All posts by thelostlander

getting lost in traveling through places and time...

A Tusker’s baby

<Dated: 05-Jan-2009>

Soon after our semester exams were over, Jazz, Lee and I headed to Coorg to spend our vacation. Among many crazy things and blunders we did during our trip, this one is the most memorable. This might sound a little eewww/ OMG/ perverted types.. But I can’t help sharing it…

We planned to spend one full day at the Dubare elephant camp.. River rafting, canoeing, free diving into the 50+ feet deep river in the middle of the thick jungle, elephant feeding.. A long list of activities kept us going all through the day.. We were all exhausted by dusk and sat on a rock on the river bank and decided to watch the elephants coming there for an evening shower.

Jazz had noticed something unusual about the two elephants that had just come into the river. She suddenly shouted, “Heyy.!! Look, look.. There is something coming out there!!”

As if I knew what it was, I reacted: “Hey record it in your cam-recorder.. The 2 elephants are giving birth to calves. Wow.. That’s amazing… See.., See it.. Ohhh.. So they deliver in water huh?!!

Lee can’t be left behind. She soon responded- “ Heyy.. No man.. Watch carefully, the elephants have THREE LEGS!! “

The mighty tusker - The entertainer for the day
The mighty tusker – The entertainer for the day

Dubare (5)

Just incase you were wondering what i was talking about...!!
Just incase you were wondering what i was talking about…!!

OH MY GOSH..!!! We had actually witnessed the ERECTION of those two MALE elephants..

I mean how can TUSKERS deliver babies??

We soon realized that we just had an utter KNOWLEDGE DISASTER…. We had a super thriller killer end to our day at the elephant camp… We came home laughing at our dumbness / innocence…  just laughter laughter and more laughter….!!!

My 1st article at the Creative writing class

<Dated: 09-Jul-2011>

After I was done with my engineering, I had few months to spend before I had to report to my job.

So, I was keen on joining some creative writing/ journalism classes and try my hands at working for media (part time). And what better place than my almamater (Mount Carmel College)..!!! just being around this place gives a boost to my energy..

So, I joined the extra credit course in CREATIVE WRITING at MCC…  Here is one of my first articles after which our teacher : Ms.Rachna Chabria was supposed to decide each student’s skill level. We were asked to write about ‘A place where there is a lot of movement in characters” . Some wrote about a wedding they last attended, some chose to narrate a market scene, some a village fair so on and so forth… So here is my 1st article at the creative writing class …..

It is a scene of me sitting in Raja’s seat all alone, early in the morning at around 5.30.a.m.

The sun was not out yet. I found a nice place on a small patch of well maintained lawn. I could feel the moisture of the cold dew drops on my feet and my palms as I tried to support my body to sit on the lawn to get a nice view of the sunrise. It was a much needed- a very peaceful morning.

I could see layers of clouds of different shades overlapping each other which seemed to be neverending, covering up the far away mountains. The sun was slowly rising up and the first few rays passed from in-between the leaves of the tree that stood beside me and illuminated the drops on the grass underneath, which glittered like small diamonds embedded on stalks made of jade.

My senses were pleased as the fragrance of the blooming flowers had filled in the air. I felt the cold breeze flow past my cheeks which reminded me of floating in heaven: like a typical Bollywood scene. As the wind blew, the mist that had covered the mountains, started to clear out slowly. I could hear the chirping of the birds which were leaving their homes for the day’s task.

My sight deviated to some kind of a small pressure that I felt on my bare feet. It was a bright yellow coloured flower with some purple streaks and red polka dots. I put my hand across to pluck this flower and to my surprise, it flew away to sit on a real flower next to me.

I was suddenly disturbed by loud pounding sounds made by the shoes of the joggers who entered this nature’s fully packed activity zone. I was afraid my thoughts would be disturbed by the increasing number of visitors and so, I decided to head back home.

