Rim Jhim On the fly…

This was one of my favourite tracks sung by my favourite singer – Kishore da.  Myself and Dhruv recorded this song on the fly without any prior practice.  Don’t be surprised, the song is almost 3x the speed of the original song.  In between the song there is a cute interruption, that is Anant (Dhruvs son). We were so much in to the song that we did not notice him speaking in between the track.  We were pretty much satisfied with the song and uploaded it to Youtube right away. Hope you like it.

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September 6, 2008 at 10:04 pm 1 comment

Amsterdam Trip !!

Thanks to May day, we got bridge holiday i.e continuous 4 days holiday. After a lengthy discussion, me and my team-mate Praveen, decided to go to Amsterdam. We booked tickets through Eurolines and everything was set. Actually it took a lot of effort in deciding this place. We had Italy and Switzerland as other options, but we decided Amsterdam because, Tulip gardens are open only till mid May and we did not want to miss it. We also took the risk of going there without booking a hotel in advance.

We took the Eurolies bus from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. The night journey in Eurolines was pathetic. Honestly, our Rajahamsa busses are far better than Eurolines. We reached Amsterdam at 6.30 AM. The city was nothing different than frankfurt. Then we took the metro to the Central station. Our first challenge was to find a hotel. We knew it’s going to be tough because, it was a tourist season and added to that was a long weekend. We went to the Tourist Information Center and stood first in the queue. The tourist info center opened at 9am. The lady was very sweet, she searched all possible hotels and finally booked one hotel for us. She also marked all the tourist places on a map and gave full instructions of when to visit what. We also bought tickets to some of the places there itself. We were very thankful for that lady. We knew what exactly we will be doing for the next two days.

With a great relief we came out of the tourist info center and then we took the tram and reached our hotel. Amsterdam is well connected by trams and metro. According to my observation, the average waiting time on any stop is around 1.5 mins. Soon after we reached our hotel, we refreshed, dumped our bags and again came back to the city center. Our plan was to first visit the famous Madame Taussauds Wax museum and then take a trip to the Holland country side.

Since we had already bought the tickets for Madame Tussauds, we got a direct entry into the museum, we didn’t wait in the queue. It’s not that amazing, but quite okay for taking snaps with some of the worlds famous celebrities. The wax model I liked the most was that of Cindy crawford. It is so real, first when I saw the model, I actually thought somebody is standing there. Majority of the wax models are basically Hollywood celebrities. From India, it was only our Bapu – Mahatma Gandhi. It took around 1.5 hrs to see the entire museum. We had no time to waste as we were on a tight schedule. Our next destination was the Holland countryside visit.

As we were walking on the street to reach the tourist office, we were reminded of our Majestic bus stand in Bangalore. So many people, so many tourists!!. When we reached the tourist office, the only thing we said was “Oh my God!!”. It looked like everyone was going to Holland country side. The tour manager was yelling at everyone and I really pity him. Imagine so many people asking him the same question in 100 different languages, anybody will get mad and loose patience. Finally, we got into one bus and our journey towards Holland started.

Most parts of Netherlands are below sea level. Amsterdam is 13 feet below sea leavel. In order to prevent water from flooding the country, they have constructed many dams. Therefore some of the cities and places have the suffix ‘dam’ as in Amsterdam. We, soon reached the countryside of Holland. It’s B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. The land is flat as a football ground and the green pastures resemble a football ground. The grass is somewhat light green in color which is very pleasant to see. We reached the city of wind mills – not the HIFi wind mills, small old traditional wind mills. These wind mills were built by farmers for draining water out of their fields, for corn milling and for other industrial purposes. The saying is that “The Dutch built windmills, but windmills built their country”. The village was very peaceful and calm. We also visited the wooden boot factory in that village. The farmers in Holland use wooden shoes to protect their feet from cold weather. This shoe is made from a special wood called as “Popular”. Every shoe is long lasting and can be used for a very long period of time. We bought some souvenirs in the boot factory. After that we went to a cheese factory and then on a boat ride in one of the lakes.

We were very exhausted when we came back to the city center. We had dinner in an Indian restaurant. Then took a walk around the city. Amsterdam is always buzzing with activity. The most significant thing you see there is Cycles. There are around 2 million cycles in that city. Since the city is flat, cycles are very cheap means of transport for the locals. We came back to the hotel at around 10pm. Next day we had planned to go to Kuekenhof(Tulip Gardens), Rotterdam and some museums.

