Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tagore Hostel Meet - 2006 August

Once again, things happen without much planning. But we – hostlers of Tagore Hostel, Devagiri had a wonderful gathering once more. One year back we had our first gathering, and that get together was also not planned in advance.

Initial Get together of Tagore1999, Read here ==> Tagore Re-Union

We decided on the location of the gathering, just one day before the get together date, which was August 29, 2006. First we thought of making it short and visit Nandi hills in the evening. Abhilash, our dear Mayor came up with the idea of visiting Century homes situated at Denkinikotta, near Hosur in Tamil Nadu. Mayor has an uncle who owns a plot there and has a very good house. Mayor managed to get the key from his uncle. Without any doubt, everybody agreed the location and decided to start towards Denkinikotta by 3.

We, eight peoples gathered together at Forum mall in Koramangala after lunch. That includes Abhilash – our dear Mayor – Landlord in Kerala, Anoop – the dangerous Anoop - working in TCS, Sajith – our dear Kuttan – working in CTS, Binoy – our dear Usman – HR Manager - Infosys, Paul – our dear vayassan – working in FATICO-FAST, Sumod – our dear perappan – doing Post Graduate degree in Bio Technology, Bijoy – our dear Ganguly – was working in Met life and now a SAP consultant and at last me.

We started towards Hosur by 4:00 pm in two bikes and one car. In between we had stops for tea and snacks, and stopped at some good locations with good sceneries for taking snaps.

We reach Century homes by evening just after Sunset, the exotic location welcomed us with the awesome twilight, stars in the red-pink sky, moon just about to set. Above all this while we where having rest at the front of the house we sighted a shooting star, and we came up with strange funny wishes.

We started talking about all those old days where we had fun in Tagore hostel. We felt nostalgic about our stay at Tagore hostel. We felt just as if we were back in Tagore hostel. We discussed each and every funny thing that happened in Tagore during our stay there in the hostel. “Elachan”, “Pankan Chettan” and many new terminologies were discovered. (This secret is only revealed to the Tagorians.) We had a “namramukhi” who served tea for us, the snaps says who. We keep on talking till 12:00 am or 1:00 am, and slept.

Next day (Sunday 27th August 2005) we got up early in the morning to watch the sun rise. The sun rise was extremely beautiful, we took lot of snaps, and it was difficult to say whether the snaps were of sunset or sunrise. We then had coffee and went for a walk through the plantation. We enjoyed the beauty of the plantations and the pleasant warm sun rays in the chilling breeze in the morning and so on. We had our breakfast at around 9:00 am, and then went out of the Golden valley, for filling fuel for our vehicles.

We rode through the roads with big trees and nice landscape at either side for some time and took snaps of interesting locations. Later we came back to the Golden valley. There was a small river inside the plantations and a play park beside, we spent some time there and came back to the house. We started packing everything and left the house by 1:00 pm, had our lunch, spent some more time around and left towards Bangalore.

We went directly to Usman’s house copied the photos from the camera and shared it between us and had the evening coffee. Nithin, who missed the trip due to some busy work, joined us from there. We all went to St. Thomas Church in Koramangala, to attend the Holy Mass in Malayalam at 5:30. After the Holy Mass we had our dinner at MAS restaurant – Madiwala. As the final event of our get together, we performed the together, the traditional ritual of Tagore hostlers, which is again a secret kept between us and we parted towards our home.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Small things are beautiful

The picture was taken during my last visit to my home town – Payyampally. It was heavily raining through out for one week and rivers where flooding. In this year’s monsoon, it is the third time we getting heavy rain and flood. I love monsoon, especially the heavily raining days, and this picture perfectly reminds me about such days I enjoyed in my life. On that day, the rain stopped for a while in the afternoon, and sun shined for two or three minutes. But it was the starting of another heavy rain for hours. The sky remained heavily clouded – like about to rain just after that – which is a usual phenomenon during the monsoon. Water drops were hanging from leaves of all plants and trees. The above picture is of a drop of water, yet to fall from the leave of the tree which many people call – ‘Devadaru’. Actually, the tree is not that one and has got some other name. The real Devadaru which also appears in the Hindu epics is a completely different shaped tree.

