Friday, September 30, 2011

Just a HI

Have you clicked on 'New Post' without knowing what you want to write about? If not; then you are sober; you are not addicted yet. Or maybe blog is just another pass time for you.

I feel cut off if I dont post something on my blog every 3 days; yeah I know; the frequency has reduced. Many factors. First being lack of quality time; its not that there is no time; its just you dont have the time to feel 'connected' with the blog. Next one is lack of activity on the blog space; yes its discouraging and contagious. People vanish or go slow and it affects you. Third; you have exhausted your topic; creative juice does not flow anymore.

I have to get into a conference call in another 41 minutes as I write now. I am sleepy already. Its going to be thankfully; 30 minutes meeting only. But its still a long one for a Friday evening. I dare not say another word as my manager is pursuing me to share my blog link. I am evading it; I even told him why I was apprehensive. I do not want my peers to form an opinion about me; after reading my thoughts. Yes, people are mature not to pin you down; yet I am skeptical as they are my colleagues. I am sassy yet my professionalism comes first. Its not that my blog is a secret; its out there; few of my peers read it; but I dont want to explicitly advertise it.

I have been wondering why Anil and Balan have slowed down as well.. Are we connected by telepathy? Anil and Balan, please raise your hands; no email forwards from you guys either. Ousu vanished but I see some activity off late. Neha is going slow as well; anyway we are connected on chat most times so its fine. Chowla sir has cut down on blogging; so has Shilpa. Bikram, dont worry too much about what people are; make sure you are making a change in this big bad world :)

I am feeling sleepy; mentally tired. I need a vacation :-P; OK! I know I just had one. But it seems so long ago. Been working a lot; my task list is raising exponentially. I am not complaining; I am being recognized and appreciated; so its fine. Yet; tiring. Its not that I would relax on a lounge chair on a vacation. I squeeze so much activity in my attempt to explore and learn everything about a place that it leaves me tiring at the end of the day. But thats what I love; no complaints :) On TV, I hear turquoise beach, palm trees, Caribbean..Jamaica....Wish I was there right now!; not relaxing but exploring. I should have taken up traveling as my profession; Uummpphhh!!

Got to prepare for meeting :-|

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Girls and Machines

Gadgets, Motorcycles, Cars.......

Somehow for reason unknown to me; I was and still am drawn towards sleek gadgets and mean machines. I would devour information on latest bikes and cars in town. I have been a regular reader of automobiles supplementary that comes every Thursday along with the newspaper; I do not miss single episode of The Auto show and similar kinds on TV. I am always up to date on new arrivals, their specifications, price and performance and such.

Did I not yap about how a Z4 gets it life at the Bavarian workshop? Now; it so happens that people either think that I am bluffing away or they think I am abnormal. These are all GUY thing huh? Thats what I am told time and again. I am not going to complain or crib about 'whoever enforced this conventional rule". I am going to share an incident that happened while in 12th grade.

That was when Bajaj introduced Pulsar; that period when Indian motorcycle market was bumped with small capacity bikes; bigger capacity motorcycles didnt exist except for Bullet; and the CBZ hit the market couple of years earlier. I read about that bike and also watched a couple of shows featuring the new bike in town.

I had this girl who initially was my commute mate; we belonged in the same class and eventually became good friends.One such day while going home after class; we got started talking about mopeds, motorcycles, cars and the likes. I mentioned about this new bike in town and its specificity. We had a healthy discussion. A couple of days later; this girl comes up and says that her dad warned her to maintain a distance from me. I did not understand initially; I asked her what was the reason. This is what she had to say

"I was telling my dad about our conversation the other day on bikes and cars. He asked me how you knew so much about them. He added that you might have a boy friend and thats where all your knowledge on bikes and cars are coming from. So he asked me to maintain distance from you"

My reaction? Nothing; just a smile at their ignorance :) Oh by the way; new addition to my gadgets - a  MAC. I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Two bucks

"Ma'am, please give me 2 dollars. I wanna buy beer". I remember this call from a tramp sitting near an intersection on Hollywood Boulevard. I visited Los Angeles in 2005. The image of this tramp is still vivid in my mind - unruly hair, torn canvas shoes, a tote bag. He was intimidating; I just walked by while he continued to call out for 2 bucks to buy his beer.

