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 !

Monday, September 8, 2008

Running for Asha

So the running season is back again and from my next run on I'll be raising funds for "Asha". Last saturday I met them up at Sanjeev and Anita's residence where they organised a session on how to go about this whole thing and also got to know about the projects in which the Bangalore chapter is invloved in. Check out here to know more: Asha Projects Bangalore

I've started to train with "Asha" folks and it has been good interacting and running with them. Here is their official training page: Click

We also have a Team Asha Blog going on.

I'm planning to do a full marathon this October, the Kaveri Trail Marathon . I'll try to reach each one of you personally for contributions. The idea is that I plan to raise Rs 500 per one kilometer (KM). You can fund me based on your interest and ability.

Here is the Bangalore Team Asha.

So if anyone of you is interested in raising for Asha just get in touch with me or any of the folks from the link posted in this post.

More on my runs and preparation will be updated in this page.

Keep Miling !

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bihar Flood Relief

Thanks to Pulkit for the below pointers. Please do your bit. I used the AID website and its safe and secure through CCAvenue payment portal.

For updated information check out Pulkit's blog.

Dear All,

As most of us are aware, Bihar has been severely hit by floods. Over a hundred lives have already been taken in what has been declared a national calamity. As per the National Institute of Disaster Management, over 25 lakh people have been affected in close to 1600 villages. More than 60000 people are yet to be brought to safety (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7595223.stm). There is also a mammoth loss of property and the impending danger of epidemics.

This email is an appeal to fund the efforts of organizations that are involved in rescue and relief operations in Bihar. Your donations will be utilized for buying food, medicines and other utilities and covering for transportation and communication expenses. NGOs where I personally know some of the people involved are:

1) Maitri: This Pune-based NGO, which has years of experience in flood relief work, has sent its team to aid the local groups in Bihar. Their main focus is medical help and preventing/controlling epidemics. For transferring funds online, here are their bank details:

Mode of Transfer: NEFT (below 1 lakh), RTGS (above 1 lakh) Name of Beneficiary: Maitri
Bank: Bank of Maharashtra, Branch: Pune, Location: Mayur Colony Account type: Current, IFSC code: MAHB0000852 Account number: 20046903997

Having made the donation, please send an email to maitri1997@gmail.com with following details (for availing the receipt): Full Name, Address, Phone no, Date of birth, Email ID, Amount remitted, From (Bank & Branch) and Date.

2) AID India: They are working in Araria, Bihar, focusing on rescue operations as well as providing food, medicine, safe drinking water, shelter and so on. Donation to AID can be made here: http://www.eurekachild.org/donate/donindia.php?donindia=Donate+Now+%3E%3E. In the comments section of this page, please write "For Bihar flood relief".

PS 1: Both of these NGOs will mail receipts, with 80-G tax deductible status, to the address mentioned by you. In case you do not want the receipt, please specify it in your email or in the comments section.

PS 2: If you wish to contribute to the Bihar Chief Minister Relief Fund, details can be found here: http://biharfloodrelief2008.blogspot.com/search/label/CM%20Relief%20Fund.

PS 3: If you are unsure of the donation amount, Maitri recommends a day's salary.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sahib Sindh Sultan - Forum Mall (Koramangla, Bangalore)

The name sounds very majestical and Moghalay. This one is in the second floor of Forum Shopping Mall in Koramangla, Bangalore. You'll be surprised to see the ambiance inside is like a wooden train like the ones in the Hollywood western classics. Contrary to my understanding about its high prices, a decent meal for two would cost around 500 bucks. The interiors are classy and its very calm in there. Mostly a no-smoking zone within and the lighting is also very apt.

Lot of Paranthas and Biryani varities to try out. Among the very good restaurant from the stable of BJN group. The spice level is very well maintained and couple of varities of chutneys come with shredded onions as accompaniments.

If you are in Forum Mall or around or back from PVR and are looking at a 1000 odd for three people then you can conveniently drop in here. Also it is generally full, so better reserve a table or just come in early. Weekends will be a real fight to get in.

We ordered mostly a mix of paranthas followed by a paneer gravy and palak kofta. Didn't really go for any starters but took the almond mix milk shake which was the only non-shorba (non soup) liquid in there. Damien and Tarun went in for a midday wine.

(there you go brother princely!)

Firangi pani is an exclusive bar within the same premises but well separated.

Thanks to Damien for his farewell treat !

(Pic Courtesy, Damien)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Anbe Sivam

Last Saturday I watched a Tamil movie "Anbe Sivam" being played on Sun TV and was awed by Kamal Hassan's acting skills (in tears most of the times). Then after going through the Wiki some interesting accounts of history came into light that I'd like to share.

The movie had shades of communism and some of the scenes were inspired by real life incidents, especially the rockefeller controversy as regards to a painting scene. Its about the painter Diego Rivera's mural Man at the Crossroads. Later he modified the version after the previous version was blanketed as Man, Controller of the Universe. Lenin's face was the point of conflict in that painting.

Catch up with a small glimpse of the Tamil movie, Anbe Sivam and also the title song sung very well by Kamal Hassan:

Other movies based on the Rockefeller controversy incidents are: Cradle Will Rock and Frida.

You must have heard the word "Rockefeller" in Billy Joel's "We didn't start the fire" as well.

Josef Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Until then adios !