29 June, 2006


mere andhere raaton ko ek ujaale savere ka,
mere tanha raahoon ko ek humsafar ka,
meri sooni zindagi ko ek saathi ka...
hain Interzar ek aise mehman ka
jo mere saason ki mehek mein ghul jaanyen
aur mere dil mein samaa jaayen...

doondha hain aapko kabi haaton ki lakeeron mein
doondha hain aapko kabi sitaron ki nazm mein
najaane hain aap kis dayaar-e-gair mein
kabhi to aane ki iizaa kijiye hamaarein khwaabon mein

nazaren jhukaaken chalte hain
sharmo hayaan se nahin
inmen aap ki tasveer hain
duniyavaalon se baachaake chalte hain!

Apne paraayen
rootha to apnon se karte hain
aap to gair bhi nahin.
Shiqayat kaise karen?
aap is ke qabil bhi nahin!

Hum se na poochon ki ishq mein kaise fanaah hue ,
hum to woh bad akhtar hain jo saahil pe gharq hue.

23 June, 2006

Bike trip to Manchanbele, Hutridurga and Big Banyan tree

After debating for nearly two months we finally decided on going to Hutridurga on the 18th of June 2006. Darshan’s carefully planned itinerary also included Manchanbele dam, T.G. Halli and Big Banyan tree. Our group consisted of Darshan, Uma, Arul, Varsha, Vinay and myself. Jasmita and Sumanth who were supposed to join us, dropped out the previous day on the excuse of having to be the “good hosts” to their guest. What a convenient excuse!

I was to ride pillion on Vinay’s bike from CBI Main road R.T.Nagar. We decided to meet at 5:55 AM at the pre-decided meeting point. The others would meet at a convenient place in Sanjaynagar and then would meet us at R.T.Nagar. Vinay called me at about 5:55 AM to inform that his mobike had a puncture. I called up the others and informed them that we would be late. However they decided to reach R.T.Nagar and wait for us. The hours slowly ticked by and Uma called me at about half past seven to inform that the tyre was finally fixed. I reached New Shanti Sagar R.T.Nagar at about 7:50 AM and Vinay had not yet returned from the repair shop with his bike. Meanwhile I met Darshan’s friends Bhanu and Vijay who would also be joining us.

Finally Vinay met us at about 7:55 AM and after a hurried breakfast we were all set to go!

After Vinay’s bike developed a puncture the others didn’t want to take a chance and so the boyz decided to get their vehicles checked! We stopped over at the Shell petrol bunk. Darshan got the tyres checked.

Here we decided on the route that we would take to reach our final destination. Darshan gave the directions to Bhanu and Vijay and they went their own way while we patiently waited outside.

We then whizzed past Sri Gandhada kaavalu, bidarahalli and reached the outskirts of Bangalore. Here we decided to wait for Bhanu and Vijay who had gone their separate way after the brief stop at Shell petrol bunk.

After riding on the good tar roads for a few kilometers, we began to ride on tar roads that were filled with pot holes. Vinay’s dexterity at maneuvering the vehicle around these pot holes is commendable. Varsha and Arul were closely following us. We had lost contact with the others as the mobile network wasn’t strong to transmit the signals. Fearing that we might be separated from the group, we took breaks at regular intervals and waited for the others. I would occasionally turn around and look out for the others. When I couldn’t sight them, I would signal Vinay to ride slowly and let the others catch up with us. Darshan and Uma were listening to music on Darshan’s mobile and singing along. I however strongly condemn this act, as listening to music could be quite distracting at times. Not many people would agree with me, I’m sure! But it is always better to be safe than sorry!

With no direction boards to guide us, we had to depend on the passersby to help us. The villagers were more than glad to direct us. This is such a contrast to the experience I had in London. It had rained heavily on a particular day in 2004 and the tube stations were closed as they were filled with water. I was forced to ride a bus to Wembley park and the driver stopped the bus in an unfamiliar neighborhood and asked to get off the bus as he wouldn’t go any further. I requested a few people to give me directions to the nearest bus stop. Some just shrugged their shoulders and walked away while a few didn’t even bother to do that!

We were by now riding on mud roads and the ride was bumpy. But it didn’t bother us much as we were excited to reach Manchanbele dam at the earliest. After riding for a few minutes we noticed that Darshan and Uma weren’t following us. We waited for them to join us and were surprised to see Uma riding with Bhanu. They inform us that Darshan’s bike was low on air and it might have developed a puncture and Vijay had offered to stay back with Darshan to fix it! NO! NOT AGAIN!!!! We didn’t need another trouble with the bike to delay us now... Since they had assured that they would join us at the Manchanbele dam, and also because there wasn’t anything much that we could do, we proceeded towards the dam without the two of them.

