Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Strange Call

The way we, (Ashu, Kavi & Me) enjoy our one hour lunch break is as if we would never get it back again ever.
It has become an everyday scenario of my friends getting personal calls during the break. When they are on calls, I relish my lunch as I am always a hungry kid. 

As usual, we were having our lunch, chitchatting & laughing.
Suddenly I noticed Ashu disconnected the call. I ignored her action considering it as her personal matter.
We continued with our giggles on Kavi's pjs. We were on our way back to our lab, when again she got a call. This time she disconnected and looked at us. We both were already looking at her.

She said, from the past one year she is getting a very strange call. Strange......sounds interesting. Soon will be part of my blog.
She then started narrating like a flashback.

One year back, a boy had called and introduced himself as Sunil.
"Hi, I am Sunil. Can I talk to Reshma?" (In a typical North Indian bhaiyya accent.)
"Sorry, this is a wrong number", and Ashu disconnected the phone.

Few months passed by.
Again she got a call,
"Hi, I am Sunil. Can I talk to Reshma?"
"Sorry, this is a wrong number".

After some time again,
"Please, can I talk to Reshma. It's urgent, please". 
"I told you this is not Reshma. Which number you want?"
He narrated the number.
"Yes, the number is right but I am not Reshma. She might have changed the number and I must have got her number".
and Ashu disconnected the phone.

Next day he called again. 
"Please arrange our meeting. I want to talk to her. I can't live without her. "
"How can I arrange your meeting? I don't know any of you. Who are you and why are you after her?"
He then narrated his long love story to Ashu.
"I am from north India. Even Reshma.  I am a driver here and
never liked to study. I didn't complete my school also. 
Padhne ka mann nahi karta......kitabe katne ko daudti hai( I don't feel like studying....books suck)
I like Reshma and we were soon going to marry.
The only problem with the relation is she is Muslim and I am Hindu. 
Her family shifted one year back to Mumbai. Since that time I am trying to contact her.  She gave me this number before going and I am searching for her since past one year. I am really afraid and dont know what to do. "
Ashu was shocked after hearing this.  She told him to have faith in God and wait patiently for her call.
"Its already high time.  I have been already waiting since a year."
"Why didn't you convey this situation to cops? They would have helped you and by now you would have got Reshma back"
"I dont know anybody and I am afraid to take any action."
"Don't worry, you just concentrate on your job. She will come back to you if she's in your destiny."
and Ashu disconnected the call.   

She compared the number with the one he had called the day before. Both the numbers were different.

"Intriguing!", I exclaimed.
"I don't think so it is intriguing in any way. The guy is just playing a prank or else flirting.
In order to hear your voice he is creating a story and finding a reason to talk to you", said Kavita.

One fine day, he called again. Instead of Ashu, Kavita received the call. 
"We have already told you that we cant  help you. If you call again, we will complain about you to cops."
The boy got frightened and disconnected the call.
One fine morning, a woman called Ashu. She introduced herself as Sunil's wife.
"What does my husband talk to you? I have seen your number many a times on his phone."
Hearing this, Ashu found the situation very much fishy.

"Why don't you ask your husband?" said Ashu.
"Please tell me quickly now before my husband comes". 
Ashu disconnected the call.

Late in the evening the same day, he called back, this time with another different number but with the same story. 
"This is too much." Kavita gave his number to her uncle who is a cop in Mumbai branch.

Investigation is going on with the number. To be continued....

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Wild Encounter

It was my immense desideration to experience a wildlife expedition. My parents are least fanatic about wildlife. So there were atomic chances of mine to visit such a locale with my clan. Fortuitously, my colleague told me that she is going for such a trip and one girl of their group had cancelled her ticket for the trip for personal reason. I was ecstatic with this fact & before I could ask, she herself told me to come as a replacement. How would I be leaving such a magnificent chance?

My very first excursion with the BAAN Hikers,

On 24th of October, 1.15 pm we boarded our train, Garibrath express. Garibrath is comparatively better than other trains with respect to hygiene. We were a syndicate of 17 individuals for this trip. There's no gratification like meeting new people in your journey. It was full on entertaining to play card games in the evening in the journey.That night we even celebrated birthday of one of our group member.
Next day, by 6 am, we reached Jabalpur,Madhya Pradesh.
That day we visited the milky white Dhuandhar falls.

