Friday, November 28, 2008

We have had Enough..

I have got nothing to say about the recent events.. Coz lot of things have been said.. I wish and hope there is some action taken after all these attacks..

May the families and friends who have lost their near-dear one's find strength to lead life without them.
Abhaa I have come to hate the words which the media has been using since three days -killed, shot dead, explosions, terror ..I don't know where to begin...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wah Ustad Wah!

I have never liked Pritam. Yeah yeah the same music director who looks like he badly needs to be introduced to a barber.. I still don't understand how he gets to compose for so many films. I mean his compositions are mostly flicked from some Bengali song or the other. And so I used to wonder how he could come up with such a nice composition in the movie Jab we met. I am talking about the song Aago jab tum o saajana. I recently got to know that this one track from the movie is by Sandesh Shandilya.. That guy is talented I tell you. He is the same guy who has composed songs such as-Suraj hua madham (Kabhi khushi kabhi (chewing) gum), Bole re man mora dole re (Some godforsaken movie), Bhaage re man kahin (Chameli) etc..
Coming back to this track, sandesh has used some simple instruments- Flute especially is very soothing. The whole flow of the song is simple, yet different. I loved the fact that he has made Ustad Rashid Khan sing this track. I couldn't have imagined Ustad-ji singing a film song. But I must say he has done full justice to the composition. His sargam and aalaap is just perfect..
This is in Raag Tilak Kamod. One of my favourite raags.. I do not want to say anything more, you just have to listen to it. Here is the link.

On a completely different note here is another link- Ustad-ji singing my (another) favourite Raag-Basant ., (No no not Annie Besant.. raag Basant).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My My Mighty!

Remember my jungle lodges trip post?? Our trip to K Gudi? Remember? Ah good good.. this is in continuation of that post.. You have to read this I don't care. Anyway the first day, as I had mentioned in this post, we went on a Jungle safari. We settled ourselves in a jeep, open jeep mind you, and took time to get used to another bumpy ride. Its jungle for Pete's sake and what did you expect? F1 track? You guys are so not wild I tell you ;) So we set off.. we were all excited obviously, standing and balancing ourselves throughout the ride.. Well, initially we saw a bunch of Spotted Deer.. again some three or four of them.. then some more deer and then an occasional Sambar.. more deer.. we were losing patience. Then our driver took a turn, away from the others who had left along with us. After driving for 3 or 4 minutes, we saw a Scorpio parked in the middle of the track with a man standing out of the car, with a tripod and on it was a super duper camera.. we were very impressed (ahem ;)) The guy was rather sweet and gave us a chance to look through the lens. We saw an Owl that he and his friends had found. The Owl was auburn with bright yellow eyes. I loved him. The Owl silly, what did you think? Anyway we had to move coz the Scorpio guys moved ;( we followed them, now hoping to find something interesting, but alas they took a different route, leaving us alone boo hoo ;). Our driver had super sharp eyes and found a herd of elephants! Yeah yeah I hear you say -"Come on even we can a spot an elephant".. But wait there was a Tusker with the rest of them. We clicked pictures, talked in hushed voices (coz elephants don't like to be disturbed you see) and someone popped a question "sir, Tusker yaavaagaadru attack maaDidyaa?" (has the tusker attacked anyone before?) The man replied a cool "Yeah" . We were at loss for words.. more pictures and hushed voices followed.. Those elephants were chilling out. Taking their own sweet time- eating grass, shrubs and walking slowly, I mean completely at home.. Our driver, through his walky-talky told someone that he has found a Tusker and so asked that someone to come to that spot. Apparently it had been 15 days since they had seen a Tusker. So we were a little proud of ourselves to have found him hehe.. We moved closer to the herd.. They did not notice us.. They ate.. looked at nothing in particular.. We were waiting for them to move. We were bored of watching them gaze. But we didn't see one thing coming though. A sight that is unforgettable. The Tusker pushed a whole damn tree right in front of us. Just a light push and voila! the tree was on the ground.. We were awed at its strength .. And the only thing we regretted later was that we couldn't take a video of this whole tusker-making-the-tree-fall episode.. I guess I'll crib all my life. It pushed the tree and started walking forward. Chased a Deer which I guess had just popped in to eat some grass.. We went forward as he did and just watched him.. But this tusker made a lasting impression on me and ever since this trip, I have read a lot about tuskers'. Poor things are getting killed these days.. either because of their violent nature or because they get electrocuted while straying too close to an area where human beings live.
Hmm so that was my safari story. nothing great.. Not too adventurous,,.. We hoped to find leopards etc but did not.. Though this Tusker was as good as any other wild animal. Isn't he cute? (picture below).

