Saturday, August 08, 2009

A trip to Malshej Ghats

An impromptu weekend trip, when till 9 am on Saturday morning, we were searching internet on where to go. Then we just finalized on Malshej, around 150 km from Mumbai, unaware of what to expect from the place, where would we stay, etc. In the hurried packing after that, we forgot the camera (ooops). We had to depend on mobile for photographs, which also got discharged, so no photos of day1.

We did not find a place to stay in Malshej, so we have to go 25 km (to Junnar) to stay in a low budget hotel offered at a high price. This place was in bottom hills of shivneri (fort where Shivaji was born), so we got to trek Shivneri fort and another amazing ganesh temple on hills (Lenyadri).

As for Malshej, it was a beautiful serene place with a lots of waterfall and clouds surrounding us. There is a road famous for waterfalls, people also come for day trip from Mumbai/ pune just to enjoy these waterfalls. If you want to experience what is it like walking in the clouds, this is the place, specially on the hills behind MTDC resort. While walking there, I was remembering the tale in which somebody builds a stairs to reach the clouds. These were really dense clouds, providing very little visibility. Suddenly cloud disappeared and we realized that there were so many people around us . There was slight rain, it was difficult to tell whether we were getting wet because of rain, clouds, or water coming up the waterfall. Yes, the wind was so strong that water was even sprinkling up the waterfall. I let myself lose in the direction of wind, and I ran some 20 m without applying any force myself. I had to then force stop myself.

Overall it was a wonderful experience, more so for a water freak like me, I got my time into a big waterfall. A piece of warning here, if you are planning a trip to Malshej, plan a saturday to the waterfalls, not a Sunday. On Sunday, you will find the waterfalls filled with big groups of people, drenching, drinking and dancing. On saturday, it was much less people, so we could enjoy more.

Check out the photos at
malshej ghat

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Can India survive as a secular democracy?

India is a secular country, and if states act non secular, how can India retain its secularism?

And how do you define ‘Outsiders’ – from other country, from other religion, from another state, from another city, from another area? Yesterday somebody created religion boundary, today state and community boundary, tomorrow it will be sub-communities and city boundaries, where do you stop that

There is a very thin line between protecting rights of your community and harming other communities. I agree there would have been incidents in which person of one community had to face miseries because of a person of another community, because world is not perfect. But if you support what’s happening in Maharashtra, you are also supporting terrorism (ok may not be bombs, but you are at least supporting SIMI/ Mujahedeen thought process). Com’on you cannot have two faces for the same thing. Do you really think whatever these groups are telling their people is completely false, will they not have true incidents to support their claims of discrimination happening to them in India. But this is myopic view of truth, you choose to see what you want to, and that’s what also happening in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, all over India (it has different names – terrorism, fight for Hindu rights, fight for Marathi’s rights, fight for Muslim’s rights……but it’s the same thing – Divide to rule)

Let’s get together to fight to retain secularism in India, which is India’s greatest strength

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Divide and Rule

Quote from Raj Thackeray “if she had so much love for Hindi, then she and her family members, including her husband Amitabh, could work in "advertisements and films in Uttar Pradesh".

Excuse me Mr Thackeray, if you know she and her family is working in HINDI film industry and making film for whole of India and not just Maharashtra. She is here because (may be unfortunately) the HINDI film industry was set up in Bombay. I hope your next demand is not that all Bollywood films will be in Marathi and not in Hindi, or does that mean that people who love Marathi should act only in Marathi films

“Jaya Bachchan owe an apology to Maharashtrians, whose sentiments she has hurt” – who are you to decide that she has hurt sentiments of people, are you really a representative of all Maharashtrians. Maharashtra has appointed a government to represent them. Let it decide who owes apology to whom

And you talking of hurting sentiments, you are doing it every day – you are hurting sentiments of the whole nation, but no apologies from your side

What about those people who have lived all their lives in Mumbai, swear to be mumbaikars, wanted to be in Mumbai forever, one day they wake up in the morning to know they are “outsiders”. Do they do not deserve an apology?