After seeing dhuandhar falls, we went ahead for a boat ride at the marble rocks. Different shapes that represent different things (you see what you want to see :) ). One of the rowers who played the part of a guide gave us information in a sing song rhyme. It was funny and informative.  I am not sure how people who don't know Hindi will understand.You can find boys jumping from atop the mountains and camouflaged birds around. This was the place where the bollywood movie Ashoka was shot.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Then we had to travel for 3 hours in a private car to reach our actual destination, Bandhavgarh. We stayed in Tiger den resort at Tala,Bandhavgarh. The day we reached was just a commencing day with the full-fledged presentation on Bandhavgarh.
The next day by 5am, we had our gypsys waiting for us to take us to encounter the Gods own creation. They don't permit any mobile phones during the safari and you are supposed to carry your identity proof with you unfailingly. The safari owner Mr. Teerath Singh was our escort throughout.  There were 4 gypsys and 4 routes in the jungle which we called A,B,C and D. All 4 gypsys were directed on different routes.Each gypsy would cover two routes in a day.
Bandhavgarh National Park had small population of Gaur.The four main zones of the national park are Tala, Magdhi, Khitauli, and Panpatta. Tala is the richest zone in terms of biodiversity, mainly tigers. Together, these four ranges comprise the 'Core' of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve constituting a total area of 694 km².The buffer zone is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni Bandhavgarh has a very high density of tigers within the folds of its jungles. Bandhavgarh tiger reserve is densely populated with other species: the gaur or Indian bison, are now extinct or have migrated elsewhere; sambar and barking deer are a common sight, and nilgai are to be seen in the open areas of the park. There have been reports of the Indian Wolf (canis lupus indica), hyena, and the caracal the latter being an open country dweller. The tiger reserve abounds with cheetal or the spotted deer The project of reintroduction of Gaurs dealt with shifting some Gaurs from Kanha National Park to Bandhavgarh.

Bandhavgarh has the highest density of Bengal tigers known in the world, and is home to some famous named individual tigers. Charger, an animal so named because of his habit of charging at elephants and tourists (whom he nonetheless did not harm), was the first healthy male known to be living in Bandhavgarh since the 1990s. A female known as Sita, who once appeared on the cover of National Geographic and is considered the most photographed tiger in the world was also to be found in Bandhavgarh for many years. Almost all the tigers of Bandhavgarh today are descendants of Sita and Charger. Their daughter Mohini, son Langru and B2 also maintained their tradition for frequent sighting and moving close to tourist jeeps.
Mohini, became prominent following Sita's death. She mated with Mahamn Tiger. She later died of her wounds from the vehicle accident.
Charger died in 2000 and his body was buried at Charger Point where he was kept in a closed region at his old age. Between 2003 and 2006, many of his descendants met with a series of unfortunate ends. B1 was electrocuted and B3 was killed by poachers. Sita was killed by poachers. Mohini died of serious wounds to her body. After the death of Charger, the fully grown B2 survived as the dominant male in the forest between 2004 and 2007. He also became the strongest tiger in the world. Mating with a female in the Siddhubaba region of Bandhavgarh, he became a father of three cubs. One of them was a male. He was named Bamera. He was first sighted in 2008 and is now Bandhavgarh's dominant male. In November 2011, B2 died.Postmortem studies suggest that he died a natural death. But many other professional people, who know more than the officials, say that he was injured by the villagers of the village in the buffer area.
Now, the most prominent tiger in Bandhavgarh National Park is Bamera, who has territory in all the four zones of the park. The females are Kankatti and Panpatti who both have three and two cubs respectively.There are 39 caves in the Bandhavgarh fort Badi gufa, the largest cave, has a broad entrance, nine small rooms and several pillars.Bandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular  national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968, The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by  Lord Rama to his brother Laxmana to keep a watch on  Lanka (Ceylon). Hence the name Bandhavgarh (Sanskrit: Brother's Fort).
"Sheshshaiya" the statue of lord Vishnu in reclining pose is the biggest of all and attracts every tourist.The famous Dabur company is located in Madhya Pradesh. Mahesh Jangam's art gallery is a must visit.
The sign of a healthy forest depends on the algae on the trees. 
Sansar Chand is India's deadliest poacher.
Junglefowl is the national bird of Sri Lanka.

