Sunday, July 28, 2013

The daffodil Love....

My post is picked by as the "WOW" post for the week:)

Visit "this"link to read more posts 

Tring Tring.. The phone rang...rather Grrrr grr, the phone vibrated as Preeti keeps it in silent mode most of the time. She some how doesn't like the sound of the phone ringing. May be as all are used to just messaging and chit chatting over FB Preeti got unused to the phone call. Phone call is like a telegram to her if the regular calls from parents and one or two close friends are excluded. A phone call always is some thing related to work or if there is some urgent news and most of the times it is from airtel customer care or a person requesting to get an ICICI credit card or a distance MBA degree. Even after the repeated refusals they keep trying to lure you by calling you from different numbers.

On that fine morning the phone rang and Preeti answered with the same monotony in her voice.
image source:"here"

Preeti: "Hello. Who's this?"

On the other side : "Don't you recognize my voice?"

Preeti: "Nope. Sorry!"

"No need to be sorry. Actually I should be sorry for not being in touch!"

Preeti: "Who is this?"

"Aah. I want you to figure out yourself."

Preeti: "Listen mister. I don't have time to figure out some fake call. Bye!"

"Wowoow . Hold on. You haven't changed han ? Why are you in such a hurry? Let me just talk for a while."

"Listen. I hate stalkers like you. I absolutely loathe prank calls."

"But this is not a prank call. You know me."

"Sorry but I can't recognize you. Are you from school ?

"I wish I was in school too with you but alas, I was not lucky enough!"

"Who the hell is this ? "

"Keep guessing. I will call again tomorrow."

Saying so the stranger ended the call.

Preeti was puzzled through out the day. She wanted to get it out of her head but his voice kept coming back in echos. "Who could that be ? How should I crack it? " she thought continuously . Her ego stopped her from calling him back. Later in the evening she got sms.

It read : "Did you figure out who am I ? Don't try much. There is a surprise for you tomorrow!"

Preeti spent a sleepless night thinking about the stranger guy. She thought of informing her friends as she already read about too many phone crimes but then changed her mind. She thought if she senses harm she will then inform some one.

Next day as she was getting ready for office the calling bell rang. She was startled as she actually was expecting her phone to ring. For the first time in her life she kept the phone in ringing mode as she didn't want to miss the call.

She opened the door. The DHL courier person delivered a huge package and a daffodils bouquet with an envelope tucked neatly between the petals.

She was scared to open the package but she opened it anyway. There was a lovely sky blue colored top, a SRK poster and an old notebook in the packet. She hastily opened the envelope to read the letter.

Dear Preeti,

I know you are exasperating as of now. Don't worry. I am not a criminal. I will not cause any harm to you. I am hoping sky blue is still your favorite color. I know how much mesmerized you were in college after reading the daffodils poem by William Wordsworth and loved daffodils since then . Poetry is in your blood. Weren't you a huge fan of Robert Frost and Shakespeare? Thats your favorite notebook in school in which you scribbled your own poems and also your favorite poems of various poets. Sorry for stealing it from you. I am sure it is your treasured possession. Hope you would be excited to have it in your hands again. Last but not the least I am sure that SRK's dimple in the poster would already have brought smiles on your face! If you haven't still figured out who I am then wait for my phone call.
Image courtesy:"here"

Love and wishes
Guess me ? ;)

Preeti ruffled through the pages of note book. Indeed it was hers. She was jumping in joy. It could be none other than Ritvik who used to sit in the same bench and was her great fan. In the graduation days she laughed at his proposals and love poems thinking its just the teenage infatuation but her joy has no limits today as the very thought that Ritvik remembered her all these years is over whelming.

With emotions and hormones gushing through her she opened the call register to call him back when the bell rang again.

5' 10" tall and confident Ritvik  stood infront of her wearing a broad smile. Preeti instantly recognized his striking features and hugged him as she fell short of words!

-------------------------------- THE BEGINNING---------------------------------------------
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Friday, July 26, 2013

"The day I touched Himalayas" - Drive to Rohtang Pass!

