Thursday, November 27, 2008

My blood is of no value!?!?

This happened yesterday. There was a blood donation camp at office. I thought of contributing to the noble deed, and the fact that some part of me will do some good to someone else took me there. I had just returned from US 2 days ago, from the hectic life with no or little time to sleep. I was told that my BP was high and asked to wait for another 10 minutes. Again, it was same. I don't know, could be because of the journey or the life-style in US caused it.

OK, I was ineligible for blood donation. Oh man the project costed me some personal damage too... All that is fine, I know I will be normal after a week, but what made me sad was what I was told by the lady who tested my blood pressure.

In order to make me less nervous(anyway I was not), she told my blood group is very common and "It does not matter if you do not donate". Oh my god, I am anyway worthless, and so is my blood!!!
Though I know that she didn't literally mean what she said, but some low priority thread spawned in my head thinking about that....

Back in homeland!!

Finally, I am back home. After about 2.5 months of living in US of A, which gave me much needed break to unleash my 'True' Aquarian nature. I realized that it is often good to be alone for sometime to introspect, retrospect one's own life and come up with a list of changes and chase them.
In these 2.5 months I had enough experience to last a lifetime. It was like a thriller movie, nobody knew if the project will see happy ending or tragedy. Last 2 weeks were as dramatic as any telugu movie. Everyday was so unpredictable, my heart skipped several beats, several times a day. Finally everything ended on a happy note. It was a perfect rat-race, it was my desperate attempts to escape.
The journey was smooth. I watched 3 movies, Journey to the Center of the earth, Wanted and Mama Mia, back to back from Chicago to Frankfurt. Slept most of the time on the last flight to Bangalore.
Here I am ready for another rat-race!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Saturday to remember!!!

Of late I had been thinking of doing some crazy things that I had never done before. It all started with my attempt to Cast Away. It seem to give me some crazy pleasure. I feel like, life is laughing at me and by doing some crazy things, I am laughing back at life!!

One Saturday, 9 Hours, 16km, 0 deg C, no particular reason.
On a saturday morning, I decided not to spoil it as I usually do. So I decided to go for a walk. I took map of Bestbuy on google(Google has map for walk). It gave me optimal route, like left on 112th st, right on 113th st, left on 115th st etc. Temperature outside was 0 deg C, and sun seemed to to be enjoying the saturday by taking break from his duty. It was very windy. Soon after 5 min of walk, my body was forcing me to go back to cozy hotel room. But I was determined not to give up. I was a stupid enough to wear a sweater at last moment.
I felt like wind was piercing through the neck and face, whereever skin was not covered. I was the only living being on the roads. After sometime, my body got adapted to cold.

I walked for about 2.5 hours and covered 7km to reach Bestbuy. Then visited Kohls, Walmart. These shops are so huge, I must have walked few kms inside shops. Then I saw Borders a few blocks away. A hot Capuccino Large with a travel magazene felt like heaven.

It was already dark outside. On the way paid a visit to Circuit city. Then realized I had not written down return journey through shortcuts. I just followed road grids to reach back to the hotel. It was scary at times, walking alone in dark night.

Only highlight of entire day was the Capuccino at Borders and sound sleep... After all, I couldn't ask more!!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Cast Away...

Lately I had been feeling very low on spirit and morale and I don't seem to understand the reason. I feel like I am losing or have lost something and I am not getting it back. I am unable to sleep properly and feel sleepy at office. I was thinking about the movie Cast Away. I wanted to be castawayed....
Incidentally my horoscope read,
"bla bla bla.. suggests that you could face an old ghost today as something reminds you of a childhood memory, a previous illness or an emotional hurt. As unsettling as this encounter feels, remember that you can heal the past through understanding and forgiveness. Also, keep in mind that what's happening now is not the same as what happened a long time ago."
How this person reads whats going on with me....
So I decided I really needed to sleep today, so I did something that I had never done before!!!
Any guesses... Nope you won't get it.

