Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Best gift in Life!!!

If god suddenly appear in front of you and asked you to make a wish, what do you ask??
What is that one wish...?
What would you ask??
The only wish..?

OK on any other day I would ask:
"Appear whenever, wherever I wish and fulfill my wish there and then"
well kind of infinite loop. huh? :)
Well on serious note and after one week of sick sickness I have decided I would ask

Yes, someone rightly said "Health is wealth". I realized this after a marathon one week of painful experiences and still going. This nasty viral fever brought me down with strange pains and acts and made me run to hospital every day with the swine flu scare round the corner.

Finally, I made an appearance to the swine flu testing center and had a consultation. The doctor much to my relief told me that this is normal viral fever and I don't need to panic and gave some tabs to relief and asked me to check back if needed.

I realized how important health is over this week. Strange pains, irritation, restlessness forgot to tell doc about some symptoms, what not!Imagine a restless guy made to confront to home with confusion for one week. Finally I am relieved to hear the news that this is normal virus. So yours truly is going to be at home for an extended holiday taking fluids, tablets. You can touch the monitor sicne I hardly had any swine flu syptoms, no runny nose, no cold, no cough, just this bloody nerves connecting neck and head itching, almost normal temperature and worst weather outside. Guess I never hated rains like I did today.

Ok some gyaan for people who want to get swine flu test done:
Only Rajiv gandhi Chest hospital, off Nimhans campus is eligible to do tests. Rest of the hospitals only treats you if you have symptoms.Now the procedure is like this:

1. Go to Rajiv gandhi chest hospital. If you are arriving from Christ college side, at NIMHANS signal, take left turn, hit dead end, just keep going straight till you reach the Chest hospital.
2. Go to room no-7, fill a form and register yourself (they give you a card and a form)
3. Carry the card and the form to the consultation ward 50 mts past this block.
4. Wait for your turn
5. Go in meet the doctor, answer his questions, explain your problems. Only if the doctor is satisified with your symptoms, he will recommend tablets or X-ray or whatever.
6. Your swab samples and X-ray would be taken only in the case of perfect symptoms or if doctor diagnosis it to be H1N1. Otherwise they recommend medicines.

Wish me happy recovery

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bheemeswari -Part 2

So where did we stop...??? aah we started walking back! On the way back, 2 of us along with my manager took a de-route and missed the others. Only after walking for another 200 meters we realized that there were no traces of humans walking past that way! So we turned back thinking in a worst case we can take the route we took while climbing up and but we soon realized that we missed a deviation enroute. We took that and after few meters caught up with rest of the gang.Reached back to the resort and rested for a while and had yummy lunch.

Besides the lunch I like the concept of tips in JLR. They have a box where you can drop the tips so that every one shares it later. I found this fair and good practice. Fair play! All men were wishing to celebrate with beer and thankfully our manager had no problems!I too joined them with coke and well that's the moment of the day ;)

Now comes the best part, after a heavy meal the hammocks are too tempting! Guys posed as spider man, lazy man what not! Walking on a hammock I tell you is a good adventure and these group hammocks are huge that are tied together in a swollen W shape. What a fun!! Our manager B's hile lying on the hammock almost touched the ground(i am not guilty of over weight any more!). Then came the rafting part.

I overcame all my inhibitions and doubts and opted for rafting and I am glad I did it. The guy who took us for rafting is from uttaranchal and he feels that Cauvery rafting is peanuts, but he is glad that we al are beginners, so it can be a good start with only Class 2 and Class 3 rapids! The next one hour, we had good time, rowing, pausing, rowing, screaming... The best part was watching a grey hornbill( fly over our heads perpendiculary from one end of river to the other end while we were on a patch of still water. Thanks to yasvanth who ventured to bring his camera in the dry bag of the raft! We had some good snaps while rafting.

With life jacket hanging around, yours' truly jumped into water holding the roap and had few dips at a location where water is still.The 2 ladies on board kept on bugging mukesh bhai (our raft guide) with 2 questions "how far are we now"? , "How deep is it here" and they screamed at every rapid. Finally mukesh bhai pushed them to the front and asked them to row while we are busy acting and shouting behind. Poor ladies did it for the last rapid and 100 metres.

While 5 of us are busy doing this, rest of the "careful" ,"lazy", "no-risk"souls went for a coracle ride which they claim to be scarier than rafting!Whatever we were picked up some 8 kms down the stream and driven back in a jeep. I then realized what kind of vehicled does one need to drive in that terrain- A mahindra 90's model jeep! We were lucky to spot a jackal and surprised to spot a homosapien couple inside the forest (now don't ask me what were they trying to do inside with a liquor bottle hanging around). Unfortunately most tourists in Muthathi (place on banks of Cauvery) litter a lot and their idea of picnicing is more of littering and loitering around disturbing the wild! Anyways our driver informed the forest gaurd to take care of them. Although I am interested to know what happened next, I had no chance :)

Back to resort, we had tea and some snacks and time to depart. With wet trousers (I didn't carry my swimming trunks) and antakshari to keep us occupied, finally I reached home at 9-00 pm. Almost forgot to add about the sighting of Grizzled giant squirrel which resides on the banks of Cauvery, none of my team mates except sap is interested and they don't know that it's a rare species. Here is it munching on something.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bheemeswari - Part 1

A post pending from 3 weeks. Finally a 4 day leave on grounds of ill health helping me post this.