Mammals we saw:

Spotted deer or Chital, Sambar, Barking deer or Muntjac, Chausinga or Four-horned antilope, Nilgai or Blue bull, Indian Gazel or chinkara and Tiger, Scavengers, Wild boar, Sloth bear, Common Langur, Rhesus monkey etc. 
Some of the birds we found in Bandhavgarh national park are
  • Plum-headed Parakeet
  • Common Myna
  • Alexandrine Parakeet
  • Indian Grey Hornbill
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Black Drongo
  • Indian Peafowl
  • Oriental Magpie Robin
  • Indian Roller
  • Indian Robin

  • Large-billed Crow
  • White-browed Fantail Flycatcher
  • Yellow-crowned Woodpecker
  • Lesser Adjutant Stork
  • Oriental White Eye
  • Spotted Dove
  • White-throated Kingfisher
  • Red-rumped Swallow
  • Lesser Whistling Teal
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Black Stork
  • Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
  • Red-vented Bulbul
  • Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
  • Chestnut-shouldered Petronia
  • Crested Serpent 


  • Brown Fish Owl
  • Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
  • Malabar Pied Hornbill
  • White-throated Fantail Flycatcher
  • Rufous Woodpecker
  • Sapphire Flycatcher
  • Creasted Hawk Eagle (Cirrhatus)
  • Lesser Kestrel
  • Rose-ringed Parakeet
  • Dusky Crag Martin
  • Long-tailed Shrike
  • White-necked Stork

  • Little Brown Dove
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Jungle Babbler
  • Shikra
  • Jungle Myna
  • Common Tailorbird
  • Red Collared Dove
  • Red-necked Vulture
  • Painted Francolin
  • Eurasian Thick-knee
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Lesser Spotted Eagle
  • Greater Whistling Teal
  • Great Cormorant
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Dark Black Crow 

We were struck with disappointment when we couldn't find tiger in the morning safari.There is a saying about the Park that goes: "In any other Park, You are lucky if you see a tiger. In Bandhavgarh, you are unlucky if you don't see (at least) one." But finally during the other half of the day we could see the tiger in front of our gypsy, who tried to trick us by entering the bushes making us feel that its changing the route. It dint change the route, infact it was hiding in the bushes till we go to the other route in search of him. 
In the evening, we wore our dancing shoes to step up in the cultural dance of Madhya Pradesh.

Next day, we had our group photo with Way For(r)est tshirts.

Finally, bidding adieu to my one of the best encounter with nature.

See the seals swimming away
The little foxes as happy as ady
The baby birds flying above
The tigers resting with their cubs

The animals seem all so free
untill the humans kill as much as can be
why all this cruelty can't it stop
What have they done, what is up?

Save the wildlife, keep them from harm
for they are God's creatures, only charm
Keep them free, keep them safe
have some kindness in your place

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sondai Fort Monsoon Trek

After Rajmachi trek with my IIT team, here is another blog on my next trek at Sondai with SPR group for the very first time. 
"New faces new friends thats how the life goes enchanting."

On saturday morning, 27th July, we boarded a train to Karjat @6.56am fast from Thane. At Thane station itself I met my fellow trekkers. Shilpa and Rajendra uncle are the organisers basically.
By 8.15 am we reached Karjat station.After a quick and light breakfast of medu and idli sambar at Sai Idli Center near Karjat station, we hired 3 tumtums(6-seater autorickshaws) carrying 22 trekkers to Sondewadi village.
The way through tumtum was picturesque. An amazing view of Morbe Dam and lust green grass was a treat to the eyes.We could feel the fresh and soothing breeze on skin. 90% of the trekkers were from IT field which implies how IT people are nature lovers too. There was incessant rain. We were experiencing chilly and foggy weather. 
When we reached the base village we did a quick introduction of everybody. Half of the trekkers were from Capgemini. From the village we started ascenting. Capturing the lush green trees,mountains,flowing water,red soil and rocks is the beauty of trekking.

The fort is situated 4-5 kms away from Karjat Railway Station, overlooking the entire Karjat city. A temple of Sondai Devi, few water cisterns and an amazing view of Morbe dam and a surrounding region can be seen from top. It was probably used as a watch tower and forts like Prabalgad, Irshal, Rajmachi, Dhak, Peth, Songiri etc. can be seen from top. It can be reached easily in max. 2 hrs from the base village of Sondewadi. This would be a good hike and a day outing for people from Mumbai and Pune.