Last summer we traveled to Manali by road and then to "Rohtang Pass". Our day 2 in the itinerary was to visit Rohtang pass. We spent a good 6hrs on the road to cover a mere 52kms which should take less than 2hrs! The trip increased our patience, controlled our temperament, taught us to cooperate with each other and reminded God and gave the stark realization that the godly places are always tough to reach! The below one is the most classic shot on the way. Don't you feel like living in that house along with grazing horses and cattle?

As we started taking turns on the zigzag road it started getting hazy and foggy. It was the month of July, the best time to visit Rohtang pass as during winter all the roads will be blocked with ice chunks which are 5ft in depth.Check the snaky traffic line. Not sure how many corn and tea breaks we took. Nothing passed the time and we were exhausted as we were stuck at the spot below for a good 2 and 1/2 hours. Finally the traffic moved slowly after a total halt of 3 and 1/2 hrs.

The day was both sunny and icy which troubled my sinuses. Many people puked on the way. I was later told it is called “acute mountain sickness”.

After too many people falling sick in our jeep and an unnerving traffic jam it felt worth it when we touched the ice.

We had piping hot ginger tea which was a relief. Where ever you go you can find solace in Maggi which is like the staple food of hill stations.

Some people wanted to go to bathrooms and I avoided them for the reasons best known to us. They were just booths covered with some wooden planks and there was no water available. The below pic is my most favorite.

Lastly my pic with my favorite travel partner - Harnoor from Chandigarh who made me smile all the way with her silly jokes. She was a relief whenever the journey seemed endless. Among other partners there were Harnoor's parents, 3 fiery, feisty girls who worked in Delhi and Gurgaon, who were very cooperative and offered us the middle and front seats as the back seat of the jeep made us sick! Half of the clan fell sick and I just wanted the trip of that day to end but in the return journey we again faced a traffic-jam though it was not a prolonged one!

Thus our trip ended and even if the journey was stressful I can never ever forget this first time Himalaya experience in my life. I dedicate the below poem to this journey.

Sometimes road is smooth sometimes with friction.
Sometimes Life is real sometimes with fiction!
Road has many milestones to cross.
Life has many phases to pass!!

Road shows us mirages at times.
Life shows us dreams and dimes! 
Road ends with destination.
Life ends with re-incarnation!

A chance to win a trip to Michelin Pilot Experience at

“This is my entry for “Travel That Moved me” contest, in support of "Rang de", conducted by "desi Traveler" .
For more info on the contest please click here

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"It's a girl" - The three deadliest words in the world- by Evan Grae Davis

After watching many inspiring TEDXvideos at the "Idea Caravan" by Franklin Templeton investments, the one which touched me is "Its a girl" video by Evan Grae Davis where gendercide is highlighted. Gendercide is a major issue in countries like China and India where male to female ratio is as high as 120:100 . Sex selective abortion , merciless infanticide and violence at any stage of life are some practices to get rid of the unwanted gender which most of the time is female. I was moved after watching the video and also the trailer of the short film he made. Evan being a film maker has roamed around the world and knows many unbelievable facts and statistics but he says the one which moved him immensely was the sight in a village some where in the fields of south India where a women strangled 8 girl children mercilessly and buried them in the inner parts of the field. I was baffled like Evan when I saw that she mentioned  what she did with zero emotions and zero remorse but the thing is it is all a vicious cycle. She didn't want to repeat the history once a girl child is born. I am not supporting her act which is a horrendous crime but in some regions of India or china or to that matter any other country where a woman is treated with disrespect in many communities and where a woman is just considered as a commodity or a carrier of the child and where you have to pay to get her married this is bound to happen. Specially for women below the poverty line it is tough to thrive and be independent and fight.

