Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ramanagara Trek – Bouldering, Rock Climbing, Rappelling, Chimney Climbing and Trekking

As Dusshera approached, I planned to make the festival a little different this time. As a member of Bangalore Mountaineering Club, I chose to trek with my friends Shravan and Gowtham. I went to Ramanagara, where SHOLAY movie was shot. Ramanagara is 60km to the south-west of Bangalore. A group of 10 started at 6.30am and reached Ramanagara at 8am after having breakfast on our way. Our coach came on time with the climbing equipment and taught us the basics of and styles in rock climbing.

    We started ‘Bouldering’ in which we have to use the grip in our hands and legs to climb the boulders. After climbing two such boulders, the coach gave some tips for advanced rock climbing using ‘Top Roping’ style. With the help of grooves in the rock, we anchored our hands and legs. Simultaneously, we pushed our body up by balancing our weight towards the rock. A few of us slipped and suffered bruises on our hands. Later, we ascended a steep rock cliff and performed ‘Rappelling’. We descended down the rock face using a rope. Though, it was scary at the edge of the cliff, Dandeli rappelling experience helped me gather courage.

    After Rappelling, we had our lunch in Ramanagara at 1pm. Then, we came back to face the toughest challenge in the trip, ‘Chimney Climbing’. We had to climb a rock cleft with vertical slides 25 feet high. Earlier, all of us were scared to climb up as a slip from the top would result in a serious injury or even death. A 10-year old boy showed us the way by climbing it with great difficulty. With this inspiration, I climbed it very fast in less than 3 minutes. But I was scared to death after finding that, a guy half my weight is supporting me from the top of the cleft, in case of any emergency.

Finally, we took nearby hill steps and reached a beautiful temple. We further ascended through a dangerous steep and had a fabulous view of Ramanagara town. We took rest on top of the hill for an hour and moved back to Bangalore by 6pm.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A weekend trip with my family

I took my family to Shivanasamudra, Mysore, Halebidu and Belur for a two day trip. I contacted Sri Vinayaka Tours with the help of ‘Just Dial’ and got a very good cab deal.

We started at 8am and reached Shivanasamudra, which is around 130 kilometers to the west of Banagalore, at 10.30am. As the Cauvery river flow was full due to rains, it was a real treat to watch Shivanasamudra. We enjoyed the waterfalls for an hour and drove towards Mysore.

We halted at Srirangapatna and visited Shri Ranganathaswamy temple. This temple was built 1200 years ago and the idol of Shri Maha Vishnu is in resting position. Then we visited Dariya Daulat bagh, the summer palace of Tipu Sultan built in 1784. This palace is made up of wood and stands tall even after more than 200 years. Then, we visited Ranganathittu Bird sanctuary but were disappointed to hear that it was closed due to Cauvery floods.

    Later, we went to Chamundi hills and visited Chamundeshwari temple. My nephew enjoyed a lot playing with monkeys near the temple. We rushed to Tipu Sultan’s palace in Mysore and reached at 5pm. The palace will be closed at 5.30pm and cameras will not be allowed inside the palace. By the time we leave our cameras in our car and went back, the palace gates were closed.

    Afterwards, we went to Mysore gardens while it was raining. We managed to attend a Musical Fountain, the main attraction at Mysore gardens. It was incredible to watch both the musical foundation and the crowd dancing to the tunes. We stayed that night at Mysore itself as planned.

The next day morning, we visited the Royal Mysore palace. We should remove our foot wear before entering the palace. I was amazed watching at the work done in durbar halls.
Then, we drove to Hoysaleswara temple that was built around 900 years ago in Halebidu. Though many sculptures were destructed by many invaders, the remains are still splendid.
We proceeded to Chennakesava temple, another masterpiece in Belur town. I loved the temple’s architecture and the inscriptions. Most of the sculptures are carved by “Amarshilpi Jakkana”. A legend says that people of Belur town protected this temple from the invaders by covering the entire temple with sand.
Finally, we came back to Bangalore at 10pm on the second day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bangalore City Trip

My sister’s family and my mother visited Bangalore in the first week of September. During that time, I took them to Bangalore sight seeing trip. Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) conducts one-day Bangalore sight seeing trip. This post will help people who plan to visit the major tourist spots in Bangalore. I reserved the tickets through the following site:

We started from Koramangala at 6.30am and reached Badami house near Corporation circle. All the tourist buses to different destinations start from Badami house. Our bus started at 7.15am with 12 tourists. A guide explained us Bangalore statistics in detail. The statistics include the number of two-wheelers and four-wheelers, average salary and the history of the city. Meanwhile, we reached the beautiful ISKON temple. We visited the Lord Krishna’s temple and also had our breakfast at ISKON canteen itself. We also bought different varieties of prasadam.

