13 October 2006

Sikkim Rulezzz......

Sikkim a small state situated in the North East, known for its lotteries [Sikkim State Lotteries].
Well I had a passion on visiting this non-commercialised natural splendor during my bachelor hood. With much luck I managed to convince just 1 guy [Amar] and start off on the 15th of September 2006.

North Sikkim and East Sikkim if time permits with a limited budget of 20k which included travel, food accommodation and purchases.

Canon Power Shot S400 + 1 spare Li-ion battery [Rs.1300/-] + 1GB [Rs.1300/-] + 256 + 32 MB CF cards
MTR Ready to eat food packets [Uppama & Puliyogre]

We took a flight from Bangalore to Kolkata. Kolkata->Siliguri by kanchakanya express [night journey] to reach Siliguri by 8am on 16th Morning. Siliguri->Gantok by road. The road to Gantok was pretty rough due to heavy rains, landslides and heavy machinery plying on the road due to dam construction across Teesta River. The drive from Siliguri to Gantok supposed to be a 3.5 hour drive turned out to be a 6 hr drive. Gantok is situated on top of a hill in layers. One can walk from end to end using the narrow steep passages. MG Road (litter free zone) was the most happening place where we got to see happening crowd.

Gantok MG Road at Night

4th Point of Contact:

The 4th point of contact helped us with the accommodation and planning out our itinerary. See the Pictorial representation of the contact. Bhanu also helped us get our passes done for Nathula and Changu Lake the following day.

17th Sunday [Nathula pass, Changu Lake & Baba Mandir – Rs.350 per person includes permit]:
Nathula pass is where an Indian can get closest to China. This is situated at 14,200 feet. It was the first time I got to feel altitude sickness, running just 20 steep steps up made my head go spinning and body craving for oxygen. Only 400 tourists are permitted to visit Nathula on 4 days a week. This has army camps and foreign tourists are not allowed. However photography is permitted in Nathula. The weather was misty and visibility bad. We were allowed to shake hands and pose for Photographs with the Red army. Changu Lake is another commercialized beautiful lake. It did not interest us, but it is on the way to Nathula. Baba mandir is another attraction, temple built in memory of an army officer who was killed in a freak accident. Quality food was cooked and served by soldiers.

18th Monday [Destination North Sikkim! – Rs.12000 3days 2 nights]:
Tourism in North Sikkim was open to the Public starting from year 2004, North Sikkim is the most beautiful part of Sikkim with a very few tourists visiting. This was the best of my trip. We passed by Tashi View point, where we got a glimpse of Kanchanjunga range.

We were traveled the whole of day to halt at Thangu for the night. The journey was amazing with a lot of breathtaking views all along the journey. Thangu has no electricity supply; you get to feel the rustic life out there. We got royal treatment and had no complaints! The night sky was extremely clear after a heavy downpour, I managed to take a couple of snaps of the night sky, the camera did not co-operate well due to the extreme cold and strong winds.

Tashi View point: Kanchenjunga Mountain range

Next morning we got to see life in Thangu, it’s just amazing with mostly Tibetan refugees who fled the China invasion on Tibet. With clear skies the sun was shining bright accompanied by cold and strong winds. Our next destination was Gurudongmar Lake. The journey anywhere up Thangu is amazing. We got to see some wild yaks along our journey and Rocky Mountains with snow covered peaks.

Gurudongmar Lake
No trip to Sikkim is complete without Gurudongmar. The lake is considered holy by Sikhs and Buddhists. The lake freezes during winter and one can walk over the frozen lake; however the risk is accessibility, during winter the snow can cut off access roads between Thangu and Gurudongmar. There was literally no road; it was just a series of trails that lead us to Gurudongmar. This is a high altitude lake situated at 17,300 feet. It is a cold desert with strong winds and breadth taking scenery. Breathing gets tougher with every step. The terrain is rocky and snow covered.

Gurudongmar Lake

I took a long brisk walk over the surrounding rocky terrain taking snaps whenever possible. There was no sort of wild life around. The periphery of the lake was carpeted by small blue flowers.

Gurudongmar Lake

Gurudongmar Lake

Chopta Valley:
Chopta valley is just 20 km drive from Thangu, it is just another wide valley. Strong winds blew against us, it was quite an experience. Without wasting much time we left to Lachung where we halted for the night. From where we left to Yumthang and Yumesongdong.


The drive from Lachung to Yumesongdong is again breathtaking with lot of beautiful valleys, greenery and winding roads. We had to bribe a local police to get to Yumesongdong as we did not have a tourist permit. The journey ends at ZERO point where the road ends. One has to walk for about 2hrs to get to Sulphur springs, however we did not have much time for that, I just went up one of the snow caped mountains the trek up was pretty uncomfortable with strong chill winds and the high altitude. I managed to get some good snaps of the adjacent peaks and valley.

Drive to Yumthang Valley

Yumesongdong drive

Yumesongdong Valley view

We were in the wrong season and hence did not get to see the 5 species of flowers that bloom all across the valley. We just got to see the valley and took bath in the adjacent hot sulphur spring. It smells like shit, but soon got used to it. The water’s just too warm to resist, we stripped and got into the water spent about 15 minutes and started our long journey back to Gantok.

Drive to Yumthag

Wild Yaks Near Gurudongmar Lake

Yumthang Valley

On reaching Gantok we realized a cyclone was on its way after a Low pressure area had developed in and around Sikkim It was obvious that everything from now was screwed big time and beyond our control. I had to give up on trekking plans. After much thought and re-planning with the help of a local tour operators we visited Ranka Monastry, Rope way and left to Darjeeling .

Ranka Monastry
This is an hour and half from Gantok, it is the 3rd largest monastery in Asia. We were the only tourists out there. We were actually disturbing the prayers. But they don’t seem to mind, we were well treated. Without spending much time we left to the helipad so that our pal [Shiven] would fly to Bhogdagra in time from Gantok. On reaching the helipad we realized the chopper would not take off. He took a solo-cab to Bhogdagra not sure what happened to him after that!

We head back to Gantok and left to Darjeeling hoping things would turn out brighter there. It was dark when we made it with continuous downpour. Our day was screwed with no options we decided to take a stroll around the City and ended up in INOX watching `Pyaar ke side effects` for 60bucks that’s damn cheap for a 7:30pm show!

Next day after having woken up at 3:30am we got ready and left to Tiger Hill [Sun rise point]. The weather was bad. After making it to the peak by 5 am we only saw thick cloud cover and more clouds everywhere. It was raining too! We knew our day was screwed by then. We were back in our lodge by 7 am. After breakfast we decided to cross over to Nepal. We figured out Pashupathi was the closest town in Nepal and decided to get there. The culture out there was no different, the same old Chinese faces and Hindi speaking crowd. It was just a shopping centre with not much to see except the Duplicates of Nike and Rebook which seem to be the best buys out there.

Next morning we left to the Railway station to catch the World Heritage train to Ghuum. But due to bad rains and not many tourists the train was cancelled. Typically the train service starts at 10:00 am. It’s powered by a steam engine, pretty amazing, but with a heavy price – Rs.240 [Darjeeling – Ghuum - Darjeeling]. That’s way too expensive but it didn’t matter to us we just took snaps and left to Siliguri.

The weather had got worse our journey back wasn’t pleasant! We had to cancel and claim 50% refund on our Train fares as Trains were delayed by 8 hours due to heavy rains and flooding. Amar convinced me that Bus was a better option to experiment with. To begin with we got cheated off the ticket pricing seeing our desperation. The tickets ideally costs Rs.300, we ended up paying Rs.450 per ticket for an AC/Sleeper! Next the bus scheduled to depart at 20:00 hours arrived only at 21:30hours and departed 15 minutes later.

24hr Bus Journey:
Typically a bus journey between Siliguri and Kolkata takes 10-12 hrs. But this turned out to be a 24hours bus Journey. The bus wasn’t maintained, the AC vents were crude, and it was a canon aiming busts of Air straight at us. I found a workaround to get away with it, Aquafina water bottle was of the right diameter, and we capped the canon. There was no seating/sleeping comfort the width was 1ft 6in wide and 5ft 6in long per person. The 24 hour delay forced us to advance our flight by 24 hrs J, the price was Rs.1500 +wake up call to Amar’s pal at 6 am who took care of the rescheduling. We stayed on Tea, biscuits and Chocolates, the bus occasionally got stuck up in traffic and we could take a leak at irregular intervals.

The 24hrs bus journey ended close to Kolkata Airport. We decided to lodge close to Airport to avoid further delays the following day. We were slightly disoriented and lost appetite after the long journey. We had dinner and crashed. Next morning we started quite early to reach DUM-DUM Airport quite comfortably. We took the Emergency Exit seats – These seats are quite special for three reasons. 1- In case of an emergency you stand better chances of survival. 2- You get maximum leg space and 3- You get a personal briefing by the cabin hostess on emergency procedureJ!

