Monday, October 29, 2007
a male elephant on the right and a female and a calf(not clearly visible in the pic) on the left of the road.
the mist that hung around till noon.
big(gest) fat(test) earthworm... was easily one-foot long...
a water-fall at a distance...
setup tents.. gather wood.. cook..eat... watch it darken in minutes...emergeny lamp conks... star-gaze.. step on an ant colony by mistake and get bitten a thousand times... pitch dark...zonk off.
day2: 14thOct: up.. ready.. sipping tea by 5am.. 6am, climb the circuitous route to the base of a part of the waterfall. the waterfall falls tall at first, then levels off, then falls again... and levels off and then falls again.. forming a series of mini waterfall. a king cobra was supposedly spotted the last time C,V and S went there... everyone's on a lookout...climb is fun and annoying at the same time... slippery.. and more than one fall... bloodsucking leeches decorate themselves on human skin... dense foliage..scary..
the base of the first waterfall looked a bit like heaven. beautiful... peaceful.. serene.. slippery wet rocks..more leeches, one crab, tiger butterflies, dragonflies and birds..sound of hornbills too... eerie at times...
climb down after a few hours.. some more slips and falls... aching bums... freshen up in the smaller waterfall.. change.. pack.. homeward bound... stop at jog falls... eat.. longish drive back home(the return journeys are always tiring and long)
this is what happened when a plant's stem was slashed to make way, with a sickle... it bled...
one of the many ponds by the highway
Friday, October 12, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
GL(over the phone and shuffling through her bags): umm.. and I bought a pair of maroon sandals. Guess what colour they are.
Sb(matter of fact-ly): maroon
GL(surprised and excited): whoa! and how did ya know?!
Sb: It was only a guess... yawwwwn!
Sunday, September 09, 2007
janapada loka(a museum stocking folk-sy stuff) on the outskirts of Bangalore on the Bangalore-Mysore highway: (it's better known for being kamat lokaruchi's neighbour, the former being a very popular eatery)
The Nandi at Chamundi hills ( to get an idea of how tall this is, notice a lady on the right side in the pic )
Saturday, September 01, 2007
SB: you have good eyes.
Good eyes! GOOD eyes? you mean, good EYES? GL's pleased.
Surely, there's some mistake... people usually think otherwise of GL's eyes... 'time to open your eyes sweetie, you've been out of bed long ago'... 'such droopy eyes! you can't be sleepy( this time of the day!)' ... and a very kind 'are your eyes ever bright GL, ever fully-open!'... the more regular one being 'gosh GL.. just looking at your eyes makes me sleepy'... to be read 'can't stand looking at your eyes GL.. why don't you splash some cold water into them and come fully awake'... et al
But then, different people...differing perspectives... good eyes, eh? A happy smile spreads rapidly... someone's actually complimented GL's eyes.. and GL can't believe it. And almost begins to say 'thankyou'...
SB(continues): the pictures are pretty good.
SB: I mean to say.. the pictures you shoot have a good angle to them. The light is not bad either. And I appreciate that you don't edit them. For an untrained person, you have good eyes.'
Its 'you have a good eye', you #$%$#.. not 'you have good eyes'... the smile retracts rapidly...
GL sulks over her luke-warm coffee... and SB over his wasted compliment.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
"No Rj" GL barely managed... and looked away.
He was asking too much of her... she was tired now.. and wanted to get home quick.
"Please GL... for all these years' sake" Rj pleaded. There was despair in his voice now...
the years flashed by GL... she thought of how they had first met six years ago, worked together on impossible projects, stayed glued in difficult times, and turned into the best of buddies... there had always been an unspoken set of rules that bound them into a steadfast friendship almost unheard of.
... and now, Rj had breached them all... he had tried to emotionally blackmail GL - into giving in.
GL looked at Rj... the setting sun lent a golden hue to his handsome face... the breeze teasing his curly hair made him look younger than his 29 years... unquestionable love and a deep concern engulfed his soft brown eyes... GL was moved... it was unusual of Rj to wear his heart on his sleeve.
GL sighed... and relented..... and got off Rj's motor-bike.