Later, we visited Anjaneya temple, which is nearby ISKON and located in a residential area. The 22 feet deity of Anjaneya is carved out of a single granite stone. Shri Maha Lakshmi’s temple is adjacent to this temple. Then, we headed to Sri Raja Rajeswari Temple, which is the last temple in the list.

The best part of the tour began at Banneerghatta National Park, which is 22 kilometers to the south of Bangalore. We purchased tickets worth 160/- each for a jungle safari. We travelled in an iron grilled mini bus that took us into the forest. Initially, we saw deers, a herd of bison and crocodiles. Later the bus took us to bear, lion and tiger safaris. In each safari, animals will be kept in an area surrounded by electrified fence. Iron grilled bus travelled in that area amidst the animals. My nephew was really excited at watching the animals and even invited those to get into our bus. After the safaris, we visited different animals in the zoo in a hurry to catch our bus. Though it was amazing, I felt that we should dedicate half a day to Banneergatta National Park.

We had our breakfast on our way back to Bangalore. The guide took us to ‘Mysore Resham Udyog’ where we found clothes and artifacts that are expensive. Later, he took us to an art museum in which we weren’t much interested. An art aficionado would love to visit this place.

We proceeded to Jawaharlal Nehru planetarium where we played in the adjoining park. The shows start at 4.30pm and 5.30pm. We choose 4.30pm show. The sky show was fantastic covering the galaxy, stars and planets. Though we were very excited looking at the sky show, many of us felt asleep out of tiredness. After this show at 5.30pm, none of us are interested in watching Musical fountain. So, we opted out and came back to home.

Finally, I would say KSTDC organized a very good trip. But, given a chance I would take a private vehicle and visit ISKON temple and Bannergatta National Park only.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Unable to see files and folders in pen drive

Recently, I went to Cyber café to scan a document. When I came back, I noticed the folders and files in my pen drive became invisible. Then, I followed the steps shown below to retrieve my files and folders:

Plug the USB to your CPU or laptop.

Step 1:

If you did not format your USB, check whether folders are hidden. In browser, go to 'Tools' -> Folder Options.. -> ‘View’ tab -> Advanced Settings -> Files and Folders -> Hidden files and folders -> Check the radio button ‘Show hidden files and folders’
Step 2:
Go to Start -> Run -> type ‘cmd’ and click ‘OK’. A command prompt will pop up. If the pen drive is G:\ drive, type the following command as shown below:

attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*

Now, you can see your files and folders back in your pen drive.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Enrolling slum children in schools...

2011 is so far so good as there are many moments to pen down. During this summer, I engaged myself in Aashayein Foundation’s flagship program Bache Man Ka Sachche (BMKS). BMKS program identifies underprivileged children in slums and enrolls them to schools with a measurable scholarship. Here is how I did it along with a bunch of 30 active volunteers.
    Firstly, we identified four slums to find underprivileged children. We trained volunteers to approach each family and judge the family condition on certain parameters. While identifying kids, we noticed that some kids never went to school, some were drop-outs to join labor and some wanted to get educated in private schools rather than Government schools. We appreciated the efforts of the parents to bring up their children and provide good education. In some cases, I was really blown away by the efforts of the parents to educate their children.

    Secondly, we analyzed the family condition and conducted a test for the children. Through this test, we identified bright children who couldn’t pursue their education and also those who wanted to get educated in private schools. In a bid to make the parents responsible, we conducted a session to help them understand the value of education. Thus, we granted scholarships to the bright children.

    Finally, we convinced school officials to enroll the children and also paid the students' scholarship amount. During this process, we received valuable inputs from the school officials about the performance of the students and the behavior of the parents. We documented the details of the children for our future reference.