 Last year a program hosted by Aamir khan titled Satyameva jayate was aired on starplus which dealt with many humanitarian issues. The very first episode relayed on 6th May 2012 dealt with female foeticide. You can watch the episode below and know some unbelievable facts of India. This is not the issue faced only by people below the poverty line. Even well educated folks , people staying in villas and bungalows also get displeased when they come to know that a girl child is about to enter the family. They mercilessly kill the girl foetus or worst part is they kill the girl baby once it is born. That's the reason finding the gender before birth is a crime in India but where there is a law there are too many law breakers too. Every one easily knows the sex of the child by bribing the doctors. You can watch it all in the episode below to know how the corrupted doctors ease the crime. I was literally in tears when I watched this episode. 

      If you cant access the video above watch it here - Its a one hour episode of Satyamev Jayate (in Hindi) on female foeticide

A viewer gave feed back  after the episode that nothing can be solved by going against Rajasthan govt. An appeal to Rajasthan govt may lead to speedy court trials but he makes sense as it is not the problem of just Rajasthan. The solution to this issue seems tough but by such episodes we can at least spread awareness and imbibe sense in to people.

When we look at the bigger picture of female foeticide/infanticide issue it shows many intertwined problems which are age old norms and policies of our society like dowry which is a nightmare for many people who can't bear the bulky demands , a girl's education which is not that important and many other age old traditions. Female is a burden and a downtrodden sex and will remain so as per many ignorant people. In the patriarchal society we live in even literacy doesn't help in educating people. People believe in what they want to and do what they feel like with out giving a second thought to horrible consequences. The forced abortions of China stumped me. People who work for the family planning council drag the women for the forced abortion. In few places as there is scarcity of girls they are bought from other states and countries for marriage. There are many stories through out India and through out the world which we are not aware of.
From female foeticide to dowry crimes to acid attacks to honor killing India is topping the charts. All these problems are interrelated! We are one of the countries progressing fast. Our technological progress makes us feel that we are living in the futuristic era but our society and happenings make me feel we are living in the darkest possible time of the century!

The facts are astounding and unbelievable. If a mother in a rich family flees to protect her daughter , a daughter in law runs to TV channels requesting them to save her life as she would be burnt with kerosene by her in-laws and husband. If a woman buries the just born girl child fearing the wrath of the society and future problems she would face, a father gets her daughter married to a person who is double her age or kills her to save family's honor. We are living in caves and we are dangerous than the wild animals. A snake eats its off-springs as it is hungry immediately after delivering baby snakes but we eat our off springs as we all are  hungry for the guidelines set by our idiotic society . Human race definitely is not very empathetic or sympathetic. People talk about crimes and forget. If some one raises voice against an influential person he would be silenced or bribed in no time. I am not totally supporting media intervention but as media gets more involved many social atrocities hidden under the carpet till now are seeing the day's light and sometimes even action is taken against the criminals!Even in Aamir's program few cases were taken to the fast track court. I haven't tracked if all the criminals are punished but I did not hear much after the end of the first season last year!

We can give funds to victims and raise our voices but I am not sure how to uproot the "wrong" thinking many have here . Just yesterday I was watching a documentary where a NRI girl Radha came to India to just understand why the mindsets are like that here! The insensitivity , the patriarchal society , the upbringing and false notions people imbibe and follow religiously from the day they are born is outrageous. Women are always considered a weaker sex , treated like one and hypnotized to actually believe that they belong to a gender which is many rungs below the male gender in many parts of the country. This video below shows various happenings which are hard to digest. Every one must be knowing the Dec 16 gang rape incident in Delhi. Criminals don't fear punishment here. They are so damn used to court trials and delayed judgments. The acid attack victim Tuba Tabassum brought tears in my eyes. I can just pray that all these victims get justice and those cold blooded criminals who want to be superior at any cost should get punished ASAP. They must not escape the wrath of innocent beings around them.  Neither a girl's dressing nor her outgoing nature is an excuse for a boy to get provoked. No reason is good enough to justify the filthy crimes like rapes or acid attacks.