I started running, I wanted to runaway from everything. I ran, walked and ran again for almost an hour. I had run a long distance, but I was right there, where I started running... I was running on a treadmill. I had run for 61 min 20 sec, 7.23km, 500 cal spent. I was amazed, I could still go on. In the gym, watching Cast Away, I had run so long... what a contrast, in the movie, Tom Hanks wanted to come back and in reality I wanted to be castawayed...

I had a stroll outside the hotel after dinner. The temperature was close to freezing. It felt good.
I had a dreamless sleep.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Time went back!!!!

I was hoping to witness it ever since I learnt about day light saving concept. The time going back!! I was awake in the midnight to witness it myself. A romantic drama, 27 Dresses, was giving much needed entertainment. I was watching the time on my laptop. When it was 1:59:59AM, next second it jumped to 1:00:00AM!!! Wov, it was kind of exciting to witness it live and awake.
My previous stays in US was in Arizona where they don't follow this funny day light saving. So I never had witnessed it.
Now we ended day light saving time and back to what this longitude is supposed to be at. Daylight saving is an attempt to have more sunlight in the day after work hours due to various reasons. One logical reason seems to be saving energy. There are various reasons on the net. In winter sun seems to be in a mad hurry to finish his daily job, so days are very short.
Per Mahendra, we get to sleep an extra hour!!! So I think I will sleep half hour extra and utilize the other half to cook food for afternoon. Better compromise!! I hope no more starving in the name of fruit diet!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flying High

One fine day I was in the lab slogging as usual. One of my managers here came by to see what I am upto. I gave him a demo of new features we are developing. Well, I work on cockpit display products. Currently working on adding new weather display products to an existing display system. It happened that he was a hobby pilot and invited me to fly with him, if I was interested!!! Why wouldn't I be interested?? He told we would go on following Friday.

Then I forgot about it in my busy debugging. Friday he came and asked me if I am ready. Oh man, I was born ready!! Then we drove to the nearby New Century airport, and I found myself in the cockpit of Cessna 172, a 4 seater single propeller airplane.
Cessna 172 - The most number of planes ever built, about 43000 planes built and still under production!!

Kansas River

Kansas River - More views

K10 and K7 intersection

My office!!
More views

More planes at the airport

It was dream-come-true moment. The bird smoothly took off. It was totally different from those jet-liners which shake the nerve off for the first timers. I have to admit I was nervous initially. It was marvelous watching the beatyful landscapes from 1500 feet high. We flew over our office, and those freeway loops, I neve thought they appear so beautyful. It was amazing 30 mins of flying. Landing was very smooth. So it was a perfect beginning to the weekend....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Crazy days

Hmm... here I am, watching The Matrix on HBO after a cup of strong, hot coffee which is failing to get rid of my head ache, on a friday night, that would be a saturday in any moment...

There are so many things happened since my last post.

First of all I am happy to announce my sister's engagement. It all happened in a jiffy, I am not sure if I realized it myself. I had been having the most hectic time at office, and so at home front. There was no time to even panic, anyway everything just fell in place. All is well that ends well.

The very next day I was on my way to the Bangalore International airport on a long journey to US of A. That puts a comma or semicolon or whatever to my 70~80 hours work week and force me to compress all that within 50 hours week. I am allowed to work only 11 hours a day and 5 days a week. No time to fool around. Just work like a machine, and I have managed to do it for 4 weeks now.

Now I am sipping Coke in the hope that it would give some relief to my head ache!!

Oh, I just realized it is Saturday!!! After 4 weeks, I am planning to visit Kansas city zoo tomorrow, to quench the thirst to my camera and lens!! Oh by the way, I am currently located in Overland Park, Kansas.

Watching 'The Matrix', I was making chapathi. I started thinking if the chapathis are real? Of course they have to be because, it was in no shape of a chapathi!!! Well they tasted nice.
I am really proud of my culinary skills. I have not starved in last 4 weeks. Except one day I had to stick to fruit diet because I had watched this movie 'Milana' the previous night.

