Showing posts with label Bangalore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bangalore. Show all posts


Sharat - when rains give way to the early autumn with blue skies, mid-August to mid-October.

Month of September 2014 was a unique one. It started like just another month of the year.

Honestly it has 17th September which is most times ‘Bishwakarma Puja’ and Pamela’s B’day and that is how I remember it. From childhood Bishwakarma puja has a special mention growing up in Tripura. After Saraswati puja in January/February there was no major festival till Bishwakarma Puja. And there used to pandals and people going out in the evening to visit those pandals. Also soon after Bishwakarma Puja the annual festival season starts where we celebrate Durga Puja and others. And normally the weather would be great where monsoon is over and climate were getting pleasant. 

But you ask about the weather for 2014 it is a mixed bag. The monsoon was delayed in Bangalore there was hardly much rain during June and July. The rain started to pick up in September and October and we had 2014 a one of the wettest year in recent time where there was traffic chaos and what now when it rained heavily for few days in September and October.

Personally was in a training plan to run my first Marathon(42.2KM) with practice with maiden Bengaluru Marathon. But my training came to grinding halt as suddenly things at family took a turn for worse. Pamela had to rush to Durg to take care of her father who was sadly hospitalized after a severe fall. Me and Aarush managed well in Bangalore. It was bit of a driving as I had to drop him early in the west of Bangalore and come to work in the east. 

End of September the price of IPhone 5 started to drop in Indian on-line stores. Last year (2013) I also noticed the same for one phone which I was willing to spend but ten realized the price starts to go up after the initial offer. So this year I made no mistake and booked one IPhone 5s for 33K and there was some cashback offers from leading credit card companies. Ironically the price of 5s now at 42K INR after the Iphone 6 came to market. Not sure who will buy a older product when the newer one is not that far off. A person who is willing to spent 42K Sure will justify a spent of 53K for the latest model. 

I am not an apple fan boy but have to admit the phone is what I was looking for ? and loving it so far so good.

The Durga puja was a special one as we celebrated the same in Bangalore with one of my beloved maternal-aunt and her family. So we have the usual pendal hopping eating outside. The 3 days just flew away. 

Now with all that came my birthday which was a very simple affair as things was not great again in Durg. And 4 days after that was Bangalore marathon. I had to make a hard choice of either run a Half Marathon or crawl a full marathon and after lot of deliberation I opted for the 1st one. It was an wise decision as I was struggling with 26 KM after coming back to running after an month. 

So here is my quick report on Bangalore Marathon. 

1:47:10 @ Avg 5:03!!

Enjoyed the race, did not had any target in mind at start other than finishing strong. Enjoyed the run and went with family for the Charity run after that. Here is my splits looks like if I practice well a 1:45 for HM in a good race is a possible target. Special thanks to Kothandapani Sir and my extended family of PaceMakers. UNfortunately the world media picked one news which was not great when lead pack of runners lost race route. The race organizers were great who shared the price money to these individuals in later days.

Thankfully I picked up long running again on the weekends and back to 30+KM on weekends but still a full marathon looks so daunting task.


Indian Babus(Govt Official)

Today went to the local BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) office to get my property Tax receipt which I paid in June there. Was told to go other one as this office is being closed. God only knows why Government build office first and operate there for few years and move to another one. On going to next office

 The guy told without looking at me "Come Monday"

Me -  "Sir Monday is Off due to Ganesha Festival"

Him -  swallows  his words and says "OK come Tuesday"

Me -  "Sir I need it today"

Him - Now he looks up and says "come afternoon"

Me -"Sir it is already afternoon as it is 12:20 PM"

Him - "OK get the bank statement" to prove the money is credited as you paid by Cheque"

Me - little annoyed  -"It is three months and I am telling you it is debited from my account"

Him - takes the acknowledgement slip and goes to a room and comes back  in 5 seconds.

Me - Goes to the same room after 30 Sec; ask the lady with computer for the receipt.

She hands me over the print outs.(surprise surprise so this is the time it really takes 1 minutes max) 

Me  asked for Official Seal

She points back to the first guy

Me  come back with the printouts he signs and puts the round seal.

Thanked him very politely. And got out of there.

The whole thing took only 10/15 minutes a max and my good luck that my work was done. Best part he spoke in Kanada and I kept on replying in English.  Whatever we do as Indian with watching MTV and eating McDonald a visit to Government Office still  remains nightmare which I postpone and procrastinate for ever. As those Officer or a Clark does not change their attitude.



