Let the words flow. Let the pictures speak

OFAB: The Journey (Part III)

Chapter 3: Destination Hyderabad

A cup of hot lemon tea, and am set to begin on another phase of a recent journey, the one from a billion event.

Keep things short so that we can get down  to the matter at hand quickly, shall we, gentlemen?

Being the first flight for me, all things, no exceptions included, foreign, it was only natural, to be at the airport early. Two hours before departure? No, not that much though. Anyway, I reached the airport via a Volvo and got down at the satellite bus station, picked up a trolley, loaded my luggage and walked towards the airport to get a glimpse of what was awaiting me.Five minutes later, I was standing in front of the ticket counter, not sure what to do. I had a ticket in my hand, and being smart that I was, I knew about the existence of what’s called boarding pass. However , since the whole thing was foreign to me, I didn’t know where I was to get it, or whether the paper that lay in my hand itself would suffice, etc. etc. I decided on checking the ticket counter, found the Kingfisher counter, saw there was a small queue in front of it, joined it. As I was waiting for my turn to come, I found a lot of people walking through the doors that lay nearby. Each one walked in to be greeted by a security personnel, showed some papers and after a brief glance were allowed to walk in. I told you I was smart. I quit the queue, walked towards the doors. However there lay quite a few entrances and people around seemed to have their own choices. While there were a few with queues formed in front of them, there were others with literally nobody lined up. I chose the empty one. Walked up. As noted, a security guard asked for my ticket, I had only one paper which was related, which I passed it on to him. He glanced at it and asked for my identity proof. I produced it. Another quick glance, post which, I was allowed to walk through. *Yeah, the ticket and identity proof was returned back to me*

I walked in to feast on  the sight that lay ahead of me. *No. It wasn’t the filmy way, where the village bumpkin visits the city life for the first time and gets awestruck and stuff. None of that happened. **And hello! I am not a village bumpkin alright. Get that straight.** * As I walked in, I found another of the kingfisher counters, which I was pretty sure, was for checking in. I went to the counter and produced my ticket. *Actually I didn’t have anything else to do, did I?* The kind lady behind the desk, I say kind because that’s what they are meant to be, helped me through the procedure, the result of which I got a boarding pass. I accepted it as if it were a key to something. *It was only a card with my flight details scrawled on it.* I was told to head to some gate* I don’t remember which because, now flight has become more like a routine. **How can you forget the first one, do you say? Ok. I am not all that bad at memory, alright. It was gate no. 7. Happy?** oh wait! I am not boasting about being a frequent flier alright. After all, I flew only four times. It was only to give some finesse, that I added it. You can cut it off now.*

The boarding gates at the Bengaluru international airport happens to be in the first floor. So went up to find another security check awaiting me. This was those scanning wala security. Beeeep Beeeep stuff. I was asked to keep my bag, laptop separate, all metal objects in it, out of my pocket, all mobile phones in the bag. I did as asked and five minutes later, I was standing in front of a man who was equipped with a metallic scanner who scanned me down and let me pass.

I found my assigned gate, took up a place nearby and settled down with a novel I had. Since I had skipped lunch, I soon began feeling hungry. I had heard about food being served on the flight, but the flight was still a good two hours away and I was sure I couldn’t stay hungry for all that while. So I went down to the restaurant there, and a while later, was found munching on some rice item, looking around the place.

When you have a book in hand and you are a book lover, *Bah! Its obvious only a book lover would have a book in his hand, no? Yes. And no. Even a non book lover is forced to hold a book in exchange for a pass result in his exams.* its amazing how fast time flies. I soon heard the boarding call for my flight and rushed to stand in the queue. *It was my first time. So the stupidity.* Ten minutes later, I was in a bus which was travelling towards the flight. Twenty minutes later, I was comfortably seated. Forty minutes after walking through the gates, we were airborne. *The airport musing has begun again. Sorry! I am not the one to blame please. In fact, if were not for my timely walk out on the pretext of drinking water, I would have been a part of it by now. Can you believe it? Like just about an hour and half from weekend, no way! I think we can have one like for three hundred and sixty five days a year. Oh wait! Guess what, it over. Very quick. I likes it.* I was on one of those two seat-er, on the non window side. My co-passenger who happened to be some IIM prof or something, was kind enough to let me have his place, when he found me trying to shoot out of the window. For a person being on air for the first time, I was absolutely awed by the sight that lay beneath my eyes. I shot a few shots, yeah, but soon preferred to enjoy what I could see to what the lens could.

I reached the airport with an hour to kill before the scheduled time and once again the book came to my rescue. Two hours, a packet of biscuit and a few calls later, I found the rest of the crew finally arrive. It was not until another thirty minutes later, when we were given a go ahead sign. As we pulled out of the airport, I could hear the driver explaining about the things around. I tried catching a thing or two, but then decided rest was more sweeter than the facts.

Probably due to the heavy waiting, I felt quite exhausted and was altering between being asleep and awake. Every now and then I would watch a building or two pass by and then get back to the beautiful blackness.Another day, another cup of hot lemon tea, we begin again. *erm.. I had to finish off most of what I got, to get myself writing.* **The past event had to happen twice with a week’s break in between preceded by a little work which was the culprit behind the break and the inclusion of another set of stars.**

I was told to expect a lot of heat, but since the room was air conditioned, I really didn’t think much of it until I walked into the lift the following morning for the breakfast. From 8th floor to the 3rd was all that was required to acquaint me to the heat. *Shrugs off thinking about it* A hand full of hours and it was already show time.

Kart Kave,  The track, happened to be just behind the hotel, or rather, we stayed at a hotel which was situated just in front of the track. Thanks to it, we didn’t have to take much of the heat. Anyway, walking into a underground, my first impression of the track was, “Wow, I am going to have a wonderful five evenings ahead”. The place was given the form of a cave with the help of POP and the lighting present was only adding to the beauty of it. Now since the lights were facing the walls, the ground was almost in dark except for the track which was lit by the light affixed to the ceiling. The day began with a flag off preceded by a few flash fired. Yeah, they were from my camera. In case you had forgotten, I am the official photographer for the FIDA event (south zone) *Now before you ask, for as long as I know, Hyderabad has been a part of south zone. In case my knowledge proves to be wrong due to some different analysis that you did, or some new search engine you referred to, I request you to refer the previous line and forget you read this.* and am supposed to be capturing the important activities taking place at the event. *Now if you get down to ask me the definition of important, I would tell you important as per the dictionary but from my point of view.* So I had my tripod out and got down shooting. Being my first date with the tripod, I was having a good time shooting around, using certain settings I had always dreamt of using ever since I got a camera. *Before you begin scratching your head, thinking where this tripod dropped down from, let me tell you, I bought it before heading out to the airport. Didn’t scratch your head? Good for you.** Erm.. Even better for those leech tribe that has been making a living off your head 13 degree off north pole, yeah! Right there.** *Getting into my second venue, my dual personality was growing stronger as I continued to take pictures of each and every contestant that passed by to test the track. Thankfully, I didn’t have to endure the, When can I get this photo, Are you putting this up on facebook questions.

As I sat down to review the day’s pictures, the thought of the wonderful five evenings ahead, was crumpled and ready to roll into the bin. I indeed had beautiful shots, more than half of them panned beautifully to include a kart in beautiful motion, but thinking of it, I would end up having the same action, day in, and out all through the week. Also capturing viewers meant having to visit the gallery which lay exactly opposite to the pit lane, the steps leading to the same being at the extreme end of the other side. Given the number of laps a contestant was given, the speedy laps and the time I needed to capture the contestant post race, coupled with the hurry a contestant always came in with, I had practically little time to be else where. Now that meant a challenge to capture something different.

Come day 2, we had a guest coming down to the kart in the form of Raymond Wong,  the CEO of Exxon Mobil. That meant day 2, practically gift wrapped for me. It was certainly good to have the CEO of one of the oil giants to pose for you. We had another flag off, *I don’t need to tell you it was gift wrapped too, do I?* following which the day’s trails began. In spite of all the gifts coming in, unexpected as they were, I had my plan chalked out, thanks to which, I could reduce the pan to a very great extent and include everything else, thereby getting myself out of the, “Ade raga, ade hadu” mood. (Same tune, same song)

The following two days went by smoothly, as I only had one thing to do; stick to my plan, and the shots would follow. They did witness a little dancing around the tracks as I had  to keep running between the pits and the open area in amidst the track to switch between being a shaadi-wala photographer and myself. However since the former was more of just a routine procedure and the latter a practiced outcome, it didn’t much to get through it.  Add to it the minimal number of contestants registered, we were usually free within a few hours after which it would be time for us to test our skills on the tracks.

Back in the school days, end of Saturday always meant a sense of happiness. Why? It was Sunday that followed next, idiot! Coming into the event too, end of Saturday meant a sense of relaxation as Sunday meant, the day of shoot. As it goes by without saying, the day of shoot is a expected gift wrapped day for me. With the TV crew choreographing every little thing, all I have to do to get a piece of their cake is be there and click. However not everything can work your way and those are times when you need to adjust yourself to adapt. Unlike Bengaluru, where the shoot took place in the noon before the final day’s trials, due to the track presence being at a very prominent tourist spot, add to it, the being of a Sunday, it was obvious, the track owner would like to keep the track open for the visitors in the noon, the shoot for the Hyderabad regionals was scheduled to take place post the final day’s trials. Now that meant a few more hours on track, which in turn meant fewer hours of sleep.

If given a choice, I usually prefer to let the sun wake up before me, but not every time you have a choice and this was one such time. My flight was scheduled around 9 which meant I had to be at the airport, an hour’s journey from our hotel by 8. That was not all. The other fellas with me who were scheduled to go to Mumbai had their flights an hour earlier than mine, which meant I had to give up another hour of sleep just to wait at the airport. Thanks to one of the admin team member, Shuja, who offered to drop me to the airport, I saved myself an hour’s worth of sleep. *Yeah! A hour’s worth can be a lot when you don’t want to be waking up early.*Another venue, probably one of the challenging ones, done with.


Photographs of the Hyderabad regionals:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

 P.S: I have been extremely lazy in getting done with this one. I began writing on the 24th June, 2011. *That should tell enough about it. If it doesn’t keep staring at it, until it does.*

Chalakudi – Mangalapuram Super fast express!

The weekend was fast approaching and with only one more area pending under the belt, it was only proper that a home coming was etched on the cards. Thursday, the 16th, found me at a travel agency on my way back from work for a ticket back home. Being a person who dislikes a seater, that I am, much to my dislike, I found the only sleeper that was available had no lower berth. What’s more before I could even give a thought about upper berth, I was told all sleeper seats are already booked. That left me with no other option but to go for a non-sleeper bus. So I found myself booking a seat in a Volvo scheduled to depart at 10:15, the following night. Its wonderful how fast a day can run by when you have something exciting up your sleeves. It was already late in the evening, that time of the day when I was scheduled to leave. So I have a taxi waiting to drop me to the pick up spot.