It looks like coffee and coke combination is making things worse, my head ache didn't come down at all, probably I need some sleep...

Friday, August 29, 2008

My last chance!!

My horoscope yesterday was very funny, it read "You could meet up with a dramatic individual today who expresses admiration toward you. If he or she doesn't feel noticed, you might not get a second chance."

I kept watching if anybody is observing me, hoping that it would be some "she", but unfortunately nothing happened. Did I loose my chance? Will I not get a second chance?

Hope is a good thing... good thing never dies. Life goes on!!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Friends and acquaintances...

In the course of life, we meet a lot of people. Most of whom we forget and few become very good friends. Friends whom we meet everyday, with whom we go on jolly trips, watch movies, fight, do soul searching, discuss all the gossip, criticise everything under the sun and what not. A day is always around the corner, when we have to depart, move towards our destiny in our own ways.
I found most of best friends in engineering. It was during engineering that I stuck to one place for the longest time during my education. Last I had this feeling was on the send off day. I felt like world is going to end. I never meet my friends again. It was a kind of painful feeling that one can only feel, difficult to put in words.
Now again I am feeling that pain. After about 7 years. The reason, one of my best buddy in office, Vamsi has departed in his own career path. I had known him for 3 years. Our frequencies were properly aligned. We used to discuss everything under the sun, we worked for the same project for about 2 years and got some patents filed too(of course with few others). I never felt bored in his company.
Though emails and orkut keeps the friendship alive, life will never be the same. I hardly speak to my college friends once in a week. I have not met many of them since college days. Somehow life gets adjusted over time and keeps moving. Time heals anything and everything.
I am damn sure this time, it takes longer to heal. But till then I will be feeling this awkward, confusing sensation.

Jetlag or may be not

A day after returning from tiring firefighting trip to USA, am I feeling jetlag? I am not sure because I didn't feel it in US. I don't know why I woke up at 3AM in the morning and couldn't sleep again.

To kill boredom, thought of doing some soul searching.

First to all my friends, Happy Friendship day. It was on Aug-3, Sunady. This Sunday was very short for me. All I know about sunady is morning at 10 I reached Frankfurt. After leaving at 12, by the time I reached Bangalore it was already Monday!!!

I ask myself what have I been doing lately? Slogging in office everyday... All work and no play makes anybody dull. So is the case with me.
I need a jumstarting in reading. It is hard to realize that I haven't read a single book in this year. I have not gone on any trekking this year. Oh my god, I am having serious problems. I need to do some root cause analysis and bring my life back on track!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Butterflies - Winged Jewels

It had been a very busy month and I hardly had any weekend off from work since 4 weeks. When Saravana and Vamsi called me to visit butterfly park at bannerghatta, I couldn't say no. I desperately needed a break and my horoscope said "having fun or not is in my hand and I need not slog like a donkey everyday" - I wonder how do they know so much about me!!

Weather was amazing for the ride, perfect cloudy yet not dull. It was hardly 20 mins drive from my office on bike. The roads are very good. The park is beautifully made and well maintained.
Entry fee is Rs 20 per person and 10 for kids. Camera will cost additional Rs. 20. One thing I liked very much is, as we entered the park, the gaurd asked us to not leave any plastic items in the park. I hope everybody follows that.

Entrance to the park

There is a big circular structure surrounded by metal mesh and a huge dome as its roof. Inside the structure is a beautyful garden with a lot of flowering plants. Inhabitants of this floral heaven are winged jewels - beautiful butterflies. There is an artificial waterfal and a small tank with few colorful fishes - though water was hardly enough for those fishes to breath.

I think it was not the right season for butterflies, there was not a veriety of them. Since it was first time for me, I liked them very much. I learnt names of few varieties too!! It is the best place to learn lighting and macro photography.

This is my best shot!!

Stripped Tiger

I forgot their names!!