In Bangalore. "Didi, 2 rupyah dedo didi, subah se kuch nahi khaye" - An incessant plead; almost about to cry expression; lurking forward to hold your feet; you find them everywhere on the road; kids as young as 5 years. They might not even know how much that 2 Rs is worth. They are made to beg in most cases by their handlers.

Cut to San Jose, Costa Rica - lotteries being sold on the streets. People throng the shops to buy lotteries - 2 Colonies each ticket. They want to try their luck; get rich. 

Back in Bangalore...

"1 dozen fishes"
"How much do they cost?"
"24 Rs"
"2 Rupees each?"

12 fishes is what the cat fish we have at home eats every alternate day. Those beautiful creatures are alive. They are breathing - as we are. They can see, sense, touch, eat, breathe, we do. Their value is 2 Rs each; we buy 12 of them every other day to feed to the bigger one; we watch as the cat fish eats these 12 one by one.

2 bucks was all that was needed :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nepal - People

Well, if you an avid traveler; you want to see all and do all. I am one such person; never ever get enough of traveling. But its good to leave some; the mystery it holds is enough to entice you for your next sojourn - to somewhere else.

Its the same feeling with Nepal as well. Each place brings in a uniqueness that no other place can ever give. Its not just about the place; but the moment, the time, the people. Even if you could visit the same place with the same set of people in the same manner; it sure wont be the same as the earlier one!!

Meeting new people; dousing their curiosity, sharing anecdotes between smiles is a pleasure by itself. Met few interesting people in this trip as well. I tried to click few portraits - the absence of sun light made it best to capture a character - the depth which gets lost due to that sunlight; I feel.

The hazy surrounding highlights the portrait and captures the features quite well. Thats what I tried to do. Here are few.

Flaming red T shirt, Ray Ban aviators, a garland - does he not give our Bollywood heroes a run for their money?

Sadhus galore at the Pashupathinath temple. Smoking hash, talking expletives, they have their way. They bless you only if you give them money. These halo around this Baba was the effect I gave so that he looked spiritual :-P

A Sadhvi. She cussed more than the Baba. Tall, well built lady.

It was Rakhi bandhan day. Brahmins sit near the temples and offer blessings to people who offer them fruits and money. This man was waiting for people to come by and seek his blessings.

A Tibetan mother and her daughter. The older one was pensive; concentrating in her prayers. I asked them if  The wrinkles on their face is proof enough of their ordeal, they are refugees. I could click their picture. They obliged :)

This girl was diligent in her work, trying to shielding the lip smacking sweetmeats that was all around her; not once did she eye them.

What caught me was this lady checking her watch; time and again. The entire crowd was in a festive mood; and this lady had some other important work I guess.

At the monastery in Swayambhunath temple. This Lama was around when I sneaked into the monastery and quickly walked out. He wanted to know where I was from. He readily posed for a picture. It was a perfect setting with no light. His eyes talk stories :)

Stern and strict - a police officer guarding the palace at the Kathmandu Durbar square.

Naughty kids - readily posed for picture; later one of them kept nagging me for money! :-/

My dog picture :)

These school girls looked so pretty; liked their skirts :)

A dollop of vermillion on her forehead, bright green contrasting beads; a busy Newari lady

One of my favorite picture mainly because it was unplanned. She just came in the frame.

Never minding the architectural treasure she is surrounded with; this lady is busy selling her items.

This boy's father is one of the very few; or rather the only craftsman who hand makes singing bowl. singing bowl by itself needs an exclusive post. Behind him are the rows of machine made singing bowls :)

The guide at the Patan durbar square. Shared lot of interesting information.

