Traveling

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Are you tired of traveling? Trust me, I would love to travel my whole life. Travelling has been part of my life. You know as i posted here.. almost most of my life I stayed away from my home. During my 1st year of my Diploma, I travelled from my native Chintamani to a village called Bagepalli. Although, the distance was 56 km, It used to take 2.5 hrs of journey to reach the place, But the fun part of the journey was  passing through many villages, where I was immersed to see the village life through a small window. It was like a movie, instead of the scene rolling at 24 FPS, I was moving at 22.4kmph :).  Gradually, I started enjoying the traveling subconsciously. 

 

This enjoyment doubled while I was in Udupi. Thanks to prasanna for organizing many trek events,  where I got to see different landscapes of Western Ghats while enjoying my time with the nicest people. Our First trek was to Kundadri, although he morphed us by saying he is taking us to Kodachadri, a place which was then famous for  Yograj Bhat’s Gaalipata movie. But that was a good start. In our very next trek, we went to Kodachadri and scenes over there was Bliss!! Although we have been to many other beautiful places thereafter, trip to Kodachadri is still the best, because it was the first time I enjoyed the nature so much. ( Although Bangalore is called Garden City, it is much polluted ). This trip strengthened my like to live in rural areas than the urban areas. As a fun part, we did a Beach Trek, which had 14 members walking on the shores of Arabian Sea, from Kumta to Gokarna, most of the part was covered by foot.

 

We did few more trips by train to Yaana, Kumta for Beach Trek, Murdeshwara. Those were really awesome.  My longest train journey  was to Shiridi. Imagine being on wheels for 1.5 days each way, seeing those marvelous places pass by. I know it does not sounds much of an excitement for some who have travelled more than that or very frequently, for me it was my first time I witnessed such diversity in our country. Sit next to a window and seeing the changes like divergence in construction of house, various ethnicity, changing landscapes, a change noticed every few hundred kilometers.

 

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In-spite of all these changes, one thing that remains same is the SMILE 🙂 . Moving at 60kmph, our eyes capture only certain moments from the window, it could be a mother lighting a lamp in her house, children playing outside their house, school, or while getting back from school, elders chit chatting, farmers working in their fields and many more, In all these, the smile on their faces remain the same, that is what makes me to enjoy my travel. 

 

Traveling got a new dimension when I moved to West coast of USA, and in the process discovered that I enjoyed something else. I will continue after a break..

 

Meanwhile, I would love to hear your traveling experiences.

Doppelgänger or Hallucination?

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My Life is on a fast track lane witnessing so many transitions, coming across many people, few get close, few pass by, while some remain in memories forever. I rewind those memories once in a while and am sure many of you also do the same.


We meet many people having different characteristics, different mannerisms out of which some stands out for us. We try to attach an incident, it may have happened  the first time you saw, or the first prank you played with them, and when we see such similar incident they are the ones who come to our mind. Its like something like, “Oh I had a friend who laughs like you!!”. Give yourself a try remembering your best friend and the first incident that comes to your mind.


Sometimes, to the extreme, it happened that I meet a person for the first time, but his character, mannerism or behavior matches very close the person I know, that for a moment, I  thought these two people might be twins (although they are not). Is it kind of a hallucination, to see a close match in someone whom I just met? Not only their behaviors match, they look alike. Is the saying true that there are 7 people of same face exist? In German, they have similar theory called as doppelgänger, where they believer there exist a  paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil.


You know. At that particular moment, I always wish that I could get that person I know whom the stranger resembles and have them stand next to each other. That would be a real surprise!! Unfortunately, in all such incidents the two person were not at reaching distance 😦


 I have seen that there is a event conducted in Japan where twins are gathered at one place. But  Isn’t that wonderful to gather all these characters at one place, although they may not be twins, but they act the same?


I wonder, Is this behavior happens just with me or do you feel the same?

 

Cross Country Scenic Trail ( California to Oregon )

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With the Labour day weekend, we took the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway route and wanted to share some some statistics.

 

Route: Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway ( Literally Sunnyvale, CA to Crater Lake National Park, Oregon via Mount Shasta City, CA )

Number of Travellers: 2

Number of Days : 3

Total Miles Covered: 1190

Lakes Visited : 6

Waterfalls: 4

Mountains : 1

Number of Strenous Hiking Trails: 2

 

A Picture worth a Thousand Words” – thats very true and I’ll leave it here to take a look at few Best Pictures of this trip.