It was a pleasant, refreshing, very much needed break after a long time. I had been working on Bannerghatta road since 6 and half years and staying close to it since 4 years and never been to bannerghatta. It is nice to have such a place close to Bangalore.
A word of caution - don't expect a swarm of hundreds of verieties of butterflies here. It may be just the beginning.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Random thoughts...

After a long time I am feeling very light, sitting in front of my PC, listening to my favorite melodies at home on a Sunday night. Absolutely no worries about Monday, how very strange!!
I don't remember when I was so relaxed. I feel like I have all the time in the world to do everything I ever wanted to do!!

It is first weekend I am at home in the evening since 4 weeks. That is merely a fact and definitely can not be a reason for my happiness.

Whatever it is, I definitely need a break, a good one. I hope Sridhar's next week plan materializes and importantly I will be part of it.

For the records, I have been implementing a particular feature in a short term project for almost 1 month. I have been slogging every day but no success. I have never felt so miserable in my professional life before, I finally missed my deadline and I have no confidence of finishing it sooner.
This can not be the reason for my feel good mood, but somehow, somewhat it is good for me. All the best for myself for the week ahead!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Story so far....

It appears like I manage to post something at least once a quarter!!! That's not something I wanted though.... We are almost halfway through the year 2008, so at least it is about time for me to post my new(may be not so new!!) year resolutions. If I am not living upto those resolutions, at least it pricks me during retrospection(I hope to do one!!!).
Well, I had decided that the year 2008 is going to be the year of changes, the changes I very much wanted in life, but had been procrastinating. So simply put, I wanted it to be the year of actions. I resolved that I have a starting problem, I hesitate to do anything new. I am worknig towards resolving this....

I made few decisions, few of them which I remember are:
1) I don't want to be the victim of lifestyle related diseases mainly obesity. I knew that I was way overweight. I could feel it. Many times I was embarrassed of my heaviness.
Status : I have had fair amount of success in this case. I should be ever thankful to my friend and colleague vamsi who took me to office gym. Though he discontinued after a couple of weeks, I never stopped. Now after 3 months I have managed to shed some 6kg of fat and even managed to grow some muscles :) (I can feel it though it is not apparent)
Only drawback of this activity is that I loose about an hour and half everyday :(

2) Start some hobbies
This is a bit tricky. I deliberated on some of my interests, I am pursuing them. I like to learn a musical instrument, photography, learning new languages.
Status : Not much success in this one, but I have not given up the vigor.

3) The fate of my higher studies. I am pursuing my MS at Illinois Institude of Technology, sponsored by my company.
Status : I had decided to table this one last year. If I don't write GRE this year, it is as good as it is permanently shelved. History says dropouts have better prospects!!!

In general, year 2008 is indeed the year of changes. It is an year to remember(I should write more to do so). I believe my life has been through a full 180 degree phase shift. Everything I wished to happen, as simple as tossing a coin to the matters that would have changed the course of my life, backfired on me. Not a single wish of mine has come true so far. But I don't regret it. Some of the real good things have happened that I had neither wished nor expected. Few of them worth mentioning here are winning of Technical achievement award, filing first patent!!

Thats what it is so far. I hope the latter half of the year will be even more challenging and exciting than former one.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Hyderabad Blues

I never expected this trip was going to be one of my best, unforgettable trips. The occasion was my colleague cum buddy, Vamsi's wedding at Hyderabad(On Friday, the 28th of March, 2008).
Manish, Salil and I were the three musketeers set to freak out in Cyberabad. Only preparations we had made was, booked tickets for onward and return journey, that made sure that we reach Hyderabad on Friday and come back to Bangalore on Monday. None of us had any idea of what are we going to do on Saturday and Sunday.
Our bus(Airavat - KSRTC volvo) got delayed in Majestic and I was worried for this bad start. I did not had a slightest hint that this was the only thing that was not going our way. We reached Secunderabad at 9:30, lucky us, we got down from the bus a 100 mts from the hotel where the reservation had been already made for us(Thanks Vamsi for the hospitality). Got freshened up and started our discovery. Ate biriyani(of course veg for me ;)) at Paradise and felt like walking to get rid of heaviness. We walked on the road that was leading to the wedding venue, and after a while, we reached the venue!!! Probably we were the first guests to reach the venue!! It was about 3 kms from the hotel.

