Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Of Name, Complexion and Luck

Three lessons I learnt today:

1) I was under the impression that ‘Kapil’ is one of the easiest names to pronounce. However, today I was taken aback when one of our counterparts in the China office, who happens to be on a visit to the India office, had a really tough time pronouncing my name. I didn’t dare to ask her to pronounce my surname ;)
Lesson learnt: Don’t assume things. The World is a big place. 

2) Today, I went to a hair cutting saloon to get a haircut. Snippet of my conversation with the saloon guy, who happens to be a local Kannada guy with a little knowledge of Hindi language:
Saloon guy (complementing on my fair complexion): Kya khata, joh itna color aata? 
Me (trying to match his Hindi dialect): Main joh khata, usse color aata, lekin baal jaata aur pet  badhta...
Lesson learnt: We always yearn for what we don’t have and don’t appreciate what we have.

3) The news of Liz Hurley getting a divorce from Arun Nayar is doing the rounds, thanks to the Spin King Shane Warne (maybe, someone needs to ‘warne’ her).  I happened to come across a news article, speculating that Liz may lose a major of chunk of her money to Arun Nayar, if the divorce goes through.
Lesson learnt: You get to do Liz Hurley and you make a fortune when you are done...Arun Nayar is one lucky bas**rd! ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Party time!!!

I've totally turned into a party animal and am really finding it difficult to take some time out for blogging. High time to take some time management course. Hope to get back to the blogging really soon. Till then, keep rocking \m/

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Confessions of a doubtless mind

"Sir, I've a doubt...."
"Very good question, Mr. XYZ"
A very common scenario in a typical classroom. We can classify a classroom of students into two broad categories: students who frequently raise doubts/questions during lectures and those who don’t ask any doubts or questions – let’s call them - Doubtless Species. We can classify this second category of students or the doubtless species further into two categories: the ones who have doubts in their minds but they hesitate to raise their questions in front of the whole class and the ones who don't even have doubts in their minds – sheer doubtless minds! 

These doubtless minds can again be classified further into two categories: the ones who don’t understand what is being taught in the lecture and the ones who understand most of what is being taught in the lecture, but questions simply refuse to pop up in their minds. In my opinion, asking questions in the classroom is an art in itself. One doesn't need to understand the topic being discussed in the classroom to ask questions or doubts. One of my friends used to take several naps during most of the lectures. But after getting up from the naps (due to some disturbances such as a piece of chalk thrown at him by the prof), he would always have a question or two ready to ask to the prof, many-a-times getting the very-good-question compliment. I wonder if he dreamt of the topic being discussed while napping. However, there’s a special category of students who, instead of asking questions, observe the behavior of students in the classroom and then write blogs on that. Which category do you fall into, eh?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

December Dilemma

Preface: This post was written by me on 10 December, 2009; but did not post it at that time for some reason. Found this post lying idle somewhere on the hard disk of my lappy; felt like posting it now. Things have changed a lot, as expected, since then. But sometimes it feels nice going back in time and introspecting.

I love December. The month of lovely winter, the month of holidays, the month full of parties and of course, the month in which I was born. However, this December is a bit different from the rest of the twenty-five Decembers I've seen so far. This December, I suddenly feel like a grown up. I feel a burden of responsibilities. Never has the age played such an important part in my life before. Every other person is popping the question of marriage. I'm getting nostalgic about school days, college life every now and then. I'm not really sure what I want from life. I'm not sure which field/city I should settle into. I've started questioning myself if only an apartment and a car is what I toiled so much in life for. It feels like the whole world is conspiring against me. Is this called the quarter life crisis? I'm trying to run away from these questions by engrossing myself in parties and outings. But I'm sure these monstrous questions are going to hound me again soon.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Harassed by Rickshaw walas in Bangalore?

Preface: Got the following info through an email from a friend. Thought of sharing it with a wider audience.