South Trip

Our trip to South  was one for which we hardly planned meticulously. Moreover, my son got fractured elbow but then also our spirit was on high although bit dampened that whether we will enjoy or not; kind of excitement mixed with anxiety, hope and happiness. I still remember the moment we sat in the car and started for the trip which was going to be one of the longest drive with Aarush.

We  left Bangalore on 11th December 2010. As nothing much planned we packed some fruits and snacks which could be of help in desperate times and of course a camera to capture the moments.

Our route-

Bangalore -> Madurai(via Salem) -> Rameshwaram -> Kanyakumari -> Kovalam –> Kumarakom -> Malampuzha (via Palghat) -> Bangalore.

View Road Trip December 2010 in a larger map

Although the principle best followed in the case of accommodation is – ‘To each to his own’. In this trip no prior booking was done as we didn’t knew which night where we will be. It was on-spot which Santanu liked most. Well the trip was a great one on our Indica as we sold the car within 3 weeks after returning to Bangalore. It was a sad separation but too much hassle to keep her with change of registration and etc. And now after almost two years all the travel-logs are now published.



Prologue, On 2nd of Feb received an open invitation from  our MD to be a part of her team to walk 100KM within 48hours. The walk was organized by OXFAM to raise funds and awareness of their work among poor section of society. I immediately hit reply as my earlier discussion with another friend on the same walk did not materialized.
In the late afternoon I received confirmation that I am in and need to walk on 10 & 11th Feb.  But around seven in the evening I received another mail telling me the team composition changed to make it gender balanced. I did not act on that immediately and left it for Monday. On Sunday morning received another mail asking if I am still willing to be part of the first team and I replied YES again.  In the afternoon meet-up in person in one part of Bangalore where most who-who of Bangalore stay.  Somehow luck was not with me and Aarush was sick from Friday(2nd) evening whom I had to take care for the next few days week at home.
It was a viral attack with high fever touching 104 F once or twice a day. On Wednesday fever got reduced and doctor gave him some antibiotics. So on Thursday 9th with lots of anxiety left him behind in day care and headed to office where we had a mini-bus waiting for us.
The starting point of the trail walk  was around 70 KM from Bangalore after  Kanakpura next to Sangam. There is one resort where OXFAM organized as starting point and night stay. Being little early and a big group we were able to push around the organizing committee and   lucky enough to get a isolated two storied building to ourselves.
Now after 34 hours of walking and many blisters we finished the trail walk and returned to Bangalore like a wounded soldier on Saturday night. My situation was really terrible and had to see a doctor on Monday ; he took a good class of me explaining such extreme should not be tried without proper training as body releases potassium and that can cause kidney failure.  Well after a week of rest in bed with elevated feet I resumed work on 20th.
This Trip :
But in mean while I was looking for a break with Pamela and Aarush as after Gujrat we never got a chance to get out Bangalore.  As Pamela works on Saturdays it is difficult to go anywhere over weekends but  then  the idea of Anandadham (the Oxfam place) stuck me. I kept it under wrap for few days but could not make a complete surprise for Pamela as few more surprises came our way like a sudden notice of  PTA for Aarush on the same Saturday morning.
So, on Saturday  after PTA, went to Pamela’s school and started for Kanakpura ; we reached Anandadam around 4.00pm. The place was very quite as we were the only guest supposed to spend night there. They served us some snack around 5 and then left for coracle ride on river cauvery. The ride was great as we spotted many birds ; but the best part was the complete silence which we enjoyed thoroughly.
Evening around 6ish electricity was resumed and we  returned to our tent room. We were tired but the breeze from river was very refreshing. We had a big dinner and headed for bed early.
Sunday Morning we woke up and had coffee and after that we went for a 5KM walk to the Vedic School . It was walk via near by forest where termites have eaten the entire forest turning it to hollow trees. After walk we had a big breakfast and then we headed out for some more activities. Found archery  a great sport to focus and forget about any thing around you. But I chickened out when tried to swing like Tarzan from the high platform. Pamela was brave enough to give a try.
After that me and Aarush went to the river for a quick dip. But the Sun was right on our head and we  were forced to return to our tent. Aarush was too happy to continue playing with his new friend (our guide). There was no electricity as it went away around 10. After bath and lunch we took a short nap before leaving for home. We started around 4 PM and reached home around  7.
It was a very short break but very refreshing as the whole resort was ours and we had a lovely experience with the staff of Anandhadam .

