Friday, January 27, 2006


The Calendar read 23-Jan-06. The electricty bill was supposed to be paid a week ago......or was it supposed to be paid this month..will they disconnect it immediately...aye...they will atleast intimate us before doing that...after all Electricity Board people are caring souls ....these were the thoughts running through my mind in the morning....and I shared these aloud with anil as we left for work that day.
The day passed uneventful...but the nastiest of a sea of light in our building...a lone spec of darkness...way up in the third floor......and the fact sunk home slowly...the electrician had pulled the plug..After cursing the EB, the electrician and the others responsible for this.....went out, had dinner and slept in someone else's place. As events set to unfold the next day would prove, this was just the beginning...
It was a pleasant morning the next day...and after running thru the morning's chores set out for the EB Office...rather i should say...EB tin shed...hidden away in a maze of wires, transformers and broken equipment. It was actually a miracle that the filing system and the people working there actually got some work done.
The tougher part..paying the bill and the fine..actually went of smoothly. A simpe query at the counter after that.."sir!!current disconnect pani irukkanga...Reconnect Panni kudunga"..
"OK Sir..aala anupparen..."...Panneer!!! dai Panneer..Panneer in Tamil stands for scented water...but names seldom bear resemblance to the person they represent. But for a change this guy was actually smelling of water...i mean "Thanni" in tamil. It was 10.00 in the morning and here was a man who was walking all over the place. Have to give it to him..if he had attempted a moon walk there, he would have done better than M.Jackson himself. The man was a total mess. He tells his supervisor that he was the one who pulled the plug the day before and comes and tells us that he doesnt remember the house...aiye?????...are we missing a point here...???
Anyways, we agreed to show him the way, asking him to follow us in his cycle...a beautifully rusted Raleigh cycle. he hauls his bag with a graceful swing of his whole body and places it in the carrier, holds a roll of wire in his left hand and after a lot of deliberation and shaking of hips puts his right hand through..all the way to the shoulder. The combat gear is on and we are all set to go.
The man kicks thrice on the stand..I guess he was aiming for the region where he thought the stand was.. the third kick hits home and the cycle lunges forward, taking the man with it..Hero holds on to it though...well things are not that bad after all..or is it a case of beginners luck????
He starts running with his cycle, hops on and after successfully avoiding a fall, manages to start pedalling....he still hasnt got the cycle going in a staight line though...he was all over the road..maybe was under the impression that he was aamir khan in Ghulam...But there was hope amidst all this despair...he had managed to get his direction right..and he was following the bike...
I was driving the bike with one eye on the road and another on the rear view mirror. It was a tough second he is on the right mirror the next he is on the left. Things had reached such a point that it was not annoying anymore...infact it was amusing to the core..we were laughin our assses out..2 minutes would have passed and we would have covered 100 meters ...and our hero starts waving from behind???
What is he trying to do....he cant balance the cycle with 2 hands..what is he upto...?? we decide to stop and investigate. and the cycle gently rolls in ...Technical problem the chain had snapped. and our hero was going to Fix it.....again LMAO....and to our surprise he does manage to fix it..seems like he is used to these sort of conditions. The journey resumes..
On a more sombre note, Anil reflects from Behind..." He has made drinking into an Art Form. The bugger would have been drinking all night and to avoid the hangover in the morning would have gone to the Bar and knocked himself out long chain of postponing the hangover....." Could never have come up with a better explanation for a drunkard at 10.00 in the morning.
The road we are on is a major thoroughfare and he is holding up traffic. Our attitude was "As long as he doesnt die and reaches the place well and good". On second thoughts how was he going to set the fuse back if he is like this...again..let him reach the place first and then we will see..
The road splits into 2 and we turn to the right. Our guy misses it and turns left. The left is a nice little curve and he takes it in style, Banking all the way to the left like race bike drivers....but from the rear view mirror i kind of felt that he was taking banking to the extreme and i was right...He crashes to the ground with the cycle on top of him. Surprise. The bugger was actually trying to stop and get down as the chain had snapped again...Unbelievable
we turn around to help him on his feet..suddenly realise, we are right in front of a Cafe Coffee day, a Hero Honda Show room and a posh gym. PPl had stopped doing their work and were staring at us.. Sure would have been a sight, A drunkard who fell off his cycle and 2 wannabe executives(if we can call ourselves that) talking to him..we slowly and tactfully distance ourselves. The guy collects his wits and cycle togethor and once again sets off...Still AAmir Khan...."Bugger stop doing that u r gonna kill urself..there are Govt buses behind u and they r worse off than your cycle"..Guess that piece of advice was never taken ...
We were nearing our house and this guy was still floating around. Luckily a few of his colleagues who seem to have decided to face the hangover earlier were nearby. They guide the bugger to the flat and show him the meter.
The meters were in a wooden covering. Our guy takes out his tools and begins looking for the meters, nothing meters...????.....of course not...the meter box is still locked. We open it for him and tell him..."Annay!!Meter 36 and 40"..and he says "Righto.." , takes out ihs tester and starts scratching the wall...the other elctrician was watching the fun and decided to take things into his hands, lest hte drunken bugger put his hand into some open fuse socket.
He reads the numbers and moves the switch in the meter from off to ON....What....????
i thought the fuse...removed..where how..u didnt remove it...??
nope i just switched the power off..i told ur neighbours too...u could have switched it back on and paid the bill in the morning.
F#$%..a night wasted...anyways thanks.... and we leave... me, Anil and the stable elec...
Our hero was totally forgotten..but he still wanted to be in the action..
"What Approm...?"
"appo 200 rupa kudu"
"What the !@#*$%^#$%$#%^#$&#$&#$&#%^&#%32#@@#%$%&^%$*^&)"