You are in a hurry to catch the train. You pack all your stuff and frantically run out in the hope of catching an auto. You come out and see 5 autos standing at the corner. You thank God and ask them - "Majestic chaloge kya??” The Answer is "Rs 200 hoga!!”. "Kya?? It just cost Rs 100 till Majestic". "Bahut rush hai sir!!". You move on to the next auto, to try your luck and surprisingly, you have the same conversation "Bahut rush hai sir!!". Finally you give up and bargain the price to Rs 170 and hope you don't miss your train.

Sounds more than familiar??

You stand on the road and keep on asking the passing autos for a ride to your destination - if it's not your day, the autos will not even bother to stop; if you're a bit lucky they might actually slow down to hear your destination' s name and think for a second (I always wonder if they are calculating their net profit) and then speed away. However if you are more lucky, the auto guy might actually quote you an exorbitant price and then speed away. But if it's your extremely lucky hour of the day, you might end up getting an auto which is ready to take you to the destination at meter price.

In my six years of existence in Bengaluru, these experiences have been really instrumental in teaching me great virtues - Patience and Tolerance. But at what price??? exorbitant rates, extremely rude behavior and what not ......
After years of feeling used, I set out to find the answer for this misery - was there no government system that could bring these auto guys to justice? As a citizen, how can I express my concern?

This search took me to the Koramangala RTO office (BDA complex) and to my surprise, I found that there does exist a government system which I believe 99.99% of Bengaluru is unaware of !! 

The System

Note the vehicle number (KA-XX-YY-ZZZZ) and email the details to transcom@kar. Based on the prefix XX (for example KA-01), complaint will be sent to one of the ten RTO offices in Bangalore and adjacent taluk areas.
Alternatively, one can also call these offices at the number given below based on the vehicle number prefix and directly lodge a complaint.

Vehicle Prefix (KA-XX) Bangalore location Phone number:
  • KA-01 Koramangala 080-25533525
  • KA-02 Rajajinagar 080-23324104
  • KA-03 Indiranagar 080-25254310
  • KA-04 Yeshwantpur 080-23376039
  • KA-05 Jayanagar 080-26630989
  • KA-41 Gyanabharthi 080-28602833
  • KA-50 Yelahanka 080-28561366
  • KA-51 Electronic City 080-25735522
  • KA-52 NeelaMangala 08234-285598
  • KA-53 KR Puram 080-25617951
Once the complaint is received at the corresponding office, a notice is issued to the address of the vehicle’s registered owner, requiring him/her to turn up at the RTO office within 7 working days. Every RTO has about 10 IMV’s (Inspector of Motor Vehicles) who seize the vehicles which don’t report to the RTO.

The penalty levied from the auto-walas is Rs.100 under section 200.

The various offences among others for which one can lodge a complaint
  • Refusal to come to destination (Any destination! !!)
  • Demanding excess fare
  • Using rough language
  • Cheat the public, for e.g. taking longer routes.
  • Faulty Meter
There is also a helpline number - 080-22353785 available Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm on which one can call to lodge complaints.

The numbers speak for themselves

I was shocked when I found that the Koramangala RTO office received only 5 complaints a month. With over 1,00,000 autos plying on Bangalore roads, shouldn’t it be like 5 complaints a minute?

What’s wrong with the system?
  • Lack of Awareness among the Bangalore citizens
  • The system is inefficient in data gathering- emails or phone calls cannot be stored and processed properly, leading to ineffective use of these complaint data.
  • Converting these complaints into notices issued to vehicle owners is still a manual process
  • Limited government officials to handle
So, will our impatience always have to take a backseat? Can something be done to improve/compliment the system to make it more effective? Will we get a better platform to raise our voices democratically?

(Source Unknown)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Things one must know while riding a two-wheeler in Bangalore