View Larger Map


Father Day - Thank you Aarush

During month of May there were some sudden turn of events happened that changed the course of my life as father. Well I am quite positive on this sudden turn of event that this happened for good. Pamela suddenly jackpot a teaching Job with one of the premier institute of Bangalore. And they asked her to join immediately. The first week was in training in Kormangala was OK OK  as Aarush had his summer camp in his old school. They also have a day care so he got the adjusted to the same quite easily for the first week.Well end of the above paragraph does not qualify for a thought or blog post  and does not  happen in real life ? The ground reality was very different one but fun filled. The first week Pamela had to reach to her training by 8:30 and she is not yet comfortable in driving in Bangalore traffic. So opted for one temporary driver from an agency while we searched for a permanent one. That resulted in losing the luxury of car for me. Honestly that was boon and I am with BMTC Bus. The fun and difficult part was becoming a morning DAD for Aarush. Now I have to prepare him for school with shower and breakfast and etc. But to my delight Aarush has been very positive as he realised this new person is bit different from his beloved mother.We booked a 2 week vacation in end of May to visit my parental home. My younger brother will be coming from California and we will celebrate ‘rice ceremony’ for their son (Sheryaan). Now as Pamela can not go we cancelled our ticket at first thinking to cancel the trip. Now this is really a big event which we did not want to miss but it means Aarush have to come with me as he can not be left alone in Bangalore. With that I need to make fresh booking of Air ticket with some serious dent on my credit card ? I had to buy the same ticket 3-4 times costlier for myself and Aarush.I had to make Aarush aware of this upcoming BIG trip every day morning while preparing his for school. But the D-Day he was thinking it was more of me going on a trip then himself as the bag was not that big. But when we got down at Airport he was OK and we quickly moved through checking and security and boarded the flight. The flight was a late one starting at 21:00 from Bangalore and reaching Calcutta close to midnight. In the flight Aarush said he wanted to have some food which was a very positive thing as after having it he fall asleep. On reaching Calcutta we took a TAXI and reached a our hotel. A lot of strange eyes in Calcutta even one asked where is his mother ?? Well as it was very late Aarush slept easily.
Next morning we had our flight to Siliguri at noon the postponement was informed to me in advance. So we left hotel late and had a leisurely brunch for Aarush and myself. At the airport Aarush opted for Idli (on of his favorite ) while I slipped a cup of coffee. He was very trilled with the ATR and it wings compared to yesterday’s jet. And more over it was a day flight where he could see lots of things. Reaching Siliguri and at home he was OK. He was a hero to many eyes.  On the day of return he was very excited to go back to Bangalore and joining Pamela whom he missed for 4 days.
The return flight was smooth – Aarush slept on the flight between Calcutta Bangalore and some paste on reaching Bangalore Airport.
On 8th June he started his school with DPS. The first three days I need to go with him and on 13th on-wards he started going by the School Bus. The new routine is very demanding as Aarush have to get ready in 50 min to reach Bus-Stop within Godrej Campus by 07:30 AM. Every morning he suggests it is a holiday at school but once in Bus he is OK. It is already 2 weeks he is going by Bus and coming back to Day-care where he will have his lunch and nap and then Pamela picks him up while returning from School. So far so good with the new role but it is really demanding one for sure.
We watched 'taare zameen par' one weekend though he loves the song 'Bum Bum Bole' the whole school system, punishment, separation from family made him sad he did not like the whole thing about Ishan.  Looks like  it was not a good idea to watch it with him.