Early morning we got ready quickly, we had a very long day ahead. First we took a bus to Shiphol airport and then from there another bus to Tulip Gardens. The total journey was around 1 hour. It was around 10.30 when we entered the garden. I just can’t explain how AWESOME it was. Check out the photos. It will take an entire day for seeing the garden completely. It’s a very very big garden. Every year, this garden is open only from mid April till mid May. The garden has mainly different verity of tulips and few other flowers. You get tired appreciating every flower. At the end of the day you will go color blind. Sakat Maja bantu. We were so much mesmerized by the beauty of the gardens that we forgot about the time. When we came back it was already 4.30 in the evening. We had to cancel Rotterdam trip.

With the amount of time left, we could afford to visit only one museum for the evening. We had VanGogh museum, Rijks museum and Anne frank museum. Van Gogh and Rijks were paintings museum,
we were least interested in them. So we went to Anne Frank museum. Probably the best thing we did. Although we waited around 1hr to buy the tickets, it was worth a wait. The story of Anne Frank is really heart squeezing. Anne Frank museum is nothing but the house of Anne Frank where she and her family went into hiding for almost 2 years to protect themselves from Nazis. Every article, every room of that house has a story to say. At the end of the museum, we can see the dairy of Anne Frank in which she has written down the entire incident on a day to day basis. We all were mute when we were in the last room of that house. Some people were so moved by the story that tears trickled down their cheeks when they were seeing the last gallery. It’s a painful story. I suggest you to see the movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYzDYWNOc40.

Our Amsterdam trip ended with Anne Frank museum. It was a unique experience. It was fun(wax museum), ecstatic(Holland countryside), heaven(Tulip Gardens) and emotional (Anne Frank Museum). I wish to take my mother and sister to Tulip Gardens one day.

July 24, 2008 at 9:00 pm 2 comments

A night at Eiffel Tower

“It’s nothing but a cast iron tower” is what I felt when I saw the Eiffel tower in broad day light. But, I was proved wrong when we I saw it at night. Wow!! what a sight it was. I could not take my eyes off it. No wonder, it’s a wonder, one of the wonders of the world.

Anybody who visits Eiffel tower should see it once during daylight and once at night. That is exactly what I did. In the noon, I bought tickets to climb to the top of the tower. The tower has 3 stages/floors – 1st, 2nd and top floor. One can cover the first two floors by foot and then take an elevator to the top floor or can directly take another elevator from ground floor to the top floor. But, walking is very exciting than elevator. There are food joints and refreshments on 1st and 2nd floors. I was exhausted and hungry when we reached 2nd floor. Me and my friend had the famous ‘Puliyogre’ which we had packed from our house. It was very spicy and it tasted like heaven. The view of Paris from the top of Eiffel tower is spectacular. One can easily spot all the major tourist places from there. The city of Paris is simply superb. Plenty of old buildings and monuments. Most of them have the Gothic style of architecture. The Seine river next to the tower, the cruises and the bridges are some of the beauties that you would want to capture in your photos and videos.

I took the elevator to reach the top floor. It was windy and very cold. Actually it was drizzling a little bit. Awesome weather for taking snaps. It’s a breath taking view from the top. Full city of Paris can be captured in a panaromic view. It is very crowded at the top because of the less floor area. If the wind is too high, you can also feel the sway of the tower. According to what I read somewhere, the Eiffer tower has a sway of 12cm during high winds. There is also a display of major cities and their air distance from Eiffel tower. Bangalore is 7860Kms away from Eiffel tower. The overall experience in the noon was something like seeing Paris from a the top of a tall building.

After descending from the tower, we went to Arch de Triomphe, the opera building. Our plan was to go back to Eiffel tower at around 10.30 PM because the sun sets at around 10PM during summer. Finally we reached the tower at 10.45. As I have described earlier, it was simply A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. The cast iron tower suddenly changed in to gold. A golden tower is what I can say. I could not take my eyes off it. Two high beam spot lights keep revolving on the top of the tower just like a shining diamond on a golden jewelry. Thousands of tourists gather in front of the tower at night. After sometime, all of a sudden, a different set of lights started sparkling. It’s like all the stars in the sky are copy-pasted on the Eiffel tower. After taking some photos and videos, I stood alone at one place and enjoyed the beauty of tower for sometime and then returned back to the hotel.

