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Monday, July 31, 2017

A trip without any agenda --Jidar chala rasta

My friend Visu was traveling to Mysore with his mother to his sisters place and he calls me at the last moment and he calls me to come over to Mysore so that we can go on a long drive into the nature. So I pack my bags and go to Mysore and we leave the city after breakfast and coffee at his sister’s place. The original plan was to go the Nagarhole forest at Kutta side but then on checking up we were told that the solitary Jungle Lodges jeep safari on that side has been stopped because of monsoon rains and hence we decided to go to Kabini backwaters side and try our luck as walking customer at JLR Kabini. As luck would favor we were able to get accommodation for 2 nights at JLR Kabini and then first two safari’s we did not see any predators but sighted other animals such as Elephants, deers, langurs and few birds.

Third safari also was dull for about an hour for the forest was still with no movements of animals being heard. We then reached a place from where we could see a shape of an elephant far off nearly a mile away and on zooming in to check we saw that it was another safari vehicle parked with all photographers taking images of an animal on the tree and so off we went at a fast pace to that spot and to our amazement saw the animal in question was indeed the Black Panther on the tree branch. We were able to get few decent pictures of the same. Now the other vehicle while maneuvering for better angle of the Black Panther broke down as the clutch wire got cut and the drama began there with people trying to start the vehicle so that they can go back to the resort, but then even after pushing the vehicle downhill to start it would not start. As the safari timing was nearing closing time it was decided to abandon the vehicle there itself and all the guests from that vehicle transferred to our vehicle and we drove back… 17 persons in the jeep which normally carries 8 …. Black panther sighting had pacified most of the guest so all adjusted by traveling standing J. Read here about my earlier sighting of this beautiful animal Here

Fourth safari on the day out check out we were quite lucky to spot the sub adult male tiger that had just separated from its mother and female sibling. Two other vehicles crossed us and went ahead of the waterhole without any pause and we also similarly were moving out and i noticed yellow mushrooms. Our vehicle had stopped to talk to the forest department official who had come the opposite way and after he had left i asked our driver to reverse so that i could take images of the mushrooms. After few moments we started moving out and suddenly our driver stops and says Tiger tiger... and we see this magnificent animal lying down in the open raising its head now and then.

After checking out from JLR Kabini we drove down to Masinagudi and stayed at Glanton resort which is just before Sigur bridge while you get down the Kalhati road from Ooty. The high light of this place was that we had a huge tusker just in front of the room. From Masinagudi we drove back towards Mysore and while we reached Bandipur we decided to spend one night at JLR Bandipur. As this is off season there we were able to get 25% discount and we were the only guest at the resort and during the Safari time we met another regular who had just checked in… so the entire resort had just three of us for the night. 

Both the safari’s we had no sighting of the tigers or leopards however we were able to see Spot bellied eagle owl.. an extremely rare bird and is considered equivalent to 10 tiger sighting, wolf snake and elephant right on top of the mountain along with its calf.

Trip without any agenda ended on 28th afternoon and my friend dropped me off at the Railway station for me to catch the Shatabdi Express back to Chennai.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Glimpses of ordinary people - Fish seller

Be it any city in India you can find scores of vendors pushing cycle carts and selling various items like vegetables, fruits, plastic vessels, fish and so forth earning a living .

 Here is an image of fish seller who is carting the fish on a two wheeler.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kabini Diaries - National bird Peacock

During the recent visit to Kabini during the second week of July we did see quite a lot peacocks some dancing with their brightly colored feathers spread. However i found this Image of the Peacock high up on the tree branch showing of its extremely long feathers very beautiful

Hope you guys liked the Image

Monday, July 17, 2017

Burning Paan

Traditionally in South India betel leaves, areca nut, coconut, turmeric and flowers are given to females on most auspicious occasion and is known as tambulam During weddings this given to both males and females in decorative carry bags when the guests leave the marriage hall. Chewing the combination of betel leaves, areca nut and lime (Chunna) is supposed to help digestion after heavy meals and you can see in most South Indian weddings a plate with these ingredients are place outside the dining hall for the guest. This combination is generally chewed and swallowed.