- No trip to Sikkim is complete without a visit to Gurudongmar
- Thangu is the place where you should halt in North Sikkim.
- Always take the Train in North East, never trust travel agents outside Sikkim
- Carry MTR food packets if you are vegetarian – esp. North Sikkim
- It is not just the Destination but the Journey as well that’s amazing in Sikkim
- Private transport not allowed, you need to go through tour operators in Sikkim.
- You need to spend at least 2 weeks to see the best of Sikkim
- Roads connecting Siliguri and Gantok are prone to land slides due to heavy machinery on account of Dam construction; so avoid that route and get to Gantok either from Darjeeling or Bhogdagra.
- Best times to visit Summer – you get to see flowers; Winter – you get to play around with snow; Off season – with no tourists around you get better experiences

14 May 2006

660 Summer Biking

4 bikes and 4 guys were to set off to Gopalswami Betta and Ooty on a 3 day biking expedition.The four of us in ascending order Ashutosh[Oracle],Ganesh[SG S/w], Rahul[Oracle] and Rohit[Symphony] each from different corner of Bangalore decided to meet up at Banashankri Temple at 9am.

Shani kaata:
As expected that never happened by the time we started it was 12 Noon!!! My bike gave some gear shifting problems that ate up about 2 hrs and the others also contributed their bit!By now sun was right overhead and we had no options but to keep going.

Lunch stop:
We break for lunch 68kms away from Bangalore soon after Channapatna behind Càfe Coffee Day...Not sure what the name was....$%#^&? Food was fine not many complaints... expect that onions in most of the dishes they servered.

Gopalswami Betta:

Gopalswami betta is about 200 kms from Bangalore, the nearest village is Gundlupet. The entry into this Bandipur forest reserve is strictly between 9am and 5pm only.The forest guards strictly do not allow visitors beyond that, entry fee is Rs 20 per bike. By the time we made it to the place it was 7pm. We had to convince the tempele priest to let us through who was returning home.
That night was not very intersting, we heated our ready to eat stuff and tried out some photographic tricks. One thing that freaked us was a Wild elephant wandering around our guest house. The guest house was not well protected, it was very old, infested with a lot of cockroaches, no lighting and f***ing scary.

Forest Trek:
We later realised that there were close to 3000 elephants in the forest, our next day trek into the wild was frutiful, we got to see 5 herds of elephants, a lot of deers and sambars.It was pretty exciting to spot so many wild animals with great ease. We had just trekked about 2kms into the forest and we saw quite a lot.

The temple was overcrowded 'casue some kid was having his `upanayanam`[thread-ceremony]. The kid had a freaking relative a nasty `chakka` who never minded his own business. The creature was short, plump, dark and bore womanly traits and an accent too.We avoided much conversation and left the place very soon and head towards Hamsa Theertha.

Hamsa Theertha:
This is a km down hill from the temple. Its believed that couple who have f***ing problems ... lol :P (unable to conceive) taking a holy dip in this water can conceive.We spent some time here taking some snaps and left to Ooty as it was already close to noon.
I plan to camp here for the night here the next time we make it to Gopalaswami betta [Because im crazy].

Porno Shooting:
Ashutosh wanted a photo close-up of some elephant herd (... dunno for what) on the way down the Goplaswami betta. The pachiderm did not co-operate, the entire herd decided to F*** him for life. Bugger got back in

The ride up was pretty cool. The hair pin bends and winding roads were the best part of Kalhatti Ghats!We stopped a couple of times for photos and on one ocassion a pretty babe passed by with a bhruka on turned back and waved wildly at us...The babe was hot we were quick to respond.. we waved back madly.... :)

There was a porn movie been screen out there... it was f***ing exciting!! It was XXX rated stuff being screen.. the heroines were f***ing awesome.. :P:PWe were late by 1/2 an hr. and had 20 minutes of entertainment before cops raided the place.. :O:O, we were f***ing lucky not to get caught. :P :P:P

Curses and Shit:
Ooty was overcrowded and no fun at all. Ooty has been over exploited. A night's stay at any junk place in Thousands. We ended up paying 500 bucks for a night's stay in a room without cots and water in toilets.Both Rahul and Ashutosh shared a room, both heavily competing for the loudest snoor. Ganesh and myself were the only judges, the room seemed to have great acoustics to their snoors. The room literally resonated to each snoor.In the morning it was pretty cold, we burnt up all the newspaper and trash we found in and around to keep us warm. Later one of our guys shat shit load of shit and realised the water problems. The others decided to postpone the shitting episode.