Do you get caught by the Bangalore’s traffic cops quite often? Then following are some important things you might not be aware of:
  • The Traffic Police cannot stop a motorist just to examine the driving licence or vehicle documents. He can stop the motorist only if he/she has violated any traffic laws or if he/she is driving drunk.
  • When caught for traffic violation, the fine you pay must be limited to the violation. In other words, the police can't bloat the bill saying that you have no insurance cover or emission certificate, etc.
  • According to the State's Road Transportation Act, no policeman can slap a penalty on you just because you have no insurance or emission certificate. If you have not purchased insurance cover for your vehicle, then the police officer must issue a notice, not impose penalty. You must be given 15 days' time to purchase insurance cover and one week for obtaining the emission certificate. Days later, meet the sub-inspector at his station with the insurance cover or emission certificate, so that he will annul the charge at once. Police can fine you only if you fail to produce these documents within the stipulated period.
  • If your vehicle is brand new, then you need not bother about obtaining the emission certificate for one full year.
  • The best way to teach the police a lesson is filing a written complaint with their higher officials and, a week later, using the Right to Information Act (RTI) to know the action taken against them. Remember, any question or application filed under RTI cannot be ignored and no official is bold enough to ignore the RTI Act.

Some important links:
It’d be a good idea to keep the printouts of first two links always with you for the reference while riding. Happy riding!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

DOs and DON'Ts at Wonder La

  • Wonder La is the largest and the safest Amusement park in India spanning over 82 acres of land, nearly 30 kms from Bangalore.
  • A must-visit place if u happen to be a Bangalorean or on a tour to Bangalore.
  • Timings: 11 am - 6 pm (Mon - Fri); 11 am - 7 pm (Sat-Sun & Holidays)
  • There're discounts for group bookings and for students.
  • Take your bike. It's always a pleasure zooming on the Bangalore-Mysore highway.
  • Direct bus from Majestic to Wonder La – Bus No. 226. Ideally, one should start from Majestic Bus Stand at 9:30 A.M.
  • Take an aquaphobic with you, if possible. It'll be fun.
  • Always take a fattu with you (comes handy for taking photographs when you are enjoying rides).
  • Shout till your lungs come out. It's a good fright-reliever.
  • Carry these: towel, camera, plastic covers, extra pair of undergarments (preferably washed), swimming gear (at least a Lycra trunk).
  • Carry minimal ornaments/equipments/accessories.
  • Have a light breakfast.
  • Carry a case if you wear spectacles.
  • Put the footwear in lockers, if possible. They do get misplaced otherwise. There's hardly any honesty left in the world.
  • Finish dry rides before lunch and water rides post lunch.
  • Spend more time in the wave pool if you are with your girl.
  • Enjoy a shower once done with the water rides. You might not want to take the excessive chlorine on your body back home.
  • Visit Wonder La numerous times with great zeal.
  • Don't be late even for a minute (Opening time: 11am). Utilize the available time to its maximum.
  • Don't wear shoes. Go in floaters/chappals, preferably cheaper ones.
  • Don't carry unnecessary stuff. Consumes extra space in lockers.
  • Don't take eatables with you. Eatables are not allowed inside. The food at the cafeteria is pretty decent and damn cheaper than expected.
  • Don't dare heavy rides post lunch.
  • Don't miss even a single ride. You never know which one would be the most thrilling.
  • Don't underestimate any ride.
  • Don't wear an undy with holes.
  • Don't behave like Rajnikant if you think you are not a fattu.
  • Don't stare at a visually appealing chick for too long. There're many more around. Try to cover as many as possible.
Acknowledgments: This post is inspired (read copied) by this article.

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Localities in Namma Bengaluru

    I've always been amused to know the logic behind christening of localities in a city. Bangalore was no exception when I moved in here. However, unlike in the other cities, I decided to do some research on this and this post is an attempt to give the fellow Bangaloreites some insight into my research findings.

    Palya, Sandra, Pete, Kere, Halli, Nagar are the various categories that Bangalore localities broadly fall into.

    Kere in Kannada means lake. So, Taverekere, Mathikere, Arakere, Challakere are situated where there used to be lakes once upon a time.

    Pete in Kannada means market. Bangalore was divided into various Pete depending upon the trade or community who lived in a particular area. For example, Akkipete(for the rice traders), Chikkapete(for small general traders), Chamarajapete, Ragipete.

    Halli in Kannada means village. So, present day Halli in Bangalore used to be small villages once upon a time. For example, Marthahalli, Kodihalli, Dasarahalli, Devanahalli, Jalahalli, Uttarahalli.