Friday, January 13, 2006

maa malakalkappuraththu ......marthaka...

The walk further up the hill was going to be a real tough ask. By the time the tail of the group clambered up to the mid way point the lead guys had had a good rest and before the rest could take a deep breath, the guys were off again...and giving them competition were a set of Kannadigas singing some song, i think from an upendra movie...
The dense growth had given way to more sparse but larger tress, basically huge eucalyptus and fir trees. The mist had thickened and the climb now brought back memories of that great walk up dodabetta..3rd Sem tour to ooty..when the class really came alive...
The indian idea of a great tourist spot is one that has a children's park..really wonder what use children were going to have for a park...Swings, Slides and for god's sake....SEE-SAWs....but the locals who had raced ahead were putting them to good use and their shrieks were kind of invigorating in the cold..Really wanted to have a go....but fear of the collective chori of 23 ppl, made me decide against

Everyone had almost given up hope of reaching the top, when out of the blue, a stretch of road in front of us and powerful headlamps from a scorpio peering thru,
Turn right ...viola...a tea shop, masala Kappalandis and then hold ur breath an icecream shop/...yes an icecream shop and we knew we had arrived. But strangely now that the climb was over no one seemed that tired after all.
It really was a sight to behold...a vast expanse of barren rock..a beautiful temple made of granite and the sky as though kneeling down and trying to kiss the earth.

A small path led along the temple wall was promising even more spectacular sights. A few steps later nothin but us and the open sky. and in steps Paul...
that picture of him is still frozen in my memory..standing in front of a few of us..pointing into the mist and the rocks and going "ithanu Nandi hilla...ividinnu nokkiyal thazhe vann kokkayanu..nalla kaattannu"
and we were like ...."mmmmm....seri"..but it was not that bad after fact it was way beyond my expectations, going by Paul's initial description..later he did say though.." the mist saved the day..allengil ithu thani oooooooojvalamaayene".
a little grass totally open to the sky and i saw what i believe is the definition of ethereal, here was another chance for my camera to redeem canon big u go again.. and thankfully the elements combined perfectly if i can say so and the best picture of the lot happened

This picture summed up what this trip kind of meant for me. Leave all ur troubles behind and enjoy the moment-get togethor, friends, chori.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hoyya - Hoy!!!!!

