“When I was young my father said Son I have something to say And what he told me Ill never forget Until my dyin day. He said son you are a bachelor boy And thats the way to stay. Son, you be a bachelor boy until your dyin day” (Now playing-->)
Presenting to you - The Bachelor boys’ guide to staying that way! Brother, why would you choose not to be a bachelor any more? Okay, wrong choice of words – what would break you and push you over that cliff – into the point of no return? If you answer the way I used to, well, all I say is no sweat! It’s not that bad after all. It’s like the do it yourself kit. Get your hot meal done day after day, everyday. Without the shopping and wailing and the jewellery and all that jazz! And like all superheroes, all you need is a good side-kick, or better still, a bunch of them bananas!
Banana#1: Dal Now this one here is super hero in the making. Dont be surprised if one day put this one puts all the women folk out of business. What amazes me is this guy’s capability to adapt and the ability to metamorphose into a new look and feel (are we forgeting something .. yeah taste!) practically everyday! Monday he is dal nospecialname – goes well with rice, and some spicey chutney Tuesday he’s dal pepperonit – you microwave it with extra fresh ground pepper – great with some boiled vegetables (broiled with chillie flakes cheese and ketchup, ofcource) Wednesday and Thursday he’s sambar and then Thursday thru Saturday he’s rasam! Magical cannot but be an understatement! If there’s a promised savior gentlemen, it is dal – your sidekick no.1!
Tips: Fry gently before you pressure cook (translated: yellow, orange – acceptable. Black – game over, try again!) Pop those seeds – I don’t know what they’re called – The little ones that pop when you put them in oil – they make a lot of difference!
Banana#2: Brocolli, cabbage/any leaf. This one is a beau monde star – for your lunch pack to office. Can be terribly decieving, and may trick the women into believing youre a healthy eater! And trust me, they don’t taste as bad as we were led to believing they do. And the best part is you don’t have to cook them. A dash of olive oil and a piece of lime can work wonders with this. For the filling you can use mashed potatoes and chicken/egg/some spicey (dry) vegetable dish left over from the previous night (potato is another wonder vegetable – but more about that later) – the mashing can be done on a weekend and stowed away in the fridge. With this you can grin back at the pot-bellied manager of yours the next time he opens his box at lunchtime, and does the smell-sigh routine. Boys, do NOT give in to temptation! Tip: Get those long breads – not the kind of stuff burgers are made of – more like an oval than a circle. Cut them with a knife (steal that from a restaurant *wink*– you don’t have to buy a cutlery set for that. ) along the length – something like 85% of the total depth. Wrap the filling inside the leaf, keep it inside and you're ready to go! Accessories required to get started: A fridge ( considering that all these things will only take up one third of the space, and that you’ll have the rest of it dedicated to beer, and that you’ll always have ice at your disposal, so you can actually buy that decanter set ( Imagine a home bar – it’s heaven!) , it is an investment worth every paisa – you’ll have to buy it either way should you decide to get married. )
A trash can and the bags: With the trash bags , you’ll need to empty them only twice in a week. No stinking kitchen anymore!
(And everything else – the stove and some cookware and all that.)
Emergency readiness: Like the boss says, it always pays to be proactive than reactive. So I bought myself more beer! For one, you can invite the guys over and drink to the disaster, but for cooking diasters, beer can be our own neighborhood superhero! I had realized that I didn’t have enough cooking brain cells in my head, but necessity is the mother of evolution, so exigency made them suddenly appear. But the rest of the brain is still in good shape, so I was watching this game on TV while I was making some chicken. And the suckers had to score right when I was putting the chilly powder in. And cela va sans dire, what was intended to be chicken noname instantly evolved into chicken inferno! But where there is a beer, there is always a way. I broke an egg into the curry, and a pint of Heineken and let it boil, and there it was – not so bad as it was before.
Epilogue: Some one reported having heard screams from the bathroom of apartment 9 the next morning.. Well, what can I say - It could have been worse! :)
Aha! A rainy Christmas and a plethora of silly mistakes. Some dork locked himself out of the car on a freezing night, right outside his apartment. Oh well, it would not have been such a mistake after all, if he hadn’t left the apartment keys in the same bunch as the car keys, and he hadn’t left his coat inside the car. And you know how these apartments in the US are. You need a key even to get to the stairs. Sigh! [Ok. It was me. SO? ]
But wait a minute. This is the U.S of A. you always have 911!
