Friday, February 27, 2009

I don't want money!

I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine. He said ‘money is his passion’. He just wants to make money. I don’t quite agree. I don’t think money in itself can be an end. It can only be a means to an end. What you really want maybe to go some place or have something. Lets say you want a big house with peaceful surroundings. And to buy that house you need money. Agreed. Money can get you a lot of things. No doubt. But the point is what are you focusing on? Money, or what you want to do with it?


The argument is that, I need a lot of things. All those need money. So instead of focusing on all those individually, I focus on money. So once I have enough money, I can get whatever I want. Pretty straight forward argument. Logical right?


Well there is catch. For one, quite often the means of making money will be contradictory to what we want to do with it. For example, to earn money, you might have to stay in a city where you will not be able to find peaceful surroundings. Or you may have to go to a different country which takes you away from family and friends which defeats the very purpose of having a big house. Also, our needs keep increasing with time(I think this is a good thing) and we are constantly trying to catch up by earning more money.


So isn’t it better to focus more on what we really want rather than focusing on earning money as a blanket solution?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Its official!

Finally, its official! Well almost. Dates fixed, tickets booked. I am going to the Himalayas on a trek. "Saurkundi Pass" to be  precise. It was back in '93 when I was in J&K. Well, its been a long long time. Time to go back. To see a different part of the Himalayas. Now, the only one who stands between is my dear PM [we lovingly call him 'uncle'. Hope he doesn't know :P]. Yes, leave is not yet approved. Keeping my fingers crossed. :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wandering around...

Went trekking to Chikmagalur with adventura in Jan. Wow! What an experience. This was my third event with Adventura. Earlier ones being a trek to 'Sharavathy Valley' and a parasailing event at Hoskote lake near Bangalore.

The Sharavathy Valley trek was pretty much what I expected it to be. We trekked through the rain forests of the western ghats for the most part. This being the first of my real outdoor treks ( by real, i mean sleeping in sleeping bags and under the open sky at night and going to the jungle in the morning ) it was very memorable. We started off at around 10 am and trekked till about 8:45 pm. Once the sun was down, it was pitch dark. So we had to trek with our head lamps on. Enjoyed this part very much. Also made many new friends. All in all, Awesome.

Event 2, parasailing was also quite an experience. But will write about it some other time. In between I had also volunteered for a Club Adventura event in office. So  by now i knew most of the Adventura people well.
When I signed up for Trek to Chikmagalur, I expected it to be similar to first one.

But I was in for a surprise. For one only 2people were there from the first trek. But  that was not much of a problem, since in did not know anyone when I was on the first trek. The journey to chickmagalur was event less as we did not have Mr Sagar Mahapatra with us (did I not mention him? He is a super entertainer and a very good photographer.) When we reached Baba budangiri in the morning it was frigid. When I spoke to locals there they told me that it was even colder about a week back and that people normally move down from the mountain because of it. Also the mountain was very barren. Except for some short grass and low bushes, there was no other vegetation. This was very surprising to me. I had always seen western ghats mostly covered with evergreen forests. We started our trek early after having some breakfast at Baba budangiri. We were going to trek to Mullayanagiri, the highest point in Karnataka. The landscape around was beautiful. The bareness and cold reminded me of mountains of 'Leh-Ladak'. (This is when  the idea of going to Leh-Ladak came to my mind.) The trek in the morning was quite pleasant. 

But then things started heating up. As there was no forest cover, walking in the sun was really tiring. Also, on the way to Mullayanagiri we had to cross the famous Baba budangiri-ridge. The ridge is so narrow that you can actaully put both your legs on either side of the ridge and its a sheer drop to the bottom of the mountain on either side. I must admit, crossing it was quite scary for me. Once the ridge was done we  wanted to reach the peak to watch the sunset. None of us was sure if we could do it. So we went for it. Ultimately we ended up reaching the peak at around 4 pm! Perfect time for some bhelpuri and gupshup before the sunset. 

The sunset was every bit as beautiful as we expected it to be. There was also a small forest fire in a distance which looked beautifull at sunset. After dinner we had a small camp fire. Six of us decided to sleep in the open for the night while the rest slept in the temple priests quarters. The priests had warned us that it would very cold and that they had trouble sleeping inside, especially around 4 in the morning. At 3 am the wind picked up. I could not go back to sleep. Nor did I want to get out of my sleeping bag to go in. At 3:30 am I could not bear it anymore and I went in to catch some z's. Woke up to one of the most beautifull sunrises I have ever seen. The clouds were below us and the sun was just rising. Here are a couple of the pictures of the sunrise:

Watching the sunrise I forgot something important. And when I remembered, it was broad daylight. Forget trees, there was not even a small bush in sight. Plus it was a 70 degree slope on each side. Don't ask me how but I managed. [Note to memory: when on a trek, wake up early so that you can go to the loo before daybreak]

After all this and a round of photos, we headed down. Again looking at the steep slope there were times when I was wondering what I was doing here. Was very happy reach the road down. from there on we decided to go to Abbey falls but could not find a jeep to get to it. Instead we went to Kalhatti falls. Small one. Actually these small falls are fun. They are easier to reach and you can stand directly under the falls! Nice way to round up the trip. The ride back to bangalore was fun. But somehow we were not as together a group as were in the first trek. But hey, it was a nice trek. There was Dinesh with us. A very good photographer. You can see his pics here