Coming back to female foeticides and infanticides the statistics just spin my head. In the below video there is also an orphan age home where they bring up the girls . Most of them are dumped in dust bins like trash just after they are born and some are just abandoned and some like Evan said are brutally killed. There is no compassion , no sensitivity and no humanity among us. I feel helpless when I think about bringing a revolution by  educating such people. I really wish people wake up from their sound slumber , have a reality check and do their bit when ever it is needed ! 

The above video made me sad and helpless. When I think of the general perception many would have developed about India over the years I just can't argue or say some thing to contradict their belief and support my country!

Have glimpse of dowry deaths in India " here " . From Sonali Mukherjee to Tuba there are innumerable acid victims . Recently after a long fight supreme court regulated acid sales. You can read it here - More than one million child deaths  are reported in India -, We really need a strong pesticide to get rid of the foeticide.  India contributes to 1/4th of the world's child deaths.We are at the verge of becoming non-humans. Its high time to speak out and bring a small / big change around you. 

Evan Grae Davis and his team have made a short film - "It's a girl" . Check the trailer below. Its now being screened in America , Australia and Europe.
Know more about the movie here -
I hope the protests don't die down and the rage doesn't get diluted once the headlines change the next day. I wrote the poem below with slightest hope for a change on the international women's day highlighting the atrocities against women.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Smile is not always a curve which sets things straight :-)

It got awkward when Reshma was introduced to Sahil. She already knows him but had to exchange the pleasantries like she met him for the first time. To add to the awkwardness Ajay left her with Sahil as he got a phone call.

Sahil: "Hmm. So you seem very happy?"

Reshma: "Of course. Ajay is a good man but I have not embraced life the way you did. I didn't climb the success ladder forgetting past so fast!"
Sahil smiled. The shadow of his smile held so many questions, answers and emotions but it was disrupted as Ajay came back.

Written for Saturday’s 100 words prompt on Write Tribe.
100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe

Monday, July 22, 2013

"Bhaag Milka Bhaag"- Little slow on the track but an enjoyable biopic

Originally published  in Viewspaper. Read at  "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - A review" . Read a detailed review and analysis below :)

I only heard about Milkha Singh from my parents and was aware of the age old relaxing joke. I was eager to watch this "flying Sikh" on the big screen from the time I heard that a bio pic is being made. The star cast made me more happy as I saw Farhan Akhtar in it. Rakesh Omprakash Mishra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is straight from the heart. Milkha Singh's life mostly unedited is presented on the screen which captured almost all the important phases of this legend.The ups and downs, victories, disappointments and emotions are all very well portrayed. Farhan Akhtar seemed like a real athlete and his eerie resemblance to Milkha Singh made the movie more natural. Even if there are few camera tricks the way he moulded his body and presented himself are commendable!

Story line

The story opens with the 1960 Olympics where Milkha narrowly missed the medal and then makes us time travel when three gentle men start conversing about him on their way from Delhi to Chandigarh. Viewers are taken to his young days before he became a full pledged athlete and also to his child hood days . Milkha's coach Pawan Malhotra starts narrating about him  during the train ride taking the viewers on a roller coster ride and the story takes many interesting turns. His struggle as a kid to cope up with the deaths in the family during 1947 partition are shown neatly. He becomes a vagabond post partition and finds his sister Divya Dutta finally after fleeing to India. Story keeps oscillating between present , past and his childhood days and Milkha never stops running the race called life. Milkha falls in love with Biro. Sonam Kapoor as Biro is cute and thankfully her role was not too long. To become somebody and to be eligible to marry Biro Milkha becomes an athlete and comes out of his comfort zone to prove himself but Biro doesn't wait leaving him heart broken. Life becomes big for Milkha since then. Opportunities fall in his lap and he uses every drop of his sweat and every ounce of his energy to win. Asian games, National games , common wealth games and every game where he succeeds is shown. While enjoying the results of his perennial efforts he comes across an Australian damsel with whom he has a brief affair. He detaches from all emotional attachments and submits himself absolutely to the sports and undergoes hardcore training under the supervision of Yograj Singh who acted as Indian coach Ranveer Singh. The training episodes are brilliantly shot. His win against Pakistani athlete Abdul Khaliq gives him new wings of confidence. He is finally persuaded by Jawaharlal Nehru to attend the sports in Pakistan which are held for the betterment of relations between two countries. His final victory in the movie is loved by the audience. Pakistani coach mocks him by saying that this can be his last game. Every one hooted when Farhan aka Milkha replies "I will of course run like this is my last game." 

