Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A tale of two weekends…

Whom do you curse when you see traffic jams on a Bangalore- Mysore highway?
In spite of having a four lane road to cater to the needs, there were traffic jams. It was as if the entire Bangalore was on the move on this highway. I realized it wasn’t so after reading the newspaper reports of traffic jams around MG Road the next day…Wherever Bangaloreans go, traffic jam follows!!!

Two consecutive weekends and 800KM of travel hasn’t stopped me from planning something for the coming weekend!!

The first weekend we drove to Mysore. If you haven’t driven on this road then you are missing something…The four lane road makes you forget that you are in Karnataka…The fun is in the drive where you can reach speeds of 160Kmph without breaking a sweat.

The next weekend was a drive to Coorg. An added incentive is you have to travel on the same road. Just before reaching Mysore we took the diversion to Coorg. The road to Coorg was under expansion. Most part of the road was expanded and was really good but there were small stretches all along to remind us that we were still in Karnataka..;)
We reached Kushalnagar in the evening and checked into a hotel called Kannika International. At around Rs.1000 per day they were expensive for the kind of service they provided. In fact the service was so bad we decided to have our dinner somewhere outside. For guidance we asked the waiter whether there was some good hotel nearby…To our surprise he actually directed us to some hotel…I found it really funny that a waiter of one hotel guiding its customers to find some better hotel. Anyway after having dinner we hit the bed.
The next day we got up early, to visit the Buddha golden temple. The architecture was really amazing. It was the first time I had visited a Buddhist monastery and was really thrilled to see the huge Buddha statue (60foot) and the wall paintings. The atmosphere there would have been similar to that of a church on any other day except that on this day there was a whole bunch of kids who had come on an excursion making hell of a noise, making mockery of all the boards there which were pleading us to maintain silence.

I always felt we had too many relatives than we could handle. It was proved when I met some of them even in Kushalnagar. But somehow I felt sorrier for them after they decided to tag along with us for a couple of places. They were newly wed couples and I had a feeling of being kabab me haddi..:)

After the temple we went to Harangi dam. A dam with a huge capacity, but had only a few buckets of water…Then we went to Cauvery Nisargadhama. After some sightseeing and an elephant ride we again hit the road to Madikeri. One interesting anecdote at Nisargadhama was the sight of a few fishermen frantically searching for something in the water. There was a Hanging Bridge from where all of us were watching, and obviously we were under the impression that they were fishing. But these fishermen were a breed of a different kind. They were actually searching for a mobile phone!!! Apparently they were being paid by someone who had accidentally dropped his mobile phone from the bridge into the waters!!! I am sure the fishes were having a nice conversation there..:)

We reached Madikeri in the afternoon and checked into a hotel called Coorg International. We had requested someone to book a room in advance and were told that the cost would be about Rs.1500 per day. Only after checking in we realized that it was Rs.5000 per day. They were exorbitantly charging because of the peak season. We had to stick to the hotel knowing that the whole of Coorg was booked for the entire week…Anyway at least they did justice to the money we paid and to their name (International) by providing us excellent service and amazing food. It was only later we learnt that it was a three star hotel!!!

We spent the rest of the day in hotel after visiting Raja seat and Abbi falls, trying to do justice to the amount we were paying..:)
After more than a decade I spent sometime playing TT with my dad…Reminded me a lot of my school days when we regularly used to play during weekends. The only difference was that I won all the games easily and hence didn’t have to loose my temper and throw my bat around which regularly used to happen then…:)

The next day we visited Bhagamandala (where the water felt like it came from a freezer!!) and Talacauvery (the water here would have given complex to the drainages of Bangalore!!!). Even here it took us quite sometime to find a parking slot because of the exodus of people from Bangalore.

After this we headed back to Bangalore enjoying the scenic beauty around and my favorite past time being, counting the number of cars from Bangalore!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


It’s quite natural to dream about a lot of things but it’s another thing to dream about dreaming. The other night I had a dream in which I was fast asleep and dreaming about dreaming!!!…How much weirder can things get?

I kept wondering what made me dream about “dreaming” and then I realized I had read an article about dreams the previous night which made me ponder for long, the conversation that I had with my friend some time back about why we dream and its significance.

Somehow I felt I had ceased to dream or so I thought. My dreams were far and between. The more I think of it I feel maybe I never made an effort to remember them. We have come a long way in understanding them. From considering them to be supernatural or messages from God to giving scientific / logical explanation to each one of them.

The main barrier to dream recall and to lucid dreaming (realizing during a dream that one is dreaming) is that waking and dreaming memory aren't connected nearly as well as they could be. I am not kidding but I think it needs greater intention, practice and focus. Making a consistent effort to remember and record your dreams will help your waking mind to ally itself more closely with your dream experience. It's also an excellent way to increase imagination, creative and intuitive capabilities which are all intimately connected with dreams.

All this made me start a new experiment on dreaming!! The experiment involved thinking about a subject for long just before going to sleep and keep telling yourself that you want to remember whatever transpires in your dream. You can pick just about anything from real life situations to absurd fiction, from real people (like your girlfriend / boyfriend :)) to aliens..;)…. I did this judiciously for a few days and most often then not I found that I could remember the characters, the scene and just about everything the next morning.

So all those guys/ gals who want to have fun even while sleeping can follow the above procedure and turn every night filled with “sweet dreams” and maybe strive to make them happen…:)

If this exercise doesn’t help you in remembering your dreams it will definitely help in being soporific.

“Dream is not what you see in sleep…,

Dream is the thing which does not let you sleep.”

-Abdul Kalam.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ghandhigiri!!! Does it really work?

It was a cold and cloudy Saturday afternoon…Needless to say it took a lot of will power to get out of my bed and having got out I had no intention of falling back to my ever inviting bed…So I decided to go for the next evil…-my couch / sofa. Considering that my mom wasn’t there to drive me out of the sofa, it was a perfect day to watch a long overdue movie. Having missed out on watching “Lage Raho Munnabhai” with my friends, I got the DVD with the usual popcorn and a pack of chips…

The stage was set to watch it and I am happy that it lived up to its expectations…It had a perfect cast and the script / dialogues made sure it was enjoyable. Somehow I felt the film gave more to Sanjay Dutt in recasting his image as a Samaritan than what he was able to give to the movie. Ironically, contrary to this newfound image, Dutt - son of yesteryear film stars Nargis and Sunil Dutt - has only been a black sheep of his family, always stirring up controversies. And his life had the ingredients of a Bollywood thriller - with a mix of action, stunts and crime.

Coming back to the movie was it just another sequel or did it really drive a point?

Considering the fact that this movie inspired a lot of people in fighting against the politicians or administrators(which made news for quite sometime after the movies release), it certainly drove a point. But does Gandhiri really work in today’s world? Taking nothing away from the director (who actually did an excellent job), I feel it’s easier to make a movie on Ghandhiri than to follow its principles.

As the “bapu” himself, in the movie says it guarantees 100% success but one should have extreme patience and perseverance to follow it, something that most of us lack. And it sure can colligate most diverse groups together as shown by him.

Just imagine what the government of India would do if all the terrorists in Kashmir would throw away their arms and fast onto death for their cause. I am sure it’s a situation that will be very difficult to handle. It will be simpler for the govt to handle people with arms than with flowers. But again how many terrorists will have the courage to throw away their arms and go on fast.

The physical or mental travail is too much to handle for most of them and its not something which is very facile.

And that’s why we will have scores of terrorists but only one “bapu”.

Beasts die, men die,
all those who walk the earth must die.
But it’s the memories of true heroes which linger forever…