I was appreciated for the one above and it felt nice to have a hit in your first attempt 😉

Unfortunately, two days later I got a call from my current employer asking me to join his firm after a week. It was a very depressing moment for me and I had to leave my course half way- na… quarter way.. with a heavy heart 😥

Some photos clicked in the evening at the same place are added below. I bet- the morning scene is one that your eyes will always behold..!!

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Raja’s seat @ sunset time

Raja's seat (5)

A lazy weekend @ Gollahalli

A lazy weekend is here once again.. And my quest for some exploration too…

Where to go? I had absolutely nooo idea….

Dad, bro and I planned to board a train to some unknown place (not too far away from the city though..!!)
So there we goo…

At Yeshwantapur railway station, at around 2.00.p.m, we boarded the train going towards tumkur. After a good 20min or so, we decided to get off at a small station called “Gollahalli”. Now, for those of you who are wondering which gollahalli? Since every corner of Bangalore has one Gollahalli; this one is called “Railway Gollahalli”. Dunno why though.. maybe because it is the only gollahalli connected by trains or so..

From there we decided to board our usual mode of transport- “leg motor service”. Aimlessly we started walking from the railway station. We walked and walked…. Miles together.. thorough village exploration..! Neither of scientific or architectural recognition, Nor of historical or mythological importance.

But we spotted a good deal of blunders with English which could give one a hearty laugh. And ofcourse, the fresh village atmosphere, the migratory birds, lush green farms, the innocent villagers- All which definitely turns you on if you’re frustrated with the hustle & bustle of the metro.

mutton stall
Mutton stall- Matan steel- ಮೇಕೆ ಮಾಂಸ shop
gollahalli
Gollahalli- A good place for bird spotting
parakeet
A parakeet on one of the temple walls

We were our own guides here. We did not want to ask for directions from any localite as we ourselves did not know where we were headed to.. We continued to walk.. reached some main road.. we further followed the main road… we reached Nelamangala BMTC bus stand. This was where our exploration ended and we boarded a bus back to the city.

Be not a Columbus or an Amerigo, but one must definitely explore a new place, try out a new dish, make a new friend. It feels AWESOME 🙂

The Hesarghatta de-tour

My wants are vague… This weekend I wanted to drive… drive through country side…

I had read about this place and the livestock farms there in one of the files from my mom’s office.. and a little help from google.. My Mom, Dad and I headed straight to Hesarghatta on a warm Sunday morning..

We started from home at around 8.00.a.m and a 45kms drive.. we reached the poultry farm. Here, they have varieties of poultry breeds(or whatever they refer to in biological terms) They also have a pair of Ostriches meant for experimental purposes. Emu’s are being reared on a large scale whose meat is of high demand. The duck farm also houses many breeds like white geese, grey geese, swans etc. The Turkey unit is also in the same compound.

With permission from the concerned authorities, we could also visit the Indo-Danish cattle farm. I was awestruck with their massive size- comparable with elephants (referring them as “BABY” elephants wouldn’t do justice considering their massive size). I may sound a little dumb quoting this- but, the milking machines were something new to me.

There is also rabbit farm, pig farm etc. which we thought of giving a miss since we could not figure out the way. Hesarghatta is also a centre for Horticulture-research.

Further ahead, as we passed through a narrow pot-holed road, we reached the once famous Hesarghatta lake which fed water to most parts of Bangalore. This is now just a stretch of barren land open for cattle grazing and a playground for some village boys who go there to play a game of cricket. From there, I followed the direction boards to reach “Nrityagram”. This is a Gurukul dedicated to “Learning Dance”. Unfortunately, it is not maintained well after the founder- Pratima Bedi passed away. Sadly, we could not attend any Dance classes. But the dance halls, temple and other stone constructions is worth a visit. This place is open to public only from 10.00.a.m to 2.00.p.m.

Nrityagram
Nrityagram

Then it was lunch time for us. We headed to “Taj Kuteeram”. This was a part of “Nrityagram” which is now taken over by the Taj group and converted into a 5-Star resort. We had a table booked already where a nice 4-course meal was served based on our prior booking over phone. We walked around the area and spent some quality time amidst the chirping birds and the splendid nature till evening.