Chod Aaye Hum Woh Galiyan

This is our 4th move in last eight years. It was a different protocol each time. Today I am lost in a mysterious maze of chasing thoughts; want to pin them down and seal them in jars before they disappear leaving behind nothing but an empty spot. I came to Tata Sherwood when my son was 5 months old and today he is almost 3 yrs old. In this time span I met so many people. I had a great time here. With few I was really close and with rest others I shared so much so that we have amicable relationship to talk on any topic without restricting myself to any specific age group or any particular culture.
I remember when we moved to this apartment Santanu said while strolling in the pavement one evening you are not social person you need to reach out to people rather sitting at home. And now he says you better stay here with your friends; me-Aarush will move to Hebbal. As with blatant nostalgia and sentimental heated arguments along with lots of ifs and buts I was given option of selling this property but to which I didn't agree with the thought that some day maybe it will get appraisal. It is said "home is where the heart is" and for me my heart is at Sherwood still with my friends I made in these bygone years.
It took me long to make up my mind finally for the move. Strange hear this where people don't want to move to their own apartment. Well,You heard it right. Here,medium of meeting people was through Aarush. At times I use to arrange small snack party or pot-luck or dinner....I won't say party rather get-together. It was more of an attempt to meet working -non working mothers. Every time there was addition of 1 or 2 new face. Although at times there were friends with whom views didn't match in certain topics but still we kept meeting each other. I learnt a lot at same time subconsciously or otherwise about human behavior etc.
In turn I can't say whether it was burden to them or not but they also use to invite me be at religious purpose like haldi-kumkum or may be similar evening snacks party. One of the major get together use to be birthday parties of kids. Almost every month we had at least one party. This parties gave opportunity to kids to wait for their return gift even before giving the birthday gift as well cake cutting with lots of enthu.
Well, at end I love the irony of my combined housewarming and my move get -together with friends in 2-3 sets where I gave them token of my remembrance to every one I knew and meeting them for one last time while staying in that same community. As it was not possible for me to go to each and everyones place for dinner or lunch.
My sincere special thanks to Kalpana, Kanchan, Pragati, Harshu and Anita lastly but not least Neeti who despite of their busy schedule arranged an awesome dinner. Nevertheless to all my known acquaintances I will never forget you and keep coming to Sherwood whether you guys come to visit me in my new place or not.


Lalbagh Flower Show'10

Finally went to Lalbagh flower show last weekend (8th Aug). Thanks to my work; was awake from 3 AM and had no trouble of getting ready early on Sunday. By 8:40 AM we reached; crowd just started to show-up there was not much problem of parking and all. As soon after we entered the main glass-house Aarush started to sneeze incessantly. Among many varieties of flower main attraction was off course the huge structure of India Gate made of roses; it was tribute to soldiers who lost their lives during the Second World war. There were many orchids but my camera failed to capture their beauty. We took a quick walk around because of aarush and within another 60 minutes or so we were on our way back. Half an hour later we realised that our li'l one is allergic to pollens probably.


Progress @ New Apartment

Some update from previous post . Till far we made numerous trip on weekdays and weekends. We are almost done as far as carpenter work and civil work is concerned. There are still few things pending but we can wait for now. The next major one and obvious ones are hardware and shower enclosure fixing at bathrooms along with painting and electrical fittings. We need to make all the necessary holes for pictures and wall hanging before final painting work. Hope to complete religious house warming (griha pravesh) in July and wait till year end for final move.


Another weekend

The past weekend was very low key just wanted to laze around to be honest. It was great to watch to few late nights World Cup Football matches live with Jishu. Saturday went to usual vegetable market at HAL. After a quick and early lunch we went to southern part of Bangalore to drop Jishu back home. It started to drizzle at first and very soon it was pouring by the time we reached BTM layout. The traffic started to move in snail pace and meanwhile Aaarush dozed off while seating in his car seat. So from BTM we went to checkout Oyster Bath Concepts at Jaynagar showroom. Luckily the rain stopped and we left Aarush for 5-10 minutes while sleeping as car was parked right infront of the showroom. From there wanted to go to Commercial Street as rain almost stopped. But on the way it again regained its power and was splashing water all over. So we decided to keep our feet dry and head towards home. It was a long detour to reach home to be honest and only person benefited was Aarush as he completed his afternoon nap. So at the end instead of going directly to home we went to Sambit’s place and had a good time there.


Aarush's-Free ride

Well another small post with pictures. These pictures of Aarush are months apart. One on left with motorcycle are just after his tonsuring and on the right are just weeks old. He really likes to ride like any other boy. And if we try to stop him it does not go well at public place. When we were in Star Bazaar @ Kormangala few weeks back he remembered where this toy car was kept and every time we tried to refrain him he used to go back there. It was surprising that he remembered where the escalator was and went up all the way navigating those aisles of merchandise from the lower floors. Recently, we bought him a cycle from Fisher-Price which he rides inside home all the time. The picture of that is there in this album will try to capture a video some time soon.


Whats happening

If long hours in office and the phone calls at 2AM does failed to keep me busy this is another Work in Progress which is keeping me recharged.


