Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Glimpses

Year 2009 Finally turned out to be the year that set out the change in my life.
With lots of running, cycling and job change it was, as usual an eventful year driven by my passions.

But things took more rosy turn after I moved into my new workplace and events thereafter.

It ended with I getting engaged to Anisha, for whom I'd been waiting all this while.

This is also the last year of my bachelorhood as I set myself to move on into a new life and Avtaar.

Wishing a wonderful year ahead and hope to provide more content in the coming years. Please support our running initiatives as you had been doing in the past for Asha.

Best Wishes,

From - Anisha & Balu (AB)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Cutee ahh !

Monday, December 14, 2009

Urban Turban - Must See

Last Sunday AB were there at Alliance Francaise, Vasanthnagar.

Evam is a wonderful theater group and we were seeing their performance for the first time and to tell you we were not disappointed at all. It was an amazing performance and worth the money.

The person who stole all the thunder was TMK. When I saw Karthik kumar who started the day for us I knew that I saw him somewhere and I realized that he was in that Tamil movie "pozhi solla poram" (remake of Khosla ka Ghosla).

TMK sported this amazing Tamil brahmin boy's woes towards arranged marriage.

Read more about Evam at their blog:

Must See.

-- AB

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Date With Reality

This is a must read for all teenagers and especially the unwed !

This article appeared in "The Times of India", Dec 2nd, 2009, Bangalore edition in the Editorial section. Below is the same article.


A Date With Reality

Our teens are ill-equipped to negotiate new social mores

Amrit Dhillon

It’s easy to visualise the Pune teenager who arranged to meet her boyfriend the day before Friendship Day recently. Just 15, she must have been flushed with excitement at the prospect of feeling special and desirable, and coming home later from the rendezvous floating in that delicious dreamy delirium that characterises the early days of a relationship. But the boyfriend brought
along three friends for some ‘fun’ and they raped her in turns. The following day, the girl hanged herself. In their tragic interplay, i imagine she was seeking love while he wanted sex. Her humiliation and death reveal how the dating game in India is going horribly wrong because boys and girls are playing by different rules.
Girls are eager to explore their newfound social freedom to experience the headiness of loving and being loved. Physical desire is obviously an important part of this exploration because the hormones of a teenage girl are fizzing just as furiously as those of any young male. But girls venture into this new world almost utterly defenceless and, as mostly small-town ingénues, are vul
nerable to the first predator who comes along.
So girls are filmed undressing by their boyfriends. The MMS clips are sent to friends or used for blackmail. Girls who end relationships have acid thrown on them. Girls who reject boys’ advances are stalked and threatened. In the West, young girls absorb vast amounts of information about relationships before acquiring their first boyfriend. From TV programmes and debates, magazines, playground gossip and conversations with mothers and elder sisters, they develop a sixth sense for detecting a false note or a whiff of aggression that could endanger them.
More than information, certain ideas have entered their minds. The theories of the
feminist movement from the 1970s onwards in the West made women aware of the power dynamic between men and women. The ideas of Germaine Greer, Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedman filtered down into popular consciousness. No doubt, they were diluted and reduced to slogans by the time they reached the woman on the street but they nevertheless coloured the landscape of her mind.
This process has been absent in India where such debates have been largely confined to women’s groups and magazines such as Manushi. Here, girls plunge into the dating game intellectually blindfolded, groping (excuse the pun) for signposts as they

navigate this new terrain. They possess none of the psychological tools to discriminate between genuine and fake interest. Having had arranged marriages themselves, their mothers and elder sisters are of no help.
Quite apart from the limited help available from their families, even the wider culture around them fails to imbue girls either with sense or suspicion. How can it? For centuries, social norms have imposed strict social segregation. The new freedom for the sexes to mix is so new that society has barely woken up to its implications. Whereas in the West, relations between the sexes evolved gradually, over decades, in India, the process has been squeezed into 10-15 years, jumping from Jane
Austen to Paris Hilton in the blink of an eye.
As girls, without being forewarned, rush into the arms of their beaux, they misread the signals. Exacerbating their vulnerability is the desire for male attention that virtually consumes girls at this age. Not all young men, of course, are hell-bent on abusing their new access to women. Plenty of them treat their girlfriends with respect. But many, just like the girls, misread the cues.
They see a woman in a bar wearing attractive clothes as ‘available’ because they have never been educated – by literature, films, books and newspapers – to grasp the notion that a woman can be drunk, dressed revealing
ly and behave suggestively but if she says ‘no’ to sex, it means no. They too are confused. All the old familiar rules have gone and it’s a free-for-all. Just the other day, at least in some circles, they were taught to believe that any woman who displayed pleasure during lovemaking, even with her own husband, was a whore. Now they have to learn that women can pose semi-naked, smoke and drink and yet must be treated as respectfully as they treat their mothers.
India has moved from segregation to mingling between the sexes without any of the attendant debates on sex, feminism and contraception. There has been no transition. Many men have leapt from believing that women should be sequestered inside the home
to expecting their girlfriends to take responsibility for contraception. Girls pop the ‘morning after’ pill casually, rather than as an emergency measure. The boyfriends are happy to be carefree and few even bother to find out whether there could be repercussions on the girl’s health.
Young Indian women need to realise that many of the new sexual freedoms that were hailed initially as ‘liberating’ in the West (such as the availability of the pill) turned out to carry a heavy price. When neither side knows the rules because the rules are still being worked out, the dating game becomes potentially lethal.
The writer is a journalist.