A relieved and kneeling Rj continued examining the flat tire... he had been pleading with his pillion, GL, from the past many minutes to get off the bike and avoid any damage to the rear wheel... the love and concern had been for his dear bike...
and GL, for her part, had insisted that Rj let her be seated as he dragged his bike to the service station.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Pallavi, my house-mate, was away to the Netherlands on a project. and it was nearing 11pm one summer evening, when I finally hit the sack.. but couldn't sleep. so i left the lights on and lay on my bed talking to Ranbir over the phone, who was then in Noida... a few states away. Still talking, i got up to switch off the lights.. and whoaaaaaaaaaa... what do i see!
the house has been invaded by ants... black ones... hundreds of them... the white tiles on the floor were visible only in chunks..peeping from below the black masses of 'em ants...
my first reflex was to jump on the bed and try to scare 'em ants away.. no use.. i then took a long peep to see where the mad army was arriving from... The inhuman beasts had been invading from the front(door) full force... the whole of the gap below the front door resembled the sluice gates of a dam, letting a steady stream of black devils...
the worst kind of gooseflesh and a nerve-wracking chill down my spine reduced me to a mere spectator to the black inpour... after regaining control of my senses, i intended to find out where this mad army was headed to... so i put on my slippers and walked crunchety-crunch on the black-n-white and crisp-n-alive floor... it's a terribly spooky feeling to walk that way... the drawing-room looked the worst hit.. the kitchen and the bathroom looked not so bad... these guys were mostly interested in occupying the hall and the bedroom and not really wanting to get some place.
fortunately for me, i was still over the phone with R.. and told him what was happening! he suggested giving them a bath.. them ants can't swim a puddle..
relieved after knowing what to do, i got down to business. checked myself first.. no ants climbing over me yet... that was comforting.. next... poured endless mugs of water to block the sluice-gates... sure enough, it worked! there was now a vast body of water dividing the ants outside and the ones inside... filled up some more water and flooded the entire room with it.. drowned a helluva ants in them... mercifully, none of them were interested in scaling the walls...
by the time i got another bucketload of water, the water body at the front door had cleared up a bit and the restless ants had wasted no time in getting through and finding more dry land... they were unstoppable!
the battle was fierce... and re-inforcements arrived in the form of two god-sent souls... i remembered that i had also called up Karthik and Conrad for help, Pallavi's friends, who live not-so-close by... until i heard their bikes outdoors, i hadn't bothered to open the front-door... and now i switched on the lights outside and opened the doors.. and what i saw quite took my breath away.. skipping not just one, but a series of heartbeats...
these blackies had come from the opposite wall that fenced an orchard!!!
karthik and conrad looked dumbfounded too... the three of us couldn't believe what we were seeing... there was absolutely no rhyme or reason for this kinda organised attack in the dead of the night... mine was one of the many row houses.. and all the other houses faced the orchard wall too. so, why was i being singled out? did they know i was living alone? in any case, what were they thinking?
K and C were flabbergasted.. and the small can of insect repellent they were carrying, looked like a joke...
The next bucket-load was emptied on the lone step that raised the house from the ground level... more ants washed away... We fill up bucket after bucketload of water and drown as many living black-masses as was possible... and spray the repellent in the general direction of any black(mass) activity...
The battle died down gradually as we broke down their ranks and waylaid them by pouring huge quantities of water all along the path they had so artistically crafted across the lane...
needless to say the house was uninhabitable... so, we drive to K's office at Ulsoor, quite close by, and spend time sipping coffee at their outdoor cafeteria and marvelling at the incident, 'a mid-night adventure' as they named it... till early morn. when we go back to the house.. the floor's dried in parts and the scene resembles the aftermath of a storm-hit city - death and destruction all around
K and C help me clean up the house and strut off to catch their well-deserved sleep... as for me, it took quite a few weeks to get over the almost-traumatic experience, and be able to laugh it off. and yeah, to be able to switch off the lights at night...
Monday, June 11, 2007
The elaborately carved crest of the Nandigram Temple, at Nandigram on the way to Skandagiri:
rains at a distance during the uphill climb... the setting sun's hidden by the downpour:
looking into a blanket of fog... and waiting for the sun to rise:
the sun god finally wakes up like a reluctant child... but there was none of the famed cloud formation. it was just like any other hilly morning and once the mist cleared, it got pretty hot pretty quick:
p.s: all the pictures above were taken by GL's friends, and have been posted here with their collective permission.
