Friday, December 04, 2009

Gokarna, Idigunji, Murudeshwar and Kollur

It was a pretty long wait at the Jayanagar 4th Block pick-up point for theVRL Roadlines. The bus that I had booked to Gokarna was a sleeper cum sitting. I had opted for the sitting option being a little worried about the sleeping option. Gokarna had only bus option from Bangalore, no direct train, or else take a flight to Goa and head back to Gokarna via road, about a couple of hours I guess.

Gokarna is a sleepy little town in the coastal Karnataka but a famous place due to two things. Temple and beaches. The Shiva temple is considered to be very special due to the Jyothir lingam of Shiva. And the beaches are clean and isolated by rocks and hills.

More than 30 min of waiting and couple of frowns from Janaki, we were inside the bus. The intensity of frowns got stronger when we realised that the sleeping option was better as it looked more spacious and comfortable. I somehow 'tried' justifying my choice of sitting option and left Jayanagar by around 8.30 pm. When it left Bangalore it was almost past 10 pm.

It was around 9.30 next morning when we finally reached the little town. Got down and was picked up by the vehicle of Om beach Resort where I had booked for the stay. I had been to Gokarna about 6-7 years back and had known that there were few hotels. This time I wanted to have more beaches also along with the divinity in the trip, and so Om beach resort was chosen.

Little did I know that the 'beach' term in that name was a misnomer. The Om beach was pretty far, around 4kms from the resort. I had got a hint from the website I had visited so not very disappointing. Resort was pretty good, and had to hurry for breakfast as it was about to close by 10am. Food was good and had a quick nap after food. At around 4 pm we visited the Om beach. The resort had a drop and pick-up facility to the beach for the guests. It was drizzling and later the shower was strong.

There are about 5 beaches in Gokarna. Kudle, Om, Paradise, Town, and Long beach. All these are separated by hillocks. These beaches are frequented by foreigners who come to camp in here. There are several cafes (don’t have high expectations, it’s too far from Cafe Coffee Day and stuff like that. These are simple coconut-leaf roofed, semi-brick buildings where they offer basic food and shelter).

We strolled along the beach which was almost deserted. The sea was calm and I took bath and we both meditated for a while on the rocks. It was so nice, that the mind automatically comes to the present moment and no thoughts disturb you.

By around 6.30 pm we headed back to resort in the same vehicle of resort (again, don’t have high expectation, it is not a limo that comes but a cranky Mahindra jeep which probably was the first one from Mahindra.) A quick shower and we planned to go to the temple. The auto-rickshaws charge a bomb there. For a 2 km trip they charge around Rs. 50!! With no option left we opted for an auto to the temple for Rs. 100 for round trip + waiting.

Incidentally it was Maha-Pradosham or Sani-Pradosham which was considered to be very auspicious to visit Shiva temple. There was no much rush, and as soon as we reached a priest (there are many sub/assistant/deputy priests) came to us and started taking inside the temple as if we had asked him to be there. I ignored him as I knew that there are such people who come uninvited and make us do all sorts of so called pujas and finally give us a bill which has many zeros in it. To avoid that I told, in the Kannada I knew, that we are fine alone. We made some donations to the temple, and took a ticket for a small puja which we could do alone. Some other priest came and made us do the puja, and it was nice as there was less crowd and we could touch the Shiva linga, which is one speciality of this place, that we can do the puja on our own. Back to auto, and back to resort for dinner and hit the bed.

We had booked a cab to Kollur. Since there were a couple of temples Idagunji and Murudeshwar on the way, we visited them too. Idagunji is an old Ganapati temple about 4km away from the highway. Murudeshwar is a beach temple town, much like Gokarna. Its is more famous for the World's largest Shiva statue. The temple is on a beach and has a resort like feeling in the temple premises. There are beaches on both sides where water sports are in full swing.
We had a quick lunch and then hopped in to head towards Kollur, and reached Kollur by around 2.30 pm.

This was the first leg of the 2 weeks trip that we had during the 2nd week of November. Watch this space for more.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Long Time!!

Woooh!! 5 months! Its been long time since I posted anything.

  • Films release and flop or become hit in 5 months.
  • Countries go on war, and return to peace in 5 months.
  • People jump multiple jobs in 5 months.
  • Mosquitoes take birth, die and again take birth (may be as a mosquito again or not, not sure) in 5 months. (FYI: The average life span of a female mosquito is 3 to 100 days; the male lives 10 to 20 days.)
  • Marriages are made and broken in 5 months.
  • Companies are born and go broke in 5 months.