The heart is a lonely hunter

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Last weekend AB and some Team Asha runners were at NMKRV to catch up some action. We were all excited to catch up the Kalari event but more or less went in disappointed.

May be it was lack of knowledge to appreciate or the expectations were set too high.

There was this guest Croatian dancer who did something remarkable akin to ballet dancing and other mystic Maya dance that I could not fathom or comprehend. Just my two cents on this event.


Monday, November 30, 2009


Did you know how the word Spa originated ?

According to Wiki:

More at Wiki:

The term is derived from the name of the town of Spa, Belgium, whose name is known back to Roman times, when the location was called Aquae Spadanae, perhaps related to the Latin word "spargere" meaning to scatter, sprinkle or moisten

Interesting !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Yesterday I was going through the Know Your English coloumn in The Hindu. I noticed this interesting word "derring-do".

Read here more about it:

As children, when we misspelt a word, our teachers circled it, and made us rewrite it several times. Hoping that we would learn the correct spelling! When printers make an error in spelling, it sometimes results in the creation of a new word. Derring-do is one such example. The original expression as used by Chaucer was `dorrying don' meaning `daring to do'. Through a series of copying and printing errors, it became `derring-do'.

Read the actual story here:

What is interesting to note is that a word can undergo such a change because of a printing mistake and thus getting accepted !

Friday, November 20, 2009


On November 15, 2009, Anisha and Balu in the presence of their elders and well wishers got engaged as a first important step to their marriage scheduled next year.

Henceforth this blog will have Anisha as a guest contributor soon.

Otherwise content will continue to appear unabated in this space. Do visit this space !

-- Anisha and Balu

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bhoomi Network

Continuing the NGO feature, today we feature Bhoomi Network. A movement for Good and Safe food.

Read more about them here:

They promote healthy food and alternate food items like millets grown organically.

The founders are also related to Prakriya school which promotes green and eco-friendly living.

Bhoomi Conference
They also have a conference on December 4th and 5th, 2009 at St. John's Auditorium, Koramangla, Bangalore to promote the same.

More Info and Registration details on the event here:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Colonial Cousins

Just got reminded of this song: "Krishna Ni Begane Baaro"

Now since I understand a little bit of Kannada, I also understand the meaning more correctly.

More at Wiki:

Great song and well remixed !

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chicken Bus

Came across this interesting term "chicken bus".

According to Wiki:

A chicken bus (Spanish: "camioneta") is a colloquial English name for a colorful modified and decorated US school bus and transit bus that transports goods and people between communities in Honduras and Guatemala. The word "chicken" refers to the fact that rural Guatemalans regularly transport live animals on such buses, a practice that visitors from other countries often find remarkable. The buses are also commonly used in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, and Costa Rica.


(A Google search result snapshot for "chicken bus")

Friday, November 6, 2009

Know Your English - The Hindu

If you are an ardent "The Hindu" fan you would hardly miss the KYE (Know Your English) by S.UPENDRAN.

Now you can read all of them online at The Hindu's online page:


Felt wax lyrical after getting to know so wanted to share !

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kumite Session @ Ananya

Cross posting from original post at Team Asha blog:

Team Asha is back full strength at Ananya after almost a months lull. Long weekends and midterm breaks robbed all of us of our great times at Ananya but you can't keep us waiting for long.

This Saturday we had a full throttle Karate sessions, with Sensei Manjula sparing none. All sets were repeated 100 times ! Before the Karate session we started off with for 3K tempo running.

We then had "Kumite" sessions where we learned the aspect of sports Karate where one showcases the ability to sneak through the opponent's defenses rather than actually hurting/hitting him. This was an important aspect that needed to be conveyed to the kids as they can get carried away easily.

Then we had one of our kids, Priya sharing us her experiences in watching "kalaripayattu" show and what it demanded as a form of martial art. Then our Sensei emphasized on how much dexterity one required in performing "kalari".

Some pics in here:

So we are back and updates will follow as usual !
Aregato !

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sholay - Revisited

Just got reminded of this sequence in Sholay !

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Botany Class - Telugu

This song was a rage when we were kids ! Nostalgia revisited !

