and unique about this house and then Kasturiakka told us this is the Malgudi Days House.

We had nice home-made food but our favourite was Kasay, a home-made drink made out of jaggery, milk and local herbs. We gulped and gulped and gulped it.

I was starting to have that feeling…the feeling of finding an unexpected treasure…the feeling that this is going to be some trip….the omens were there(yes, I finished The Alchemist yesterday).

Barkana Ho

Barkana waterfalls first – we decided.

The first hurdle

Auto dropped us on the road at the edge of forest . 3 kms straight walk to Barkana – the driver told us. Forest was showing it’s colors from the start. A 3-4 ft deep nallah and lush greenery welcomed us.

Spirits were buoyant…

Posing in the middle of nowhere

Jokes were being cracked…

 

 

Chips and Chocolates were being devoured…

War cries of Barkana Ho traveled through the forest….

And then it grew dark. The intriguing, lush green forest had morphed into a labyrinth. Almost 2 hours had passed away. In the middle of a rain forest, with heavens pouring like no tomorrow and wriggling leeches on our feet – WE WERE LOST!

Spirits were drooping. One trail, fortunately, led us out of the forest on to the same road.

The auto driver came again. We told him our sad story and he told us the route again.

In the middle of the road,

Crossroads

we had the brainstorming once again – the GO NO-GO DECISION.

Bohra wanted to go in. He never wanted to come out without seeing it, in the first place. So did Tripathiji.

Joshi and Indrajeet didn’t want to go in. Joshi had hurt/sprained his leg slightly. Indrajeet hated and cursed leeches like they were whores.

Laziness in taking a stand puts you in a hot seat sometimes. The decider vote was mine. Part me, wanted to sympathize with Joshi and Indrajeet. Another part didn’t want to leave any unfinished business.

Pain is temporay, quitting is permanent

– Lance Armstrong

LET’S GO IN – I said. This time we were more business like. Making mental and physical notes of trails and landmarks, we discovered routes, hidden by fallen trees, some of which we had earlier assumed as blocked.

The Pain

The rain was incessant..

The forest was becoming denser…

The place was the motherland of leeches

Sweat, Blood and Rain – it was a heady cocktail.

If our hearts hadn’t given up, so hadn’t the demons in our minds. Doubts started clouding our spirits again. But the beauty of being in a group is that…..

If one feels it’s a wild goose chase, another will see the light at the end of tunnel….

If one feels frustrated by the unending trail, another could hear the sound of water falling on rocks….

Bohra - the leader

Bohraji was leading and it’s a tough job. Make no mistakes, leaders are not always popular – but a leader doesn’t have to please everyone. Writing now, I remember the same role played by Pundirda in Sawandurga trek, years back.

Very soon the trail was also lost. Bushes were overgrown. Sometimes we had to cut them , sometimes crouch under them. King Cobra was nowhere in sight though.

Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested

– The Alchemist

Finally, we reached the view point from where we could see Barkana.

The view was majestic.

The waterfall looked like milk flowing on the rocks.

The mist above the mountains made the whole setting surreal – almost something like the parts of New Zealand that we got to see in movies like Braveheart, The Last Samurai and LOTR.

Barkana

But to be honest, I felt cheated…a trifle disappointed. It was just a view-point. I wanted to bath under the waterfall. But then ,

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination

-Don Williams Jr.

Immediately after conquering Barkana, we went to Jogi Gundi Falls. We reached there after 5 minutes of walk into the forest. We were there in the water…almost – but I don’t have more than 20 words to describe it right now- hence upon the importance of journey over the destination.

Next morning we said goodbye to Kasturiakka and Shantiakka. We asked them how much we shall pay – they told us whatever we wish. This was an unique but uneasy situation for us. And this was another testimony to their simplicity and sweetness.

There were few other places we visited like one view point and Srimane water falls which were also decent places to visit.

Sringeri

The fear of leeches prevented us from conquering Narasimh parvat. We had heard of few temples in Sringeri. We decided to not stress ourselves and spend some time in those temples (and search for an answer or two, to our existential questions :))

Sringeri Math

Temples are usually not a place for us, at least for me . So I was wondering what we will do there. But we were in for a nice surprise there also.

The temple that we visited was the first muth established by Adi Shankaracharya, a 8th century old structure, located on the river of Tunga. The architecture was marvellous.

 

 

We were thinking of where to have lunch but then surprise surprise -we found that that muth offers free lunches also.

Stranger

 

We spent time on the banks of river Tunga watching, observing

 

pigeons…

 

crows…

 

One Cutie tagging along her mother

fishes…

 

humans…

 

river…

 

Natural pose

rain….

 

faith…

 

LIFE…

 

as it was happening around us.

We sat inside a small temple.As heavens poured, we relaxed, we talked, talked about smartphones, job, religion, girls(never too far from male mind), the trip, Barkana, Kasturiakka, life – every topic under the clouds…well, there was no sun.

In a nutshell, during those two days, we had an encounter with life.

Living

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

चाह

लडखडाना इरादों का काफी हुआ अब
भंवरों में उलझना नहीं है अब
इस रात की सुबह की तलाश है
बुझे दीयों को तेल की प्यास है
उस शिखर पर ध्वजारोहण का लोभ है
उस शितिज को छूने की चाह है
बस होंसले की पतवार की दरकार है
ख्वाइशों का नशा करने की देर है

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Shivanasamudra

 

Figo man is behind the lenses

 

Tariq’s Figo has done an enormous value addition to our trip plannings. We love to plan and he loves to drive. But over the years, I have realized that the best of best trips have been unplanned. Somehow everything falls into place and gets managed on its own. World is not that difficult a place to negotiate, you know. All you need is some company.