But still here I am, not writing anything for 5 months. Don't know why, but I get this strange feeling of wanting a very private and thought free space to have my creative juices flowing in the brain. This is very bad because as you can see, I end up doing nothing. So may be I will jot down something at least every week.

I am not yet into tweeter, may be I should have a look at it. Anybody there who tried that? Any advice/warning??

(Btw, I am really surprised on how the celebrities mange to have a blog and write daily on that. Really surprising to me. Is it really written by them or somebody is writing for them? Not sure)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

BMTC Diaries: Burning sensation

These days I have reduced my frequency of travel in bus and rely on company transport. But I had and still keep having many experiences and thoughts on which I probably will write. I have this bad habit (one of the many I have) of postponing things with an intention of fine-tuning it a bit. This applies to my updating the blog also. So you may see very less updates of the blog. Somehow have to get over that. Any suggestions/tips/tricks?
Honk! I was woken up in my bus on the way to office. The bus was at a junction and I had dozed off peacefully after boarding as the bus was almost empty and I had got a comfortable seat. Cool and fresh Bangalore breeze had made me slip off into the ‘nirvana’ state soon.

This honk came from a car driver who, I think, wanted to move ahead without waiting for the signal to turn Green. I was looking around and it was a big junction on Residency road. There were about 10-12 two-wheelers, 4-5 cars, 3 buses, 4-5 auto-rickshaws at the junction. Some of them were honking impatiently as if those honking will make the signal change quickly. Two things stuck me.

All this impatience is of no use. You leave this signal at the speed of a rocket, just to reach the next signal first. You will reach the next signal to only greet all those slow starters from the previous signal who will slowly come and stand beside you in this signal or junction. So no point racing ahead when you see ‘Green’.

Second point was a bit statistical which will require some data backing to it. I could see around 25 vehicles at a signal to one-side, so around 75 still vehicles at any given point (25 x 3, assuming one signal is green and vehicles at that side is moving.) My wild guesstimate tells me there would be minimum 100 such signals in Bangalore. So total 100 x 75 = 7500 vehicles at a peak hour which are still but the engine are ‘On’.

Later on I did a simple calculation as below based on the following assumptions:
10 cars and 30 2-wheelers at a junction, including 3 roads.
100 junctions in Bangalore alone
10 hours per day when signal is active
Car gets a 12 km per liter and 2-wheeler gets 60 km.

Going by the above, an amount between 30 to 40 Lakhs PER DAY is burnt together by people in Bangalore waiting a signal. This is just the story of Bangalore. Assume there are 10 other cities in India with same 100 or more signals and above assumptions. A clean 3 to 4 Crores per day? And add other cities in India with tweaking the assumptions a bit. I am sure not less than 5 Crores PER DAY (around 1500 Crores PER YEAR) is spent at traffic signals by burning fuel. So imagine the savings if you just switch off the engine for 1 minute at a signal.

This thought was alarming to me. How much money & fuel (a non-renewable source of energy) can be saved by just a small twist of our hand. Amazing as well as alarming. I always used to switch off the engine of my car or bike at a junction due to selfish reason, to save my money. But now realizing the bigger picture, I urge each one of you to practice this to save Earth.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Believe it or not !!!

There are 2 types of people in this world. First, who knows about a particular thing. Second, who believes about the same thing.

Tune to Class VIII B. Teacher, who has a spiritual inclination, was taking a new chapter and at some point asked, “How many of you believe in God?” All, except this particular child, raised their hand.

Surprised at this the teacher asked this child, “Why? You don’t believe in God?” The child replies, “No. I know God. I don’t need to believe in God.” The child continues, “Ma’am, I don’t need to believe that you are standing in front of me. I know that you are in front of me.”

We believe in something which we don’t know, or which we are not sure of. We don’t believe in something that we know. I have to believe that there is Grand Canyon or Niagara falls because I have not seen them. (Of course I may be convinced that they are there, but then too there is some degree of uncertainty)

At the same time I do not need to believe that there is Taj Mahal, or that you, the reader, exist. I know that its there.