This is just “Divide and rule”, the old tried and tested strategy for centuries in India. When will we stop falling prey to it? I don’t think ever, and people like Raj Thackeray continue to rule

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Got Engaged

It is like one of those things you think is never going to happen, and then it does happen when you least expect it, and it's everything you want it to be….

A tale with lot of twists and turns - If it were a Bollywood movie, it would have been a superflop. A love story, where the guy and girl concede to their parents wishes and decide to move on. They even make up their mind for choosing their life partners through arranged marriage process. And after one year, when I was so close to make a final choice for my wedding, things took a U-turn – an unexpected but the greatest thing that could have ever happened.

Yes, I am very happy, much happier than I would have been if the things have followed the normal course. It has been six years and we have lived through all stages of love (we even experienced the break-off), and now we are together again, what more can one ask for.

[Now that we could remove the big IF from ‘IF we get married…’, everything seems to be so light, good, beautiful....]

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bada tez channel hai Aaj Tak

Imagine getting so frustrated after watching news, that you delete the channel. That happened with me a few days back, and the channel was ‘Aaj Tak’

The actual news was – there is a car driver in Delhi, who has mastered the art of driving the car without being on the driver seat. That is - he sits in the front passenger seat and control the car from there only without having additional controls/ remote control on the passenger seat. To add to amazement of the passers-by, he sits casually reading the newspaper, and car just keeps moving with the driver seat empty.

Okay I agree, his deed should get 10-15 min of airtime of a news channel, but 3-4 hours of continuous airtime? And not only that, the way the channel handled the news was disgusting.

I just landed on ‘Aaj Tak’ during my normal channel surfing, and this is what I saw

Aaj Tak had a video clipping, recorded by some young professionals, in which car is moving on the road without the driver. They even stopped the car on a traffic signal, and spoke to driver (on the passenger seat), who told them he drives the car comfortably from the passenger seat.

Aaj Tak also caught hold of the Car owner, got him to the studio, who told them that his driver keeps the car, and it is an ordinary Indica, no additional controls, etc. And he is not aware of such a happening.

Aaj Tak correspondents were mentioning that they had been showing this continuously for three hours (wooo….), they were also trying to locate the driver, and were asking people to call to give their views

Now the point is what they had been showing for three hours –
Aaj Tak correspondents were determined on proving that it is some supernatural power, some mystery beyond comprehension of an ordinary man. When a caller calls to tell that there might be some scientific reason behind it – a remote control or something, the correspondent just discard the view without discussion. But when a caller mentions that it is something supernatural, correspondents discuss it in length.

A caller mentioned that he saw a ‘Pipal tree’ in the clipping; another one mentioned ‘Sai Baba’ photo. The correspondents talk that these could be the reason, they discussed everything from numerology to whatever superstition anyone could believe in. They discussed the car number, the purchase date and what not from numerology point of view.

Limit was – one caller calls to tell “20 yrs ago, my brother-in-law’s scooter stopped near shamshaan ghat. Then the scooter started moving by itself, and got drowned in Ganga. That time we did not believe him, but today it seems, it might be true

Give me a break! What’s the relation between the two things. I thought, the correspondent would at least discourage these kinds of callers. But instead of discouraging, she seriously considered it, tried to relate the two things and after next commercial break, while summarizing the news – she mentions all those pipal tree, sai baba photo and the scooter incident.

Another interesting glimpse from the talk
One caller says ‘Yeh aur kuch nahi, car maalik aur driver ki mili bhagat hai’ (to get famous or something) [It’s a consipary of the driver and owner to get famous]
The correspondents ask the car owner ‘Sir, yeh aapki mili bhagat to nahi hai’
The car owner says ‘Nahi hamari koi mili bhagat nahi hai’ – obviously, what you expected him to say – ‘yes this is our conspiracy’

After some time, another caller calls and says the same thing about the ‘mili bhagat’.
Just guess, what the correspondents would have replied
‘We have already discarded this option. Because we asked the owner and he says that unki koi mili bhagat nahi hai’

Believe me, I am not exaggerating at all (no need for that, aaj tak already added enuf masala)

You must be wondering why I was still watching that – just to see till how low they can go.