Monsoon of Kerala is a royal one which every Keralites would have experienced at least once in their life time. Those who are staying away from Kerala will love to come back to Kerala and experience it again, even though Keralites curse the heavy rain during the monsoon, since people will almost not able to get out of their home. Now, after staying more than two years away from Kerala, I started loving the climate and atmosphere of Kerala too much. I always want to go back to my sweet home. I cannot say that this feeling is some kind of home sickness. It is more than that.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Memories of a Bangalore-Wayanad Car Ride

Most of the software engineers working in Bangalore got a long holiday weekend, starting from 12th August 2006 to 15th August 2006. It was very difficult to get bus tickets or train tickets towards Kerala from Bangalore since booking was filled in advance on account of the long holiday weekend.

We (Binoy & me) decided to go by Binoy’s car. We started from Bangalore early in the morning at 5:30 am on 12th August. Till Kerala-Karnataka border the climate was little bit cloudy with slight drizzling often. We reached Mysore within two and half hours, stopped in between one or two times for having breakfast as well as for taking some snaps. We reached Gundulpettu within another one and half hour, a three way Junction – one to Mysore, one to Ooty and the other road leads to Sulthan Bathery. The two sides of the road near by Gundulpettu were in red-rose color due to the blossom of “Jamanthi” flowers. (You can see them in the pictures above and below). The top of the mountains and hills in the distance were covered with clouds and was very beautiful to see in the cloudy climate. When we reached the Kerala border it started raining heavily, and driving became uneasy. Unlike the usual trips, we were not able to see any elephants or any other animals while we traveled through the forests. We reached our home by 12:30 pm.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tree Houses in Wayanad

Many of my friends in Bangalore have asked me about tree houses in Wayanad. Yes, there are tree houses in Wayanad for tourists. You can see them near Kuruvadweep and many other tourist locations in Wayanad. But the above picture of tree house is entirely different, the purpose, the way they are constructed etc. These kinds of tree houses are mainly used for guarding the crops from the attack of elephants, wild bores etc and some times guarding from human thieves. It is a very good experience to spend one night in one of these kinds of tree houses.

I remember, during my child hood days, to guard the pepper plantation from theft during the harvest season of pepper, we used to build such kinds of houses and stay in our plantation in these kinds of tree houses. We use to do the same during the time of harvest of coffee beans. Coffee beans need to be dried in sun for many days, before selling out to merchants. It is not feasible to spread the raw coffee beans on the ground or “KALAM” in Malayalam every day and wipe it together and store in the night. Once the beans are spread on the ground, it will be there for days, still it is dried. So we have to guard the beans from theft during nights and we use to build similar kind of tree huts near by the “KALAM”.

The sounds of crickets and other insects along with the sounds of unknown creatures, which we may have never noticed while we sleep in our home, make the experience unique. However hot the climate is, we won’t feel the heat during night, if we stay in these kinds of houses, which proves that our houses are not eco friendly, or good in controlling the climate.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wild bear crossing: Bathery-Mysore NH-212

We got this snap while driving from Payyampally (Wayanad) to Bangalore on Binoy’s Santro after the 4 day holiday along with Independence Day. It was heavily raining in Wayanad through out the four day holiday. You can see the water drops in the wind shield of the car; it was lightly drizzling when I took the photograph. I was supposed to drive the car since Binoy was not feeling well, but he agreed to drive till we cover the Muthanga forest from Sulthan Bathery, so that I can take photographs. We caught the wild bear crossing the road after covering around 10 to 15 kms from Muthanga sales tax check post. I was not ready with the camera, more over, I was confused whether to open the side glass or take the camera and make it ready first. So I missed a few seconds. In fear, the bear ran and disappeared into the nearby bush, when we reach near by, so we were not able to take a close up. This is the first time I am spotting a wild bear from this route. Elephants, wild boars, dears, monkeys and bisons are common. Very rarely tigers and leapords are also spotted here.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Arial View