      Sondewadi and Vavarle are the base villages of Sondai fort. Sondewadi village is situated at 1/4th height of this fort. The pathway from this village goes to the fort which takes 15-20 minutes to reach to the plateau. Here we can see the route coming from Vavarle village. From here we can see 2 flag posts at the top of the fort (from one of this flag post, i.e. at the cliff of rock patch, one can reach to the top with the help of ladder which is kept there). Further there is carved steps in rock.
From Sondewadi, it takes 45mins to reach the second plateau.
Here exist the two adjoined cisterns which are carved in rock and hold water all year round. But in summer the water level falls and we can pull out water using rope. From here we can see neighboring Gavari hill which seems taller than this fort.

At the upward side of the plateau carved steps are there. After climbing them, at the left side we can see the dried cistern while at the right side, there has a ladder to ascend. We should remove our footwear here and move forward to the summit. (This is a sacred place dedicated to Sondai Devi and it is recommended to respect the beliefs of the locals). There are footholds as well a ladder to climb to the summit.

It is an amazing short and sweet trekking place for all age groups to enjoy the nature.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


This article is dedicated to my maternal grandma P.V. Shenoy or Prabha Shenoy.

In the year 1913, my great grandfather Raghuveer Shenoy( grandma's father ) was born in Bangalore. Unfortunately, his mother passed away when he was of 3 years of age. His father remarried and his step-mother then had 6 children. Being a lone child of his late mother, he was pampered a lot by his grandfather. His grandfather had asthma and always wished to see him happily settled before his last breath. Raghuveer was a brilliant student and very ambitious.He was always been commended for his achievements in literature and arts. He was a Topper in M.A. in the year 1933 in the entire Madras University. He was bibliophile. He never used to leave even a single piece of paper without reading. If he didn't find anything to read, he used to read dictionary. He used to  love reading books in all regional languages equally. He was stern with respect to reading books and always used to advice others to read a lot and used to say books are man's best friends till death. At home he had his own racks full of books which were not less than a treasure for him. Being a proficient, all companies and banks used to offer him good package job. He was truly a walking dictionary.
He got married at the age of 21 to fulfill his grandfather's wish of playing with a grandchild before his last breath. Within one and a half year he had a son(my grandma's eldest brother). Later he had another son. The two sons were named Prabhakar and Diwakar followed by my grandma Prabha,Rajivilaxmi,Vijaylaxmi and Rupali, who was born when my grandma was 20 years of age. In Kannada a venerable person is called "Aiyaa", so was my great grandfather.
My grandma was born in the year 1939. My great grandfather(Raghuveer) was in Canara bank with Rs. 1000 salary and simple quarters to stay along with perks which officers get in banks. One fine day, he was offered a job by Exchange bank with twice the salary he was getting along with 6bhk flat. For family convenience, there was a need of a bigger house and more salary. So he formally resigned with dignity from Canara bank and got selected in Exchange bank. Unfortunately the bank got bankrupt in a year and all savings of all employees and customers were freezed. The reason for the bankruptcy was that the owner invested all money in aircrafts and rumors were spread that the bank is in loss. So all customers started withdrawing all their money resulting in bankruptcy. Even the 6bhk flat was seized from the employees and all employees were without shelter. Helpless, my great grandfather pleaded with Canara Bank to take him back but the bank refused because according to the bank he had left them for greed of more salary. But the bank promised to employ his elder son after his graduation. For one year,  the entire family had to fill their stomachs by selling family ornaments and jewelery. Finally they had to migrate to Mumbai in search for a job where he got just a job of a typewriter on merely Rs 200. It was the worst part of my grandma's life. By then, elder son was employed by the bank and then the family's life became stable