    Sandra in Kannada is an altered form of Samudra i.e. sea. As it appears, Bangalore was not only a garden city once, but also a lake city. Thippasandra, Jakkasandra, Lakkasandra, Byrasandra, to name a few Sandra. I wonder if Sandra Bullock too falls into this category.

    PaaLya is an area of land, ruled by a PaaLeyagara, meaning Chieftain, in Kannada. The origins of this word can be traced back to the time when Bangalore was ruled by the Wodeyars and the Muslim rulers of Mysore. SuduguntepaLya, KalasipaLya, NS PaLya, MurugeshPaLya fall into this category. However, my all time favorite PaLya are MalleshPaLya, SultanPaLya, MichaelPaLya...Hilarious, aren't they? I wish there was a KapilPaLya too in Bangalore!

    Saturday, April 24, 2010

    Koi Nahi???

    I had barely recovered from the t/th phenomenon when I was struck with another alien phrase. I'm sure many of you would not have had exposure to the divine phrase that I'm about to discuss. I was introduced to this heavenly phrase during a conversation with one of my Delhite friends a couple of years back. I was just wondering how come I was ignorant of such a lovely phrase till then. Let me give you a glimpse of that conversation:

    Preface: STOMA (Stochastic Modeling & Applications) is a monstrous course which we were forced to take during our 1st sem at IISc. Only those who've credited/audited this course can understand the intensity of pain in my statement.
    Me: Yaar, it's too much...STOMA prof is surely gonna fail me in his course.
    Friend: Why? What happened?
    Me: Yaar, I barely managed to score 15 out of 50 in the mid-term.
    Friend: Koi nahi !!! Final mein cover kar lena.
    Me: Kahan koi nahi? There are so many people around.
    Friend: What are you talking about?
    Me: You only said, "koi nahi"
    The differences were settled only when my dear friend explained to me that "Koi Nahi" is a phrase commonly used in northern India and has a meaning similar to "koi baat nahi". Some people use even a shorter version "Koi Naa".

    Till date, I'm unable to understand the relevance of this phrase in its usage. Koi nahi??? Nobody is there??? Who enquired if anyone's there to begin with???

    I wonder if "baat" is such a difficult word to drop off from conversations. Why drop such a lovely word as "baat" from "koi baat nahi"...Akhir baat karne se hi toh baat banti hai, kyun???

    Saturday, April 10, 2010

    Westernization is in the air...

    India Inc. is flying high and we should be really proud of that. Indian Cos have gone global and at the same time MNCs are eager to set up their centers in India. Middle class Indian is getting exposure to the western culture like never before. Some of the effects of this westernization can be easily seen in our day-to-day life. More kids are going to English medium schools; Parents are conversing with their kids in English; There’re more pizza/burger/CCD outlets in the city than the once-omnipresent tea stalls (chai ki tapriyaan); Portable hard-disks are full of Hollywood movies and Love marriages are rapidly outnumbering arranged marriages. However, sometimes a thought crosses my mind...Are we not blindly copying Americans in whatever way we can? I agree that westernization has enabled us access to a luxurious life which we didn’t even dream of. I might sound a bit radical here, but I strongly believe that we should hold on to some of our basic cultural values instead of blindly copying western people. The concept of a joint family or the concept of arranged marriages, for example. I strongly believe there’s something good about these institutions which have worked for us for so long. Otherwise, why would western people look up to India for more stable families, more sustained married life and consequently more peace of mind? I believe, these are a few values which make us Indians stand out among the whole world population and we should make sure we don’t lose these in the pursuit of westernization. We are still in a transition stage and we should be cautious that we do not replicate here the issues faced by western countries.

    I’ve observed one more thing which I’d like to share here (Caution: Controversial issue ahead. Pale-hearted/short-tempered should not read further). I’m not being a misogynist here but I believe girls have a higher tendency of getting westernized than boys. This statement is merely based on a few observations I’ve had over a period of time. To quote a few examples, girls are more addicted to western food like pizza, burger, and sandwich than boys. Girls are more fascinated towards western clothing, pubs, discotheques and parties. The odds of two girls conversing in English are way higher than that of two guys. Of course, these are just my observations on a very limited sample space. However, I’m still looking out for the reasons behind girls being more prone to westernization. Guys, can you please help me out? In the meanwhile: Think western, but be Indian!