Chatted with Vamsi and had nice, chilled tender coconut water(gulped another cup each later!!). We were again forced to have lunch there, which of course had nice dishes. After loading our tummies to the brim, we had no choice but to walk back to hotel. Back at the hotel, Manish and Salil kipped down to catch some Z's. I was watching TV and never realized that I too had dozed off on the chair.
Evening, came Salil's buddy, cool dude Abhinav, who told us that he would take us out on both days in his car. I never expected that we are going to this lucky. Evening, attended the wedding. Well, the knots were tied at around 10:30PM, most of the hall was empty by that time, strange that people had already left after relishing the sumptuous dinner. We too had our tummy-full of nice food. We had already gulped down 4 cups of fruit juice before that.. Another walk to hotel followed.

Vamsi and Rajivalochana

Wish you both have a wonderful married life and live happily ever after

Day 1, Saturday: Real fun started on Saturday. Manish and I set out for the Hussain Sagar Lake and walked on Tank bund, Necklace road and visited Sanjeevaiah park which is known for bird watching. Abhinav and Salil picked us up from the park. We went to Golkonda fort which is in ruins, built during 16th century. It has got some chambers whose roof(dome) is acoustically built with symmetric reflecting hollow diamond shape. If you clap exactly under the dome, the sound echoes several times and the echo can only be heard if you stand witin 7 feet from the center. It is an amazing architectural masterpiece. Did some hiking there to reach top of the fort. One can get a nice view of Hyderabad city from the top.

Tanker - on tank bund

Sanjeevaiah Park

Sanjeevaiah Park - another view

Golkonda Fort - From Entrance

Golkonda Fort - Side view

View of City from top of Golkonda fort

Then we went to the place that all 3 of us were waiting for. The High-Tech city. The drive through posh areas of Banjara Hills, GachiBowli was wonderful with eye-catching bunglows and luxury. We were mesmerised by the magnanimity of the Microsoft campus, wonders of ISB at GachiBowli. We were spellbound by the stunning architecture of ravishing Cyber towers at Hi-Tech city, google campus... I am wordless as I am writing this line. I thought this place is the heaven for mortals like us, Software Engineers. No doubt all three of us were thinking of updating our resume!!!
Entrance to Indian School of Business
Microsoft - My dreamland!!
After all this wonderful, heavenly Cyber paradise, Abhinav took us to another paradise for food. Ohri's Baseraa. An awesome place for food lovers where quality is never compromised, at the same time justifying quantity and price. I had nice, huge batura with chana. Ice cream is the speciality of this place. I would vouch for this place to anyone visiting Hyderabad to visit one of Ohri's(They have some 20 branches).
Chana - batura

The Titanic Ice cream

Then we decided to watch a movie in Prasad's IMAX. From local news paper we found that 10000 BC was playing in the evening. Amazingly, we got tickets for the movie which was about to start in 1 hour on a weekend. Can't imagine this in Bangalore, can we? Tickets are so cheap, for IMAX it was just Rs.150. The theater had many attractions. We took plunge into the haunted house and scared the inmates(scarers) to their life!!!

Movie was ok-dokey except for some fine graphics. I am planning to have a separate post about the movie, so watch out.
Thus, our wondeful, eventful saturday ended with sweet memories.

