Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yaay.. Did I finally find it!!?

The hunt is "on" from the past few years. To be precise, from the moment my ex-manager threw the question on my face, it used to tease me at times and trouble me at some other. The one question in my life that I am afraid to confront at times. The one question that I keeps asking myself and gets lost and pushes off. The one question that I always hope to find the "answer" some-day some-time. The reason is that the answer to that question is very crucial.

The answer to one question that I felt is very important to take my next step. The one answer that can decide my job, my next step, my next thought and may be my next job or my career! The one answer that can either leave me bankrupt or may be millionaire (too optimist huh!). The one answer that can keep my spirits up or pushes me down. The answer that has a potential to make or break my future! The one answer that I have been searching for all these days. The one oasis in my life of desert. Finally, today I saw a glowing street light at the end of the street (for a change tunnels are no longer fashion ).

The one place in the world where my mind can think in peace, tension-free, innovative, being-with-self,introspect,retrospect,think of things-to-do/achieve is my bathroom. That's where I find better ideas in my life :P. Today after having a long discussion with my colleague on some office work, I went for a bath and while taking bath it flashed in my mind- an almost answer to my question.

Felt like I were walking on bangalore streets late in the night without worrying about the partying dogs. Felt jubiliant, like licking the last spoon of chocolate from the hot-chocolate fudge of my neighbour! Felt like flying in the air minus no air traffic & pollution. Felt like eating the crackling jalebi, off the road side vendor. Felt like drenching in the rain while sipping coffee. Felt like what it feels like gulping 10 panipuri's for one-rupee!

Felt like walking on bangalore pavements breathing fresh air and without a fear of crash! Felt like licking the dew off the leaves or glass blades in the the early winter mornings. Felt like sleeping out in the mid-day sun with a blanket! I almost avoided an Archimedes=Eurekha act and came out of the bathroom and started composing this post so that I will remember this moment and the day.

Now, not to dissapoint the sincere readers like you who is currently reading this line and feeling irritated about what the heck I am talking about- let me write what I finally found out. I "think" I found answer to the question- what do I enjoy most?. Yes, I know, it looks awkward, but when I think about myself, think about my life, think about my career, think about technical choices, think about my commitemnts, when I question my decisions, my acts, I always end up with questions like- Do I enjoy this, what exactly makes me excited, what exactly makes me go and do that extra bit, go and commit myself for a cause, propells me, excites me, I always end up with this question and end up with no anwer. But today, I found what I think is almost an anwer for my troubled soul.

So without making you wait any longer, let me tell you what I found! Yeah I swear, unlike in previous paragraph, to reveal it in this one. I found that - The thought of "doing" something that has a potential to "help" someone by saving their effort (or time) or something that can avoid them the pain of going through something which I or someone else had experienced makes me excited and do it with more interest and hence I enjoy doing it!!So when I asked myself for more clarity and when I co-relate with all the activities I do with interest and passion, somehow this seems to answer the WHY part of most of the things I do or I take interest in (refer explanation of doing below). Here is a detailed explanation of the words in italic and quotes in the above statement. Doing=desinging, supporting, working, thinking, making, co-operating, engaging myselfg into help=monetary, support(physically/emotionally), make them happy, feel enlightened, enhance knowledge!

So did I find the one that I am looking for?Or did I see the wron'un(IPL jargaon)? Am I imaging too much? Is this just the tip of the ice-cube?(global warming melted the ice-bergs)? Is this the day that I am destined to know more about self? Is this the day that can change my attitude towards life? Only Mr.Time and Mr.God (i am not andrine(mascuilne of faminine??) will answer the new question in my mind= "Is this the one!??".
****The End begining*****
Oh yeah, I almost forgot- I liked your patience (or impatience in scrolling down directly to read the end) and that lovely smile on your face you sported after reading last few lines. Now co-relate these words with my answer. Didn'tyou see a relation!? Caugh you napping.. hahaha... enjoy folks... watch out Chandu ver 2.0 is around!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blogart, Blogtter and Blogiful!

Well that's not a foreign language, I am talking about in bloguage!
After a really looooooooong time, blogger is back with exciting stuff.
Check out the new blogger url -

Now you know why and how I changed my blog's look and feel!!
Alas, I wish they have an option to upload custom images.
Try it and let me know how you felt!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Missing you....

We first met at MG Road. We started our journey together with a trip to the hills...

from then on we are hooked, inseparable.
We went places together, to the plains.. to the fields..

We enjoyed all the seasons, the summers, the winters, the monsoons together alike...

she changed the way I think,
she changed the way I see,
she changed the way I feel,
she made me go places,
her amazing memory made me remember things
together we had seen the world, been to places, had a wonderful company...

but finally...
out of nowhere...
without a warning...
without a hint...
without a clue...
without a sign...
she had decided to part ways with me...
leaving me behind in the company of some wonderful moments we shared...