    Friday, March 05, 2010

    South India’s fascination with the alphabet ‘h’

    I’ve been in Bangalore for more than 3-and-a-half years now. During these years of my stay in south India, I’ve visited some or the other parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh. But one mystery still remains unrevealed to question still remains unanswered...why ‘h’? South India’s fascination with the alphabet ‘h’ was known to me even before my arrival in south India. Let me explain you the mystery. As you travel southwards across India, many things change like temperature, language, culture, etc. Among all these changes, one subtle change bothers me more than anything else. Why does ‘t’ get converted to ‘th’ in south India? Kartik becomes Karthik, Lalita becomes Lalitha, Gayatri becomes Gayathri...My knowledge was limited to the conversion of ‘t’ to ‘th’, until one day I found out the conversion of “Jeevan beema nagar” to “Jeevan bheema nagar”. Now, ‘b’ gets converted to ‘bh’. Interesting, isn’t it? The story doesn't end there. One fine day I observed "Shakti" getting converted to "Sakthi" and "Nandini" to "Nandhini"...Chaos !!!
    I’ve asked this question to many of my south Indian friends. But I’m yet to get a satisfactory answer. One argument is that ‘h’ is added to differentiate between the pronunciations of 'त' and 'ट'. ‘t’ stands for 'ट' while ‘th’ stands for 'त', as they say. In other parts of India, ‘th’ stands for 'थ' while ‘t’ stands both for 'त' and 'ट'. But then converting ‘t’ to ‘th’ doesn’t solve the problem at hand, to say the least. One is still left with the confusion between 'त' and 'थ'. Plus, it adds up more to the confusion created due to different spellings of the same name in south India and the rest of India. Also, I’ve found out a major flaw in this theory. If ’t’ is pronounced as 'ट', how do you pronounce 'Tamilnadu'? 'टमिलनाडू' ? Shouldn't it be spelled as 'Thamilnadu'? Similarly, are they demanding a separate state of 'टेलंगाणा'? My dear South Indian friends, please justify this.

    Disclaimer: This post should be taken in a casual manner. I did not intend to hurt anyone's feelings.

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Road trip to Yercaud

    Road trip no. 2 on my bike after the legen...wait for it...dary...legendary Wayanad trip. One fine day 4 biking enthusiasts viz. Myself, Pruthviraj, Amol, Shobhit, swiveling their office chairs, were looking forward to have some adventure on the coming weekend, it being an extended 3 day weekend for the most of us. Amol suggested Yercaud (Poor man's Ooty) and the rest three of us blindly agreed, none of us willing to trudge through the planning phase. We decided to gather at the Silk board junction on Saturday morning 6:30am. All four of us had bikes and nobody being keen on being a pillion, all of us took our respective bikes and gathered near the Silk board flyover. I was especially excited to cruise on the newly built electronic city flyover. A small piece of info: As most of the techies were facing the traffic snarls while commuting to their offices in electronic city, NHAI sanctioned a 10km flyover stretching from Silk board directly to the offices in electronic city. The toll booths still being under construction, the flyover was open to all for free of cost. Zooming on this flyover was really an exhilarating experience. Within 10 mins, we had already crossed electronic city and we were on our way to Hosur. There are a few toll-booths on the way, but two wheelers need not pay the toll. After crossing Hosur, we decided to take a halt for breakfast as all of us were starving. I had heard that one gets world's one of the best dosas and pongal in Tamilnadu. It came as a shocker to us when a hotel walah told us that he didn’t have any dosas but had chapathis (yes, with “h”). We had a yummy breakfast and continued our journey.

