Archive

Me and my backpack

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#

wonderla.jpg

 

 

 

The second week of February has been rocking so far!!

15th Feb-18th Feb – I packed my bags to Coorg and had an awesome and an adventurous weekend with office friends!

19th Feb – Office threw a party at Grand Ashok, Bangalore and had an awesome evening. Some one said “Dance as if no one is watching” and that’s exactly what I did. Had a gala time with friends and colleagues.

After two days I got an announcement that we are gonna have a team outing, one day trip though, on Friday 22nd. Yupeee!!! On your, mark get set, Zoom!! It was more of an ad hoc plan and everyone decided to visit Wonder La. I have been to this place two years before with my friends from Dell and had a real good time.

wonder-la-dell.jpg

This place has astounding rides, water rides, man I was all excited for yet another round of fun. Arrangements went real smooth as the destination is just 30 kms from office premise. Those who had cars offered to pick up team mates. Since we were a group of 30 people, I called up Wonder La to ask for group booking offers and they gave a whopping 20% discount. It would be 15% if we were between 25-29. But we were exact 30 and to have fun for one day it just cost us 378/-.

We all assembled at office premise by 8:30-9:00. Looking us in casual jeans, T’s and shorts, colleagues were asking several of us what are we up to and we responded by telling “Wonder La” with all 32 teeth popping out of our mouth.

Off we departed as and when people started arriving and we had no problem beating the traffic. We reached by 10:00 and luckily no one dropped out. We were exactly 30 and we got the 20% discount. Since it was a week day I wasn’t expecting much crowd but that day three schools had come over on excursion, so can imagine the crowd. It was fun watching them, teachers asking them to stand in line in two’s holding each others hands. Some naughty kids were always running around and were getting belted from teachers, how many such trips we all would have gone during school days, that too once in a year!! Those were the best days of my life!! truly!!

open.jpg

All of us headed straight to the changing rooms and everyone were in their best attire for a fun trip like this. T’s and Shorts. Reminded me Jungle Book title song “Jaddi pahanke phool khila hai, phhol khila hai”!! HaHa!

The one ride that everyone should start with in Wonder La is definitely the Wonder Splash. Gives you the thrill and gets you wet at the same time. The Q wasn’t that big and we just waited for 5 mins. I sat at the rear seat as it gives more fun to experience the full force (Giving excuse to myself as I didn’t get the chance to sit at the front). 11 of us strapped to the vehicle, off we went through the tunnel and there it took a sudden steep declination into the shallow waters with waters splashing all over. It was just a matter of 5 seconds which brings all kinds of emotions out. Joy, smile, fear, curiosity…..Awesome!!! The best part is that they have a camera installed at the right location and it just captures everyones expression at the right time. Straight we headed to look at our pic and started making fun of each other’s facial expression. Check the picture (This pic will definitely bring a smile all time any time)

wonder-la-cerner.jpg

After this ride, every one’s energy level shot up and we got dispersed in several batches to have fun with dry rides. Next we went to Wonder La Bamba, Maverick, Drop Zone, Insanity, Y Scream (This one’s my favorite). Fun in purest form. Once you get buckled, all you will hear is scream…scream…scream!! Goshhh!!

bamba.jpg

After dry rides we decided to get wet and straight headed to water rides. My favorite one is Vertical fall where we come down a steeply sloping chute and land with a splash into a sparkling puddle. The ride starts from a height of 6 storey building, and before you know it you are already in the pool. Its definitely not for the timid at heart as the website says and whoever went on that ride will agree to that!! Awesome!! We finished all the other rides and headed straight to Wavepool (An artificial wave pool). We wallowed in the wave pool for almost two hours. That’s were we had more fun. We would throw an object and swim underwater to see who finds it first. It was also fun teaching Sandeep how to swim underwater. Poor guy tried so hard to go underwater but he always ended up surfacing and he would still keep his head underwater and assume that he is swimming underwater, Haha!! Five of us were there playing in the wave pool and had a cool time. I got so tried and headed to the change my went clothes. By this time the entire group was tired and lazing around. We caught up with few more rides and had fun driving crazy cars dashing each other. It was 7:00pm in the evening when we were all done and all set to head home and crash!!!! All together a wonderful Friday!!
close.jpg

Say Cheeeese!!!!

After having a great trek trip to Doddamakali a couple of months back, we thought it was just the right time to pack our bags again for yet another adventurous trip. We have been really scratching our heads for selecting the destination though. We decided to go on a two day trip, 80% opting for core adventure and at the same time to explore Karnataka. Team mates wanted waterfalls, trek, rappelling, parasailing, safari, swimming etc etc etc. We had prolific destinations to select from, also to mention the packages offered my several resorts. Finally Coorg seemed to be the best destination and Jungle Mount Adventures (JMA) for just there for that.