 

 

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#1 Sunset at Crater Lake, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon


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#2 Burney Falls, Mount Shasta City, California, USA


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#3 Sunset View from Watchman Peak, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA



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#4 Scenic Backdrop at Mount Mazama, Mazama Village, Oregon, USA


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#5 Shasta Caverns, Lake Shasta City, California, USA


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#6 Picturesque view at Lake Siskiyou, Mount Shasta City, California, USA

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#7 Vindae Falls @ Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA

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#8  Dawn’s view of Mount Shasta, Mount Shasta City, California, USA


More pics here:

1. Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway ( Facebook Link )

2. Scenic Captures @ Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway ( Facebook Link )

Njoy 🙂

Lemon Rice Mania!

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So I was looking into my friends blog about she having a phobia on Lemon Rice and realized OMG, we(me and my friend Sid) were in love with it without knowing it most of the time for ourselves.

 

While I was in Udupi, I stayed with my roommates Sidda, Naveen, and Anand (Shetty) , while Sidda and Naveen were Master Chefs, Shetty at that time did not even know how to turn on the Gas stove :). I was pretty lucky to stay with them as I was not very well adjusted to the hotel food in Udupi and my cooking skills was made a mockery. During the weekends, we used to prepare a lots of tasty stuffs, experimenting new things like payasam, Ragi mudde and so on. 

 

But there used to be days where our master chefs are not available  and at that time I had to learn one item as a defense to fill my stomach. For the first time, while me and shelty were experimenting to prepare Lemon Rice ( we chose it  after Maggi option to eat something fresh and natural), we had to boil the oil and add some Onions and curry leaves. The moment I dropped the Curry leaves and Onions, Shetty took an evasive action as if I was dropping bomblets 🙂

 

Sooner I mastered my self-defense and eventually turned out to be me cooking whenever we decide to have a quick and tasty dinner. This became our answer to Maggi as a fast and tasty food. Me and sidda only noticed that we loved this (inspite of eating it often) when we had prasanna as our roommate while in bangalore. Prasanna is a typical guy where he hated many food items like Lemon Rice, Water Melon, papayya and so on. You name it, He hates it 🙂 (jus kidding). Since then, we stopped preparing Lemon Rice, Well we sacrificed it 😛

 

One fine day, He had left to Rajasthan for trekking and he would be back only after a week. That is when we realized that our appetite for Lemon Rice had increased and we decided to celebrate Prasanna’s absence 😛 with Lemon Rice Mania. We both made varieties of Lemon rice that week- Normal Lemon Rice, with Vermicelli, With Mango, Tomato, Avalakki (Beater Rice / Poha). Boy, it was a marathon and We loved it :D. We had this marathon only after two years when Prasanna’s Facebook status changed from Single to Married. Hey we took the pics of our favorite food at that time:) Here it is..  

 

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Well, things have changed drastically in past 6 months after I moved to USA. Whoever said ‘Necessity is the mother of Invention’ are absolutely right. I not only learned to cook several items, but I kind of get the interest in cooking which I was badly missing earlier.

 

Happy Cooking!

In our Time.. (part 2)

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I have said about few advancements in Technology In the past twenty five years in this post.

 

I found one more instance on how technology changed the way we did few things in our time…

 

Check this snip from my FB Timeline. This is post by a boy from 10th Standard promoting himself to request for votes to become a School Captain.

 

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I still remember, In our school, all the students were asked to assemble near prayer hall and would choose the school and house captain by manual polling through asking the students to raise their hands against each name when they are called.

 

Times have changed and its no surprise if the next generation would cast the vote in elections through Facebook and all the advertisements and poll campaigns run through Facebook. In a way its a Eco friendly solution.

 

What do you think?

In our time…

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Its been 3 months in Silicon Valley and there are 3 words buzzing around my ear – Technology, BMW and Apple. Never spent a day without hearing those (>.<)

Let me admit that I am obsessed with anything that sounds technical, but I made a strong point that this blog will be dedicated purely for my personal stuff, which does not involve anything I do in my profession. I still adhere to it and the content you would read now would sound technical, but Trust Me! Its not.. 🙂

Coming back to Silicon Valley story, I made my time to visit Computer History Museum with the intent of seeing the First Mechanical Computer, The Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine, which for most of us is limited to textbooks. The place turned out to be a wealth of knowledge, and in simple it replaced the content in my brain from mere text from those HUGE text books to real computers visible to my naked eye.