    Now, there are two simple ways of getting to know when one crosses the Karnataka-Tamilnadu border. One, you suddenly feel the rise in temperature as you enter Tamilnadu. Two, you get to see yellow color everywhere...yellow auto rickshaws, yellow trucks...We reached Krishnagiri and then Dhramapuri, the whole stretch being NH7. After crossing Dharmapuri, we reached a village called Deevattipatti. From thereon, if one takes a left turn, there's a short cut to Yercaud. We took a short break at this junction as I couldn't resist the temptation to grab a few juicy watermelon slices with a vendor on the roadside. Now, I can mumble something in Kannada and a very few words of Telugu, but I don't know a single word of Tamil, neither does anyone from the rest of the gang. After struggling for a good 10 minutes, we finally figured out the price of watermelon the vendor was quoting. Being true Indians, we tried to bargain there too; what if language was a barrier. As we were relishing the juicy watermelons on the scorching afternoon, with the help of a few hand waving gestures and a few english words, we got to know that the short cut road was not in a good condition to ride on. So, we were advised to go via Salem. A part of my heart gave a high-five getting to know that I'd get to ride on NH7 for some more time. We cruised to Salem and entered the city. Salem is famous for steel, is all I could recollect from my limited geography knowledge. As we were approaching Salem, we could see a lot of trucks carrying huge steel parts. I thought those were the parts of aeroplanes, but Amol corrected me saying that those were the parts of windmills. Inside the city, we spotted a sign board which asked to take a left turn for Yercaud. From thereon we got confused at a few junctions, but with the help of a few passers-by, we finally hit on a 32km winding and picturesque ghat road. The road had 20 hair pin bend curves which needed extra care while maneuvering.

    We entered the hill town at about 12:30 pm, to a welcoming view of the big lake right in the middle of the town. After some searching about, we found our way to the GR resorts. The resort was totally worth the tariff. After freshening up, we decided to take food at the same place as Pruthviraj about to die of starvation. As we were a bit late (2pm), to my great astonishment one more time, the restaurant guy told us in broken english that he only had chapathi-curry and no RICE. Would you believe it, given that you were in the heart of south India. The restaurant guy was a funny and a mysterious chap. After a good half-hour wait, when we finally got some food, we once again asked if we could get some rice as we had managed to sneak into the kitchen and had seen a pot of boiled rice. He said he could get us fried rice but not the white rice. I still wonder why in the first place he had denied us rice and although we had seen boiled rice in the kitchen, why he was bent upon serving only fried rice. Nevertheless, the food was really yummy. Only in Tamilnadu can one taste the real Sambar-rice. The food was too tasty for the four of us to stop ordering more and more. Finally, when almost all the grocery in the kitchen was about to finish, seeing the guy's astonished face (how can one eat so much!); we decided to call it quits. The first place we visited after lunch was Pagoda point. On the way we passed the Big Lake where a few people were boating around. As the lake wasn't really BIG and the water didn’t seem to be clean, we decided to give it a miss. We spotted different versions of the name “pagoda” on the signboards on its way...Pakoda, pagota, paghoda...Pagoda Point lies on the eastern and South-eastern part of Yercaud hill and provides a great view of the hills around and the Salem city. The place has a small temple and several small 'pagoda' shaped structures, made by stacking stones, which give it the name. We spent a good half an hour there photographing around. Our next destination was Lady's seat. On the way back from Pagoda point, we spotted a place where a couple of guys were riding mud racing bikes. The tariff was 100, 300 and 500 depending upon the distance. Shobhit and I decided to give it a try. It was quite a different experience riding those four-wheeler bikes. Shobhit did a good job riding that bike pretty smoothly, while on the other hand, I didn’t do justice to it, is what I'd say. I had a hell of a time turning that bike around. It was getting late as we had to catch sunset at lady's seat. We came back to the town square, and took another road to the West, to the Lady's seat point. This is another cliff edge, which provides a great view of the Yercaud ghat, a part of Salem city and the sunset. The heavy fog fizzled out the splendid beauty of the sunset towards the end, but otherwise, it was a beautiful spot. There is a telescope house at this point, which helps you get a telescopic view of the landscape below, but unfortunately for us, it was closed :-( There are a couple of other spots - the Gent's seat and the Children's seat somewhere around there, but we did not visit them. It was 7pm then and we could hear loud bollywood music coming from Sterling Resorts. Sounded like a party going on there. The party animal inside me arose and we all went there. Sterling resorts is one heck of a place with awesome scenic views from the rooms. People had yet to turn up at the amphitheater and we were pretty hungry. We decided to have dinner at the same place where we had lunch as the taste was still lingering around in our mouths. After having a yummy and monstrous dinner, we decided to trek up towards the Hotel Grand Palace. It was a great atmosphere, nice breeze, and a little misty environment. We went into the hotel, checked the tariff and visited the other side of the hill which opens up on the valley. We came back to our rooms after having an eventful and tiring day. After watching news about the German Bakery blast in Pune on the tv and giving a mouthful to the bloody terrorists, we fell asleep.

