I don’t know how to drive a car. I can trek, I can handle computers, I can swim and blah blah blah but….I can’t drive a freaking car. Someone said that you wont learn something unless the need arise. Learning out of interest is something and learning for survival is something. Like my interest to learn Guitar, I always had this strong urge to learn to play guitar whenever I look at someone in my Church play one or whenever I listen to song that gets deep inside me. But the moment I got my hands on one, I never returned to it. The guitar is dusted and lying around and I wonder where. So is the case about my desire to learn driving. Whenever we go on long trips with friends, I feel bad that I don’t know how to drive a car and there would be a strong urge within me to learn the very next day, but it just remains a transient feeling and the next day it’s gone. If only I could just freeze the transient moment and keep it in my mind until I accomplish what I want to do. Well you must be pondering as to why I am giving you all a lengthy flash back of my stupid attitude.

Ever since I returned from Bangalore to Chennai my hometown, my dad’s been telling me every single day to go for driving class and learn driving and get the license, every single day. In fact he arranged for some tutor who was ready to spend all weekend to teach. But I just had no time. No $%#$$#$ time. Wonder what I have been doing and I regret now like never before for not listening to my dad.

Why am I regretting so much, because I am in the US and I just can’t go wherever I want and whenever I want to? There’s so much to see around when you go to some new place and though I have very good friend who gives me a ride, I hate bothering some one for my own interest unless the other person is equally interested too. I don’t blame if the person isn’t interested, after all not everyone is made the same. If only I would have learnt to get my hands on the wheels, I could have just rented a car and drove around. I am here sitting all day in my hotel room typing about my stupidity and how much I am regretting about it. What a loser. L

So, people…listen to your dad. Ok. LISTENNNNN TO YOUR DAD.

(PS: I am sorry dad. First thing first I’ll learn driving and get my license as soon as I come back. I promise)

I have always heard of stories from someone who loose their baggage and what deal they go through when it arrives late or never does. It was my turn this time. Endless rows of bags passing by but not mine. After a long wait one of the check-in bag showed up but not the one that had everything for my 6 week trip in US. The last container got emptied too but still mine never showed up. So this is it. Not even a single pair of clothes to change. I checked in the baggage to my flight to Baltimore and walked towards the phone to make a few calls. ATT gladly ate all my quarters, ALL of them. Fed up with whatever was going, headed towards my flight and the pilot decided to take a toll on me too. Poorly maintain cabin pressure was pounding my ears. A cute baby sitting next to me was crying all the way.

Thank God I got my only baggage at the Baltimore International. My friend was there to pick me up. Off we drove to his house. Dominos Pizza, Cheese sticks and Chicken wings for dinner was heaven after that long 24 hour flight from India. With no pair of clothes to get into, had to sleep with the same stinking clothes. Slept like a baby until it was 10 in the morning. Tiredness is Bliss!!

First thing first, head to Wal-Mart. Picked some vests, briefs, a pair of jeans and t-shirt, shoes and some other essential stuff keeping in mind, what if the bag never arrives. Shower after 2 days was rejuvenating. I received a call from the airline to my hotel stating that bags left out at Frankfurt and would reach me any time by Sunday evening. Finally it did!!! Finally. Now need to the get a delayed baggage report from the airline to claim my insurance for delayed baggage. Wish me luck!!

New year 2009 cant’t get any better for me for this year. I would say this is how as good as it can get. Stepping into the New year filled with new promises, new hopes, new goals and what not. People try to be happy and merry and cheerful on new yars’s eve because they believe that the rest of the year is going to depend on how the first day of the new year goes. Hope i get to travel a lot this year as I’ll be traveling on New Year 2009!! Welcoming the New Year in the Church by singing “As the deer panteth for the water” and “Amazing Grace” for me is the most beautiful way. A year where I can rely more on the Lord for his grace and mercy just like a deer panting for water and to rely on Him and His love for everything. His amazing grace to be with me all through out this year!!

Though the trip was supposed to have happened during the month of December, it was postponed indefinitely. Thanks to my clients who all went on a long Christmas vacation. That helped me to have a great time celebrating Christmas with my family and friends and to have a great two day trek trip to a reserve forest.