trip sheet: leave Bangalore very early in the morning... stop for breakfast...catch up with others as they join in.. visit Nandi hills... the winding uphill is good fun.. and very steep at places... though several auto-rickshaws make it without much fuss. pass through vineyards... stop at Nandigram to visit the beautiful temple... tea break... arrive at the papagni math(pronounced "mutt") late noon... park bikes... there's a temple too... drinking water is available outside the math and the temple... walk up for what seems like hours :(... dead tiring, esp for GL... the hilltop resembles a park.. with people littered everywhere... too tired to help collect wood... eat... talk... prepare to zonk off... and then the pelting starts.. ambushed by huge drops of rain ... rush to the temple... surprisingly, there's no floor to the temple.. it's just soil/earth there... rain gains momentum and falls in sleets outside... and the winds howl.. at 4am, the wind is still bad... very chill... run out of water... wait for daybreak.. hope to see those clouds we saw in the pictures on the internet. no such thing... just the normal mist and fog and wind and stuff... begins to get hot after daybreak... down in a jiffy.. breakfast outside papagni math - sandwiches and banana.. quick trip to the temple.. and homeward bound.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
It's a different culture altogether, everybody greets everybody else with a "Jai Mata di"... it's infectious and a perfectly normal thing to do.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The Eiffel Tower is GL's personal favourite since it( or rather the handful of engineers who loved her the way the rest of the world does today) thumbed its nose at Hitler, the half-wit.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Broken bones now fixed, this 6-month old is busy taking lessons in flying and hunting, from its peers in the Shelter.*PFA: People for Animals, an NGO for wildlife conservation.
* GL had to blackmail Sri into letting her post this picture.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
It's a happy morning and GL's chirpier than the pot-bellied, raccous birds on the pomegranate tree outside. "It's time for a bath.. tra la la" hums GL. "Gonna switch off the immersion coil.. tra la la" ( immersion rod: thats how GL heats water...) Switches it off. "... leave it on the newspaper stack... tra la la"... A hesitant finger feels the water... the weather's chill and the
water's nice and hot... GL's pleased... "tra la la..."
... GL's still humming to herself when warm drafts of air sneak in through the lower gap of the bathroom door and flood her feet in a mock embrace. "Something's not right...tra la la". Takes a peek outside the bathroom... And the sight takes GL's breath away... the stack of newspapers (on which GL had left the heating rod) is aflame in a riot of blue, red, orange and yellow. GL has turned the wrong switch off. The one housing the heating rod is still switched on!!!
A bunch of December elves celebrate the warmth in gay abandon around the bonfire. GL ignores them... and jumps into action... switches off the right switch this time around... and dumps an entire bucketload of water on the bonfire.
The elves sulk. The newspapers calm down without a whimper. The red-blue coil hisses with all its might. And GL readies herself with a second bucket of water. The coil-fire monster doesn't have in it to erupt again.
GL calms down too. The corridor's a mess. Flooded with water, burnt shreds of black float on water and in the air. The rescued stack sits wet and heavy against the wall, looking as shaken as GL. An acrid smell has filled the house. As GL turns to throw the windows open, the elves take a bow and do a disappearing act... not before they sing in unison... "tra la laaaa"
Thursday, February 22, 2007
HD's way too sensitive at times. Whoever said women were difficult to understand!
HD: an imaginary and good-for-nothing guy GL lives with.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Colleagues are all laughing and chatting and flocked at another colleague's computer. GL joins in.
a colleague: hey, see this pic GL and tell us what you think?
GL sees a picture of a beautiful girl on the colleague's monitor... and thinks it to be that of a new actress on scene.
GL(enthusiastically): Who's this squint-eyed lady?
Blaring silence. GL looks around. Everyone's glaring at her.The shy colleague was actually showing off his good-looking fiancee!
GL and TL are discussing the PM. GL's chat window has closed. GL continues writing back to TL, in a new window.
GL(as she writes): yes TL, I agree with you that unfortunately our PM has all those shortcomings. How sad for us!
Clicks on send. Waits for an answer. No answer. Checks archives.
GL's sent the message to the PM... TL's avoiding GL ever since.
GL's best-friend and his gf come visiting GL.
GL(a 1000watts smile on): Hey guys, how have you been?
friend: good... and you?
friend's gf: We were passing by here and thought of catching up with you. You know how he keeps gushing about you.
GL(to her friend): Didn't you get me any flowers today?
An embarassing silence... friend's gf's giving friend the nastiest accusatory look... friend's looking at GL with utter frustration... and GL doesn't know where to look... wants to disappear somehow.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
particle(with equal fervour): whatever it takes.
"Mummieeeeee..." sniffs GL as she splashes water into her eyes yet again... but the particle that has gone into her right eye just refuses to budge... and hurts her eye with more vengeance than before... and GL doesn't give up. Not yet. After all, it's a mere particle... a speck of dust. And she, a thinking, reasoning human being. And what's more, its HER eye!