In North India it is also consumed and is known as Paan and various combinations are eaten. Saada paan that just has betel leaves, areca nut and lime, Meetha paan with additional ingredients such as sweetener and so forth, or with tobacco. Normally the paan with tobacco is chewed and then spat out… you can see splotches of red markings on roads, walls, railway platforms etc in most Indian cities on account of these.  Each of these paan shops try to bring out unique paans with assorted ingredients so as to catch fancy of the consumer and one such paan is the burning Paan. I came across this video about this paan and am sharing this with you all. It is all in the taste of the consumer and I find it quite surprising that such things happen in spite of the health hazards. Enjoy the Burning Paan :)

Adaptation of a book into screenplay


I have always have been an avid reader right from my younger days and have seen quite a few Hollywood movies based on those books. Most movies have been extremely well adapted from the book and as I had read them it was a pleasure to watch the scene unfold in visuals before my eyes. Couple of names of these books crop up in my mind as I write this blog for Indispire as examples

Guns of Navarone a fiction written by Alistair Maclean : A second world war story where a small team of soldiers are inserted behind German occupied Greece to blow up guns that guard the coast so that allied invasion can take place.I read this book long before I saw this movie and re-read the same after seeing the movie . The movie did do justice to the story told in the book.

The Day of the Jackal a thriller written by Frederick Forsyth a story of an assassin who has been contracted by dissent French paramilitary force OAS to kill the then French President Charles de Gaulle . Truly a gripping movie even if you have not read the book. Again the adaption to screenplay is faultless.

Well there are others such as Where Eagles Dare, Puppet on a chain, Way to Dusty death, Angels& Demons, Da Vinci Code, Exodus, The Godfather, Absolute Power, The Count of Monte Cristo, Sherlock Holmes, Bourne Series and lot more that I have read and seen too. As usual in Hollywood the adaptation of the books into screenplay is well done with little changes unlike in Indian film industry where the screenplay is tweaked to cater to our local population thereby changing the entire meaning of the story as written.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Do you believe in Ghosts and do they exists

A lively discussion at home regarding the final rites as per Hindu culture to be done in case of death of the family member and the reason given was that these rituals are conducted so that the soul of the departed is appeased and proceed to heaven. In other words if no rituals are done, then the soul is left wandering as a ghost on this earth forever. Does this mean the persons of other religions who do not have any specific rituals when they die remain in this universe in form of a ghost???

If you do believe in ghosts/ spirits you are not alone in this world since millions of people do believe in them, in terms of percentages of the population it could be in the regions of 30-40% which is pretty high considering the fact that there has been no scientific evidence of the spirit or the ghost. Now why do people believe in them in spite of no proofs is that our fear of our own mortality plays an important role in belief in ghosts. Most of us desperately want to believe in life after death – and the idea of ghosts seems to offer support for such an idea. The belief offers many people comfort — who doesn't want to believe that our beloved but deceased family members aren't looking out for us, or with us in our times of need?

Right from medieval times stories of ghosts or spirits have enthralled and also frightened people in this world. Medicine men or the Oracles have swayed the thoughts & decisions of many Tribal chiefs and Kings by their actions or statements of talking with spirits and deciding the events that were to unfold. They were the most powerful personalities of the times revered even by the kings and people had blind faith in them and their bidding.

Even I used to believe and fantasize about the ghost while I was young and one particular story comes to my mind where it is said that if you get a strand of hair of a woman ghost and hide it in your body beneath your skin then you will get all that you aspire in this materialistic world. Thinking about the way I used to be looking for that strand of hair during my childhood does bring about a smile on my face even today.

The thoughts of ghost may arise as the result of honest misinterpretation of naturally occurring phenomena (for example, seeing faces and figures in the shadows or hearing noises made by animals in the night), or common but frightening anomalous experiences. An example of the latter would be sleep paralysis episodes that can occur between sleep and wakefulness. During such episodes, the sufferer is temporarily paralyzed and may experience a strong sense of presence and a variety of bizarre hallucinations. Although it can be terrifying, sleep paralysis is essentially harmless and I have written about this in a blog titled Amaku Pishsasi (Crushing ghost) few years back. I also wrote of a person hallucinating after excessive drinking while on night duty at Iraq and the blog was titled Neither here nor there..floatingin air.

Well friends many more pages of incidents by people can be written and there would be no end to this blog and so I rest my views here. I am not an believer of ghost or spirit now that i am grown up and added to it the fact that there is no scientific proof of its existence. I do not berate people who believe in them and I would surely like to know your experiences if any of paranormal activities that you have come across or some interesting stories. Please post your comments

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Bottoms Up

Well it is not the call to drink up your booze in one go or the capitalizing of the boat but the phrase that popped up in my mind when i saw couple of mallard ducks with their heads under water looking for their food.

This was captured at a water body in Chennai early this year.