On 15th Evening, we assembled at 10:30 pm at office premise. With “Dhoom Machale” in high volume we started our trip dancing and everyone hoping to have an awesome and a memorable weekend. Enthusiasm and Fun was in the air. Energy level was high for quiet some time until our friends “Jack Daniels” and “Kingfisher” showed up. Rest of the story, I leave it to you for your imagination (Like Taare Zameen Par)!! We started a bit late though but it helped us reaching our destination not too early in the morning. We just reached perfect. Finding “Jungle mount adventure” (JMA) was getting difficult as mobile phones were off no use and there weren’t sufficient directions. (Sagar!! Please put in some direction board, a small plate on the telephone pole won’t be sufficient especially when traveling at night time)

Sagar (JMA) drove our luggage and few of our team members to the base camp while the rest preferred to walk. The morning was misty and cold. Fresh morning dew on grass was glistening in the sun. The view was spectacular with the sun rising from the distant mountains. I so very had a very good feeling that we certainly are going to have fun. We all got freshened up in half hour. Only a few brave ones dared to take shower, rest of em, naaahhh!! Brushing and face washing was more than sufficient. God bless the inventor of Deo!! Had hot poori’s with saagu for breakfast and we all packed our bags for the first event of the day!! Rappelling!! Two jeeps took us to vicinity of the fall and from there we started our trek to the base of the fall. The first view of the fall is still locked up in my eyes. Not a so very gush of water but it was falling at a gentle speed from a height of about 300ft. I couldn’t wait for the team and took a plunge right away into the cold water. It was so damn cold and awesome. Soon I was joined by my team members and had a great time swimming and playing in the falls. While we were playing, the JMA team were preparing for rappelling. We started climbing uphill to start with our rappelling event. Dr. Topez, a 61 year old youth (Everyone will agree with me, I am sure) gave us clear instructions about the gadgets used in rappelling mixed with his humorous stories. He instigated us and gave us the support and encouragement assuring us that it’s completely safe. He even fell down intentionally while rappelling to give us the confidence that nothing with happen!!! He said “Even if you are dead half way, you’ll be still hanging in mid-air” J and what he said was absolutely right.

When they asked for who wanted to go first, several hands went up but I got lucky. Harness was clamped around my waist with cantilevers and descenders. With gloves on, I was all set to go on my first rappelling. After a brief photo session, (Pic to remember for life) I descended downhill. Goshhh, I could still feel it. The very excitement of hanging from a rope about 300m above the ground was AWESOME. Sagar told me to look down the moment I descended and looking at the falls from there was truly spectacular. One should do it to feel it. As I was giving myself more rope through my left hand, I was descending down slowly, with my right hand to control the direction. 2 minutes of pure adventure, joy and fun!! I enjoyed the moment and in the mid-air I was posing for pictures which were being taken by my friend at the ground. Slowly and steadily I descended safe and the members of JMA helped me to remove the harness and other gadgets off me. There I was already telling the people how it felt to descend down. Also succeeded in convincing few people to rappel who weren’t ready before!!! Following me most of my friends rappelled and descended safe and sound and everyone truly enjoyed it!! After rappelling, we took a day safari to the peak of a mountain. Sagar said that we will definitely enjoy the scenery and he was damn right. Two jeeps with skilled drivers took us there and gossssh, it was more beautiful than we all thought. Enjoyed the view and had nice photo session after which we started back to our base camp.

We were damn hungry!!!! Lunch was already prepared and ready for our attack. Lunch was neat and delicious (Sagar, thanks for the pork, it was yum). Before laziness crept inside after lunch, I headed for canoeing with a friend of mine. Wanted to try my hand on Kayak, but it wasn’t there on that day. Rowing was more difficult than I imagined but it didn’t take us long to understand and there we were already rowing like professionals. Once we returned back to the base, we already saw people having fun in the river. I couldn’t resist myself and plunged in right after leaving the canoe at the shore. It was awesome swimming in the river. I didn’t have the stamina to hang on for long, so I wrapped a life jacket around and was just floating for a couple of hours until it got dark. I had great fun swimming and playing with friends out there. In fact I was introducing myself, with new teammates from other company who came that evening to JMA, right in the middle of the river. Someone said what a place and time to get introducedJ. By the time I got out of the river, my friends already started with a game of cricket. Evening was cold and nice. With intermittent power failures, it was completely dark and everyone was just lazing around playing pranks scaring one another. By that time, we had our camp fire ready. There we went and started anthakshari. It was so much fun coz we can sing in any language (Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam). I must say that Pavan’s team was strong and he was proud about it. He claimed their groups as “Google” and in fact they were. I was wondering how the hell they could remember so many songs and bring it out in an instant. We were upset at the fact that most of the songs in Hindi would end with “Ha” and our team running out of songs that would begin with “Ha”.
Sagar came in at the right time and asked us to get ready for Night safari.

I heard a lot about JMA’s Night Safari and Sagar is the only person who can do that. So he took is us in batch and I was in the first batch of 14 people. The next 30 mins, I never thought that something like that would be even remotely possible. We were all clinging at the back of the jeep. This guy (Sagar) turns off the lights and there he goes into the mountains, in pitch dark pulling off all possible stunts. Turning left, turning right, going reverse all of a sudden, taking us to the end of a peak, stopping by in a scary place where we could hear a distant waterfall, it was nice. It was awesome on our way back. After briefly taking a break, he started off downhill at a freaking ~120kms. I am not kidding here. I am sure he must have hit more than 120kms. I wouldn’t even dare to drive at such speeds even on a highway. Everyone were screaming and shouting at the top of their voice. Some of them could hold on to the jeep neither other, they just sat down merely supporting themselves. Oh My God!!! I could fell the G-Force (I understand that G-force is a bit exaggerated but I don’t have any other word to explain what we all felt). Once we returned, the next batch was ready. We were sitting by the fire side warming our self and we could hear the distant shouts that second batch was making. We sure knew what they were going through!!! Sagar!!! You rock!!!

There our day ended after a nice dinner and off we went to our huts and tents with a fun filled and a memorable weekend that we will remember for life!!!!