Its 6pm and GL's been struggling from the past half an hour to get this thing out of her eye.
Unfortunately it has lodged itself right in the centre of her upper right eyelid. The eye had begun swelling and turning tulip red. Endless drops of an eye-cleaning solution had irritated the eye beyond GL's endurance ( GL's strong, you know.. and not afraid of being hurt )
Minutes drag by... GL still thinks some eyedrops and a good sleep will definitely nudge the particle out by morning... GL tries to ignore the throbbing pain. The eye's turned beet red. And half it's usual size.
particle(sneers): Ignoring me, huh?
GL(sneers back): And why shouldn't I?
particle: Cos I can hurt you... and hurt you real bad.
GL: Huh.. really?
particle: Look what I have done to you already.
GL looks away, wishing the tear brimming in her good eye doesn't spill. Not now.
particle(in a kinder tone): Call for help, GL. Arrogance doesn't help.
It's 11pm. GL calls for help.
At the hospital, syringe-loads of saline has only forced the particle to wedge deeper into GL's eyelid from the inside. Tears stream down GL's good eye. A visibly distraught Rj asks for an eye-specialist only to be turned down. None were available at that hour. Rj makes umpteen calls to locate an eye-hospital that could be open. And finds one.
particle: Hey GL, I am real sorry. Didn't mean to see you in this state...
particle: Hey GL, say something...
particle: come on... please say something.
Meanwhile, GL has made her way to the nearest mirror. The white-of-the-eye has gone so red that GL can hardly locate her eyeball! GL's eye is a mere swollen slit, not more than two red centimeters, when open, and a fat frog's eye when closed.
The doc on duty suggests an eye-patch. Rj suggests an eye-doc. GL can't stand the thought of anything touching her already sore-with-pain eye...settles for an eye-patch.
plop... plop...Two drops of Ciplox plop into GL's eye... a white eye-gauge reeking of hospital-smells is placed on the hopeless eye... and bandaged firmly with two parallel bands...
Ciplox does the needful... GL has stopped whining and Rj is relieved. The ride back home is peaceful. Rj steers clear of all potholes, and GL is sorry for him... On a normal day, GL and Rj go bumping full speed into every single pothole.
Back home, GL gingerly gets into bed, and HD (the imaginary and good-for-nothing guy in GL's life) is at her elbow again.
HD: so hows the feeling, GL?
An impromptu tear rolls down GL's eye as she looks sullenly at HD. How could he be so mean!
HD: Hey come on... I meant how do you feel NOW that your eye is not hurting the way it hurt before?
GL(wipes her good eye): Feels better. But I look so scary... even to myself!
HD: huh... of course not, GL. You look pretty, you know... like a pretty young thing....
GL: a pretty young thing?
HD(takes a good look): ... umm...like a pirate...you know... a pretty pirate.
GL(finds it so funny): hahahaa.. lemme see.
Bounds out of bed and is facing the mirror in record time... ( women and mirrors are separate-me-not's )
The patch doesn't look all that bad anymore.. the pain's forgotten... the ordeal seems like a thing of the past... and GL's grinning from ear to ear... at being called "a pretty pirate"!
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The Tibetan monastery at Bylekuppe... there's a Tibetan settlement and a monastery at this place, their trademark prayer flags and generous use of gold in their paintings and all. The monastery is a riot of colours - beautiful and exquisite.
Inside one of the buildings in the monastery:
Steps leading up the Brahmagiri, beside Tala Cauvery. Tala Cauvery is where river Cauvery originates. Climbing up these many stairs rewards one with a beautiful view of the mountain ranges beyond.
Picture-perfect Abbey Falls. This was another beautiful place.
What made the trip to Coorg very special was the first( n probably the last) and biggest all-girls' trip that spanned for three days, and all the coorgi people i have known all my life - our neighbours in jhansi, my hockey coach at school whose place we stayed at for a while in Virajpet, long long ago of course, school friends. The river Cauvery, highly revered in Karnataka and a major source of water, originates here at Talacauvery.
The Omkareshwar Temple with a stepped well and huge fishes, the Fort and museum, Raja’s Seat(a View Point with a toy-train that will let you ride it for as much as you like), Abbey falls, Bhagamandala, Talacauvery, Bramhagiri, Iruppu Falls, Nisargadhama, the Tibetan settlement and Temple at Bylukuppe were the few places we visited during our lovely home-stay there.