Taj Kuteeram
Taj Kuteeram
Taj Kuteeram at sunset
Taj Kuteeram at sunset

It was sunset time. We thought of heading back home and so we started.

Half a kilometer from The Taj, we saw many vehicles going to a place to our left- The place looked more secluded but I definitely wanted to check out what was in there. And so we did.. It was a vast-neverending-wide-barren-uncultivated-open stretch of land.

All those vehicles were actually ferrying some film crew. So that means, we also got to be on the sets of a movie shoot. A stage was set, some other make shift pillars were put up etc. We learnt that, many many movies and ads are shot here almost everyday. This Barren land is converted to anything from a helipad to a swimming pool, a crowded village to a concert hall depending on what the requirement is.

We also had a good view of the sunset from the open area. It was getting dark by then.. so we drove back home.. back to hustling and bustling city—away from the calm and rusty countryside.. It is hard to believe that such a calmness prevails in our very own Bengalooru.. I will surely go back there soon.. Very soon… It was a total get away from the maddening city life.

Up, close and personal with wildlife… @ Bannerghatta

This is a snippet from one of the most memorable outings I’ve had as a college goer… A Night out @ Bannerghatta..!!

This is just a re-presentation of what I had penned in my scrapbook way back on 11-June-2007. I was just back home after the 3 days long stay at Bannerghatta National Park and sat back and wrote all the occurances of the past 3 days. No sense of grammar, tenses, spellings… just a free flow of thoughts..  so just read it and understand deeply 😉

Date: June 09-10-11/ 2007

Finally..!! A much awaited holiday finally happened… Nis (the host, Nid, Tanu, HP, Patti & I.. all set to leave for BBP. We were all pissed by the time we made our way through the sucking traffic jams.. and once we got in there.. it was worth the wait..!!

We had our lunch at the Jungle resorts which was already waiting for us.. Then, it was time for the Safari.. the herbivores safari, tiger safari, lion safari, bear safari… This was a nice experience even though I’ve been there many times before.. In the evening, Nis took me behind a huge rock right behind her house ( read it her Dad’s official residence within the zoo premises).  And wonder what happened behind that huge boulder… Nis showed me a spectacular view of the lake with sunset at the backdrop.. We sat there chatting away to glory till it was dark.. and then we headed back home for some “Girly Gossip”.. after a fine dine.. We all got ready for the real adventure.. “ The Night Safari”.. deep into the jungle.. in an open jeep.. all of us shouting and screaming and taking in the sensuousness of mother nature as much as possible.. and thennn…… TADANNN>……. There comes a LEOPARD..!!!  totally untamed and a WILD leopard.. right infront of us…!!! I thought it was some sort of a wild cat but yelled out “LEOPARD.. LEOPARD..”  Then noticing the weird glances I received and the silence of others, I realized I had to shut up before getting jacked.. as it was all impossible. Obviously the Forest guards would take us somewhere- where not many “WILD” animals would roam around.. But.. “Impossible is nothing” right.??

The jeep halted, Nis yelled out.. “ don’t stop, don’t stop.. Move move..” But the driver reversed the jeep closer to the Cat which had now walked past our jeep and come to the rear side. Just at a distance of 10mts or so..  It could have pounced on us.. OOPs.. on “ME” cuz I was the one at the outer end of the jeep… But.. It actually ran away even before we realized that WE had to run.. PHEWWW… still feels like I just woke up from a dream..!! The guards told us that the leopard had littered cubs somewhere in the vicinity and ran away to protect them because it was frightened about a threat to its babies..

The Safari continued.. We spotted bisons, antelopes, spotted deers, neelghais, wild cat, black bucks, mongoose, rabbits, so on and so forth… It was a NIGHT TO REMEMBER..!!