Darshan and Vijay meanwhile pushed the bike to a nearby repair shop in a village and got it fixed. It was then that they realised that the man who checked the air in Darshan's mobike tyres at the petrol bunk had released some from them :)

We enquired for the directions to Manchanbele at a few villages and then took one of the most rugged mud roads we had been on until that time. However, it didn’t seem like we were headed in the right direction as we couldn’t see water anywhere. Just when I was beginning to look around for some of the locals to enquire the direction, we saw a couple of bikers headed in the same direction. This was an assurance that we were indeed on the right path as Manchanbele is quite popular with the bikers. A few hundred meters on the same road … and we had the first glimpse of the beautiful lake ahead.

It was 9:55 AM and there was no sign of Darshan and Vijay yet. We intended to go to the dam but found ourselves heading towards the lake instead. We decided to go near the water and see if we could cool off our heels for a while. We could wait for Darshan and Vijay there. We could only hope that they would take the same route that we had taken and not go towards the dam.

We continued along the same road and came to a place where we could park our bikes and play for a while. Just then one of the bikers came cycling from the opposite direction shouting to his fellow bikers that there was a better view point up ahead. Vinay dropped me off there and went ahead to check if he could find a better place. Uma, Arul and Varsha also waited there for Vinay to return while Bhanu parked his bike. After a few minutes Vinay returned and informed that he couldn’t find a better place ahead. So we parked our bikes and went closer to the water.

We had plum cakes and biscuits.By then Vijay and Darshan joined us. The boys played cricket for a while we girls enjoyed the beautiful view.

The serene water in front of us, the greenery around us and the cool breeze was worth the bumpy ride. Savandurga hill at the back drop made it more scenic.

Though we would all have gladly stayed there the whole day and enjoyed every minute of the stay, we decided it was time to move on. We still had to visit Hutridurga, T.G.Halli and Big banyan tree. Since it was already 11 O Clock we realized we had to drop one place from the itinerary. Some suggested that we drop big banyan tree, but Uma and myself were keen to go there. As we had heard that there was only restricted entry at T.G.Halli, we were not sure if it would be worth the visit. So we decided to visit T.G.Halli only if time permitted.

We then started towards Hutridurga. We had to again rely on the locals to give us the directions. We were advised to reach Tavarekere and enquire for further directions. The road was uneven and filled with pot holes. At few places there were just pot holes and no road. We had to move in single file.

But the thick trees on both the sides and a few rocky hillocks were quite refreshing and we didn’t mind the bad condition of the road.

We then took the road towards Savandurga. I had climbed Savandurga a few years ago with my colleagues. It was a tiring but an amazing experience. After a strenuous climb of four hours, we had reached the peak. I would love to climb it again.

Since we had to cover quite a few places on a single day, we decided to climb Hutridurga which was a smaller hill as compared to Savandurga. I had heard it was also an easy climb to the top.

Probably for the second time during the entire journey, we were following third. Bhanu and Vijay were leading on the first bike; Arul and Varsha were closely following them. I and Vinay followed them at a safe distance and Darshan and Uma were following us. While we were marveling at the gigantic rock to our right, we saw Arul and Varsha falling off their bike.

A snake had appeared out of nowhere and crossed the road. Bhanu in an attempt to protect it had braked suddenly. Since Arul was closely following him, he too braked to prevent a collision with Bhanu’s bike. But they lost control and fell off the bike. Varsha escaped with a slight bruise on her palm but Arul had a sprain in his right arm.

Fortunately we were wearing our helmets and Arul was riding quite slowly. After resting for a while we were on our bikes again riding towards Hutridurga. Arul decided to ride pillion with Bhanu till the pain subsided and Varsha rode with Bhanu.

21 June, 2006


Resorts seem to be the popular choice of the corporate world for a relaxing weekend. After eliminating Club Cabana, Logica’s FS-ILOB unit decided to go to ‘Talakadu -- Jaladhama’on 10th June 2006. A maxi cab and a Swaraj mazda were arranged to pick up the picnickers from two different locations in the city. Swaraj Mazda was to start from Technopolis and the maxi cab from Koramangala. I was to board the Swaraj Mazda at Doordarshan Kendra as early as 6:30 AM.