911 emergency.. What’s your emergency? Well.. err.. I kinda locked myself out of the car. Are there any kids in the car? No. I’ll have to put you on hold for a minute, Sir. [Did I hear “pay back time!!”? man not every guy in India works in a call center. Hellooo??] Okay, we regret that we cannot be of too much help at this time. However, you may break the window. Oh. I MAY break the window of MY car? Thanks! Any time, Sir. Merry Christmas!
But well, that is beside the point. There is no snow for Christmas!
Ho ho ho Santa old fella, Go get yourself an umbrella! *boink* Merry Christmas, folks!
Not that nut, dirty minds – that was an idiom. Idiots! I cracked a big business problem at the office today. No make that two - I also figured out that The Old man of the Mountain was the name of a meeting room. (Now why did no one tell me that before!! ) **Flashback** Meeting invite : [Avaya continued discussion at old man of the mountain 2pm] 2.15 :I am still hanging around outside my boss D’s office, waiting for the guys to turn up. (Old man? Of the mountain?? Oh come on, guys!) **Flashback ends**
On a different note, I also found out that the spread eagle is a thing only for the eagles to try. I got inspired by the spread eagle picture everywhere, and tried the move, and my pants tore right across the centre. *Trrrrrrrrrk* Now that doesn't paint a prety picture at a party - Especially, when you’re wearing bright red underwear.
I also realized – after spending numerous ours on research on it- how the phrase piss off came into existence.
This is how: Snow on your car’s windshield - now trust me on this – is the mother of all piss offs, especially when you’re running late to that breakfast meeting. You have two ways of getting around this problem: a. Turn on the heater, wait for the snow to melt off – which may take you all winter OR b. Go to Walgreens, and buy a snow shovel – Ok now we’re talking crap. I’m a converting desi – which means it is always 1$=48 rupees. No way!
Or wait a minute – there’s an easier way ! You can piss on it. And like magic – it goes away! Damn right – Piss the friggin snow off!
I’m back. And I’m tired and sleepy. Although I could not convert many shots, the trip was a major learning experience in terms of knowing my own camera, and how to get the shots right while in the jungle. Now it’s a very tough game, there. The play of light and dark, and the way the animal would move suddenly from a lit up bit to a very dark patch of shade makes it almost impossible to get a good shot. That coupled with the rain clouds hanging menacingly overhead, and moving about, changing the light and leaving us completely uncertain about how much time we had at hand, it was a total mess.
Now why is the post named the way it is? Well, this was the first time I was going to Nagarhole, and I was clueless. I was hoping I could find some good info on Google, but I could not find anything worth a mention. This I hope, will be of use to those planning a weekend trip to Nagarhole from Bangalore.
So, where’s this place? Nagarhole jungles are on the Western Ghats, On the Kerala-Karnataka border. (Mysore/Coorg districts on the right, and Wayanad (Kerala) on the left). When traveling from Bangalore, one would have to take the Bangalore-Mysore road, and take a right from Srirangapatna (some 18 Km before Mysore) to Hunsur (To locate the turn, it would be advisable to ask for the road leading to Ranganthittu bird sanctuary, because the advice that people give you may be pretty misleading, and cost you a few tens of extra kilometers, as we found out in the onward journey). If you reset your trip meter when you leave Bangalore, it should read about 190 kms when you reach Hunsur. The first checkpost that lets you into the sanctuary is 19 Kms from Hunsur. (the forest office is yet another 40 kms from here) Apart from a few bad stretches here and there, the roads are okay till this point.
What can I find there? Well, you’ll find a jungle there. (duh!)
And in the jungle, you’ll get to spot a lot of deer (like this one in the picture), and foxes, some jungle foul, macaques, gaur (bisons) , and elephants. Anything else you see is a bonus.
Can I ride up to this place?
Yes, you can, but they won’t let you go on the bike beyond this point. And to hire a jeep, you’d have to go back 20 kilometers to Hunsur. O yeah, we did that. :) ( The boys had come on bikes, plus it'd be better for the car not to drive on that road)
Where do I stay in Nagarhole?