Another school of thought: Whether we believe in something or know something, things are there as they are. We believing it or knowing it does not change it anything. For our own comfort and convenience we either know it, believe it or disbelieve it. The fact does not change, it remains.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BMTC Diaries: Cool Conductors

It was yet another day when I hurriedly walked to the bus stop at around 6.30 am. I quickly checked my pockets to see if any change is there. Lucky, I have got some change for the tickets. Conductors are an integral part of the BMTC journey, and for any bus journey for that matter. And I think Bangalore is one place where you find a lot of feminine crowd also doing this job.
These conductors in BMTC are very smart. They adopt certain techniques to make more unaccounted moolah!

Technique 1
If you require a ticket for Rs. 3 or 4, and you give a denomination of coins 2 + 1 or 2 + 2, then they will try to strike a ‘deal’ with you if possible. They will return the 1 Re. coin or the 2 Rs. coin to you. The deal is that for a Rs. 3 or 4 tickets you need to pay only Rs.2 and no ticket. He will just return the ‘excess’ amount and walk away as if nothing has happened.

Now, its up to you to feel joyful about the deal that saved Rs. 1 or 2 for you, or worry on if any ticket inspector is on his way from the next stop. Either ways, Mr. Conductor is happy. He has got some (unaccounted) money, and assuming he does it with around 75-100 people per day, he has a decent ‘earning’. Also he is not responsible for people travelling without ticket.

Technique 2
In case you give a currency of 20 or 50 or 100 for a ticket of, say, Rs. 8, and unfortunately you don’t have change to exact amount. The gentleman conductor will scribble the balance in the reverse of the ticket (you get a ticket in case he doesn’t apply the Technique 1 above). Most of the cases he will do it even if he can pay the balance then and there. After all we cannot dig into his purse and check for the balance, right?

Now it is up to your presence of mind that you ask for the balance while you get down. If you missed it, you missed it, that’s it. I think the conductors adopt this because most often people forget (unless one is very much aware and vigilant about the balance that is due, unfortunately I am not one among that gang). So if a balance of 2 or 5 or 10 or whatever is due and you get down, and forget to ask for that, bus would have left by the time you recollect this. If a conductor manages to owe big amounts like this to about 30-40 people per day, and people like me travel in his bus, he can make around 200-300 bucks per day easily. Smart! Isn’t it?

Both these techniques are used widely by conductors, both male and female, and unless we customers are vigilant and smart, they will really take us for a ride in their gigantic bus. By the way, my bus has come and I am careful to hand over the exact change or get the balance promptly even though the conductor is a pretty lady. Oh no, the bus is moving, let me get in..

Monday, February 23, 2009



Thats how lord Shiva transforms the world, and tonight is Shivaratri.

The thought of transforming my blog was also there in my mind for quite some time. And the day could not get better than today, being Shivaratri.

Continuos transformation is required in every creation, to keep everything new, fresh and alive. Nature takes care of this aspect so beautifully, every leaf blossoms, ripens and then falls off to join the earth, and again it becomes a part of the plant.

So, we, as humans, should transform ourself to getting better. Good thought? :-)


Sunday, February 22, 2009

BMTC Diaries: Vroom…..

BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation), for those who are wondering what it is, is the government owned city & suburban bus service. Find more about BMTC in BMTC website, and in Wikipedia.

I am using the service of BMTC to commute to work. I have company transport, but since the timings are not convenient to me, I use BMTC to go to office and to return I use office transport. I’ve been using BMTC’s service for the past 3-4 years, except for about an year.

In this series I share my experiences in the daily BMTC travel that I do to office. The morning Bangalore, people, BMTC experiences, that I get during my 1 hour journey to office. The sequence of my travel is of 3 types; Bus-Bus-Bus-Walk (90% of times), Bus-Bus-Walk (8% of times), Bus-Walk (2%); which means, in the first case I have to change 3 buses and walk about a kilometer to my office, as my office is at the end of a business park, and so are the other types.

I set out at around 6 AM in the morning, or at times 6.30, or 7 to the nearby bus stop. I stay in Jayanagar 4-T Block (South Bangalore), and my office is in a place called Nagawara (North Bangalore), so has to cut-across the city.

The route: In the Bus-Bus-Bus-Walk scheme, I take my first bus to Jayanagar 4th Blcok, and from 4th Block another bus which pass through Jayanagar 3rd Block, Lalbagh gardens, Shanthi Nagar BMTC Bus Stand, Residency Road, M.G Road and reach Shivaji Nagar. From Shivaji Nagar I take another bus which goes to Yelahanka, which pass through Cunningham road, Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station, Tannery Road, and finally Nagawara. The entire trip takes about 1 hour in the morning hours before 8.

