Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Mi lista ( My list ) !!!!!

I just wanted to make a list of the places I have visited on my trekking and climbing expeditions.What else can be a better place for this list than my blog????

Bheemeshwari -- white water rafting, trek
Savanadurga -- rock climbing ( this onez my fav)
Kodachadri -- audacious trek
Yedakumeri -- railway track trek
Mukurthi -- great trek
Yana -- small trek
Madhugiri -- rock climbing
Shivanasamudra -- uncle trip :-) ( but surely a treat to the eyes)
Jog -- uncle trip :-) and a very small trek
Chitradurgada kallina kote -- uncle trip again
Shivagange -- small climb, the last part of the climb is truely wonderful
Antaragange -- small climb, beware lots of monkeys on the top
Nandi betta -- small climb
Basti betta -- very small climb
Kumara parvatha -- great trek

Siddarabetta -- small climb, a nice calm place excellent for contemplation
Chunchi -- nice water fall, good place to chill out in summers
Sangama, Mekedatu -- Of the two Sangama is the best, shallow water , nice place to play in water with friends

I guess this will be one post which would have to be edited time and again :-)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Me and my brother

I have a little brother, he is the best brother I could ask for. We are always making fun of each other or someone else….on the whole all the time we spend together we crack ourselves up. A few such moments here….

Yesterday, I stepped into the house and saw my brother watching television…
Me: Chittus, u r on study holidays remember!!!
Chittu: I just watched a nice english movie, u missed it!!
Me: o really which one was it?
Chittu: It’s a movie named “Cold Blooded”, let me tell you the story…..
Me: o ok …. (I sat down eager to listen)
Chittu: Hero is a serial killer
Hero meets heroine and they fall in love
Later heroine gets to know abt the hero
Heroine tells the hero that she is leaving him
Hero says, in that case “I will kill myself “, tries but then
Hero says he can’t kill himself, so he will kill the heroine
Heroine says “o u love me so much, letz get together again”
Me and my brother burst out laughing at this. We wondered what was on the script writer’s mind to write this one!!!!!

The other day, my brother comes to my room and says….
Chittu: I made a song for u
Me: ok….!!!! Bring it on
Chittu: phool sa chehara tera…
Kaliyo si muskan….blah blah blah
(now the imp part)
Height tera dekhake,
Weight tera dekhake
Hathi bhi hairan hi!!!!
Both of us burst into laughter!!!!! For the next few days whenever he saw me, he used to hum this song

The other day my brother was watching cricket, while I was lazing on the couch…
Chittu: Vikka if you were a cricketer what would u be, batsman or bowler?
Me: all rounder!!
Chittu: (little surprised by the answer)........

yeah yeah round round all round DUMMI!!!
My father who was around, burst out laughing at this, my mom too joined. There were rings of laughter in the house for the next few minutes….

Lotz more to go, but me tired of writing now….

Mukurthi emigrar ( trek ) !!!!

Me back with yet another story of my treks. This is THE greatest trek of my life till date, I owe a zillion thanks to Murli san for this one. This is a story I wrote way back in May 2005. In this writeup I have tried to copy the style of one of my friend Raghuvir, whoz a good writer and my trek friend too.

Whatz Murkurthi????

Mukurthi is the 4th highest peak in South India. It is one of peaks in Nilgiris. It’s located very close to Ooty and has lotz of wildlife and hence is a protected by government of India as Mukurthi National Park. The peak is abt 8000ft above sea level. The national park is spread across an area of 78.46 sq.kms. It’s named “Mukurthi” because, the hill ranges seem to take the shape of a sleeping baby’s face where Mukurthi forms the nose. Well this was for the technical details part...as I see it...it was "Nature as wild as it can be, and as beautiful as it can be".

Promise of adventure

Our( me, nirmala, ramya, murli, puvi, santosh, bhavik, arun, pooran) trek began with Big Bang Promise of adventure. It was around 4:00am and we were all( but for our driver) fast asleep in our vehicle. Our driver was the driving us thru the ghat section, where on side of the road was rock while the other was steep cliff. This was when our driver too took the luxury to doze off, and “!!!!!! B - Bang!!!!!!”, our vehicle had hit the rock. ..lucky we, the steering had turned towards the direction of the rock, else we would all have gone deep down the cliff...:-). Not to mention that down the cliff means, good bye world……..!!!!!!