Well, a good place would be on a tree top, but it would not be advisable, as you may end up getting eaten by some hungry animal (the most popular monkey trick is to push people off trees!). Well, if you feel rich, you may choose between two resorts close to the jungle that charge you like crazy, or pull some strings, and get the only forest IB, but the latter would be very very tough.
So you have two options to choose from:
a. Halt at Hunsur, where you can find cheap accommodation, and then drive up early in the morning. b. Drive through the park, get on the other side (that should be some 55-60 Kms from Hunsur) , and get to Kutta. There are many estates that entertain guests at their estate houses for nominal charges.
The stretch through the jungle will look something like this. (This road, however stays closed from 6pm to 6 am.)
Ok, what next?
The forest department arranges regular safaris from 6am to 8 am and then from 3pm to 5 pm. These are supposed to be good. They charge Rs.75 per head. You could alternatively opt to drive the safari by yourself. This is rather costly, because you still pay Rs.75 per head, plus you pay rs.300 for the car, plus 150 for the guide (The gun and the guide are standard accessories) If you missed the morning safari/ finished it early, it would still be a good idea to drive through to Kutta, and trek up hill at the Irpu falls.
What do I wear?
They don’t mandate a dress code, but camouflage clothing would be great idea, if you’re looking for great shots. You stay still, and animals ignore you. If you’re planning to trek, wear shorts, that way you’ll at least get o see the leeches that are feasting on you. .
Note:One of our guys got a leech in his posterior, and didnt even know. by the time we were back at the hotel, the leech had turned into jelly - and it looked like he'd shat blood. (I know that was gross :p)
The drive through the jungle is very dusty, so I would suggest that you carry a wet towel – Too much dust on the face and nose can be quite irritating. A cigarette lighter would also come in handy on a hike.
Any more tips?
Carry cash. There is only one ATM in Hunsur, but not many people know what that is. The chances are that the person may not even give a damn about you when he's busy giving his bulocks a bath.
It's at the State bank of Mysore. Don’t bother asking people – they won’t know. Carry a change of clothes, a towel, and carry your camera.
And Yeah – Don’t act stupid. You needn’t get all excited and scream every time you see something. Don’t try to feed an elephant calf, don’t throw stones, if possible, try talking your girlfriend from getting out of the car, and don’t think it’ll be a good idea to stop for a while, and fry an egg.
PS: Nagarhole is also called Rajiv Gandhi National park.
An exhilarating drive uphill on a beautifully laid out picturesque route, and at the end of it, a place high up on the hills where it rains eight months in a year, and white water rushes out of every orifice in the skyward rocks. But it wasn’t the scenes that surprised me. It was the mutiny of smells - Of eucalyptus, of tea, of cloves and cardamom. Eucalyptus – not eucalyptus oil, and spices not dried and packed in plastic bags (which have to be kept out of children’s reach as there is a choking hazard); but fresh, and green and yellow. (I had come to believe that fresh air had gone extinct.) Tea - not the kind that you brew at home, not of the dried and rolled black leaves. This is a fuller aroma. Of green leaves being washed / ground / sorted (I don’t really know what they do in a tea factory) on the other side of a moss-covered wall. And it keeps coming at you almost at every turn you take; and turns are plenty in this part of the world, and so are moss covered walls of tea factories. It is a world painted in shades of green and brown - Green of tea, green of the grass, green of the moss on the walls, green of the rock ferns; and shades of brown – brown of the soil, brown of the flaking eucalyptus crust, brown of the Tamil tea-pickers.. And the greens and the browns had a blue tint. The rain would flush these colors down the car’s misty window, as if colors from a painting, and when the rain cleared, the clouds would cast shadows on the blue mountains, and before you know it, the same clouds would pour down on you. The rain ruined my plans for a debut wild life shoot, but the trip was quite an experience.
This is a sequel to my previous post. Somebody told me at the restaurant the other day that the guy who was found dead in the gutter was hit by an early morning train, contrary to many popular stories that have been in circulation. And the train being an inanimate, that this qualifies more as an accident, than a murder. Apparently, the departed was waiting for the first light of a fresh Sunday morning which did not come on time. He had caught forty winks (sitting on the rails) when -surprise, surprise!- the Salem mail came on time and the poor fellow didn’t even know what hit him. (The man was deaf as a post, I am told).