During the first few days of my travel, I used to go to the bus stop, carrying my bag, somewhat neatly dressed. There used to be very few people at the bus-stop, like some flower or vegetable sellers, a few students who are going for their early morning tuitions and very few early office goers like me. Initial days, I used to get these who-is-this-guy kind of looks from the vendors, and a few other people since they used to see office goers only little late.

More any my daily experiences are on the way. Do let me know what you feel on this article.


Thursday, February 19, 2009


A man was walking hurriedly along the road with a bag when his friend saw him. His friend asked him, "Hello, you look to be in a hurry. Where are you going?".

He replied, "Yes, I am in a hurry. My wife is kidnapped. This bag is full of money to pay to the kidnappers as ransom."

His friend said sadly, "Oh! Thats too bad. You go fast and get your wife back."

The man said, walking away, "No, that's not the case. The kidnappers have threatened that if I don't pay the ransom they will release mywife."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ram Sena, Shiv Sena and finally Vanara Sena

"Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya
Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha,
Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya
Tadatmanam Srijami Aham'.
- Bhagavad Gita (Chapter IV-7)

"Whenever there is decay
of righteousness O! Bharatha
And a rise of unrighteousness
then I manifest Myself!"

These are the days when many senas are formed for restoring the dharma in the world (India, to be precise as per the Sena’s jurisdiction). They decide who should do what. They will tell who all should go to pubs, restaurants, what people should wear, who all should celebrate which all festivals and the list goes on.

They have proved their mettle in Mumbai, and especially their presence during the Mumbai attacks their presence was greatly felt as they were in the forefront in rescue operations. They, who were against people who were not Maharashtrians, did not oppose or make noise when non- Maharashtrians were trying to rescue the Maharashtrians caught in the hotels. Those things are okay for them.

Another set of Sena is trying to gain popularity by attacking women in South India and thereby creating a replica of the North India Sena here. Claiming that the women were breaking or violating the Indian Culture laws laid down by the Sena, they beat the women. Yes, beating up women was not there in the Indian Culture laws given to them by their leaders. Poor guys, they don’t know what they are doing.

They are a bunch of people who are totally confused. They do not know what they want and where they are heading. They think by forcing people do a few things which they think are right, they can restore the Indian culture. Poor them! I feel pity.

They think they preserve Indian culture and traditions by stopping people from celebrating a few occasions like Valentine’s Day. These small, petty issues clearly shows how small-minded and narrow is their vision.

India has a tradition of honoring and valuing all other cultures and traditions. If at all those Sainiks feel Indian culture, traditions and heritage is collapsing, they should have come up with some valid reasons. Even I feel the same, but it cannot be and should not be restored by the means the Sainiks adopt. There are several other reasons and ways in which it can be done.

Among the leaders of these, so called, Sainiks, I am sure many of them would be using technology gadgets, dress and many other things made in western countries. I also doubt how much they themselves are following Indian traditions and values. I am sure most of them will not be, whether it is family values, religious traditions or societal commitments. It’s just the political and personal interests that they do all these halla-bulla.

I feel a few of the questions they should ask themselves are:
Are they, their family and relatives following the Indian family & traditional values, in terms of festivals, dress etc.
Are they promoting Indian products and brands rather than foreign products? I am sure they will be using many of the foreign brands and products right from the toothpaste that they use to the cars they use.
One major Indian value is non-violence. Are they practicing it? One single man, with this single principle has given freedom to an entire country. And that principle is still valid today. Arguments like ‘non-violence is not relevant today’ are baseless.

If they are able to justify all these then there is some sense in those Sena’s existing. Or they are a waste, to the society, nation and for themselves.

By the way, an amusing point to note:
Shiv Sena: Lord Shiva’s Sena, or army, consisted of bhuta-ganas (demons) who were headed by Lord Ganapati.
Ram Sena: Lord Rama’s Sena was full of Vanaras or Monkeys.

True, these senas are now trying to live up to their name.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

From 1990 to 2010

I found this very amusing picture in the net. Very truly reflects what has changed over the past two decades.

I have not been posting for sometime, don't know why. Lack of topics, events, ?? Naaaah! But somehow I get this love-hate syndrome with the internet. Sometimes I fall deeply in love with the internet, other times I may not even come online for weeks. Anyways I have something in my mind that will come up in this space, and hopefully continously.