Finally, our driver who drove like mad bull; never stopping even once to admire the nature. Well, its an everyday affair for him :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nepal - Patan

Not being able to view the Himalayan ranges was one disappointment. We even booked mountain flights which tour you through the ranges for one hour and get as close as 200 meters to Mt. Everest, for 2 days. The flights were canceled after waiting for 3 hours both the days due to bad weather.

We need to respect the laws of nature; another disappointment was I could not go para gliding. Though people were para gliding in Pokhara, the local tour guide warned me that the winds were gusty and not safe. So I just had to make do with a boat ride through Lake Phewa. But on our way back to Kathmandu, we did river rafting in Trishuli river.

The experience was adventurous, the river was full and the currents strong. Gorgeous scenery, amazing river; 30 kms of rafting. We had a professional instructor who gave us tips and instructions; the rowing was tiring - go with the current. Team work - consistent and in sync made it all. I even got out of the raft and hung on the edges and waded through the water for 2 kms. It was scary; the depth and the strong current. All it required was let your hand go of the rope tied on the sides of the raft and you go with the water. Though life jacket was worn; it still was scary when the current was strong and the water swelled; I had to be pulled into the raft :-D

Another observation that struck us - maybe only because we are from southern part of India. English is used as any other local language and we actually find it odd if English is not used. Got to see pure Hindi script everywhere - few words which we long forgot after wrapping up our school period. Like 'yatayat' for 'transport', 'prahari' for 'police', 'pul' for 'bridge'. These words brought that lingering memory of having come across these words in school when learning Hindi.

Getting ready for rafting on Trishuli.

A team already on their way

On our way back; just after the rains, the rainbow appeared. As the landscape was rolling hills one after the other; one could see the rainbow in different angles - sometimes across one mountain to another as if its a sky bridge; sometimes just touching the ground as if its nailed to the green bed of grass; sometimes as its hanging from nowhere. It was the first time ever that I could see the rainbow lingering for more than an hour!!! That was a bonus. It didnt end there. It was not one but two rainbows!! What more to ask for :) 

I clicked 100s of picture to capture it in all angles and landscapes.


 Patan - also called Lalitpur is a major city in Nepal. Its a city of rich heritage - fine ancient arts, metallic and stone carvings. Patan, like Kathmandu has a Durbar Square. Here is the Durbar Square of Patan; a UNESCO world heritage site. The temples with intricately carved wooden doors and windows, beautiful courtyards, exquisite icons made of terracotta, stone, metal and wood  exhibit artistic excellence of the craftsmen and the  fine taste of the people. The whole city looks like an open museum; you are treated with amazing art works whichever side you turn.

A slab proclaiming the UNESCO site 


The Mul chowk; bustling with shops selling crafts and arts

Statues at the entrance of the chowk. Hanuman covered as usual with an orange silk cloak, Narasimha; the other side was a Ganesh statue. 

 A central 'stumbh' or pillar overlooking the King's palace. The King built this as a symbol of arrival of his death. He constructed this pillar and believed that if the bird on the hood of the snake protecting the king flew away; only then the king would die. How could a stone bird fly away? But it seems the King died the very next year at a young age.

A closer view of the top of the pillar. 

Jagannarayan temple; built in 1565; its the oldest temple in Patan. Every durbar square has a kamasutra temple which served as a center for young people to learn about sex; as it was a taboo to discuss sex among people. These temples served as self learning centers.  Each pillar has erotic carvings in wood. Enlarge the picture to notice the details :) 

The King's palace - residence of the Malla rulers of the Patan state. It was under renovation. Those little things hanging from the eaves of the palace are the bells. 

Circumventing the Hindu temples at the Durbar square are Buddhisht vihars and temples. This is the entrace to Hiranya Varna Mahavihar also known as Golden temple. The three story pagoda of Lokeshwar(Lord Buddha) was built in 12th century by King Bhaskar Verma.

Detailed wooden carving at the entrance. 