Moral of the story: You thought the railway line is a good place to take a crap when no one’s watching? You have good reason to think twice – the Engine driver isn’t watching either.. ;)
On a Sunday morning there was a dead man by the rails. A rickshaw driver saw two black feet protruding out of the gutter and the gate keeper found him whole.. Where the slime had to be, there was a pool of now-dried purple blood. So, he must have dived head-first into his own warm blood? Maybe it was too cold out in the night?
And the cop pulled him by them two feet that the rickshaw driver saw protruding out of the gutter. He was laid out (respectfully) between the steel rails (with his trousers down to his knees - That was how he was found) for the deceased to be identified. On the road by the railway track, people gathered in a dynamic crowd. They would come, look, stay, cover their mouths, and leave to make room for a new passerby to see - A perfectly disciplined lot.
[I had started with my tax tirade, but I found this dead man after my Sunday morning breakfast.. Does anyone know where I could get myself a gun?]
8 am on a chilly winter morning.. A full house (well, almost) in the class.. A board with a pile of mathematical formulae stacked neatly to fit into three columns separated by two vertical streaks chalked on the green board. As the last column filled, the first was promptly and very neatly dusted off, to be filled the next minute.
The professor was solving a problem. He was so used to solving problems. In a clean, methodical way - that was the way problems were to be solved - in a clean methodical way, fitting the lines into three columns on a green board on the wall, so the boys could take it down, and file their notes.
I did not understand. I did not understand why engineering should teach one NOT to think. He scribbled 'a's and 'b's and 'x's and 'y's and integrated them and derived them. He solved problems about how to eliminate noise in a good design. Good God, what is the context? Where is the noise coming from? why? What are the possibilities? Is just no one here bothered about the context?
"You're going to hell." "Why?" "Because all that you do is wrong." "By whose standards?" "By God's standards." "Did God tell you what his standards are?" "The book says so!"
If there is something in the world that can make me blow my fuse, it would be just that - one's conscious refusal to think. NO book - just no book tells me what to do. They can suggest a new line of thought, they can widen the dimensions of existing ones, but not arrive at conclusions for me. That, I will do. My rights and wrongs are mine, and mine alone. My guilt, my sins, and my good will use that as the yardstick. Because I refuse NOT to think. Because if there is a God that created good and bad, He has created something bigger, and more Powerful - discretion. So my friend, you'd better think twice before you tell me "Because the book says so." - I may punch you in the face.
Ttictocktiktocktic.. The wooden cuckoo came out, yawned, went back in and shut the door.It has been like that for quite some time now.. She just yawns.. Soundlessly. In the green screen of the TV, the Swedes and English are fighting it out in what seems to be a good match to watch.Owen's twisted his ankle. England still looks the better side.. Isaksson was stunned when Joe Cole chested that ball and sent it right up the goal from a good 25 meters off. What a goal it was! They may not have won over the Swedes in 38 years, but I’m somehow sure they'll be the winning side this time.
Yawns, are warnings in a very curious sort of way. You bore me, is what they say.. Even the cuckoo in the clock.. I’m depressed! "You've been a livewire. We're going to miss you.." Not too soon, though.. "You know what the best reward for good work can be?? Do you?" He was red in the face. Was it anger, was it anguish, I will never know. “More responsibility!"...and more, and more, and even more.. Until you choke and die.. The scores are leveled now. England has struck one, and the Swedes too. But something seems to have gone amiss on the English side. And the Swedes have been pounding their penalty box every one and a half minutes.Rooney’s very unhappy that he has been substituted. and he shows it.
The day following my resignation, they took me off my team, and put me on a testing support assignment. The one month notice was going to be a tough one.I didn’t like the move one bit, and I let it show. Bad move. Very bad move. I am stressed.. I want to leave. I hate my job! And I hated the rest of the game as well. England disappointed. The Swedes should have won. The better side had to win. A draw.. I hate draws! And I was happy I didn’t do anything foolish like trusting my instincts on a bet. They’ve been failing me for sometime anyway.
