Saturday, June 28, 2008

Average Cost of Eating Out!

Average Cost of Eating out over the years, indicating the treats I gave and got:

First Year of Engg : 100 bucks for 2
Second Year of Engg : still 100 bucks for 2
Third Year of Engg: 200 bucks for 2
Final Year of Engg: 250-300 bucks for 2

And now?
easily above 400 bucks ......
What does this indicate ? :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Interesting Incidents during the Sar Pass Trek - Part 3

This blog completes the trilogy of the interesting incidents that occured during the Sar Pass Trek. Some one got inspired to go for such a trek after reading the first Part. Leena told me to warn him that such things don't happen to everyone just a few lucky ones like Me .

Incident 6: Correlating 3 incidents

Here i just correlate 3 events and the conclusion is highly speculative and may not even be true.
This happened at Guna Paani camp. During the night,in our tent we talking general stuff. (Incident 1) One guy (Mr P) mentioned that during his visit to Hyderabad, he visited a pub where there was some semi-nude dancers. Although he couldn't stick around for the whole show as his wife was waiting for him at him; He felt he was deprived an oppurtunity of a lifetime. Moving to the next morning. All in our tent didn't sleep well because of the uneven ground. (Incident 2) I was surprised when Mr P said that, He had a very sound sleep. I thought "Lucky you!". Before we move out of any camp, all the tents have to cleant. (Incident 3) I and Hemanth usually cleant our tents. We went inside and were dusting all the blankets, when i noticed that the blanket i was dusting has a round wet spot around 6cm in diameter. It was coincidently Mr P's blanket.

Just correlate the 3 incidents mentioned above. Get a hint? Hemanth and other folks who told this story got the hint.

Incident 7: Atop a bus

One of things in Himachal not to be missed is sitting on top a bus. Yes! not inside but on the top. We experienced it twice during the trek and once after the trek. After finishing our trek and moving out of the Kasol YHAI camp, we were waiting at a bus stop to catch a bus to Manali. A private bus stopped and we were to climb on top of that bus. The conductor stopped us; it was against the rules to do. So we kept our luggage on top and sat inside the bus. After crossing Bhuntar, the bus broke down.

We all got off. Luckily another bus of the same company came along. Well there wasn't any space inside. So we all went top of the bus. Yayee! Dream fulfilled.

We enjoyed the journey though cautiously circumvented all the wires and trees in the way.
Krishna said he didn't know what to expect next. We surely didn't. It started raining. We were ok with the drizzle, but then it came down hard. We got down at the stop; leaving our bagts on top of the bus. The bus was already overfull. Before we could get in, the bus started moving. We were now left at the bus stop without our bags.

We waited patiently and helplessly for the next bus. We desperately climbed on it and hoped our bags were safe.
We thought at Kullu, we would change buses as that was long stop. When we reached Kullu, we realized the bus that had our luggage had already left for Manali and this bus was only until Kullu. Things were getting worse or more exciting i can't say.

We then boarded the bus Manali. On reaching
Manali, we realized none of us knew what was the number of that bus that had our luggage. We spanned out all corners of the Manali bus stop. We eventually found our luggage, although we had a hard time explaining the conductor as to how we and our luggage travelled on different buses.

Incident 8: Solang Valley

Manali, one of most sought after tourist places in India is crap. So are places around it eg. Rohtang Pass , Hidimba Temple and worst of all Solang valley. We were told by some one in the trek, that Solang valley was a very good/beautiful place. I, having visited Manali the 4th time (in the last past 5 years) already knew that Solang Valley would be as good (or bad) as Manali. But I was ready to proved wrong. So when these folks were making plans to go to Solang Valley, i didn't play spoilsport and followed the plan.

We rented a taxi (for 600 bucks) and reached Solang Valley. Now the question what is Solang Valley?
Is it a beautiful valley with amazing vistas?
The answer No!, its just a flat ground with a few hills around it. The flat ground has a lot of stalls put of akin to melas or fun fairs we visited as kids. This had some adventure sports though.
Like you can do gliding for less than 2 mins but for more than 600 bucks. Or Stand inside a big ball and roll inside it for another 700 bucks.
We had already spent 600 bucks for the cab, and had had all the adventure we can think already!
Evidently, these guys were all pissed and ready to track down that camper who adviced us this place and beat him up.


Rolling in a ball

Krishna was thinking of ways of claiming back the 700 bucks. There was a stall put up where if you knock out all the glasses from the table with a ball, you get 500 bucks. You pay 20 bucks for 3 tries. Fair enough?
Krishna was ready to take the chance of losing 20 bucks. Sri decided to take a shot.
Did he have a good aim ? Did he have the necessary skill ? Could he have made it to any IPL team even the Royal Challengers?
Well, the answer is No!! He missed all his tries, by almost a kilometer. But could he have still made it to the Royal Challengers team ? With their current form, can't really say!

That was the last incident that happened. After that we all parted ways, Krishna and Sri went to Shimla for some more adventures. I and Hemanth returned to Delhi and then to Pune and Bangalore respectively.
It was truly an amazing trip i had done in recent times especially with all the incidents that we witnessed/experienced.

