Tuesday, May 27, 2008

cALcUtTa N siKkiM !!

April 30 2008, I started from the Island city - Singapore, bidding farewell to my client after a stint of 20 months with the world's leading bank to my new role. My Boss wanted the job transition to happen in a cool manner and so he send me packing for a much awaited break in my career - Vacation. From May 1 - May 5 my calendar pointed to - Calcutta and Sikkim. After a span of almost an year I met my bro - Vijay in Calcutta airport with his friend Manoj !! Starting with - Rasagulla Vs Maggi, to Hot & Humid Vs Cold N Windy -Two states had extreme differnces but 5 days were extreme fun with a good team (R 2 L Sitting) - Raj Swayne, Srikanth, Pradeep, My Bro - Vijay, Manoj (Standing) Me, Surya Kanth alias Surya Bulbs , Hari Prasad Reddy, Sartak Mohanty.

May 1 - Traveling is fun - When you are in Vacation !! I wanted to roam Calcutta as I won't get a chance to do it for quite some time, so my bro and his friend showed me the Beautiful Calcutta to me. Calcutta and beauty - What ?? It doesn't go hand in hand u say ? I beg to differ as I have seen a lot of beauties around Calcutta in Sarees, Jeans and all those dresses you would love to see the "Thithli's" to wear - I don't complain as they wear those kinds, cos of the sweltering heat n nothing else :) God Bless them !! We started our city tour with - Howrah Bridge !! It was a wonderful site in the morning !! Then we headed towards "Kali" temple - Blessing is what you expect from any temple but beware of the money minded pujari's and agents there - you will be allowed to take a good look of "GOD" only if you are paying them, otherwise you will be shoved away abruptly making way for the well paid, so called "DEVOTEES". Next pit stop of our trip was in Victoria Memorial hall and it was very good place for photography. Then we went to Vivekananda Mutt & we were off to Eden gardens - Our own Lords ground. It was a good day ended with a nice Chicken Roll in a street shop - It was a good and I could compare it with Iranian roll I ate in Singapore for 10 times its cost but the taste were almost same !! Then we boarded the bus for the trip to Siliguri (14hrs).

- John Muir

May 2 - We crossed the border to enter to the neighbouring state in North - SIKKIM - from what we heard from the cab walas - She is getting lot of benefits/sanctions from government for they are bordering CHINA. We hired a agent for the package which is normally covered in 5 days, Yes we covered 2500+ kms in 3 days - Siliguri to Gangtok(Capital of Sikkim) to Tsongo Lake to Nathula Pass by passed to Baba Mandir to Darjeeling to Siliguri to Darjeeling Mail to Calcutta. It was a different feeling alltogether as it was completely alien in many ways from what I was seeing for the last 2 nights in calcutta. In Calcutta I talked only about gals where as in Sikkim both sex are very beautiful - Face of Sikkimese are combi of Mangols, Chinese, and Nepalese - Good Cocktail Effect !! After we traveled for the morning session we reached our hotel in the evening. Then we went on to see the local monasteries, gardens, a Cable car ride in a windy climate covering the scenic hills of the city.
After which we had the best of the dinner with a famous Cherry Brandy with IPL match in the TV. We went for a walk in city side (M.G Road) of Gangtok, which was totally different from most of the hill stations I have been too - I heard it got refurbished with government funding for uplifting tourism. I must say - I liked it very much and we had INDIAN sweets. I happened to meet some Tamil tourist there cos of our Lallu's new tourist scheme for 10k covering Erode - Calcutta - Gangtok - Darjeeling - Erode.

May 3 - I would recommend everyone to explore North Sikkim more than any part of Sikkim to see the beauty of the God's Creation !! One of the glimpses is what we got in this trip - TSONGO Lake and it made me to make sure I will visit North Sikkim once again and also to other parts of North East INDIA in coming years - hopefully with my gal :) TSONGO Lake is breathtakingly beautiful - When you see it live some mystic feeling will pass through us and u will feel the peace covering yourself like ice covering the mountain strips all over !! You got to be there to believe it !! On the way we saw Mandagini water falls.
We hired a ice boots and then we bypassed Nathulla Pass to reach Baba Mandir - An INDIAN Army officer who even after his death served for us by coming in the dreams of the jawans was worshipped here in this temple. The best day of the trip ended with another long travel to Darjeeling and very good food and hospitality - Lodge in charge called us thrice to make sure of our SAFE journey and he even prepared us the local delicacies to induce the taste buds to increase the calories.

