Monday, September 11, 2006

My Rides : Trip V; Kodaikanal

Where: Kodaikanal, TN, India
Total Distance: 1000 Kms Approx. (500 Kms one way)

Vehicles: 1 Hero Honda CBZ (2002 Model) and 1 Bajaj Pulsar (2004 Model)

Total Expenditure: Rs. 8000 (Rs. 2000 Per Head)

Travel Duration: Thursday "Noon" 13th Oct to Monday 17th Oct "Early Hours"

Route Map: Onwards: Bangalore-Hosur-Krishnagiri-Dharmapuri-Salem-Namakkal-Dindigul-Kodai
Return: Kodai-Palani-Coimbattore-Saty-Chamrajanagar-Maddur-Bangalore

Travel Team: 4 Members

Pilots: Nitin S. Bharadwaj (Me), Retesh Gowda, Sumanth G., Harish Kumar G.R.

Tour Diary:

Thursday: Rain, cloud and gloom. This was the situation on a Holiday for Dussera. And our plan was on this very lethargic day. My pals were all set to roll by 1. But by the time the Pooja formalities are all over at home, I'm ready only by 2 PM. I'm the only one to have had a sumptuous lunch. The others are yet to eat. We reach Hosur by around 3:30 PM. It is still raining and we, being quite experienced in long, wet rides, are in our usual wet gear. A Track Pant, a thick Jacket, shoes and gloves with all 4 of us wearing helmets. The one smart thought we gave was, 2 helmets with dark visor and 2 helmets with light visor for appropriate riding conditions. At Hosur, the Lunch is taken and we start munching up mile after mile. In no time, we are near Krishnagiri where the beautiful roads wind through some really scenic hills, and that seemed to be enhanced with the misty formation upon them. Once at Dharmapuri, the sun slowly seemed to come out and tell... "I'm logging off now, CU Tomorrow!!". The roads worsened and with around about 70 Kms still to go to Salem, we are left at a Dhaba. Then again it starts raining and the worst part is the decent 4 lane highway has no paint on dividers, no road-edge markers and no white stripes. The road being jet black, my bikes' Headlamps+Fog lamps were not of much use. I, being cautious as not to ride too fast into pot holes, made sure I'm driving slow. We end up in Salem at 9. We manage to get a couple of decent Hotel rooms quite economically.

Friday: We leave Salem early, thinking that we will cover as much as possible in as little time. we stop for breakfast at Namakkal. By the time we have breakfast, the weather has changed from mild to harsh. The Sun is beating down upon us and we had not seen such a bright sun for weeks together literally. It started to steam underneath our jackets. Typically Tamil Nadu. When we reach Karur, some mind blowing roadways want us to snap some pictures of ourselves. In the riding gear, on those (not-so)mean machines. Just off Karur By-Pass is one of those Indian Oil Fuel Stations. There are almost all facilities here with an adjoining Dhaba and Premium fuels. Here, I suspect a puncture in my front wheel as it was nearly flat. I take my bike to a nearby local mechanic. He checks the whole tube but then concludes the trouble is with the valve-pin. We take 2 litres of Maaza. Retesh and I finish 1 whole bottle while the other 2, unexpectedly order for 2 full cups of tea (Which was 2 full water-tumblers of tea. Too much to drink under the scorching sun). Then, we head off towards Dindigul. The road seemed to be never ending under the burning Sun. It was a nearly frustrating run with the decently smooth roads flanked by dry land on either side and no one else to accompany us. we reach Dindigul and seemingly Retesh and Harish are both exhausted. Sumanth being a product of TN, was as healthy as ever. About me? I work out to be active in that sort of weather. So, I was fit and fine. I suggested that we all drink a couple of tender -coconuts to rejuvinate ourselves. We reached Kodai road by 3 PM. No lunch as such for us. The ghat roads were quite exhilarating and a downhill waterstream made us stop for some refreshing wash up and some pics. We reached Kodaikanal by 4:30 PM. The people in Kodai seemed a lot friendly and showed decent hospitality. For that matter, even Policemen were worth being respected. At the entrance, we stopped for tea and really hot Bondas. 30 Rupees of expenditure was really worth. We found a HUGE cottage to live in. A 7-Bed one with wooden floor and in a descending portion of the hill station. We settled there with some beverages.

Saturday: We start off going around Kodai. We enjoy all the scenics. All the view points, the lakes, Guna Cave (which got its name from Kamal Hassan's movie Guna). We also went boating and cycling there. Yes, you do get cycles for rent there. No safety deposit required. Make sure you don't cycle away too far. You may end up struggling to push your cycle back also. 'Coz some gradients here are literally more than 45 Degrees. Too steep. We came back to a Food World there, did some shopping for biscuits, chocolates, cool-drinks and went back. We settled in the cold night, expecting to be leaving early on Sunday morning, by around 7 AM and make a marathon Run back to Bangalore. Suggestions fly around to go through the Ooty route. I say it would be difficult for me as I've to reach office by Monday 10 AM at least.