The elder sons encouraged my grandma to study after matric too. My grandma, who had studied in Kannada medium in Karnataka was admitted in Kannada medium school in Matunga, Mumbai. My grandma never wore footwear in her early school days as during that time kids hardly used to wear footwear. She was one of the toppers in English subject in matric. But being in Kannada medium, she could only speak Kannada fluently and not English. Later she was admitted to Ruparel college of Arts.  
It was her first day of college. Lecturer asked those students to stand up who had topped in English subject in matric. Out of fear of asking her to speak in English, my grandma didn't stand. It was tough for grandma to suddenly cope up with high level English. The two elder brothers advised her to refer guides and digests for English subject. My grandma thoroughly studied the guides and to her surprise, in the first year also she topped in English subject.
She was also a Mathematics scholar. Like my grandfather, she loves reading books. She completed her 
high school from Ruia College.
She worked for BMC. She got married at the age of 24 with my maternal grandfather Vasudeva Shenoy. He was also a Canara bank officer. My grandfather's mother, two brothers and sister used to stay together in a joint family. My grandma have 3 children amongst whom is my mother. Because of empathic sister-in-law my grandma could manage job as well as household chores.  
Now in 2013, at the age of 74, my grandma can solve any mathematics problem with ease. She enjoys playing carom, listens to new generation songs and enjoys all chatpata delicacies like me. She is like my best friend. She is inquisitive, alert and always helpful. She is unique unlike other grandmas who are orthodox or who just engross themselves in spirituality. She believes in God but she doesn't believe any practices blindly. Whenever my grandma visits my place she always gets me a collection of kool t-shirts and kurtis and we all love her choice.My mamama(grandma) is eloquent, good listener, enthusiastic, frank, delightful & pretty. She loves to talk & share knowledge. She is not a typical "ajji" material may be because she was a working woman till retirement. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Vanakkam Chennai


Its my passion to travel, meet people and know about their livelihood. Having a far adjustable attitude, I always get mix up with people of all kinds of nature.

But this time I had to go for a different purpose and not for any FOSS workshop. My first MSc FOSS semesters from 23rd Feb 2013 in Madras Institute of Technology.

We had our flight on 21st feb 2013. We had booked our tickets in a hurry through It was airindia express international flight via Chennai to Singapore. In the morning itself I went to Sayali’s place in IIT Bombay, Vihar house. Sayali and sir had just arrived from Amravati and so they were busy unpacking their bags. By 6.30 pm our mero cab arrived to take us to Andheri Sahar airport. I watched knight and day movie in flight. We reached Chennai by 11 pm. One car was waiting for us. The car was sent by Mr. Umashankar. The lodge where we stayed that night was very filthy. Somehow we managed to sleep that night over there.

22nd:The next day early morning we booked a 'fast track' cab to the lodge where sir and Sayali were to stay.  Because of cauveri water problem and high security that lodge was not allowed for anyone except VIPs. So in short me and Uju were not allowed to stay over there.Knowing so we were completely helpless. Luckily Uju had Mr Sanjiv Kumar Saini’s  contact number too,one of our MSc FOSS faculty in MIT. He immediately informed us about one lodge near college campus. We immediately took an auto to Egmore station from where we caught a train to Chromepet. It was 'saradha guest house' besides Parvati hospital, GST road. It was Rs.600 rent per day. We went with Saini sir to campus to get our hall tickets. I give 9.5/10 for the quality of food served in canteen. We finally went back to our lodge and started studying for our next day exam.Avoid chapatis
in Chennai as they are partially roasted. Eat sambar-rice instead.

I am known as Kini in my course. For the first time we met one another. It was a great feeling to meet course mates with whom we had just interacted online from past 3 months. That day we met Rajesh Kumar , Najumudin and Parin with whom we had a great bonding.

On 25th it was CM Jayalalitha's birthday so every college campus distributes sweets that day. After practicals we enjoyed the ice cream treat by our class mate Parin with Saini sir, Najumudin and Rajesh.

Next day, after exam, Kk sir had an interactive session with our classmates.

On the last day of exam, CN Krishnan head of AU-KBC asked for our queries/complaints regarding papers and course. After practical it was actually decided to have dinner together but it was already very late in the evening. Sir and Sayali had flightthe same day to Hyderabad so they left immediately after paper.  We bought some local snacks and went to our guest house.
We partied the end of semester with Dominoes chicken spicy pizza.