Toy Train and Dodda betta were the only places we visited. The Toy Train connecting the next station Conoor is the best part with good valley veiw and tunnels.Doddabetta is supposed to be the tallest peak in South India, but the place was overcrowded and people at every gate are expected to pay up to pass through.. my say is its not worth what you are paying for...The place has a Telescope-> to get to here u got to shell out cash at 3 places!

Journey Back:
We were pretty unfortunate and over ambitious on our way back. The R's(Rahul & Rohit) terribly messed up taking a longer route via Gudalur[18+51 kms] back to TN Check Post. Where as Kalhatti Ghat works out to just 37kms of excellent roads.The ride was bumpy and dangerous... "Both cheated Death on a couple of ocassions!" Almost all the curves had a lot of potholes.
We maintained a pretty good average speed at over 40kmThe stretch was about 40km in total nothing but potholes all the way through. Our asses and balls got the best possible certification possible, they still work like never before!We did get the best scenery atleast after all that.

Last hope:
We had to cut short all our breaks to catch up with the other SOB's, whom we knew by now were well ahead of us. We stopped by Nanjanguud for a Lunch Break. Our next stop was Càfe Coffee Day on Mysore Road.On reaching Coffee day we realised the other two [Ganesh and Ahutosh] were just a kilometer away. We finally met up and split there we raced ahead as Rahul the busy man had other appointments the following day ;).

Home Sweet Home:
I reached home at 10:15 pm safely. We had totally travelling 660 kms in 3 days. This was one of the most expensive trip ever so far, total expenditure was about 2,500/- which includes the excess 4 litre Petrol in my Tank.Dinner and a peaceful sleep was the only thing left after reaching home in 1 piece.

1. ooty sucks dont ever bike there2. mileage was about 50kmpl [TVS-Victor - dip in mileage due to overspeeding]
3. go single spare the life of the pillion rider
4. wild elephants dont like u getting close to 'em maintain your distance
5. Petrol is cheaper in Ooty, fill your tanks there.[a lot cheaper - u save 4 bucks on every litre]
6. Watch porn in other states its a different experience
7. Mysore road feels great to speed, but watch out for those lane shifting
8. Drive safe

19 November 2005


On the 17th of November 2005, 8:50 pm i had to make a choice.I had two options ... One was to walk up to a partial strangersay hi, shake hands, fire up a general conversation and bid good bye. The other was simple, just say no and leave home decently.

Being challenged i decided to go with option one!As in all cases it was not the wisest of decisions to make espeially at that odd time.In a hurry i picked up my jacket, my accomplice took the troubleto keep the lift waiting for me for about 45 seconds!

I took my own sweet time and barge into the lift... My mood was pleasantand i just could not wait to meet a partial stranger who sounded sweet over the phone, bland in messaging and pretty looks from say 10 meters [I had seen her on an earlier ocassion]My fingers were numb and toes numb, well it was the over worked ACs...[trust me it was not the excitement]

Well the lift touched down and the company headed straight to the rendezvous.Things are about to change in just a couple of minutes. The introducer introduced the partial stranger to the visitors [me and another male accomplice].

The actual Conversation:

: "Hi 'Roopa', this is 'Ratan', and he is 'Ram'".

Ratan & Ram : "Hi Roopa".[patiently one after another]

Roopa: "Hi Ratan and Ram". [in a low neutral tone].

Ratan: "Well it was me a couple of minute back who tried to prank and scare you over the phone"

Roopa: "I know, Well there were just 2 of us in office".

Ratan- ???? {not knowing what's going on, decided to change topic - Her sentence was incomplete `#$%&^(^&}

Ratan: "Looks like your bindi has fallen(pointing at my forehead), well i generally question any girl if the bindi is missing off the forehead !!" (with a casual smile)

Roopa: {just a gentle smile.........}

Ram- Is starring at her in utter silence... not a word spoken.

Ratan: "Well, i heard you been working......#$%^#$%^&$%!!!"

Roopa: "Err.. Auto ..., Auto !!" [turned her neck by 90 degrees and called out an auto]

Ratan: "..... late offlate" [still completing my previous sentence all the while]
It felt like i am talking to thin air, there was no one in the direction i was venting out..!

Roopa & Swapna: "Bye ! 'Ratan' & 'Ram'............" [in chorus]

Ratan: ".... Errr, bye!!!" [perplexed look with eyes wide open & mouth agape]

Ram: "Bye 'Roopa' and 'Swapna'!!!" [In a loud upbeat]

It was all over in a minute and half all that was left were 2 lost men in the centre of cunningham Road pathway!