Sunday: Morning, as usual, our plan flops. We leave the room by 9 AM. We shop for local home-made chocolates and reach the entrance of Kodai by around 10:30 PM after some superb photo sessions. We decide not to go via Dindigul-Namakkal-Salem route again. Being a little more adventurous, we chose the not-so famous Palani route which is a little narrow and broken at parts. Upon reaching Palani, the weather change is more than evident. We top up our fuel tanks and leave for Coimbatore. The roads are simply superb. Though these roads were only 2-lanes wide, the sparse traffic made things look almost as though they were too wide. And one more thing was that the straight nature of these roads with the dry look on either side meant that it looked like a never-ending story of riding for us. We kept going on and on, but the miles never seemed to end.

Anyways, we make it to Coimbatore at 3 PM. It is really hot. And the cops are really infuriating us in that slow moving traffic by telling that Bangalore is still way too far to cover by evening. Anyways, we come to know that the rough figure still stands at around 350 KMs. This infuses fresh physical waves into all of us. But the mind is already getting ready to switch off. I mean, we have already done like 300 Kms. We start riding towards Satyamangalam. It is around about 5:30 PM when we cross Satyamangalam and start off the highly in-famous 9 Kms hill section with 27 Hairpin bends. These hills are infested with native tribals and loads of wildlife. And it is already starting to get dark. I take over from Harish who is relatively in-experienced in these conditions. We happen to see peacocks, wild-boars. Thank God, no elephants/cheetahs as the boards around there boldly highlighted. Anyways, we also see a couple of tribals with their tiger-claw necklaces, deer-skin clothing and those typically well built muscles.

We stop at a restaurant after the treacherous hill-roads. It is already dark and hardly any vehicle around these streets. I'm done with light snacks. But the other 3 take it easy and we miss a bus which could probably have led us upto Mysore. So, as always, we start off and reach Chamrajnagar all on our own. Thanks to the Fog-Lamps and some experience we have, we reach the TN-Karnataka border. The cops at the gate check us and let us through. Now, a bit of Humor. Harish asks me if we are in Karnataka yet. Just as I was to reply to him, the roads answer him in a rather rude manner. Yes of course, a huge pot-hole welcomes us to Karnataka. Anyways, we had to make a choice of whether we go to Mysore and from there to Bangalore, or try to go to Malavalli, Maddur and join the Mysore-Bangalore highway. As our luck had it, we chose the odd 2nd option. As usual, Worst roads. Sloshy due to rain and poorly lit. And the time being close to midnight, with nearly 14 hours of riding on our record already, everyone is beginning to feel the heat in the... you know where!! Finally, we reach Maddur by 12:30. If we had taken the Mysore road, we should've been in Bangalore by this time. Anyways we reach Bangalore by 3 AM or so. All these people drop me off at my house and I give Harish my bike so he can reach home safely.

Now, this was the whole trip. I have a strange feeling that all of us enjoyed this thoroughly. Maybe, you've felt in my position and enjoyed this exhilarating experience with me as I come to the end of this post.

Try This Music: Turn The Page (Metallica)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wierd Me...

Hi All, This is just another of those wierd tags by, yours truly, Akshay. And of course, its been long time since I got tagged by this chap. But I think this gives me another reason to start blogging again. Here go the 6 wierd things about me:

A) I hate listening to Himmesh's voice but still have almost all the songs sung by him and keep listening to it quite often

B) I'm a Systems Programmer but still involve a lot in researching automobiles

C) I'd like to work at odd hours and odd days even if I know it will go unnoticed

D) I hate to work when my manager is around but he is my guide

E) I want decent north Indian Lunch/Dinner in Tirupati

F) I still keep track of CET counselling status even if I'm done with it 5 years ago!!

I pass this tag on to Vasu.

Try This Song: Jhalak Dikhlaja (Aksar, Himmesh) :P

World'd cutest prayer

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Photographic Skills

Yeah! Yeah!! I know it has been a long time since I am here. This post is inspired by Akshay's BIRDIE post. But I think that it is worth really putting up some of those pics which I have at the moment which could be called breathtaking.
1. This is an action snap! Car going through a narrow Gorge. No! This is not WRC and nothing faster than 20 Kmph.
2. Agumbe! Karnataka's Scenic Pride.
3. A Cute Fella Posing for My Cam.

4. A Hibiscus, Just for you!

Well, I think I've put up all but Birdies here :D. Anyways, just visit this page when you feel stressed. Oh! And BTW, These pics are all low quality as the hosting site reduced it to below 1MB each.

Try This Song: Flying In a Blue Dream (Joe Satriani)

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Window

A Great note for all to read. It will take just 37 Seconds to read this and change your thinking.

