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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

this is just the continuation of the previous post "Episode 1"...

Day One:

Eventhough lot of people felt sleepy, since we reached the house at Magundi at 6:30am and didnt have proper sleep last night, none was interested to have a nap. On seeing the Greenery around the house, everyone started shooting. not with the gun, but with their Cameras, at all the places around the house, like backyard, swing, small hut, Tree house and didn't leave the wooden elephant statue in the hall too. Then we found Frisbee disc from the kit which the CAPTURE guys has got for the trip. Thiagarajan n Pradeep started playing in the path in-front of the house. I haven't touched Frisbee disc before. so, to be in safe side, i got N73 from Thiagarajan. Then what, Click Click Click.. After a long time i hear that sound from camera instead from computer mouse :) . On seeing these two playing, everyone got inspired and joined the game. So, we went to the large open space in-front the house. We divided into two groups and the fun began. The max people of the other group were of Tech Team. And unfortunately, Anbu came into our group n he was the only Tech Team guy in our group. So, most of the throws from the other group ended in Anbu's hands. That too the throws from Swathi n Shruthi always went into Anbu's hands. When any of these two takes the disc in their hands to throw, we all start chanting Anbu's Name, and surprisingly, all the throws went to anbu ONLY. After an hour of fun, we heard someone saying "Breakfast is ready". The next moment, half the crowd were at the dining hall. And i think by this time you would have guessed who would be the first person.. its me, ha ha ha... We had a good Breakfast with hot coffee/tea. While we're having breakfast, parry told that since there is only two raft (at max only twelve people can go) we have to go in two batches and the first batch will start right after the breakfast n the second batch after the lunch.

Awesome White Water Rafting Experience:

Thiagarajan, Pradeep n Me opted for the first batch along with seven other members ( we decided to go as ten in one batch and eleven in the other). While we were getting ready for the rafting, the second batch members started playing cricket. we started in the bus and stopped at the main gate waiting for the raft to come. They said that they will be bringing the rafts in a jeep and the bus will follow them to the starting point which is around 11 km from here. so everyone was predicting that the vehicle which come next will be the raft-vehicle. In the meanwhile, pradeep, utilized golden oppurtunity to sleep and slept in the bus and we got down and started another photo session there. (wherever we find time, we start clicking). So finally after almost half-an-hour wait, the jeep carrying the rafts arrived and we followed that jeep to the starting point.

Once we reached the starting point, we all got down from the bus and asked not to carry any valuables with us during the ride. those who had their camera and mobile left them in the bus and went near the jeep. The trainer then told that we need to carry those two rafts to the banks of the river which is around 100m from the road. Even tough it was not heavy, it needs at least six people to lift that to the banks. Finally, the most awaited moment was just minutes away from us. We were given a life-jacket , a helmet and a paddle. On wearing this we looked like people jumped out from the Halo game. Of the Eleven people there, only Parry and Sowmya had previous experience of rafting. We divided ourself into two groups, 6 members in one raft and 5 members plus one CAPTURE guy in the other. Each raft had one trainer taking care of that raft and most importantly the 6 members in that raft. Before stepping into the river on raft, One of the trainer gave instruction of how and where to sit on the raft, hot to hold the life-line rope so that you wont fall into the river and how to row forward, backward, etc. Once this 5 minutes session about the raft and the procedure to be followed is over, we jumped into the raft and went into the river. I was in the first raft with Parry and Thiagarajan in the front, pradeep n me right behind them , shruthi n sowmya behind us and the trainer at the last controlling the direction of the raft and giving instructions.