In a couple of seconds they were gone. Ram and me walked down the pathway discussing all the irrelevant stuff followed by a thorough retrospective analysis of what went wrong.The report was alarming - Initially we thought she did not offer her hand so that we could shake it, very soon we realised my self esteem was the worst hit... she was deaf over my words all she was interested was to get out of there, Ram too felt the insult partially. But we could still laugh over it at that point in time.

Very soon the situation was like the one in the Movie: "Euro Trip"; the scene isScotty geting dumped by Fiona and the same is being taped by Scotty's parents.
Maaan this was one of the worst insults in the history of me.It sounds hilarious for the readers, i too would laugh after all if were not at the receiving end.

Damage Report:

Self Esteem - 50% I feel the humilation was not intended
Morale Damage - 90% I would not attempt meeting another gal
Haunting effect - 20% The echo effect will haunt for the rest of my life
Sleepless nights - 2 Nights, highly social attitude helped reduce impact
Channel effect - 100% The channel used was upset more than me... [Tears almost rolled over] [7 page sentimental `sorry mail` received, it made me feel better though]Accomplice - 2% The guy felt almost nothing, he is an experienced failed candidate.

PS: Names changed for obvious reasons.
No contents of this blog should be transmitted either in electronic/physical form.
The stroy is true to the best of my knowledge.


20 August 2005

`Jog Falls`

Some shots off my camera taken near in and around Jog falls [25Km off Sagar[Shimoga]].

Clockwise-`Raja`, `Roarer`, `Rocket` and `Rani`
`Misty Raja and Roarer`

`Linganamakki` Dam.

Billigiri Ranganath Hills

Five guys on five bikes set out on the 6th of August 2005 towards BR Hills near Mysore.
Billigiri Ranganth temple is situated ..........[follow the links below :-P] http://www.karnatakatourism.com/hill/brhills/index.htm

Ashwin alias:apc/acp/`kal mari` from NES Technologies. Harshad Ex Wiproite, Vikram Ex Microsoft employee, Rampratap friend of `Shwetha Reddy` from HP and me too from HP. Apc and Harshad rode a Bajaj Pulsar each, Vikram Bajaj Avenger, Ram Yahama RX 100 and me TVS Victor.

`Up Shakuna`[bad omen]:
We agreed to meet up by 6:30 am on the 6th of August at my place in Jayanagar 7th block. Our friend had trouble getting up early and so it didn't happen. To make up for it another friend tried too hard and disaster struck! Even before the actual biking began our friend apc got hit from behind for taking a sharp turn and ended up with
minor bruises.

By the time we started off it was 9am. Our first destination was Kanakapura 60 km away. Reaching there by 10:30 we had breakfast at some local restaurant. The stretch between `Target Pura` and `Kanakapura` was pretty good and could maintain speeds over 60. Our next destination was Shivasamudram which is 5km deviation off NH 209.

Due to heavy rains over the past week and flood gates being wide open at Krishna Raja Sagar Dam Mysore, the water fall was at its best. It was a bit too risky to get too close to the water. We spent about 2 hrs and left to Kollegala.

`Kollegala` is well as `DRV'[Dodd Rowdy Veerappan] frequented in 'n' around Kollegala. Kollegala is about 85 km away from Kanakapura and 25km from Shivasamudram. We had lunch at Kollegala. The roads get bad here onwards, we took a 30km diversion which lead us to BR Hills.

The roads are stone laid and un-tarred on many occasions. This is when you realize the pain in your ass. Our friend apc struck again, this time he was testing his front disk brakes and ended up with a deep wound on his elbow and more bruises to his already hurt leg. He was in good spirits and the ride continued. On our way up we saw a peacock and a couple of wild boars.

We reached the peak before dark, by the time we found ourselves with a room and settled it was 7:30pm. The climate out there was cold, foggy, drizzling and windy. We visited the temple and had road side dosas for dinner.

Next morning we out for a 3km walk and after breakfast we realised apc was not quite comfortable with his injuries. We decided to head back home before dark and planned accordingly. Unfortunately another disaster struck again this time it was Harshad's Pulsar, with a flat tyre. Ram and myself unknowingly took Mysore Road, braked at Càfe coffee day and began following an ambassador with 4 pretty chicks whom we caught up at Càfe Coffee day. After we ran out of patience we raced ahead to reach home by 7:30pm.

1. Avoid Bajaj Pulsars.
2. Go singles, avoid doubles spare the life of the pillion rider
3. Smaller the group better co-ordination and less confusion.