Do you know how the Time Sharing machine looked like? A Processor Chip that took the whole room, The machine’s running at KHz speed but occupied a large room?  Its surprise to see The entire Computer Evolution is captured in one single room. I could not even remember what I saw a few min before over there as I moved chronologically to see next revolution of computers. Such was the volume of info over there. But it took me to flashback of the revolutionary products and services that had influence on Me ( and most of you as well ) so far. 

Do you remember, We used to hear from our granny saying “In our generation, this thing cost a penny”, “In our time, we had telegrams..”, In our time… and so on…

Well, 25 years on this planet, I have a chance to say “In our time..” 🙂 (That does not mean I am old :), its shows that how technology grew exponentially in small amount of time)

Let me layout the most revolutionary products and its impact on Me in past 25 years.

Telephone – Connecting People 

Rotary Dial Phone – 1994-1997

Its started with No Telephone in our home (or very expensive to afford one) and few years later my aunt got this.

 

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As some of you know, I had to stay far from my parents for schooling (and it continued from there on 😦 ) So the only way I could speak to my parents was through this. However, Owning this was not affordable (around 300Rs/) to my parents and they used to have a walk after their dinner to the STD booth to make a call.  During that time in 1990-2000s, Calls b/w two districts were considered as an STD call and it was about 3 Rs / minute. Now its 0.2 paisa per minute!!

Trunk Calls – 1996-1998

At last my parents bought a phone, but still could not afford to add STD feature. The alternative was to make a trunk-call.

For those who are wondering what a trunk calls is – it was an alternative way of making an STD call where you dial to a local telephone operator and provide them the receiver’s number and disconnect. The telephone operator would connect to the receiver and gives back a call once the receiver accepts the call. Cost: 5-10 Rs / minute

Pager – 1997 – 1999

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Sometime, I wanted my cousin to stop by our home and get some sweets or have chat with us. But, there was no way we could call him while he is out for his work.  One fine day, he bought a Motorola Pager – it was for his business purpose though. It also opened the door for something else – Guess what, we could get the live cricket score update. During the cricket match, I used to grab the pager from him for the whole course of the match – The Cable TV was not affordable. This pager was my cricinfo at that time 🙂

How did it function?  – Well, again there comes an operator between us. We call the operator and leave the message along with the Pager number which would be sent immediately. It was so fun that we used to bug the operator to an extent where they would warn us for calling frequently. 

 

Mobile Phone – 2000 – present

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(Image Courtesy: http://www.tech43.net/2011/09/evolution-of-mobile-phones-first-ever.html )


My cousin, once again, was the first to get a Mobile phone in our family. The fact that it was mobile was the only interesting part. Otherwise it was heavy and It was Rs 4 for outgoing and Rs 8 for incoming call. SMS was buzz word at that time and in the process, it sent the pager to its Graveyard.

Its amazing to see how the technology has leaped in this area –  Now I am 14118 Kilometers  / 7618 Nautical Miles far from my parents, friends and relatives and not only I can speak to them, but we can do a video conferencing without much expense. ( But nothing replaces being next to the person )

What next?

I would see that this would take a U-turn where people communicate in-person, the feeling which cannot be replaced by any technology. But there will be time, we call a person and he/she would be with us the next moment :). ( Laser rockets!! BooooM 😀 )

Next Revolutionary product – Inland Letter -> Email -> SMS,

What revolutionary products did you encounter in your era?

 

 

Those Five Minutes

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A bunch of similar people from different parts of India ( including Me ) moved to California, USA on employment two months ago.  We had to spend some hard time on settling the basic things such as adjusting to new office environment, finding the shelter with a decent price in this Hot real estate market, adjusting to new culture, rules of USA and so on. It was tiring 8 weeks but at the same time has been a learning curve for all of us. Now that things are looking fine after 8 weeks, We decided to make this long weekend (on account of Good Friday ) count by taking a long drive to Tahoe City-famous for a lake by its name and Snow fall.

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With all set, Pritam and Sameer wanted to include Sky-Diving in this plan. Hmmm… What!! Are you Crazy?? was the first reaction from many of us. But it was their dreams. We questioned ourselves, whether we wanted to join them for this crazy adventure. While the answers were Yes and No, I just chose to delay the decision until that particular moment than thinking of it from now whether to do or not. Its the good lesson which I learnt in the recent past.