So finally they located the driver, who clearly told them that he drives the car from passenger seat, NO supernatural power, and he can drive and show them, there and then.
But now, as soon as he would drive, there would be no mystery, so the correspondents did not allow him to drive for 40 min. The intelligent lady correspondent (I don’t know her name, but she is the one who drives and evaluates new vehicles on Aaj Tak), this lady was still adamant to prove to driver that it is not possible to drive like that, and it MUST be some Supernatural power. She also discussed what the callers mentioned like Pipal tree, Scooter at shamshaan and all.

I was losing patience, so had to switch channel. After some time when I came back to Aaj Tak, the correspondents allowed driver to give the demo (finally !)
So before the demo, the car was being analyzed for anything unusual with it. As it came out, it was a normal car. The lady correspondent said
‘I think everything in the car is same as other cars, but yes, I can see a ‘Sai Baba’ photo on the dashboard…..

I could not take it more. This time I did not switch the channel, I deleted the channel, so that I do not even accidentally step on ‘Aaj Tak’.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bole to - sahi hai mamu.....

My review for 'Lage Raho MunnaBhai' completes in one statement - If you have not still seen it, go watch it. Its not a movie to be missed.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The "Phony" Phase

Have you lived with someone who is just engaged? How do you recall him/ her now?
I bet talking on a phone :-)

Imagine - when you get engaged – its good news not only for your family and friends, but also for the telecom companies. No muhurat for marriage for next 8 months, even better - longer the gap, happier they are. Though smaller gaps do not prevent one from spending – I had a colleague, who actually spent 1 Lakh in 3.5 months on phone (its not something which I heard from someone, I actually saw his mobile bills – 26000 for first month, 32000, 29000 and 15000 for subsequent months – rounded off to nearest thousand :-) After paying these bills, he was left with just enough salary to pay his house rent. For those who still not believe it - it was year 2002, and STD rates were much higher than that of today.

Another friend of mine, who was determined to match this figure, though in a longer period – 18 months, could not do that, despite of talking 6-7 hrs each day. Till then Reliance had come with a unique scheme – a boon for the engaged ones – just pay a fixed monthly amount – Rs 700 – and you call any reliance mobile for free – no matter how long you talk, monthly bill will be just 700.

So what will be the ideal gift for your fiancée? No points for guessing – a Reliance mobile, and you take the reliance landline. I have observed that mostly guys take the landline and girls the mobile, than the other way round. Why so, we can analyze it some other time. A more interesting analysis would be what these people talk for so long – 2 hrs, 5 hrs, even 10 hrs a day.
10 hrs appear impossible to you….You would ask – don’t these guys have to work? I tell you how it happens – as soon as the guy reaches home, say 7 pm, he calls up his fiancée. And then the call is on till they go off to sleep – say 12. There are a few gaps in between when they are having food and other activities. There are times, when nobody speaks for 20-30 mins, due to a disagreement, but the call is still on.

I also know of an incident, where the girl did not want to speak because she was annoyed for some reason. But the guy did not agree to put the phone down. Both were not ready to give in, so they end up holding the phones silently for the whole night. This was much before the reliance era, and the guy ended up paying hefty bill for the night.

Anyways, I was telling you how 10 hrs – 5 hrs in the evening, 2 hrs in the morning, and 2 hrs in the office spread between 3-4 calls at different times. Hmm 5+2+2, okay it makes 9 hrs….but weekends, the talking time goes up to 12-14 hrs, so on average 10 hrs a day.
I am sure these people wont talk this much even after marriage :D

My another observation is that, in general, the talk time is more in case of arranged marriages than the love marriages (during this period, and not overall). Any contenders on this….

But the million-dollar question remains - what does one talk for so long – since I am inexperienced in this, can the experienced ones throw some light from their own or someone else’s experience. Waiting for the responses………