Sree Ganesh

As our trek began, all that fell on my ears was just one sentence “You are lucky to be here”. Mr.Prabhu (the person who arranged for our trek) took the privilege of repeating this sentence over and over again. Like you don’t right now, at that point of time, even I did not understand what this sentence really meant.
It was raining cats and dogs, and so it was decided our vehicle would take us to western catchment-II, and from there we would start off to trek. Like anybody else would be, I was filled with over enthusiasm to trek. But because of the rain, the start was getting postponed, and I was getting impatient. At last we decided to trek in the rain, hurray!!!!!…I couldn’t have been happier….trek in the rain, is like, my long cherished dream come true. But as though somebody couldn’t bear my happiness, it stopped pouring after abt 30 mins we started the trek…..I was disappointed really really disappointed!!!

I met somebody

This is something I cannot miss at any cost. Know what, I met somebody, whom I really really admire. Ppl called him Kashi anna, if I were to give him a name…I would call him Mr.Nilgiris. Can you believe, he is the ONLY man who knows all of the forest? If he’s not with you, take my word, you are lost in Nilgiris. And getting lost in Nilgiris means serving tasty yourself to the wildlife there. To speak more abt him, he is 76 years old, and walks so fast, that none of us could keep pace with him!!!! Kashi anna was our guide for the rest of our trek.

Fishing Hut????

Our destination for the day was, “Mukurthi Fishing Hut”. To reach there, we had to walk thru deep jungles and some small streams. I was loving it all…I spent energy very generously, without the least hint that I would need very it much for the next day’s trek. After abt 6 hours of trek, we reached the hut. To speak the truth it was not hut, it was a big house in the midst of deep jungle, with all the facilities, like a solar light, fire places, bedrooms with attached bathrooms, overhead tank…etc etc etc.
I still don’t know why they called it a hut. And for the fishing part…..fishing was a BIG NO in the forest……so why call it “fishing hut”??? was one of my questions which went unanswered…..

Dawn and Gone

Next morning, must have been a beautiful morning, but I failed to notice it. We were to hurry, freshen up and start to the peak by 6:30am. Last night, I had heard a phrase over and over …it was “Tomorrow you will have a life time trek”. This time Mr.Sham (an advocate whose hobby is trekking) took the privilege to say this. This was another sentence which I did not understand at that time. We grabbed a quick breakfast, and gone we were to conquer the peak. At this point of time least did I know what was ahead…after an easy trek the previous day, I think I underestimated this one.

High High and High

For abt 1 hour we were climbing up and down the small hills in the forest, crossing streams and ridges and wading ourselves through the thickest of the forests. I loved it all. As I had just started thinking “Ahh this is easy” the terrain began to get steeper and steeper. There was only high now, I had started getting very exhausted. My body and soul were shouting “No more steeper pleaseeeee...” but ….it was getting steeper and steeper only. The sun shining right on my head was burning out my energy at the speed of light. I carried on….rather dragged on…

A Big Blow

Now we had reached a peak called Amarambalam..(hope I got the name right …if no please pardon my peanut brain). From here I could clearly see our destination of the day (Mukurthi Peak). Good Lord, it was as high and as steep as anything I could imagine. I went crazy at this sight….someone within me was shouting…” No vidi you cant climb that high.. if you try, you will die”. I tried not listening to this someone……but the shouts were getting louder and louder…I could no more hear the sounds for birds and breeze. I told Mr.Nilgiris….. “lets go back”…..he looked at me and smiled. That was the biggest blow every…..I feel deep into the ditch of shame. “How could I say that, I can’t be so coward….” Now I had to climb up the ditch of shame…so I stopped complaining. “I can do it, I can do it..” I kept on telling this to myself. By now we had reached another peak called “Chinna Mukruthi “.

Touched the Clouds

The closer we got the our destination( Mukurthi..thought u might have forgotten by now !!), the tougher it seemed to be reached. I cared abt nothing now, I had stopped admiring nature, stopped smelling fresh air, stopped enjoying the forest noises, all I did was just climb and climb and climb and climb. Later came the toughest, the steepest part ever…we had to climb this on fours. Though this was the steepest, I loved this part the most…The clouds touched passed through me. I was touching the clouds!!!!! I was so excited to be doing it.

By now we had done it. At last we reached the peak.

So long See You

After abt 15 mins on the peak, and one of friend engraving Motorola’s logo on the peak, we started off climbing down. This was an easy climb down.
We were back at the hut by 3:00pm. Grabbed a quick lunch and started again to trek out of the forest. “Good Bye Fishing hut, you couldn’t have been more comfortable a stay in this thick jungle”.