So we are all set for the drive where we started at 6:30 AM and reached Lodi – Sky Diving in about couple of hours. Finally the time to make our decisions. Pritam and Sameer stick to their plan. I was blank until I heard Raghavendra is doing it. It was a shock!  I was under assumption that he being the father of a kid, would not do this Stupid Crazy thing. Alwin was in the same state until his wife, Sangeetha, got ready which is another surprise to me. So with those two guys decision, it inspired us to do this what you might call a stupid act. Finally, All seven of us which includes Vishal was ready for this crazy act.

Follow your heart – I have neither seen any video nor have listen to the experiences, esp. the bad ones,  of Sky-Diving. After seeing the environment over there I wanted to experience the thrill, So I decided to go ahead. Hmmm.. Do I sound crazy?? Hun??

 

The Interesting Part.

What I observed in U.S.A regarding Sales and Marketing, in my short stay, is that they sell the product first and then enable the customer an option of Return Policy which allows him to return back without asking any questions. Well it has its advantages. In this case, it wasn’t. We paid $100 + $75 (for jump + dvd & Photos ) and then they made us to watch 15-min video. In summary, this video contained an old man sporting a long beard, who makes a statement –

NOTHING IS PERECT or GUARANTEED-the Aircraft, the Trainer, the Parachute, whichever thing is involved.  There is no prize to guess what the outcome might be, if any one of the thing failed in next few minutes. You would get a refund until the time you wear the suit, but no one was ready to return assuming that, it will be a step back which would lead to a sort of feeling, where everything goes fine and then you are the only person who missed out to experience the thrill. Well.. that is what happens when you are in a group and I bet we would have not done it by going there individually.

In U.S.A everyone is aware that the Law is very strict and anyone can sue anybody if they can prove it. The old man ends up saying the agency is not responsible for any kind of disastrous or even a minor injury and we have to sign a legal document agreeing for the same. Add to that, there is no insurance coverage as this does not cover under accident.

 

Get ready for the moment

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Once we signed the papers, we all geared up with suits except me. The instructors took a video while interviewing each one of them asking Why would we need to Sky-Diving?? Hmm.. Its because, We have gone crazy 🙂 Isn’t it?. The plane we boarded looked like its on its way to graveyard, but none of us gave attention(?) to that as we were pretty excited, Really?? :).  While we were smiling looking at each other faces, I just realized that the plane already reached certain height within no time.. That is the first time I saw the ground from that height. The previous one which I took to reach USA was my first ever experience in the flight, but I was unlucky to not get the window seat & hence I could not see the ground.

 

This is the moment..

 

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Each person was accommodated with the instructor & videographer. As the Altimeter clocked 13000ft, the instructors got ready and within no time Alwin, and other guys were out flying in the air. I was the penultimate one to go and once I reached close to the door, I got a full view of the ground with naked eyes and my heart-beat stopped for a moment. By the time I said NO… I was out flying in the air!!. I did start to panic with the wind blowing toward my face and started to take as much as air through my mouth. However, I did manage to give a thumbs up to my videographer in front of me.

For a couple of moments, there was a fear with all sorts of negative thoughts coming up, But I remembered the words of CEO in my past company, where he was giving an example of Falling off from a mountain without a parachute and how one should try to find his way back to the top of the clip. He was actually comparing a similar situation in life.

Well!! I never thought It would be real, of course I had the Parachute, but then you never know how things turn around. That is when I decided, the best thing is to enjoy the moment as this would come once in a lifetime (it needs a lots of guts to do it for next time ) without worrying about what would happen in future.

We did a turnaround during the free flow before the parachute was raised. It became easier then, where we had control against the wind force. I was also in a position to see down. By this time the fear of height had literally gone and I started enjoying the view of the ground from the top. It looked like a beautiful painting with the green square farm fields taking much of the space & vehicles and people moving around were so tiny. The instructor started doing some stunts by tilting and rotating the parachute, which was both scary and at the same time thrilling.

 

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Be Positive! Enjoy this moment – By Enjoy means “It is to do what you like the most!”.

One thing I would like to say here is, There will be many decisions we make, and there is no such thing called as a bad or a good decision. It depends on what it turns out to be when it is executed. If things had gone wrong here, it would have been different scenario. So, Follow what your heart says and Be Positive.

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More Pictures here

 

DISCLAIMER: I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO DO THIS TASK