A Road Trip – Up South

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Mangalore and Udupi for a friend’s wedding. A few of us got together and planned a roadtrip from Bangalore to Udupi. We had heard a lot about the beautiful countryside and landscape that lines the highway. And we were not disappointed. However, what’s a journey without obstacles? We had our fair share of hiccups.

We had booked a rental car from Myles. When we reached the car pick up point, we were told that the vehicle allotted to us had met with an accident and they could not provide us with a vehicle. This was a real bummer. We really insisted on a replacement car and after an hour of haggling, they told us that they could provide us with a car – a Maruti Suzuki Swift. We readily agreed as we didn’t have other real options...

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Trip To Bangalore

I got an opportunity to travel to Bangalore in the first week of March this year.While it was an official trip , I was able to find some time for friends and leisure. Though, it has been more than a month since I returned, I still have fond and vivid recollections of the great time I had there.

The flight from Delhi to Bangalore is a long one (a three hour flight is long for me!). Long mainly because flights can be really boring. Thankfully, I had a window seat and I spent most of my time looking out. While even that can get tedious, I was able to spot this from above!

India’s very own grand canyon – spotted from 35000 feet

Once in Bangalore, most of my time was spent at work but I was able to find time for a little sight seeing...

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Romancing The Western Ghats

I had been yearning for a road-trip with friends for sometime now. So when my friends asked me to join them on a trip to Nasik and Bhandardara from Mumbai, I immediately said yes. And what a trip it was! Being with friends,with whom you can be yourself, without fear of being judged is such a liberating feeling! All the natural beauty that we came across was bonus. Nature has this quality of soothing even the most bruised of souls when you just let your senses free to experience it.

The trip started with a drive to Sula Vineyards in Nashik via Igatpuri. The drive took us through Kasara Ghats and the fog shrouded hills of Igatpuri were a sight to behold. By the time we descended to Nashik, it was bright and sunny again...

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On Big Game Hunting and What Africa Can Learn From India

The recent cold blooded murder of Cecil, the lion, by an American big game hunter has sparked outrage across the world and has taken the social media by storm. The hunter (I prefer to call him murderous coward) has also stated that big game hunting is an activity that he loves and practises “responsibly”.This statement brings to the fore the mindset of a culture that has eradicated most of its wildlife and biodiversity in its quest to pursue “development” and material benefits.

While the social media outrage does show that this mindset is abhorred by the majority even in the west now, it is too little too late. The forests of North America and Europe may once have had a dazzling array of wildlife but  many of the erstwhile  residents of those habitats are now gone forever...

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The Gift Of The Colorado

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit the US for the second time. It was a short 2 week jaunt but, as luck would have it, there was the long Memorial Day weekend in between. I tried to make the most of the weekend and managed to do a whirlwind tour of Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. All three locations are amazing and I feel lucky to have been able to experience them.

The common thread between the three locations is the river Colorado. Las Vegas exists in the middle of the desert and depends upon this river for its life blood. Colorado supplies the city with water and vital energy from the Hoover dam, without which all the glitz and glamour, that Vegas is famous for, would be impossible...

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In Pursuit Of The Tiger

Like last October, colleagues at work were itching to go on a short trip to unwind after a year full of releases and customer go-lives. After carefully evaluating several options, we settled for Corbett National Park yet again.

Those who know me would know that I was delighted at this decision. I have been to Corbett several times but I never get enough of the place. The place has a charm that is unique among Indian jungles. What added to the excitement was that besides doing the ritual Dhikala safari, we also went for the new Dhela zone opened for tourism from 1st December this year. Needless to say, the new zone is beautiful with its slightly undulating safari trails and mesmerizing grasslands.

Without much further ado, let’s go straight for the pictures...

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More Indian Than You Think

When one talks about a civilization’s ability to influence and attract other cultures,one name is a constant through out all recorded history . That name is India. I refer to India as a civilization as the soft power (Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce, use force or give money as a means of persuasion) exerted by our culture and traditions predates the concept of the Indian nation state.

In this era of globalization and instant connectivity, few aspects of the Indian story come rushing to the mind.

Cinema and Television

The glitzy song and dance sequences of Indian cinema have enthralled audiences all over the world...

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Musings From A Campus Recruitment Trip

A few days back I was approached by my superiors at work inquiring about my availability for a short trip to National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra. I was supposed to be part of a campus recruitment panel. I thought about it for sometime and then confirmed my availability. I must admit, I wasn’t very excited to go. I routinely take interviews for open positions here. Though, they are important, I do not find them terribly exciting.

The trip,however, turned out to be quite the opposite. The drive to Kurukshetra is a short one. But on the way lies Murthal – the mecca of Tandoori paranthas and a most visit for any food lover. The interviews turned out to be quite interesting as well. The excitement and anticipation among the students appearing in the interviews was hard to ignore...

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Goodbye Orkut!

My first introduction to the world of online social media was through Orkut. I remember sitting in front of a terminal at the Computer Centre in NIT Jamshedpur waiting for the account creation to finish but the internet was excruciatingly slow. The date was March 7, 2005. I remember the date because a friend has been requesting me to join this network so that I could write him a testimonial. In the good old days testimonials were trophies that flashed on people’s profile pages. Fan count was pretty important as well!

When a friend suggested that I use the takeout service offered by Google to download a digital archive of my interactions [my scrapbook – this was before Facebook introduced us to the Wall], I heeded his advice...

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Beauty Has An Address – Oman

Oman is an Arab state on the eastern coast of the Arabian peninsula. But what makes Oman special is that it is unlike any of the other Arab states. It is a civilization steeped in history and is the perfect blend of the modern and the traditional. It has,by far, the most heterogeneous culture among the Arab states. It is the land of Sindbad the sailor and has had cultural linkages with both East Africa and Persia since ancient times. It is these linkages and the enduring stamp that they have left on the Omani way of life, along with the Arab influence, that make Oman culturally richer and unique among its neighbours and peers in the Middle East...

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