Dinner, a treat to the ears

No No, ears is not by mistake, I really mean it. We reached Ooty, and went to a royal restaurant called “Earl’s secret” for dinner. I don’t know how the food tasted, for I was so busy hearing the adventurous real life stories narrated by Mr.Sham. He spoke abt his treks, his wildest encounters with wild life and I was getting as excited as a baby could be at his “Red Riding Hood” bed time story. I loved his stories. He seemed like a hero to me, who had done all those wildest things which I always dream of doing.

A Treat in the darkness

As we started back the Bangalore, I could hardly sleep, maybe it was the tiredness naa….it was actually the fear that the driver would doze off again. So I decided to stay awake and keep an eye on the driver, my dear friend Puvi offered to stay awake with me. As we both chatted , we noticed a board saying we were driving thru Bandipur. My hopes went high, I wished I could see some wildlife. And know what I did see some !!!. Dozens of deer, stags, elephants etc…I was hoping for a tiger too…but maybe I was asking for a little too much…


Next morning we landed in Bangalore, all of us too happy, we had done Mukurthi!!!!!

Now I understand what the 2 statements meant…”You are lucky to be here”…yes indeed we were, for the trek was not open for everyone, we were in there with permissions obtained with utmost difficulty thanks to Mr.Prabhu and Murli san and the other phrase“ Life time trek” ……yes it surely was !!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Madhugiri Again

This onez Srikar sir's version of the Madhugiri trip. The way he describes is really very hilarious. Read on ppl ....and crack yourself up. For this writeup, I indicates "Srikar sir"

I thought I will share my version of the story too :-). Though its ages since we went by, here is my story...

Madhugiri, I finally have got the name right, I was always referring it to as Chandragiri for some strange reason.... I got to know of the trip from Vidya on Saturday. Our friend Yathish made sure I was there for the trek with the reminder calls. Thanks yaar.

Day started with lots of cursing on the alarm clock for going off so early :-). I hardly slept for 3 hours as I had a rather very late Saturday night.Sleep walked and got ready in next 15 mins. Picked a small backpack, some water and topies (caps). Knew it was going to a very hot day. Our friend Yathish gave a call to make sure I don’t miss the bus [or qualis] sleeping off at home:-).

Drove to office, Yathish was the first to be there. slowly the rest of the gang assembled. Our margadarshaks [Viditha, Smitha and Basak] came in the gaadi. Vidya came in with a big tank. Vijayendra came in with his Chimley kit [Cigarettes]. We all started the trip with a jai ganesh and a snap at office. The Gang [Amitava, Smitha, Srikar, Vidya, Viditha, Vijayendra and Yathish] started the journey.

First break was a spot, where our ancestral instincts [read as monkey instincts] got a recall and we all climbed trees :-) to kick start the adventure. Vijayendra was elected the King Monkey for going to the highest point. We all had a lovely breakfast, thanks Viditha...

We reached the Madhugiri hills after a good drive. The hill looked small [coz I saw only part of the hill]. We were discussing how high the hill could be. The max anyone guessed was 1200 ft. but later I learnt it was 3930 feet phew. Proof people http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/july292004/metro14.asp

Some of the people started their beauty care activities [layers and layers of some paste]. Some people had their dose of cigarettes. We started the trek, went through some interesting incidents on the trek. We thought that we reached the top on three occasions mid-way and fun part was, did not realize that we were at the top when we reached.

The fort is a small and interesting one, though its not well maintained still we had fun exploring the structures there. One sad thing I noticed is, people destroy our ancient structures by writing their names, love messages and stupid graffiti. People should respect these monuments and try to retain its actual state instead of spoiling this way. Sad that most people think otherwise.

While climbing up, we found it difficult. But coming down was easy and we guys managed to go down very fast.

The surprise element of the trip was the ease with which our Mountain Goat [Vijayendra] climbed the rocks, he even carried people along. bhai aap thoo chagayee... He was there to support anyone who was crawling LOL. Vidya did some good adventures enroute and showed she's a pro at trekking and climbing... She also got some interesting names enroute. The final one that got maximum ratings is Al Qaeda and Jayalalitha.

Viditha at most times was busy applying some creams, lots of stuff from US of A were also demonstrated :-) [goggles, watches, camera]. Need to mention here about the trails of the USA watch. Viditha lost her watch from US of A and luckily for us, got it back too :-). Her shoes from India had quite an adventure too. They decided they wanted to create their own route and tumbled down the hill.