July 13, 2008 at 10:40 pm 3 comments

Garmisch Trip

Garmisch PartenKirschen – It took some time for me to pronounce this place properly. I was very excited about this trip because it was my first trip in Germany. It was in April, a perfect time to be in a place like Garmisch. Actually, when I was in Bangalore, I had made a list of must-see places in Germany and Alps was one of them.

It took around 2-3 days for us ( me and two of my colleagues) to properly plan this trip. The plan was that, we travel to Stuttgart on Friday evening, stay at my friends place that night. Next day morning we leave early and travel to Munich and from Munich we go to Garmisch. We started on Friday evening, everything went as per plan. It was 9 AM in the morning when we reached Munich. Let me tell you, Munich is one place you should not miss when you visit Germany. It is a wonderful city, a city with history. I enjoyed the short walk on the streets of Munich. I already have planned a dedicated post only on Munich trip, so I will not write much about it here.

Train To GarmischThe train to Garmisch started at 9.30. We had packed some chips and bread for breakfast. We finished them and again had a short discussion of our trip plan. I was sitting next to the window and the sight through the window was simply “Amazing”. It was green all around. Green pastures and farm lands that we see generally in cartoons. The typical Bayern mountains and conical trees, it was very new to me and I was slowly absorbing the experience.

After an hour of journey, I spotted something that I never expected I would see – a never ending range of snow capped mountains. Like a Kid I jumped out of my seat. “Do you think those are Alps mountains!”, I asked my colleague, he coldly replied “Yes, they are”. I was wondering if it was real. I started taking snaps but none of them came out well as it was a bit jerky in the train. Earlier before leaving, we had inquired if it would be snowing or do we get to see snow in Garmisch, but everybody told us that it was summer and snow would be melted by then. But after what I saw from the train, I was just hoping that our train passes through those mountains so that I can at least get a glimpse of snow. A few minutes later, I was sure that we were actually going through those mountains. Wow! What a sight that was. Huge mountains with white streaks of snow. Some were covered with clouds and some were shining with traces of sunlight that escaped through the clouds. Should I say, it was an ultimate Romantic place.Alps

30 minutes later we reached Garmisch main station. This place is in the border of Germany-Austria. It’s a small town with very less population of about 26000 people. It is very popular for winter sports like skiing, snow boarding and hiking. It has also hosted winter Olympics. our first job was to get a room, dump all our bags and start towards the mountains. We went to the tourist information center, got the hotel details and took a bus to the hotel. There we put our bags, refreshed and had lunch. We found out that there is a train that takes us to the top of the hill and there are lot of skiing spots over there. Our plan was clear now, we directly went to that train station. It is known as Zugsplitsbahn. It is 32Euros/person for that train ticket. With this ticket, one could go to all the way up to the top in the train or he can get down in one of the stations and take a cable car. We already had enough of train journey, so we took cable car from a place called Eibsee. The cable car took us to the top within 10 mins. We reached close to the highest point of that hill – 3000 meters above sea level and the temperature at that time was -5 deg centigrade.

It was amazing to be seeing snow for the first time in my life. When I got out of the cable car, I could see everything was white around. It was thrilling when I put my foot on the snow for the first time. I might be sounding very childish but it was indeed a wonderful moment for me. We climbed up to the highest point and the sight form there was absolutely stunning. “Is this heaven” I asked myself. The beauty of Alps range is something one has to see atleast once in his life. I just can’t explain them in words. We clicked plenty of photos. We had lot of fun with the snow. Most interesting was, we played cricket with a snow ball. One guy used to bowl and one used to bat and other used to shoot video. But after sometime, our hands became numb and started paining. We were not prepared for the snow. Neither we had worn appropriate shoes nor hand gloves, just some warm clothing. My Nike shoe were almost wet and I could feel the chills below my feet. But, I was least bothered about it. I even thew my Jacket away just to feel what does -5 deg centigrade feels like. Then we thought we must go and hire skiing gears, but we were told that ski lending was closed for that day. I didn’t feel disappointed about it, there’s always a next time. I was already planning to visit Garmisch again. Later, we just continued with some of our snow games and spent rest of the time.

There are very few moments in life that become memories. This trip is one of them.

June 29, 2008 at 5:37 pm 1 comment

Does Gandhigiri Work ?

‘Gandhigiri’, I think there is no better topic than this to kick start my blogging. This being my first blog, I want it to be as responsive and interactive as possible. I am sure, lot of people out there have many things to share about this topic.

To be frank, when I heard this term ‘Gandhigiri’, in the movie ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai(LRMB)’, it made me think about how I was dealing with my problems till then. It made me review my previous decisions and moves that had led me out of problems or rather, got my job done without any hassles. It wouldn’t be wrong to say, I had actually used Gandhigiri in most of the cases. But, I was unaware that it was Gandhigiri.

One must be thinking that it’s too late for anybody to blog about Gandhigiri. LRMB was released long long back and people have even forgot the movie. But my friends, let me make it clear. I am not writing about LRMB or sanjay Dutt. I am trying to uphold the importance of Gandhigiri in my life, in your life and in every other persons life. It is not just a name, it is a practice, a social behavior. It is not a rule or a formula that can be applied at situations, but it is a way of life to be followed.

The core meaning of Gandhigiri or Sathyagraha is very simple – “Come what may, Stand by the truth”. In other words “Truth alone wins”. If you are true to yourself and to others, you earn respect. Ultimately, we could say that Sathyagraha = ‘Give respect and take respect’. As we know, SathyaGraha was started by our respected Mahatma Gandhiji during our freedom struggle against the Britishers and it was a great success. I would like to call this as a large scale SathyaGraha. But, the unfortunate story is that, this term later became a synonym for ‘Strike’ or ‘non cooperation’. Almost everybody in India had this misconception that Sathyagraha is ‘Strike’ or ‘non violent resistance’ which is done when a number of people are fighting against something or somebody. Of course this is true, but it is not just meant only for that. The word SathyaGraha has a much broader meaning to it. Unfortunately, nobody explained this to us, neither it was thought in our schools. Thanks to the movie LRMB for making us understand the true meaning of SathyaGraha in a very simple way.

Lets come back to the question, “Does Gandhigiri Work ?”. If you ask me, I would say “yes, it does work”. I have tried it in many situations. Let me state one example here. When I was in my +2, I used to go to tuition classes in my fathers bike. Unluckily, one day, a traffic police officer stopped me and asked for the vehicle documents. I had a LL(learners license) at that time. I hope you know this fact that one who is driving with an LL should compulsorily put ‘L’ board on the vehicle. But, the sticker in my vehicle was gone because I had got the it serviced the previous day. I gave him all the documents and everything was perfect. Then the most obvious thing happened, he asked me “where is the L board?”. I told him that it might have fallen down when I gave it for a wash and I will put it back again as soon as possible. I was hoping that he might warn me and let me go as I was a first time defaulter. But, he insisted that I have to pay a fine of 50Rs. At that moment, I didn’t have that much money. I frankly said, “Right now I don’t have that much money”. Then he asked me to pay him Rs 30 i.e without bill(you know why). I was in no mood to bribe anyone. Again I said “Sorry, I don’t have, I will have to get it from my house”. He said “then I will have to seize the vehicle if you don’t pay”. He expected that I would bargain or plead before him. But I did the reverse. I parked the vehicle in the corner, locked it and gave the key to the officer and told him “Not 30, I will pay you Rs 50, please wait for 10 minutes, I will get the money from my house” and I started to walk. I could see in his eyes, the guilt of asking bribe from a young boy. Suddenly he responded, “No, it’s okay. You can go now, but make sure you have the L board on the way back.”

Well, that was one small example. I am very interested to know if anybody out there believes in this great philosophy . Most importantly, does it work all the time ? It will be great if you could share your Gandhigiri incidents here.

Gandhigiri Zindabaad !!!

June 16, 2008 at 8:02 pm 4 comments

Hello World !!

Eeeehhaaaaa !! Finally I have a blog.

I always wanted to have a blog to express my experiences and opinions. Today, I am stepping in to the world of Blogs.

Yaahoo !!

 

June 10, 2008 at 4:56 pm 2 comments


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