Archive for March, 2008

Day break and the alarm went off failing to get me out of bed, it was only when my fellow escapist called that I realized I was running late. Jumped out of the bed & got ready – all in 15mins and rushed out on hearing the patar – patar of my friends Jawa (it’s a 1970 model bike in excellent condition) handed down to my friend by his dad. Had to rush else would miss the group (IFMR India Chapter- International Federation for Motorcycling Rotarians). This Sunday there was only one other group member riding along unfortunately even he opted out, but we were greeted by Rtn. Zarryl on his Honda Steed. He wished us a pleasant ride and the both of us took off on a lone ride (not the way it usually works at IFMR). We headed towards the newly constructed Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli. We reached our destination of about 35km only to be disappointed that we would not be let in without prior permissions. We had to move on and continued our journey as planned to the Nandeeshwara Temple at the foothills of Nandi hills which is about 55kms from Bangalore. It’s a master piece of Dravidian architecture built in the 9th century, but unfortunately could not take pictures as photography is prohibited inside the temple premises. After savoring the architecture and feeling sad about the way this historic monument has been kept we got out to have a cuppa tea in one of the many stalls erected for the weekly fair. Wondering what to do with the additional time we had (considering we didn’t visit BIA) we decided to ride up to the top of Nandi hills which is about 14kms from the temple. Spent some time at the top savoring the morning breeze & fresh watermelons before checking out the Tippu Drop. Also discussed what could possibly done to avoid the use of plastic on top of the hill. A quick solution that stuck was something that my friend had earlier initiated as a part of a campaign at the Bannerghatta National Park (unpack the contents of the plastic packaging into paper bags before dispensing it to the customer, thus avoiding the litter of plastic bag). Some photographs here and there and we started our journey back to Bangalore. Overall, it was a crisp trip starting at 6.30am from home and back by 11.30am with a total distance of 160kms and an average mileage of 28kms/ltr. Until later


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Had been quite a while since I had planned an offbeat trip, last i remember having been to Jodhpur around the time of the infamous Gujarat earthquake in 2001. This time around it was a day trip to Chennai to satisfy the desire of visiting aquaculture farms, experiencing firsthand the journey of those lovely colourful pets that add life to the décor of our living rooms, offices etc… the whole trip was planned on short notice.

Beginning the day at 5 in the morning on a Saturday, (come to think of it I generally end up waking early on weekends, nothing shakes me out of bed till 8.30am on week days…) got ready and hit the road to catch the Shatabdi at the Cantonment Station. My first stop was to get an auto-rickshaw & was surprised to find a kind rickshaw driver who spent time exercising before he could get his first customer for the day. We broke into a conversation & I figured Shivprasad doubled up into a chef during the day for a leading chain of hotels in the city called Shanti Sagar and rendered his services as a auto driver during his breaks to make an additional buck. Life in Bangalore has changed so much with the high cost of living that one has to do double jobs to make a decent living.

I was dropped at the Cant. Station and after a 10 min wait and the train chugged into the station. 10 mins of travel and a voice spoke over the speaker system. At first I was irked as it stopped a Hindi classic to give the message; the passengers were welcomed onto the train and wished a pleasant journey in 3 languages by the train superintendent Mr. Arul Richard in a lovely voice, the classics continued once he was done.

I spoke to Arul later to compliment him on the collection he was playing, he told me that earlier he used to play old tapes and the quality was bad. A frequent traveler gifted him with a CD system and a set of CD’s for the benefit of passengers thus the lovely quality of music. This was something I would have never thought of doing. The staff in the train were very courteous & kept the snacks & beverage flowing making you feel at home. I got down few stop before Chennai at Prerembur thanking the train staff for making my journey comfortable.

Here began my mission for the day, first I packed some food at a good restaurant then moved on to hire a rickshaw to look around the place, not really knowing where to head to find these farms I first visited many of the shops dealing with live fish & related products, most of them were not comfortable to direct me to their farms, my broken Tamil didn’t help my cause either. I managed to talk to one of the dealers to take me to his farm and to show me around, it was a wonderful experience to see how those huge tanks are maintained, fish at its many stages before they hit the store, the different kinds of feed. Surprisingly the time taken for these little ones to grow into a marketable size is much lesser when compared if it were to be done here in Bangalore, no wonder we don’t have any farms here and most stuff to the Bangalore market comes from Chennai.

I got to photograph a whole lot of varieties of both sweet water and marine fishes, got to see that the banned corals were openly traded. Just about a month ago most dealers of live corals in Bangalore were raided and sent behind bars – does Tamil Nadu have different wildlife rules (let me not kick the dust). It was a pleasant outing thanks to the sun god who was merciful to make my trip comfortable. Time just flew in the activity and I headed back to the railway station en-route packed some special food for the train superintendent to encourage him to keep up the good service.

I was totally refreshed and ready to take on the hectic week that was ahead but not before completing the bike ride that was planned for the following day got back home and hit the sack waiting for day break to hit the road…

Until later


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