Work kept me a bit busy and I had to keep the packing task for the last day. Hope I have packed everything I need and won’t be sure until I open my bag in US. I am sure I have forgotten something. I am just too sure. See you all by Feb end and wish you all a Very Happy New year!!

Oct 24 4:00 PM

Hey dude Its raining cats n dogs, you think we’re gonna make it, Rads uttered those words at the other end of the call. “no thinking abt canceling come wat way, no looking back unless that mountain itself is gonna vanish. we are gonna get there, even in the worst rains and thunder. rains cannot scare us frm having fun!” is what I precisely replied back….these text flashed on my screen from Rad’s end “lol what about thunder and lightning? thats the highest point there” for which I replied “we ll fight, we are spartans :)” (I know its so filmy) for which rads sent these smileys “:) lol”

(Flashback: I was so looking forward to Nagal/7 with Peter and group but unfortunately it got canceled as Peter had a costly deliverable at hand (Which I totally understand). So somehow I wanted to make it to Parvadamalai)

Oct 25 00:00AM…onwards

Adventure started for most of the CTC’ians on the 24th itself. Beating the city’s traffic with our mighty motor bikes in the water clogged roads was the biggest challenge and I was no different!! I slept at Kalai’s place that night and we started at 3:00AM to Guindy Rly Stn!! But stars weren’t favoring us!! More adventure waiting for us!!  A lorry was parked in the middle of the highway with its side stand ON :)!! We are Spartans, so we lifted the bike onto to the foot path and started riding it!!

There was Suresh and rads in one bike following (Though I haven’t seen either of them before) and Rads shouted “Paravada malai trek?” I was like “Well…Yeaahh…You Radha…..?” in a doubtful tone for which she nodded her head…”We gave a high-five with a wide smile on the drive in total excitement”!! This was my first trek with CTC and I was glad about this cool reception!! Off we started to trek at around 4:35AM, not knowing what’s in store but were so sure that it’s going to be a great day!!

Most of CTC’ians dozed off which is when I started talking to our mighty scientist Rekha. A mycologist, a geneticist, biologist etc etc etc. She was telling me about the myths behind the “virus” shown in the movie Dasavatharam. [Facts guys: The ebola virus doesn’t kill anyone instantly, but it spreads to a radii of about 1 km and kills the infectious person in about 5 days — Courtesy: Rekha :)]. We talked about so many things including the places we have trekked since we were in Karnataka for sometime. We had yum breakfast and started right away to Parvadamalai.

There it was standing majestically right in front of our eyes as we stepped down from the van. We were welcomed at the ashram. Excitement meter was in its high level for all of us and we made no delay in proceeding further after taking our group picture. The initial walk to the mountain base was very pleasant as we crossed several paddy fields and our photographers capturing nice shots. It gave me a chance to get to know everyone, more and it was pleasure knowing every one of them!! Zoom…we started climbing the mountain and the trail signs were pretty neat!! No chance of losing track. A cute little dog joined out trek, though Rekha was freaking out a bit and was scaring the dog :), rest of the gang were enjoying its company 🙂 (You can infact see the dog in our group picture in Nidhi’s album and in mine too). Moments after, 3-4 people came with guns and I my devilish mind started thinking….Off I took the guns from them! (actually requested then to give it to us) we took all the guns from them and took pictures…as we were posing with guns pointed towards the photographer, I said what if we pull the trigger by mistake for which some one was said “Shoot the shooter”…huh, but truly I couldn’t resist the temptation to pull the trigger!! (Barrels were empty though). I showed the pictures to Rads and we started walking. Rads had difficulty in walking as she had a wound in her knee which was bothering her much. We applied band aid and she was all bright with a big smile all set to walk!! That was the last I saw her during ascend 🙂

I and Kalai moved up together stopping by every 10 minutes to catch breathe. It was a sunny day and our lungs were gasping for more air. We pushed our self asking the localities how far the mountain is and them replying that it’s very close. That thought kept us pushing though the destination was miles apart. Took Glucose’s help to get some energy. Somehow reached this store where several others joined. Tangy Goli Soda with Lemon and Salt added to pep it up was heaven. We relaxed there for sometime and off we headed again!!

