Monday, December 28, 2009

Lonavla, Khandala and a Hill Story

Ho!! Ho!! Ho!! Insignia's here....

Errr...what to do? Didn't feel the Christmas spirits this time.. So my spirit is hovering around...

As I said, I am back again before January 1st. But this is my last huh!! Swear!! I would not have access to my "Until death do us apart" laptop until January 3rd. I am off to Kerala!! Yeippeiieee...

Now now..this is just the beginning. Shortly after coming back, I am off somewhere out of the country and then couple of months later, again off outside't feel jealous!!

I had a chance to visit Pune, the usual Lonavla, Khandala and trekked a local hill and the icing on the cake was visiting "Choki Dhani" - a Rajasthani ethnic village. OK, straight to business. Guessed it right!! Pictures.....

Here are few....

National Highway - on the way to Lonavla

Lonavla Dam..The dam is further away

I somehow like these old worn out wall

As seen from Lonavla Dam..The smoke..the ghats...hmmm....

Khandala ghat. It was all dry

The NH seen from the ghat

A corn vendor

Gola vendor and his cart

My corn :-D

The cotton candy I had. I did eat lot of junk that day, these 2 being few of them

Sunset as seen from Khandala

The hill behind the place I stayed; I decided to climb it just out the blue, spontaneous. So started at 6 AM when it was chilly

Sunrise.....I first chided myself to have got the idea of trekking this hill. It was so cold that morning. But it was worth this view and much more

The destination...seems easy but it was not. But thankfully the climb was OK as the grasses and plants were dry.

Finally, the summit. A small temple. I love this scene

On the way back, spotted a myna. She was singing...was very sweet to hear...Early morning, calm and peaceful, great views...and a lovely song..What more should I ask for?

I deserved this..A hot cuppa and cream roll in a small shop after coming back.

The Rajasthani Ethnic Village is a different league in itself. Would write about it and share lot of beautiful pictures in my next post. :-)

Advanced New Year Wishes people!! Wish all ya folks a great year ahead with lot of fun and frolic!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

AD me in

I am at plans for holidays yet and as I said, I am with a post before Jan 1st and I know this wont be the final post before 1st. Hehehehe.

I am BORED!! yeah bored with all capitals. And I did watch TV for few hours for the past 3 days. But its all crap they air. But one thing caught my attention. The advertisements!!!

Yeah the unnecessary evil, the fodder...Advertisements have come of age...From the so middle class "Hamara Bajaj" and relevant "Savithri ji" types to the uber sexy Axe deodorants and the refreshing Zoo Zoo ads.

I have a write up on 80s jingles which were so beautiful, visit this post - 80s Jingles Revisited

Whats the stark difference that you find in today's advertisements? Lots of bluffs, false claims, no substance. Advertisements are serious business now; grand sets, exotic locations, film stars to sell a soap?? Who could forget the Vicco Turmeric or the Zandu Balm advertisements?

Advertisements do nfluence our lives, a kindergarten kid can demand the brand of toiletries or the brand of pencils; all thanks to the media invasion. But whats behind all this hype and glamor? Do we tend to realize that what's behind those perfectly dressed slim models donning the role of a working women and home maker with flawless fair skin? Has this got anything to do with the reality? Not a hint of dark circles, perfectly lined lips 24x7..........and what not....There's an advertisement on face cream where the lady says "I cant manage so many things..." and just when you think its about dual role of the women, there comes a shocker ".....dry skin, blemishes...." What the heck!!!!

Isn't that the human failure to realize that its all a far away fantasy? These advertisements are created by geniuses who try hard to sell a product and this weakness of us is capitalized? Just analyze the ad content - sleazy, unrealistic, ambitious, false, offensive and racist.

Another one shows a dark and dry skinned female who gets rejected after a photo shoot. And later on applying a fairness cream, she is shown making her father proud....Does it mean only fair women succeed? Where's the ethics gone? Another ad shows a fair women finding a groom after initial trouble finding any. Where's the morality? And to top it all our darling movie stars promote such products.
Aren't these products selling false claims that being fair increases your self confidence and thus violating the principles of equality and promoting discrimination on color and gender?

Few ads are so misleading. Even though they are humorous they are misleading. A recent ad shows a girl slipping due to the so smooth skin of hers after a shave. Get that? Its unique, creative but is that real? An ad shows a hot looking female falling for an awkward looking guy because of his perfume. Now does it not mislead?

A product must be advertised such that it should propagate an idea that the using it would help you in a certain way, definitely not in a manner that it would make your life better or you could succeed big time! There are few advertisements that are so cute and relevant and are creative; yet realistic. Such ones must be appreciated.

But to sell products in this competitive world, ad makers just want to promote and that's at any stake.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

This and That


Holiday time!! I have 10 days of holidays, no work. Absolutely no work!!! Relieved that I would have some breather from work, but no plans of vacation yet. Something spontaneous maybe.