 On the extreme right is the figurine of Sakyamuni - the primary figure in Buddhism said to have born from the armpit.

The statue of King Bhaskar Verma and his Queen who constructed the temple. 

The Dorje, the prayer wheels and the Buddha 

The temple roof looks like any Hindu temple except for the presence of the Dorje and the Prayer wheel. 

On one of the door was a carved dragon about 1 feet in length 

Tangka paintings were sold everywhere. 

This bell is huge and very very old. Its rung only once in a year 

Centuries old aqueduct called Manga Hiti.  It has 3 carved stone Makaras(crocodile deities) spouting water from their mouths. It seems the water temperature changes according to the weather.

The Harishankar temple. The three story temple of Harishankar - half vishnu and half shiva built in 1704. It has an arcade beautifully decorated with wood carvings depicting the torture of the damned. In the front is a stone carvings of elephant on each side.

This beautiful shikara style Krishna temple is different from others which are all built in Pagoda style. It was built in 1637; consists of central tower encircled by three arcades. Its the first temple to be of Shikara style and all made of stone. Its the only temple having 21 golden pinnacles. There are beautiful carvings and a statue of man bird Garuda - the vehicle of Krishna is facing the mandir. This temple was the most beautiful in my opinion. As usual, leather was not allowed inside the temple. It was my birthday and was feeling incomplete without a temple visit; and the Krishna temple was a perfect place to seek my blessings.

The narrow by-lanes of Patan. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The first pay check

I chuckle every time I recall this episode.

At my first job; I met with few other freshers and we hit it off instantly. Young blood, like-minded people; who all seemed to have struggled in life in one way or the other. Each one coming from a lower middle class family who struggled to even get Rs 10 as a pocket money; for most of us the first engineer from the family; but intelligent, bright and raring to go and achieve something in life.

This is not some decade old story but something that happened 6 years ago. The gang comprised of 5 folks; including me - the only girl. Each of us were from different college but we all got placed even before we completed our engineering graduation. I would not call it a dream come true for us; because we could not even afford to dream such a start for our career in one of the largest technological companies of the world - it was more than pride to be associated with that company. It was all merit and our hard work that paid off.

The compensation offered by the company for freshers was competitive and among the highest in the industry; which means the interview process was grueling as well. Anyway, for each of us who only a couple of days ago struggled for Rs 10; the thought of drawing 3.6 lakhs per annum with other benefits did not sink in. We did our math.

3,60,000/12 = 30,000 Rs per month. If we get to lose 3000-4000 in tax and other stuff, we still take home 26,000/- Wow!! wow!! The first month went in induction, introduction, getting to know and settling in along with counting days for end of month. We looked forward with anticipation and when the day came; we all went in collectively to collect our pay check as our salary account was not in place yet.

The cheque read "Eighteen thousand" only. What? We could not believe what we saw. Seeing a 5 figure against our name and holding the cheque was the most memorable moment for us; but at the same time the anti-climax. It did not match our expectations. One said "Hey there should be some mistake in this". Another one just sulked while one said "Maybe the first month, they deducted more for some reason, coming months should be fine".

We discussed over lunch. "Maybe we should just check with HR-Finance; they would correct the mistake." None of us still seem to believe that the salary amount was right. The thing was when we were called to accept the offer letter; the guys just seemed to ogle at the HR and admire her eloquence and beauty than concentrating on the salary break-up she was explaining. With me; I just dont understand numbers. I was more interested in the job - I would work for free even - why not; if its an world renowned organization as this? The ID that I wear to work everyday with my company name was sufficient.

We did go; as vikings dressed for a war; marching one behind the other will polite but grim faces. The HR was busy; but was kind enough to listen to us. He explained us once again the concept of cost to the company, flexible benefits, special allowances, tax, deductions, PF and others and how we need to apply explicitly for some components like HRA, conveyance to get that as part of salary. This was the first month and next month onwards; once we logged in our FBP plan, our numbers would improve(It did improve after a month once we adjusted our FBP component) We just nodded our head and left his office with a "Thank you for your time".

