Friday, December 3, 2010


It’s been a long time since I have blogged. So, this one is going to be a bit of all the things that I can remember now.

India won the test series against Australia:
Two amazing test matches. More so because India won both of themJ. Of all things, Ishanth Sharma’s innings is what I liked best. India needed 92 more to win and Ishanth walks out as No 10 batsmen. I wonder what went on in his mind when he walked out. How could a No 10 batsman even imagine of building a 90 run partnership in the final innings of a test match? Sitting in office, I was amazed to see the score board still ticking, quite a while after Ishanth came in to bat. He believed India could still win the match when even the most ardent Indian fans had given up hope. Inspiring stuff!
Had India lost that match, it could well have lost the series. It’s not easy to win the second test when you have lost the first one in a two test series.

The Social Network:
Watched the movie. Liked it a lot. People think that Mark Zuckerberg is portrayed as evil, but I liked the character. Baring a few things, he appears to be a hero in the movie. Does that mean I am evil myself? Hmmm... Maybe.

River rafting:
Went river rafting in the Barapole river, Coorg. It was a fun trip. The guides were really good. Unlike in Kullu, this was not a ride in the water park. They taught us all the commands they use and we had to row according to their commands. But the rapids need to be a little more extreme. Fun in when you feel you have lost control, right?

Saavan Durga:
Did a night trek for the first time. Started from Bangalore at around 8:30pm. Started the trek around 10:30 I guess. It was a beautiful moonlit night. Tried some long exposure shots at the starting point. Came out better than expected. Shridhar tried a 30 second exposure and we all used our torches to light up the subjects. It looked pretty good on the camera but never got to see it after that. Got to try this sometime.

Kemmannugundi – Bababudangiri –Mullayanagiri:
A long trek after a long time. And the weather was just perfect. No sun and no rain. It’s a 25 km stretch from Kemmannugundi to Bababudangiri. Did it with ease since the weather was so great. But the evenings in this region are very cold. A bit too much for me actually. Wanted to have a camp fire but really could not convince myself to go out looking for firewood. Others were also not in the mood, so ditched it. [Note to self: Campfires are awesome. Don’t be lazy next time]. Morning was as cold as the night. It took us a lot of breakfast and tea to warm up. A bill of 2700 for 24 people in a small village hotel. You can imagine how much we ate. By the time we were done with breakfast, we had given up hope of reaching Bangalore that night. So, there was an extended photo session. Great fun.
We went to Manikyadhara from Bababudangiri and started the trek to Mullayanagiri. The ridge walk is always fun, great landscape all around. Had a round of theplas at Mullayanagiri and back to Bangalore from there. All good except that I got a bad tan. Still peeling layers of skin!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Design issues with Dell Studio

I have a Dell Studio laptop. It’s pretty well built. But a few weeks backs, I had a peculiar problem with it. I was in M’lore at the time and was living with my college buddies Sharath, Prashanth and Pratheek. Every night after office we used to play cricket in our apartment. One evening I had a few photos to edit but Prashanth kept calling us to play. Since I had already got the memory card out of my camera I decided to quickly copy the photos onto to the laptop and edit them later. I blindly pulled the dummy card out of the card slot and plugged in the memory card. The card fits in snugly in the slot and clicks once inserted completely. This time the card went into the slot as usual but it did not click. I turned my laptop around to find that I had unknowingly inserted the card into the DVD slot! Checkout how close the two slots are.

Right away I knew I was in trouble. I tried to pry it out with a pin only to push it in further. Then Pratheek came out with his Swiss knife which had small forceps in it. Although I could slide the card between the forceps, the card wouldn’t budge. Then he brought out another pair of forceps but it was firmly wedged in. It had been 15 mins and we had run out of ideas. None of us knew what to do. So we sang “Om jai jagadish hare...” After finishing the song Sharath noticed that the card was stuck at a corner. So he asked me to push it away from there and sure enough, it neatly came out J

Friday, January 29, 2010

Here is why...

It was back in October 2008 when I went on my first trek. Since then I have been on seven more treks. Although that is not much, some of my friends and relatives have come to think of me as a big time trekker! I must admit, I kind of like that :) But every once in a while people ask me, ‘why do you go on treks?’ and I have never been able to give them a satisfactory answer. I find it very difficult to explain it in one or two simple sentences. So this is my attempt at explaining why I go on treks.

The Place:
Right from my school day, I have always had a desire to travel. Travel shows used to be and still are one of my favourite. When I first started trekking, the fascination of going to a new place was the only driving force. None of my friends were keen on trekking. So when I went on my first trek with Club Adventura, I did not know even a single person in the group. I was there just to see the place.
The whole of first trek was through thick evergreen forests of Western Ghats and even at the mountain top we were not able to get a clear view due to the forest cover. But after a couple of treks I realised that the places we visited looked far more beautiful compared to commercial tourist places. One of the problems of tourist places is that there are simply too many people around. A place that would otherwise have been serene and beautiful becomes cluttered and noisy and polluted. Since the trekking spots are generally not easily accessible we normally have the place for ourselves. To top it all up, you get to sleep on mountain tops under starry skies and wake up to breathtaking sunrises or a waterfall!

Simple pleasures:
I know this is a cliché. But it’s true. Simple things like a piece of fruit or some small snack suddenly tastes delicious after a day’s trek. Adventura plans treks in such a way that we generally come across a small waterfall somewhere towards the end of the trek. I just love them. There is nothing like having a bath in a waterfall and playing in those shallow streams. Damn I need to learn swimming!

The Escape:
I work in Bangalore. So in the beginning weekends meant loafing around malls with friends. But after a while it got boring. And by Sunday evenings I would feel that I had completely wasted the weekend having done nothing. Now when there is a trek planned, there is something really exciting to look forward to. It’s a great escape from routine.

The Adventure:
I am sure everyone likes adventure. But there are some of us who are just not cut out for it. I am one of them. I was extremely scared of heights. I am still claustrophobic. I can’t stand cold. I easily get sunburnt and I can’t swim. But then it is very exciting to stand at the edge of a cliff or jump off one with a paraglidder.

We usually trek on weekends and it’s amazing how friendly we get with complete strangers in just two days. On a trek we are away from everything else that can be otherwise distracting. So it’s easier for everyone to mingle. And since there is nothing else to do we have enough time to share long stories or stupid jokes or sing old hindi songs or dance to new ones. Apart from this I also get to see a lot of different people and their lifestyle. It gives me a different perspective of the world around.

I don’t have to say much here. If you are a photographer, you’ll know that there are a lot of things that you just can’t do sitting at home.

The Challenge:
Apart from the people, the place, photography and everything else there is a sport angle to it. This was not so obvious to me at first. People used to tell stories about how they covered a 3 day trek in half the time and I remember asking ‘But why hurry? You had planned it for 3 days right?’. Now I know what they mean. There is a challenge involved. And that’s why we have a sense of accomplishment after finishing a trek. It’s a truly satisfying feeling which you have to experience to understand what I mean.