Vijayendra was put on the mission to retrieve the shoes back. Rest of us were infact holding tightly to the bricks and poles around to make sure we dont join Viditha’s shoes and create more retrieval missions for Vijayendra :-)Yathish, was the silent warrior on the mission to complete the climb. He made sure that everyone was there for the trek and completed it too. True Manager in the making :-)

Amitava, was there on the mission to pollute the serene atmosphere there with his beedi breaks and he was supported well by another beediwala Vijayendra. Between them, they made sure they added some more nicotine clouds at Madhugiri. Hey Basak, btw the new cap was great...

Smitha, she was nicknamed mountain lamb. She surely owes Vijayendra a treat for the many rescue missions he carried out for her LOL.

I, realized that I need to get back to at least little bit of workout, was huffing and puffing all the way...

On the way back, Our driver Srinivas showed us how not to drive. He can get a wild card entry to car racing events. I was next to him and was ready to jump out of the window at any moment :-)

Thanks once again guys for the invite. We should do this more often. Let’s plan for another adventure...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kallina Kote

Me back again with another of my trip stories…this onez short….like the trip itself. I actually wrote this in September 2006…

This time it was Chitradurga….it all started on Friday evening….all of a sudden we started planning and for once things materialized…Till Saturday night we were just 5 ...ready for the trip…and then Bhavik’s friends joined …and we were 8 now…big group ahha….:-)

Sunday morning….my alarm went off…..and very reluctantly I dragged myself off my warm bed……and within an hour I found myself sitting in the vehicle with 7 other guys …and feeling really weird for being the only girl in the gang…L . Rest of travel I spent convincing myself...that its fine to be the only girl...the trip would still be enjoyable… and believe me it really was!!!!

Our first stop was the Vani Vilasa Sagara dam!!! This was a dam build during the reign of the queen named Vani Vilasa (1652 to 1682 AD…I guess I remember these dates right) hence the name Vani Vilasa sagara dam. This is also called Mari kanive dam. It’s built across the river Vedavathi. The dam does not have any guards and we took advantage of this and spent an hour wetting our feet in Vedavathi …

From there we started off towards the kote…meanwhile I was getting comfortable with the gang …….. On the way to the fort we saw lot of windmills…and the rest of the journey we discussed nothing but them ... The techies of the group started off with torque, rpm and other technical jargons…..while I was too busy just admiring the windmills…truly I was really amazed to see so many of them…and they were really huge too

Next stop was the kote……we had a quick look at the map and were off to the kindi…” Obavvana kindi”…meanwhile I took the pleasure to narrate the story of Obavva and Madakari Nayaka to a couple of guys of our gang…. On the way to kindi, Bhavik met his ancestral friend (a monkey). But I guess Bhavik was more scared than happy to see him... he quickly waved good bye to the friend with a packet of groundnuts. Thatz bad Bhavik…thatz no way to treat ur good old friends!!!!!!!

Meanwhile our gang was reduced to 7……”hey…where is the other guy??”?…someone shouted….!!! …”He is on phone with his girlfriend “some else answered… Now the gang started narrating this interesting story of last night. The gang had been to garbha last night and this guy had met a girl there…. (luckily …as per Brijesh) and within an hour and a half…the other side got serious...…and now our friend…was busy considering the option Starting from this moment till we went off coverage…this friend of ours was doing nothing but considering the option . I would say he was doing stress test on Razr

We reached the kindi….and now again I recited the story of the kindi…and we also enacted it.. I played the Obavva and the others played the soldiers of Hyder Ali.. But there was small change here…Obavva herself comes in thru the kindi and then kills the soldiers following her…not with the onake(pounding stick)..but with her leather bag

From here we moved on to reach the top of the fort…caught on to a wrong path, and reached a dead end…I was too determined to reach the top…so tried a little amateur rock climbing here…and also convinced others to do so ….but we reached no where so had to return without reaching the top. I was dead disappointed. Subbu proposed the other route to reach the top…but by now Mr. Sun had started his work on me…I had a terrible headache …..so we dropped the plan….and decided to return…

With me being a little ill…another interesting story surfaced. We can call it “The making of the doctor”. The gang narrated stories of the doctor with us…who was “actually” a s/w engineer and was nick named as doctor and he seemed to luv to be called so. Well guys this onez a hifi doctor, his prescription for my headache was “pray to God Almighty to cure u”!!! Thank you doctor

We were done with our trip to the fort…grabbed a quick lunch and started back to Bangalore. First half of this journey was dead and quite…everyone was sleeping. Our doctor seemed to beat everyone in this, he slept every minute of our journey . “Doctor, is this some mantra to good heath????”