Star cast and performances 

The kid Japtej Singh who acted as miniature Milkha did a splendid job too. His acting is up to the mark and he blended well with the script. At few junctures I felt he did a job better than Farhan. Divya Dutta as Milkha's sister is so natural for the role. It's an in and out Farhan Akhtar's movie who not only acted but lived Milkha's memories. Pawan Malhotra is amazing as Farhan's coach. Prakash Raj's brief role as "Ustaad" is quite enjoyable. The southern touch worked as Milkha's initial professional days started at Secunderabad regiment. Yograj Singh is like a no nonsense coach who gives the toughest possible training to Milkha. All other people in support cast blended well with the script. Dalip Tahil as Nehru,  Rebecca Breeds as Stella of Australia , Dev Gill (Pakistani Athlete) , Nawab Shah (Pakistani coach) and rest all executed their job perfectly :). Cinematography by Binod Pradhan is beautiful and Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy adds spice to the movie. Songs are soulful and lyrics are stirring. I absolutely loved Mera yaar hai rab wargha song and enjoyed rest of the songs too!

Plus points

  • Farhan Akhtar is the heart of the movie. No one else suits Milkha Singh.
  • Cinematography is brilliant and songs are feet tapping. 
  • The story set in pre-independence era shows the nuances of that period perfectly.
  • Major plus point obviously is that it is a bio pic which will increase the enthusiasm in audience.

The only minus is the  drag in the movie which can be felt at many points. There is an unnecessary scene where Farhan drinks ghee from two cans as if it is fruit juice. The scene is pretty long and could have been cut short. There are many such lengthy scenes which made the movie a 3 hr 10 min watch. Keeping this point aside its a movie worth watching if you can ignore the slow pace which is so unlike the pace of the "flying sikh!" Even if the sprint track is 3 hr 10min long I enjoyed the race with Farhan Akhtar.

A glimpse of mera yaar hai rab wargha song below:)

My rating : 3.5/5

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Our first road trip to Nainital!

Located in the Uttarakhand state of India in the Kumaon foothills of  the outer Himalayas  Nainital is a famous hill station. It is at about 6000ft from the sea level. It is in a valley with a pear shaped lake. "Naina" is the highest of all the mountains surrounding the lake. "Tal" means lake and hence the name of the place became Nainital . Nainital lake is also called as Naini Lake.

Last year in the sweltering May month we planned a sudden road trip to Nainital from Delhi for 2 days. Needless to say it was heavenly. My husband had a compensation off and after a long dilemma whether to go or not we packed our bags and started to Nainital with only Google maps in the I phone being the path finder and me a navigator next to the driver's seat .I couldn't enjoy the journey much as I was keeping an eye on the maps. The combination of chilling AC in car and the burning sun outside the car gave me an immediate migraine.

I felt bad as I might not enjoy the trip. Getting mislead thrice due to google maps + Indian roads combo added to the frustration. After losing the blue line on google map on Moradabad route finally came back on the track at Rampur. By then time was 9O'clock in the night and we reached the ghat road of Nainital at around 10 O'clock. After two tea and snack breaks we entered the ghat road and Imran who was driving got totally tired. I was exhausted too. Google maps showed a journey of 5 hrs but it took nearly 8-9 hrs to reach Nainital from Delhi.

Every one drives crazy in hill stations. They must be used to it but my heart beat fast when ever I came across rash drivers on the ghat road. I literally closed my eyes at some points. The drive was adventurous as it was pitch black and we even missed the road and went in opposite direction to Nainital. We reversed the car on that narrow ghat road with deep valleys. As soon as we entered the check post I saw the gorgeous lake at the center. The view looked straight out of the poster. I was not in a position to click it but the cool breeze soothed every nerve and my migraine miraculously was gone by that time. We rushed in to a near by hotel. There were up hills or down hills and after reversing for 15minutes and then parking our car we crashed in the room once we gobbled some fried rice.