    At last, we enrolled 300 underprivileged slum children to schools. Though it took us four months of exhaustive effort, the difference that we made gave me immense satisfaction. Over a period of four years, I could enroll 600 children from slums to Government and Government aided schools.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Whaaaaat a Surprise!!!

It was 3pm when I received a call from Kirti.

Kirti: Hey dude.. Wassup?
Jayanth: Nothing much dude.. Same old story… work.. apps.. search..
Kirti: Any progress in any of these?
Jayanth: Nopes… By the way, what are your plans for Pongal?
Kirti: No plans. How about you?
Jayanth: Oh! I want to go to Kakinada. But one and a half month back, the train ticket status was W/L 289. I may go home, if I get a bus ticket.
Kirti: Oh! Is it? But you don’t travel by bus. Right?
Jayanth: Yeah! I don’t want to. But there is no other option. I want to be there with my family for Pongal.
(The conversation went on for a minute)
Kirti: OK Dude.. Take care. Enjoy Pongal.

    I received a mail with a Kingfisher airlines ticket to Visakhapatnam. Oh Boy! It took me by a big surprise… When I find it difficult to get even a bus ticket, a flight ticket was booked on my name without my knowledge.

Later, I called Kirti who confirmed that he want to surprise me and want me to spend time with my family during Pongal. I said that I was really surprised but he should have informed me prior to booking the ticket as Visakhapatnam is 3 hours from my town, Kakinada. This conversation continued for 2 more minutes.
Kirti: OK Dude.. Happy Journey. Enjoy Pongal.

Now, I received two mails. One is about cancellation of ticket to Visakhapatnam and another about booking a new ticket to Rajahmundry. Now, I don’t have words for the next one hour. For sure, this is the biggest surprise to me in the last two years. Let's see what surprises 2011 has in store for me.

I wanted to return the money to Kirti. But, after knowing that the cost of the ticket is a whopping 10K rupees, I thought “OK. Let it be a surprise :) Thank you Kirti... You made my day..:D

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Difference in Newyear Celebrations! 2011 & 1991

31st December, 2010… 9pm

Oh! God! I’m already a little late to the party. I started to the venue in a hurry. Oh! boy! How can I forget that today is 31st? ‘Baskin Robbins’ offers 31% discount on every 31st. In no time, I ‘swallowed’ my favorite dessert, a 3 scoop banana split. When I reached the venue, my friends already started playing Poker. When I am done with learning the rules of Poker, my friends winded up the game and proceeded to a private party. Some of us had our dinner while others had the starters and drinks.

    After a while, we welcomed 2011 with a nice cake rubbing the cream against each other. Meanwhile, everyone was busy wishing their family and friends. It took us a while to settle down and start the latcha/baat session. The topics were really interesting. It started from ‘how each of them met his/her spouse’ to ‘some silly affairs/crushes’ and ‘the so called youth icons’ (the bachelors’) requirements of a bride’. Finally, it all ended at 4am but not before we pledge our resolutions.
 Jayanth - Not to take non-vegetarian food in 2011. Plan things and act. Don't react.
 Puppy - Start a new company.
 Gora - Find a compatible girl friend.
 Satti  - Join gym and be fit.

I couldn’t sleep as my thoughts rolled back to 31st December, 1990… 9pm

    I screamed at my mom, who was preparing a sweet for us. “I’ll get you all the sweets on this earth. Please! please! Please! For Heavens’ sake… start the rangoli in front of our house. Our new year rangoli should be the best in our street”. I requested my grandmother and my tenants to stop watching doordarshan program and help my mom draw the best rangoli. I kept myself busy sorting out the greeting cards of film stars for my close friends and of flowers for my relatives and teachers. After finishing rangoli, we stuck ourselves to the television.

    When the clock struck 12, I was completely in an excited state shouting “Good Bye.. 1990. Welcome 1991.” I could wish only my family members and my neighbors and eagerly waited for the greeting cards from my relatives. I ran outside and not only wished everyone who is crossing my house but also asked them to comment on the rangoli in front of my house. The joy of celebrating new-year at that tender age was a different experience. No parties, no poker, no ice-cream, no cake, no mobiles, no resolutions… Still I had a great new year celebration with my family members and those memories are still fresh…