Day 2: Sunday
Started extremely relaxed, no hurry whatsoever. Visited old city, Charminar and Salr Jung Museum. It is a huge museum with a lot of personal collections of Salar Jung III. It takes about a day to see all the stuff. There is a famous musical clock, luckily we were there just in time when it timed 2'O clock. We spent somemore time until it started boring. Had lunch at famous bavarchi's, I didn't personally like the food.
The historic Charminar

We set out to the Runway9, which is a theme park with go-karting, shooting, archery, bungee jumping etc. We raced our nerves, had good luck at shooting as well with 3 of 6 hits. Archery was ok-dokey as none of us are descendants of Arjuna. I managed to send my arrows within the boundary of the bullseye.
It was time to pack up and say bye-bye to the wonderful city of Hyderabad. When we reached station, our midas touch was still not fading. Our coach stopped right in front of us, where others were left to run to reach their's. Though it is called Garib Rath, it is a posh train with nice interiors. Each coach had heating ovens and refregerators to keep colas chilled. It was comfortable ride to Bangalore ant the train reached on the dot at 7:05AM. I was still lucky to get the bus to my home without even waiting for a minute.

Interior of so called Garib rath!!

It was a wonderful, most relaxed, unforgettable trip to Hyderabad. Hyderabad is very vast, spacious city which is not behind any other city in pollution. Hussain Sagar is a polluted lake that stinks. It has huge parks and a lot of greenery is well preserved.

Friday, February 08, 2008

First step towards the change

Well begun is half done, they say. I advanced one step towards my greatest ambition. However tiny and silly it is, but still it is towards my goal. That is what matters!!!

What I am talking about is the purchase of 4GB high speed compact flash.

It sounds silly isn't it? Before buying camera and not having decided which lens to buy, I bought a silly memory card and I feeling proud of it!!! Horoscope from was also telling me the same. It has been so consistent all these days that I think somebody is reading my mind.

Anyway, I am happy that I am advancing towards my goal, at snail's pace may be.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My new Gizmo

Dell Precision M4300:
Intel Core 2 duo 2.4 GHz, with 4MB cache
800MHz FSB
15.4 inch Wide Screen WSXGA+ TrueLife LCD Panel
4.0GB, DDR2-667MHz SDRAM(Mammoth... isn't it?)
80GB, 7200 rpm (Dell doesn't have smaller than that!!!)
NVIDIA Quadro FX 360M Graphics card
Wi-Fi, IR

This is the new laptop I got from my company. This thing is a beast... I hope I can use it to the fullest. At least, watching movies on this will be great.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Irony - To live rather than exist

As usual, it seems there are lots of ups and downs in my attempts to live rather than exist. I was just experimenting with my daily timing. I tried getting up early and going to bed early. As they say early bird gets the worm, it is the wonderful to be an early bird. I was very active throughout the day. Seldom was I bored. No acidity, I had deep sleeps, never I wasted time simply rolling on bed and wait to fall asleep. Another best thing for being an early bird was the breakfast show by sunshine girl Vasanthi.

To make sure, I tried being a late bird for a week. I am very sloppy through the day. I feel sleepy during afternoons, unable to sleep properly during nights.

So today, I decided that I should be an early bird to make life better. Guess what is happening. Today happens to be Vasanthi's last breakfast show!!! What an Irony.

My wish for many things to go right one after the other is also backfiring. In fact many things are going in wrong way. But nothing can deter my efforts to live...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Taare zameen par

Finally, I watched this much acclaimed movie. Its a very good movie with a very good message. But I wonder why parents of successful people feel guilty. This movie is not only for parents, but for school teachers who don't realize they are affecting the future of hundreds of people every year. I did not find anything in this movie that makes me watch it again. May be I am missing something....

Also, in bollywood movies many things go very smoothly. What about the kids whose parents aren't fortunate to earn handsome salaries.

It made me think about my past. When I was a kid, my only reason for existence was to pass in every class with flying colors. There was no scope for anything else. But my mother never forced me to be that way. Then why was I like that? Was it because it is an unwritten rule in the society that every kid's only dream should be pass with flying colors and be an engineer or doctor?
Anyway, I am what I am now. There is not use pondering about past.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Change is the color of life....

I had been thinking of bringing some change to my pathetic, monotonous life, for a long time. But a few recent incidents in my life made me think about it too seriously. I think I simply exist, I have to do something to live.