On 28th, we had morning flight at 9.30am. Saini sir himself dropped us one by one on his bike to airport. The horrible part was at airport per print out for e-ticket is Rs 100. The next shocking thing was the staff providing boarding passses told us that we were late and we should have been present prior 45 mins for checking. We began convincing the lady of the urgency for us to get this flight as we didn't have enough bucks to book next flight and the next flight was in the evening. That lady contacted crew member who informed her that due to some technical issue the flight has been delayed and so luckily we could board the flight. Spice jet service is not that good and its a low cost flight. We landed Mumbai at 11.30am.
One thing I learnt from this trip is that people in Chennai are very humble.They always expect people to speak in Tamil but they are even approachable equally. Who doesn't have pride for their own language?
The worst part is that the government has taken very little efforts for tree plantations in chennai adding to the plight of people bearing unbearable heat. You will spend evenings killing just mosquitoes.

There is unity in diversity in our course and it's fun interacting with people from different parts of the country. The faculty is also quite good. So my blog fans,till my next blog, pray for my good results...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Exotic Trek of Sahyadri


Where there is life there is risk
where there is risk there is life

The term "trek" derived from the Afrikaans word trek (noun), trekken (verb), (literally meaning to "pull, travel"), became a word in English language in mid 19th century, and means a long arduous journey, typically on foot.
It was time for the real madness and fun.My sir had already planned a trek on 31st of dec 2012.

I Don't Believe in Setting New Years Resolutions which many a times are made to be broken. I always believed in “if end is well all is well”.

31st december 2012: Megablock in central mumbai which resulted in cancellation of all local trains. We went to Thane station and luckily got the same train of 6.18am in which KK sir ,Sayali, Tanmay, and Gargi were there. Ujwala was going to board the next train to karjat from dadar which was of 6.56am and unfortunately that train got stuck in nahur for 45 minutes. We reached karjat by 8.23am but by the time Ujwala reached,  it was 10.30am. From karjat station we took 6 seater rickshaw to the base village Kondivade which charged us Rs 200.

There are two ways to reach the Rajmachi fort. One is from Lonavala, roughly 15 km flat walk and the other is from Karjat, which is a gradual climb of around 4 km.
After reaching Kondivade you may use the help of locals from the village who can guide you in exchange of a reasonable fee. Trekkers may visit the Kondana caves. These require a slight detour off the Rajmachi trail. The ascend from Kondivade to Rajmachi takes approximately 4 hours for a beginner trekker.
A 2 day trek with ascent on first day and descent on second day is preferable. It enables trekkers to see the Shrivardhan fort and Manaranjan fort without being in a hurry. A 1 day trek is usually quite rushed in comparison.
We started our trek at about 11.30 am.We were climbing empty stomach so at some point I felt very hungry and dizzy so sir was constantly rejuvenating me by saying “cmon Trupti tasty chicken is waiting up there” . The slope was initially 30 degree gradually increasing to 80 degree proceeded by 70 degree for about an hour then a flat land taking us towards the village where we had finger licking spiced chicken tambda rassa and bhakri. That night we stayed there itself. Those who like to take a halt can avail rented accommodation with typical Maharashtrian food in Udhewadi village. Even though there is no electricity in the village, there are solar panels which are used to charge batteries in homes of the villagers. But during the monsoon season especially during heavy rains there are days when even the batteries are drained out. The winter was not that chill.
There were 3 groups each in one room.For dinner we had potato bhaji and chapatis. We celebrated new years eve with Sir's mouth organ, shayaris and enjoyed to our fullest.
Next day morning we had breakfast of  hot kande pohe served with lemon. Our total expenditure including stay was 1500 rs.

After breakfast we had an aim of climbing till shrivardhan fort which was nearly 2500 feet high. There was one shradhastan on the way. After shrivardhan fort it was time to depart towards lonavla route which was nearly 15km. After walking for nearly 5 hours, one gypsey gave us a free ride to lonavla from where we took auto till bus stop. Lonavla railway station was nearby so we decided to go by inter city  which was at 7.08 pm. I reached Thane by 8.15pm. Pituresque, pleasant weather, memorable stay with amazing people.

Trekkers have 2 friends...left leg and right leg


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Incredible North East

As usual we were working on our project when suddenly Kk sir announced regarding a mail by Mr. M.K. Yadava, the MD of AMTRON,  Assam Electronics Development Corporation Ltd.  Amtron was very much eager and serious about GNUkhata deployment. Their entire staff uses Ubuntu 12.04. Even our air tickets were booked immediately by them. We were in constant touch and communication with Mr. Monoj kumar.
This was my first workshop cum deployment outside my state. It was the time of celebration ones again for GNUKhata after our Kerala deployment.