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Team Asha

Here are some of the members of this wonderful gang, Team Asha, Bangalore

(Pic Courtesy, Balaji)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Team Asha 4k/8k - Prakirya School

Cross Posting from Team Asha Blog

Wow ! What a run !
Here are some pics from the event. Hope to come up with a detailed blog report soon.

The race begins

Go Team Asha, Go !

Bravo !

Team Asha, Bangalore

Here are some pics from one of the cameras:

Will add more pics as and when we keep getting it !

Thanks to all the participants who attended it !

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nice Quote and Ted Talk

Heard this in one of the Ted Talks today :-)

Alan Greenspan Quotes:
"I know that you think you know what I said. But I'm not sure whether you understood that what you heard is what I meant."

Alan Greenspan (born March 6, 1926 in New York City) is an American economist and was from 1987 to 2006 the Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States. He currently works as a private advisor, making speeches and providing consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC


Below is that Ted-Talk !

Friday, October 16, 2009

Winter Sets in

Woke up to the first sight of fog this year in Bangalore !

Welcoming winter!

Happy Diwali to you all !

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flood Relief Fund: Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Karnataka

Its time for more action on the flood relief fund. If you haven't please do donate online.

Andhra Pradesh (AP):
Use the AP Govt's online webpage to donate through credit or debit card.

Check out the Govt. of Karanataka's online page here:

(No qualms whether the funds will be properly used or not)

Every rupee or dime counts !

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Obesity and the stigma - The Hindu

The below one appeared in "The Hindu", open page last Sunday. Truly a self-introspecting one.


Obesity and the stigma


My cousin, in search of an eligible bride, recently received some photos and bio-data of a girl, who was our distant relative and whom we have never seen before. My cousin found her quite eligible because of her good education, employment, wealth, beauty and very fair complexion. (The last quality is only to emphasise that she even had this additional but important qualification which we Indians seem to be obsessed with.)

On knowing this, some of our close relatives who knew her well rang us up to inform that the woman was not as slim as she was in the photos but was an obese “drum”, “rejected” an umpteen number of times and hence “unfit”. They even cautioned us not to get attracted by the hefty dowry which had been hiked only to compensate for her biggest “disqualification” (obesity). Despite such stiff opposition, we went ahead to see the girl. It was a pleasant conversation wherein my cousin expressed his desire to know the girl’s expectations and opinions about him.

Baseless discrimination

Later, during an informal chat with our relatives, I learnt to my horror that my cousin’s desire to know the bride’s opinions about him had become the joke of the day. For it seemed ridiculous even to her own parents that the girl, who was obese and hence “rejected” many times, had been asked about her opinion and expectations, as if she was not entitled to such things.

An internet search on obesity and social attitudes revealed the stereotypes, stigma and discrimination the obese people face in society and the negative attitudes these generate in them. The obese people are discriminated at home, in education, employment, social circles and are cast as lazy, gluttonous, adamant, mean and wicked. They, along with those having AIDS, are the least preferred as sexual partners/spouses and ranked far below the physically challenged and mentally ill. Obese women are not so social due to the stigma. They usually prefer obese partners in marriage.

All these reveal the discrimination and stigmatisation of the obese (especially women) which leads to low self-esteem. One of the reasons seems to be the outcome of the fashion industry which is obsessed with slimness. What is more disturbing is the commercial stigmatisation and exploitation by various enterprises as can be seen in many advertisements.

Obese people are also portrayed as gluttonous forgetting that their genetic makeup is one of the reasons for obesity and many even have a normal diet. But stigmatisation only leads to isolation, frustration and eating disorder in the obese. The most important thing is to promote positive psychological and social attitudes among and/or towards the obese in society.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Childhood and KV School pals

I was there in Hyderabad for my friend Sheetal and Ramji's marriage. It was great to see them get married and I've known Sheetal from my second standard and Ramji from college days. But this was also a time to catch up with college friends.

But what came as a neat surprise was that I found my KV pals. Pals with whom I studied from my first standard. It was total nostalgia and some of whom I met after 1997 !

(Rajesh, Hemanth, Dinesh, their Pal, and I)

We all went back to 1987 from our class teachers, girls, boys, embarrassing moments, joyous moments and many more. Idiosyncrasies of each of the teachers their methods of teaching and we getting beaten in their hands. wow.. so many things.

(Chutki, Vandy, Balu and Deepthi)
Of course caught up with the SVAD gang and the S in that gang got married today. Nice to meet up with so many of them at one shot.

Now the KV gang has decided to retrace each and everyone one of us and are planning a reunion some time soon. Lets see if we get this thing out.

Pic Courtesy: Vandy

Friday, October 9, 2009

Trueroots - Why do we do this?

Nice One. Reference from pal Amit Kumar's Orkut Videos !