But energy levels dropped drastically which is when I sought my music player’s help. Eminem came to my rescue when glucose and chocolates failed 🙂

‘Cause sometimes you feel tired,
feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
and just pull that s@#t out of you and get that motivation to not give up
and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

How true are the lyrics!! You gotto search within you and find that inner strength. Wow!!
Till I collapse -Eminem and other songs of Timberlake, Black eyes peas etc were a treat as I was walking, also to mention Hans Zimmer with his electrifying music. Kalai was with me all the while and walking walking we reached the Gadaparai rock in no time! Gadaparai rock was like a giant looking at us and laughing!! So meek we felt. But we ain’t no cowards 🙂 Off we started climbing. Kalai was freaking out but with little push he was all set. What seemed like a 15 minute task took us a good 1 1/2 hr climb. The walk through the slim ladder, metal bridge was truly exciting. Mission accomplished at last!! Yay, finally we reached the mountain top. Our legs were aching so bad that we laid in that hot concrete floor with burning sun singing lullaby!! Sun was merciless and got medieval on us that day!! It got lot better moments after we reached. The rest of the team joined in about an hour.


The view was spectacular. Treat for your eyes. Now here’s the moment. I crossed the fence line and sat on that huge rock facing the blue sky with cool breeze blowing on my face. I was watching the distance mountains and the depths in awe. Solitude is bliss 🙂 It was so beautiful. It was like a moment that you could freeze and live in it for a long time. Radha, Gopi and I had a long chat there. I was endless. Thanks for listening to me patiently guys!! We were sharing our lighter moment at that mountain top, 4500 ft above laughing and chatting!! Life is indeed beautiful 🙂

Now enough of philosophy and sentiments!! Back to business. Anna thanam at the temple was pretty good. When it wasn’t sufficient, out came our breads, jams and chapatis. Our tiff with the monkeys started. I should say they were truly daring. A small cute pussy cat was bothering us on the other side. Keeping them away from our bags and food was a big challenge though we tipped them handsome before leaving :). After spending some more time, off our journey started downhill. Captured some beautiful shots and lied on the lush green grass for some time before getting on top gear to descend. Getting down was tough as well but our funny conversations and stories kept us light and moving. All of us reached down safe and sound. Only thing we missed in the entire day was the rain which finally showed up the very moment we were about 5 mins from the van. Everyone had a great time getting drenched. Rest rooms at the ashram came to rescue for changing. Nothing like hot cuppa tea in that pouring rain sharing the moments about the trek with your fellow trekkers who are all friends to you by now…

 

You can relate most of the pics to my description posted here!!

http://picasaweb.google.com/kn.naresh/PARVADAMALAI_OCT25#

Confession Time: I haven’t watched cricket at least for the past four years!! My friends would know about that. There were embarrassing moments to prove that. Once, just to prove that I am up to date with the world, I made a fool out of my self by asking the team member how much Ganguly scored when it was that time Dada sitting idle. “Welcome to the real World” was the reply back. I ain’t that a cricket person. But IPL changed that!!

I started typing this post once the final match got over. My heart skipped a beat during the last two overs. The series of matches, not all though, kept me glued to the idiot box for several weeks now. And like the advertisement says IPL’s truly the King of Entertainment. Though highly commercialized, it brought sportsmanship out of every player. It did bring all players under one roof. We would really need a very strong change of mind, as spectators, when we are going to play against Australia :D!! I won’t be surprised if we end up cheering Hayden for hitting 6 against India.

Apart from criticisms from politicians and feminists on cheer leaders for inappropriate dressing and the infamous Bajji slapping Sreeshanth case, IPL was pure fun. I had more fun as I had a chance to pull my Bangalore friends down. It was just the time when I moved to Chennai after staying in Bangalore for four years. Chennai vs Bangalore was like India vs Pakistan for us. How I yelled in joy in the middle of the night calling them up when Chennai won against Bangalore. 😀 Thank God I moved to Chennai at the right time ;). But still Bangalore rocks when it comes to Cheer leaders!! We should have declared a prize for the best cheer leaders as well!!

Jokes apart, IPL truly was a great entertainer (Also enlightened for my cricket knowldge) 😥 !! Day’s going to be real different from tomorrow with no match to follow up and no team to cheer for!!