We walked out silent and one blurted out "My uncle offered me a job in Mumbai. He said he will pay be 30,000. I told I want to be in an MNC as a Software Engineer. I need this!!".

All of us looked at each other and burst out laughing. You see, it was not the amount of money; we were definitely earning best among our peers; no complaints as the technology we were working on was cool and the work environment was the best. But our expectations; what this salary meant to each one of us. How we budgeted our household and personal expenses around the expected money. We could indulge in a cellphone now or pay off a loan or here onwards our parents can relax a bit and all that.

We grew fonder and had memorable time for a couple of years till each one drifted away - a couple of them went on to do Masters in US; others moved to a new job. We regularly keep in touch; each one happy for the other for the growth and prosperity. We rarely meet but whenever we do; this incident always comes up and we have a hearty laugh over it. So innocent we were then :)

I still have a photo copy of that cheque with me:-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Me and the Anna movement

A colleague asked me if I wanted to participate in the Anna Hazare movement when it was in full swing. It was being held at Freedom Park, Bangalore where many took part. I told him that I wont join as I was not really sure if it was the right way.

My response was met with "Here is another unpatriotic techie!" kind of look. We went for tea and a conversation followed. I asked him if he knew the reason behind the fast and the movement. He said "I have a cheat sheet where they have explained in a simple way about the entire thing. I will forward it to you". But he did not explain himself the intent. He added "If so many people are supporting it; its right". I asked "Forget about others. Do you feel it is logical?" He did not respond; he was not sure. It was merely a case of following the herd. Techies came out in groups and they formed a 17 km long human chain.

I did not wear the Topi, neither did I fast. I did not even buy our flag. I did not feel bad or sad because Anna was fasting. I did not tweet nor did I write on my wall. In short; I did not jump into the bandwagon. I did shun corruption - then, now, tomorrow. I did not even tune to news channels to know the status. They were riding on the Anna wave and making hella lotta money for themselves. I definitely cannot digest Burkha Dutt talking about morality and corruption!! I did not want the Anna thing to intrude my normal life; some Tom, Dick, Harry and Mona, Sona and Reena giving expert suggestions on what should be done to curb corruption.

I did pose a question to myself if I was less patriotic than those who bunked classes to attend the rally, than those who made statements, than those who left their day to day work to fast and join the protest; than those who wore "I am Anna" topis. Were they all brave hearts willing to make sacrifice or were they finding solace in this while trying to escape their day to day problems?

"I can make a difference" attitude was welcome, it was nice to see people from all walks of life garnering support for a cleaner system. But participating in a rally and swaying your national flag is all the difference that you can make? Honestly no one likes corruption which brings us trouble yet we will harbor them. Do you need a Anna for you to start? What if tomorrow you dont have Anna? What next? Would the movement just stop?

Can we abolish corruption by having an organization to curb? What if the organization in future is bought by the corrupt? How long does that take? We are not fighting corruption at each step; do we really believe Lokpal bill will put an end to it? Yes, this is just THE beginning. Beginning of what? Beginning of a newer you who wont bribe anymore? Who will be transparent in every step? Who will behave with integrity?

This is not against the supporters or the movement. In fact, its interesting as to what motivated people to support the movement who did not actually think about doing something on their own in day to day life. We were all WAITING for someone to take the lead? We cant step up and speak out. We cant stand for what we believe and stand against what we dont.

For me, the bill will not curb corruption or Anna's movement wont be fruitful unless we resolve to end the corruption in our life as we go about our daily chores. By the way; I dont see 'patriotic' messages anymore on Facebook or Twitter :-)

P.S These are my personal opinion. No brickbats please :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Inactive on Facebook

"Why arent you active on Facebook?" A question of confusion if Bindu has gone back in time or was it a question of serious concern if I was sane yet. Or was it a question due to disbelief that someone can actually have nothing interesting in life to share it among 'friends'.