All right here we go - as usual our manager B was grinning wide when our partner confirmed funding for team outing and with no second thought the option to choose the place has been passed on to yours truly. After being tired with the usual city resorts, I thought this is the time to try Jungle Lodges and Resorts day visits. Quickly checking facts of JLR we zeroed in on Bheemeswari on the banks of Cauvery. In fact JLR had 3 nature and fishing camps located on the banks of cauvery - Doddamakalli and Galibore being the other two.

Off late our team had become more family centric- hence I starte calling it AUT, well nothing to do with Applicatin Under Test, but it's the "Aunties n Uncles Team". The moment guys hear about a trip they start it-"only day trips","I can't leave my husband/wife, but I can't bring them either", "I have a baby to take care"! "My in-laws won't let me go", "we are expecting guests"..... the list goes on. Whatever, we realized that we cannot afford an overnight trip with team anymore! Hence the day trip is best for us. Once we finalized the place the usual games of "Who's IN" and "Who's OUT" for the trip started. Finally 2 people dropped out. So we ended up with 9.

Let me stop this crap and start the drive. Soothing the nerves of our manager, sap(my best buddy at office) and I made it just in time for the 7-00 am deadline for transport and for a change everything went smooth with transport and breakfast and bloody hell I again endedup counting money, collecting bills, maintaining accounts! WTF!? When will I relax and enjoy the trip as a member than worrying about money, food for driver, route etc. We hit Adigas at Banashankari for some yummy breakfast and started off.

The travel till Kanakapura had no surprises and the tiny town of Kanakapura which seems to have got some inspiration from Bangalore with roads being laid and expanded! Guys reminded about the Water rafting and i went searching for an ATM. I was in 2 minds on water rafting but on a safer side carried enough cash to try it just in case my decision changed. After travelling down to Satahanur we took the right turn to Muthathi. The terrain started changing and we didn't feel that its been hardly 1.5 hours away from bangalore. This is the beauty of bangalore, travel for 2 hours in all 4 directions of bangalore, you end up seeing different jungles and eautiful landscapes!

Finally after traversing mini ghat roads, we reached the place - "Cauvery Fishing camp aka Bheemeshwari Fishing and Nature camp" at 10 am after paying a 50 RS village developement fee which I wonder where it ends up. The moment we entered the resorts, we are in for surprises.. 1. The resort manager was not informed of our arrival (I made payment just the evening before the day we left) 2. Cauvery is in full flow!! Man you gotta see the beautiful cauvery which appear to be flowing slow and silent but a closer look tells you that it's a strong current! The monkey menace has to be noted here, these guys having used to visitor littering have become smarter. One chap jumped into the van and despite of Shalini's balooned body and trying to converse in English with him/her, he/she didn't give a damn flicked a packet of chips!! Evolution hmmm..

The bird watcher and the naturalist enthu in me could no longer be hidden. I started with bird watching pulling the whole team into watching the Green bee eater, the king fisher and the red rumped swallows! Most of them wondered how to use the binocs!!Whatever after a refreshing welcome drink (my favorite- lime juice), we were asked if we are game for rafting since another team are leaving for rafting then, we choose to do it in the afternoon after lot of debating. The first activity was a trek up the hill to the view point.

While yasvanth and I were busy chasing the butterflies with cameras, rest of the team walked half a kilometer and were shouting. So we ran and caught up with them. I soon realized why we were served lime juice. The sun is blazing and trek at 11-00 am is not a good idea espcially with 90% obese persons in the gang!! (uff including me). I was dissapointed that this camp do not have a naturalist! But still, I love JLR camps for the ambience, the places and the food! Although I have been to only 3 (Bandipur, Bannerghatta and Bheemeswari.. oh wait all B's). The log huts make me think wild and feel like staying back there for some more time.

Before you forget about the trek, let me go back,.. so with lots of huff and puffs we reached the view point after 45 minuts. I was the last one to reach clicking pictures and complaining about the trek not being a walk. Well there is a big difference between a nature walk and trek. A trek is something you start early in the day (to restirct loss of energy due to sun) and your aim is to reach a particular place by so & so time and come back and time is the utmost thing. But a nature walk is where you hardly walk... yes if you have the keen eyes and the company of a true naturalist like Karthik, every step shows you something and catches your imagination and attention. Every flower had a story to tell every bird makes you think about it's behavior, every thing in the jungle tells you a story if only you can hear! Unfortunately our urban souls could not hear or understand those and half of our team mates think I am crazy and they hoot, shout and scream.. thinking it's a picnic place.

The view from top is just amazing... with cauvery flowing full, it's just WOW! Here is how it looked like. Imaging one sititng here and enjoying the view.

The late monsson showers ensured good patches of grass on the hill.

here is the watch tower

and the butterfly that made me wait and wait to pose like this..

Finally the JLR guy who accompanied us thought we had enough fun and just before we started back, we spotted the water rafting group and the 12x zoom + digital zoom helped me click this one at the "splashing moment"More to continue in Part 2...