Next morning we all woke up before sunrise and headed towards the jungle with a hope of spotting a few wild elephants.. We travelled deep, deeper and deepest into the forest on the same open jeep.. We had to bear the bumpy, rocky ride (rather painful ride) only to be saddened by the fact that we could only see fresh dung everywhere.. not a single elephant 😥 But the other little scenes that we witnessed made up for the disappointment- Hundreds of butterflies-all at once flying out of a bush right through us; the glittering clear waters of the lakes lost in the deep jungle.. WOW…

Deep inside the jungle
Deep inside the jungle
A small dam built across a stream in the midst of the forest which feeds water to the wild animals
A small dam built across a stream in the midst of the forest which feeds water to the wild animals
The Barber's Stone- Place where Dr. Rajkumar is seen on horse back in the title song from :Gandhada Gudi
The Barber’s Stone- Place where Dr. Rajkumar is seen on horse back in the title song from :Gandhada Gudi

Once, we reached the house, we all immediately headed to the lake behind the house.. it was bathing time for the zoo elephants.. 2 MAJESTIC sweethearts walked by: Vanaraja, Darshan & Baby Nisarga.. We got wet in the water playing with little NISARGA..

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Then it was zoo time.. We woke up the 1 month old calf- Geetha from her slumber and spent some time playing around with the playful little one., While we were running around the tree- and were being playfully chased by her, we were welcomed warmly by the VET to the backyard of the Vet-hospital. There, we played around with guinea pigs, rabbits, civet cat etc. But I hated that ALLIGATOR(read it- I hate reptiles.!!) – it was so fierce- too much attitude for its size(about 1 foot)- and even if it was hurt soo bloody badly..!!

A guinnea pig getting treated at the zoo hospital
A guinnea pig getting treated at the zoo hospital

Later in the afternoon, we were taken to the SOS centre where wounded lions, tigers, bears etc rescued from circuses, bear charmers etc. are taken care of before letting them to the actual zoo area. This is a public prohibited zone. The handsome Siberian tigers were my favourite..

At the SOS centre
At the SOS centre

Next was the drive uphill- to Udige bande. We got a nice view of the BNP reserve from here. This is a place where the local tribes used to once cremate the dead. Nothing: just place the dead body on the ground and place a granite slab at an elevation just as a roof. The bodies would then be eaten by the wild animals around or left to rott. We were soo excited about taking pictures holding the skulls and other bones of some tribal ancestors..

Day 3- we were taken to the tiger and lion breeding area. These pictures are something I’m going to flaunt around for a while in college. Not all get a chance to touch and play around with tiger cubs 😉

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The butterfly park was the last part of all the long weekend.

And then.. The trip came to an end.. It was evening.. and we had to leave back to Bangalore (sadly…)

Thanks a lot Missy (NIS) for this wonderful-exciting-wowsome-awesome trip J

Studying ‘Bachelor of Cycle-logy’ at IIT-Madras

I’m just back from my business trip to Chennai : Infact a supplier audit…. My 1st one- all alone…

I landed at the Meenambakkam international airport at around 8.00.a.m. and hired a taxi to the supplier’s place.. this is when my tryst with Tamil started.. The driver did not know my language and I did not know his. But yeah.. Since, he was already booked by my company, he knew where I had to go..

I finished my job at the supplier quite early than what I thought. So, I had to spend time from 2.00.p.m to 7.00.p.m in this Tamil land. I had my flight at 9.00.p.m.

I had no idea where to go- To hang out alone means to communicate through sign language with the locals. But one thing I learnt quite fast was- Being a South Indian really helps… U can mix up bits of Malayalam and a little more of coorgi- and make it sound pretty much like Tamil. And it worked in my case. The driver managed to understand most of it- and the rest- Sign language it was !!

My Friend studying at IIT-M was my rescuer for the day..

What if I did not crash the GATE?? That did not stop me from learning at the prestigious IIT-M..!! Thanks to my friend pursuing research at IIT-M, This is where I completed my “Bachelor of Cycle-logy” which I had left unfinished way back in primary school. My friend and I were cycling all afternoon around the 600+ acres of lush greenery.

