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November 14th, 2008

I moved my blog

Of late, I am having a lot of problems with livejournal. Couldn't post for some unknown reason whereas I can post on all other blogs!! Anyway, it was a free account after all. So, I thought it would be best to set up my own blog. Purchased a domain, used wordpress.org tools and set it up in less than an hour. Here is the blog:


I guess this will be the last post at livejournal.

October 2nd, 2008


 -38 months : Best friend flew out of the country for his studies. I knew there would be no more of 'watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S', 'playing NFS', etc. Now, even when he's back, it is just about meeting at least once in his tight schedule. 

-10 months : 2 more best friends leave country for studies. I am sure they will be busy than ever before. I doubt if another Wayanad trip will ever be possible.
-9 months  : 2 more best friends leave. Not sure if another Goa trip will ever happen.
-2 months  : 1 more best friend
-1 week    : another best friend
0 days     : another best friend
+15 days   : 2 more best friends 
Nothing will be the same again. Its not that all of them are staying there forever. Its just that distances keep increasing every day. And now, with everyone flying to seemingly greener pastures, distances seem to increase even faster.

Many of the purposes and values that got engraved within me were only because of close ones; parents and friends. However, friends were the only ones with whom I could discuss these. Now, when there is not much of a chance to sit together and discuss thoughts, a new sense of 'lack of direction' seems to haunt me.

Life until now was like the first 3 kms of a marathon with lots of people around. The remaining distance is just run, run, run, on and on, on and on.

September 24th, 2008

1 Engine, 2 Auto-Rickshaws

Now, this is something even the local people found strange!!

The auto in the front didn't have pulling power of its own. So, the trailing auto driver was providing some of his own auto's power. All this action in the middle of Mysore's busiest, Irwin road.

No comments from my side :-)

September 14th, 2008

This is not freedom.

Imagine you had a beautiful ancestral farm which is the sole source of your income. You may not earn much over there but that is the place you were born, brought up and now live. I am not sure if the typical city-fellow can experience the kind of emotion associated with such a thing but the majority of rural India lives on such emotions. If you can somehow associate with such an emotion, imagine being bullied by a rich guy to sell your farm for a price.

Example this: "Some farmers refused to take the Rs 5 lakh, but “some politicians” are believed to have told them that either they take the money or the government will go ahead and acquire their land after depositing the amount in court. “Afraid of litigation, some farmers in our village have taken the cheques,” said Surada Venkanna in Rambilli."
I quote this from an article in the Indian Express:
Corridor of Greed in Andhra Pradesh

What can you call such atrocity? Where is the right of the individual? What right do the so called "nation-builders" have, to ask the individual in concern to sacrifice himself for the development of the nation?

This I am sure was not the idea of freedom at the time of Independence. Freedom should first start at the lowest level, the individual. If every individual is sacrificed for a "greater-cause" at the cost of his freedom, then I am not sure if we are really better off than the stalinist government of the soviet era.

What happened to the poor farmers may one day happen to me too. It may one day happen to you too. Albeit in different forms. And its not really a good feeling to live with closed eyes.

September 13th, 2008

French Rocks Rocks :)

French rocks is a 2 century old name of the town of Pandavpura, 25kms from Mysore. During the time of Tipu Sultan, his French allies supposedly made their barracks at the rocky hills just adjacent to Pandavpura. As a result, the town was known as French Rocks. This week, we tried to conquer the rocks.

At the start, we thought this was a wasted trip. It was just rocks. Not much greenery too. However, after climbing some 300 feet, the beauty of the place was self-evident.

The rocks provide plenty of photo opportunities :-)

After recording all the scenic beauty in our brains, we set out on our next task. Conquering the peak.

After trying every sort of rock climbing skill that we know of, we reached a maze of caves and crevices.

In the end, our efforts to climb the last 100 foot high rock-face proved futile. There was not a single way this could be conquered without proper rock climbing tools. The French rock defeated us :-( I will be back here again another day..

Coming back was an even tougher task. There was no way we could retrace our path too. Every direction we went, we reached a cliff-edge or a crevice or a thorn bush.

Somehow, after a lot of cuts and bruises, we were back down to where we started.
This is one of those places you could visit for a real trek as there are no man-made paths up the hill. You have to make the path yourself. The entire trek takes less than 3 hours but is perfectly enjoyable. The place rocks.

PS: This place is better known as Kunti Betta.

September 9th, 2008

Now, Pink Floyd would have millions of fans. But not everyone would go this far. Not unless it is my friend, Vinay Raghav.
This one would seem to you like some photoshop work. But it is not. Its a pure work of the camera and that is what makes the photo so interesting.

Have a look at this one. I cannot even imagine from where this photo is being taken.