The first thing that the trainer told us was "This is a team event. Co-ordination and synchronization is very very important in this". So, he will be giving the instructions to do a forward stroke, backward stroke, stop rowing, right forward left backward ( those poeple sitting right to him should do forward stroke and those at his left should do backward stroke. basically to steer the raft leftside), etc (all the permutations and combinations of these different things)... but the most important thing here is, whatever the stroke may be, we have to do a stroke on each count of the leader. Our leader here was parry. so on hearing each count from him, we do the stroke, just to maintain the sync. Wow... this is the real Team Event... After his instructions we started rowing. After a minute of rowing, the first rapid ( A rapid is a section of a river where the river bed has a relatively steep gradient causing an increase in water flow and turbulence) was in our sight. So we charged ourself towards that rapid just like a tiger attacking its prey. we're right on target and the water splashed on us. Wonderful experience. and then we were in the calm section of the river where there was literally no rapids. Our Trainer told that we have to hold the life-line rope when we are not rowing as that rope is so important that if by chance we fall into the river, we can get hold of that rope so that we wont go away from the raft and its dangerous to get into water. And he also added that if by chance we fall into the river and are not holding that life-line rope, because of the water current we would move away from the raft where we cant reach that person by our hands. He said that in that case, there's a rope bag, where there is a long rope. so even if we move far away from the raft, he would throw that rope towards us so that we can get hold of that firmly and he'll be able to pull us towards the raft and rescues us.
After all the explanations on how dangerous it is to get into river, we asked whether we can, by any chance, get into the water. He immediately said "everyone can jump into the water now". We all were shocked. Everyone had doubt that he's serious or jus kidding. We again asked it. He said "you can". the next moment everyone jumped into the water. And the catch here is only me and shruthi know swimming. so, we were able to move away from the raft and enjoyed the freezing waterride. rest of them holded the life-line rope so that they wont go away from the raft. Everyone were floating in the water. Thanks to the life-jacket. After 10 mins of fun in the water, we're back on the raft (the fact is we couldnt get into the raft by ourself. He literally pulled everyone onto the raft). After this refreshing experience, we targeted the next rapid. and after sometime we faced another rapid too. After this 10 km journey in raft, our trainer told that we're just a km away from our destination ie the house. all of us were discussing about our experience by jumping into the water. when we were discussing about it, our trainer told that "you all can jump into water again now". this time no one asked any question further to him. the next moment all were in the water. Eventhough i asked thiagarajan n sowmya to leave the life-line rope and try swimming or atleast float on water without holdin anything, they refused that time. this time, being the last opportunity, they dared to leave the rope and enjoyed freely floating in water. After few minutes, me and thiagarajan went far away from the raft and thiagrajan said he's not able to come back on his own. so he holded on to my life-jacket and i pulled him to the raft. that was an spectacular experience for both of us. to reach the house, we need to take a hard "V" turn against the flow of the river. Somehow, we all rowed hardly together and reached our destination. from that bank, the house was about 10 mins walk. and we need to carry the raft few meters into the bank of the river. The river bank was so muddy, my legs was completely into the mud. wonderful experience for me and my shoes too (which was completely filled with mud) :)..
And since we all were completely wet, we couldnt capture those wonderful moments into pictures. :(

Saturday, October 6, 2007

This post is about my trip to chickmangalur during my last weekend.

Initial Plan:

This trip was planned and organized by the TECH Team of our Oracle Business Accelerator Group. Its was a part of their Team Outing for this Quarter. So, the entire plan was made by them. Especially, this was an initiative taken by one of the TECH Team Manager, Parikshit Khisty ( we call him Parry). So, my thanks to him for giving us this wonderful oppurtunity. This was planned one month before by him. The plan details were: Two Days trip ( Starting by friday night and Back on Sunday night) which includes White Water Rafting, Night stay in Tent and Trekking... The plan is wonderful.. isn't it??? and to add to that, the cost of this entire trip was Rs. 2800. wow... this plan was so nice that i dont want to miss this great opportunity. This plan is arranged with one of the adventure trip organizing group called "CAPTURE"... One week before the trip, we got a registration form from CAPTURE along with the Do's and Dont's while this trip and what all we should have with us for this trip ( a pack-list)... We all got ourself ready with those things mentioned in the pack-list in advance. So all set for the trip on Friday... ready for rockin...

Travel to Chickmangalur:

Initially this trip was planned for only 18 members... but due to the over-whelming response, on saturday evening we had the count of 21 members ready for the trip. since it was planned for 18 members, the CAPTURE guys arranged for a Mini-Bus with a capacity of 19. so, the last two to board the bus didnt have seat for them.. and it was Parry and Simon... Oh.. forgot to mention the names of the members for this trip.. here it is, in alphabetical order... Abhishek, Adithya, Anand, Ananth, Anbu, Asit, Bhanu Singh, Jyothi, Hemanth, Mallikarjun, Parikshit, Pradeep, Pralin,Prithvi, Ritesh, Me, Simon, Shruthi, Sowmya, Swathi n Thiagarajan.