I am a tech savvy person; grabbing the latest gadgets in town to exploring latest technology. But the concept of social networking has always puzzled me; maybe due to the fact that I am reserved by nature. The idea of flaunting yourself to the world - virtual world where you dont know 99% of the folks indeed intrigues me. I still remember sometime in 2005 when I asked a group of friends at office pointing at an application on their monitor "whats this?" I still recall that shitty stare I got from everyone around. This is Orkut, havent you heard about it?

"Uh..huh yeah, sorry I did not take a proper look" response never helped me. That very day; I logged onto gmail to create an orkut account. It remained dormant for a very long time; until I saw others posting pictures and my kindergarten classmates requesting for friendships. Oh great! Orkut brought us together again.

Well, I am a late entrant to Facebook as well. Joined as recently as 2 years ago; very discreet; rejected every other friend request from people I didnt know. I mean, why should I be friends with someone out there in some corner of the world? The answer was "to know each other better". Heck! let me get to know myself better first. It was overwhelming to see folks having 1000+ friends; were they really friends?

What is a friend? Facebook seems to have changed the very meaning of friendship. I can be friends with anyone - my mom, dad, husband, teacher, peon, maid, maid's daughter's boyfriend. You can be friends with your mother-in-law as well, can you believe that? Isnt it amazing? I can create a fan page of myself; ask people to 'Like' me. Just like; they cant 'dislike'. Facebook is just for human beings you thought? :) No! cats and dogs and cows and rats have a profile page and they update them regularly.

Hey whats for dinner today?

I have posted the menu on my wall. Go check

is not far off......

Strange are the ways. My classmates who didnt speak a word with me while in college send me FRIEND request. Manager sends friend request and request for farmville so that they can continue the game. Being an agrarian economy; if only our real farmers were as dedicated as our virtual farmers; we would be prosperous.

Anyway; that question got me thinking. I replied "My blog posts get updated as I post". He snapped "yeah thats ok, but why are YOU not active". Well, what do I write on the wall? As soon as I login, the WALL yells at me "Whats on your mind?"

Right now; I need to rush to the loo!!! Thats on my mind. Up next; what am I going to cook for dinner. Thats on my mind. I need to pay my credit card bills. That IS on my mind! Do you want to write on the WALL??? This wall is stronger than the Berlin wall.

Well, its kinda nagging; suggesting me to try this game or add a probable known person. Its just not just facebook; I was being emailed "Do you want Google+ request?" There were folks cribbing they didnt get request. Thats another maze I am still trying to figure a way out; I keep getting updates; spamming my mail box.

But its real entertainment if you look carefully. You get to know which flavor of ice cream your friend had or that a friend just came back from a parlor and feels her skin silky smooth after a facial or any event happening in your area or worse! your boyfriend broke up with you and your relationship status ought to be changed!!

The idea of friendship, privacy is lot changed, isnt it? Am I not adapting faster enough? Am I still living in iron age? How much is too much? You are not in if you dont have a social networking account. I told my husband; he chuckled and just commented "What a cheap life!!" only to join the bandwagon and guess what?

We are friends with each other now :-D

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nepal - Gorkha and Pokhara

Vibrant with colors; bubbling with life - EXUBERANT is what I would describe the journey. Each place is unique; people and culture so strikingly different. Devotion, art, colors, peaceful, hospitality, reverence; I did my best to capture them all in my photography. 

People are not pushy at all; as Kavita mentioned in her comment in my previous post. They revere guests as God. They revere the mountains; for them its not Mt Everest but Sagarmatha; the Goddess of Sky. She stands silent watching over the valleys. They dont talk about 'conquering' her - aah man how ego he could be. 'Conquering' - I hate that word. 

One of the highlight is the Manakamana temple in Gorkha district. Its not the temple but the journey to the temple that is mesmerizing. A 3.5 km long cable car ride across hills and deep down you can see the Trishuli river seem to be flowing silently. Its amazing to see an entire town up there

The temple; shrouded by fog. One a clear day; one could see the Himalayan ranges.