Next day we first visited the Cave Garden where there were caves of different shapes. We enjoyed entering in to the cave and finding the exits with the help of a  bleak of light.
The Cave Garden
We went on a horse ride which was thrilling and undoubtedly it was the best part of the trip. At first the horse rider assisted us and then we were on our own . It was adventurous to ride on the extreme narrow passages of the hill where there was a path way made for horses. We traveled for 1 hour to reach the Tiffin top or Dorothy's seat . You can have majestic view of Himalayas from there. Dorothy seat is a stone work picnic perch on tiffin top built in memory of an English lady painter Dorothy Keller by her husband and admirers after her death in a plain crash.
From the tiffin top. Koi milgaya was shot in a school
some where down the valley (The red bricked building is the school)
Horse ride. This was before getting tired.
our horses "Sultan" and "Rustum" (L-R)
By the time the horse ride was over our backs almost got paralyzed  There are many lakes around nainital. "Naini" is the center of attraction. There are other lakes like Bhimtal , Sattal  and Naukichiatal. Naukichiatal is the largest lake with nine corners where we did our boating. There are other places like Ranikhet but we did not have time to visit.

Himalaya View point

The view was awesome and you can actually see the snow caps during winter but as it was summer we could not see any snow ! It was all foggy.

At the Bhimtal lake. 
I liked Bhimtal more than Nainital as it was vacant.

Solitude can be bliss at times

Our next stop was Naukichiatal - the largest lake with nine corners where we did  boating for long. By the time we went to Nainital in the evening boating was closed but the view was heavenly. Below are my most favorite shots.

My most favorite click
Water in the middle surrounded by a calm peaceful town, away from the noise and pollution of the city with cool breeze saying "hi" every moment. Serenity at its best and I for sure felt that nature and people are equally happy with each other in that place!

In the evening we went to Mall road which was very vibrant ,happening and above all extremely clean. I did loads of shopping there and had the bestest jalebi in the world , hot chocolate coffee and wonderful samosa chat. It was a magical evening when compared to the power cuts and sweaty night outs at Gurgaon. The cool breeze lifted our moods instantly.

I saw some thing like this for the first time

The colors !
Candle making is the flourishing business in Nainital. I was so amazed to see candles of various sizes and designs that I ended up buying few.

The center brown one is my fav

Two more things which you should taste for sure in Nainital are Apricots and plums. They are yum!
Colorful Apricots and plum we bought!
Our 2 day pleasant trip ended and we came back to hot and sultry Delhi where we could sit only under AC's . Nainital is definitely the best summer hang out. A stroll on Mall road in the evening and the horse ride should not be missed.

Nainital looks like below when lit up in the night.I had no good camera then hence could not capture it
Nainital Night view. Image courtesy :Google
This post is written for Indiblogger's "The Perfect Road Trip" contest in association with "Ambipur".
When you are here do visit Ambipur's face book page- "AmiPurIndia"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Turbo- "He is fast.They are furious!"-- Premiere experience

Watching animation movies has become a ritual now as my husband works with "Dreamworks". As we watched the "Crood's"premiere at the same theater we know before hand about the limited parking space and that mobiles won't be allowed inside. As we got late we got the last parking slot but we thanked our stars as we at least got a vacant spot to park the car! We got bad seats inside the theater but as it is a 3D movie and as we were given 3D glasses of good quality the position of seats didn't matter much later.

The movie started after the initial formalities like give aways, introductions and some prize distribution. Initially I felt I might be bored by the story line of the movie in which a snail wants to increase its pace and run a race and prove to his fellow mates that he can do something special but as the story and also the snail gained the pace my excitement increased too. Our protagonist snail is just a normal garden snail and lives with many other snails who have a mundane life which bores him to death. His brother tries putting full stop to his day dreaming but where there is a will there is a way. The movie holds a subtle moral like many animation movies that if you have a strong determination to do something then nothing or no one can stop you. To know how the snail gains speed and how it enters the Indianapolis race you need to go to theaters and watch it. As I watched the premiere show and as the movie is not released yet in India I don't want to reveal the story!
It's strange how the deeds of these animated characters fill more optimism in you than the words of few fellow humans which have a hint and a hidden intention of always bringing you down! The movie is short , crisp and clear. I felt like having a taco once the movie ended :) Humor is intact through out the movie and no time is wasted beating behind the bush. If I have to compare this with "The Croods" I would say I liked Croods more as it had more fun elements and roles. Nevertheless both are brilliantly made and "Turbo" is unique in its way. I tapped my feat at the song "That snail is fast." Its so cool.

My most favorite dialogue from the movie.
"What will you do if you lose your powers tomorrow?"
Turbo replies : "Then I will make the most of it today."

Hats off to the makers of the movie .For laymen its tough to even imagine flawless execution of such a simple idea. There's no drag in the movie and like all animation movies it doesn't get preachy at any juncture. Ryan Reynolds voiced Turbo and Samuel L. Jackson for whip lash - the snail leader . Three cheers to the director David Soren and I loved the music hence a special mention to Henry Jackman who gave the music. After watching the movie we had hyderabadi haleem in Bangalore at four seasons restaurant which soared our spirits :)

Watch the trailer below. Isn't Turbo cute ? I love the tag line - "He is fast. They are furious !"  
Don't miss watching it in your nearest theatre from july 19th.
My rating  : 3/5

I clicked the below pic of a snail at Mysore on one of those rainy days. See how sluggish, sleepy and happy it is unlike Turbo :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Drive to Nandi Hills -"A drop from the heaven!"

Early morning road trips need immense patience and effort as getting up early needs all your strength and on a weekend it is more challenging. Weekend is supposed to start late. Getting up at 12 , having brunch at 1 and tea at five is our daily routine but few weeks back we decided we have to get our lazy bums off the bed as Nandi hills is famous for its sunrise. 

Nandi Hills or Nandidurg (Anglicised forms include Nandidrug and Nandydroog) is an ancient hill fortress of southern India, in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state. It is located just 10 km from Chickballapur town and approximately 60 km from the city of Bangalore. The hills are nestled between the neighboring towns of Nandi, Muddenahalli, and Kanivenarayanapura. (Source : Wiki).

Morning was breezy and it started drizzling as soon as we started at our home in white field at about 5:30. The drive was extremely pleasant and I realized after long that early mornings are divine. Luckily as we stay in whitefield the drive was short though as a second thought I wanted it to be long. As the roads were clear and as cold waves waved a "hi" every now and then I wanted to have a longer drive to Nandi hills!

We clicked this on the way. This was actually the first click during the road trip. I loved the structure but was not able to recognize the name of the building.

As we continued to drive we came across tall palm trees swaying in breeze. The clouds got denser and darker and it started getting more and more cold as we approached the hills. I realized at that moment that it would be tough to catch the sight of the sun. The thick blanket of fog covered the roads and hills. 

As we entered the zig zag roads with hair pin bends it all got foggy

Driving on the zig zag path was tough and we left our car's head lights on to be safe. Our Renault Pulse was shining bright in all its glory.

On the way we came across a group of monkeys huddled together so as to stay warm. Few were busy grooming and few were busy snatching the eatables from the visitor's hands. Few had the bored to death look as and when they saw the daily tourists!

After clicking monkeys , clouds and trees I realized that I should give a chance to the man behind the wheel to be a part of the album.

After capturing few magnificent snap shots using our NIKON L 810 we continued driving slowly as the fog was heavy and the vision got blurry. As and when we entered the main entrance there was a long queue for tickets and due to all the travelling in the cold dense fog there was a long queue even at the entrance of toilets! To my dismay I was the last in the toilet queue and my husband was the last one in the tickets queue ! There is no need to explain the worse condition of toilets. The mental image of any public toilet in India holds good. To my disgust I had to pay 5/- for the 30 seconds torture inside the bathroom . Phew!