The year has been "lucky" as our Honorable Home Minister P Chidambaram mentioned. Why? No bombings people!!!

I saw Nanos on roads. They are so cute and adorable. Overdose of Saifeena on TV. It was also abysmally entertaining to see Rakhi Sawant's swayamvar. An Indian origin scientist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan got Nobel Prize and as usual we all shamelessly started owning to him, only that unlike Sunita Williams, he came back strongly. Mr Obama made speeches everywhere and got himself the Nobel Peace Prize.

Yeah!! many more such interesting events was witnessed in 2009.

Personally it has been a good year for me. Perfect blend of joys, sorrows, excitement, depression and all. My blog had to handle sudden rush of people this year. I have been blogging for more than 1.5 years now and its recently that these surge. Feels good. Got more readers, more thoughtful comments and more views to debate about. More awards :-) which was encouraging and made me write better.

OK, Its Christmas!!; would like to share few pictures of different Christmas trees that I found around USA. The trees are so huge that I was only able to click a part of them

At LA's Farmer Market

In Bellagio Casino - Las Vegas

Somewhere in San Francisco

The tree at Universal Studios, LA. The decorations are all movie stuff - clap board, camera, film roll and such :-)

I would like to thank all the folks who put up with me and go through the ordeal of reading my self proclaimed sarcasms and information and strain your eyes looking at my pictures.

I want to specially mention about bloggers who have been encouraging and thus have kept me alive and kicking. Its tough to find such sweetness among fellow people isn't it. I really appreciate all you people who read completely and throw in relevant comments and don't do it for the sake of commenting. Passing comments without reading the post and not understanding what the writer is trying to say but just for the sake of getting comments on their blogs is a big NO-NO.

Its OK if you don't pass comments, I like your posts and if I have something to add, I will definitely comment on your blog. But don't resort to this absurd act of throwing irrelevant comments; not only here but anywhere...

Now, I want to pass on these awards to few people whom I appreciate and cherish their presence in my blog.
These people are those whose posts I wait for. :-)

SG : He is an encyclopedia of information. Look forward to his posts as they have one or the other interesting trivia. So the Excellent Blog Award to SG.

Neha : Uber amazing blogger. She wears her attitude on her sleeve and its evident in her posts. Has the ability to generate interest in the simplest of topics and in her simpler way of presenting it. I liked your Harry Potter post a lot Neha. Yours is an Uber Amazing Blog

And finally Karthik. I have been reading him only recently. His fictions are real good; only thing is he does NOT KISS :-P

Errr.....I mean Keeping It Short and Simple....And me being the restless kind who wants to know the ending, I cant wait!! Interesting Blog Karthik

Happy Holidays and wishing you all a Great Year Ahead with lot of fun and frolic.
(I am not sure if I would write one more time before Jan 1st...but I just might knowing me :-D)

Monday, December 21, 2009


Well, are you guilty? Yes you are!!! I see it, I see it :-P

Haven't each of us sheepishly given awkward excuses for being late? Running into the meeting room and awkwardly searching for an empty seat to accommodate yourself and coyly apologizing when there are about 12 pairs of eyes staring at you and sizing you up? Swearing at the teacher for being made to run 3 rounds around the school ground for arriving late for the assembly session? Blaming your sandals for showing up late when your boy friend has been waiting for what seemed like ages?

I always had an excuse while at school. "Ma'am bus was late". :-S Only to be retorted back with a sharp "You are supposed to take an early bus"

Or the rather stupid "Uh..I don't know. I was sleeping when my alarm went off"

Being punctual is paramount elsewhere; but here. A person who is late is treated with such disgusted frowns that he would want to hang himself upside down!!! Is it that you had more important and critical work and we are all fools sitting here with all the time of the world? - is the common thought.

But what if nature calls?? Hmmm...... in a fix huh? One of my friend just gave this excuse for being late to the lab session. The lecturer was red-faced.

Talking about punctuality, why do most of us lack it? Isn't it a quality as important as standing first academically in school? But when things as studies are taken so seriously, why not punctuality? We did frown when we were reprimanded for being late to school; didn't we? Did we learn to be on time after that? No!! We repeated being late. Being late for school, for morning basics, for meeting friends......

That's because the importance of this quality was not imbibed. Did we ever think that being on time is respecting other's time? Owning responsibility? No...rather we give lame excuses as if we had better and more important chore than the others.

There are few others who are super punctual; so punctual that they feel uncomfortable on arriving early. These people don't like to keep things pending; always up to date to finish tasks. It is a good trait but is it a sign of anxiousness? Maybe it is few times; when trying to not keep anything pending for fear of lags.