Last Saturday we went on to Shivanasamudra , Barachukki falls precisely . The decision was made around 9-10 a.m. We started at 12 , reached by 3 (130 km it was). The place was teeming with people – uncle, aunty, girlfriend, boyfriend, local villagers selling Bhajjis, cucumber, coracles. People were doing loads of timepass, showing their balancing skills, while crossing the river.  We got right down to our business, without much ado. And then we did a lot of timepass trying to reach a particular rock , swimming. The flow was strong and we were adamant on fighting it. But like all problems in life, it had a simple solution which we realized slightly later. Just that we had to experiment a little more, take a different path.

 

Water and the kid in us

 

Overall it was good fun. Good thing about unplanned trips is that you get an extra high after the trip because of the fact that you didn’t spend/waste any time in planning it. Saw ‘Yes Man’ later and could relate to the fun that Carl and Allison were having when they went to Nebraska, *unplanned*. These unscripted, unrehearsed moments are magical, you don’t regret any of them later.

P.S: Time to write about Agumbe-Sringeri Trip also, 1:31 am and sleepless in Bengaluru and there are loads of other topics to write upon.

Posted in Travel | 3 Comments

Movies and Society

Ayodhya verdict was announced last Thursday.  Next day I see a huge crowd gathered around a popular mall. I said to myself – here we go again…..But as I looked closer, the people seemed very happy….and then I saw a huge poster of Rajnikant being brought over, it was Enthiran’s first show.  It was escapism at its best.

There is one school of thought that believes that movies are nothing but an escape from day-to-day drudgery of our lives. There is another camp that thinks of moviemakking as an art form which is capable of bringing social changes. However both converge that cinema derives its inspiration from the society and represent social aspects of each generation.

As an example, the changes in Indian society , decade by decade, is very much visible in the movies of those times.

1940-60 – India was still taking baby steps as a nation.  The plight of farmers was very prominent. Do beegha jameen portrayed the situation of  farmers in post-independent india, how they were caught in web of debts and how they were forced to go to cities in order to free up their land. Mehboob’s Mother India was also on the same lines .

70s was the time when the Indian youth was disillusioned by the system, licence raaj, unkempt promises,emergency, unemployment, corruption . Deewar, Zanzeer, Coolie were all results of those times.

90s was the era  of liberalization and globalization, of MNCs and increased spending power. This was the age of yuppies who never thought of bargaining over vegetables or autorickshaw fare.  Arranged marriages were passe. This was the age when Raj and Simran decided to romance in swiss mountains.  This was the age of mushy romantic capers.

And now – now these are very interesting times that we are living on to. One in two Indians is below 25. They are not held back by baggages of past. Suddenly Mr. Frost is making sense to everybody – they are taking roads less travelled. Fashion design, journalism, media, writing and tourism and in fact movies also are the new-age career choices. All of this is also getting reflected in the wide range of movies that are being made today. Almost every friday we have a movie which is actually different …has a new theme – be it Black, Lagaan, Taare Zameen per, Rang De Basanti, 3 Idiots.

So movies indeed reflect the mood of society.

Now, let’s analyze the impact of movies on society now.

There is big moolah involved in movies. It indeed generates huge employment opportunities. Apart from watching the movies in which Shahrukh acts, youth wants to dress up like Shahrukh, youth wants to have a hair cut like Shahrukh, youth wants to get the card which Shahrukh gifted to Simran.  All of this results in a cascading effect on economy.

But this impact on society is not what movies explicity try to achieve. But do movies actually try to make a social impact or a social statement? Some do.

The core idea of 3 idiots namely pursue excellence and not success was indeed very relevant and made us look at our higher education with new perspectives. I’m not a father right now, not even married for that matter, but Taare Zameen Per certainly forced me to think on the issue of how to bring up kids.

Movies are no invention , they are just a mirror of the life happening around us. And if made with a honest effort, they do have the power of sending back a thinking audience.

P.S : Project 2 Speech at Bangalore Toastmasters Club . I know it’s not great but still posted it for two reasons – 1) To remind myself that I have to write better than this 2) Long time , no post and I’m too lazy and little tired to write anything more interesting right now.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Birthday

‘Miscarriage’ gave way to ‘Miracle’ in 5 days.

They were my saviors.

I turn 75 today.

Old but ramrod straight.

Years……since I saw anybody.

All I see is rubble…zombies…everywhere.

‘Developed’ world has been erased.

Greed has been their bane.

What remains is old me – Bailey Bridge which was built in 5 days.

Posted in 55 | Leave a comment

फिर आज

कुछ  गाँठ  पड़ी  थी ,
कोई  चाबी  खो  गयी  थी ,
किसी  तिजोरी  की ,
कुछ  कदम  रुके  थे  डर के  कभी

फिर  कुछ  लोग  मिले  थे  आज ,
फिर  कुछ  जकड़न सुलझी  थी  आज,
फिर  खज़ाना  मिला  था  आज ,
कदमों  ने  उड़ना  सीखा  था  आज

for playback theatre

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments