Monday, August 30, 2010

Experience of learning

"If I am learning, for instance, Russian, I am confronted by an authoritative structure which commands my respect. The task is difficult and the goal is distant and perhaps never entirely attainable. My work is a progressive revelation of something which exists independently of me. Attention is rewarded by a knowledge of reality. Love of Russian leads me away from myself towards something alien to me, something which my consciousness cannot take over, swallow up, deny or make unreal. " 

by Iris Murdoch

I just tried replacing the word - 'Russian' to 'anything new'


Sunday, August 29, 2010


it’s a common sight
when it is not a whole
and not so clear
very often, everywhere
with everyone…
I see only a part
or incompletely again
the face I encounter
out in the nature
in its own state...
communicating fear
exposing honesty in
what is to be believed,
unknowing how else,
to live out free…
as new as it looks
with magical silence
holding its meaning
and love, consciously
behind the real world…
capturing its essence
binding it with colors
and the little things
exist in the nature,
is nothing but a glimpse…


Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I looked through the window
and the glass
through the rain drops
and the rain
dark in the night
lit by the city colors
seen so many faces
and many lives

I looked through the window
of my mind
through my heart
and my will
of what is to be done
waiting with no time
to show new moon
for all those faces
of my vision


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A mystery trail story!

Here is one more photo blog on my recent trek, for a change, in the Eastern Ghats. There were four reasons for my excitement to choose this trek. One, it was the last trek for few of my trek buddies. Two, I had not trekked much in the Eastern Ghats and I was eagerly waiting to see some dry deciduous forest landscapes. Three, it was the land once ruled by the famous bandit Veerappan and it is a thrilling experience to go through his trails. Four, it was raining heavily all over western ghats. So, dedicating this trip to my friend Suz, who will very soon be a long term immigrant in the most happening country, we chose the Mystery Trails trek from MM Hills to Palar. Mystery Trails is a set of planned eco-treks through the deep jungles of Chamarajanagar range of forests.

12 of us reached MM Hills on Saturday morning and were all set to start our trek. It was not raining so we thought it would be a real good trek. We paid the permission fee and they arranged for a forest guard to accompany us to guide the route. And we started.

As we started, we could see the beautiful valley view of the whole mountain ranges. We were all set to walk for 15 kms on the first day and this was the view we encountered to start with.

I could see the signs of dry deciduous forests just by watching those shrubs alongside the route. Most of them were the Lantana shrubs. And ofcourse they make the beautiful habitat and attract a lot of birds. 

Even though we were told that this was a very difficult trek, we did not find it that difficult because there was nothing to climb. It was just a walk in the forest path. We were actually climbing down the valley and the altitude level was lesser when compared to Bangalore. But I did encounter some of the beautiful sights of the villages/hamlets all along the way. They were looking very beautiful with the backdrop of those huge mountains. 

We were not just enjoying the beauty of the mountain landscapes, we were also getting to see some of the village life and the people who were working hard on the fields. We also go to meet some of the kids on our way who were curious to see crazy trekkers and at the same time excited to pose at our lenses. 

After crossing all the villages, it was just us and the dense forests. Atleast for the first 10 kms, the whole region was covered with lantana and I did not sight any other wild flower or ground orchids that I was expecting to see. But we did see a lot of birds and ofcourse the big one -Elephant. The view all along the way was just breathtaking and a feast for eyes. 

After walking for about 15 kms, we reached Naagamale where we were supposed to rest for the night. We climbed up the Naagamale hill and paid our respects to the famous god Maadeswara and the trademark rock of Naagamale. After which our lenses were busy capturing some birds and to end with the beautiful sunset. 

There was a forest guest house that was big enough to accommodate 12 of us. But most of us were out spending some quality time having fun and playing cards. We started playing cards at 10 pm and ended up sleeping at 2.30 am. The next morning was an absolute delight with some MTR ready to eat food which got finished within seconds. Just imagine one packet of delicious pongal in a plate and 12 hands in the plate. After one more round of the cards game, we were all set to start our second day trek. The second day turned out to be the most beautiful because of the rain showers throughout the day. It was a beautiful route going down to the Palar. 

Interestingly, there was a sudden change in the habitat and it felt like we were in the western ghats for the rest of the day. There were no lantanas anymore and I started seeing some interesting wild flowers and interesting trees. Forest guard helped me to ID some of the trees (ofcourse in Kannada) and I ate good amount of his brain asking for more details. 

We reached Palar by 2pm and that was the end of our trek. Out TT was waiting to pick us up and we headed back to Bangalore. The highlights of the trek were the most beautiful dry deciduous forest landscapes, Lantana camara shrubs, Rains on the second day, the Malai-Seven cards game and those beautiful countrysides. 