It's hard to say goodbye...
harder to digest the fact that you are no more...
I miss you my dear cam...
miss you so much...
I don't think I can afford to get you back to life...
rip my s3is...
As I go on with life, I feel the void you have left...
Your place might be taken by someone else later, but you are always special...
This post is to tell you how special you are...
You will be remembered... for what you made me, done to me and given me!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Birding at Sakaleshpur

When do you say you had a great birding trip??
A. When you get to see some lifers
B. When the place is full of bird and resonates with their calls
C. When you had good food and had great time
D. When you meet like-minded people and make good friends

If we were asked this question about our birding trip to Sakaleshpur last week, without thinking we choose another option "ALL THE ABOVE". Last weekend, we (Soumyajit nandy and I) were planning to go for a birdwatching trip and were pondering about the place. That's when we saw the mail from Dr.Javid on bngbirds offering birders to stay at his place with no cost and do birding. We instantly decided to visit his place and now we are glad we did!.Now, if you have time, read through the detailed report, othewise you can scroll down to see the bird list.

If you thought "drag racing" happens in bangalore city, we dare prove you wrong. Do board one of those private buses to "Kukke Subramanya" that can drop you at Sakaleshpur and one hour past bangalore, it's game on!! I doubt how many souls had dozed off in our bus. Rash driving is too small a word to compare what we witnessed. Finally, we were dropped at 4 am in Sakaleshpur. Thanks to Dr.Javid, who arranged us a vehicle that can pick us up from the bus stand. At 4-30 we were picked up after watching the bats go after the moths and insects at the lamp post! After a 40 min drive, we reached Dr.Javids estate. We were greeted by Dr.Javid and his cute pups and we opted to take a quick nap after the horrendous ride that made evaded us the sleep.

Day one:
At 6-30 am, we woke up and came out to hear the symphony going around the estate. We can hear hornbills, jungle fowl, bulbuls, barbets and some strange calls (which we identified later) and the place is full of activity. We went out and the first sighting was "Ashy wood swallows". A pair of them are nesting in a tree in the estate compound. They came out and are drying out in the morning sun. Barely few minutes later, we saw a couple of racket-tailed drongos perching on a tree and flyng off in no time and a pair of White-browed wagtails were fooudn nesting in the top of the bungalow. The start made us exciting and we moved out after a cup of steaming coffee.

We selected the eastward route which goes through the coffee plantation and further down to a stream. Hardly 5 minutes into the walk, we realized what is it like birding in that terrain. Our necks have to bent more than the "plains" and our binocs and camera have to be pointed up at extreme angles. While we try to focus and identify a bird, either it fly off or another one comes and perches. We realized how diiferent it is to find, focus and identify birds in the canopy. I must admit, birding in plains is lot easier , compared to this terrain.But the variety and vocals will keep you mesmerizing and makes your neck bend!

We spotted the noisy Plum-headed parakeets followed by scarlet minivets and we can hear the wood peckers hiting hard against the wood. To be honest, for few minutes we were lost and little worried, because we can hear so mancy calls but they are too quick for us to spot, focus and identify. Later, we regained hope and chose a track that had a decent elevation over another track that goes down. Barely 20 meters into the route, the yellow-browed bulbul came and perched hardly 10 meters from us and we did had a great time watching it!Later, Malabar parakeets came along, in fact it's just the start, all through our stay and outings, malabar parakeets are spotted very frequently.

As we proceeded another 50 metres through the coffee plantation, we saw a fruiting creeper with activity around .We stopped and waited and spotted the Asian Fairy blue bird maleat "eye level" and barely 20 metres away. This guy is a beauty to be adorned. We stayed back for a while and soon a white-cheeked barbet joined the party and a couple of Orange-headed thrushes too. We had a satisfying look at them and went ahead to see the Malabar Grey hornbill perched up on a dead tree with a feed.

Few seconds later, it went further down and that's when we noticed that it is feeding another hornbill (not sure if it's young one or female, too far). Further down we spotted a Pompodaur Green pigeon.

We stayed back at the spot for half an hour since the view from the place shows the valley and all tree tops are at eye-level from the spot. We were not dissapointed as we saw the racket-tailed drongo swooping down chasing an insect catching it in mid-air and back on perch and finishing it off. It's an amazing experience to watch them do it with long trailing tail.Further, we spotted an Ashy drongo and a cuckoo-shrike.

We turned back from the spot and while walking back we finally spotted the woodpeckers that eluded us in the morning. The first one turned out to be Lesser Yellownape. As we turned to our left we saw this small bird on tree top almost at the edge of a branch. I was wondering what it was and a closer look revealed it to be Brown-capped Pygmy woodpecker (our first). In between we managed to spot the Red-whiskered bulbuls, Jungle Mynas and surprisingly no red-vented bulbuls and missed out id-ing a flycacher (looks similar to Asian brown). After 3 hours we returned to have an yummy breakfast accompanied by wonderful company of Javid sir.