Interesting Incidents during the Sar Pass Trek - Part 2

Incident 4: Fart Master.

It was around 5am in the morning at the Kasol Base camp. I was half asleep. I heard a really loud noise almost like those really loud lakshmi bombs that go off during Diwali. My eyes were wide open. It was a fart. Not only did Hemanth,Sri and Krishna confirmed that, they also told me that when i was out the tent to attend nature's call, another bomb went out. Only after a couple of days did we find who the culprit was ( I'll refer to him as Mr.F) ; as he always tried to better his record. There were other bombs let of by his buddies (as though competiting) that went out in our tent but albeit of lower intensities. We were trapped.
Now, during our trek through Sar Pass, there was a very steep climb where it was adviced that only one person climb that stretch at a time. Hemanth And Krishna had already crossed. I was next and Sri followed. Sri stayed back and waited until I crossed . Now Mr F comes overtakes Sri and is trying to climb. Sri told him to wait until i complete. But this guy was in a mighty hurry. He started climbing. The scene looks like this, Sri is standing and Mr F has started climbing just above him. Now Mr F fires out a bomb (loud enough to cause an avalanche ) right in Sri's face. When Sri finally reached on top. His face was worth looking at, but we weren't looking we were laughing our heart out.

Later we found Mr F and his buddies wolfing down a lot of groundnuts. We dreaded the night ahead.

Incident 5: A fight.

Which are the verbal fights you like the most? I really enjoy the ones where the participants don't understand each others' language. On the trek, I witnessed a fight between a female who was continuously yelling in Kannada and a guy apparently arguing back in Hindi.
How did the fight start?
There was an old rickety bridge which only one caould cross at a time. Each one took turns. This Delhite overtook the female from Haasan, Karnataka albeit cutting lanes. The lady freaked out and started yelling . This guy surprised as ever was quiet initially as lane/line cutting in Delhi as very normal. Even after a lot of the folks tried to quell her anger, she still kept yelling unecessarily. Eventually this guy also lost his cool and started yelling back. This female's husband also joined in and knew only Kannada. It took a while to resolve the whole issue.
I can understand folks arguing when they understand each other's language. But its really amusing when they don't and just vent out their anger.
In Rheotic, Hemanth asked, "Have they come all the way up (8000ft) to have a fight? Don't we do it everyday in the cities?"

Incident 6: First Slide/Torn Pants
We had heard from other folks from previous camps, "Don't miss the kilometer long slides around Sar Pass". So here we were at the first natural snow slide. We were explained how to sit and go . There wasn't any support . If do something wrong you're screwed. How could I not goof up here? You sit; lie back; keep your legs in the air and slide down. Your elbows are your rear brakes and Feet the front brake. We all know what happens if you apply the front brake instead of the rear brakes. As if i didn't know that already, i did exactly that.

Initially during the silde, i was going down on the support of my back. Then applied the front brakes for some reason. I had a blackout for a second. When I opened my eyes again, i was sliding down on my stomach!!
When i reached down, i had snow all over and inside me (including underwear); folks were laughing their heart out. Krishna exclaimed, " This was the most entertaining slide, we have seen. Why do such things happen to you?"

Now, while trekking in snow you aren't always sure in which parts have snow melted and in which parts are they intact. So normally the guide tests the snow and makes the path, you just follow. Near our lunch point, i was walking around generally on untested snow. I kept my foot on one patch, and my leg went way down. I heard a particular sound which you don't want to. The result :

Yes, my jeans were torn at a very strategic position. Luckily i had another set of pants ( which were worn out). I didn't have a choice. The following day, what i dreaded came true. These pants also tore. Yeah and at the same place. I was lucky that Hemanth lent his jeans and they fitted. He kept verifying though that his pants weren't going to be a victim too. Krishna again exclaim "None of the other campers had any torn pants, You had two! Why do such things happen to you ?"

Wait, there are another set of incidents. Stay tune for Part 3!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who Scratched My Car ?

How many people owning New and Shiny cars have sleepless nights about their car getting scratched ?
Your car can be scratched by miscreants, by children or by your novice neighbor learning to park his car; purposefully or even unknowingly. I pretty sure, all folks parking their cars in shared parking areas would agree.

My dad was always vary of buying a new car for this reason. So we had 2 second-hand cars and eventually now he bought new one, which inspects very meticulously everyday in the morning and will solemnly reports "There is another scratch!" or " The neighbors are useless!"

Why do i suddenly bring up this topic?

Today morning after returning from the gym, Leena noticed some scratches on her car! She went berserk cursing the children who normally play around during the day. I smiled and laughed a bit. That just things made things worse.
I then realized that, Scratches on the most beloved possession can make anyone's mood bad especially when you can do nothing about it.

My advice to all folks owning/playing to own cars (new or old) is GET OVER IT and Learn to Live with it . This is surely, most definitely going to happen; especially if you are living in India. There is no escape and moreover there is nothing you can do with it. Hence, stop sulking/cribbing/getting angry.
And Have a Nice Day :D .