As a friend discovered today, I have proved with my resignation that a techie can be retained for more than a year (no matter how much you bullshit him). And so when I am relieved on 5th of July 2006, I would have completed one year, and one day in this company. And I am content with the fact that at least I could prove one point in my miserable life!
(Did I hear a YAY! somewhere? – must be from within..) Sorry for the time away, guys. I’m going to be RIGHT back.. v
We were supposed to leave Bangalore Saturday afternoon, but the way things turned out to be by the evening of Friday, the whole plan had to be stripped down and worked up once again from scratch. I suppose that is what happens when you try to force things against the ways of nature. Me planning a trip 10 days in advance would not be a minor deviation from my nature, it would be an absolute crime against it!! Needless to say, the bubble popped at the last minute.
And that is how I ended up riding a bike on a deserted highway in the middle of the night, headed west, towards the Ghats. A ride out of the city, a ride back in time(though not too far), and a ride into another generation (truly, a different generation!) - That was what it was, and I must say I quite enjoyed it. Even the interviews!
It rained in Bangalore last night. It was past midnight, and I had just got home. It rained in Bangalore last night, and all our lights went out.
The irony: We were watching a discussion on TV where they said there would be a lot of cheap nuclear power now, a lot of it, now that president bush has promised us an unlimited supply of fuel. (I think that was a good deal, but I’m not going to talk about it.)
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, and that is what keeps you going, they say. That is, if you care – I add. My work still keeps me busy, and I’m not too excited about it anymore. Nothing seems to make a difference. Nothing seems to matter anymore. I don’t think I see any light at the end of any tunnel, Hell, I’m not even looking for one!
I spoke to the Senior HR manager. Gave him figures, told him he can’t complain about the attrition rate, when he wasn’t doing anything about it. I did a root-cause analysis and put forth suggestions – I looked like one of them. I didn’t care. “Thanks Bala, I think we should be meeting up more often”. “Why, sure..” I said. I haven’t seen him since.
But why am I called the happy man, then, when all this whining makes it look like I don’t have any reason what so ever to be happy? Well, I guess it’s because I’m an optimist, and very generally so. I don’t have pre-stated goals, or a purpose, not in my career, not in life. The only thing I attach any value to I think is the state of well being, which I strongly believe is a state of mind, and has nothing to do with anything tangible. Just a while ago I used to loathe myself for it, but I now know better. I know now that in my own way, that makes me invincible. That not being subjective makes me flexible, and therefore immune to roadblocks that may come in my way. But it would be unlike me to turnaround and walk back. I would take my time, fight it, bring it down, and I would do it relaxed and at my own leisure. Like a dog killing a rat. I’m not going to eat it, and I am not bound by duty to kill it, but I will. I’ll take my time, and I’ll enjoy doing it.
I know I’m going to be successful. Don’t ask me to reason for it, because reason happens to be one thing the world has lost.
Random thought for the day: The left is a bunch of no-good-assholes!
He turned in the direction of the rustle, drawn more by impulse, than interest. Sliding down the heap of withered leaves was a snake. He steeped aside, and she shrieked. “Did you see that? A black one with white lines – did you see that? Disgusting, isn’t it? Let’s go back, there will be more!”
The white waters rushed along in the gorge by the jungle trail, as he told her stories of serpentine passion. The snake was forgotten. He lay where he was - just a few feet away, the beam of sun that hit him from beyond the leaves shining a star on his moist black skin. And he thought as he looked over her shoulder – These girls!
Happy Valentines Day, everyone!
History repeats itself - I’m single this time around as well. Weirdo!!? I know I know.. :)
“But the show must go on”, he said without pausing to take his eyes off the monitor. The young man would not listen. He had had enough already, and he wouldn’t take no more. Picking up his bag and sunglasses from his desk he shouted across the almost empty hall – “Hang me if you will, but I take my decisions.” And he was on his way…
My life is full of colors - all bright hues. They smell of solvent, though.. The colors that paint my life are lifeless
– they’re so.. Acrylic. (I think that one describes my life best.. too many hours at the office, too busy to have a life..
Frustrated? Yes, a little… :) )
And he was on his way… Macromania
By the way guys, I have a new addition to my camera cache, and she’s a beauty..