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Moral Relativism

Most of us talk about morals and some of us even boast about their morals and ethics. But each of us have our own set of morals with variable degree of flexibility.

Moral relativism explores and dwells into such relative morality.

Read more about "Moral Relativism" in Wiki:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

India Through My Soul

To quote Biswa who sent this:
My classmate and his brother did a 1 month bike trip in India. His brother is a photographer and made a video out of it..

This will now take me into my next ambitious motor bike trip. From Goa To Vizag to Hyderabad from the coastal belt. 3000 odd KMs !

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dusheera Run: Gandipet - APPA - ORR - Gandipet

Wow ! What a run it was. Three runners and an amazing SAG support from Vasu. Satish, Sri Hari and I set out from Gandipet at around 6AM to do a 16KM loop and it turned out to be an amazing run.

The weather and the route turned out to be perfect. The entire route and logistics was planned by Satish.

To quote Satish:

Route :
Starting point : Gandipet

The idea is to start at Gandipet and run towards Mrigavani National Park. Then come onto the APPA-Chilkur road and run toward the ORR. At the rotary get onto the ORR and run towards the osman sagar road. At the Osman sagar road take a left and run towards gandipet. The total distance is 16.5k.

A part of this stretch was my regular route to my B.Tech. College. The roads have widened, there is an Outer Ring Road (ORR) etc.

The best part to me was the outer ring road and we had an entire 3-Lane empty for us to run. Amazing open landscape ! It was a more of those leisured and pleasured runs.

Last but not the least, Thanks to Vasu who was our SAG driver and shadowed us with all the essential support. Thanks mate !

Great run guys and as I have more long weekends to come by I'll be there positively for more such runs.

Keep Running Hyderabad !

(Pic Courtesy: Sri Hari's Mobile)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Being Vegan

Today I met an interesting runner from Hyderabad runners who is a Vegan. I always had a biased view against vegans and thought it is difficult and impractical to be a vegan (make no mistake a vegan is much more austere than a normal vegetarian).

Check Wiki for more on veganism:

Its like, the Non-vegetarian look down upon the Veggies and the Veggies look down upon Vegan and of course there are fruitarians. Again Vegetarians there are eggeterian (who also eat egg) and the real hard core ones (who don't eat onion, garlic etc).

Reference: Wiki

The point that hit me today is the vegans do not eat even diary products (biscuits, cream, milk, paneer, etc). I cannot even think of a meal or a diet plan without these. But the point that he (the Vegan) making is that how is this milk produced in the dairy farms. Most of us know but chose to ignore it.

Most of these animals are milked by practices that would astonish you and put you under immense guilt. Once these animals become incapable of producing milk they are sent to butcher houses.

Cow's Milk - What is it?

Cow's milk is a liquid secreted by the mammary glands of the adult female cow to nourish her young calf until weaned. Before the cow can produce milk, in common with other species of mammal, she must first become pregnant and give birth.
The Modern Dairy Industry

Modern dairy farming has become an intensive industry. To produce maximum milk yields, dairy cows are pushed to their physiological limits through a combination of selective breeding, high-protein feeds, and the latest technology. Along with the production of pigs, chickens and eggs, milk production has become just another factory farm operation.


While many of us would choose to ignore this but that remains a fact and that is the milk we all drink in our Coffees and Teas. Due to the current lifestyle it is difficult for me to stop drinking milk all at once but then "milk (food) for thought" !

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hope For Flowers

Team Ananya will be there with its brand new version of Hope For Flowers play with Puppets this time. If you are around Bangalore on 27th do drop by.

(Click on the above image to get to details)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Riya Meetup

(Balu, Sandy, Sowmya, Dan, Sajan, Naveen)

We had a small meetup at Barista this Sunday. Dan was here in India and it was a nice opportunity for some of us to catch up.

Nice short trip for him and a nice get together. Been pretty long since we all caught up.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Telugu speaking Hindi

Strictly for Telugu fans (who speak Hindi). Wonderful !

Too good ! This guy is just too good !

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Teachers Day at Ananya

We celebrated Teachers day at Ananya on September 5th. Luckily as it was a weekend most of us were able to make it.

When he became the President of India in 1962, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday, September 5. He replied, "Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 is observed as Teacher's Day." Since then, Teacher's Day has been celebrated in India.

-- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5, 1888 – April 17, 1975)

For Team Asha folks the day started as usual with a quick 3KM run with the kids and we soon started to interact with the kids during the cool down session on who the first prime minister of India was, then who was the first president, the second president and at the same time getting to know why Teachers day and Childcare's day are celebrated, the essence behind them. Then we slowly moved into Sensei Manjula's karate session. This time it was much vigorous and kids were really glued to it. We then had a break for breakfast before the day's event started to unfold.