One of my cycling tracks- The Bonn Ave
The Gajendra circle

IIT-Madras is located adjacent to Guindy national park(the 8th smallest in India)- the last bit of the tropical dry evergreen forest in India.. I witnessed the co-existence of man and the wild(sort of a thing) with black bucks, spotted deers etc. walking around fearlessly.

A White Buck on the IIT campus
The cycling stretch from the boy’s hostel
Near the admin office

Also, this campus is where the “Cheapest” Café Coffee Day exists.. Since, this CCD is exempted of most taxes- things are pretty cheaper than anywhere else.

It was 5.00.p.m something and I had checked into almost every corner of IIT-M already. So, there was scope for some more exploration. Next we decided to hit the “Elliot Beach” in Besant nagar about 6.kms from IIT-M.

A corn vendor @ Besantnagar / Elliot’s beach

We had some corn, I bought a Rajnikanth mask, flew a kite etc. on the sea shore. I waited patiently to see the sun set. I waited and waited… n it was dark already… Only then did I realize that the sun only rises in Elliot beach :P. The beach attracted crowd with more of a traditional mindset contrary to those on the west-coast.

The beach at sunset time

It was going to be 6.30.p.m and we thought it would be wiser to leave- because we had to brave through the Chennai traffic inorder to make to the airport on time.

All in all- a day well spent. Looking forward for many more business trips 😛

India… On the go…

India.. one of the fastest growing economies of the world.

We boast of being the land of ultra-mod skyscrapers, world’s top billionaires, multi-storeyed residences, luxurious amenities, so on and so forth.

What we have been ignoring are- the little things that are just within our vicinity. We think it is something usual and there is nothing to break our heads about. We spend more time following our celebrity idols- where they go, what they do etc. An actors’ progeny is bound to be a talented actor and so with a politician.

One evening, while I was walking back home from college, I came across a man pushing his cycle which was loaded with goods. He was walking in the opposite direction- towards me. From the front view- his cycle had a 4-5 rug sacks tied on to either sides of the handles filled with goods. 2 plastic pots were tied onto either sides of the carrier at the rear. My eyes fell on something that looked like a random bundle of clothes placed at the rear end of the cycle. As we walked closer, I noticed something unusual. What I thought was a bundle of rags was infact a baby…!! Roughly 4-5 months old, sleeping peacefully on a tin trunk box covered with just a piece of rugged bedspread. I walked closer and made sure what my eyes just saw and what my mind just thought it was, was right. The Little baby boy was having a peaceful nap without ever knowing the realty of this cruel world. He had no idea about the kind of hardship his fragile parents were going through just to bring him up.

Theatre on wheels
Theatre on wheels

This cycle was his home. This cycle was his office. This cycle was his mode of transport. Oh.. Did I say “His”? He does not live alone in this makeshift home. He lives with his wife and 3 kids. He also carries his makeshift “Drama Company” on these wheels. He stops where he thinks it is right; performs a few acts and earns a few pennies enough to feed his family with a 1 time meal per day. I was confused how to react on hearing this story. I did not understand whether I had to feel bad because he was poor or whether to feel happy that he was content with his life (or atleast for what he seemed like). But, all I can do is, speak about it in a little more elaborate context but can never think of getting into that man’s shoes and exploring his world.

Theatre on wheels (6)
towards facing the drama of life

When asked for, he gladly posed for a picture with a warm smile. The only gesture I could show was to offer him the fifty rupee note that I had in my wallet which he received with a bigger smile. This “Small and Happy home” kept my thoughts disturbed atleast for a week. Maybe I can try to get him a job in some theatre, movie or make a documentary which could earn him enough money to support his family’s needs- lot of ideas came popping in my mind. But I felt like a helpless little creature in this evil wide world where the scope for growth is meant only for the rich. The rich is getting richer and there is no scope for improvement for the lesser privileged. The others who fall in between these two categories are just mute spectators.

I can see India growing…Yes.. India is really on a go.!!