As the sun came out harsh we just relaxed in the bungalow, played with the pups and enjoyed the smooth, slow and soothing music collection of Javid sir. We did a verandah birding and spotted the yellow-browed bulbul again, watched the activities at the Ashy wood swallows nest and listened to Booted warbler calls, watched the coffee seeds being cleaned and dried out in the sun. We then went down to the stream hoping to see fly-catchers but were dissapointed with no spottings and came back since sun was harsh.A little while later, I started to hear this call from closeby which I am not familiar. I walked down few metres and finally spotted a couple of Rufous treepie. The best part is, one of them perched nicely on tree top(female) and the other one started "hopping" next to it. It makes a call, hops and lands at the same place. Is this a mating ritual?This is the first time I observed this. This went on for some time and then both flew past to another tree. We had a good lunch, caught a little nap and off we go in the evening to the fields in the valley with packed tea and biscuits.

From morning one call kept haunting us. It sounded like coming off an electrical musical instrument and it was loud. We hoped that we would chase the mystery and the opporunity came ou way in the evening. While walking down the road through coffe plantations, we spotted chest-nut tailed starlings, blue-capped rock thrush and malabar parakeets. After 20 mins walk we reached the stream to see a fleeing cobra. We saw a big tree at this place where lots of birds were perching and one guy stood out. We initially thought it was a hornbill but the tail seems to be longer and as we approached closer, we saw it clearly and it turned out to be a white-bellied treepie. As we went closer to the tree is started making calls, the same one's that haunted from morning and our puzzle was solved. It's indeed a pleasure to watch a white-bellied treepie call. It moves it's whole body and let's out the call which is a little harsh, but we found it pleasing. From then, we heard the call on numerous ocassions all over the place, the next day as well. It in fact made our trip worth it. We turned back finished tea and sancks and headed home and called it a day after a simple but delicious dinner.
(if you managed to reach here.. thanks.. read on)

Day 2:
We started off little late since there was mist around. We both headed in different directions. While my friend spotted couple of cobras. I stay put at the gate of another coffe estate and I did had a replay of the species of the previous day. Added to the list are a pair of nuthatches. Yellow-browed bulbuls re-appeared, racket-tailed drongos chased each other. Another interested sighting is of a squirell which is rufous in color and short tailed compared to the palm squirell. I do not have a field guide to mammals. Can anyone help educate us about it? Later added to the list are Oriental-wheite eyes and black throated munia.

Post breakfast we rejoined and at around noon we headed one last time for spotting. This time we had our lessons and chosed the road that had a decent elevation and activity to save our neck from straining too much.we saw Chest-nut tailed starlings of malabaricus species along with the other species together. We could differentiate them clearly. Do they both colonise together?Further down, we spotted a Bronze drongo with the bright wings and dull tail and not-so-deep fork of the tail. Then came a Black-lored tit with nuthatches and while we are spotting them, we saw a movement on tree bark and it turned out to be DRACO! It displayed its amazing camouflage and the bright throat and flew to the next tree. We wrapped up our outing satisifed with the sighing, but the story didnt end there, we spotted a Common Flameback busy searching for some insects on a tree!

We finished our lunch and picked up a vehicle and planned to go to "Kadamane", the huge tea esate next to the forest.We reached there at 4-00 pm and were told that we have half-an-hour before they close. Although the view is exciting, but the fact that so many hills are converted to tea-estate made me feel bad. We causally walked down the road and there came another best moment of the trip. Another white-bellied treepie, came out and perched at 10 mts from us and kept on giving the closest possible views we can every ask for. We had a great time watching it from close quarters and the 45 mins we spent there was worth it!!. Our flycatchers luck was not bad as we spotted a flycatcher on the way back. We are not sure if it is Nilgiri or Verditar Flycatcher. Any help?? We could not get a good look at it, due to blocking twigs and shortage of time and we didnt want to trouble the shy bird more and left the place.

We were dropped back in Sakaleshpur at 6-00 from where we took a KSRTC "Sarige" and reached bangalore at midnight.We had wonderful trip, thanks to like-minded bird lover Dr.Javid. Sir, we owe you a big thanks for letting us stay at your place and had these lovely moments.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Nithy-"ananda"

I bet you all heard about the Nithyananda controversy or should I say scandal or may be the "ananda" side of him. Seeing this Yahoo news article made me login to Twitter and man I am in splits laughing around from the past 15 mins. So, thought of sharing it with you all.

Here is another blog post, compiling the list of hillarious tweets on Nithyananda. I must agree with the Yahoo news article that says he is clearly spreading the "ananda" and yeah how can we forget thanking to Sun Tv. No wonder people are always interested in private lives of others and twitter is resounding with tweets on Nithayananda as I can clearly see, Know what, before I could complete this post there are 6 new tweets added on the same and people seems to be hooked on to this!

If you have a twitter account and if you are not checking it yet, you are surely missing some fun.
Boy oh boy, people are at their creative best on twitter now!
Here is one software-twist tweet

YaavanoObba: Oracle by day, i-flex by night

Enjoy... Finally he inspired me too to make a new post. Hail nithyananda!