*****************  We’ll Miss You IPL!!  *****************

I am still here!! Yupiiee…so much has gone over the past two months. Life’s been like a roller coaster and I am glad I am settled now. Well..at least for now!!! So where do I begin!!

Life’s been very different after coming back home, almost after 4 years. This year’s has been full of surprises. Never thought even remotely that I would relocate to Chennai. I still remember the night when I left to Chennai. There I was all alone at the cantonment railway station with my train delayed for almost an hr. 12:30 am midnight!! and it was raining like there’s no tomorrow. It felt as if Bangalore was crying and asking me not to go 🙂 !!! I know that’s a bit of exaggeration, but couldn’t help such thoughts coming across after spending the best days of my life in Bangalore!!! Most beautiful days rather!!! Carrying such mixed feelings, I boarded the train finally at 1:00 AM!!

26th May 2008 : I didn’t belong to any corporate. I was unemployed :D. I was feeling good. Ever since I finished my college, I have been belonging to one or the other software firm. That day I got up and felt totally liberated. Huhhhh….But it didn’t last long though ;D

Why I chose to write this post now after two months? Coz I didn’t consider myself settled until I got my internet connection. No Internet for two months, can you just imagine!! Huhhh…BSNL took it’s own sweet time but I have got a decent connection now and I am back to civilization!!! Yupiiieee!!!

How am I right now? Fat (Home food’s got some fat added up) and dark rather I got a gold tan 😉 and also started working for an MNC (I am sure it wont be a surprise to many of you). I am riding my bike like never before. Rode 3740 Kms in two months wherein I rode only 7000kms in Bangalore for a whole year!! Chennai’s been such a lovely place to ride. Lovely weather, world class roads, neat traffic condition, huh heaven!!! I guess I’ll drown and die in my own sweat one of these days 😀 !! But its been good fun hanging out with school and college friends. And I don’t hesitate to watch a movie every weekend. A high class ticket @ Inox won’t cost me more that 120 Rs. Yes you got that right!! 120!!! Damn you Bangalore for burning big holes in my pocket all these years!!! Missing you corner house 😦

Good job, nice friends and with parents around, I got adapted and I sure am Happy!! for NOW 🙂 Missing you all people!! Truly!! I have already made three trips to Bangalore in the past two months and will keep visiting. Hope to catch up with you all one day!! Until then, keep mailing and let me know your whereabouts!!

PEACE

Day’s like these always feels bad, but this time it was far more worse to me. Like I said, its people more than work that impacts me!!! The relationships that I cherished and my friendships that I truly consider it a treasure. I may not be a friend for everyone but whoever is, about 4-5, they are just THE BEST. At time I wonder whether I even deserve them. Its tough, its gonna be real tough…but…well…huh…inevitable…

My Last Day E-mail!!!😦

Well….Today’s my last day at work…Days like this always feels weird and sad. Weird because you’re leaving something you’ve come to know so well to venture off into a somehow unknown future, sad because you’re leaving behind a load of memories and mainly because you know you’ll be missing the people you actually spent most of your day with for over 2 years, so much. I guess it’s always the people you get to know, how they touch your life, the different relationships you build with them, the good times, and even the not so good ones, that gets to you.

It has been a mixed feeling since morning!!!

Surprised faces!!!

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Cute Hugs

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Sweet Good-Bye’s

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And packed up my stuff

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I’d like to thank all the guys at work for the great ride. It was great getting to know you all and to get a chance to work with every single one of you. I hope that we’ll get to carry our personal relationships well into the future. I’d like to thank the company for having me as part of the team. I’m proud of these years that I spent in it, the role I had and the work I did. I’m very happy to see the company growing further and going on to conspicuous success.

Thanks for the wonderful farewell. I was so choked with emotions that I couldn’t say most of what I wanted to. Really, I mean it.

I’m not going to move too far away and you can find out everything that’s happening with me here including my contact details https://itsallinurmind.wordpress.com . Please do stop by and post your comments. I would love to read them. I’ll be sticking around for the rest of the day and I would be glad if you could stop by to say Adios!!

Signing Off in an hour!!!

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Naresh

kn.naresh@gmail.com