The above picture was taken while I was traveling from Chennai to Kozhikode along with my mother on 1st of August 2006. The flight started at 1:30 from Chennai, took 45 minutes to reach Trichi, 30 minutes later we started to Kozhikode and reached there within another 45 minutes. For my mother, it was the first journey by flight and I made sure she got a window seat. We watched the landscape below, and noticed that the color of the earth changed gradually from mud red to green as we neared Kerala, and we noticed that the land below was completely green when we were about to land at Karipur airport. My mother commended on this that, the words “God’s Own Country” to decorate Kerala is truly matching with the State's landscape. While the flight was at Trichi airport, with the permission of the crew captain, I entered the cockpit of the aircraft for the first time in my life. I just watched the various controls over there, and I was excited to see everything in front of my eye which I saw only in movies before that, when the captain described how things work. My brother Babu came to pick us from the airport and we traveled to Wayanad. After a long one week stay at Chennai's hot climate, when my mother reached back home Wayanad, she was feeling pretty relaxed.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sunrise at Sullurpetta

I took this picture while I was traveling from Sullurpetta to Chennai in a local train. The train left Sullurpetta towards Madras at 5:45am. The train goes through the eastern cost of India, covering the costal area of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. We enjoyed the cool breeze of the dawn and watched the sunrise. Almost 90% of the east side of the railway line towards Madras is covered with paddy fields, or lagoons or palm trees. On the other side we were able to see a row of Blue Mountains. Most of the people who got into the train from Sullurpetta and the intermediate stations towards Chennai were having fish, or vegetables or fruits which are to be sold in Chennai. A major difference between the people living in the Eastern and Western cost of India that I noticed is that, people in the Eastern cost starts their life much earlier in the morning; may be an hour before on average; than the other. One reason may be that, the sun rise at the Easter cost happens earlier than the Western side even though there is no time difference between both cost.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Arecanut Twins

Twins are not only in zoological world, but in the botanical domain also. Here is a picture of arecanut twins. I took this picture from my land at Payyampally. Usually one tree grows from a single arecanut. But here, two stems came out of the same arecanut and now both growing together. Look at the similarity between the two arecanut trees. The rings as well as the spacing between the rings, height, alignment to the ground, everything seems to be identical. Can we call these trees as identical twins? Similar kinds of wonders are always there in the botanical world. I remember, seeing a picture of a coconut tree with 12 branches! I got it as a forward mail. The main branch diverted to 4 identical braches and each of the 4 branches diverted to 3 branches with head.

Friday, August 04, 2006

They can do anything

I took this photo around 10:15 am, 31st July 2006 while I was traveling from IIT Madras towards Madras Central Railway station. When I saw the red light on the top of the car, I thought that some Government officials may be traveling, and from my curiosity, looked further to see any name board which holds the Title of the officer. Then I found that, the registration number plate of the car is covered partially with a black cloth. The uncovered part of the number plate board revealed that it is a taxi-cab. (In India the taxis should have the register number written in black over yellow background). If you look at the photo closer, you can see that the man sitting in the back seat of the taxi cab wears a white cap, which resembles a Navy officer.

The taxicab with a red light over it and the number plate concealed with a black cloth build up doubts in my mind. First of all, why should the official use a taxi cab for official purpose? If the official wants to use a taxi cab, why should the red light put over the cab? Why should the number plate concealed? What law allows any citizen to ride a vehicle with the number plate concealed? If it is related with security, then why can’t they be more secure by removing the red light over the cab, so that nobody identifies them? Or do they want to do something fishy but don’t want the public to recognize the vehicle registration number and track it?

I am not neglecting the fact that the number plate may be covered because the number may have written fresh and to prevent dust sticking on the number plate, they may have covered it. Still, why is it covered partially?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fire near Bangalore University – Mysore Bangalore Highway

Around 4:30 while we where about to have a tea in the midst of busy work, we noticed huge volumes of fire popping up some where near by the Mysore – Bangalore Highway. We saw the scene through the window; we rushed to the roof top, where we have MindTree Cafeteria, to get a clear view of the incident. Not sure about what caused such huge volumes of fire coming up. We guessed something it may be from the Petrol pump, adjacent to the RTO office near the Bangalore University – Mysore Highway junction. The smoke lasted around half an hour, and started slowly subsiding. The smoke seems like some kind of petroleum products are getting burned.

Some More Images