After the first half …we all started off with a blast. It all started off with me describing my manager. From then on talked and talked and talked till we actually got off the vehicle….we talked abt managers, projects, movies, novels…literally everything on earth. It was great fun.. We had loud music playing in the cab…but none listening to it......and we were shouting off our lungs to make ourselves be heard …to each other . In the process I hope I haven’t damaged my neighbor’s eardrums…sorry Yusuf!!! All thru the trip there was one thing I really missed, my friend Arun’s hilarious stories…this time he did not seem to be in mood…….

Thus ended the trip…it was short and nice one…I am not sure of others…but truly I had a nice time.

Perdido( Lost !!!) en Kodachadri

This is again one of my stories which I wrote way back in January 2005 I guess

We the 14 audacious explorers start off on Friday night 10:00pm to Kodachadri. I knew only 7 of the 14. We had a brief introduction in the bus and off i sank peacefully into deep sleep not knowing that I would miss it for the next 2 days….

Next morning I woke up to see I was in Kollur. We quickly checked in into Mookambika hotel there, freshened up, grabbed a quick breakfast and no sooner checked out, all set to trek Kodachadri (!!!!). I must not forget to mention the menu of our breakfast here, it was 2 idlis and one vada.Though the menu seems insignificant at this point, you could wait to see how it gains its importance as the story proceeds.

Saturday - 9:00 am

2 kms from Mookambika hotel was an old gate with a big broad in the front of it. Our bus driver read out the board which had a mention of the guide fare for trek, and asked us to take a guide. We laughed at this idea of a trek with a guide, and I said, “Namge guide beda”. Happily we shot snaps at the gate and started off our trek, least expecting what was waiting ahead for us.

All 14 of us had a back pack each. I don’t want to miss out listing the back pack’s contents, you’ll see it all make sense later. Each back pack had 2 litres of water, some food, one bed sheet, one pair of clothes, a towel, a jacket and some basic necessary stuff. I bet it weighed no less than 3 kgs.

After 2 hrs of trek we hit a small milestone which read “Arisina Gundi falls”. To see the falls, we had to trek off our destination Kodachadri, and we decided to do it. I kept on trekking towards the falls, but kept on blabbering “ I don’t think so I want to see the falls” ( women’s instinct I guess ) . After a long trek to the falls we realized falls had dried off!!! Alas we had to trek back the entire route and get back on our path leading to Kodachadri.

Saturday 12:30 pm

At about 12:30 we came across a stream, with lots of insects and some leaches too. We chilled for some, had the lunch we carried and started to walk ahead again. I again don’t want to miss our lunch menu….don’t curse me for boring you with this…..trust me, it’ll all make sense later… We had 3 chapatti’s each with pickle, jam, chutney pudi and ghee. We also had some kayi obattu.

Our map read, after abt 3 hrs of trek on plane land ( I mean path not running down or climbing up), comes a steep climb…and then open some space and then the peak…..our destination. We had now trekked the plane land, and the steep up began, we went on till 2:30 pm and still the steep only seemed to get steeper with no signs of ending. My women’s instinct at work again….I started cribbing, “I think we are going round and round on the same path and not ahead”…but this only seemed to send rings of laughter across my trek team, but no panic…alas!!!

Saturday 3:30 pm

At about 3:30pm we hit the open space. Its actually not the open space we had to reach but I still prefer to call it open space …since that was the only place in the whole jungle where the trees did not form a canopy and I could see the sky. Cheers ran across the team, now we are near the peak…was what we thought.

Saturday 5:30 pm

At about 5:30pm someone reluctantly shouts out, “We are lost”. At last we realized, we were on the wrong track. We are lost in a thick jungle with no food and water left with us!!!! .. Some panicked and shouted, but luckily others stayed calm. We decided to walk ahead since the way ahead seemed to climb down the hill… Some opposed, they wanted to walk back, but behind us we had a long path, which we knew was tough and could not be covered before dark..so we voted to walk ahead . None of us knew what was ahead, we were just walking hoping to remain safe and hit some road.