I listed down all my options. Of course, I know what everybody thinks of as the first option. Somehow it doesn't appeal to me.
Reading - anyway I do that, not so seriously.
Working like a dog at office - That's what I had been pretty much doing all my life...

I am giving a very serious thoughts about music. I think keyboard is a good choice. I give credit to Vamsi(Teammate) for this option. This is my second option.

Then comes my next passion, Photography. I give credit to Saravana(Bird photographer) only for making 'Photography' as an option. I do know that this is a very expensive hobby. But it fulfills my other wises, traveling and writing. I like visiting new places.
I don't know what type of photography I am going to like. I think I like still life and landscapes. I think I like bird photography too.
That's where the confusion comes in. I have decided to buy a digital SLR, Canon 40D. My confusion is what type of lens to buy. I am right now exploring my options in lens.
Then comes the biggest question, where do I source the money from!!! I am working on it. I am expecting many things to go right, one after the other.

But somehow my horoscope predicts the otherway which goes like this : "Taking the extra step toward a pleasurable goal might seem like a great idea now, but you could be disappointed if your needs aren't met. There is enough working in your favor that it's easy to believe you'll get what you want. Unfortunately, your progress may slow down as satisfaction gets closer and closer. Don't try too hard or you could end up frustrated with what you don't have rather than content with what's already yours."
I wonder how exactly could they tell like this about me... anyway it is not going to stop my attempts to live(instead of mere existence).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A rendezvous with wild(life)

After almost waiting for over an year, our team outing materialized. Most of us did not want a resort type of thing, we wanted to get out of our normal life of deadlines, debugging, fixing bugs. The place chosen was Jungle Lodges and Resorts(JLR, at K Gudi(Kyathadeva rayana guDi), near BR Hills. JLR @ K Gudi has 8 tent type cottages with twin beds and 3 log huts with 3 beds each. Our team size was 24(only 22 turned up), so all available accomodation was booked by my company.
Log hut

We left Bangalore on Sunday morning(6th Jan, 2008) at 7 AM(We planned to leave at 6, but we are used to missing deadlines, anyway!!). Packed breakfast at SLV and headed towards Mysore, as the roads are supposed to be good via Mysore. But it turned out that road was good only till Mysore.
As usual we played Dumb Charades of movie names. After breakfast Vamsi suggested an excellent memory game. First person tells a word, next person repeats the word and adds another and so on it goes. I was 13th in the order. I thought I would never be able to repeat previous 12 words as the words were very random. Amazingly the game went for successful 3 rounds, with last round coming in the reverse order. All of us(about 17) could remember and recite all 51 words in the proper order!!!
Here is the list of words(re-published): Bangalore, Awesome, Angel, Looks, Man, Great, And, the, Alok, Honeywell, Bus, BR Hills, Camera, Photo, Sleeping, Jaipur, ThagaDadum ThagaDadum ThagaDadum, Leopard, Mysore, Rajastan, Delicious, Tree, Jing Chak, Forest, Rohit, Pappu, Bablu, 661, Idea, Mosaranna, Disco, Banana, Caribbean Islands, Washout, Ganguly, Blank, Five Minutes, Horse, Dog, Safari, Jackpot, Yahoo, Old McDonald, Wov, Bye bye, Bingo, Stop this, Holiday, Khulja sim sim, XYZ, Enough

Dumb Charades!!!

We reached K Gudi by 1:45PM. Checked into rooms(Vamsi and I stayed in the last log hut, beyond which there was only forest!!), freshened up and were as ravenous as leeches(weren't we?). Food was above average. We had about 1.5 hours before safari, which starts at 4:30PM.

Few went to the nearby lake and we thought of having some serious fun. We climbed a nearby treehouse which was about 20 feet high. The tree house was cozy, I could spend my whole life in it, but for call of duty :(. Then we flocked on the Hammock. We were making so much of shouting and noise, all real monkeys were scared away!!!