It came to an end

Officially it is over… ten month long journey came to an end. There were two exams and one submission before pulling the final curtain by November end.
Before writing further I must thank Pamela for persuading me in enrolling in to this Executive MBA (EXMP) of IIM Bangalore.
The course in nutshell covers almost all the areas of management and gives you enough foundation to build your own interest in specific area. The classes were interactive and a very big positive to attend this kind of program compared to other offerings where you attend classes via Video. The green campus was retreat where you get detached from the outside world for few hours in the weekend. This really recharges your energy level as you do not have any boss to manage.
Well, to answer how much I recommend the course to someone “is a mixed bag” if I put it in few words; another answer would be “It depends” a typical management answer for most situations.
In general, the faculty is an esteemed and one of the best in India. Most of them have got their Master and Doctorial degree from renowned US universities. Some were able to connect to profession like us better and quickly as they had significant industry experience /exposure.
But few tried to impose values and teaching methods which are more suited for full time students. I personally found those sessions were not as effective as others. Overall learning part was not great as I was looking for some performer who can “walk the talk”.
I really could not appreciate the current evolution system that was practised for EGMP. It seems there was no evolution method few years earlier. As more and more corporate started to sponsor this program they (HR department) demanded a way to find out if their employees are effective or not. And every professor before starting the subject would mention that there will be a small evolution but you should focus on learning rather than the exam part. For most subjects we had a multiple choice short exam. I really hated this part; as from engineering days I have already mastered the art of getting relatively OK grade by investing a small amount of time.  For those subjects where there was a submissions or project I think my learning and take away is much more.
Other then learning,One more  positive aspect is you can build network with like minded people.
First thing I need to do is to list all the recommended books by all those professors I noted in various notes. And ensure that I buy and read them in next 18 months.
P.S One class mate quit his job and did really well in class exams with "A" grade; best part he reached final of CAPSIM as individual 5th Indian to do so.


Tonsuring my baby’s head: Tirupati

Ever since from childhood heard about Tirupati but never had a chance till date or never understood why people use to grumble till they had darshan. May be god wanted me to experience the same. Few days back Santanu suddenly decided to visit before his upcoming hectic weeks at office. So it was kind of planned-unplanned trip. Why unplanned knowingly was....we didn't had any ticket in hands before starting the journey nor we had any references to make use of. As planned, we were to start early morning at 5 but when we woke up to the alarm ring I could hear tiny shards of crystals falling from the sky against leaves, trees and windows. I woke Santanu- he looked at the time, then towards the window and back to clock. The clock said it was 4.15am but it was dark outside. Bed was warm and comfortable so he puts again the alarm back for 5.00am. This time we both jumped out of bed with the alarm ring. We kept our things packed last night only so last minute final touch up was left with packing which Santanu did; while I got dressed up and fed Aarush in his sleep. By 6.00 we were at our parking lot.

The route that we took for Tirupati was Bangalore – Kolar –Mulbagilu - Palamneru - Chittoor – Tirupati. Road till Kolar is not that excellent as of ongoing construction. Because of which we missed Woody's restaurant and moreover my son was in deep sleep. So decided to make a stop at Cafe-Coffee Day for restroom. Foods are highly pricey but excellent in terms of neatness. Still Aarush was sleeping blissfully and we didn’t wanted to disturb him as when he is in sleep its good for driving by accelerating. Took one take away coffee for Santanu from cafe-coffee day and we were on our way. After 10 we stopped at BANS restaurant near Chittoor had our breakfast there; (prices were reasonable and very neat place) and were back at road. Landscapes are really worth seeing particularly on sunny day but unfortunately weather was bad that day. On way at Palamneru check post one police man stopped us seeing our Maharashtra number plate car and asked for 100 rs as we were going to Tirupati...strange! Was that we were going for fun or honeymoon that he thought so? We declined saying give us a receipt for the same or leave us. We reached Tirupati around 11.00am. Tirupati, is the temple town in Chittor District of Andhra Pradesh, located in the foothills of Tirumala. And Tirumala is famous for the shrine Lord Venkateshwara.
Santanu decided to go to Tirumala to get the tickets for darshan first and later look for hotel at foothill. So we straight away went towards hill after scanning our baggage and paying toll of Rs 20.Road is one way and really superb to drive through with scenic beauty around .It took 25 min. to reach there. Till this point every thing went smoothly now actual part starts that how and where to get ticket with less wait time in queue for darshan. Best part is nobody knows exactly; everyone will say something different. Through internet study we knew that Vaikuntam Queue Complex- (is a series of inter-connected halls that leads to the main temple) will give ticket of Rs. 300 for (Seeghra Darshan) fast darshan but actuality is that you get into queue immediately without knowing when you can see lord while if you buy tickets of Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 it is given according to availability of ticket on that particular day with no guarantee on time spent on queue. So one person there told us to go to Vijaya bank for fast darshan. Then we drove back near to bus stand where Vijaya bank is after searching here n there. The people near counter have hardly any time to explain about anything. Its like you buy ticket or get lost kind of. Anyways at counter he said he has ticket for same evening nothing for Sunday morning. We wanted for Sunday early morning so that after shower we can pay our obeisance as it was our 7th anniversary. As of man proposes and god disposes, we bought ticket blindly for that evening of 1000 bucks without understanding any head or tail. This time biometrics (finger printing and photo) were taken to eliminate the involvement of middlemen, I believe.