Old wooden carvings along the temple roof.

In devotion; I ring these bells

Devotion - sacred threads tied around on a wooden plank.

The temple and the priest.

Remember the Nepali calendar being ahead of us? See the Mfg date here.

The cable car infrastructure.

The view from the top.

Cable cars

The entire stretch of cable car ride is filled with such a scene. It was never enough; others sitting with us in the cable car kept repeating the words "Jannat"

On the way to Pokhara. Pokhara valley is famous for its tranquil surroundings and lakes. Three of the 10 highest mountains can be viewed very closely from Pokhara. Its also the base for trekkers undertaking the Annapurna Circuit.

Lakeside - along the Phewa lake; lined with busting bars, coffee shops and clothing shops - lively. We hired bicycles and explored the Lakeside.

Array of T-shirts

That night; there was a Nepali folk song and dance show.

They wore costumes of different ethnic groups.

Here is Velu having fun. We danced; they let me go but the girl in this picture wanted Velu to stay on and dance.

A Newari thali - rice, curd, spinach, dal, aloo and gobi curry, pickle.

Sarangkot is a village located on the mountainside at an altitude of 1600m with a great panoramic view of Himalayas. One can see Daulagiri, Annapurna ranges. Its like a pilgrimage to nature lovers to view the gorgeous ranges; provided the sky is clear. But it was not the season; the sky was hazy and shrouded with clouds. We went as early as 4 to watch the sunrise; very soon the crowd gathered. Waited till 7 but the clouds didnt clear and we couldnt see the ranges. The below picture was clicked at around 4:30 AM; the city of Pokhara

The only and the best view was this.

When we had to witness this!!

Anyway; disappointed yes; but we cant command nature isnt it? Bridge across the Seti river gorge. This river runs right through Pokhara city. Its also called White river due to its color. .

The river is just 2 metres wide but gushes by more than 40 metres deep down street level. It has carved a deep but narrow gorge through the middle of the town; and it roars and gushes; turning the water milky white in the process

Yup; so we accepted out fate and reminded ourselves that nature follows its course and its stupid to be expecting a clear blue sky. After Sarangkot and Seti river; we were heading back to hotel for breakfast; when the driver stopped on the main road and said "Sir; mountain dekhiye". It seems he saw in the rear view mirror. We just turned back and the excitement soared. Asked him to bring the vehicle to the halt; jumped out and ran towards the middle of the road; not caring about vehicles passing over us and were literally jumping up and down like kids. People were laughing at our madness. For them; its a daily affair but for us? Here was the most beautiful mountain as if just hung from nowhere.

This will give an idea from where we were viewing it. This is Machhapuchhre - "fish tail" mountain in the Annapurna range. The peak is shrouded by cloud. It is revered by locals as sacred to God Shiva and hence no climbing allowed. It has never been climbed to its summit. 

Davis Falls - the water travels through natural tunnel. Its name has an interesting story - Davis Falls

The gorge is deep and the rush so strong that water droplets can be felt on your face.

Gupteswor - a cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Stalactite formation inside the cave. Its just a stone's throw away from Davis Falls

Photography is prohibited in the first part of the cave which has a Shiva temple inside.

The International Mountain Museum. Had it not for the clouds; we could have seen Himalayan ranges in the background. I keep saying this - you probably understand my disappointment.

I liked this picture of man and woman pointing to rest rooms.

The museum talked about various ranges; the conquering stories, equipments used; way of life of mountain people - their dresses; food habits, languages and lot more. School children group taking a look at a very large Thangka

The serene and calm Phewa Lake - jewel of Pokhara. People were para gliding along the hills around the lake. A local travel agent told me that the winds would be strong and it was not a good idea to para glide. I so wanted to; maybe sometime later somewhere else :)

5 kms away from main town was a quiet village on the banks of Phewa lake was Happy Village. The name of the village went so well with the feeling. A lazy evening with a hot cuppa to indulge and pass away your time.