Wednesday, October 06, 2004

baingan bharta and paneer tikka

Today's lunch was at Pakwan, my most recent discovery of restaurants near office. As most places in downtown, its a small place, but the food was good. A taste of paneer tikka and then baingan bharta with real soft naan. Good start of the day!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

account of Kalsubai terk

I wrote this account to post to one of the office fitness groups. Untill I find a better place to put it, I am posting it here too.
Trek to Mt. Kalsubai
kalsubai photos
This is one of the best treks I have been to. Kalsubai is the highest peak in Sahyadri mountain range in south-west part of India, about 165km from Bombay. The mountain stands tall at 5400ft. and on the top you are greeted with a small temple. (Most of the hill tops in Sahyadris, as elsewhere in India, are topped with either a temple of ruins of some fort) We did this trek in the July 2002, yes, in the middle of monsoon season in India. According to me, this is the best time to trek in Sahyadris as its neither very hot, nor cold and you have a good chance to get drenched in the monsoon rain, the greenery in the mountains is at its peak at this time. We started the trek from a small village called ‘Bari’. As most treks in Sahyadris, the path is not maintained and its easy to get lost in the forest. So we took a guide with us, a small boy, I think some 12 years old from the village. He was happy to accompany us all the way to the top. We started on the muddy path on this nice and cloudy day. Soon the first obstacle was a small stream of water, to be crossed on foot, the water was little above ankles and it was easy to cross. Then came the rain, making the path even more muddy. Along with the rain started flowing numerous waterfalls in the hills. Its hard to describe the beauty of the scenery around, you will have to look at the pictures, which I do not think can do much justice with the actual beauty. So, anyway on we went on, getting wet in the rain, crossing muddy streams. The next big obstacles are 3 big ladders. We had to be extremely careful while climbing these ladders as they are very old, and are based on hill sides over deep trenches. We crossed the ladders one at a time, rain and high winds were making everything even more difficult. Once atop all the ladders, we reached the top of the hill. It took us little over 3 hrs to reach the top. It was raining very hard by this time, and since we were on top of the hill, there was absolutely no protection from the wind. The rain was so hard that all you could see was a sheet of water coming down from heaven. The temperature had also dropped considerably at this height. At a point, some of us had to actually hold hands to prevent from being blown over. The big problem we faced now was how to eat our sandwiched without getting them soaked. Then we took turns to sit in the temple which was so small that only one person could enter it at a time. Although we had planned to spend longer time on the top, but rain and biting chill wind was making it hard to stay on top, so we started our descend after just half an hour on the top. The journey downwards was even more difficult as the path was slippery. Thankfully by the time we were down the 3 ladders, the rain had stopped somewhat and we could fasten the descend. We reached a small path of flat ground and took our time gazing at the natural beauty spread around us. All we wanted to do at this time was trap this beauty in our eyes, capture as much of it in our cameras as we could. After another food break at this point, we moved on, happy, singing songs. But what we did not anticipate was that our small stream that we crossed in the beginning of the trek had swollen into a small rivulet. The water was upto my waist by this time and the flow little harder. I had real hard time crossing this stream, with every step I felt that I am going to get washed with the stream. We all took another small break after crossing the river, and then headed back to the Bari village, where our bus was waiting to take us back to the concrete jungle of Pune city, away from this beautiful land.

Monday, October 04, 2004


The last weekend was a 'Taken' weekend. After all my plans of visiting the Golden Gate again where washed in the clouds, I headed to the library in search for something interesting. One thing that always came into my view, howmuch ever I tried to ignore it, was a (actually more than 1) DVD of Taken. I always wondered why do they have so many DVD of the same movie and noone every seems to take them. Anyway, to avoid seeing them again and spending time wondering why so many, I took one. Saturday was spent, first planning a perfect time to watch the movie and then finally watching it. Well it was a Spielberg movie, so after watching it once, it looked like either the movie was grossly incomplete or I did not understand anything. SO, anyway as I refuse to accept the second explaination, I headed to the library again on Sunday. That told me why I always see so many of those DVD, they are all different parts, its more like a teleseries from SciFi channel. So I got 2 more parts, spending another 6 hours on that on Sunday. As you can see, I was hooked, or more precise taken. There is still more to see, as I do not think that its complete yet, I guess there are more parts than just 3.

For the review, after spending 9 hrs on the weekend watching the DVDs, I do not have to state that I just loved it. The plot is good, the mystery well maintained, and you would not want to miss even a single word of the movie. It spans over 4 generations, starting in the 60s. The story is also spread over all of US and ofcourse of big span of characters. After sometime, I stopped reading the place and time that appeared in the bottom of the screen as the scenes change as they stopped making sense. Great story, movie well made, no unnecessary fancy stuff, no star wars, but a very believable story. (Except for that fact that like everyone else, the aliens (the real aliens from a different plant) ignored rest of the world and showed up only all over US.