Saturday 6:30 pm

At about 6:30pm we found a stream, it was a boon for us. We quickly filled our bottles, and continued trekking again. Least did we know we would be disappointed in no minutes. Ahead of us we saw the path we were on was leading us to another peak and not to any road. It was already dark, and we had only 2 torches with us. Everything indicated we were stuck in the jungle for the night. The idea scared everyone. Somebody noticed we were getting signal on our phones. We decide to call the police. We called the Bangalore police, local police, DFO (deputy forest officer) infact everyone we could think of, but lady luck had decided against us…we got no help. Everyone we called asked us, “Where in the jungle r u?” the question irritated us, if we knew that we wouldn’t be lost!!!!!

After 30 mins of panic and disappointment we got back to senses and decided “we HAVE to SPEND the night in the forest”. But the place we were at that time was highly unsafe, it was very close to water. We decided to trek back the path we had come and decided to trek till the batteries in our 2 torches last. We started our trek back on the path that brought us this far. The jungle seemed darker than darkness, with all kinds of scary sounds from every where. 28 eyes had to use the light of 2 torches to fight the darkness and walk ahead. We made rows (3 in each) held each others hands and also a stick to protect ourselves of the unknown enemies. The first row had the torch, they would shout out the obstacles ahead for the rows behind…the shouts sounded “LOG ahead”, “ditch on the left, keep right”, “ STONE ahead” “Watch out your head for the BRANCH” etc. We walked this way for 3 hrs!!!

Saturday 9:00 pm

At about 9:00 pm and we reached the open space I talked abt before. It was undoubtedly some great energy that helped up reach here. Lady luck was smiling on us now, it was almost full moon and hence lots of moon light. There could be no better place to spend the night …was an unanimous opinion. Bed sheets spread out, we made groups to keep watch while others sleep… using all possible strategies to keep wild animals away. We decided against camp fire…for we feared it might cause forest fire. Instead the group keeping watch was supposed to speak loudly to keep animals away.

Sunday 6:30 am

Luckily nothing unfortunate happened, and by 6:30am Sunday we were all ready to trek again. We started back, with some bare breakfast….which was left over jam, pickle and ghee… We walk down the same path we came by the previous day, but there was a difference, we were all so tired that no jokes flew, no comments, it was just 14 silent worn out trekkers…trekking..

Sunday 11 am

By 11:00am we reached the gate where we had started, luckily all 14 had made it, none of us had fallen prey to the tigers, bears and wild bulls the forest had in abundance. We came out of the gate and collapsed there on the road, waiting for our bus. Then, lying in front of the road I read out the board on the gate….Mookambika Wild Life Sanctuary.!!!!!!!..everyone smiled…

We had spent 26 hrs in that forest, trekking 17 hrs and 50 kms…with 2 idlis and 3 chapattis to fill our stomach’s… but still we were alive with minor injuries…which was really really lucky….

Back in the hotel, the police came down to enquire abt us, they were happy to see us safe. They told us that the forest officials had come down that night to the forest in search of us in a jeep, but could not find us… They said no localities had spent night in that jungle since it was really dangerous. The news of us doing it had spread faster that fire in Kollur, and as we walked in the city people looked at us like 14 heroes!!!!!

But now after all this, all 14 of us are extremely happy to have done it safe…it’s a real life adventure…we are really proud of…


Here I am back with yet another story of mine…..this one is abt one of our climbs…we did way back in april 2006

On a fine Saturday morning I was reading a magazine on the couch at Prodigy’s reception when Vijendra who was just walking by, asked me ”So which place are we attacking tomorrow???” And unconsciously I answered”Madhugiri”…... I don’t know why I said that…To tell the truth…I did not want to go there… ….. only because SUMMER is the wrong season…to do rock climbing….Later …and on the lunch table at the restaurant, we decided to go to Madhugiri the next day ……“ We” means – Myself, Smitha, Vidya, Basak, Vijendra, Yatish and Srikar , wow big group isn’t it???

I still despised the idea....but everyone else seemed to love it. At the later part of the day…when we were all set to go back to our nests…I realized I had left my trek shoes in my office…and climbing without them was IMPOSSIBLE…. We sat down at a telephone booth across the street and started thinking of ways to fix this problem. Solutions started pouring out…
Go to office and get them ---- ruled out since that meant 40 kms of travel
Buy a new pair now --- totally ruled out for those shoes cost more than 1000 bucks
The only solution I kept on proposing was to drop the plan to Madhugiri and go to some water park ----- but my idea was unanimously rejected
Everyone would get all the shoes they have and I could choose one of them. --- I was forced to accept this one

Still hating the idea I went home, called up 2 of friends to see if they had some trek shoes, and as expected they did not. By now all the roaming in the sun had started to show its colour, I had got a bad headache, and so I could think no more, I just sunk dead into my bed.