Nervous and scared Dr. Satya!!

Inside Treehouse.. I could spend my whole life in it, but for "call of duty" :(

Hakuna Matata!!!

After a cup of strong coffee, we headed for the safari. Drive through the uneven terrain of the jungle tracks on Mahindra 4WdD was awesome. I was thinking, if at all I plan to change my career, I would become a safari driver @ JLR. I would give up all the comforts, broadband, my PS2, everything!!!

We did find some animals, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, bisons and few elephants. Few elephants actually blocked our way for about 20 mins. It is their territory, we couldn't help, we had to just turn off the engines and wait for them to change their mind. Weeds in the jungle was so thick that, any animal, unless it wishes to reveal itself, we can't spot them. Spotting a leopard or a tiger in this jungle, with jeep's engine roaring and people chit-chatting(ignoring numerous protest from the driver!) is once in a life time feat.

All set for the encouter!!

Wondering about curious eyes of visitors!!

Whats wrong with you people?!?
Pachyderms, of course they have right of the way...

We reached JLR by 6:30 evening. I tried my hands at TT using broken rackets, few games of carrom before bonfire. Dinner too was above average. After dinner we gathered around the campfire and started our singing prowesses. It was a wonderful, starry night, I wished this night to go on forever. But almighty always has different plans, firewood was getting over and people started feeling sleepy.

After a bit of stargazing, I too kipped down into my cozy, cushioned bed. Through the window, next to my bed, I could see the dark sky above and thousands of stars. Wov, it was amazing. Lot of noise coming from the forest(ours was the last log hut!!), crackling of wood, insects making all types of sounds and sometypes crunching of dry leaves, as though somebody was walking. I quitely slumbered into my dreams.

I was brought back to reality by my mobile alarm at 5:30 in the morning. It was testing time for me. Can I take cold water wash in real cold(I take cold water bath everyday). It was good, my body didn't shudder at all. I was ready by 6AM for the so called trekking(It was indeed a walk through jungle). We should have chosen another safari instead. It was awesome feeling to breathe the cold air, alone in this serene forest with the comforts of cushioned chair!! I never realized I had spent half an hour savouring this treat by nature.

Our trek started at around 6:45AM. Few photo sessions on the way at various pit stops, we were back to lodges by 9:00AM. After breakfast, which was average, bath, we packed our stuff and were ready to say good bye to JLR which bewitched me to forget all my daily worries and enjoy the nature. One last time, Vamsi and I climbed on to the Hammock to feel the joy for the last time. Well, one never know when one gets a chance to be like our ancestors!!
We departed from JLR at around 10AM.

Serenity!! Art of almighty.

We, the Lesser mortals!!!, yet again art of almighty

Enroute trekking

On the way we visited BR Hills(BiLigiri Ranganatha) Temple. The road from K Gudi to BR Hills was wonderful. Thick vegetation of bushes on either side of the neatly paved road was like a perfect rectangular tunnel with only top open to the sky. The width of the tunnel was just enough for the bus to slip through. Bus was cruising effortlessly through the tunnel easing through the curves, thanks to the skills of the driver and power steering. Before I could capture this wonder in my camera I was once again failed by almighty. We were into civilization. How I always wish I had Dumbledore's pensive to preserve my memories.

On the way, we also visited Shivana Samudra(Gagana chukki falls only) and there was hardly any water. On the way had sumptuous lunch at Hotel Shivalli, just after Maddur. It appeared like nobody else had energy for any activity and many people were already catching Z's and some were watching Gangajal. I didn't want to watch a serious movie and spoil my mood after such heavenly trip. I switched on my mp3 player and don't know how many times Mungaru Male showered through my ears in loop...

We were at office by 7:00PM... Thats the end of our AFS(Architecture, Framework and Simulation) team outing. Oh man, I am feeling depressed as I am writing these lines. I was so energetic at the beginning. OK, let me face it straight, looks like somebody has got a case of mondays!!!

Have a good day.