On getting tickets on hand we saw it was written Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva at kovulu mandapam infront of temple at 5.30 pm with 5 small laddus free. And maximum no. of people allowed for this is 5. Now we started looking for temple as it was already 2.30 PM and at tirumala for everything there is a big line be it for ticket counter, ladoo counter, tonsure, restroom etc. We crossed on the way Ram Bagicha Guest House(aka RBGH), maths, kalyan mandapam etc then also could not figure out where the temple is as of misty weather. Then we asked one person who guided us to Ram Bagicha entrance and told to ask there. At Ram bagicha on asking security personnel he told us to go to building next to Ram Bagicha- 3. Till then we were not sure whether we were in temple premises or not as temple's gold overlaid gopuram was not visible because of rain. The crowd, queue all together makes the rains a harrowing experience. Moreover in our ado we forgot to take our umbrella. On asking same person about head tonsuring he said it’s done just at side downstairs of Rambagicha. I had a strong belief that tonsuring being so famous that must be done with some mantra ucharan but in actuality nothing like that. With Rs. 10 coupon we got one barber to get Aarrush's head tonsured. There hands are so experienced that they did it in few minutes while my son kept crying frantically. Thereafter barber was again asking for more money which we denied.
On asking a temple worker at that hall he told one small puja of half an hour will be performed there as of rain and after collecting one silk Uttariyam and blouse piece along with prasadam we need to stand in queue to get glimpse of lord. As it was already 3.30 we decided to feed Aarush with idli just opposite that hall but he strongly denied after 1-2 morsel which we two later finished. And by 4.00 we went to that hall where they made us sit.Best part was since we were before time we got chance to sit in first row. Strangely, one temple worker gave us something to apply in forehead which we took with the thought that we might be only one lacking it but oh my moment he asked for money. We declined to give any money. Truly, till this point we were feeling like something fraud going on with us; people keep trying to dupe you. Then mustering enough courage I asked person sitting beside me showing our ticket he told that he has also the same and not to worry we will be able to see lord at last. In the midst of Vedic chanting and singing of Sankirtanas which was live telecasted we were astonish to see priests with three thick chains one large pendant hanging near his belly-button other then ear ring, golden watch strap, wristlet....o ...god real money making place not to be mentioned. A priest with chain and ear ring is quite common there.

After half an hour we rushed along with others for queue; various sign boards indicate the location of the room where pilgrims need to report for their darshan or seva. Outside the room, ticket is checked along with the biometric data provided at the time of ticket purchase. It was 6.15 when we entered this hall we waited for 10 min. I believe this was the last hall of VQC; Once the gates exiting the halls are opened, the devotee joins the actual queue, and from this point in the queue it takes about 60–90 minutes (standing/walking) to reach the sanctum sanctorum and have Darshan. Just before entering the temple, there is a bridge connecting Queue complex to Temple where baggage are scanned for last time. The patience to keep moving step by step, for hours together is ultimate one.All you can see here is the tonsured heads be it male or female and people chanting Gooovinda...Gooovinda. Anyways after moving on endless queue with long wait we reached sanctum sanctorum where people crushed us on from every side which is unexplainable. Near to sanctum felt like stuck in unmoving queue. Even my little son couldn't control his tears he just burst out (out of hunger, claustrophobia, with madness crushing from all sides). At times waiting in a queue felt like God simply refused to see us. On reaching inside officials were pushing devotees to one side before one can have proper sight of lord. Lastly, that momentary glimse of lord arrived where before we could fold our hands we found ourselves at one corner. All the while I felt like asking god only this much fraction of seconds you have for your devotees who are dying to see you.
Literally, I have to struggle with my memories to recollect lord's face. Then with crowd came out saw golden hundi offered our bare minimum dakshinas and then took one round of temple then again formed a queue to collect prasadam chakkera-pongali (sweet pongal) which was hot enough for that cold rainy day. From there followed sign of ladoo counter which is again very commercialized. You need to buy poly bags for rs 2. Then stand in designated queue depending on type of ticket you bought. Thank god our had less queue so got almost instantly. We wanted to buy 2 more extras but couldn't figure out how and where to collect coupons for the same.Well, satisfied with what we had and happy enough that God at least wished to see us in this form without bath and without wasting much time in queue. It was 7.15 pm when we took exit from temple so one hour exactly from the time we were in queue.