Next day did not really start with a good note, the alarm did not go off and I woke up 30 mins late. We (me and smitha) hurriedly freshened up and managed to leave by 6:30am. We picked Basak at Forum and decided to go to my office and get my shoes. By 8:00am we were at prodigy, all set to move, and I was still not happy abt the idea but at least I had my trek shoes with me J. It was a 2 hr journey and we had a gala time thru it. Here I was already traveling towards Madhugiri but still did not like the idea of rock climbing in summer. I then found a way to console myself, whenever I got reminded of the sun I applied a coat of sunscreen on to my face and arms.

By 11 am we reached Madhugiri and started climbing. Almost half way through smitha asked “What is this hill called??” and someone answered “Chandragiri” !!!!! people this is heights…at least know what you are climbing !!!!!

Madhugiri is the second largest monolithic rock of Karnataka the first one being Savandurga. Unlike Savandurga it has a fort on it. It is 3930 feet high and must say, gives a great view from its summit. The remains of the fort clearly indicate how strong it was. It has huge granaries, prisons, hide outs, shoot outs, dead disposal system etc. I spent some time using my little knowledge of forts to figure out some strange structures built on the fort. Some of the structures like a small opening leading to a deep dug hole in the hill are still a puzzle to me. The plan of the fort is surely an appreciable one. Making a map of the fort would surely be a very interesting task. On the whole, the idea was very clear, not to let the enemies get in easily.

The climb was an enjoyable one, especially since we had Vijendra who was all the time bent on looking out for the toughest way to reach the top. Thanks to him we had some great adventures thru the climb. As the day proceeded the sun was burning the hell out us. It seemed like he was challenging me and I accepted the challenge. I never missed a chance to compliment my skin with another coat of sunscreen. Every time we took a break, I added another coat. I put up a tough fight to Mr.Sun

The rock was pretty steep, but my workouts at gym came handy here, I was not getting tired J. Just when we was enjoying the climb as much, came the toughest part. This small stretch was very very very steep and slant and slippery. For some reason, I failed to analyze the toughness of this part and just started of on it only to get stuck half way thru. I was stuck really bad. I had no absolute grip, my muscles were all tightened and I could not move a inch. I was using all my energy and four limbs to stay clanged to the hill. I used my last weapon to save myself from this, “take off the shoes”. Though it was a brilliant idea, but throwing the shoes to a higher altitude was a bad one. One of the shoe slipped and went tumbling down the hill. Now I was totally out of ideas to help myself and had to call out for help. Vijendra who was later rightly named “The mountain goat” came to my rescue and helped me and my shoes out of the situation. A million thanks to him . But for him I would have become a fossil at that spot .

The hill seemed like it did not have a summit. Every time we felt we were at the summit, it revealed a little more of itself. Srikar went on to saying that…”maybe at the end we’ll realize we have infact climbed the Mount Everest”. But unfortunately his words did not come true. After abt 2 hrs of climb we reached the summit. Now I began to search for a way to climb down, for I did not want to take the way we had come up. It was too too steep to be climbed down. But I failed to find one. We had to climb down thru the steep.

Climbing down has never been easy for me and this one was the toughest. I began to use my best weapon “take off the shoes” right from the beginning. The design of our feet is so splendid that we get great grip with bare foot. But Mr.Sun now had to a chance to win, he started burning the rocks and I was to walk bare foot on them. I had no other go, since I get 0 grip with my shoes on. I somehow managed to climb down, with my feet burnt a little.

It did not take us long to climb down. Back at our vehicle, I thanked vidya immensely for bringing along 25lts of water, with which I soaked my face and my burning feet J. A quick lunch and we started of back to Bangalore. By now we were all very happy to have done a great climb and also we had got ourselves some interesting nick names ---
Vijendra was rightly named “Mountain Goat “for he walked thru the steepest parts of the hills as though it was his drawing room
Vidya was named “Jayalalitha” --- for reasons undisclosed L
Smitha was named “Mountain Lamb” – for many times she was found clinging on the to the “mountain goat” for support
Srikar was named “Sai baba” --- because of his attire
Basak was named “Lighter” – for all thru the climb he never missed a chance to smoke but still insisted that he was a “Light Smoker”
And myself, I was named “ Sunscreen” --- now u know why…..

I know Mr.Sun would disagree to this, but I still say that I won the fight with him. You see I am back with no sun burns !!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Salte !!! ( I jumped !!!!)