6:15 AM: Dad dropped me at the pickup point. I waited patiently for the cab.
6:30 AM: No sign of the cab. I tried calling the driver but the mobile was switched off. I then called Sriram and he asked me to wait for another few minutes as the driver could have been delayed.
6:45 AM: I began to worry that the driver might have forgotten. A few joggers gave me a quizzical look. Some of them were probably surprised to see me standing in a bus stop but not boarding any bus that stopped there. I began feeling uneasy when a couple of guys slowed down and one of them even whistled. I gave them a real bad stare and they jogged off. I then began walking up and down the foot path.
6:50AM: I got tired of waiting and called up Ajoy and Sriram trying to find out if they knew the whereabouts of the cab. They seemed to be unaware of it too.
7:16 AM: Rajesh called me to inform that he would go to Technopolis and find out if the cab had reached the office.
7:21AM: I called Rajesh to find out if he had reached the office and if the Cab had too. But he probably was driving and he didn’t receive the call.
7:30AM: Sriram called me to find out if the cab had picked me up. When I informed him, the cab wasn’t there yet, he said he would call up Ajoy and find out what could be done. I then called Ajoy and informed him that I would return home as it wasn’t feasible to board the cab from any of the other two locations. One was about 21Kms from my house and the other was about 16 Kms. Getting an auto at that wee hours in the morning was difficult. But Ajoy insisted that I should try and make it to one of the pickup points.
7:33AM: Rajesh called me and informed that the cab had reached Technopolis and the driver had forgotten to pick me. I was now really furious and I asked the driver if it was possible to pick me from any other point. He informed me that he couldn’t.
7:38 AM: Sriram called me and asked if it was possible to reach some place that would be convenient for the maxi cab driver to pick me up from. The only place I could get an auto to was Shivajinagar. Sriram suggested that I take one auto to Shivajinagar and then another one to M.G.Road and try and meet them there. I finally took an auto to M.G.Road and since the streets were literally empty, it being a Saturday, I reached M.G.Road in just a few minutes.
7:51AM: I boarded the cab I was finally on the way to Talakadu!

The only familiar people were Ajoy, Sriram, Noreen and her son Jaden. I hadn’t seen the other people in the office. Since Sriram and Ajoy had updated everybody how the driver had forgotten to pick me, most of them empathized with me. There was a pretty girl sitting beside a window and she seemed to be genuinely concerned. She told me to give the driver a piece of my mind when I met him at the resort. Then another man sitting beside her introduced himself as Srinath and the pretty girl as his wife Sneha. There were three other guys I still didn’t know. We took the fly-over near Town hall and reached BEML. Here Sundaresan and his son Aravindakshan boarded our cab. Then we waited for the other cab. When the other cab finally arrived, we realized that there were two other people who hadn’t been picked up yet. Few guys in our cab took this opportunity to get the crate with beer cans that was in the other cab. We continued our journey towards Thalakadu and the other cab took a U-turn and went back towards Vijayanagar to pick up the two guys.

We began talking and I slowly got to know the other guys in the cab. One was Karthik and the other was Suraj. I still didn’t know the name of the third guy. Sneha seemed to know them all and it didn’t take me long to understand that they were all staying together in Finland for a few months.

We crossed BEML factory, Raja Rajeshwari nagar, Bidadi and Wonderla. A reckless station-wagon driver tried to overtake our vehicle from the wrong side. The driver of our cab got irritated and he tried to block the road and prevent the driver of the station-wagon from over taking us. I am almost certain that the driver of the station wagon was a North Indian. His features were Aryan. He managed to overtake few other vehicles and sped past us.

A few meters beyond Rajarajeshwari hospital, we were held up in a traffic jam. One side of the road was blocked probably for repair work and the vehicles had to ply on just one lane. Some thoughtless drivers had blocked the path of the oncoming vehicles and there was absolutely no way that vehicles on either side could move. Ajoy by then spotted the station wagon that had over taken us a few minutes ago. The driver had not only blocked the road by his senseless driving but was also beckoning to his friends to move further up the road. Sneha put her had out of the window and started waving to the other vehicles that had piled up behind our cab and informing the drivers not to overtake us. Fortunately the drivers listened to Sneha and they didn’t try to drive past us.

We passed Tavarekere [pond of lotus] on the way. Like the name suggests, it is a pond covered with lotus. I could only spot the white lotus. I am not sure if there were any, of other color. We wanted to stop by at Maddur to eat the maddur vadas. But we decided to stop on the way back as we were getting late . The good tar roads gave way to the mud roads and towards the last bit of the journey; there were only pot holes and no roads. The driver did a commendable job at driving us into and out of the pot holes. The speed at which he drove the vehicle made me wonder why he wasn’t a professional Formula 1 racer?!