    Amol and I had decided to go the sunrise next morning, while Shobhit and Pruthviraj had decided to rest in peace. I was lucky to force myself to wake up at 5:45 am the next day morning, to go watch the sunrise. As we were approaching Pagoda point, where we had decided to watch the sunrise at, the sky was already filled up with wonderful colors. We were the only people there to enjoy the sunrise, and the serenity added to the tranquil morning experience. Having seen the sunrise, which wasn’t grand but pretty good, we headed back to the hotel. The news channels were still telecasting about the Pune blast. Cursing those bloody terrorists, we headed for the breakfast again at the same place. Once again, we ate the yummy food items monstrously and when we decided to call it quits, the restaurant guy sarcastically asked if we wanted some more stuff. Having a good laugh, we came back to rooms and got ready. We headed towards Kiliyur Falls. After riding a couple of kilometers on a road next to the lake, we had to trek down a steep path for just over half a km, to reach the foot of the falls. Although short, the steepness of the trek made it quite arduous - the way down was slippery, and the way up, very taxing. The falls were a namesake at this part of the year, but would surely be very beautiful during and after the monsoons. We spent some time there and came back. I really liked the restaurant up there. It was a simple 1 bhk with windows opening to a scenic view of the valley. I wished I could own such a beautiful place. We headed towards Rajarajeshwari temple and thereon towards Shevaroyan temple, named after the hills that Yercaud is situated on. It is 6 km from the town square on the north east side and is apparently the highest motor able point in Yercaud. The temple is in a very small cave around which a small concrete structure is built, which gives it the look - more of a small shed or shop, than a temple. Also, there were police wireless towers and a place which once would have been a children's park. We came back to the center of the city, had a few (actually, a lot) chilly-bhajis and some fruits. Then we started towards lady's seat to visit the Rose garden and Carmel Ashram. Rose garden is a pretty huge garden with a variety of rose plants. But since we were too tired to walk in the sun, we only visited Children's seat and came back. On our return way to the hotel, we also checked into Bhavani Singh's perfumery. We reached the hotel by 12:45PM, packed our stuffs and had a nice bath. After 24 hours of great fun there, we said goodbye to the place and headed on our way back at 1:30 pm. The ride down the ghat was fun again. We reached Salem and headed towards Dharmapuri. It was extremely hot uncomfortable for another hour of ride. I had an emergency situation and had to take a break at one of the petrol pumps to relieve myself. Pruthviraj also decided to pounce on the opportunity to relieve himself. Just after Krishnagiri, we decided to have lunch at a restaurant at around 4 pm. At the restaurant, we spotted a lot of techies with their families coming back from some weekend getaway or the other. Our destination was still a good 100km away. To minimize riding in the dark, we rode continuously till we reached the electronic city flyover. It was 7:30pm. After saying our final good-byes and discussing the strategy to share photographs, we zoomed on the flyover (probably our last "free" ride on it) towards our respective destinations. It was a nice memorable road trip. Kudos to the gang! Many more such trips to come in future...

    Facts sheet:
    • Distance from Bangalore: 234 km; total trip meter reading: 490 km
    • Best time to visit: Feb - May, June
    • Means of transport - Better take your own car / bike, would be useful to roam around in the town too, and you can enjoy the good drive/ride to and fro.
    • Cost of accommodation at GR resorts: Rs 500 for a double bedroom (One may also checkout Hotel Tamilnadu - the TTDC lodge which is economical but difficult to get a room unless reserved in advance)