We started from our office at 9:30pm ( actually we were asked to be ready at 8:30pm to start). The enjoyment started right from the driver started the engine... The engine sound was nothing when compared to the Chorus-sound we made as soon as we started moving... And that Friday was an working day.. so many of us were working till that time and didn't have dinner. So we stopped at a Dhaba called "Chandu Dhaba" at around 11pm.. They were about to close. Luckily we managed to convince the dhaba guys to prepare some roti's ( i think the count was around 60), few channa masala's and chicken masala's. And even though i already had lunch, i couldnt resist myself by not having those roti's there.. the same with all those people who already had dinner.. almost everyone had dinner twice that night.

After that OK dinner, we continued our travel... for about another hour we all were making comments on one another and having fun... One by one every fell asleep.. but not the three people who were sitting at the last row, for whom not sleeping at night is usual... Its none other than the Thiagarajan, Pradeep and Me, The Three DBA's in the trip ( actually we were four, Anand is another DBA in the trip, but he's of different kind.. he use to come early in the morning around 7'O Clock.. so obviously he slept soon).. We three were chatting all night... And we stopped in a road-side Tea shop, jus for break, at around 2:30am. We all got down and had tea. The cost of that tea was Rs. 2, but it was far better than the tea we get in our cafeteria for Rs. 5... So we all enjoyed that good tea after long time, that too at 2:30am.. even though its usual for we DBA's to have tea at midnight, it was a rare experience for the rest.

That was just a 10 min break. Then everyone continued what they were doing before the break, nothing other than sleeping and we 3 continued our chatting. And Since the music system was turned-off in the Bus, Thiagarajan played some pleasant songs with his Nokia N-73. It was very pleasant to listen to those Tamil songs after long time and chat something not related to daily office work... everything was going fine till we had 2 hour journey left to reach our destination. wondering what went wrong!!!!!! nothing went wrong.. we just experienced road-rafting.. thats all.. It was so bad that we couldnt see any smooth surface which we call as "Road". And it was made worse by the recent rains. It was drizzling when we were travelling. Pradeep was trying to sleep atleast for sometime, till we reached Chickmangalur. And the place where we're going to stay is Magundi, around one hour journey from chickmangalur. So, we had a second Tea session around 4:30am at chickmangalur. And by the time we reached chickmangalur, the drizzles has transformed to a Rain Drops.

From Chickmangalur onwards, we could able to find something called "Road" and we can even call it as "smooth road"... so, finally Pradeep got chance to sleep... he had around half-an-hour sleep.. then we woke him to see the beautiful sceneries at the road side... Wonderful morning time, lot of tall trees covered with Mists. it was so pleasant to our eyes, which gets to see something other that computer monitor. So, finally we reached our place at around 6:30 am.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Let me begin the Blog with the Quotes of Jawaharlal Nehru .. "We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."

There are lot of people i have met, who always likes to stay at home, not willing to hang out with friends and not interested in traveling... I'm not of that kind.. I always like adventures. Adventures of any sort. And i still remember a line i studied in my 12th Standard....

"Inconvenience is an Adventure, rightly considered"

I always keep that in my mind... inconvenience is part of our daily life and we cant avoid it... it just conquers us right from the first thing we do when our day starts, like, i wait in the bus-stop for more than half-an-hour for just 10 mins journey to office. And the worst part in that is, till then there will be lot of Auto-rickshaws passing without passengers. After waiting for half-an-hour, i'll decide to go by auto. From that moment, i wont find any empty autos. Finally, i'll end up going by walk to my Office. But lot of new events and experiences happen in that 45 mins walk to my office.

And working in an IT industry, its always the routine life. we spend two-third of our day in work and remaining one-third in sleep. Everyday doing the same things again n again and also in the same order. And this makes life a very boring ... the only way to make life interesting is by doing something adventurous with our friends, thereby keeping us always energetic and fresh. I accept that we experience lot of new adventures at our work, but these are all small adventures. The one way to experience adventures which stays with us forever is by traveling.

Travel may be a lonely journey to your home-town or a tour to some far-away places with friends. We could meet lot of new people during our journey and also will get to know more about the people with whom you travel. and always get lot of adventures, even while planning for the journey.

Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

And the wonderful thing about travel with friends is, it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind.

I dedicate this blog just to share my travel experiences, with few tips for safe, enjoyable and adventurous travel.