To shed off the mental image and to again lull in the natures lap I took my phone and the camera for capturing some snaps at the entrance.
This one looked straight out of a movie to me!

Near the ticket counter

Once we bought the tickets we wasted no time as the fog might get lifted. We drove through the entrance to the park and the Nandi temple. At the entrance I found unusually tall Opuntia and Cactus plants. They are xerophytes( desert plants) with thorns and beautiful flowers. May be they loved the climate and responded happily by becoming gigantic.
Tallest cactus I ever saw. Not sure if it is cactus or opuntia !
Inside the gate it was more heavenly. The path sure felt like it was leading to heaven and Gods.

The view above brought the poet in me out and in no time I weaved the below lines and absolutely loved them.

"The path ways to heart are always foggy but we like to walk till we see the destination.

When the fog gets lifted and destination is near we are no longer interested to walk.

The path ways to heart are cob webbed but we move forward cutting each string.

When the path gets clear we get scared to move even an inch from where we stand!"

We parked our car at some point and walked up hill and down hill .We were too mesmerized to feel the sleeplessness. In fact we were more energetic once we breathed the pollution free air. I wanted to sit on those steps for eternity but as time will not halt I had to leave the spot to explore the area more! The benches submerged in the fog are an added attraction to Nandi hills. Where ever you go you will see the benches covered in mist!

We spotted a white building which looked like a palace constructed in sky. I so wished I owned it. It was magnificent and was shining like a pearl. There was a Nandi near the porch which adorned the building. We could spot none hence did not know the significance of the building. We assumed it to be a resort or a club!

We strolled lazily and leisurely. The fog refused to lift off. It was heavenly and we couldn't spot sun. It started getting chilly as there were frequent drizzles. This reminded me many bollywood and tollywood movies, songs and specially the climax scenes shot some times in hill stations or in rain. After walking for a while and clicking hundreds of pics we came across a Nandi temple. I found a rose in full bloom there and immediately captured it. Sadly as and when I clicked it an elderly man in his mid 60s mercilessly plucked it :(. I glared at him. He must have got scared as he left tip toed. 

A rose is a rose is a rose!

Idols inside the temple
Can you imagine a south Indian movie song here ? :)
I can!
We reached the highest point of Nandi Hills standing where one can see the canopy of fog covering the Bangalore city. Thats when I realized the secret behind the pleasance of the city!

After the strolling and lazing out for more than an hour we remembered that we ate nothing since morning as our stomachs roared. We started towards the restaurant which we spotted on the way. It was flanked by monkeys who were all set to snatch what ever you are holding in your hands. From Araku valley to Manali to Malaysia I get scared of these monkeys on hills. Once I ran as fast as I can and covered some 300 steps at Batu caves , Malaysia in the shortest possible time which easily can be printed in the Limca book of records! After successfully saving ourselves from monkeys we went in and ordered hot dosa and veg pulav. It was a bliss to relish the food watching the fog, hills and trees. As we were eating a monkey hopped in with a speed of a light year and took away the left overs from a plate in the adjacent table!

The hot yummy dosa
After few more clicks and idling we had hot elaichi tea from a tea stall just out side the restaurant. It was extremely relieving as I felt dizzy due to my numb head.

The drive back home was pleasant too but the fog got lifted and sun slowly started peeping out of the clouds.  

As soon as we reached home we crashed and had a sound sleep for two hours. This was the perfect road trip we had in Bangalore so far and it was a Sunday well spent when we realized waking up early in the morning all together gives a different perspective of the day. Such trips are good even in solitude but I had the best company which made me more peaceful and I absolutely relished the beauty of nature :)

A bye with a sigh- 

This post is written for Indiblogger's "The Perfect Road Trip" contest in association with "Ambipur".
When you are here do visit Ambipur's face book page- "AmiPurIndia"

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