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

Try This: Zindagi Ke Safar Mein (Aap Ki Kasam, Kishore Kumar)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Twenty-something...

A time in everyone's life. People call it the "Quarter-life Crisis." It is when you stop going along with the crowd and start realizing that there are many things about yourself that you didn't know and may not like. You start feeling insecure and wonder where you will be in a year or two, but then get scared because you barely know where you are now. You start realizing that people are selfish and that, maybe, those friends that you thought you were so close to aren't exactly the greatest people you have ever met, and the people you have lost touch with are some of the most important ones.

What you don't recognize is that they are realizing that too, and aren't really cold, catty, mean or insincere, but that they are as confused as you. You look at your job... and it is not even close to what you thought you would be doing, or maybe you are looking for a job and realizing that you are going to have to start at the bottom and that scares you. Your opinions have gotten stronger. You see what others are doing and find yourself judging more than usual because suddenly you realize that you have certain boundaries in your life and are constantly adding things to your list of what is acceptable and what isn't.

One minute, you are insecure and then the next, secure. You laugh and cry with the greatest force of your life. You feel alone and scared and confused. Suddenly, change is the enemy and you try and cling on to the past with dear life, but soon realize that the past is drifting further and further away, and there is nothing to do but stay where you are or move forward. You get your heart broken and wonder how someone you loved could do such damage to you. Or you lie in bed and wonder why you can't meet anyone decent enough that you want to get to know better. Or maybe you love someone but love someone else too and cannot figure out why you are doing this because you know that you aren't a bad person.

One night stands and random hook ups start to look cheap. Getting wasted and acting like an idiot starts to look pathetic. You go through the same emotions and questions over and over, and talk with your friends about the same topics because you cannot seem to make a decision. You worry about loans, money, the future and making a life for yourself... and while winning the race would be great, right now you'd just like to be a contender!

What you may not realize is that everyone reading this relates to it. We are in our best of times and our worst of times, trying as hard as we can to figure this whole thing out. Maybe it will help someone feel like they aren't alone in their state of confusion.....

Try This Song: I'm 16 going on 17 (Sound of Music)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Marketing Tips and Concepts

Professor was explaining marketing concepts:

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say, "I am very rich.Marry me!"
That's Direct Marketing.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says, "He's very rich.Marry him."
That's Advertising.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party.You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day you call and say "Hi,I'm very rich.Marry me."
That's Telemarketing.

You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink.You open the door for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her a ride, and then say, "By the way, I'm very rich.Will you marry me?"
That's Public Relations.

You're at a party and see a gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says, "You are very rich.."
That's Brand Recognition.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party.You go up to her and say, "I'm rich.Marry me" She gives you a nice hard slap on your face.
That's Customer Feedback !!!!!

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say, "I am very rich. Marry me!" And she introduces you to her husband.
That's Demand and supply gap.

You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say, "I am very rich. Marry me!" she turns her face towards you ------------ she is your wife !
That's competition eating into your market share.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Welcome 2006!!!

At last, we are in 2006. Hope this year is a lot brighter than 2005. I am, in this post, putting up a few good welcomes for me in 2006. I think, so far I have been enjoying this New Year.

Let me start off with a Pic of Agumbe:


First good thing about 2006. My cousin who was in the US, Akshay, is back to Bangy. It was quite some time since I saw him and this was quite a relief. I am out of College, working and he is visiting me.

Second good news. Intel has a lot of movement going on. This strange hustle has landed me a new deal. And guess what, I have one of those managers whom I've been knowing since early 2005. While many a things around me are changing, now after the whole drama, it looks like I am firmly holding station. Atleast for now. And I get to work in LINUX. My Favorite news of the Year!!!!

Thirdly, I happened to have a very badly needed break in 6 months now during New Year's eve. I was on a really fascinating drive to Mangalore-Manipal-Agumbe. And I think Manipal is a very happening place like Bangalore. But hey, discount all the technology there. Don't even think about comparing Bangy freaks with Manipal medics. They're no where. No good audio systems on cars, no good eat-outs, no dust/pollution like Bangy and more-over, nothing so IT oriented. I'd say Manipal is worth a week's vacation at the max.

Next off, I will get to eat some good food, thanks to Akshay. He is a good food freak. He has promised me some good food while he is here. And more-over, I'll get to eat his engagement food. Yeah!! Thatz right. He's getting engaged.

Finally, Looks like I'm back to my good old blogging days. Well!! I'm sorry but Bangy had put me into so much of concerns with its rotting weather that I had totally forgotten blogging. Nowadays, Bangy is no good either. The cold SUCKS!! Or rather BITES!!! But it is a lot better off now. At least it is DRY!!

So, Enjoy 2006. Happy and Prosperous New Year to You All...

Listen to This: Aagumbeyaa...Premasanjaya (Dr. Rajkumar)