And yeah, not to forget. It does land us in awkward situations sometimes. Arriving early to a birthday party? Errr.....isn't it as if the person has come to grab a few extra drinks?

I have had experiences of arriving on dot to marriage reception. But that would be when the bride and groom are getting dressed!! By the time they are ready; my clothes are ruffled, my hairs frizzy and my patience gone to hell.

There's a very famous quote on punctuality by Franklin P Hones

“The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it.”

How true!!!


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Temples of Belur and Halebid

If there is one place that will surely take your breath away; I bet these temples would be the top of list. The temples of Belur and Halebid are architectural marvel; oh these words don't justify. I don't think any words could actually justify the splendor. When you see them, all you could do is be dumb-struck, mesmerized and wonder where were you all these days without seeing them.

I studied them in my school history lessons, but never had the chance to visit until now. And yeah!! loved every moment of it. These temples are rich and grand repositories of Hindu culture and also Jain culture( the king Vishnuvardhana who initiated the constructions converted from Jainism to Hinduism) . You see people all over the world coming to take in these wonders, their rich intricacies and distinctive architectural style. Few of them staying over to know more about them.

The temples of Belur and Halebid were built by the Hoysala dynasty; who ruled the present day Karnataka from the 11th to 14th century. These temples were built then and still astonish people who visit for their sheer hard work with the detailed sculptural work. The temples are not huge; but it is compensated by extremely skilled craftsmanship. INTRICACY is the word there. The artists carved thousands of intricate and delicate figures out of soapstone. The facade of the temple are covered with ornately carved sculptures with no portion left blank. They have carved out Hindu deities, men at battle field, men hunting, birds, animals, ornate pillars, dancers, and yes!! erotic sculptures; if you pay enough attention to the finer details. I was pleasantly surprised to see how broad minded people during those times were after seeing those erotic sculptures.

These temples seemed to have taken 110-150 years to complete and is built with chloritic schist and is a type of soapstone.

Here is a trivia as to how Hoysala dynasty got its name. The words "Hoy Sala" meaning "Strike Sala" were called out to Sala, the legendary founder of the dynasty when he was involved in a combat with a tiger. He single-handed killed the beast immortalizing himself and the tiger. The tiger is the royal symbol of the Hoysala dynasty.

Here are few pictures. Please view them on large screen to appreciate the details

The Hoysaleshwara Temple at Halebid. It is star shaped and has two exact temple complexes. I thought that this temple has more intricate details.

The entrance

The portion of the temple complex revealing the star shaped architecture

Intricacy is the order here

Hindu Gods

A facade with intricate and minute details

A beautiful sculpture of a dancing woman inside the temple

One of the many pillars

One more picture of the detailed wall

Carvings of God and the signature left by the sculptor in ancient Kannada script; which is not a usual custom to leave behind their signatures

The Channakeshava temple complex in Belur is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was built by King Vishnuvardhana to commemorate the victory over Cholas at Talakad around 1117 AD. It took about 103 years to complete.

The main entrance

One of the many temples inside the complex

Another temple

Another portion of a temple

An ornately carved portion of the pillar. This picture is zoomed to capture the details. This portion is not more than the size of the ring finger....Such details!!!

One of the many ancient writings. I could only read the letters but could not make out any meaning

A pillar with so much of details inside the main temple.

One of the facades

A dancing man

A part of many such carvings

I thought that the crosses below few carvings like this was out of place. I didn't have a guide; else would have asked about the presence of cross here

Many such delicate carvings could be found all over the temple walls

These Jain motifs were found at inconspicuous places; like this one here. This was carved at the base of the walk path. Seemed Jainism was no more important. Is it because Jainism was no more the religion of Vishnuvardhana as he converted to Hindusim? Maybe...But these are my observations. :-) Though there were prominent Jain sculptures at Halebid.

A "Stamba" at the centre and a "mantap"

PS : If any of you are interested to see more of these pics, please ask for it in comments section. I did not want to put numerous pictures as it would be overwhelming. But can always ask if you have not got enough of these pictures. There are lot more. :-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I was tagged by Neha( I did request her to tag me sometime back when things were too nerdy at work and I wanted to chill). Since then, she has tagged me thrice. I thought I would just take that up; no sleep on a Sunday night :-|

She also awarded me with "Kreative Blogger Award", "Awesome Blogger Award" and "Honest Scrap award"
Thanks much Neha for finding me deserving. I now need to take up these :-)

Honest Scrap award

The rules are:
“When accepting this auspicious award, you must write a post bragging about it, including the name of the misguided soul who thinks you deserve such acclaim, and link back to the said person so everyone knows she/he is real. Choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends. Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon. List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!”

Ladies and Gentlemen, HONEST SCRAP award; hmmm...why is it a SCRAP; I fail to understand. But HONEST....hmm....HONEST!!!! what honest?? Me?