Finally, this one. Now this is something which is straight out of an art exhibition.

@Vinay: I only wish you wrote a blog too with your photos. You'd have a lot more followers. Seriously, man.

September 7th, 2008

Sunday cycling


Another Sunday. Another trip.This time, we rode towards the kaveri valley. This part of the Earth is now painted green by the monsoons. Water is everywhere. The clouds act as our sun-screen. And we, the best source of renewable energy to pedal our cycles.
KrishnarajaSagar reservoir being just 15kms from the city has various approach roads. We took the nearest one to save energy. From there, we hit unknown village roads towards edmuri. The scenery is amazing even after considering the fact that we are used to seeing paddy fields and water canals. Some more off-road cycling and we were at Balmuri. Balmuri, being a man made waterfall is usually filled with tourists. However, at 8AM in the morning, the place was ours and ours alone. Started at 6AM and reached back at 11AM with much of the Sunday still remaining intact.

September 3rd, 2008

Google chrome

The new browser from google is not a browser at all. Its almost an operation system. See this:

3 different processes are seen here in the task manager. What this means is that, each new tab you open on the chrome browser is a separate process in itself. This is exactly what is required in the changed internet environment where we use less and less of websites and more and more of applications. Opening youtube, google docs and gmail in different tabs is the equivalent to opening windows media player, ms-word and outlook on your windows OS. Obviously, these are different processes. The firefox/internet-explorer/opera way of handling all as a single process results in the browser getting bogged down. Try the chrome and you'll know how fast it is in an instant. Moreover, if one of the tabs crashes, the other tabs still remain intact.

Reflecting google's style of minimalistic design and simplicity, the chrome occupies very less space for its own buttons and looks empty empty indeed. Websites now look larger and much better. When you are working on something like google docs, it takes less than a minute to forget that you are actually within a browser.

All said, is it time to dump the old browsers and embrace chrome? NO. NOT YET. I don't know how, but google forgot to ship its
toolbar along with the browser. As all my bookmarks are in google bookmarks, I terribly miss the toolbar. At the time when I write this, the google toolbar page doesn't even seem to know that there is a google browser :P However, I forgive google for this goof because chrome is still a test version.

September 2nd, 2008

Fitness and Risk

Both evolutionary and economic theories suggest that physically stronger decision makers should make riskier decisions,......

Do read this:

That explains a lot.

August 30th, 2008

Mysore - A treasure mine.

Mysore is a beautiful place. For the casual tourist, we have a palace, a hill, a water reservoir, a zoo and a bird sanctuary.
For the artistically inclined, we have some more palaces (
Jaganmohan palace, Jayalaksmi Vilas, Lalith Mahal).
A few well maintained lakes (
Kukkarahalli and Karanji), a church (St. Philomena's Church) and a few museums (Regional Museum of Natural History, Folk Lore Museum, Railway Museum and Oriental Research Institute) all dot the city.

The best part is that all of these places fall within a 15 kms radius of the city.

And what is more? There are even more places within the city unknown to many people.

Location No.1: Varuna lake
This lake is 10kms from Mysore on T-Narsipura road. One edge of the lake is a man-made stone banking over which the T-Narsipura road is constructed. I am not sure whether this is a man-made lake or a natural one. The calmness of the lake and the near absence of people near the lake make it an ideal outing place. We went cycling to the place today morning and it almost resembled an European cycling experience.

Left: Varuna Lake, Mysore
Right: Sigmaringen, Germany.
Don't they both look the same in terms of beauty? I just love Mysore.

Left: A small wood land on one edge of Varuna lake. The trees however are being cut and I don't know whether it was legal/illegal. In any case, I feel that the lake's edge could be planted with trees. I have some work to do here.
Right: A cycling path at Sigmaringen. I wish we had cycling paths at Mysore too. I read a few months back about an European group of tourists who were building cycling paths all by themselves themselves somewhere near Madikeri, Karnataka. I feel we too could do that. I only need a few helping hands to do this.

Location No. 2: The oldest Banyan tree of Mysore
This is at least known to a few people in Mysore. The tree according to Prof.Ramalingam is more than 200 years old. The tree has been named a
heritage tree of Mysore by the committee headed by Prof.Ramalingam according to whom it is more than 200 years old. I had been there in 2005 once and it was full of prop roots. However, I was told that much of the tree's aerial prop roots were cut to serve a movie shooting. The banyan being a banyan has recovered since and now it also carries 2 boards. One says the tree is "xyz God" (That is a really powerful psychological tool to keep away illegal wood-cutters). Second one says "Heritage tree of Mysore". These should most likely help conserve the tree to some extent.

As we returned back to the city of palaces, I had just one thought in mind... If only we could build a cycling path in the city, safe and away from the roaring trucks and polluting autos...

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