Report card to parents

As Parents kept arriving they all were handed over their child's report card. This was to keep them abreast of how they were performing and doing in general at Ananya.


So all the senior kids who passed out their 10th class exams had their graduation ceremony in our own Ananya style. All of them were handed over those graduation hats.

We also have a big list of kids who are going to appear for their Xth exam next summer and some who are going to take exams this October.

Ananya Alumni

There was a huge presence of former who kids who climbed through the education and life ladder through Ananya. It was wonderful to note how each one of them were settled and making waves in their careers.

Also some of them have partnered together to form their own entrepreneurial ventures.

Everyone attributed to the cordial and friendly teacher-student interaction at Ananya. As each one of the students spoke the teacher and volunteers at Ananya couldn't have been more happy. All the efforts that the team put behind for over decade has clearly borne fruits.

The Unsung Heroes: Teachers

The day was apt to honor all the teachers who were (and are) the core force behind the success of Ananya. All the teachers received huge ovation as they were all presented some nice handmade cards and flower pots as bouquets.

They have been an unflinching force that has stood by Ananya and in making what Ananya is today.

Team Asha Volunteers honored

Apart from other volunteers Team Asha volunteers were also honored. The running and Karate team has been interacting with the kids on a regular basis and we hope to continue this further.

Good job, Team Asha !

Karate Demo
Soon the kids showcased their Karate training to parents and teachers, headed by Sensei Manjula.


Then some of the kids showcased their experience at Ananya and abroad as an ambassador of Ananya through multimedia presentations. The elan and panache they displayed during these presentation sessions were of very high quality and well narrated with all the confidence.

These kids have so much in their kitty and I'm sure we will have a lot to see.

Puppet Show

We then had a puppet show which these kids add innovation and variety every time they do it. They play looks different every time I see it.


Lunch was served to all of us and most of us caught up with each other and had some lengthy chats. The kids also got a well deserved break after a hectic pre-noon.

We could see so many happy faces, from teachers, parents, their kids, volunteers and visitors. You all made this success of Ananya happen and just keep that going.

More pics at:

All the best to all of you and good luck. We as Team Asha shall always be there with your endeavors.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Continuing my tryst with some interesting terms here comes SNAFU:

According to Wiki:

SNAFU is an acronym meaning Situation Normal: All F***** Up. It is sometimes bowdlerized to Situation Normal: All Fouled Up or similar.


FUBAR was a famous term that I heard in the movie "Saving Private Ryan" !

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hyderabad Marathon and Old pals

The second edition of the Hyderabad Marathon went off very well. I did a half this time and the weather stayed good as it was raining the previous two days here.

Met couple of old pals and lab mates from IIIT Hyderabad. Vardhaman, Sesh and I (as seen in the above pic).

After around the 17th KM mark the incline gradually increased and around 7.30AM the sun was also setting in real hard. But all in all it went off very well but couldn't manage a sub 2 this time.

Lots of Hyderabad runners and also members of Team Asha, Hyderabad.

Nice hometown run and its always a great feeling to be back home ! The event was very well organized and all the logistics were in perfect place. Great job organizers !

More pics in here:

Keep Miling !

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One Crazy Ride

Looks promising:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Unemployed ....

So here I'm finally unemployed for the next two days before I begin a new journey !

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Body Need and I Need

Recently in one of my discussions I came across this Gandhian view.

"Body needs clothing, I need branded clothing"

This above statement has taken me by storm. The I need and the body need. How our lifestyles have made us incompetent.

Something to think and ruminate over !

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Movie Roundup

Have been watching too many movies these days and the one that stands out in English is:

Sexy Beast:

These are the starting lines from the movie in typical Brit accent from Ray Winstone:

Oh, yeah. Bloody hell. I'm sweating in here. Roasting. Boiling. Baking. Sweltering. It's like a sauna. Furnace. You can fry an egg on my stomach. Ohh, who wouldn't lap this up? It's ridiculous. Tremendous. Fantastic. Fan-dabby-dozy-tastic.

The exact Audio is in the below youtube (MUST LISTEN) the video is NOT from the movie .. so just Listen to it !

Another classic from Ben Kingsley here:

I know a bloke who knows a bloke who knows a bloke.

The Long Good Friday:

Amazing soundtracks and among the very neat ones. Typical Brit gangster movie.
Listen to the most famous OST here:

Love, Honor and Obey:

Another classic but not just about there. Also featuring Ray Winstone.

Saw some amazing Tamil movies as well. More on them at a later post !

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Carrying forward my NGO series, this week I feature "Unnati", a Bangalore based NGO catering to free vocational training.

Read more about them at:

As they put it:

As on May '09, 710 youth have been trained and their families have gone above the poverty line

Thanks to Pulkit for the pointers in his blog.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Pedal to the Mettle : Bangalore - Mysore - 146KM - Cycling Maniacs

Yake, But Why ?

Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.
~Albert Einstein

Do we have an answer ? No idea.

Four gypsies set out to cycle from Bangalore to Mysore. Distance 146KM. Time, 12 hours. Weather conditions, cool, breezy, hot, humid and then rainy (in fact that's how the day progressed). Call us junkies if you want to !

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.
~James E. Starrs

This bunch was a highly motivated bunch. It was more to set personal goals, test of endurance and perseverance. After the 100KM ride couple of months back we were looking for a 100+Km distance to be covered in a single stretch and yes we did it with all the more ease this time.

The man, the machine and the power
This one reminds me of "Street Hawks" when the zooming bike goes across the streets awing everyone. This is what almost everyone from Bangalore to Mysore did as they kept on looking at us. Everyone was curious to know, some gave askance look, some stared, some jeered, some turned back twice in disbelief, some inquired, some puzzled, some gave their thumbs up and some mistook some of us to foreigners !

“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.”
John Howard

The Journey: Tour De Mysore

Stage-I: Kickstart

We all met up near the outer ring road - Mysore road junction and by 5AM sharp we all set off by "tring tring - tring tring" and a cheer huddle ! Some of us sporting the complete bicycle attire and reflective dress for the early morning ride. Our first destination was to stop for a chai (Tea) after covering close to 20Kms.

Stage-2: Breakfast

Next destination was to stop for breakfast at Kamat Lokaruchi. 40Kms from where we started we paddled our way through swiftly. Started off with kodabu and finished off with coffee.

Stage-3: In between
Next we reached Maddur Tiffnay, got the Maddur Wada, refilled water and headed towards Mandya. From now on the sun started to set in and the inclines began. We reached Mandya close to around 11.30AM and took a refreshing lemon juice break. Man, what a refreshing break it was.

This stage was eventful as Prashanth suffered some cramps and luckily he coped up with it in a jiffy.

We also saw some angry villagers blocking the roads just about where we stopped to take a water recess. They stopped a truck and threw stones at it and barged into the truck and ruffed up with driver. Later we figured out that the truck was involved in a hit and run a few minutes ago.

The stretch from Maddur to Mandya was little tough. But we did manage to survive it.

We also stopped by to have some freshly prepared jaggery (Alli Manne ?). We wanted to try this potion that gets formed during sugarcane to jaggery conversion stage. Guess we had to wait an hour more to get to it and because of time we headed forward.

And thanks to Manjula's driver who was playing our SAG driver to perfection. He was keeping in sync with us for almost every 20KMs. We had covered 100Kms by now and it was longest in a single stretch in a day for Prashant and Rajneesh.

Stage-4: Lunch

Reaching Srirangapatna was next big thing and finally we reached just in time for lunch. We visited this amazing Govt. managed river facing restaurant, Hotel Mayuri (?)and had some quick bite and really chilli gobi manchurian.

Stage-5: The Final Assault
Had a great hour's break before we headed for the last stage. It was getting overcast and within minutes it poured cats and dogs. We all regrouped at a bus shelter drenched and shivering. As the rains showed no signs of receding we decided to get drenched. Slowly but steadily with lots of cars and buses zooming at treacherous speeds and some respite from rain we finally reached the Mysore Palace.

We did the customary cycling salute after covering 146KMs in 12 hours now !

Team Effort
This cycling trip also will go down as an amazing team effort. Split in pairs of two each of us pushed each other in really torrid stretches, especially after Mandya.

We all started together and after almost every 5-6KMs caught with each other, synced up and then went ahead.

Food and The Best Masala Dosa I ever had

Food was also an interesting factor that added to this trip. We had some great food in this entire trip and post trip.

This place in Mysore, Hotel Original Mylari, serves just two things, Idli and Dosa. The best Masala Dosa I must have ever had. If you are in Mysore, you must seriously think of going here.

The Big Boys

Manjula and I had to attend Martial Arts camp at Mysore on Sunday so we decided to go back in her car with cycles hooked to it.

But here are the real two heroes, Prashanth and Rajneesh who cycled back from Mysore to Bangalore on Sunday as well. We in fact caught up with them at around Chennapatna. Great job folks, you are the true heroes !

Post Cycling and Day 2
After a great cycling ride we all headed to Sensei Rani's house for a wonderful dinner and couple of us stayed back overnight at her place.

Next day morning we left for some rock climbing stuff and it was my first hand at it.

Then we headed towards the Martial Arts workshop conducted by Sensei Rani and we also collected our yellow belts to be given to us later by our Sensei Manjula.

We had sessions on Kobudo (bow fights and blocks) and Kata using them. We attended the session till lunch and then headed back to Bangalore. We loaded the cycles back onto Manjula's car headed back to Bangalore.

We stopped by Indradhanush restaurant near Coffee Day for a neat lunch and Coffee Day for some coffee and muffins (Ohh.. food .. not again !)