I reach the stop early, enquire and find, the bus would be on time, and I get that feeling something is not right. Yeah that very feeling you get when everything goes by without a hitch. Ok, no. I didn’t have any of that feeling. It was just to make the write up a little more authored than a journal. *That call compare happening in the back ground is a little disturbing. Coming to think of it, I am reminded of the flight attendants’ announcements that comprise of the music at the airports. Well, I can’t ask them to shut up. So I have to endure it. Err.. No, you will have to endure my passing comments, every now and then, if they happen to come by.* I was on the phone, speaking of course, when a car comes down vroom and brakes in front of the travel bureau. Somebody steps out, mafia style and walks in to speak with the travel agent. A heated argument begins and the next moment we have Bam! Bam! Two shots fired, one man down, probably dead. The mafia styled man, walks out, finding me on the phone, pauses for a while, decides to poke his dirty nose anyway and does it. *Because of that activity thing I told you was going on in the back ground, I found myself changing tracks and with the influence of the action novels or movies, I can’t say, well, no! I can. It’s the novels. You see, I like thriller novels a lot, so they obviously tend to impact my writing. What I meant to convey is that, that last part about the shots fired and stuff was a bluff. Yeah, you can read that again, minus the masala. Excuse me? I hope you can recognize the masala btw.*

The gentleman asks me if I was also on the bus going to Mangalore, for which I reply in the affirmative. I find out that the bus which a few minutes back was scheduled was now cancelled due to a break down. *The work break down reminds me of a game called trans. Its short for transport tycoon, a game where you are heading a transport corporation and stuff. The relevance? Not necessarily one. I just remembered it, felt like scribbling about, did. Does that bother you? Ok. As a consolation, it had vehicles which broke down when they got old, or well, every once in a while for that matter.* I was void of feeling for a while and my first response was how could that happen. The ex-mafia could have said, ‘Are you an idiot or what? Didn’t I tell you it broke down?’ But thankfully he didn’t. The agent interrupted with the repeat reason. *ah! Wait. This ain’t that bullshit crap you used to read every time you saw a star and by now have probably decided on skipping the stars for lack of content and context. Well, let me warn you, you shalt miss some very important stuff if you miss this, which you obviously have, if you aren’t reading this. So now that I have convinced you, this stuff within the star is not nonsense, I can freely write my mind again. Whew! Oh no! wait! My mind doesn’t have all this. I work hard making it up. I have to rack my brains for the variety and the hidden syllables. It quite interesting how easily you can write faltu stuff, though. Just as easily as I can make up my making it. Ok. The main reason I drew the star in the first place was that I wanted to portray some of my immediate internal reactions, when everything else popped up. No. Ok, yes. Well lets leave the emotions to the inside, for I am not able to search for them now. Err.. I don’t even know where to search actually. So to the story, gentlemen, shall we? Now, you women folk, please don’t take offence, I mean none. Just penning.*
‘I have to be there tomorrow’ *Sorry for the early break, but if that last line meant foreign, go back a little and reread. You can skip the stars this time around.*
‘You just have to be there, if I don’t, I will be losing a lakh and half.’ *Now that was certainly filmy.*
‘So what do you intend to do?’ ‘I am going to the airport to see any flights are available.’
Having nothing else to do, I try again with the agent. I ask him if there is any other bus. No. Any other means of transport at all. No. The following morning. No. How far would the nearest airport be. No. oh sorry, don’t know. *I think he probably didn’t know proper english. Now since I didn’t speak malayalam we were feeding bouncers to each other.* He asks me for the ticket. I hand it over in exchange for six of those soiled papers people call currency.

I find recluse in my translator, my field senior as a matter of fact. He comes down, babbles with the agent. #@*%%& *#&%*@ *$%&$@&% #@*%&$@& @*$&%*$@ 4*% $*%& $*&%*$# *$#&%*$# $&#%*$& *One, the conversation was in malayali. Two, its written in short hand. So don’t mind if find it illegible. For those of you who happen to know malayali and short hand, but still find it illegible, please be sensible, I don’t understand it.* Five minutes later we walk down to the KSRTC bus station to find if we have any bus going to Mangalore. Surprise. Surprise. We had one. A dakota bus which was scheduled at 11. A super fast passenger express. *I didn’t know the goods carriers were also called buses. Probably so in Kerala. I think.* It was a complete no no for me. I agree wanted to go home badly but not in that bus please. Fifteen minutes later, we were walking on the national highway a bag on the back, a suitcase in the hand. *If you want narration for that fifteen min gap too, then you will have to contact me in person, for with the summary view itself I am losing my readers every second star. So please.* The hotel people showed some pity on us for having required to walk back all the way and of course for missing the bus. I asked if they could find out if there was any flight to Mangalore the following morning, which due to being late, couldn’t be found then, but the following day replied saying none was available for the day.

Having no other choice I went back to the work place. On the way, I found out due to rains and water on the tracks, a lot of trains had been cancelled. *Whats happening with me. You will soon find out, shut up!* I reached the place and found that there was a train that left at 12 in the noon and reached at 8:30 in the night. It was acceptable with me. However the ticket was a problem. Being a weekend, that it was, no tickets were available and general class would be no better substitute for a market. So that left one way. Road. Bus. I was told, I could get a bus to Calicut from where I could probably get a bus to Kasargod or Mangalore. It would take about 3 hrs to reach Calicut and then another 5 to Mangalore, more or less. I made the math. It was 10:15 in the morning, so I could probably reach by 7 at the latest. It would be good. I agreed. A few minutes later I was gives a route map, reading which I got a feeling it was going to be a long one ahead. *No faking this time.* It read Chalakudi —> Kozhikode —> Kannur —> Kasargod —> Mangalapuram. *Before I take the journey for a second time, I thought I would get my self a cup of black lemon tea. I walk to the vending machine only to find it asking for the boiler to be filled. Now that’s fail, isnt it. Is it necessary for me to re endure something to recount the experience? For a no, I could go to the opposite wing and get one, but that would be another journey, and I am lazy. After all I am going through a very long journey you see.*

10:30 AM
Chalakudi KSRTC Bus station
I found there was no bus going to Kannur, but there was one to Calicut in 10 mins.*I forgot to mention the other route told to me. Just permutation combination.* As I sat waiting for the bus with our driver, who was kind enough to sit with me until I boarded, I found that the although the buses had boards reading the places they went to, they were all in Malayali! I knew the next stops would call for some trouble with the bus recognition, if the same situation carried forward there too. The driver announced the arrival of the bus and I got into it. I got myself a ticket to Calicut and settled down. I had got a seat on those three seats and since it was going to be a long one, I wanted a window seat. I found the conductor sitting besides the window and went up to him and asked him if I could sit there. It was the same gibberish again. I would understand none of it. I tried thrice in different ways, but to no avail. It just wasn’t happening. So I just went and sat next to him. He again said something, probably something to do with my back pack, but since I wasn’t going to understand I just ignored it. Another reason to ignore was that it contained a few things I could classify as things money can’t buy. An hour or so later, the crowd thinned and I shifted to a double seat where I had the whole thing to myself. It was supposed to be a three hour journey, but it ended up taking another hour and half more! I was hungry. I was tired. I was at Calicut. It was fifteen past three in the noon.

I walked across the bus station at Calicut and found a help desk, only to find the enquiry about the buses going to Mangalore would on the other end, the place where I came from. There are time when you just need to do things with no other choice. This was one. *That reminds me of an audit where I had to redo a work paper three times before I could save it from being corrupted. **Some lady in the background just opened a perfume bottle or perhaps applied some, whatever, its got a good smell. I forgot my cup of tea.** What happened was it involved a lot of areas to work upon and by the time I was finished with, it somehow got corrupted. Bad times.* I reached the other enquiry only to find there was no bus either to Kasargod or Mangalore. But I could get one to Kannur. Where? It would at the other end! *This is getting on my nerves man! Really. How fair is it to make you walk all the way across a bus station not once but thrice. Fail.* My stomach was growling. Being a big place that Calicut is, I was hoping for a junk food stall somewhere so that I could save some time, but bah! That wasn’t going to happen. So I made my way to a hotel which housed the restaurant on the the third floor, with no lift. I walked in to find the lights were dimmed and it was more a bar than restaurant. I found myself a place and when the waiter came asked what was available. Chapati, parota, fried rice. Anything else? Chapati, parota, fried rice. *Nut case.* I asked him what could he serve me along with it. Chicken fried rice…. I am vegetarian. Then veg fried rice. *Seriously nuts.* Do you have any dry items? Veg. Gobi Manchurian. Ok. Get me one VEG fried rice and a gobi manchurian. Yeah that would be all. A few minutes later, I was served a bowl of rice and a plate of something. I had to stare at the plate long and hard to ensure it was indeed what I had ordered. Since I was hungry, I gobbled up the first half without even realizing what I was having. However, since the first half did some filling work I realized what I now was having and also how good it was. I left the remaining, paid the bill and left.

3:50 PM
It was better than the KSRTC bus, however it was no bus to travel long journeys. Yet, did I have any choice? No boss, I didn’t. So there I was on some bus enroute Kannur.*Hey! I am back. Oh sorry! You are still here. I know you didn’t realize, but I took a break. Actually my collogues found it pretty interesting that I was still at the office with nothing to do but scribble. They felt it was good for me to enjoy a little, so I left the office early which meant I shut my notepad. **My laptop, if you didn’t follow.** Anyway, I am back again. Oh yeah, the airport musing I kept mentioning, its shut down. So you can let out a sigh of relief, for, I won’t be mentioning it anymore. But, yeah everything comes with a catch these days, no? This ain’t no exception either. That is to say, I am listening to some music, and I have this side effect while listening to music, as in, I get reminded of previous moments that I was in when I last heard the songs. So if you thought the airport musing was going be bad, this is going to be worse. Enjoy anyway :P* *Sorry. Just found out India won. Heard it in the back ground. So thought I would mention. A time mark, it would help me sometime later, if ever I were to need it.** Actually the post would be showing the date and time of posting, but still.. Chumma. *** Company effect. Its tamil/telugu/malayali for simply*** ** *

I had made up my mind to enjoy the journey, no prejudice allowed. I tried my best doing it. Every now and then, I was able to spend some time sleeping, but again the slightest of the disturbance would have me up and alert, a brake, a slight touch by a co-passenger, a passing by vehicle honking, whatever.. So it was pretty much, I was mentally awake all the while. So when I wasn’t doing this activity of physically sleeping, I indulged myself in the beauty that was passing by me. Once again, I badly missed my camera. *Once again and badly? Looks wrong, but screw grammar dude, I was missing my camera, not a english grammar book.* *Sorry for getting directly to the once again part without the first part. It will follow sometime soon, I promise.* We crossed some beaches by the roadside. The tides seemed to be on the high. There were beautiful sit-outs, restaurants by the beach, sadly, I was in the bus with no time to stop by. Just as we were done with the shoreline and greeted by some city streets, the rains made their first presence. I immediately shut the window, but the window wouldn’t shut completely. Good, I thought, at least I was getting some cool air helping me drift miles away from the locale language, when the second person, half sitting next to me jumped in to help me, no so called help me close the window. Ok. Lets go back a little so that I can narrate about this character that sat next to me. I was getting tired of having my kid on my lap and since the bus was crowded enough, she never had the opportunity to get off my laps and just when the crowd fell, and I was relaxing with her next to me, this character popped up and of all empty places had to choose the one next to me. *Stop! By speaking of that kid of mine, I meant my heavy duty back pack which is heavy enough to weigh as much as a kiddo. So cut that thought you were exploring. P.S. She is beautiful though :P*

Not long into the journey, he stared with his gibberish. I was lightning fast to tell him I didn’t speak gibberish. Hindi? Yeah. I am good. He spoke about this and that. 99% gibberish and 1% english/hindi/gibberish mix. Yeah that was the mix he used. To add to the fun, a stop later, his friend/colleague/relative/acquaint/whoever happened to get in and our character immediately jumped on. Gibberish….. Gibberish… gibberish.. (sit down) *You can’t be serious dude! This is a two seater!* No no.. Its ok. I am good standing..(all in gibberish *After a while you begin to understand anything*) Sit. I insist. Ok. *I am not going to move. No way. You can share your space, no mine. **If I knew you were so willing to share, I would have had my kid take your lap. Oh no, I couldn’t do it could I? no. I didn’t either.** * And the gibberish communal begins. I remember something and dive in. *I remembered reading a novel where the character, to stay away from pain imagines himself to be happy and all that relaxing stuff. You got it right, if you did. I imagined myself back home, eating dosa and that special mushroom curry, mom-made. Happy. Relaxed. No gibberish. Yeah no gibberish. None at all.* It helped.

6:40 PM
I was at the Kannur TT bus station.
I was lucky to find a help desk nearby this time round. By near by I mean, near the bus I was to board. From the place of drop, it was the same old story again. The luck wore out soon, when I asked the person about going to Mlore, only to find out that there were no buses going to Mlore. Kasargod? Yeah there are quite a few. That way. I board a bus, one which the driver is yet to board, which goes to say, the departure is still a good 15-20 mins away. So I get down, wash my face and wipe it, thus coating my hanky with a nice layer of black dirt. I did feel bad for having dirtied it, but then, I really felt fresh. My psychological therapy was working and I was good to start again as if it were the first. *Ok. No. I am in the mood to write sense, so nope. Nothing.* Thirty minutes, the driver climbed in. Ten minutes later, the engine chimed and the wheels began to roll. The light were going down and the visibility was going from worst to nil. I gave up appreciating the streets, for I could no longer see them. All I felt was a chilly breeze blowing against my face. I needed it to keep myself alert and fresh. Every now and then, the bus went into a city station to pick up some more passengers. The bus was soon more than full, with more people standing than sitting. The one thing that meant was I again had my lap busy and it was not doing anything to help me relax. The spacing was cramped. My legs were beginning to burn. I kept shifting in my place to keep some movement and that someway helped, or I was so badly in need of some recluse that I thought it did. The timing between stops gradually began increasing until a time when it was so worse that I was reminded of the local city buses. It was nine in the night and I was still forty kilometers away from Kasargod. Ninety odd, from Mangalore. *I hate saying Mangalapuram.*

A hundred and sixty odd, from home. To add to the woes, I found from my kind co-passenger that, with the way we were going, we would take another hour and half to reach destination. I also found there was a train from Kannur at 7 that would reach kasargod by 8:30. *Seriously, those are the last things you want to hear, but it was what I did.* I satisfied myself by saying the trains were out of schedule due to the rains and there could be no surety of it. Was it true? I didn’t want to know. *If you know, don’t you dare tell me.* The only recluse came in the form of a phone call saying my family who was supposed to pick me up from Mangalore, would now pick me up form Kasargod, for they got to know the last bus to mlore was at 9:30, thirty minutes away, one and hour journey away. The crowd soon started thinning. The city bus attitude continued. I wondered what the whole point of naming the bus limited stop, if every stop was a limited stop and every bus was a limited stop one. I was beginning to get irritated. I found my phone ringing. Found out that my family was long at the destination. I hated it even more now. I would have liked me waiting. But no. They had to wait for me. It was fuel for irritation. I was hungry. Or I wasn’t. I can’t be sure. All the same, to divert attention, I started nibbling on an apple I had in my bag. It didn’t do much good but my hunger, it was present alright, got a little satisfied. I tried sleeping but even that wasn’t happening. I was probably beginning to feel sick. I wanted to fight it all.
Twelve hours back, I had decided on it. But now, I wasn’t sure at all. I had begun with a sack load of patience and now I was feeling the bottom of the sack being scraped off. I didn’t know where I was or how much further away, I was. I could easily ask, but I was in no mood to do so. It was time for some control. I tried relaxing. Breathing the fresh air, no even that wasn’t being good now. The chill had turned harsh. I closed it. I was feeling suffocating. Opened up a little. A few deep breaths did a bit of help. A while later, I heard the call for the last stop. I picked up my luggage, checked on everything, got down. Asked directions to the place I was told to come to, which happened to just across the road. *How cool. Now that journey was over, everything was so nearby.* Just when I was half way across the road, I heard my dad call for me. I felt all the tiredness drain. I dropped my luggage in the car. Moments later, I was ready for another journey, the last for the day.

God knows what time it was, surely a lot past ten thirty, I was heading back, munching on those very dishes I dreamt of a few hours back. Truthfully, I was no longer feeling tired. A reunion coupled with excellent mouth licking food did the trick. It was all loud talk that followed. After an initial description and discussion about the journey, it was left to that.

1:05 AM
I was opening the gates of my house. A while later I was having a late dinner, a very one late in that.

2:00 AM
I was on the bed, wide awake.

10:25 AM
I was walking to start the day.

*I am back. Myself. No. Won’t be bothering you. Serious stuff. You might be feeling a lot of thing now. Have something to say? Don’t think. Comment. Well, coming again, think again if you thought of writing gibberish!*

ofab: The journey (Part-II)

Chapter 2: Destination Bengaluru

Wednesday, the 18th of May. 10.00 AM

I couldn’t sleep for long. Excitement, exam mood hangover, rest got off the previous day, I couldn’t say. The previous day, I got in touch with my correspondent and was told I would be informed once the team arrived the Bengaluru airport so that we could more or less meet at the same time. I was waiting for the call for quite a while now. It was time to leave. It was better to be on the move than wait and do nothing. Post three bus journeys, one due to missed destination, an auto ride, where both the driver and the passenger were clueless about the destination, I was at the hotel, hotel Lotus Park. Fifteen minutes later, I was a part of the crew.

Somewhere in the early afternoon, we got a briefing about our roles, the dos and dont’s, schedules, the parting note being we would meet in the lobby somewhere around 3.30.

It was 3 in the noon when we, myself and Binoy, headed down to have lunch. We headed towards the chain of restaurants that was situated next to our hotel where we had a choice between Chinese, north Indian and south Indian, namely Shogun, The Dhaba and Malgudi respectively. Since we had little time, we decided to have something light for which narrowed down to Malgudi. We walked in only to find the light food we preferred wasn’t served in the place. With not much time left, we walked ahead to a fast food joint to savour a plate of dosa which seemed to take like forever to get prepared. I even felt like going down to the kitchen and asking the cook cum server cum cashier cum cleaner cum whatever else to let me prepare. Before I would really intend to do so, our dosas arrived. Once we were done with it, we went down the track were the event was going to take place. And the event at torq3, Marathahalli, began.

My job was simple. While the karts ran, I was required to freeze them. To do the same, I was equipped with a camera and a lens screwed on it. Each day, I was required to move around capturing more like covering the event through my lens. I had decided on the how quite a while back. The what, I didn’t know. I was yet to answer it. The first day didn’t do much to clear the mist, for we had a delay due to unseen circumstances and by the time things properly began taking its course, it was already dark. Now since I am not a professional, I do not like artificial light, a little because it destroys the natural feeling and also because I didn’t own one 😛 So I was in a situation where photographers would usually call it a day. Again, since I wasn’t a pro, I didn’t fall in that category of calling off. Also, I was at work which required me to shoot, so I had to do it. Light or no light 😀 The day was over, we headed back to our room, had dinner, and it was time to work.

When I walked in, my plan had been to have atleast 10 usable shots, but at the end of day 1, I didn’t have many pics that I could be happy of. However it was just day 1. Coupled with the amount of time spent at the track.. err not time spent in totality but time spent shooting, it was ok. I came up with 13 shots to depict the story that took place on that day. Oh, wait. Not the full story of course. 😛 Anyway, it incidentally so happened that my story coincided with the profiling of one of the crew members, due to which the editor found the need to cut short my story, resulting in the decrease from 13 to 9.

The following morning saw me up at 9.40, thanks to a call from home. I opened the door to find the breakfast coupon which read breakfast only till 10! I went in to brush my teeth, only to find I didn’t have toothpaste! You are so used to having a tooth paste every time you pick the brush that you take it for granted. I didn’t take into consideration of those times when the toothpaste is almost over and you either have to get a new one or wage a war against the current one to seek fruit out of it. Anyway, I called up the reception and requested for it. When I finally went down for breakfast, it was 5 past 10. The waiters had now converted into assemblers and forgotten about waiter-ing. I was lucky first to find there were still some idlis,  a couple of vadas and some sambhar left, secondly I found Kunal and Siddharth who were yet to have breakfast, which meant I could have breakfast peacefully with nobody sitting on my head. I had two other heads to share my weight, you see 😛

Post a vain wait for hot water, lunch and a couple of hours, it was time again to head to the track, for the proceedings of day 2 would begin.

Our hotel was situated just across the track, so we just had to cross the road to reach the track. By the term, ‘road’ in cities like Bengaluru, it means a double road, sandwiched between service roads. So we crossed all those roads and reached the track. Day 2 was put into flow. Thanks to a visit by Pankaj Advani, yeah the 7 times world champ whose pic you would have seen on the newspaper every now and then, with a stick in his hand, I could reach my target 😉 (btw for your kind information, the game is termed billiards) Just when I thought, the day had ended, Kunal announced we would have Pankaj and his gang amidst us. It was something one wouldn’t want to miss, so inspite of sighting hunger in the horizon, I stayed back. Pardon me for my earlier saying of Pankaj and gang, for it was a gang which Pankaj was a part of. Yeah, he was such a down to earth person, that people present there didn’t even know they had a celeb amidst them. Its a different question that most of them probably wouldnt even have known what billiards would be, even if they were told about him. Anyway, the trio, him, his brother and another friend went karting and probably had good fun. Oh yeah, I was obviously shooting all the while, apart from the one time when I was in front of the cam having a picture shot, with him. In all the excitement I forgot I was hungry.

Also apart from the excitement late in the day, the day happened to be a light one. Coming to think of it, I wasn’t sure if it was due to less number of contestants or faster runs. Anyway, everybody was wrapping up and I was asked if I wanted to kart. My first response was, I haven’t done it before. All the same, I was excited to do it and went on to the kart. Having never karted before in my life, it was certainly a wonderful experience. Once you learn driving cars, you usually tend to be careful about your surroundings, and in my first lap, I was literally driving a car and not a kart 😀 The second lap saw me a little confident giving me the realization I was in a kart and it wouldn’t matter if I hit. Bham! I hit! I had had that experience of hitting, years back when I drove those dashing cars, and this was more or less a similar experience. The rest of the lap and the laps that followed went uneventful. So there is nothing to write about. I just went round and round and round. Yeah those three and the earlier two, I just did five laps. It was a wonderful experience. The feeling of having nothing to worry about the traffic from the opposite direction, the very nearness to the ground level, something worth it.

The following day was more like a routine, now that I was into my third day. My course was fixed. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 😀

It was weekend for everybody, but it didn’t mean much difference for us. When I say difference, I didn’t include the role of shaadi-ka-photographer, I had donned upon. Yeah, I was required to get each contestants’ photographs against a backdrop. It meant two things, one, curtailment of my movement and two, I now became a social networking photographer! The first thing, I could manage, but the second was really a menace. Every one-third person asking me, where they could get the photo. A few went a step ahead in asking me to mail it to them. I wanted to say, err.. I didn’t. Instead, I asked them to mail me. There was even one person who got my contact number and wonderfully he didn’t know how one spoke over the phone. I had to hang up on him saying learn to speak first. There were others who were kind enough to request if they could get their photos. In the bid to get their photos, one person even drove up to the place where I sat by not stopping where he had to. A bunch of spoiled brats, they were, is all I can say. Anyways, the last day of at Bengaluru saw the film crew at the track for their shoot with the finalists, which meant I got more photos and also I had to be at the track two hours earlier than the normal time. We had some choreographed shooting taking place, with the kids being asked to shout, jump dance.. oh, no. Dancing wasn’t involved. It just came as a part of the package. Muft me.. 😛

At the end of the day, we were required to have a photo session with the finalists. They say too many cooks can spoil the broth. I felt the same at the time of the shoot. I replaced the too many cooks by two photographers. Yeah, we had another photographer with us. He was also a shaad-ka-photographer, like in real and myself a recent recruit into the field. I was bang in the centre, while the other fella was at a slightly angled side. He wasn’t satisfied with one shot and I couldn’t get everybody to look into my camera. Result, he didn’t get right shots, nor let me do so. That was not all, the incident that followed was what amuses me. Our digital guy, Udit, asked him for the photos he clicked to which he, like a typical studio guy says, you can collect it tomorrow. So Udit explains to him about the need of the photos and he agrees. He takes out his memory card and gives it. As it so happened, his memory card happened to be a different one, one which couldn’t be used through a card reader. On asking his help to transfer the pics, he says, I usually don’t do this, because one little problem and my camera’s chip with be damaged. But since its for you, I will do it once. I, who was there listening to all of it, was wondering what he was speaking about and what he was going to do. What he did was take out the data cable for his camera, connected it to the laptop and the transfer was done! I wanted to say, if you keep doing this only-for-you-business with every lay man’s pc invariably infested with virus, there is no doubt your cam will be effected! However, I didn’t say it, letting him savour his favour.

Breakfast daily was Idly, vada  and sambar with watermelon juice to wash it down, though one day we had those mini dosa too. Hot water was never hot enough, peas pulao had become something like a prescription, 2 in the morning, a usual witness. The hotel room service was something different, you asked for extra onions, you them in your plate, not in the rice. Food at Malgudi, claimed to be south indian was more or less like any other place at blore, for, after all it was prepared in blore 😀 The dhaba was surprisingly fast in its service, the food too being pretty good. A restaurant near by high on standards in terms of its appearance and ambience lived up to its standard in terms of its quality too. In the week I was at the place, shogun was one place that missed my course. Maybe because I had breakfast there daily, maybe, just maybe.

Monday morning saw me on the way back, the first of the three venues assigned to me, done with.

Photos of the Bengaluru regionals.

ofab: The journey (Part-I)


‘Kingfisher airlines wishes to announce the arrival of its aircraft IT2404, going from Chennai to Bengaluru. Passengers are kindly requested to proceed for boarding’.

The last day at the event for me being a sunday, meant I was required to be back at work on the following day, monday, the 6th of June. It was 10.50 in the morning and I was still at the MAA, Chennai. Due to some reason probably something to do with some other flight being delayed  or something, my flight also got delayed, the reason, I was still at the airport, half asleep, half awake waiting for the queue for boarding to get discounted. Half an hour later, I was on board, another few, we were air borne and  another forty minutes later, I was walking back towards the bus shuttle at BLR, a long schedule in store, ahead.

Chapter 1: Bare beginnings

I was back home on study leave. It was just another day of pouring in books, learning new stuff, when my brother found out about this event team force India was up to. As it so happened, the force india driver academy was on a hunt, a hunt for the next driver. The event was called ‘One from a billion’, where fida planned to bring out the driving talent of the upcoming generation. They had a contest running on their facebook page in search of photographers and blogger to cover their event. So my brother thought it would be a good idea for me give it a try, what’s more there was nothing to lose doing it.

A week or two later, one fine night, I got a call, when I was expecting it the least, for something I hadn’t given the least bit of thought about. Like in most story penned down, the stars looked down upon me, or should I say, the people deciding the winner looked upon my work to be the one. I didn’t know what the contest actually was when I first had applied for it and now, suddenly in the middle of the night, I was made aware of the fact that I was to cover the events taking place in three cities, spanning three weeks, yeah! three long weeks. It dawned upon me that I was a part of the big4 and was currently on leave for my exams. Another leave! I wasn’t sure at all. In answer to my first problem, I was told my part of the event happened to fall after my exams. One down. But it still left the second problem. Leave. I explained my concern to the caller and asked if I could be put on hold for the time being so that I could confirm my leave and get back. Sadly, I found it wasn’t possible and immediate confirmation was required. I wanted to blast the person for calling me at a time when let alone asking for leave, I could just not call any of my superiors. I didn’t do that but told it was quite late and was it possible that we do it tomorrow, again the answer to which was a no. So I ended the call with a is-it-possible-I-get-back-to-you-in-a-while. I tried calling one of my colleagues, but I couldn’t get through. So I decided to take my chance, called the correspondent back and confirmed my attendance.

The following weeks went by in the exam preps, yet the nights always gave time to think about the upcoming. I couldn’t fathom a way of getting through it. Yet I wasnt going to give it away without trying. A week before exams, I sent out a mail to my manager. Checked the mail each day just to find none. Called up a few days later, but the reply that was supposed to come never seemed to have come. The week that followed saw me busy with exams and I came to thinking about the event just a day before my last paper when it was time to pack, since my last paper happened to come on a sunday and I was required back at work on monday.

Cinematic-ally, I decided to check my mail, one last time, for the reply that was supposedly on its way. It so happened that the mail that was on its way had reached me on the immediate next day following my correspondence. Due to some problem in my outlook, I had failed to get it. Problem two solved.

Exams done. I was on the way to Bengaluru all set for the event.

Re-living destination Sirsi! (Part-III)

Day 3: Sunday, 28th February, 2010.

09:30 am “My legs are on fire! Damn! Looks like all plans are going to be cancelled taking into consideration the current situation we are in.”

From about 8, lay on the bed doing nothing but assessing the pain.. don’t know how many times I heard myself saying, kal itne josh dikhane ki kya zaroorat thi. Well covering 15-20 kms in a matter of few hours can be tiresome even for the fittest, after all we stiff people were bound to fall a prey to it.

Breakfast consisted of dosa with something called as jhula, if I got it right. I was beginning to see ghee and liquid gur was a habit there. After breakfast were lazing around deciding whether or not to go out. Then decided to visit a nearby lake, and a falls further along the way. The way to the place was no less than a track for bike racing, with extra bit of ups and downs, a steep curve here and there. Reached the place. Walking was tough. The water was low, so waded through the water for a while, then went down stream where the others got down to swim while relaxed.

We found a sturdy tree bark to sit upon, with our legs in the water, it was really soothing. Also got free pedicure thingy from fishes down there 😉 WE then went further to the place of falls. Its named keppajoga. Its supposed to be the place where the pandavas stayed during their exile. There are a lot of clear signs of it. Everything out there be it carved scriptures, or space to have lunch, or offering to god, everything was in fives. It was a great place, very serene, must say it would make an excellent place for meditation and for seekers of peace. Wanted to go further, but walking downwards was such a pain that gave up on it.

The return journey was rather interesting. Myself and @nits4ever were on one bike, and we were far ahead of the others. This fella, don’t know what got into him, suddenly took a left at the first opportunity and we waited there for the others to pass by. I thought he was going to go full on force once they passed and surprise them but as it happened he had other plans. We waited for about five minutes after they left and then started. That was no the end of it. Soon after he began some sort of spiritual discourse, and I had no other option but be its victim. Finally we reached home, and I was saved from the lecture 😉 Was about 4 on the evening when we reached back. Had lunch and then it was time to relax. Needed it as much as possible. Watched TV all the while. Gotta know that network was available uphill a little ahead of the house. So went up the hill in search of the network. Had tea after returning back, chit chatted with our guide friend’s father and mother. Real great village gossip it was, that we never realised how it was already time for dinner. Had dinner, all filled, which meant it was time to relax yet again.

Although there was not much of activity that day, it was still tiring more because of the back log of the previous day! A bit of music, little idle chat, some bollywood movie, saw us wrap up another day. Peace.

Day4: Monday, 1st March, 2010

Dint realize what time the day began. Lay on the bed for a long time, very long time. Breakfast was idli and bhaji. After that roamed around the place for a while and it was time to get packing. Had cane juice before beginning, had all the exchange of pleasures with them after which it was time to leave. There was only one bike and we were four of us, so decided would go in twos, but as luck would have a little ahead the bike got punctured! We had not other means of transport and had to walk all the way until the bus stop in the hot afternoon! Found a bus to back to the city, couldn’t find a seat though. Having reached the city, caught a bus to Kumta. That took another few hours, most of which was slept sleeping, and the rest on a hungry stomach. Caught an auto to the railway station, found the train was scheduled for 4.45 which meant we had two hours before the train was due. So went to nearby hotel to have lunch. Lunch was good. Went back to the station at about 4 and more than that it was simply great to be back with network. *bliss*

The journey back was great. We found seats this time round, but still preferred the the seat by the door. The wonderful feeling was back. Even had sugarcane…

Reached Udupi at about 7.15pm, thus putting an end to the wonderful Sirsi outing!

I feel there was still a lot of things we could have done, lot more places we could have visited, but we had our constraints, and making the best of it was all we could have done, which I believe we certainly. Maybe the next time I go there, I am sure I can visit those places all by myself. Within a few days the place had become so close, and as I am writing this, I still can feel the wonderful time we spent there. Looking forward to a visit there as soon as time permits. Until such times, wrapping up the series. Cheers!

Re-living destination Sirsi! (Part-II)

Day 2: Sunday, 28th February 2010.

Day two saw me up at five. It was damn cold and I couldn’t imagine my state had there been a fan, switched on of course. Had a tour around the place. Got a feeling I could certainly spend a few weeks exploring the place without any repetition for sure. The urge for a documentary was trying it best, but had to be suppressed for the time being.
Breakfast consisted of a combination liquid gur & ghee, chutney, chutney powder, along with dosa. If I continued with the food for a week I would be sure to put on some weight. And it was a grand beginning to the first day Sirsi!

The first stop happened to be at a place called Sahasralinga, and as the name suggests it was a place with lot of “lingas” carved upon stones, amidst a flowing river. Its an awesome place, can say a very popular tourist spot. Fortunately for us there was hardly any crowd on the day of our visit. We reached there sometime in the early mid-morning and the first thing we did on reaching there was call @nits4ever, for he was join us that day, and guess what the idiot was already nearing Kumta when we contacted him. He was planning to surprise us. I am still curious as to how he had planned to surprise us without knowing where to go, what with no network at all. So having giving him directions we went down to explore the place a bit. The current was high and the river bed consisted mostly of pebbles and as I tried to cross, I almost had a fall. Thank goodness I didn’t or would have given @akshay’s cam a holy wash!. From there we went on to some old temple. The architecture out there was really commendable. No repetition anywhere around the temple. It also happened to be a incomplete one, a incomplete one it would remain too. There was a average sized pond nearby it, fully covered by lotus plants, making it look a green patch of land. Interestingly the temple seemed totally uninhabited, and i was busy clicking pics around the place, it was only when I clicked the picture of the deity there did I realise the priest was actually there and within moments of our arrival, a pooja was on! Luckily we had network out there and got to know that @nits4ever was almost at Sirsi, so one of our friend went down to pick him up while we stayed back. We had lunch at a modest roadside hotel. Lunch for me was Idli with chutney. Now that the missing dude was in, the journey begun again, this time to destination Shivaganga falls.

It was a long journey, the weather out was scorching and the tears coming down the eyes due to the speed got evaporated burring the skin. It was terrible, that. Had to park our bike and walk due to roughness of the road, a kilometre or two before we were at the mouth of the mountain. Our destination lay at the feet of the mountain opposite to where we currently were. Simply put, the journey down was fast and furious. The path of approximately five kms, was steep, slippery at places, rocky 90% of the time. Was as good as literally getting down a mountain. Got down the mountain only to see that the falls was still another mile away! There was that walk which was rather an acrobatic ride, before we finally reached to the base of the falls. It was only after about fifteen minutes after I and another friend, Vinayak reached, that the rest of the party joined in. Must say the troop was really exhausted. But there was the falls in all its beauty to make it up. We were there for maybe an hour and half or two. Then came the point of going back up. The water supply was done with. No sooner did we begin climbing the mountain, than our @nits4ever and @akshay felt their throat shout for water. For that matter, I believe it was so with each of us, only that a few could bear it while the others couldn’t. The thirst was such that they even drank the water that was falling off from various places. We met a troop of college students who asked us how further down it was to the falls, and having told the directions the one question I had was if they had enough supply of water. They did. Half way up we realised that we would have a real hard time getting back up and looking at @akshay’s state we knew it was going to be easier said than done. So myself and vinayak sped ahead to get some water or anything available nearby. Walking back up I felt maybe this was one task the roadies should be asked to do. We could feel the dehydration doing its thing. To add to it, I had my bag along, adding to my weight. Somehow we reached our bikes and sped ahead in search of the nearest hotel. Maybe about 10kms or so away we finally found a hotel. Stopped by had our fill of water, filled the water bottles we had, got some soft drink and got back to our waiting friends. Carrying 7 bottles wasn’t an easy task to do on a bumpy road when the rider was riding at no less than 50-60kms/hr. When we reached, the others were near the bike all set to ride back. Seeing the cold drinks was maybe the best feeling they would have for a very long time. The bottle was gone within few seconds. Life was back. Rode back. Stopped at the hotel once more for another round of drinks, soft of course. The tiredness was settling… Set back home. Needed a long rest before setting out again, but that was not to happen.

“Toggu rullavu kartasanchi. Bhari pormbolu yettas. (They are preparing a snack down stairs and its smelling great!) @nits4ever here has gone nuts. He is practising a mixture of ballet and item number 😉 #nowplaying My happy ending.”

After a round of snacks, headed to Sirsi again. Rode from half way down. The bike, a real specimen it was. No idling at all. Got switched off every time you slowed down. The weather was cool, the ride was good. Was it the road, was the bike, I wouldn’t know, but the bikes really ran fast, at 100-120kms/hr we were at ease, rather the bike was too. Reached the city, roamed around for a while, clicking few pics here and there. Then tiredness began taking its toll. Decided to go for dinner. Two hotels and nothing available. As luck would have it, our guide friend didn’t know his city too well. It was getting close to midnight and options were running out. So we asked him to enjoy, saying we would find dinner and would meet him later. So the trio set out in search of a hotel providing dinner, anything edible for that matter, in a stranger city. I still remember the banana we had before setting out. A few minutes later we found a hotel. Chef’s special it was. Whew! that was really a huge relief, for apples were back at home, miles away! Had burger, for nothing else seemed good enough. Was okay. Had some idle chat for about and hour and returned. Reaching the place where we were supposed to meet, we found that guy was still out enjoying somewhere and it was only about half an hour later that he returned. The mid night ride was splendid. Clocking more than 100kms/hr most of the times we were freezing in the cold weather. Yet there was a thrill to it.

“2:30 in the morning now. Still feeling wide awake. But the situation calls for sleep. Need to be up early. Wrapping up maybe one of the longest days in my life. Until sunrise, peace it shalt be.”

Re-living destination Sirsi! (Part-I)

“Its been a very tiresome day. 12.50 in the morning now. Started @ 4.15 in the evening. Dint know what I was thinking when I expected to find a seat, maybe I was expecting a reservation. All the same, you don’t get a seat in the general compartment, surely not on the train to Goa, never ever on a Friday, unless of course you got lucky. So it had to be standing journey. All I had since evening was a masala dosa which I had at a hotel nearby the railway station and a cool drink to wash it down.”

So it was, Friday, the 26th of February, 2010, De-Day. Had been planning for the trip, from quite sometime and finally it was taking life. There I was sitting in the doorway, ear phones plugged in, enjoying the tune of Linkin Park. Winds lashing on my face, my feet inches away from the ground when the stations passed by, darkness hitting hard at the sight of tunnels, kids waving from open fields, passing by life at several miles/hour, those little things always make my day. Always as in from dreams to reality. Never realized hour the four hour journey went by, or was it three? I am not sure.
As we reached the Kumta station, the sun had long set. We had to walk maybe a kilometre, or so I felt, before we caught sight of a hotel to hear the call of our stomachs. To think that was a short cut, I don’t want to think about the other route. With the baggage it was certainly more tiring. With hunger put to sleep, we had another journey to make before we could reach our destination. According to our guide friend, it was festival time and hence there would be buses very frequently, but as it happened, it was a theoretical statement. The buses to a destination was houseful and we were in the least mood to take another two hour standing journey. There were about 10-15 of us all together, and somebody said we hire a cab, but it was easier said than done. We found cabs, but the drivers were missing. And not everybody was keen to go together, so few left, and finally we were only five or six when we found seats. Its a different point that it was in the last row.

“Its twilight all around me. The temperature is down considerably. Can’t deny I am feeling the chill. My hungry eyes are feasting upon the twilight magic hungrily. In moments of glimpses that my eyes are able to catch, I was a witness to a photo-shopped alchemy. Every now and then my guide friend is butting in with the worldly description while I am lost in the other part of it. Sleep is hard to come with the bumpy ride I am on, yet a power nap would be a good idea. Btw on a govt bus on the way to Sirsi from Kumta. Going to lose myself in the twilight again..”

So it was maybe after almost 45 minutes after leaving the hotel, we were on another journey aboard a government bus which didn’t know what speed meant. No, better put, it could only dream of speed.

“Eyes catch the sight of a wonderful couple of houses, the dream house of every artist, a thatched roof, blue hue… To add to it, the twilight.. hmm… The day today, is totally going to be consumed by the twilight, wonderfully for me to savour the beauty. The bus had stopped for a while. Back to the bumpy track now…”

The road mostly consisted to ghat section, the sky was bright, it was dense rows of trees on both sides of the road, or so it looked in the darkness, the weather was getting terribly cold. As luck would have it the window wouldn’t budge. So I was taking shelter behind my bag, enjoying the beauty around me. There was no network through out, so no tweeting. Most of the crew was fast asleep, and maybe I was the only one awake. Not that I could catch sleep with the cold, anyway. After what seemed like a few hours, we finally reached Sirsi. Its was considerably colder when compared to Udupi. A part of me was glad that the travelling came to an end while the other half still wanted the bus ride to continue. It was carnival time and the city was buzzing with activity with no time to take a peak at the clock. It was decided that we would roam around for a while before leaving, but with the luggage it was pathetic moving around. Gave up on roaming plans. Dinner was tough to find with all hotels filled. Decided was better to head back. On the way to the bus stop we found a small Chinese food stall. Stopped to have some food. Ordered a Gobi Manchurian, it tasted ok. Got noodles parcelled to save time. When we finally reached the bus stop, Surprise! no bus. Found there was going to be no more for the day. It was about 11 then. Found a cab, after negotiating for sometime hired it. The journey was nothing less than going into the jungles. I was so damn tired, I could hardly keep my eyes open, but finally when we reached I was rejuvenated, or maybe the writer within was. The house which stood in front of our eyes was just WOW! Almost amidst the jungle. The house is typical village house, too good to be true. Felt was surely going to etch it into my memory before I left. It was more than 12 in the morning when we reached. Had a few chickoos and Kshaya. The hospitality was touching.

“Maybe for the first time in my life I don’t have a fan over my head. Interestingly I am not feeling the need for one either. There is no network here. So I am alone. Time to call it a day.. A long day ahead tomorrow.”

I was staying at Ravindra’s house. It was just the duo now, myself and @akshay, @nits4ever couldn’t make it due to some work. The first day was only a warm up.

Art life – The beginning

A short boy, standing in the assembly of the Independence day celebration functions. The flag is hoisted, the rest of the formalities done, the various speeches delivered, it was now time for the prize distribution function where the prize winners in the various competitions conducted with regard to the day, would be receiving their prizes. The list of the winners in the various was being announced, while the boy was lost in his own thoughts. A part of him lost thinking wish my name also is called up now, so that I can go and get a prize too.. No matter what it is, it just doesn’t matter. It was the pride of winning that, he wanted or though he dint know it, that was what it was in a way.
His thoughts raced back to his pre-primary classes where during the various celebrations only the prize winners went down to the assembly while the others watched on the proceedings from their class itself. There was a place, rather a room which was the exit from the nursery section leading directly to the quadrangle, where the assembly took place. He remembered those times when he saw others walk through there while he along with others stood there besides one of the windows from where he could have a clear view of the assembly, or rather when everybody sat down once the formal function was done. Even back then it was the same thought that crossed his mind, wish his name would be called up so that he could go to the stage to receive the honours…
The funny fact was that he very was aware that he had to win the competitions in order for his name to be called, and to win he had to compete in the competitions, which he never did. Yet the childish part of him always thought one day his name would certainly be called out…
To think it would really happen a few years later was quite unbelievable and now, years later he still found it unbelievable to take it in.

This series is all about his journey in the field of art describing the various things that happened with him, trivial most of the times, yet certainly a step towards the unknown dream.. His realization of the fact that, it was all about learning, rather appreciating the art..

The arrogant boy

A notice is brought in the middle of one the classes. And a rough reproduce of it goes as follows:

All students are required to come in decent color dress.

A student sitting in the last bench, that’s me, commenting, Common now.. what nonsense is this? The uniforms are due in a few days and the notice comes in now..

“T-shirts with provocative writings and graphics are not allowed”

(Note the line carefully, coz the whole post is based on it..Finding loop holes in rules, yeah that’s going to be fun..)
Round neck t-shirts, sleeveless t-shirts not allowed….

The rest of the notice was never heard as our bench was already discussing about the stupid rule. We were sure our HOD Mr. Hala Nayak would surely be the key person responsible for the notice and it would soon be as good as a power of attorney in his hands to bash all the students.. (Mind you, the degree students fear him a lot.. God knows for what reason, I still haven’t realized..)

My friends wouldn’t like me to mention their names I suppose, so let me do them a favour by not doing it. Anyway one said, from tomorrow this fellow will roam around with the notice in his hand and would to pounce on anybody who is wearing a dress opposed to the so called decency..

A few days later one fine morning our HOD comes into the class, before the beginning of an English class to be precise, and starts repeating the same things again.. As usual I was in the last bench simply staring at him when he saw me.
You there, stand up.. I did.. I was in a full sleeved round necked t-shirt, but then he just checked me out and asked me to sit.

OK, in every class the lecturers will note your dress while taking the attendance and anybody who breaks the dress code will be noted. The names will go to the principal, and your parents will be summoned and you will have to pay a fine for breaking the rules..
Now I am waiting for that.. I will certainly question him back saying why cant we wear round necked tees..and of course what is provocative in this tee..

A few days passed uneventful, until one day when we were standing nearby the stage, he came by and standing directly in front of me asked the boy next to me, Dint you hear to the notice? He produced the notice and asked him to read it.. And the fellow said sorry sir, I wasn’t well so was absent for a few days…
(Shey!! He dint even say anything to me.. and I was wearing a round necked tee..)

The following Friday again the same place more or less, and this time it was finally my turn..
I was in a orange tee, a collared one mind you, with “THE PRIDE OF TODAY IS THE HERITAGE OF TOMORROW” written in white to cover the full length of the shirt!!

He came up to me and blasted, Whats your roll number?

09107, Ist B.Com (Voc) sir, I said.

What nonsense are you wearing?

This is not nonsense, sir!!
(That just hit him square in the chest.. ouch!! :P)

Don’t argue with me. Don’t you know that these kind of shirts are not allowed? Its been almost a month since the notice is put up on the notice board and you still continue to break the rules!!(Damn now.. the notice, oh! sorry his power of attorney wasn’t with him.. else could have asked him whats provocative.. )
Whats your roll number?

09107, Ist B.Com (Voc) sir, I calmly repeated again.

OK, meet me in the department today @ 4.

Off he went..
(Now who is such an idiot to go to the department to go the moment someone calls, that too after such a confrontation, and so I never went)

The next day during the FA class the mam tell that myself and another fella are supposed to meet the HOD after the class!!
(Lo ji.. ye to kal ka parinaam he.. Ab mazak ki baat ye he ki mein ab phir se t-shirt me hi hu, woh bhi round necked aur kuch chitr bhi that us par.. )

My friends suggested that I go home, change and then go to meet him.(I was again in a red round necked tee, with some little design on it) I thought about it for a while and then decided that when I had done no wrong, why should I even fear him.. Told them I would be going the way I was, and jo bhi hoga, dekhajayega..

The class ended and that day we had no other classes after that, also we had to change join in to Red Cross, so went to the department, spoke to the concerned mam and got the work done.
When I was about to go out our HOD enters.. tadtarada!!!

What’s your roll no?

Sir, you had asked me to meet you now..

Oh, Manoj Kini, yeah right. You are Mularidhar Kini’s son right? Come in, I want to speak to you.
(Lo ji.. ab baat na jaane kahan jaayega.. par mein to kuch bolne wala nahi hu.. )
Went and stood in front of his table.

Should I speak to him about you?
Yeah sure sir, you can.
(He dint even expect me to say that.. hehe.. He just skipped it..)

Yes, whats your problem?
(Oye, you called me saying you wanted to speak to me and you are asking me whats the problem?? lol..)

You are again in the same dress.. What does this mean?
(He went out, washed his hands, and comes back.. )

Yes, tell me.. Even after telling you yesterday, you are again in the same dress again!!

This is not the same one sir.. (lol..)

I meant with design and all..

But sir, this is not at all..

No, don’t argue with me.. You are challenging me.. In spite of me telling you yesterday, if you are again doing it, it means you are challenging me.. Is it so??
(Obvious right?? I thought it was very much obvious.. and to think he is asking me.. he he.. maybe he wanted me to tell otherwise..)

You are not speaking.. You have something in your mind..
(Ab jab kuch bhi bole to sunne ko hi taiyaar nahi he to mein kya bhi bolu..use mind reading shayad aata hoga.. par gham ki baat he ki woh bhi pura nahi..)

No sir, I don’t have a so-called plain shirt..

What do you mean, you don’t have?
(I must say repeating whatever is said is a very bad habit.. If I said something, I meant it.. Whats the need to check on it by repeating it again.. )

I don’t believe you.. Should I call your father and ask?

Yeah, sure sir you can call him anytime..

He picked the phone but kept it back again..
OK if you don’t have, you should get one.. (If you pay, I can think of it..)
I am sure your father fulfills all your needs.. and your brothers too..
(Now why was that extra phase added? I realized where the conversation was leading to.. )

But sir, the uniforms are due anytime..

How can you say that.. Just because the uniforms are distributed, it doesn’t mean you are to wear it from the next day. We haven’t yet decided if the uniform is to be worn this semester or not. In fact we have still not decided if its there or not.. It could be from the next year too..
(Are you alright sir?? I wanted to ask.. He certainly was losing ground on his argument and cover that all this nonsense.. If the uniforms weren’t yet decided upon then why did they even bring it? They we have money plants at home.. pathetic..)

Well If that’s the case I will think of it..

Your father was my favourite student. When he was studying here I was here as a lecturer.. Though I never taught him, he was my favourite.. He was and still is such a gentleman. Such respect towards everybody. I still hold a very high regard for him. And you being his son, doing like this!!!
I know your whole family.. most of them were my students.. You can ask Vidya, Aruna, Jaya..(My relatives) They were all so humble, descent..
You are the first ARROGANT BOY in your family.. Never before did I see a boy like you, who is so arrogant..
(Zidh karo, duniya badlo.. Dainik bhaskar.. lol)

You have not even tuck your shirt in..
(Ab toh ye puri tarah se phisal gaya he.. )

You got 91? 92 % percent in PU ryt?


See, you have such intelligence.. Am sure you will do well in your studies, no am sure you will excel in you studies and do better than anybody else.. Understand the reason you are here for, and am sure you will do well.
You may go now..

Done!! Guru charitre mugitu.. I came back, least bothered about anything he said..

Walking down one of the teachers says, I wonder why he even scolded you.. thought it was for the writings on the shirt, but I find none. This is a good shirt na…

To date I still continue wearing round necked tees, of course I dont have a so called plain tee.. He stares at me sometimes, I dono whether intently or otherwise, but I stare back, and he just walks away..

Its only a matter of time before we have another confrontation and well if the limits crosses am sure there will be a lot to pay.. I am not too eager about it, but if it comes up then certianly there wont be any looking back..

(Kindly ignore any mistakes, if there are any in this post, as this is mostly written with the emotion of the incident that I just went on narrating without bothering much about either my language or the grammar..)

Times @ Maddy Kripa-V

Year 02-03
I believe this was one of my best years at Madava Kripa, even when I was in there it was certainly a fun filled year, beautifully wrapped with all the excitement and a whole wide range of activities to be looked upon. A bunch of my most memorable moments at the school were born in this year, so in spite of this post being held back due to a lot of reasons, let me try to share the same things that this year showed me.

Solomon teacher was our class teacher for the year. She was a special teacher, and when I say special it was for many reasons. She handled English and social studies for us. She used to conduct a test after each lesson and the best thing about it was that, it would always comprise just fill in the blanks, match the following, and such other one mark questions. It always saved the trouble of reading pages long question and answers.

In English, after each poem was dealt with, while writing notes, we were required to be drawing a scene which depicted something from the poem, maybe a overall picture if it was a poem concerning something in general, or a scene or line if it was some kind of story, and we would be given marks out of ten for it. It would always be an achievement for me when I used to get 9 on the average for it, and I would be on cloud 9 on the occasions when I got 10 on 10. It was the same case in social where we were required to maintain a map drawing book, and again I was happy to be getting 9 or 9.5 usually.

Among other things, everyday after the prayers, one of us was required to read news and another was supposed to read a thought. I still remember those two occasions when it was my turn to read news, that after the normal few news items, I had spoken of those things that happened in our immediate surroundings. It was the time when signals were just installed in Manipal, and the time when they no longer worked!! My headlines went something like, Signals a waste investment in Manipal, or something like that, and I had received a merit for it. Another proud moment, among the many in that year…

For the first time in my life I heard of the concept of Friendship week, and it was because we celebrated it. It was usually in the afternoon sessions that we were indulged in these activities and I still remember that particular afternoon, when we made bookmarks for our friends. Our teacher provided us with a piece of nicely cut red colored ribbon which we used for our bookmark. We were required to give it to any of our friends, and I remember receiving one, and I am very much happy to say that I still have it with me. On the last day of the week, she had asked us to call our friends home and give them some snacks and anything else. I usually played in the evening and so I had no problem gathering friends. There were about twenty of us, and after a round of play, we enjoyed the snacks I had got along with other things. Back then it didn’t mean much, but thinking of it now, it really is a wonderful feeling to be with friends, enjoying as if there is nothing else more wonderful in this world….

We has three rows in our class, and usually whatever competition was conducted as a group, it would be between the three rows, which were named love, peace and joy. My row was “Love”, and like elsewhere, it was LOVE, our row, that won in most of the competitions. Once we had a kite flying competition, wherein each row was required to prepare a kite and then fly it during out P.T hour. Our kite was both the most beautiful and the one the touched the maximum heights. The other time that we worked together on something was, when we were required to prepare a model of, “The turtle beach”, which was a story of a turtle, which comes to the shore, to lay down its eggs. It faces a lot of difficulties on its way, which included stumbling through the bricks and other materials lying around, of a building being constructed nearby. But in the end it succeeds to lay its eggs safely, but dies in the process. It was really fun doing it, but it was more fun when children from 1st and 2nd standard came in a line, to see it and each group narrated the story of the turtle to them. Again we won it.

As I said above we received a merit for our good deeds and it goes without saying that we received a demerit for our misdeeds. On earning ten merits we got a silver star, and on earning five silver stars or twenty merits, we got a golden star. It was a very proud moment for every student to receive a star. At the end of the year, she had in fact presented us with those golden stars that we had earned. Its a pity to say that I misplaced it sometime ago, but those were really hard earned moments of happiness within those stars…

Once it so happened that our maths teacher was on leave and the class was in chaos, of course. At that time our class teacher was taking class for students of seventh standard, which was situated in the ground floor, unlike ours, which was in the first floor. She had asked a girl to make us do some work, and give her names of those who misbehaved, so that she could deal with them. It so happened that, we were having fun and that girl just for fun wrote my name as well as another guy’s name, and guess what? A few moments later the teacher comes to inspect the class!! There you go.. no excuses from her to anybody, so off we go. We had to sit in her class(seventh standard) and listen to her lecture, which happened to be the causes and results of the battle of Panipat. So for no fault of ours, we simply got punished…

Within no time we reach the end of the year, a year full of excitement, and memories that will be cherished through out. The various things that we did was mostly just for fun, back then, but now they really have paved the way for us to learn a lot things… Actually there were many more things that were a part of the year, but to pressurize my mind too much on those things would simply result in activating my tear glands. It might seem childish or whatever, but the very simple reason for it being those time will never come back, and that, they were among the best…..

A long day…(Memories-V)

It all began at a meeting which was held in connection with an art exhibition that was supposed to take place very soon. Usually whenever we plan to conduct an exhibition, all the participants meet up, decide on the various things, such as when should it be held, the theme for the exhibition if any, the size of the canvas, whether uniform size or any size of the participants choice, number of works, the amount which might be required to be contributed by each participant, and such other things. I had participated in four group shows and in most of them I wasn’t indulged in any responsible work as such, mainly coz I was very young. Yet I helped in whatever I could. So my activity in the meetings would mostly have been passive until now, but this time it was no longer so. I had got into college, so it was time i started taking on the responsibilities too.

Our sir, who helped us with most of the things said that this time, we had to do everything by ourselves, and he would just guide us whenever needed. Once most of the things were decided, it was time that we decided on invitation. We had built up a reputation of bringing out a unique invitation for each exhibition, so that was one of the most important task. Sir suggested that we would design it ourselves and would get it printed at Bangalore, coz the people in our place did the same. They would get the design and layout from us, go to blore, get it done and deliver it to us. We could save a lot on it and hence decided that we would do it that way. Now it was the question of who would do it, who would handle the responsibility. I thought this would be a right time for me to get work done by me, so I volunteered to do it. It was decided that I would be given the design and all I had to do was get it printed at a decided printers, and get it. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? I thought the same when I took it up, but it turned out that it was more complicated than it initially looked.

The other arrangements began and I did whatever I could. Finally, the design was handed over to me along with the proof print or whatever its called, to show how the print looked like. It was like I was given the design today and I was supposed to leave tomorrow night, reach the next morning, get the work done, catch a bus back the same day and be back the next morning. The materials reached me, but i still didn’t know where I was to be going!! Sounds ridiculous right? But that was how it was. I was told I would be given a person’s no. All i had to do would be call him, and he would arrange for the work to be done. But surprise!! I get a number of a person, who is just an artist in blore, who might be knowing such people. I realized how things were, when it came to reality.I just used to sit back and see how things were done, but now when it came to me, i realized how things could really be.

I called up one of my friend who stayed at blore and asked him if he knew any printers personally. Like it was necessary coz I just couldn’t walk in to some press and ask for the job to be done. He said he personally hadn’t got any works printed, but he had a few friends who did and told would check on them and let me know. It was in the evening when I called him, and he told there was a possibility that they might have left too!! Man!! What was i supposed to do if they had left? But thankfully, he called me back soon saying there were two places nearby to where he worked, and his friend knew those places. I thanked him and hung up.

I have one of my uncles staying at blore and initially I hadn’t wanted to disturb him, but now I thought it was best that I took his help. And guess what? he knew a person, who was working at a graphics shop, moreover his work place was situated nearby to my uncle’s factory. Uuf!! I sighed relief…

I left the following night, reached the next morning as scheduled. Reached a bit late, so I only had enough time to shower, freshen. I changed into new clothes and left along with my uncle. We had breakfast at a hotel on the way. I had masala dosa, and when one is famished it really feels good to be eating 😉 He had to open the factory on time, so we had to hurry, but we managed to reach in time. Once we settled down, he called up the concerned person and he said he would come in about an hour. He went about with his work, while I read the news paper. Then he took me around the factory, and it was perfectly as I remembered it from my last visit. When we went back to his office, the person had come. So it was work time. My uncle explained him about my needs, and asked for a rough price. He said he would have to check out on that and so would let us know in a little while. He took the materials to check them out. He called back in a little while saying it would cost this much. The cost was readily acceptable for us, but the problem was time. He said he could give it no earlier than in three days. Not again!! We said it was urgent and that I had come solely for that purpose. So he said if the cards would not have to be punched he would give them the following day. But again that was unacceptable, firstly coz punching those holes would be another work for us, and second, we couldn’t afford to wait. But it was election time and most of the press was engaged in printing ads, so obviously there was no place for a thousand prints.

I then decided that we would check out the person whose contact no I was given and it so happened that he was out of place that day. I couldn’t just help thinking if I could finish off the work in that day. But then he said we would have to go to the place and he would speak to them. Thank god :) It was in Chamarapet, and even though my uncle had an expert knowledge of the roads around, we required a little while to reach and it was twelve thirty in the noon when we reached the place, Lakshmi Mudranalaya. We were waiting outside, while I looked around the place. It seemed to be a high level press which printed and published books in large quantities.I wondered if they would accept our order. After a few minutes of wait, which seemed like hours, we were sitting in front of the owner there. We placed our requirements and agreed to it. He said he could not arrange for the cards to be punched but he could arrange it to be delivered by the evening. WOW!! I was really glad it was finally into processing. He asked me to tell everything to the designers and I did the same, and it was set. He did the calculations and it came up to 12.5k and odd.. With a few words from the no I had obtained, it was settled to 11.5k. I paid it, and we returned back to the factory. Now the thing that worried me was, whether it was possible to get it by evening. From a previous experience I knew that once printed they were required to be properly dried, or else it would simply be a mess. But I was rest assured coz, he had said we would get it by evening.

We had lunch in some hotel. I had a kulcha and some gravy. It was a peaceful lunch, with the major part of the tension got over. After lunch, went back to the factory and were just chatting. We had a tea along with another colleague of his, whom I knew very well. She suggested that in the evening once everything was done with, we go to pizza hut and have a pizza.

In the evening we went home, watched TV for a while, then as suggested by his colleague, we went to pizza hut. Had a pizza, and I even had ebony and ivory, actually the only time I had it. By then it was time to collect the invitation. We went to the place in my uncle’s scooter and by the time we reached there it had already become dark. The package was there waiting for us. Now the problem suddenly came out of nowhere. How to carry it? I tried lifting it and my goodness it was so damn heavy. It weighed more than 50kg and that would be really tough to carry. We decided we would take it in the scooter itself and I carried it and all the way back home, I had it on my lap. The journey back never seemed to end at all.. My back was slowly starting to ache, but thankfully I was able to manage. My uncle’s house is in the first floor and as we had a lot of time until my bus was due, we carried the package all the way up. Guess it was total madness to be doing that, but we did it. For the first time I saw the invitations, it looked good. Gave a copy to uncle, and just sat back to relax…

As we both were filled with the food we had earlier on, we skipped dinner. Again we had to take the package down. This time in addition to that, there was my bag too. I didn’t know how I would manage, but I somehow did. But I really wonder how he managed. With that package it would have really been a tough ride for him. We went to some fresh juice centre and I had an orange juice. Had got a return ticket earlier in the day, so just had to wait for the bus. It was drizzling slightly. I hoped it wouldn’t rain. Thankfully it didn’t. But there was a little confusion with the bus. Initially we thought it would stop at one place but when it came, there was another bus and so it stopped a little ahead. He got the package loaded, while I got into the bus and bid him adieu. I really wished I could thank him profusely, but well taken into consideration my shy nature, even if I stood in front of him to do it, words wouldn’t have come out. So the thought remained only as a thought, as I slowly drifted to sleep, thus ending the long tiresome day.

Times @ Maddy Kripa-IV

Year 01-02
Another year at the old building, third in fact. I had three years at the old building only. Maybe that’s the reason I liked it a lot. Its a pity that its not there anymore. It is brought down to give way for a new building and the one we used to call new building has now become old..

We had Mrs. Vijayalaxmi as our class teacher for the year. We had a lesson in English titled, “The pie and the tramp”. The story goes somewhat like this – It was a story of two tramps, who are going through tough times and they can’t even beg to live as begging is forbidden in their place and they were already arrested a few times for begging. The play begins with them, sitting in the street, sharing their woes, when they hear a couple in a nearby house, speaking. The husband wants his wife to give the pie to a person he sends and when she asks how she would know the person who claimed the pie was genuine or not, they settle on the idea that the person coming to collect the pie has to kiss her hand. As soon as the husband goes out the two tramps who were over hearing the conversation decide to bring their hunger to an end by getting the pie. One of them goes and gets it the way the genuine person was intended to and they enjoy the pie thus fooling the couple…
We had enacted the play and I was one of the tramp. I still remember the first scene wherein I was to be looking glum but I was smiling.. I remember our teacher saying you shouldn’t be smiling. Change your expression… We spent two classes one fine afternoon enacting it and I believe we did a good job. Was a very memorable moment performing in front of the class..

The Magnetic field theory:
Every morning, as we used to reach early to the school we had about an hour before classes started and so we used to chit-chat sitting on the steps outside the class or else just roaming here and there. Once it so happened that one of us had got a pair of magnet and was just playing with it when someone said there was magnetic substance in the soil. We found quite a lot of small particles and by chance one of us found some iron nail. That inspired us to search more junk and soon we were on a junk search and every morning we searched with around our class and nearby, with a magnet to see what we would find. Within about a week or so we found a plastic full of rusted nails, pieces of iron etc, etc.. We had planned to give it to the junkyard and share whatever we got from it. We had kept it in the cupboard only to forget it. During exam time we remembered it but then we decided we would take it on the result day. Again it was forgotten only to be remembered when we got to know that it was thrown out, the next year…

Yet another year passed within no time.. It was a sad moment to be leaving.. One thing was that I was leaving behind my favourite part of the school, the old building block and also our class teacher was leaving the school…But then there was a new year to look forward to, new adventures to be faced..

Times @ Maddy Kripa-III

It is really an awesome feeling to be recalling all the old memories and it just takes you deeper and deeper into it, bringing out new dimensions to the already fixed memory. I was completely blank when I started with this series but now the images are clearing…

Year 99-2000

We had Janet teacher as our class teacher. I still remember her birthday ka din, when we had all planned to wish her and give her a surprise. We had prepared a card for her and kept it on the table. But when the period started and she dint come, everything went out of way. Soon everybody in the class started shouting and it was like a market place come alive. She came about fifteen to twenty minutes late and she was all fumed up while coming as the noise created by our class could have been heard until the staff room. We could see her coming down the corridor. Seeing her temper we got scared and took back the card kept on the table, rubbed the happy birthday written on the board.. As soon as she got in everybody got a solid lecture!! We planned to surprise her.. But she gave us one… Her voice had the ability to keep anybody listening and the power to induce fear to anybody who was being shouted at. Actually even if you weren’t the one being shouted at, you felt the fear going down your veins..

The moment every student feared in her class would be when our answer books were given back after a test was conducted. One never knew which way she attacked. Once a few days after a class test, she called a few students and got all the books brought to class from the staff room. Once she came to the class she asked everybody to stand up. We had to catch our books as she threw it from the table.. It was a moment when the student who hadn’t done well just knew what he was going to face… In fact, hearing her, you would get a doubt about your performance, even if you thought you were sure about it a moment ago. But then she always appreciated those who did well. I guess that was one reason she never lost her temper at me. If you were good, she would be gentle with you, else you just had it…

Annanu madida galipata
bannada haleya galipata
neeliya banali teluta sundara
balangoshiya nanna pata

Bidirina bettiya galipata
bedarada bettada galipata…

…dharava jaggi
dhooradi baggi
balangoshiya nanna pata

It was the first poem we learnt and I used to keep telling it very often. Soon our test arrived and we had to write the poem by heart and the practice was the teacher used to write the questions on the board and we wrote the answers in our answer book. Of all things, I failed to notice the question on the poem. I donno how I missed it, but I dint notice it and realised it only after I had submitted my paper. I got B+ in that particular test as I hadn’t written the poem. After that incident I always watch out for the question on poem first. Its been about 9 years now, but I still remember a little of the poem as a memory of the incident…

Year 2000-01

Padmavathi teacher was our class teacher. She was a very stern teacher and just her presence kept a class under pin drop silence. She had squint eyes and that increased to her sternness coz one never knew where she was seeing. You thought she was seeing the other way but oh! no.. she was looking at you. From three years I was watchful enough to escape from her but escaping from your class teacher was going to be a tough job… Anyways there was also the gentle side of her. She had a very good practice of teaching poems. She took up Kannada and since we had to by heart poems, before starting a poem she would first tell each line and make us repeat it. Once that was done she would put in a tune for it and then repeat the process again. That way we knew the poem and wouldn’t forget it easily.. Then she used to explain it.. I still remember the poem classes of hers. They were so much fun.

The year also marked another memorable event for me when I was selected for a state level drawing competition to be held at Manglore. One fine afternoon, I was called from the class and was told about the competition. It was first of its kind for me back then and that itself was a great sense of achievement… The competition was conducted by, “The Hindu” and I was proud to be among the few, representing our school. Two were to be selected from senior group and one from junior. So that was one of the reasons to be happy about. I was also happy coz I was among the likes of Uttam Bhat and Swathi C Prabhu who were the top artists in our school, back then. I still have the participation certificate with me, serving as a witness to this memory…

Times @ Maddy Kripa-II

Year 97-98

In my first standard I had change of class teachers quite often.. Like they changed every now and then.. Initially we had Sharada teacher and then there was a change twice before Revathi teacher came in finally. Coming into the higher primary our classes were in a different building. It was like we came into the outer section of the school.. The most wonderful thing about Madhav Kripa are the corridors. They run about the stretch of the building and i can never forget those times when we used to run along them and skid having so much of fun..

We once had a dictation test and just before the test my bench mateasked me whether I knew all the words which were supposed to be knowing and I said I did. He then said that he didn’t know and hence had written them on a paper and he would copy from it whenever he wasn’t sure. The test started and the fun was the teacher went on telling words and he dint know which was which!! He was totally confused and finally gave up seeing the sheet and just went about writing what he knew. Its funny to see the simplicity of his behaviour. He thought it was easy to copy down but didn’t think he would have the difficulty of recognising what he had to write..

Our class had four rows and hence there were four leaders appointed and I was one among them. There was a chubby girl in our row and every now and then she used to pull my cheeks!! It used to irritate me so much.. I could control the entire class but for her. Couldn’t stop her from pulling my cheeks.. I remember that when I would be the most irritated, I would complain to the teacher that she was disturbing me and the teacher would ask what was she doing. The first time when I said that she was pulling my cheeks, my teacher pulled my cheeks and asked like this??

Later on she just used to smile every time I complained about her.

Year 98-99

We had Nagaratna teacher as our class teacher.. Thank god my cheek puller had left the school!! The reason how I knew most of my classmates was that I was the class leader.. Among other things like minding the class, I was also assigned to see if others had completed their notes and I remember one particular incident where in of a few who hadn’t completed their maths notes I was assigned two students to see that they completed everything and they had to sit outside the class while completing.. They were so dumb and lazy that most of the things were incomplete… Every second problem or so would be incomplete… Finally I guess I got them finish it..

Our environmental studies teacher, Uma, used to make us read out the lesson every once in a while. She used to ask a few to read a para each or so and would give us marks out of five based on our reading. It was a proud feeling to be the highest scorer.. The other thing about her was that she had a unique way of calling out one’s name.. That was something I liked the most about her. Even today when I meet her she first calls in the same way as she used to do when I was her student…

We used to have a class test every month. For English we had to by heart poems and once during English test I wasn’t able to recall one of the lines.. I was a little confused about it and so I was just thinking about it when the girl sitting next to me, seeing me concerned, asked what happened and I told her that I dint know a particular line of the poem and she promptly asked me if it was….. and told the line. Icouldn’t resist a smile when I realised that she had already seen my paper to notice the missing line.

Times @ Maddy Kripa-I

Every child has a special affection towards his school not only because he studied there but more due to the special memories attached with the school. It is due to those special moments that you will never be able to forget it. Here is an effort to bring out a few of my memories down the lane in “Times @ Maddy kripa” a collection of moments at Madhav Kripa.

Year 95-96: My first year at school, the first step in the journey. I don’t remember much of the admission and other things but I very well remember my classroom, those cute little chairs and not to forget my favourite place. We had four sections in L.K.G and I was in the C section and our class had an adjoining room where we had the provision to keep our bags. I still remember those days when many of my classmates would go in there every now and then to check if theirtiffin box was safe..

Coming into the second year I was into the A section and most of my friends were in my class. So it was better than Lkg wherein we were all in different sections. Our building was such that in the centre there was a hall and from it you could go to any of the classes. Lkg was in the same area as the hall but to go to the Ukg you had to get down the stairs which led to a lower area than the hall. We used to gather in the hall every morning for prayer before the classes began. I still remember the day when during the prayer time one of the teachers came to me, pulled my cheeks and gave me two coffee bites:) We had our headmistress, Mrs.Kusumavathi, as our class teacher and she was such a lovely and sweet person that anybody who studied as her student would never forget her…

Unlike the first year, we had full day school in the second year but we were supposed to sleep in the noon. We had a caretaker to ensure that everybody was asleep. Usually for our class Shakuntala aunty would come and she used to sit at the back of the class with a wooden scale in her hand. I never had the habit of sleeping in the noon and I would pretend to be asleep and wait for her to fall asleep. Within a little time she would fall asleep and the scale in her hand would fall down. That was a signal for us that we were free. There would be a few who wouldn’t sleep and so we used to play while everybody else slept. On the days when everybody was asleep I used to go up to her and pick up the scale and play with it. Sometimes we even played throwing it here and there.. It was usually the evening bell that used to wake her up. Everyday she used to try her best to make me sleep but never to succeed…

Once it so happened that due to some reason we were asked to sleep in another class and the caretaker there was strict. As usual I dint sleep and was playing with a rubber band which I had attached end to end thus making it a flexible rope like. She noticed it and got it confiscated… I was very sad about it as it used to be my proud possession. A few days later I was summoned to the Hm’s cabin and when I went there I found that my favourite possession was lying on the table and my favourite teacher was smiling at me seeing the happiness in my face. She then gave it back to me but after that day I dint take back to the school again..

Another memorable day was when we had been taken for a movie at video Cinerama which is situated near TC. I dono how the whole lot of students fit in the school bus. But we went there in a bus. The place is not very far from our school, walkable distance actually. The movie was 101 Dalmatians:) We had a wonderful afternoon watching the movie, enjoying and savouring each moment…

We went on excursions every year, the place usually being T.A.Pai farm for nursery students. It was a day of fun and I soon learnt that I would wait for it and think about it even days after it was over…

Power of facing the unknown (Memories-IV)

It is often fearful to be reassessing a situation which we have already been through.It keeps us wondering as to how we managed to get through, and at the same time gives the feeling of what if it happened now?? Would I be able to handle it in the same way?? I guess we tend to find it easier to face the unknown rather than the known. The impact of facing the unknown, though more threatening than that of facing the known, is easily foreseeable than otherwise.

This incident occurred when I was in fifth standard and it was the month of March which meant exam time. My exams were going on and I was down with fever. I was taking medicine but it dint subside. It is a usual routine that whenever I am down with fever I was given some medicine which we had at home and if it didn’t subside even after two days, we would go to the doctor. It was my maths exam that day and I was feeling so weak that I couldn’t sit properly. Due to my illness I couldn’t go in my auto and dad offered to drop me and he had also arranged that as soon as my exam was over I would be dropped back home. My class was in the old building, and I distinctly remember that I was seated in the first row, third bench in the middle. The speciality of the old building classrooms was that it was in a row at the right side and there was a lot of space in front of it where the autos used to be parked when the school left.(The old building is now demolished and you can now longer see the space that was once a play area, once the school left, for us) Our car was parked in front of the classroom and there was quite a lot of time before the exam was to start yet. I was feeling very tired and was sweating very profusely. We had a cooler in the car and even in that hot weather it felt like ac for me and I can still recall the relaxation I felt. However the exam began and I wrote and finished it with great difficulty. I was the first to finish the exam and when I gave the paper fully exhausted the teacher’s response was,”Check it once again. There is a lot of time”. I just said I was done and came out. Once I came back dint get up from the bed. I had done my blood test and the reports were out the next day. It said I was suffering from high jaundice!! Thankfully it was my last exam. Of course the drawing exam was left and when spoken about that, my class teacher had praised my art and said it would be no problem if I dint attend the exam, only to mark me absent in the end. Anyways I was asked to strictly take rest and follow themedication and soon enough I was fit and healthy. My results were out soon and it so happened that I was the highest scorer in maths scoring 97. A matter of pride in something worse that happened.

An experience…(Memories-III)

This took place during my vacations after finishing my 1st year at college. There was a cricket tournament near my place and after it I was inspired to initiate one too. Then, I surely din’t know what I was up against, but was determined to do it all the same. It was decided the tournament would take place in two parts, taking place on twoSundays. The banner was made for the advertisement, but then it was decided that the prize amount was far too much and would be difficult to handle. So the prize amount was reduced(thankfully i was sensible enought to do it!!). That was the first obstacle to come up and it never stopped.

The first leg was up and the arrangements were sloppy. I can rather say that I considered them to be stable but was mistaken. The day arrived. Early morning the sound system was setup and the first match was supposed to be starting at eight but it was half past eight and the teams never showed up!! A second mistake… Should have taken advance from the teams willing to participate but over looked the possibility of failure. Then came a time wherein there was a thought of cancelling everything and just inform others about it. Would have been a great decision to do that but once again there was another way to escape and it seemed easier. Make up for the mistakes in the second leg. It looked as the only way to overcome what was already done.

The second leg was up and the arrangements were done more cautiously. The teams were registered(but of course, without advance payment because the possibility occurred only once it was finished). There were more teams willing to come and the time managementbecame a problem. Even then it was adjusted and the fixtures were set. It looked like it would be a grand success and would end up on a positive note. It did go that way but only until the day arrived to take it all away. Half the teams never turned up!! And the revenue due by them which would have led to a profit and also a success  ultimately, turned it around fully. There wasn’t sufficient funds and that was the only problem… A big one…

This event is a reminder of how things can turn all of a sudden if you don’t have things under your control. One moment you think everything is going well but the next moment you find you are completely. Its like when you are surfing for a moment you will be riding high on a tide but if you are not alert the next moment you will find yourself overruled by the wave.

They say learn from your mistakes and I definitely have!!

A memorable day… (Memories-II)

This incident took place on 12th december, 06.

The previous evening I had been for a prize distribution function of the competition conducted by Rotract Club, Kadyali. Two parents sitting in front of me were speaking of the arrangements their children’s school had made for them to go to the competition and that took me back to a small conversation that i had just a few days before when I was informed about the competition.

I was called to the staff room by our art teacher, Aruna kumari  and she informed me that there would be a on-the-spot painting competition, which would be conducted by Nandini milk federation. She told me that it would be held at Manglore and the prizes would be 5,000,  3,000 an 2,000 respectively I believe. She also told there would be a bumper prize of 30,000 for the best painting of the whole lot and our hindi teacher, Jayshree, said if I got that 30k I was to give her a share in it :) 😉

Back to the day. Woke up early. Wasnt feeling much. It would be a competition like any other. The competition was to start at 9am and hence I started at 7 in the morning. Myself and Sachin were goin together. We reached our destination at about 8.30(the roads were excellent then, so the journey was beautiful), got our names registered and waited for the topic to be announced. At about 8.45 the topic was announced and it was,”Role of white revolution in the development of rural areas in south kanara”.The first thing I did was call Prasad sir an ask him his idea.His reply was,”madana.. sawlpa danagalannu madu. oorina janarella halu vattu madi koduvahage torisu..matte swalpa nandini avarannu highlight mada…”.And thats precisely what I did.

Here is a brief description of the painting I did as I don’t have a pic of the painting to put up… I picturized a village scene, showing two houses and also a village square where an old man is sitting and smoking a beedi. I depicted his thoughts for the development.

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. When I finished it was about 12pm. They had provided us wid some lunch but i could hardly eat it. I had an apple that mom had given me and filled myself wid it. We din’t know what was where, and we decided to go to adlabs to watch a movie. So we went out an asked a person, how far was adlabs and guess what?? he directed us to an adlabs studio nearby 😀 Then we took an auto and reached Bharat mall… Dhoom II was playin then, and we got tickets for it. When we went in the first song was going on… Enjoyed the movie. It was at four the movie got over an we went back to the place of competition. There was supposed to be a formal function for the prize distribution and there was a very huge crowd. We got to know that about 5000 children had participated in the competition… We were standing outside and that was when we saw a person with a list, of prize winners’ names, in his hands. When we checked out we found that neither of our names was there and hence decided to head back home. I called home and said, I would be returnin home as I hadn’t got a prize. So mom said, “You have waited this much.. why not wait a little more.. Finish the programme and come”.

We went back to the place and again took our former place. It was then, that the first surprise hit me. The man wid the list, was speakin to someone over phone and in the end he mentioned my name!!! I was fully surprised coz I wasnt in the least expecting a prize as it was a state level competition. But I wasn’t sure that I had won something either. By then the function started and after the various usual speeches the prize distribution started. The prizes of the various groups were distributed and then the master of ceremony said, “Now for the most awaited part of this evening. The winner of the bumper prize. The second prize winner is…(It was won by someone from Kundapur) He gets a digital camera, and other things with the total worth of 12k”. By then I was sure that it was due to mistake that my name was mentioned or most likely it wasn’t me at all… but then the mc announced that the bumper prize was won by Manoj Kini:-) I was outside the hall and had to wade through the crowd to get in. By then my school name and place was also announced and the crowd was cheerin so loudly…Yet I still couldn’t believe it was me. The walk upto to the stage seemed never ending:) will never forget it in my life… I went over to the stage an recieved my prize.It was announced that I had won a computer set among various other things. Then they asked me to speak a few words. Here are the words I spoke quoted exactly the way I spoke them.”Nanu helbakadaddu enuilla adre nanu helalu istapaduvdu enendare, istavaregu nanu sadarana yella chitrakala spardegalalli bhagavahisidene adare ondusala kooda intaha prize nanage siglilla. So ivattu yarigella bahumana sigalilla avaru besare padade punaha punaha bhagavahisa beku. Thank you”. The applause I recieved still brings a smile on my face everytime I think of it.

After the ceremony I called home and informed about it an everybody was delighted. The people there asked me how I had come, so I told them I came by bus. Hence they offered to drop me back home. On the way back I got to know that the judges had  liked my work very much and the moment they saw it, they kept it aside on the top. That’s one thing I wont forget for a very long long time…. when I reached back home it was almost 9 in the night..I was fully tired but was really really happy :)

I think this ll be among the most cherished moments of my life…

Affection towards mother (Memories-I)

I am sure every child will be affectionate towards his/her mother.Itsbecause its the mother who takes care to see that all the needs of the child is satisfied and fulfilled. She is the one who understands what the child needs even before the child learns to speak and expresses its needs.


Well this incident dates back to the time when i was only a kiddo of about 2 years or so…It so happened that a day before this incident mom had asked dad to get oil used for lamp and he had forgotten. That day morning when he went to light the lamp, he found that there was no oil and asked mom. So mom told him there was no oil and also the oil used for cooking also was almost empty. I was there listening to all that as i always liked playing with the door of the prayer room. Mom was in the kitchen and when she called me out, she got no reply. So she assumed I had been to Fatima’s house (who was a worker who used to stay nearby and I often went to play there). But even after sometime when I had not returned she got worried and asked Fatima. She said he never came here. Then mom suddenly realised that as I had overheard them speaking about oil, I must have gone to the shop. So she immediately asked dad to go and checkout. The shop is around 300 yards away from our house. But the more interesting thing is that the route from our house to the shop includes a right, a left, again a right and then again a left and then yet another right!! When dad reached the shop it seems I was standing besides the shop leaning on the door. Then the shopkeeper who is a well known person to us told what had happened. It seems I went and stood there and on being asked what I wanted, I said, “Amma tela jhai” (mom wants oil). So he asked where my father was to which i said he was at home. On being asked where mom was, it was the same reply. Then he realised that I must have come out without the knowledge of my parents and so he decided to drop me back home and by then dad came there. It seems when I was going, on the way one the persons there asked me where I was going and I never replied 😀 just kept going..

Its almost 15 years since that but I still remember it vividly….