Worth visiting without any plan all because of Gods grace may be. We decided to stay that night at Fortune keenness hotel @ Tirupati  just opposite the bus stand. Drove down-hill carefully which is again one way. Roads are really good here with a view of city. Although considered to be 4 star but room 116 provided to us had a  roof with water dripping due to extra moisture . Other then that rest facilities were A class. Had paid buffet dinner after hot shower and buffet breakfast next day morning was complimentary.
Anyway, happy sort-of-anniversary! we were content from our trip which ended successfully. As of rain decided to return Bangalore before evening so started at 10.00 am. On way this time we made sure to halt at Woody's restaurant and had a quick stop at BANS for restroom. God knows why people want to eat at Woody's. It was buzzing with flies; I am sure if one or 2 fly get in with food I won't be surprised so asked for take away. Moreover we were so stuffed with buffet breakfast that we were hardly hungry enough so had lassi only. And by 4.30 pm we reached our parking lot.


Vote for us The Great Driving Challenge !!

We are inviting you to post your vote in support of travel. Visit our application page by clicking on this link here.

Cast your vote and support us.

This is our great grand escape plan

View GDC - NH17 in a larger map


Happy Holi

Have a safe holi; this picture was taken on night before celebrating holi-ka-dahan


Drive to heritage site - Lepakshi

My 1st term is coming to an end and we are given the upcoming test as well project submission dates. On reaching home from class on Saturday I was desperate to go out of Bangalore to get charged to combat the upcoming gruelling weeks at work and personal front with study. I had no clue where to go for a day and started to check my faithful websites and zeroed on Lepakshi from Anita’s site. While she made a detour and visted two other places on the way we just opted for Lepakshi via NH-7 as was not in mood for too much of adventure.

After a sound sleep we woke-up at 8.15 AM; left home late around 10.10 AM, had breakfast in a south indian fast-food corner before hitting the road. City traffic was not that bad on Sunday and further away it was thinner. After leaving behind the international airport there was not much of traffic at all and we really left the concrete jungle behind.

Soon we crossed Devanhalli (new destination of real-estate agents) and road towards Nandi-hills. The road from Devanhalli to Chikballapur is underconstruction which means sometime you get a proper highway or else DIVERSIONS with lots of big HUMPS. Those humps are actually meant for big vehicles like trucks and buses while I punished my little Indica with one or two whom I failed to recognize at right time.

Chikballapur looked like is small town as we passed by without stopping. From there the condition of the road improves except few patches where it is undergoing big construction.

Soon we were greeted by a big sign board which read “Eenadu Pradesh welcomes you”.

Just after crossing the border we found RAXA Academy and AP Tourism Restaurant on our left. Right there we took narrow left turn and drove for another 15 KM for Lepakshi. It is a state road that goes to Hindupur via Lepaskhi. The road is narrow as well its condition is not very great. And as there is not much traffic we were able to drive in comfortable speed as long as one is alert. There are few patches where we found lush green paddy fields which soothes ones eye in scorching heat. We stopped by to take some pictures with sun-flower plantation; it looked like an end of season for them.

Soon we were able to see the back of big monolithic bull (Nandi). We reached temple in this heat around 1.40PM; and was relieved to be in shade. The temple is built by sandstone in Vijayanagar (Hampi)style of architecture. This is Veerabhadra temple where there is a big Monolithic Shiva-Linga. According to Hindu mythology, this seated Nandi (bull) outside is gate keeper of Siva and Parvati generally faces the main shrine. Here, it looks at this Linga (due to human settlements now the line of sight is obstructed). We went into detail tour of the temple as well courtyard. We almost burnt our feet while taking tour of outer enclosure.