But this award is a bit hatke than others; for it seems to challenge the receiver to be nakedly honest; yeah people!!, butt nakedly honest :-P So I am glad that my blog posts have given an impression that I could be honest. Well, tell me try....whats not possible, ain't it?

10 honest things about me....Oh god!!! Isn't this the ultimate test at the pearly gates of heaven :-S. I could see Angel Gabriel in milky white and those fluffy feathers; waiting for my 10 points.

1. I am a person of extremes. Now detailing about it might end up as a post!!

2. I honestly feel people are more poisonous than animals, birds, insects, reptiles......So I am scared of people than anything or any other being.
No offense folks!!!

3. I am a maniac in reading. Give me a book or a bit of paper with some words on them; and you can make sure you could loot my house while I remain oblivious.

4. I am a sucker for knowledge and information. That's one reason why books are my best friends. Thanks to the Internet and the Wiki.

5. I am dead honest when I say my husband is a much better cook than me.

6. I am bluntly open and talk my mind out; be it at work or anywhere. Hence I have more people who hate me than those who like me.

7. I have a photographic memory; I could remember most things just observed once. I feel its a big disadvantage!! How much ever I try; cant forget things I want to forget. :-(

8. I am very restless; cant keep my mind to rest for a second.

9. I feel stupid most times; not because I am stupid; but when most times, people don't understand my sarcasm; I feel stupidly stupid.

10. I have a fetish for footwear. I don't seem to be satisfied with the 40+ pairs of footwear I have and "I want more!!" in this case. So nowadays I literally close my eyes and walk away when passing by a footwear store.

In a Word

1.Where is your cell phone?

2.Your hair?

3.Your mother?

4.Your father?

5.Your favorite food?

6.Your dream last night?

7.Your favorite drink?

8.Your dream/goal?

9.What room are you in?

10.Your hobby?

11.Your fear?

12.Where do you want to be in 6 years?

13.Where were you last night?

14.Something that you aren’t?


16.Wish list item?

17.Where did you grow up?

18.Last thing you did?

19.What are you wearing?

20.Your TV?

21.Your pets?
Gone :-(


23.Your life?
Sine wave :-)

24.Your mood?

25.Missing someone?

Road roller

27.Something you’re not wearing?

28.Your favorite store?

29.Your favorite color?

30.When was the last time you laughed?

30.Last time you cried?

31.Your best friend?

32.One place that you go to over and over?

33.One person who emails me regularly?

34.Favorite place to eat?
Coffee Day

Dumb, dumber, Dumbest

The more [x]’ s the “dumber” you are.

[ ] Gum has fallen out of your mouth when you were talking
[ ] Gum has fallen out of your mouth when you were NOT talking
[x] You have ran into a glass/screen door
[ ] You have jumped out of a moving vehicle
[x] You have thought of something funny while walking by yourself
[x] Laughed, then watched people give you weird looks

So far: 3

[ ] You have run into a tree/bush.
[ ] You know that it IS possible to lick your elbow
[ ] You have tried to lick your elbow… a few times
[ ] You never knew that the Alphabet and Twinkle Twinkle Little star have the same rhythm.
[ ] You just tried to sing them.

So far: 3

[ ] You have tripped on your shoelace and fallen.
[ ] You have choked on your own spit .
[x] You have seen the Matrix and still don’t get it.
[ ] You’ve never seen the Matrix.
[ ] You type only with two fingers.

So far: 4

[ ] You have accidentally caught something on fire
[ ] You tried to drink out of a straw, but it went into your nose/eyes.
[ ] You have caught yourself drooling.
[ ] You have fallen asleep in class and fell outta your chair

So far: 4

[ ] Sometimes you just stop thinking
[ ] You are telling a story and forget what you were talking about
[ ] People often shake their heads and walk away from you
[ ] You are often told to use your “inside voice”.
[ ] You use your fingers to do simple math

So far: 4

[ ] You have eaten a bug
[] You are taking this test when you should be doing something more important
[x] You have put your clothes on backwards or inside out, and didn’t realize it
[ ] You’ve looked all over for something and realized it was in your hand
[ ] You have ran around naked in your house.

So far: 5

[ ] You repost bulletins because you are scared that what they say will happen to you if you don’t.
[ ] You break a lot of things.
[ ] Your friends know not to use big words around you.
[ ] You tilt your head when you’re confused
[ ] You have fallen out of your chair before

So far: 5

[ ] When you’re lying in bed, you try to find pictures in the texture of the ceiling or wall
[ ] The word “ummmmm” is used many times a day.


I am (5/37)*100 = 13.51% DUMB !!!

Hehehehe...but I am still Dumb!! :-|

I want to tag Gayathri, Karthik and Shaunak. Please accept the Honest Scrap award. Take up other tags whenever you are free...:-)