This is one of my stories written long time ago, to be precise May 20th 2005 was when I wrote this one…

I have something every exciting to share, last Sunday I went bungee jumping...and had one of best experiences of my life.

It was at a place called palace grounds in Bangalore, I went there accompanied by 6 of my colleagues.

As we entered the gates I saw a huge crane and a small trolley tied to it. To that trolley was a diving board attached. Excited as I was already I got over excited now,” We need to jump from that high …thatz too cool…” I shouted!!!!!!

After a long wait in the queue, it was my turn. Over excited I got dressed for the jump. A couple of helpers there tied my legs to a rope and asked me to step on to the trolley. Along with me on the trolley was another guy, he was to help me jump!!!!

The trolley started moving up (140 ft above the ground was our destination) and now suddenly came in a new emotion, I was getting very very very scared...

After a while the trolley stopped moving, we had reached the top!!! Sheepishly I peeped down, everyone below looked so tiny. I could faintly see my friends below, believe me it’s not a nice view…

All my excitement of jumping had faded, I started to hate the idea of jumping from there. I turned around to the guy standing with me and I asked "Have any accidents happened here???"

He smiled… turned me around, bent towards me and whispered..."No….. don't worry".

Now it was time for me to jump…

He whispered “Move ahead” I ignored his words...
I was already on the edge of the board… even an inch ahead meant straight into thin air. I stood still, unable to believe that I was there on top doing the craziest thing ever...How could I have chosen to do this…I wondered!!!

I was clenching to the rods on either sides of me, it felt I was clenching to dear life...he slowly freed my hands. He then asked me to stretch them out, perpendicular to my body. With my brain going void, I choose to obey him. All this time I kept on whispering “I don't want to do this”...”I really don't want to do this...” “Somebody listen please I don’t want to do this”

Now I was standing at the edge of the diving board, 140 ft above the ground and holding nothing at all!!!!!! I peeped down again..and that very moment my heart stopped pounding, I started to feel giddy. Right then, the guy forced my head up and now I was looking straight into the sky and feeling little better.

He slowly whispered ..."breathe in"...I obeyed...
He whispered again..."breathe out"...and while I was just doing so, I felt two hands touch me on my back. It was a very gentle touch and I was off in the air, heading straight to the ground in great speed, with my legs pointing straight to the sky…

It took me a few seconds to realize what had just happened, I had jumped!!! I screamed, I screamed like hell.. I could not feel my heart doing anything at all...it had stopped, yes, it had really stopped!!!!! I was sure I was dead…

While on ground, I had imagined the jump would be just a second's affair, but now it seemed to never end. I was going down and down and down and down and down and down ……

When I was just about to smash my head to the ground, I felt the rope on my legs tightening, and then came a big jerk and I was going up again. I could no more feel the rope on my legs. Felt like I was left in the air to fall down and perish.

While I was being tossed up, I could see the rope going down...I grabbed on to the rope, like I was grabbing my dear life. The rope was slipping out of my hands in great speed, it was hurting me. I then remembered the instructions I got before the jump.. “Don’t hold on to anything.. or u'll get hurt". I let go the rope and also all hopes..

Now I was too exhausted……to think or feel anything at all

I was being tossed up and down in the air...with great speed and from great height...too tired to think or scream. I was left no choice but to be tossed...

The jump had blew off the band holding my hair and my hair fell loose on to my face. I could feel it silky brushing thru my cheeks. I closed my eyes. Hanging in the air upside down I was swinging sideways and up and down.

A couple of times I opened my eyes. Below me I could see people looking up to me but I could barely recognize anybody, I closed my eyes and sunk back again to the scared trance.

After some such swings, I was hanging there in the air like a dead animal .The rope had stopped tossing me more, someone grabbed my hand and pulled me down, and the jump was over...!!!!!!!

It was an amazing experience... I had done it I had JUMPED…
Five seconds after the jump, I was up on my feet....in very good shape and over excited as usual and wanting to do this all over again....!!!!!

In fact, all of us wanted to do the jump again......we ran to the ticket counter, it was closed for the day L

I must admit, it was the best experience of fear I ever had...

There is also a tragic angle to the story, by the time it was my turn to jump, it was very dark, and the pictures of me jumping have not come well. L

Anyways, check out the snaps, the snap numbered 59 shows me jumping…J


Atlast I created my blog, after my dear friend vidya asking me to do it a zillion times :-)