Birds sighted: Laughing dove, spotted dove, Indian roller, Treepie, Jungle babblers, Red-whiskered bulbuls, Red vented bulbuls, White-browed bulbul, Common mynas, Coppersmith Barbets, Whistling thrush, Purple-rumped sunbirds, Great tit, Long-tailed shrike, White-throated Kingfisher, Asian Koels, Wagtails, Indian Robins and Common Iora (got the ID after coming back). Even call of Peacocks and bubo bubo. ( Some more which I could not Id them)

Butterflies sighted: Blue Tiger (Lots of them), Plain Tiger, Daniad Eggfly, Crimson rose, Grass yellows, Tawny coasters, Limes, Orange tip, Bush brown, Common sailer, King crow. (Some more which I could not ID)

More pics here: 


Friday, August 13, 2010

Meteor night out!

Perhaps, I am writing this out of pain. Yeah, neck pain.

Couple of weeks back I had received a mail from my friend saying – its meteor time again! And the mail announcement had this link which talks about the annual Perseid meteor showers. It said the following: The 2010 Perseid meteor shower - August's famous 'shooting stars' - will peak in this coming week, on the mornings of August 12 and 13.

After three days of my most deserved bed rest on account of controlled hyperthermia I was really tired and conveniently forgotten about the shooting stars show. After the three day long weekend, I was in office early morning on Wednesday and feeling blue, oranje, black and all the other colors in the world thinking of the pending work I had. I was almost set to getting into a state of animated mood and aversion to do any activity in office; that’s when I received one more mail reminding about the meteor showers activity is set for the day and an informal meet has been called to collectively watch the same. Without a second thought, I agreed and then some energy kicked into my day.

Some of my friends and some more who were new to me had confirmed their presence. So a bunch of us, around ten members assembled near Jayanagar at 11 pm and started moving towards Turahalli. That was our first stop. Like how meteor showers were at its peak, I guess, even our sense of humor were at its peak on this day. We had some absolutely hilarious moments and mouthful of laughs.

We were in Turahalli for about 30 minutes and were gazing at the sky like no better than how we look at our desktops. While we were able to see many stars, there were patches of clouds which gave us signal to move to a different place. Also the city lights were distracting to our eyes and hence we thought of moving to some other place where the sky is dark and less or no clouds to disturb us.  In spite of all these distractions, a genius in our team sighted his first meteor shower at Turahalli.

We took the ‘right’ turn on the Kanakapura road that connects to Kumbalgodu. After driving about 3 kms on that road, we found a place where the sky was relatively dark, free from clouds and beautiful to watch the stars. We were all looking up in the sky counting on time we say – ah! there is one!

There were some experts who were trying hard to educate a newbie like me on the subject and a chai-wala who was generous enough to prepare ginger tea at home and get it for us in a big flask. Oh! Not to forget, we had some spicy snacks and fruits to eat as well. It was almost 1.30 am and although we had not sighted too many shooting stars, it was reaching the peak and more were visible as the time went on. I was also lucky enough to sight some 9-10 shooting stars.

It was almost nearing 2 am, some of us were sleepy and none of us were even wishing for the giraffe necks the immediate day; so, we left from the place. The highlights of the activity were the following: ‘some’ amazing meteor showers, hilarious jokes, the ginger tea and of course all the team members who were fun to spend time with.

Now that I did enjoy the meteor night out, and while I will be waiting for more such events soon, er! my neck is still up somewhere and I am trying to fix it to normal!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wet monsoon heaven

It was one of those days where you have only one day in the wilderness to look around, observe, learn and bring back some good amount of knowledge and memories. And that was my half weekend. In 24 hours, driving around 700+ kms, in the rain, to the serene world, observing some of the amazing flora and fauna in the wild, wondering about them and capturing them in my lens to make sure they are with me till the end. What I witnessed was perhaps the best given the synchronization that happened between the 'right' time and 'my' feelings. Now, back at home, smearing over the memories of that one day and ending up with this photo essay on the same. I am not even sure if this is even a 1% justification of what was actually witnessed through my lucky eyes. Let me try. 

A chilly welcome into the western ghats through a cloud-fall in front of us

Now that it was wild, we had our first disappointed wildlife sighting. A porcupine was dead and no idea how it happened. 

Moving on to the higher altitudes means a sign of hope for many new beautiful creations. And so we spotted some beautiful orchids. 

Conchidium sp

Calanthe sp

Dendrobium sp

Mimic of a Bharatanatyam dancer - Peristylus sp

Higher altitude and during monsoon means there is much more scope for lot of other wild flowers to bloom. As we further moved on the wet floors,  we saw these little beauties. 

Gorgeous Impatiens 

Chlorophytum sp

 Impatiens scapiflora

You would wonder if I do not post any pictures of a waterfall. And so, here it is. One of those random waterfalls among many hundreds in the wild. 

To end my story, I want to take you all completely into the trance. A dream world where you can see nothing but what you call 'Heaven' or a 'Paradise'. Ready for it? go ahead...

How did it feel?

So much to wonder!

That is the end of this photo blog. The places you witnessed through my captured sets are from the mountain range what we call as Chickmang-La: a pass that connects the Kemmangundi and Mullayyanagiri range of mountains.

For more photographs, visit my flickr set: