Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bangalore to Hyderabad - Bike Trip 2008

This bike trip has been pending long time. Last Christmas I wanted to do this but my folks came down to Bangalore. This year (2008) I haven't been king apart from the 888KM Coorg ride in Feb with Abhay.

After a lot of research and support from folks from home I decided to go in for the 600Km ride.

The Plan and the Gung-Ho factor:

The whole plan was to do this ride either in one day or in two days with a halt at Kurnool. All that I had to do was to get my bike serviced at least 3 days before. I want to the popular Bajaj service center near passport office Koramangla and trust me, the Pulsar was in a real bad shape. People there know me very well and they guessed that I was planning a long ride. Once I told it was for Hyderabad this time they doubly made sure that there was no loose ends.

The bill was 4K for the entire repair and I went in for an overhaul. But after service the bike just cruised like a butter. So everything was set and I shopped for hand gloves for the early morning ride, lots of food items and the petrol was filled up till the brim.

The route:

So if at all anyone is planning a road trip from Bangalore t Hyderabad this is the route you need to follow. Just take the NH-7 from Bangalore towards the new airport and just keep going straight.

from Koramangla in Bangalore to Attapur in Hyderabad, the distance is 604KM and if you can average 50-60 in car you can reach in 10 hours including some breaks.

You will pass by these big towns enroute and there are bypass roads without you going into the main city.

Hebbal-Yelahanka-Chickballapur-Penukonda-Ananthapur-Gooty-Dhune-Kurnool -Jadcherla-Shadnagar-Shamshabad-Attapur

(its all in NH7, which starts from Varansi and down till Kanyakumari)

Caution: Four laning of the road is in progress for the entire stretch with road divider so you will be forced to take many deviations. I'm sure in six months time this will be done.

Roads are really good and there are speed breakers wherever you have deviations.

The Start:

I started at 5ish in the morning and Bangalore is very very foggy during this time. Once you reach outskirts the visibility falls to almost one or two meters. I had to stop at a tea stall. Vehicles generally switch on their parking lights and go very very slow until the visibility improves.

Around 6.30AM the sun slowly started to set in and it was perfect to catch some speed. The traffic is almost nil from Chickbellapur and you will find only lorries and construction workers enroute.

Overtaking and Unwritten Riding protocols

Riding on highways in India is simple as long as you want to keep it simple as a biker. Only cars get noticed. In fact if you want to overtake most of the vehicles give you respect and when you switch on your dipper they will give you way. And especially if it is a long overtake you need switch on your lights (no the dippers) and then proceed.

The trucks and lorries especially when they are in process of overtaking some three-four vehicles they switch on their lights and keep going until they complete the maneuver.

Respect heavy vehicles

Heavy vehicles many times don't budge for request to overtake them or give way. Even if you are driving a car.

I in fact had a chat with one of the truck drivers at a tea stop and he reason is since these vehicles are loaded (three times the allowed permit) they have to maintain a constant speed and if they loose that speed especially during an uphill climb it gets very nasty for them to tackle the vehicle and during overtaking on narrow roads they generally don't come down the road as they want to be on the road considering the load they carry.

My funda is simple, if your vehicle has more power than mine you get the respect !

Always use dipper when overtaking even if there is no incoming vehicle because most of the trucks don't hear your horns during night. Dipper is the only way they can see and also the fact that they play loud music inside to keep themselves awake.

Always be careful near the curves and especially if there is a blind curve. This is where most of the accidents occur.

No lunch breaks

I did not take any lunch or breakfast breaks. In all I took some 5-6 tea breaks and I filled myself with energy bars and crackers. That was god enough as I wanted to be light.

Just kept on going !

Keep track of fuel

I always knew that I had to refuel at one particular stage and it was Kurnool for me. For around 4-5 stations there was no petrol it was all diesel. So make sure you always have enough fuel for the next 100KM before you go in for a refuel.

I had to keep my mom informed for almost every tea breaks and she was very well versed with all the places. Working for BSNL means she not only knew the road lines but also telephone exchange lines.

Back to Home:

Once I reached Jadcherla I just to go slow and beat the time. The vehicular traffic increased from here and by the time I reached home it was 6PM covering 604KM in 13 hours.

Folks were happy to see me and another tick mark !

Be good Drive safe !

Pics at :

Friday, December 26, 2008

604KM - 13 Hours - Bangalore to Hyderabad

Yes, 604KM - 13 Hours - Bangalore to Hyderabad !
It happened this Christmas. Way to go !

More by year end !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Where the hell is Matt ?

Thanks to Biswa for the pointers.


There is a site:

Here you can search for a Particular blood group, you will get thousand of donor addresses.

Thanks to Perima for the pointers !

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shifting Allegiance to Adidas

There I go after using Nike for more than two years I've moved to Adidas.

My Nike Air Max 180 had just finished 1000KM and I had to retire it as I started getting some nagging pain around the right ITB area. It was time for a shoe change.

I'm an over pronator and I was trying to look for Asics GT 2140 or 2130 models. But in India you don't get Asics (or do we?). I was planning Adi star or Supernova from Adiadas and another option in Nike was the "Bowerman Series". The Bowerman ones were good but then I decided to go for Supernova.

But finally I went to Adidas showroom adjacent to Safina Plaza, Commercial street and got my foot analysis done. Finally zeroed in on "Supernova Sequence". Just did a 4K today morning and I guess it will take me some 30-40KM to get adjusted to it.

So Mumbai and Auroville will be on this !

Will update more about my runs and how I feel about this shoes shortly ! Keep running folks !

Monday, December 8, 2008

Energy Bar: How to prepare one

Well the other day my mom tasted one my energy bars and went through the ingredients and came out with her own recipe of how to create one.

Its pretty simple as well:


* Oats (quaker oats)
* Raisins
* Brown Sugar (unrefined sugar)
* little butter (Amul types salted is also fine)
* Walnuts (Akhroot in Hindi)
* Cashews
* Peanuts
* Dates
* Honey

Heat butter in a pan and after it melts add honey and brown sugar and stir until it becomes like syrup and remove it from heat. Now mix this syrup with all other ingredients mentioned above in a separate bowl.

Fold this into a aluminum foil and freeze it for 5-10 minutes. That is about it. Simple and Easy. I'm sure this one would be packed with loads of energy.

You can use it as a quick breakfast filler as well.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Weekend Running and Slumbering

I've decided that I'll now run the Mumbai marathon. I was little yes and no before. But after the attacks in Mumbai I'm going to run this marathon for the true spirit of India. I'm sure 26.2 miles will just pass by.

Weekend Breakfast Runs with Asha folks
Last weekend (Nov 29 and 30) we went through our training schedule for Mumbai and Auroville. On 29th Anita, Sanjeev, Santosh Hulkund and I were at Cubbon and started the run at 6.30Am. It was drizzling quite a bit. I ran around 7K with Anita and rest with Sanjeev. Nice time of the year as well as the winter was setting. Anita, Sanjeev and Santosh left for breakfast as I had to head elsewhere.

Sunday (Nov 30) we all met for a quick run at Lal Bagh glass house at 7AM. Gave the RFL run at Kanakpura Road a miss. This was my first run at Lal Bagh. Got my friend Abhay sarkar as well for the run. Siva, Thushaar, Anita, Sanjeev, Balaji and I were there for this run. Met others for the first time. I paced Abhay for around 3KM and then caught up with Balaji for the rest of the 7K. Others had already moved into SKK (Sree Krishna Kafe) at Koramangla for breakfast as Balaji and I hurried to finish our 10.5K inside Lal Bagh. The drizzle started again and we reached SKK to join others.

Breakfast runs are always exciting. Spent rest of Sunday sleeping and of course some sumptuous lunch at his place.

Monday, November 24, 2008

500 rupees ?

Very well said. This is what I'm precisely doing: Austerity. I'm diverting all my unnecessary expenses to other important causes. Guess you all should also do it as well. Do watch this video.

Thanks to Biswa for the pointer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Bangalore Ultra Run with Asha Folks Amid Running Demons

The buildup

It was my first Bangalore Ultra and the idea was to do a 25K as I was coming back from an injury. For beginners Ultras typically cover distances greater than your marathon (42K) distances up until 100KM (and beyond sometimes). I was training with Asha folks as I ran my first run for them.

Doc Rajat and Santosh where to do a crazy thing, like run for 24 Hours or 200KM which ever comes first. Later we got a mail from doc that he may not run because of flu and Santosh was up to it. Guess couple of others volunteered to run with Santosh.

AS the Bangalore Ultra starts on 16th Nov from 6.30AM to 6.30PM the idea was to reach the run sight a day earlier and begin on 15th Nov at 6.30PM and end by 6.30PM the next day. Shumit surprised all of us by declaring that he would do a 100K and would accompany Santosh and Doc. This just spruced me to aim for 50K subject to how my leg reacts.

Asha Tent: Our Eldorado

Santosh and I did an easy 5K at cubbon the previous Webnesday and I decided that I'd be up for volunteering and Santosh picked up Shumit and myself in Tata Sumo. We reached on 15th Nov by 4.30PM and soon got into business.

We setup the Asha tent from scratch as it was fun to build it following the manaul for dummies and filled it with all possible paraphernalia that was required for such an event. Santosh' mom and dad were a wonderful company and Aunti had got so many varieties of food and I chipped in with few Aloo phulka rolls. This was just the beginning of so many things to follow. It was a long night.

Gathering Storm

Soon Doc and Anita joined us and by 6PM we were all set. The Three Musketeers were all set with water bottles, lights. Unfortunately Sudhir had his gearbox jammed and could cycle further but was a great company in the tent.

On dot, at 6.30PM all three started for the (epic) run and the RFL guys had already marked the path for the next day event. All that we now had to do was to wait for them to come back as the loop was 6.25 one way, so 12.5KM would be like one and half hour and thereabouts.

I was starting to feel heavy stomach as there was so much food out there. Luckily Anita had some "poha" as a quick starter. Doc had got some loads of breads and his car bonnet had some 10 pair of running shoes (no kidding).

First Break

We had our time sheets ready and in about one hour and forty five minutes the trio turned up. It was dinner time and every one were happy to serve them. After some fueling the runners started again. They had spotted couple of snakes as well.

Soon Gaurav joined us and he cycled with them the rest of the night by providing them support. Make no mistake Gaurav also planned to run 50K the next morning.

The moment they all left we volunteers had a galla time and there was so much food that every visitor to our tent was offered food and many tasted it as well.

Sleep, Snooze, Sleep, Getup and Sleep

Well this is what we precisely followed the entire night. Suhir, Anita, Uncle (Santosh's dad) and I were doing this after the third lap onwards. The were taking about 1 hour and 40 minutes so we had to keep the alarm at for every 1.5 hours. Luckily no mosquitoes and there were some great sleeping bags.

Then somewhere from horizon three-four lights begin to appear and keep moving in a sinusoidal fashion and approaches towards you. They were our runners all glued for refill and begin afresh taking one lap at a time.

This cycle went on till 6AM and now Aunti and Uncle were back fresh to take over. Aunti initially called me "Balasubramanian" and soon she made it "Balu". But the tone with which she used to call was all the more soothing to my ears.

I must have bugged Anitha, Sudhir, Aunti and Uncle with my gibberish and some silly PJs. But guys it was fun !

The Morning of 16th Nov

Sreeram and his wife had come my motorbike around 4.30 in the morning and Sreeram's wife also joined Aunti and Uncle in the tent for support. Soon other Asha runners came by and by 6.30 we all were set for the run.

There were around 300 runners in various categories and it was a very well managed event and planned to perfection.

My Run and Running mates

Soon I was slowly settling to a pace and hit upon Rajesh Vetcha from Hyderabad Runners and Pankaj from Dell. Rajesh Vetcha calls me as "Son of AP (Andhra Pradesh)" and soon we three of us hit rhythm and Rajesh Vetcha took lead in all sorts of topics and 25KM just passed by. As I was aiming 50K I slowed down around 20KM mark and was doing fine up until the 31KM mark.

Now I started to walk and was feeling worn out and had lost all the motivation to run. I just walked the next 6 odd KM and decided to stop at 37.5KM. I could have walked the rest 12.5KM and finished my best ever 50K but decided to save it for next year. One my leg was slowly beginning to hurt and the next is I want to run bulk of my distances and not walk instead. I guess it was a wise decision to stop and tapered for rest of the day.

Massage and Stretching
Luckily Anita pointed me to go to the B2F (Back to Fitness is Doc Rajat's Venture) folks and have massaged and stretched. Thanks folks !

Then I took room keys from Anita and went to room and took a fresh bath. It helped a lot and I had lunch coupons from the RFL guys. Gaurav was also done by then and we had lunch together. It was pretty decent lunch and the only thing that I did was to sleep for the next two hours.

Screw It, Lets Do It

The above pic explains it all. The kind of motivation they all had. Way to go Doc !

The Grand Finish

The time was approaching 6PM now and Santosh and Doc were planning the distances for the next half hour. As the clock slowly ticked we all waited and just about 6.18PM Santosh and Doc finished. Santosh finsihed a mammoth 160KM. These three, Sanotsh, Doc Rajat and Shumit were like Running machines. Running tirelessly can going on and on like the machines and stopping every hour and a half for fuel. It was one long 24 hour !

It was photo session for all of us to get noticed and be part of this elite company. Soon we got the Asha tent down and packed up. Doc was very tired so Sreeram drove Doc's car as I cannot drive a car. So I took Sreeram's motorbike and we all met Bombay Post near Domlur. Had some decent dinner and discussed some topics orthogonal to running.

All in all it were great two days with Asha folks and hope to join you soon for a run again.

Just in case others if you have forgotten to contribute, please do so by going to my Asha support page:

Some of our Pictures are at Picasa:

Thanks to everyone who have supported me for this run. It is primarily you who are the winner !

Keep Miling !

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bangalore Book Fair

The annual Bangalore Book Fare (BBF) is back at Palace grounds. It starts from today.

It is open from 11AM-8PM. The entry fee is Rs 20 while students and college goers have free entry. This is a 10 day event. You can get some good bargains and great discounts as well.

Go bibliophiles go !

If Matrix ran on Windows

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wear Sunscreen

I've heard about this phrase for quite sometime now and finally got to know what it actually means. In fact a fellow Asha runner's blog is titled on similar lines as well.

Wear Sunscreen' was written by Mary Schmich, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Originally printed in a newspaper column, this now famous poem was e-mailed around the world, identified as an M.I.T. commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut. The false attribution was never explained, but the poem became an Internet favorite; it was later set to music and released on an album by Australian director Baz Luhrmann.

The article from Schmich was titled "ADVICE, LIKE YOUTH, PROBABLY JUST WASTED ON THE YOUNG".

Read more about it at the Wiki..

The poem/lyrics in here.

Youtube video below:

Everybody is free (to wear a sunscreen).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One Year and 1000+ KMs of Running

It was exactly this day last year, Nov 12 2007 that I registered in to log my running statistics. Exactly as of today I've run 1082.90 km. This was the time I started to run more seriously in and around colony parks.

Number looks little encouraging to me and by the end next year around this time I plan to close in on to 2500 KM. Though I've cycled enough but I've stopped logging about it. I'll be running the Ultra this Sunday for Asha and plan to do 25K in there.

Swimming still remains an elusive task and hopefully by 2009 I will learn to swim. So guys and gals get your arse off from the routine life and start running.

Check out my running log:

Santosh and his 24Hr run
Did an easy 5K today with Santosh from Asha inside Cubbon park. Mostly sticking to wonderful trails. Santosh will be doing this 24 Hour run and I'll be there full throttle to support him and partly to run with him as well. Way to go Team Asha !

Just starting to get a feeling that I should go for 50K. Lets see how things shape as the day unfolds this coming Sunday at the Ultra

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hyderabad 10k and Half marathon

The HYD 10K group is back for its annual November run.

Check out here:

I might not take part as I'll be in Bangalore and right now preparation in full swing for the Ultra. Did a decent 8K inside KBR with Sidd and Ravi. Also managed to rope in my pal Kireeti for the run and had Irani Chai.

Keep miling.

Sleep paralysis

“You’ll be lying in bed and you can’t move, you can’t talk"

My god I've experienced this quite a many times and its like some ghost or something sitting on you during sleep. After talking to many friends, doctors and folks back home it known as "Sleep paralysis". This happens especially during the REM part of the sleep (REM - Rapid Eye Movement).

Read more at Wiki. The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli (1781) is thought to be one of the classic depictions of sleep paralysis perceived as a demonic visitation (above picture).

How to cope with it ? Well I'll say just ignore it and maintain calm. Else read this link.

Also a review from the stanford group.

I guess after the Jaw Locking post this is the most scary thing that I've experienced.

Pic Courtesy Wiki.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Umerkot - Koramangla

We were a small group searching for a buffet place in and Koramangla. It was the sendoff party for Nidhi who will be heading back to the EC office. After some quick deliberations we zeroed in on "Umerkot" on the 80Ft road. If you are coming from Sony world towards 4th Block (Maharaja Hotel), you will find it on your left.

This was a different buffet, called the "Seating Buffet". What it actually means is that you are actually served food right at your table and there is no common table where all the delicacies are arranged. This is a smart idea as people might just not binge on the dishes.

The Veg buffet costs you 289+taxes (=325) and the Non-Veg some 380 odd bucks. There is quite a lot of variety as it starts with a complimentary drink (pint of beer option is also available). A tomato or chicken shorbha (variant of a soup). Then comes some nicely cooked starters disguised as Kebabs. Then the main course with bread (rotis, Naan) and three different curries.

Then finally some Biryani and a small sweet dish and finally with Masal chai. Its a pretty decent place and the ambiance within is very good. So its a nice place to dash in if you are looking for a veg buffet in the range of 300 (slightly overpriced though).

Bon Appetite !

Pic Courtesy: Vandana

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Preparation Right on Track for Ultra

The preparation for Ultra has been right on track and the leg has been responding good as well. Did a decent a 18K in 2 hours alongside Pratibha at Cubbon this Saturday. She was the only one who turned up for the Asha run and I guess she was planning 23-25K for the day. Four loops at Cubbon and I was feeling good.

Today did an 8K at the RFL run at Bellandur. Feeling good and hope to do another 10-15K at Hyd next weekend and I'll be all set for 25K at the Ultra on 16 Nov, 2008. Meanwhile the Asha funds have started to come in again. Thanks for all of you who have been encouraging me with your funds for Asha.

So its nice to be back to running and feeling good after a 25K weekend. Will taper the rest of the day. Until then keep miling !

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Limping Back to Running

Finally I managed to do an easy 10K with "Hyderabad runners" last Sunday. Some parts of the Necklace road stretch was stinking so we did a mixture full tank bund, part necklace road.

Sidd, Ravi, Rajesh and others were there and I had a cool company to run. Feeling good and I was supposed to run with Diwakar and Rajesh on Tuesday at KBR but just caved into sleep.

Back to running for Bangalore Ultra where I'm planning a 25K. Keep reading this blog for more updates. Keep your funds coming in for my Asha run.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sieve of Eratosthenes

Adding a little bit of Math touch to my blog.

To find prime numbers to a particular integer.

More in this link at Wiki.
Pic Courtesy Wiki

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Injury, Orthopedics and Prosthetic

Injury can be really dampening and that too if you are sportsperson. Understanding one's body and knowing its limits becomes very tricky and as a runner I know what I can what I can't.

Injury and Diagnosis
After the Gokarna trek, I've been nursing an injury on my left leg around the ankle region. Initially consulted a sports medicine doctor to confirm if there were no fractures and it was diagonised as possible grade-II tear (aka partial tear). The only solution was rest and walking was getting painful. Even after a week there was considerable pain and the swelling persisted. Things like "Combiflam" did not work as I was also suffering from bouts of fever. My dad asked to go for an antibiotic course immediately.

As a second opinion I consulted Dr. Rajaram (MS Ortho) at the Apollo Clinic in Koramangla. His diagnosis after was also pretty similar but he gave me a magic pill, a "Painkiller" which also reduces inflammation. This gave results immediately. A "Gout" was suspected.

What is Gout
Gout is typically experienced by people in the age group post 50. It is a swelling condition where the pain is unbearable. A swelling condition wherein one feels pain even when slightly touches the area around or on the swelling.

This is formed when the Uric salts (or uric acid) contents are above the normal range. So these salts get deposited in around joints and thus causing a swelling condition. Read more about it at Wiki. Luckily this was not the case with me.

Back to Pain
But the pain persisted and the bulk of it moved towards the heel and whenever I started to walk (i.e even when half of the body weight fell on it) I started to feel the pain and limp around. The Doc asked me to comeback if the pain is unbearable. So I went and met him again and he advised further rest.

I was suggested two thing:
"Silicone heel cup" when I'm wearing shoes and "MCR" footwear when I'm not wearing shoes. Both are for heel related issues. These act as added cushion and absorb further pressure from the surface. In fact for people looking cushion for the entire foot there is Silicone cushion for the entire feet.

Silicone heel cup

You just need to slide this into your shoes and it feels very cushion-like abosrbing shcoks when we walk.

Silipos is the company that has mastered it and in India it costs around 1400 bucks. If you know your size you can get it from the US where it could it be little cheap.

Where do you get it: Endolite:
"Endolite India" is the company that does lot of Ortho and Prosthetic stuff in India. I visted their office at Victoria Layout (3rd Phase) in Bangalore. I was surprised see the so many people with their limbs cut or deformity because of polio and other disorders. All of them can get custom made legs, arms, fingers etc. "Prosthetic" to be precise. I got the Silicone heel cup from here.

So if any of you out there are looking for some Prosthetic or Orthotic solutions in Bangalore or in India, Endolite India is (one of) the company.

Check out their website for contact and address: Click

MCR Footwear:
If this was one learning experience, then here was another.
MCR stands for Micro Cellular Rubber. Initially started to help leprosy patients now MCR is widely used for heel related injuries. MCR can be used whenever you are not using the shoe. Especially within the house.

The Doc suggested me a place opposite Manipal hospital, old Airport road.

It is called the "Rehabilitation Aids Workshop by Women with Disability". They also make quite many prosthetic. All the women workers here disabled but the products they make are quite astonishing.
If you are looking for prosthetic or MCR footwear do drop in here:
Cheshire House, Airport Road (Opp. Manipal Hospital), Bangalore 560017.
Phone: 25272911, 25269075
The MCR footwear (chappal) costs you 450 bucks.
Their Website: Click

So finally I started to run as my doc suggested. Did a 100 mt (with those Silicone Heel cup) today and there was some pain. Will start off slowly and hope to progress well. Also do vist Dr. Rajaram at Apollo Clinic in Kormanagla (Opp. Jyothi Nivas Colege) for Ortho related problems.

Thanks to everyone who sent their wishes and hopefully will be back to complete running soon ! Thanks to all of you who started to fund my run for Asha, keep them coming.

Keep Running !

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Soul Curry: Off the beaten track -Mind over Matter-Spirituality-Lifestyle-The Times of India

The best and inspiring line in the below article:

This sounded ironical, but still exciting enough to mull over, for those of us in the corporate world, chasing a mirage called job satisfaction and often confusing it with high salaries.

Click Here To Read On

Time to rethink !

Thanks to Biswa for the pointers !

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

8th ECR run - Chennai

This is a very well organized event. Unfortunately it clashes with the Kaveri trail marathon. I did their previous edition (7th ECR) and finished 30K there. Also the fact that my injury has been forcing me indoors for a while now. Would definitely do their next edition.

Make no mistake it will be very very humid and sultry. So will definitely be a great and grueling experience.

Keep Miling !

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pirivom Santhipom

It means "Will (split and) meet up again" (phir milenege ?).

I've been following "Cheran's" movies for quite some time now and the subjects he deals with are the ones that we see and face in our lives. His previous movie "Autograph" was amazing. I in fact saw that in Telugu.

Watch this movie and you'll see why we are missing/loosing this "Joint Family" concept in India now. Feel good movie that makes you think !

Also not to forget that Sneha is my favourite.

Catch the trailer below:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Support me for Asha

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for stopping by. As you know that I've been running for quite some time now. Next run on I'll be running for a cause, for Asha whose primary interest is in Education. I'm planning to run 25KMs Bangalore Ultra this year. I plan to raise around 500 INR for every KM I run.

Please feel free to fund me as I run for Asha. I've started the contribution on my own first by contributing $25. You are not in anyway obligated to fund but I'll be humbled if you can do so to the best of your capacity.

You can donate online from my Asha page:

Thanks for going through this post. Feel free to mail/comment in case you are interested to contribute by other means.


balsubu [A T] gmail [D O T] com

Monday, September 29, 2008

Paul Newman

As Paul Newman left us for heavenly abode, this actor will always be my hero.

My favourites include "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Verdict". His laid back looks and his voice and blue eyes have fascinated people around the world. Some quotes from Cool Hand Luke.

What we've got here, is ... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. And I don't like it any more than you men.listen

Just about right time to re-look into his classics.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Naka Muka

I've absolutely no idea what it means but it is an amazing mass Tamil song that I came across. Guess this movie "kadhalil vizhunthen" has this song composed (or remixed) by Vijay Antony.

Truly rocking !

Guess there is a female version of this which was in fact probably the original version. Tamil Rocks Macha !

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Venkat Prabhu, the name sounds very familiar. Yes he the eldest son of Gangai Amaran (younger brother of Ilayraja). He was the director of Chennai 28. He has now come up another wonderful thriller+comedy, Saroja.

Its a must see and highlight is Premji Amaran, younger brother of Venkat Prabhu. Prem has this amazing timing all throughout this movie. Thanks to Bharath, I've been getting to know so much about Tamil cinema. Catch the trailer below:

These days I've become a big fan of this show called, "Koffe with Anu" in Star Vijay.

Other movies that I saw recently include, "Rock On" and "Welcome to Sajjanpur". Class movies in their own right !

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gokarna - Temple and Beaches

Quick History

Gokarna means "Cow's ear". This is right on the western coast in the "Uttara Kannada" district of Karnataka. Around 150 KMs from Mangalore and Goa. It is a Holy place well known for the "Mahabaleshwar Temple" of Shiva. It has the Atma linga that was placed here by Lord Ganesha hoodwinking Ravana with the help Vishnu.

The temple is a small and neat one with 50 paise as the entry ticket. There are other places like the Ganesha temple and others, but the shiva temple is the most important one. It is right next to Gokarna beach.

How to Reach
Gokarna is 450 KM from Bangalore and is best reachable by road. Not sure if there is any direct train as such. Most of the trains are from the Konkan side, typically from Mangalore. From Bangalore VRL and Suguma travels have sleeper and semi-sleeper buses starting from 400 onwards. Use the Redbus website to book tickets onlone. Oct-Jan is typically the peak season.

We took the VRL bus that starts around 9ish in the night from Gandhi Nagar and reached Gokarna, via Honavru, Kumta by 9 in the morning. 12 hours and roads or Okay. Once you hit the ghat section there are lots twists and turns. It is raining this time of the year.

Who all

(The Three eccentricities in the above three pics. That pretty much defines us all)

Abhay and I were at Sridevi planning our next scheduled to Anshi National park and then came this idea about OM beach. Abhay has been Gokarna before and wanted to just chill out. Then we decided to go by keeping the gang small. After some initial efforts we were finally just three of us ready to go.

Abhay, Vandana and I. Three of us started from Bangalore on 12th night from Bangalore. We had to board the bus at Sujatha Complex near Gandhi Nagar and just as we reached Gandhi Nagar there was this group performing with bands and drums with their folklore. We exited the Auto here and our team photographer was on her mission, Mission Photo.

The Beaches
There are around five main beaches in the vicinity of Gokarna.

Gokarna beach
This is probably the longest, cleanest and best of all the three we visited. It is right inside the town and walkable. Best place to view sunset (if you are lucky and no clouds around)

Kudle beach
Small but relatively clean and not many people around. Mostly a secluded beach with some foreigners around sun bathing.

OM Beach

OM beach is where we booked for cottage to live.
This is 6 KMs away from Gokarna by road and the Autos (three wheelers) charge a fixed Rs 100 from Gokarna bus stand to OM beach or Namste Cafe. If you have all the energy you can walk by road or trek from beach to beach.

We in fact walked back 6 KM from OM to Gokarna through the tar road. There you see Abhay and I crawling.

Namaste Cafe:

This is right adjacent (on) to the OM beach and a double bed accommodation will cost you Rs. 400. There is no advanced booking as such, so just walk-in and you might find a nice cottage.

It also has a restaurant with some decent food and prices are pretty okay. We tried some rotis, dal and mutter paneer for lunch and some mashed potatoes and mushroom for dinner. Don't expect much, and yeah lot of beer !

Half-moon beach and Paradise beach
We couldn't explore this but will surely in our next trek.

Mission Click
Every one of us were in our own world during this trek. Abhay admiring the nuances of nature, I was running or just gazing and Vandy was clicking all the while. I'm sure she stopped seeing through her eyes and was seeing through the lens almost for the entire trip.

(Sorry mate, no Frisbee in this wind)

(That was cool, how did you do it ?)

(Pic: Couple of her prize catches)

Click, click and click ! She has this very pricey camera, Canon S5-IS and has been experimenting with the lenses. Catch her work in her blog, Random Thoughts.

The Beach Runner/Running

Beach running has been a long pending item on my list and this time I was determined do it. Once we there in Kudle beach, Abhay and I were just fiddling with the water on the shore and just then I saw foreigner running. I was planning to run the day morning and it was 1PM now. I just couldn't stop. I was only on shorts and no shoes. I just run and for about 20 minutes I ran up and down of this 700M long stretch. It was fun.

The idea is that beach should be really flat for you run properly and clean to run barefoot. Sunday morning I woke up by 6.30 and did a quick uphill run for one KM on the road and realised that I must save my resources for the beach run and this time I was wearing my running shoes. Soon three of us went downhill and got down to respective business. This time it was at Om beach. The entire shore here must be close to one KM. I did around 5KM and the weather was perfect. Then we spent more time just gazing and looking around. We dashed back to Namaste Cafe for a quick ginger tea.

The problem in OM was that it was inclined all the while. So as runner you find it painful to run sideways on an inclined path. Probably that was one of the reasons I couldn't do more than 5KM. I was just evading the waves on the shore and running zig-zag for a while to keep my feet straight. So try to find a flat surface on the beach to run. "Gokarna" beach near the Mahabaleswhar temple is the best of all. Very long and flat and great view for sunset here.

Crazy Tea Drinkers
Be it a hot weather or cold, we all just love drinking tea. In fact we all are tea boozers so to coin and say.
The ranking:
Vandana (craziest) then Balu (crazy) and then Abhay (no "pheeka" please).

Food at Gokarna
I guess "Pai Restaurant" is the best choice (we did not look for anything else). Meals with chapatis (peculiar chapatis) and rice is 25 bucks. Else you Masal Dosas, Set Dosas, Buns.

Well Udupi buns are like pooris made out of dough that has banana mixed in it. They cal it as Banana Buns. Looks like it is actually called "Bunse" and later got morphed as "Buns" (correct me if I'm wrong).

BTW, there was an other "Hotel Pai" that we saw. Not sure if this was the famous one.

Trek Recommendations
Lot of people have actually trekked all the way from Murudeshwar to Gokarna and beyond till Karwar. But for people whole a weekend to spend this is what we recommend.

Start the trek from the "Gokarna" beach go left (i.e if you are facing the sea). You'll find a small hillock. Just follow a path to the top or ask locals for route to "Kudle" beach. Then you descend onto Kudle. After that you can trek to "OM" beach. the path from Kudle to OM is well marked. So you can cover these three beaches in around 2 hours. Suggest you spend some time in each of these beaches.

After OM you can head towards Half-Moon beach and Paradise beach. We tried unsuccessfully to look out for Half-Moon but ended up here (pic at right). As we had time constraints we did not explore further but I'm you can. After Half-moon there is Paradise. During the peak season there is a boat ride from OM to Half-moon and Paradise as sometimes because of high tides the path is not trek-able but I'm sure there is definitely a path but I guess the distance will be more.

So if you are having a weekend to crash and read books at the beach and just laze around with some walking then Gokarna is the place.


Back now and my legs are in little pain as I crashed into some rocks and in the process had water seep into my camera and defunct after that. Also the bad running posture, sideways on an inclined has taken some toll on my left leg between toe and ankle. Hope to recover soon as I have some quick treks again and some long runs lined up early next month at Hyderabad.

Thanks to Abhay and Vandy for a thoroughly enjoyable and exhaustive trip (Vandy please do thank me in your blog). BTW, all of three of us finally managed to get together in one snap below:

More pics are at my Picasa:
My Collection (until my camera drowned).
Vandy's collection:

Until then happy running and trekking !
(Pic Courtesy Vandana)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cafe Arogya

Finally some decent place in Koramangla for the health conscious folks.

Cafe Arogya is located right next to Jyothi Nivas College (JNC) above "BrewHaha", on the Udupi Krishna Road. A lot of care is taken in preparing the food and for people with pretty decent appetite must try their wholesome meal priced at 100.

They have this juice started in tiny wine glasses equivalent to just a sip. They have this beetroot juice, wheat grass (argambillai in Tamil. Which we keep at Lord Ganesha) juice (added with honey), watermelon and almond juice. No added sugar. Some dry fruits and fruits. The menu keeps changing everyday.

The main course is pretty neat and tastes very good and is clean. You get this broken rice (red rice) with the barn. Highly recommended but old people may find it difficult to digest. The dry curry might have some traces of coconut but I guess they can avoid that as well. They use Olive oil for cooking some of the dishes.

They will give you these pamphlets and health notes on the food that you eat. See the one on wheat grass below.

My mom would love this place for sure. For regulars the price may be on a little higher side but definitely worth a try if you are looking for a simple and yet wholesome meal.

Official web link for Cafe Arogya

(Mobile Phone Pic Courtesy: Madan Tarun)

Bon Appetite !