Saturday, November 1, 2008

We the Junglees

The plan for the trip began a month before the actual date.. err yeah, this was the first time I guess there was planning involved in our trip *applause and some drum rolls please ;)* My friend Nihal, the initiator, got us so excited about the trip that we were actually counting days, very much like kids who look forward to visit their favorite uncle's farm house. After a lot of behind-the-scenes-"yes/No/Maybe" to the trip (that always happens when you plan so much.. hmph), after getting to know that Nihal would have to drop out (we missed our in house Schumi during the trip :(), after a lot of downs and a bit of up's we set out to Biligiri Rangana Betta or B R Hills. Asifa, Rohini and I parked ourselves in Kiran's car, clicking pictures occasionally and chatting non-stop. Shasank, Vishu and Aanch were in a cab, sleeping throughout the journey no doubt. We got to see some lovely country side I tell you, good for our health and our camera. But but but the road that we took was terrible. Actually it was just a path.. it was muddy, rocky and bumpy! Kiran's car was pleading us to get down and carry it :p.. Finally, after a terrible journey we reached BR Hills. Yayy! Now we have a Kahaani mein twist ;) we were not staying at BR hills but were driving up the hill to K Gudi (Kyathadevarayana Gudi) - to Jungle Lodges. The road to K Gudi was good, we were back on track, as in all excited and cursing Zilla Panchayat for the pathetic condition of the roads. We reached K Gudi at 2 PM I think.. Right time for lunch. Even before we could think of food, the Jungle lodges representative gave us "instructions". Sounded very organized and everything planned (sigh! not again. We are not a group of disciplined individuals' you see :p). The place had a charming view -it was raining and the whole place looked lovely. Green and beautiful. I loved the place instantaneously. We got into our "tents" and had a reasonably good lunch. Then we all set out for "the jungle safari". (The Safari story will be covered in detail soon, in a separate post :D) BTW we got to see loads of spotted deer during the safari.
Next day all of us woke up early.. ah! that made us wise (remember the saying??? hehe). It was a lovely sight. The mist and the green, together formed a great combination. We enjoyed sitting outside our tents sipping coffee and occasionally shooing a monkey away. By the way the place is full of monkeys, apart from us that is. Later at round 10 or 11, I don't really remember, we went to Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple. We got to see some beautiful plants and trees on the way to the temple (picture above). After lunch we all just lazed around doing nothing. Extremely relaxed. Asifa and Rohini tried their hands on Table Tennis. I read a wildlife magazine.. had coffee.. . Also watched a wildlife documentary movie (something about tigers I think) did nothing in particular.. We couldn't resist the tree houses and rope nets and so climbed/rolled.. There were hammocks to relax.. Sometime in the evening Kiran, Shasank and I went on a drive to a nearby town and on our way back we saw some good wildlife - a turtle (??), Bison, Wild dogs and some more spotted deer (not again!!). Spotted Deer apparently are like dogs you find in Bangalore, they are so common you see. Overall a superb lazy (except for our unexpected night safari), day at Jungle Lodges. loved it... Next day we went trekking into the jungle.. Oh Boy was it tiring or what! We huffed and puffed our way into the forest.. Spotted a root legged spider.. yeah an itchy weed. And another Elephant! Trekking is fun but is very tiring ..Tires you like crazy without getting to see much. Except for a "cute" flower here and a thorny itchy weed there, our trek wasn't eventful. But it was fun… It's the state of mind you see; if you want to have fun you can have fun in every sense I say!
All in all it was fun.. Of course the Jungle Lodges people would have been definitely happy to see us leave hehe... We the junglees loved the jungle...
Few facts about the place follow:
Distance: 226 Kms from Bangalore
Best time to visit: Feb - June
K Gudi Wilderness Camp Area: 540 sq kms
Cost (incl Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner): 2250 per night.
Few Wild facts:
There are 600 Elephants (Tuskers' included :p), 75 leopards (we did not come across even one of them), innumerable monkeys, wild boars, wild dogs, Bisons', Birds and Deer.
Would suggest everybody to visit this place :)