The temple is divided into three parts - the Nritya (Ranga-Dance) Mandapa, the Ardha (Worship) Mandapa and the Kalyana Mandapa with 38 carved unfinished monolithic pillars.The temple as a whole is built from sandstone and there are signs of severe erosion. I wish the whole place was more maintained and preserved for generation to come.

Well, while going Aarush had a good nap but on the way back he was very active and naughty - as a whole he was a good kid.

Odometer Reading 0KM – Home 10KM – MG Road 23KM – Hebbal 52KM – Diversion for Nandi Hill 70KM – Chikballapur120KM – (Bagepalli) AP Tourism Restaurant / RAXA Academy Take Left122KM – Big Cement Crane135KM – Lepakshi

View Larger Map


Lavazza in India

Just saw this advertisement on BBC website while checking my morning dose of news. I was quite fascinated by this ad. Immediately started to think “Oh this is great!!” now I can get a great coffee to start my day at home by pressing a button.
If you are not familiar with this machine or not a coffee person this machine uses special coffee capsules to dispense coffee. There are varieties of flavor to choose from and trust me it really makes great coffee.
In India tea is most preferred drink and most of people like to take it with lots of milk. Similarly coffee drinkers also prefers latte instead of “espresso” – sorry I am really addicted and spoiled and not quite human at work unless I get my dark coffee.
Now coming to the ad, immediately I dialed the number as mentioned in the advertisement and asked the tele-marketer about the price. And there I got real shock – it cost 10,000 INR (aprrox. 200 USD) for the machine and 25 INR (50 cents US) for the capsules. Now that is not a price I can afford to start my day :(


Joyeux Anniversaire- mon petit

As usual there is lots of gaps of posting. Last month was quite hectic as we celebrated Aarush's first birthday
We started planning from December onwards. As our schedule now revolves around his nap-time and whims we hardly get time for each other or to discuss any matter it’s just a lot more rare these days than it used to be. So, gone are the days of last minute plan. Despite how he has completely turned our lives upside down we wanted to celebrate his first b'day which I know he hardly will acknowledge at this age. Basically, it was more of a party for parents get-together on completing one-year milestone.
Initially,we wanted to have it in a restaurant with few friends and family members. Thus, short-listed few places but nothing was getting finalized.We didn't wanted dinner party as it could be more stressful whole day for us as well Aarush might get cranky. We wanted him to be in good spirits for the special day.Thinking on all this aspects, finally we decided to have the party over lunch at our apartment club-house where we just need to rent some chairs and tables for that that day and that is all.
This was the first time we were organizing B'day party we were not sure about the logistical part. It took a while to come up with final plan with inputs from veterans (in kids party).
We sent invitation to our guests through Evite in-order to get an idea how many guests are coming but we must admit we have to call people at the end except few. Most of Indian can not say "NO" so we have lots of guests in "undecided-mode". That added one extra effort where we had to find out if they are coming or not from the "context" of conversation as no-one is going to say "NO" over phone either. This was truly difficult part of all as based on this number everything depends be it food ordering or cake or return gifts.
The food was ordered from Golkonda Chimney, near Marathalli. We were lucky to get hold of one event-manager who helped us in decorating the place, getting music system, Bouncer, Caricaturist and Balloon Modelling.
Didn't had any parents-child games as we didn't wanted to worry too much about entertaining the adults, just made sure they have all been introduced to one another and they chat and mingle on their own.
As we already had cake before from Cake Walk, Indira Nagar - we knew about its quality. Without thinking much we ordered 4 kg Black Current Cake from there after tasting a piece. Now all three of us got our Birthday cakes from same bakery after moving to Bangalore.
Next tedious thing was to work out on return gift. We categorized kids into 3 groups based on their age.We bought toys and books for around 25 kids. Though it was not easy to choose from so many varieties - hopefully they liked it.

On the d-day party went on smoothly- Aarush was friendly. He was not at all cranky for a single moment seeing the crowd. We got some cute pictures through professional photographer, the cake was fantastic. Only thing was we forgot to blow the candle before cutting cake.
At last we were very satisfied with the party and hope the same from our guests.
Will always remember this first party of my son.

Day 3 - Rishikesh

The weather looked gloomy with an overcast sky as we woke up. We had breakfast at the hotel and decided to visit Rishikesh today. Again we...