So I bought a New Cell...

Finally my cell gave way. It fell sick after the trek and now is lying on its death bed. After procrastinating a lot, i ventured to buy a new one! Whenever you go for advice on buying a cell or go to sites like etc, the first thing they'll ask is requirements!
What do i require??
I was confused anyways!
I wanted wi-fi ( when people why?, i had no explanation) and ability to sync with my Lotus Notes Calendar. This mostly means a high end phone more than 12k. I was in no position to blow so much money. Nor did i want a simple phone with a monochrome display . I knew my budget was around 5k. So I walked around visiting couple of shops with lousy salesman ( viz The Mobile Store and Subhiksha), who treat customers(wanting cheap mobiles) like dirt. But i was determined to get one. I went in another shop in aundh namele Baba Mobile. As i said told them my budget, they enthusiastically showed 4-5 models in that range. The sales folks were good and courteous.

My eyes fell upon the Samsung J150. It looked really sleek. It has the regular stuff; 1.3M camera, Mp3 player, Bluetooth, FM reciever, MicroSD card slot etc. I fell in love with its looks. I bought it right away for 4.8k . The GUI layout is very very user friendly and intuitive. The quality of the GSM transciever is very good, so is the quality of audio output.
I am very happy with this purchase. Hope i make this one survive some treks ;).

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Interesting Incidents during the Sar Pass Trek - Part 1

I am not going to write a blog about how the Sar Pass trek was in general, instead i am going to write about the interesting incidents that happened during the trek.

Incident 1: Learn to wear your belt correctly

This happened to me on the very first day at the base camp itself. Hemanth has a pic of it. I hope he uploads it quickly.
We were moving out of our tent for a session on first-aid. When i came out of the tent, i realized that i had forgotten to wear my belt. So i got it out and started wearing it. This happened while standing out the tent. After buckling the belt; i started to move. Then i realized, i couldn't; something was holding me back. All the folks around me started laughing and clicking snaps. Only then i realized that not only did the belt go through all my pant hooks, it also went through one of the ropes of the tent. The rope that keeps the tent standing. Hence i couldn't move and gave people a hearty laugh.

Incident 2: Life gives you chances to say "No", use them!

After Incident 1, we moved to the central camp for a session on First Aid. The lady doctor called on volunteers (who she guided) for showing how to attend to sprains, setting up an oxygen cylinder etc. For the last demo, she scanned around the tent, and her eyes feel on me. She called me forth for a demo on CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation). In layman's language Mouth-to-Mouth . I thought she would just make me lie down, talk in general about it and let me off. How wrong was I ! . First i was told to take off my T-shirt. Then the guy acting as a aid was told to take off my belt!. Folks started laughing and i started getting a bad feeling about it. I prayed to God, "Please not the pants! not the pants!" . Luckily the pants stayed on. She explained certains things and then came the mouth-to-mouth . Yes, the lady doc gave me a mouth-to-mouth. Lucky for me she placed a handkerchief on my mouth before she proceeded. Unluckily, i could hear flashes go off. So photos were clicked, and were then used to blackmail me.
Later folks, asked me what was going through my mind during the incident. I replied I was praying to God "Please save me!!"

Note: Lady Doctor wasn't hot.

Incident 3: In search of a special kind of grass

This happened at our first camp, Gunapaani. Hemanth and I climbed up a small hill nearby. We were later joined by another person from our trekking group. He was married, had 2 kids and seemed in his late 30s. He started searching for something in the grass. He mentioned that in Uttaranchal, there is a special type of grass which cost 10 grand per kilo. Hemanth guessed it to be some sort of dope. He said no dope. It was good for sex. We were amused. He then told us the story of the discovery of the grass. Farmers found that their old and useless male horses had suddenly become "very active". The farmers were surprised and kept a watch on them. Then the farmers found this special grass . I was in two minds to ask, how did they find out that it worked for humans also ; before which we were out of that place.

There are more incidents that happened. I'll talk about them in the follow up of this article. Stay Tuned!

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tareef, A Mughalai Place in Aundh

Today, Leena was in a mood to have some Mughalai style biryani, so we visited Tareef, a Mughalai restaurant in Aundh itself.
It is located near the Ozone Mall. There is big red colored board put up. Hard to miss.
The decor of the place has an ethic feel; from the wall-hangings to the cutlery.
The menu has a nice variety of dishes. We ordered the Akbari Macchli and Murg Biryani Dilliki.
Both the dishes were really sumptuous and tasty. The fish was fresh and the Biryani was well cooked. Both of us really enjoyed our meal. The waiter was also courteous enough to ask us about the food. We finished it off with a Malai Phirni which was decent enough.
The rates are a bit on the costlier side, though i would most certainly recommend this place for Tandoor and Biryani fans.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Another blogging client

Testing another blogging client... This one is scribefire
It looks better than BloGTK or gnome-blog..

This is my blog post using a blogging client BloGTK .... testing