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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Elections, We the people and something else..

With each passing day, my fear of where we are heading as a nation only keeps growing. We live in a world of information deluge. Information is everywhere around us, in our phones, splashed across all news papers, TV channels, billboards, hoardings, water cooler talk. Call me senile but I get the feeling that 99% of what we hear, see, read is all information that I call "noise". Information that is either biased, worthless for us to use in any positive manner. Agendas of corporations, people, political parties, friends, relatives, everyone who is anyone just waiting to down you...Am I making sense? Probably only to myself.

That brings me to the Indian elections. We are truly at the cross-roads of our democracy and yes people are frustrated. Frustrated at just about everything that the life has to offer in this great nation of ours, right from the lack of a hygienic environment for our kids to grow, the water that we are forced to drink, the lack of electricity, lack of motor-able roads right to the absolute apathy towards the well being of the common man by those in power.

If we put aside all the bull-shit that main stream media (right from the 24x7 news channels to the newsprint media) wants us to believe, the facts remain simple. What have we gained from the rule of the current government? Nothing much. Do people like Modi deserve a chance to show us what he us capable of doing? Absolutely Yes.

But giving a Modi a clear mandate will alone not suffice. We need an underlying change in the way we view our freedom and not just take things for granted. We are the most hypocrite society in the world and the people with the least civic sense at least within the borders of our great land. Why is that? Because we take everything for granted in the name of freedom. We do not have the least sense of pride in being truly Indian. We desperately cling on to our heritage, out culture when we cannot even obey basic traffic rules or show some caring for the man we meet across the street. We will redeem ourselves and this great nation of ours only if we bring about an fundamental change in our attitude towards everything. Is that going to change? I sincerely hope so but the signs I see everyday only keeps crushing that hope but I will still cling on while I can.

Meanwhile I hope and pray that we give a chance to someone who wants to make a difference.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The grandeur of Yosemite!

I had the chance, thanks to the infinite blessings of the almighty (blessings that never cease to stop) to visit Yosemite National Park in California and the place just blew me away. I will just let the pictures below speak for themselves!

An exciting May beckons!

In keeping with a promise to do a little more photography, I get a fantastic opportunity in May when I visit Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh for a 4 day trip. I spoke with the coordinator of the trip, a gentleman who has dedicated his life to wildlife conservation, Mr. Vallish Vasuki. Such men are indeed a rare breed and I have nothing but respect for such people. People who dare to dream and follow their dreams.

We may get a whole day trip into the national park if things workout and that's really gotten my excitement going. 

Bring it on mother nature! 

Monday, April 07, 2014

Back to the drawing board

Another attempt at getting the body into shape by beginning to walk. I have to do this, I need to do this for myself above all else. And this time my mind, you are going to end up on the losing side! This I promise!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A weekend well spent!

A very productive Sunday spent in my opinion at Kokkarebellur and Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary with the family and with friends. It also presented me with a chance to take out the Vento for a real highway spin (if you could call the Bangalore-Mysore road a highway that is..). 

The Kokkarebellur trip was long coming. Given that my lens gear really isn't the best for typical bird photography, Kokkarebellur presented the best chance for me to get up close to some birds and take a few close-ups with my 75-250 mm lens.

We started from home at about 5:20 and reached Kokkarebellur by about 7:30 or so. The place is really just a small village that has become famous with Bangaloreans who head out in search for some good birding place. The evidence was there to see with boards/signs showing the distance to the village every 1 KM after we take the left from the Mysore highway just before Maddur.

We were mobbed by several kids at the village asking us for money or notebooks and paying a few bucks got us directions to some of the nesting sites. We were told that there weren't too many birds this year. The majority of the trees were taken by the Painted Stork and we had a chance to get some good snaps and observe these wonderful birds up close. I managed to spot a few Pelicans as well.

We then headed out to Ranganathittu as there wasn't much left to see at Kokkarebellur after we spent about 45 mins at the place. Due to the exam season the sanctuary wasn't too crowded although our boat has a big family of irritating local folks who made such a din when seeing the birds. Aadrika was also beginning to get cranky so I couldn't take as many snaps I would have liked to. Paying Rs 1000 gets you a boat to yourself and a 45 min ride into some of the deeper parts of the sanctuary but today wansn't going to be the day.

What I need, I realize is a good telephoto lens but it doesn't look like I will be able to afford one soon given the expenses and cash outgo that I am witnessing these days. Sigh!

We headed back to Bangalore at 11:30 and I was left to complain again about the highway. There were a gazillion speed breakers along the way with the usual idiots on the road. The Vento was totally stunning to drive on the highway. An absolute beauty he is! I did not feel the usual stiffness and tiredness even though we drove close to 350 kms. We've already done 520 odd kms in the new car with hopefully more such weekends to come!