4th december: Sir had already booked Mero Cab at 4 am from IIT Powai to Santacruz airport. Our flight was at 6.50am Mumbai-Kolkata-Guwahati. Aound 8.30 am we reached Kolkata and by 11 am we reached Guwahati. We reached 1 hour prior to the schedule at Bordoloi airport Guwahati. We were welcomed by 2 cars xylo and zen sent by AMTRON to Kalindi palace guest house. We were given 3 rooms. After a quick shower I began surfing channels there on tv. The service given by the guest house was beyond words. A peculiar thing here is that the food is not at all spicy. Here people can eat a lot of rice &  mustard oil.

5th dec: We went to AMTRON with Mr.Bahiman and met Mr.Gautam Kumar Das & Mr. Monoj Kumar. It was an introduction with all the CA's and introduction of gnukhata to them.We were happy that they had already installed our software on cloud and we just had to give presentation to them.The company works entirely on linux and distributes laptops having linux to students. The entire presentation was handled by Mr. Arun kelkar with technical guidance of Sayali and Ujwala. The interaction and feedback session was more interesting for all of us. That night we visited a traditional assami hotel Delicacy Hotel where we had chital fish, duck with bamboo shoot and assami thali. We went to fancy market in Guwahati. The other side of the brahmaputra river is north Guwahati.The speciality in Guwahati is pure silk and assam tea. They call city as shaur, pronounce ch as sa and sa as sha. They have a speciality of half saree which is called makhela chadar. Bihu & saraswati puja are their regional festivals. On every street we find home guards. Pigeon meat is also a favourite delicacy.

6th dec: It was an auspicious day for my colleague Ujwala as her sister gave birth to a baby boy. At AMTRON we gave hands-on session for all the CA”s to get acquainted with GNUKhata. In the evening we went to Emporium where we shopped. I bought Assami cap for Rs55 from poorbashri shop. Ujwala bought mufflers and bangles. Kelkar sir bought shawl. Here by 4am sunrises and sunsets by 4pm. All the shops get closed by 7pm. We ate chicken momos for snacks. We met Mr.Yadava MD of AMTRON who has uncompromising attitude towards FOSS. Mr. Yadava, Mr. Monoj Kumar DMD are the best people I ever met who are staunch supporters of FOSS and down to earth people.

7th dec: We visited Guwahati Blind school where we made awareness of FOSS and orca as a replacement to JAWS. The students were very bright. We couldn't interact with them much as they had exams. We were served black tea. We saw braille press. We saw one assami shankar temple. One street musician playing beautifully tritar. We saw one assami wedding in the temple.
The boating in brahmaputra river was for one hour and it was worth it. Again we went for shopping where I bought chinese lamp for Rs.450 and Sayali bought kurtis. We bought 2 musical instruments harp and the other like a conch. 

8th dec: The day of rhino safari. We went to pobitora sanctuary. We had rhino safari on gypsy with One guard, one driver and one guide. Then we had a meal at zizina resort which was a resort made of bamboo. There we had a tasty bhangan fish curry and fry with joha rice. After quick meal we had rhino safari on elephant for one hour. There was Haduk hanging bridge. It was a memorable safari. I bought makhela chadar for Rs. 650 from pragjyotika shop in Guwahati. 

9th december:Meghalaya & shillong trip. We got up around 5 in the morning to get ready for shillong. Shillong is a beautiful place with temperature below 10 degree celsius. Here you will find best chinese restaurants like bamboo hut. On the way to shillong we had tea at R.N. Sharma hotel. Its 3 hours journey from Guwahati to Khasi hills of Shillong. Initially Meghalaya was part of Assam but now Meghalaya is an independent state. Here there is a very big cantonment area of airforce. We had tomyamkai soup which had fine pieces of bamboo with chillies & chicken pieces, phanaeng kai was a chicken gravy at Bamboo hut hotel. In hotels chillies are served with every meal. We saw Shillong peak where we wore Shillong traditional dress. We saw elephant water falls. The soil is red with lots of calcium in rocks. The car charged us 7k for trip. We saw Wards lake which was equally beautiful.

10th december: We got felicitated with A grade assam tea packs as part of their tradition. We saw Bhupen hazarika's samadhi in Guwahati on our way.