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.
~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"

Ashte ! And that's about it (What's next?)!

Pics Courtesy: Manjula
Comment on the wall to get more Pics !

Some Pics from Rajneesh Here:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Team Asha 8K - Independence day run!

Team Asha Team 8K
( )

"Only that day dawns to which we are awake." - Henry David Thoreau

The “Team Asha Team 8K, 2009″ is a running event organized by Team Asha. The second edition of the event will focus on healthy living in a holistic sense. We will strive to create awareness about the need for sensitivity towards the environment around us. The event will create awareness about many efforts supported by Asha and Team Asha that promote healthy and environmentally sensitive choices. The event will also bring together children and adults from varying class, cultural, religious, caste or any other diverse background in promoting the cause of health and well being in the true sense. On India's 63rd Independence day, we hope to sensitize the future and current generations to the possibility of an event and a life that is truly sensitive to the environment and people from all backgrounds.

Location: Prakriya School, # 70, Chikkanayakanahalli Road, off Doddakannelli, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore-35
Time: 8:30 A.M (Independence day celebration), 9:00 A.M Race start.
Date: Aug 15, Saturday

Terrain and location:
It will be a flat course on beaten up road / mud trail. It is in a scenic location with a lot of tree cover, off Sarjapur road. Vehicular traffic would be a minimum.

Who can run?:
Anyone above the age of 10 can participate in the run. We will have children from multiple Asha supported efforts, Prakriya School and possibly other schools running along with us on August 15th.

The event’s objective is to go beyond the usual ‘need for speed’ and make this a wholesome event. The event is about bringing together adults and children from varying backgrounds with running as a unifying factor. Every participant will get a T-shirt as memorabilia. As a matter of principle, there will be NO specific prizes to promote any one skill over the other.

Please do register online by clicking here -

A nominal registration fee of Rs.150 (per runner) would be collected at the venue to cover the cost. Prakriya School Administration is providing FREE breakfast for everyone and the registration fee also covers the cost of the T-shirt. We would strive to organize this 'no profit' event at the minimum cost and impact to the environment. If there are any proceeds from the event, it will directly go to Asha Bangalore’s efforts.

We look forward to having you run with us on August 15th for a fun-filled independence day event! Please do help us spread the word and come as friends, families or just runners :)

Go Team Asha!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If it were to be my wedding ?

Nice watch:

Just dance your way through !

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Maayandi Kudumbathaar - Tamil

There is this sudden burst of Tamil movies that I've been watching a lot these days and the one that makes me cry is "Maayandi Kudumbathaar".

Watch the trailer below:

The movie revolves around four brothers who are the sons of "Maayandi" and each one them of respect and admire each other. In days where brothers and sisters have so much friction this movie hits upon you to think and ponder. What we really miss today is this big combined family concept where life is full of activity. Property, prejudice and other matters makes it more complicated as well.

On the property front, I strongly believe one is not supposed to leave any property to its generation. This leads to the who dirty thing of hoarding money for its coming generations to survive. Neither take in any property nor leave anything for the next ones (that's my take) !

Being eldest in family is sometimes a boon and bane. The movie emphasizes on education as well wherein the one who is pursuing education is supported my the entire family.

The characters are well scripted and do their job perfectly. Nice folk song and dances and village fares can be seen. Very good movie and must see from my side !

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This is England

"This is England" is a British movie that revolves around the early 80's when race and ethnic related crimes were beginning to seethe in the UK.

(Trailer below)

The backdrop of the movie features the Falkan Island war between the Argentinians and the British.

The pink heads (aka skin heads) headed the crime against the brown. Something similar to dot busters who targeted Indian women who sported dot (bindi) in the US. The movie can be drawn parallel to what we are seeing down under (Australia).

The point I'm trying to drive is, what irks a local community in its microplasam is that they want their rights and needs to fulfilled. Any particular immigrating group which tried to establish its own identity or way of living is not accepted. We can see these things even within our country when people from different states start mingling with the local communities. This is where the "ghetto" kind of living spurts in where people of a particular community all live together as a group and sometimes their living conditions are not socially acceptable w.r.t its local community.

May be that's the way we all humans are. We just cannot withstand it ! More to ponder than preach !

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Roomies - Al Vida !

As two my of close roommates relocate, here is Ram's take on all of us.

All of them is related to running and that is one thing common to all of us.

It has been great living with you Biswa for three years. And yeah Ram we will miss your coffee and "ching on" fundas !

“A memory lasts forever, Never does it die. True friends stay together And never said goodbye”

Miss you all ! That's 305 tranquility for you !

-- Millet-Runner !

Friday, July 17, 2009

DK Pattammal - Obituray

(Pic Courtesy: The Hindu)

I hardly listen to Tamil songs and specially when it comes to carnatic and devotional songs there are only few who I listen to.