The climb up Nandi Hills began in right earnest. The steps to the top were in a state of disintegration. It was kind of like stepping in to the unknown as the view of the top was smudged by the mist. I am sure ppl new to Nandi hills thought that the steps led straight to the top..atleast i did...But ...and that is a but with a capital B.
The steps led to the bottom of the actual hills and the reserve forest..a road that led up to the archway - a relic from the Britishers, preserved as such ..

The mist had a magical effect on the day and the place....visibility was not more than 100 meters and so u never knew what lay straight ahead..and the archway had this ethereal feel to it...a doorway into another world maybe??????
The guys led by Radi were pushing ahead and the first stop was "Muthalakulam"...a huge pond, totally walled, a rusted warning telling people not to go in ...the mist totally covering it and the greenish water peering through occassionally....Everyone looking hard for the sliding brown of a crocodile...and i believe somebody did too...
Hats off to the guy who started this thing about the "Mothala"...Paul was it or Selvin???
The rain had drenched the walkway to the top. The walkway that led along the side of the muthalakulam and right below an old banyan tree..roots all gnarled and partially blocking the path...Obviously a photo-op, and the digital cameras clicked away..and the first real test for my canon Big-Finder camera (with auto focus, auto flash and auto light detection) appeared. A chance for a beautiful photo and all that i get a green background with a lot of smoke in the foreground..F#$ no photo for this part of the story...
the path had become a stairway now and the tree cover overhead was getting denser. what a day this is turning out to be...a tropical forest 60 kms from the city ..i never would have believed this if i hadnt seen it for myself...we would have climbed for say 10 mins..and already ppl were going...
"Eda, Vazhi thettiyo ennoru samshyam..."
"Vere Aarem Kaannanillalo...mmmmmmm????"
"Radi, Engotekkanada odunnathu....mazha vannal ellarum nanayum, vaa thirichu pokam".
"enikku mathiyaaye.......evideyenkilum onnu irikkanam...hooo"
angine paranju paranju we reached base station....and some body cried out "appo ithanno Nandi hills.....Phaaaaaa"...

"alla mone dinesha iniyum pokanam....."

Monday, January 09, 2006

dhaaaaande nere poyaal nandi hills

Nandi hills was never on the radar initially...we looked around a few blogs and saw nandi hills but then Paul's experience vetoed it down..all it had was a few hills, mist and a lot of wind... and finally masinagudi it was..
23 ppl at masinagudi...mmm sounded to good to be true..anyways went ahead with it..the first ominous signs came with the rain...but then positive thinking a.k.a shubapti vishwasam won the day...
after numerous calls and a long period of a tense silence, everyone started preparing for the get the deadline neared, things started happening all of a sudden...a few mails exchanged, and a day later masinagudi was thrown to the bin..
popular opinion was for B'lore and that meant we were exactly where we started a month ago..
Nandi Hills suddenly didnt seem such a bad option had beautiful hills...lotso mist...a superb breeze all day long..and was so close to the city...How come we missed it in the first place?????
Enough of flashbacks.... The trip was hotting up, ppl catchin up on the latest gossips, and so was everyone's hunger..everyone wanted to reach the hills fast...the bread,butter and jam was tempting ...and the calls from within were getting stronger... but nature has these strange ways of making u forget u r self

The climb up the hills began just like that...and in a few minutes the views began to emerge..the grey skies over distant bangalore...the mist covered top of the hills and the trees lining the winding roads....the windows were drawn as the breeze picked up....
The mist thickened as the mazda wound its way..some beautiful views and some beautiful couples later we wound up at the end of the road on the top..
the mist was smothering and after a bone chattering walk outside, everyone's hunger came roaring back...a cozy lunch within the van...bread, butter and Jam ..felt a lot like college..make do with whatever is available, if not try and grab from someone else..
Lunch done , everyone was raring to go..after all there were going to be just a few steps to climb anyway........