Final bit:
1. Incidents are worth happening, memories last forever.
2. Wear a helmet & leather to prevent injuries in case of mishaps
3. Always keep an eye on the guy behind you in the rear-view mirror
4. Stretch your arms and legs at every stop to reduce the strain

Route Summary:
Bangalore to Biligiri : 180km
Bangalore to Kanakapura : 60km [good road minimal potholes]
Kanakapura to Kollegala : 85km [good road, small patches are being re-laid]
Kollegala to BR Hills : 30km [1st 15kms narrow rustic roads, most stretches un-tarred]

03 August 2005

Fwd: How About Your Boss?

Scientists at the Rocket launching station in Thumba were in the habit of working for nearly 12 to 18 hours a day. There were about seventy such scientists working on a project. All the scientists were really frustrated due to the pressure of work and the demands of their boss but everyone was loyal to him and did not think of quitting the job.

One day, one scientist came to his boss and told him - Sir, I have promised to my children that I will take them to the exhibition going on in our township. So I want to leave the office at 5 30 pm.

His boss replied - O K,, You are permitted to leave the office early today.

The Scientist started working. He continued his work after lunch. As usual he got involved to such an extent that he looked at his watch when he felt he was close to completion.The time was 8.30 p.m.

Suddenly he remembered of the promise he had given to his children. He looked for his boss,,He was not there. Having told him in the morning itself, he closed everything and left for home.

Deep within himself, he was feeling guilty for having disappointed his children.

He reached home. Children were not there.His wife alone was sitting in the hall and reading magazines. The situation was explosive, any talk would boomerang on him.

His wife asked him - Would you like to have coffee or shall I straight away serve dinner if you are hungry.

The man replied - If you would like to have coffee, I too will have but what about Children???

Wife replied- You don't know - Your manager came at 5 15 p.m and has taken the children to the exhibition.

What had really happened was the boss who granted him permission was observing him working seriously at 5.00 p.m.He thought to himself, this person will not leave the work, but if he has promised his children they should enjoy the visit to exhibition. So he took the lead in taking them to exhibition

The boss does not have to do it every time. But once it is done, loyalty is established.

That is why all the scientists at Thumba continued to work under their boss even though the stress was tremendous.

By the way, can you hazard a guess as to who the boss was?

He was A P J Abdul Kalam.

02 August 2005

Crushes `n` Crashes

This article was found on one of the blogs of a software engineer.... jst read it... itz real fun... and maybe it mite remind many ppl of their lives...

Everyone in their lives would have had crushes, and me too had my share of crushes. But, it didn't take much time for each of them to turn to crashes. None of my crushes took off, or probably they crashed even before they took off !! Today, when I look back, I cant manage but to have a laugh.

My first crush was on Miss R. I was in my tenth then. We happened to speak only once. It was when I had offered her a coke. She refused to have it and the very next moment I gulped it down. I still cant forget the dumbstruck look on her face. A few days later, she started going around with one of my classmates. They used to go for wonderful evening walks, Miss R, my classmate and her doggy. Unfortunately(fortunately for me), the affair didn't last too long. On one such romantic walk of theirs, my classmate was bitten by the doggy. He brought up the question : Its me or the dog......she chose the dog !!! The news gave me sadistic pleasure.

I was in a co-ed school for my 11th-12th. I got very friendly with Miss N in my class. It appeared to me that...yes...she is the girl. One day, Miss N came and sat next to me...close...really close.....my heart beats shot up. She said.....I want to tell you something....but please maintain it as a secret. I knew...this was it...yes....she went on...you know...X(another classmate of mine) proposed me......and I too like him...and I accepted. I am telling you coz you are like my brother.......WHAT THE HECK ? As if the first news wasn't bad enough, the second sounded suicidal. I looked at her with an artificial smile and said....Congrats S..S..Sis !!!

The next crush didn't take much time to happen. It was Miss S who walked in to class. I literally had my jaws hanging seeing her. We became good friends...but I never fancied my chances...given the Miss N experience. She was my Biology project partner....while she did the project...I concentrated on her biology ! Just as the boards got over, and as I was mustering enough courage to tell her, her dad got transferred. She changed the city.

Next in engineering college, there was this hottie in my class. Boy....she was a babe...Miss G. She used to stand opposite to me in the chemistry lab. I prayed for some chemistry to happen between us. But I guess, she was much smarter than I was. Miss G realised that I used to mess up all my titration experiments coz I used to be looking at her and not the lab apparatus. I called her out ALONE on my b'day. She turned up with her whole bunch of friends. The girls kept giggling and I looked for a place where I could go and bang my head.I steered clear of her for the rest of my engineering days.