DK Pattamal left for heavenly abode yesterday.

I remember her unique voice that stands out during one of the Jana Gana Mana song renditions by Rahman and Bharat Bala.

Below is the video that I was talking about:

You can listen to her voice at time: 33-37 seconds.

Long live her legacy !

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pasanga - Tamil

Pasanaga (Kids) is a neat Tamil movie that has captured idiosyncrasies in a subtle manner.

The movie is a must see for all the kids who know Tamil and must be played across all schools across Tamil Nadu, especially in the Govt. schools. If it can be dubbed in other regional languages it would be wonderful.

Trailer below:

The movie has some wonderful characters and the mobile phone ring tones are aptly used to describe certain moods and characters as the movie progresses.

A situation where the kids drive an imaginary scooter and car took me back to my childhod.. Brrrrrrrrrr......

A nice movie and must see !

Friday, July 10, 2009

24th Main

24th Main is a veg restaurant located on 24th main, JP Nagar.

After the Asha 8K run, around half a dozen of us crash landed here. Guess during weekdays they have a buffet priced around 129 buks (+taxes). But as it was a Saturday we tried their ala carte and is a pretty decent place to have food, especially if you want to have a leisure lunch or dinner.

The interiors are pretty neat, appealing and soothing to the eyes.

Pretty much like the European cafes.

Nice place to try out !

Mumbai Marathon 2010

There you go !

More at their homepage, register online now:

Good Luck !

Monday, July 6, 2009

Beat It - Dr K Chaudhry

Respect !! Dr Chow ! Respect !!

This is really sucks man ! Summer of 69 below :-)

Courtesy: Rampee

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Yellow Belt Saga

Once upon a time in China, some believe around the year one double-ought three, head priest of the White Lotus Clan, Pai Mei, was walking down the road, contemplating whatever it is that a man of Pai Mei's infinite power contemplates – which is another way of saying "who knows?" – when a Shaolin monk appeared on the road, traveling in the opposite direction. As the monk and the priest crossed paths, Pai Mei, in a practically unfathomable display of generosity, gave the monk the slightest of nods. The nod was not returned.

Now, was it the intention of the Shaolin monk to insult Pai Mei? Or did he just fail to see the generous social gesture? The motives of the monk remain unknown. What is known were the consequences.

The next morning Pai Mei appeared at the Shaolin Temple and demanded of the Temple's head abbot that he offer Pai Mei his neck to repay the insult. The Abbot at first tried to console Pai Mei, only to find Pai Mei was inconsolable.

So began the massacre of the Shaolin Temple and all sixty of the monks inside at the fists of the White Lotus. And so began the legend of Pai Mei's five-point-palm-exploding-heart technique.

-- Bill, Kill Bill 2

This may sound trivial for some but then this was more than a saga for all of us. This quote is just to give an introduction, but read on below !

"The ultimate aim of the art of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the characters of its participants."
- Gichin Funakoshi

Two months ago when we met our master, we had no idea that she would be our bellwether guiding us using her "empty hands". Karate as a form of personal strength and to gain extra control over oneself was one of the sole motivation.

It all began at our "Dojo" (school) at Ananya this summer when we were training with kids for the Sunfeast 10K and during one of our breakfast discussions the idea of "Karate" cropped in as a cross training from a photographer who was capturing us at the volleyball matches with the kids. Who knew that she would become our Sensei who would lead all of us into this odyssey which seems like a journey in progress now.

We asked her, "onegaishimasu Sensei", Please teach me/us and that is how it all began. Tuesdays and Saturdays after the run we all diligently went through classes and practiced extensively during the last two weeks.

Today as America celebrated its independence we headed towards the first step, the Yellow Belt and all of us came out in flying colors.

What are you waiting for? You're faster than this. Don't think you are, know you are. Come on. Stop trying to hit me and hit me.
--Morpheus, The Matrix

This is what was that was going through during the endurance tests. Our Morpheous was Sensei Manjula under whom we've trained for the last two months. I could hear her chip in when I was about to give up during the endurance training and she occurred to me like Morpheous.

Though I just about reached the end, it was one heck of an endurance. Though I've been running all this while but I guess on the endurance aspect I've got a long long way to go and I'm sure as I graduate through these early days we all will come out much stronger.

Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. LEARN, MASTER AND ACHIEVE!!!

-- Bruce Lee

This just a baby step that we all have taken and I'm sure there is a long way to go.

Aregato to Sensei Manjula, Sensei Rani and my training mates Vinodh, Narmada and Banna !
Thanks to George, Suman and Shivamma for a wonderful breakfast and lunch. Ananya is more than a home to all of us.

I'll finally end it with an anonymous quote below:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”

(Pic Courtesy: Sensei Manjula)