May 4 - We were asked to wake up as early as 3 'o' clock for to witness the famed "Sun Rise" in Tiger Hill of Darjeeling and we did obliged to the alarms for the first time in a long time !! We then climbed the Tiger Hill in sumo to find the best spot to see the transformation of dark space in to YELLOW BLANKET, we had a unfavorable mist cover that day to spoil the efforts of early wake up - but ended up with a good photo session of the gang with SUN in the background !! Then we freshened up ourselves in the hotel to start the last day of sight seeing - like Rock Garden, monastery, parks and then a shopping in Darjeeling. I would not recommend Darjeeling for my friends as I felt it as a chilly place with more crowd and less place to visit. After another nice meal in the same hotel we packed our bags in Tavera to catch our train in New Jalpai Guri (NJP). Tickets were not confirmed till 2 hrs before our departure. Luckily we got all tickets confirmed to catch a nice sleep b4 we arrived at Calcutta for my Bro and his team to attend the training.
May 5 - Calcutta was there to be explored still, so after daily rituals and packaging done, I went to CITY plaza. Ate Kachori and then went to watch a movie - IRON MAN. Took a taxi and moved to my Bro's Wipro office to say final Bye Bye to him and Calcutta - b4 taking a flight to Chennai. I need to explore these beautiful states of INDIA once again - Kyunki Hey DIL MAANGE MORE !!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

fAsT n FuRiOuS - F1 sEpAnG !!

I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people's accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man's failures. ~Earl Warren

Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrr then Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz then Vrrrrrrrrrrrrrr then Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz - It was/is/will be the rhythm of F1 !! I heard it with my Dad and not so sport freak my mom along with friends in the Grand Stand of Sepang, F1 circuit - Malaysia. My first live race of any motor sport event and I was a very much a satisfied person after the race. Main reason for my contentment were few - The Race itself, The Ticket - Way I got it and the amount for what I got it, and last but the best reason was it fueled my Photographic passion. It was a great chance to make my theoretical knowledge n less tried "Panning*" shots to kind of "I'm getting There" level !! I saw the world there - irrespective of color, creed, religion to enjoy the beauty of sport - hail it as long it continues to bring the UNITY !!

The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.

* Panning a camera results in a motion similar to that of someone shaking their head "no".
PS : My Best F1 snaps Panning Shot is here - > F1 - SHOTS

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

sUfFeR nOw !!

I hated every minute of TRAINING, but I said DON'T QUIT !!

Suffer NOW & Live the rest of the LIFE AS A CHAMPION !!

- Muhammad Ali, Boxer

Practice - Yes if anybody is ready to come out of the "Comfort Zone" and if they are ready to work towards their goal then VICTORY is inevitable or unstoppable. One such example from our own land in sports field is - The Legend & The Little Master - Sachin Tendulkar !! According to my limited knowledge very few sports persons line up this list like - My All time favourite player -Michael Jordan (Basket Ball), Pete Sampras(Tennis), Vishwanathan Anand(Chess), Muhammad Ali(Boxer), they SUFFERED during their prime age in nets/court to make their name stand strong in the HISTORY when their friends were ENJOYING. An experienced person is what every blue chip company is looking for as any other Fortune 500 companies - If we look at the reason why - its their practice in the field they are working in, yes it gives the experience to be where they are but to reach where every body dreams to - I/We have to SUFFER NOW by practicing hard for to CONQUER BATTLES in the FUTURE, I'm ready to suffer now for the battle ahead in my new role and other endeavors in future - Wish Me Luck friends !!

PS : The diver in the photo might look like going down but once he splits open the sea he will come up to show the life's philosophy - One Who is DOWN will COME UP to scale New peak & vice versa happens if we are not PRACTISING !!