Moving on from here, it was a major success story. This time round, it took some time for things to crash....just a little longer..a bit more than five years. Everything seemed like a fairy tale when the crash factor took the better of me.

By this time, I was in my job and I decided to use the term "interest" instead of crush. So , my interest grew in Miss L in office. I thought she was a very pretty lady. Thankfully, the growth of my interest stopped very soon, the moment I learnt that she was supposed to go on leave the next week for her marriage. She was to marry her long time boyfriend. Only one thought came to my mind....The good ones are always taken !!!

Ha ha ha.....thankfully.....I have grown out of all these......no more CRUSHES.....so no chances of CRASHES......I live this way now.....hey...wait.....who is this girl ???? ;-)

31 July 2005

Khudremukh July 23,24.

In the Monsoons of July 23, 17 techies from Novell, Del & HP met up at Malleshwaram 450Km from Bangalore,on a monsoon trek to the peaks of Khudremukh.

The 1st round of breakfast was at 7am in the `adda`, we had to stand as in the below pic. After two rounds of breakfast as early as 9:30am, with rain still pouring clothes all wet I was in no mood of a trek.....

Somehow convinced myself for one last trek to the beautiful Khudremukh. My previous experience to the same place was pretty much of an adventure, with newbies - losing way in the forest, we camped in open air and ended up slashing and burning down a tree to keep our camp fire burning through the night. Hoping for something more more adventurous this time.

The Team:
Jatin(del & my cousin), Harish(flextronics), Sheshadri(del), Harshad(Novel), Silva(Novel), KP(Novel), Ashwin(Novel), I don't remember the rest.. The team headed to get permission from the Forest Department to trek in Khudremukh forests. Costed around Rs.80 a person per day. A guide was also provided for an extra 100.

The split:

Three smart guys headed to the nearest KSRTC booking centre to book return tickets back to Bangalore. The rest headed to the `Samse` the spot where the trek begins.

Destination Lobo's House:
Lobo's house is situated 8 km from `Samse` our destination for day 1. Our first challenge was to cross a suspension bridge. Once we crossed the bridge the rains got severe, thanks to some locals we purchased long plastic bags to prevent water seeping though our bags and partially prevent us from getting drenched.

To begin with the first 6kms was no trek route it was a jeep track. Initially it was just small coffee, pepper plantations and rice farms in patches.

The Splits and Re-union:

There were unexpected splits that occurred all along the jeep track. 6 of the group had slipped into a water fall to further cool themselves off. It didn't end there, the 6 now internally decided to further split into 2 groups of 3 each. I really don't understand why @#$%&? The re-union was to happen at Lobo's house, which did happen at 6 in the evening. One of the 3 that split from the 6 were the 1st to reach and then the others who obviously had problems finding lobo's house followed. Minor fights erupted regarding failure to mark the route to lobo's house.

Lobo must have been a rich guy or at least politically well backed, 3 houses in Reserve Forest Area. I remember seeing Ex-Congress man Rajiv Ghandi's Posters in the main hall. poor sense of window placing made it difficult to see even during the day. It had a hall a dining room with no window, a kitchen and a Firewood store room. The house had a mysterious entry, one needs to hop over a 3'6" tall fence. Well the good thing about Lobo's house was it was water proof, mosquito free had a fire place in the kitchen.

The caretaker of Lobo's house prepared some sambar and served us 1/2 ripe oranges which exceeded our expectations. And side dishes were 'balakas' (salted chilies soaked in curds and sun dried ) & 'pickles'. There were various obstacles we crossed like overflowing rivulets and streams which on each occasion refilled our shoes with all water. We had no option but to `cook our shoes` to make our next day trek a better experience. The idea was a major success which was readily accepted, most of us took turns to cook!


Cards was the only entertainment. all managed to sleep in the main hall and the dining room, I had the idea of sleeping in the kitchen burring the firewood through the night to keep me warm. Well no volunteers stepped forward as I was scared to sleep alone in there as I had seen some scary creatures before sun-set had to adjust in the main hall. My Loud sneezes, the side effects of rain in turn affected the others peace of sleep.

The idea was to wake up at 5am and start trek by 7am which never happened. One main reason behind it was 'nature's call'. The problems were the weather, discovery of 17 unique spots in the rain such that no spot was retraced was quite an adventure itself which happened sequentially. Breakfast was packed food, no complaints.

Trek begins:
The trek actually started at 7:45am, not bad just 45 mins late. We were supposed to be back by 1 pm for lunch and start off by 3pm back to `Samse` comfortably before dark as per the care taker. Effort wasted in cooking shoes went down the drain after we crossed the 1st stream.

After crossing the 1st thick undergrowth we were attached by leeches. Harish saw 10 leeches on me and decided to abort his trek and head back to Lobo's house. Well I thought it was a good decision and should have aborted..... Well I didn't as others were still keen on continuing. My cousin and I decided to move on faster to avoid any more leech attacks.

As we got closer and closer to the peak the weather turned hostile. We were heading straight into a storm with strong winds, falling temperatures, poor visibility and piercing rains. This unfriendly weather scared the hell out of us. We could not walk straight up, we had to crouch down and crawl low to avoid being carried away by strong winds. We took some photographs where ever possible. The others were no where in sight, we decided to trek back down ASAP and caution the group.

The descent:
The direction of wind changed rapidly making the initial part of the descent extremely risky, we kept going with shaky legs. We had to watch our step for algae and moss everywhere around the peak. Anticipating the wind changing direction was a risky affair failing to do so could easily throw us off the peak, we had to counter resist till about 50 meters vertical from the peak.

As soon as that stretch was covered we felt fingers numb, stiff jaws and the desire to reach lobo's house ASAP. On the way back we noticed new streams that never existed an hour ago! The entire pathway was flooded with water, at times concealing knee deep potholes. With frequent slips and falls our legs learnt not to complain and we kept jogging our way through. All the way through we had not eaten, we began feel hungry. But to our surprise we never met up with the team on our way down and not to mention the leeches. Various thoughts crept in, we concluded they got wise and head back to Lobo's house aborting mission. We had maintained a good pace so we hoped to catch up on our way back, it never happened, anyway we raced on.

Back at Lobo's House:
On reaching Lobo's house we realised they were still somewhere out there. The cook had come down and food was ready. We were back by 12 noon. 5km uphill and back in 4 hrs under hostile conditions that was something. After my lunch the remaining team returned. The team had lost their way just 2km away from the peak and had to turn back except for 4 guys. The 4 decided not to give up and went on, initially in the wrong direction and on the way back figured the right way up. This team returned back pretty late.

The cook had scared us about mining activities in the vicinity the 4 headed. He even convinced us they would not return in time, and that we would not reach in time to catch our bus if we didn't leave by 3 pm. He convinced us the 4 would be history. We decided to wait on till 3:30pm. The wait paid off 3:45, they were back in 1 piece.

Back to Samse:

The 4 decided to have lunch relax a bit and then head back to samse. The rest left immediately. I decided to trek with undies and banyan, the idea behind it was to prevent the sticky feeling of wet clothes. The idea was not welcomed by the group, a volunteer handed down a lungi. I was never comfortable with that. Water level in the streams on our way back were high enough to submerge our backpacks partially. Frequent falls finally had its effect on my left leg, I should blame that lungi. I realised I could no more walk downhill. The pain got so severe at times I would howl and stop for a while. Somehow managed and kept going. The trek ended with crossing the suspension bridge, rise in water level had damaged the bridge supports, but we managed to cross it 1 at a time. For dinner we had rottis at some local Jain restaurant in `Samse`. The bus arrived at around 9pm, we headed back to Bangalore to touch down Monday morning.

1.No more monsoon treks [my parents won't let]
2.Dont force your self down hill, I ended up with a Ligament tear
[1 week after trek, I still cannot walk straight down any stairs]
3.Leech bites itch later, don't heal fast so avoid getting bitten.
4.Trust the locals but don't believe in everything they say.
5.Carry a good raincoat & rubber boots while trekking in rains.
6.Don't cook shoes its a waste of effort, instead try cooking inner
wear they'll keep you warm.
7.When you are hungry on a trek your taste buds taste miracles.
8.I hate Mondays!


  • Bangalore to Malleshwara: 10:30 pm Rajahamsa from Kempegowda Bus Stand[Platform 23-24].
    [Try bribing conductor to stop at `Samse` itself]
  • Malleshwara to Samse : Hourly transport facility available
  • Samse to Lobo's House : 8 km trek [at times misleading, take locals help]
  • Lobo's House to Peak : 5 km trek [The best part, clear trail all along]
  • Samse to Bangalore : 9 pm passes by Samse, 8:30 pm Malleshwara
  • Water availability : numberous streams all along the trek.
  • Food : Lobo's house caretaker can help if required.
  • Forest trek permit : Either at Malleshwara or near Lobo's house[Rs.80/head approx. per day]

Best Memories: