Tag Archives: Bangalore

A ride for Safe Food

Last weekend I was part of a campaign which was going against the use of GMOs, pesticides, and the use of harmful chemicals in the production of food. We cycled a distance of around 10kms in the city, stopping along the way and talking to people and asking them to support the movement. The cycle rally was organized by India for Safe Food, which is a movement amongst Indian farmers, the consumers and the government to make sure that everyone has access to safe, poison-free food.

Click here to read my article about the event, the movement, and the demands we’re making of the Union Agriculture Minister and the government.

Set for the Ride



Food blogging

And here’s my next article! This article came out a few days a back, but I never got down to putting it up on the blog.
This is a feature about three Bangalore-based food bloggers, why they love blogging, and how their journeys have been, and of course,  Food!

Click here to read!

Cycle. Lake. Cycle. Go-kart. Cycle. Sleep!

Yesterday, 5 of us went on a cycle ride and we covered nearly 60 kilometers! This was possibly one of the hardest and most difficult rides I’ve ever done.

We started off at 7.30, and by the time the five of us got together, it was 8.30. The weather was lovely and perfect for cycling. Cloudy and cool. We headed off from J.P Nagar and hit the Kanakapura Road, and rode in a single file to avoid getting to close to the passing trucks and speeding cars. After cycling for about half an hour (without breakfast), Vijey said there was a small roadside shop he saw where they were selling omelettes. We wondered if we should stop there, and finally turned back. We were all starving, and the food turned out to be great!

In the beginning                Pic: Shashank Ck

Our first destination was a small lake which is about 12 kms from JP Nagar. The cycling group has been there a couple of times before, but this was only my second time there. The last time I went there was sometime last July, and the lake was full after the rains. This time the water level was far less, and the land around was dry and brown. We sat around, skipped stones, and walked around the lake for a while. I was already a little tired.

Our plan was then to go from the lake to a go-karting place a few kilometers away from the lake,still further away from the city. I’m guessing it was another 3 kilometers from the lake. We started off and it was from here that I stared noticing the up-hills and down-hills. I was getting tired and while I was glad there was a downhill, I knew that on the way back, it was going to be hard to cycle up the slopes. I cycled at my own pace, and we finally got to the go-karting place. I was relieved. The place was empty. I’m guessing we were their first customers. I had never been go-karting before, and I doubted my skills of riding the toy car majorly. I was in two minds about going in the car and racing with four other boys, all of whom had done this before. Finally, after thinking for a bit, I said I was in! Might as well try it when I have the opportunity. No, I don’t do that always. Twice I’ve had the opportunity of going on some crazy, topsy-turvy, upside down, all-turning sides ride in amusement parks, and I’ve kept my distance. I prefer watching people screaming, with their arms flailing and hair flying, while they’re being thrown around by a big ass machine.

The lake

So, they we were, racing! It was great fun, and I don’t think I was bad at it at all. Twice I crashed, but everyone did at some point! Eight rounds around the track, and I wanted to do more! We sat around for a while, watched two other groups racing, and then started heading back. It was already 2.30, and we hadn’t had lunch as yet. One of my friends called his mom and told her were coming for lunch.

The ride back, I almost died! With the up-slopes I struggled, and I kept the four others waiting. This was possibly one of the most strenuous things I’ve done in a long time, and my energy level had reached its limits. My legs began to cramp and burn, and twice I got off my cycle and pushed it up the slope. Even the flat stretches became as struggle. Finally, I told them to just race ahead and wait for me. We stopped around 4 or 5 times. At one point I could go no more, and Ambar and I stopped to drink coconut water, and I ran to the petrol bunk loo near by. The go-karting place had an open “loo”, suitable enough for guys. I had to wait till then. I got a good rest, and drank two coconuts. Sitting down I felt good, but the minute I got up, my legs hurt and cramped! Maybe I should take an auto back I told Ambar. It was really killing me.

On the way back     Pic: Shashank Ck

Joining the others, we had another break. This time, I switched cycles with Shashank, and we continued, and ditched the auto plan.  Again, I cycled in my own slooow pace. Ambar was constantly cycling a few feet behind me (I don’t know how he did that!). This time, I was determined to finish, and I did. The ride from that point was pretty flat, and we kept at a constant pace. I wanted to make it, all the way to Vijey’s place, and I did, and I wouldn’t have if it was not for these guys being so patient!

We reached Vijey’s place and we ate and ate! The food was so good. We were exhausted, and I was ready to crash! After resting for a while, we headed our own ways back home. I was tired, but happy.

I came home, had a bath, ate dinner, and crashed and didn’t get up till the alarm rang.
The trip was worth every moment, however hard it was.

Swarathma’s ‘Topiwalleh’

This post has been collecting dust in my draft box.

Almost a week back, Swarathma, an Indian folk-rock band performed in Bangalore, and it was a brilliant brilliant show! I always try to catch their shows in the city. The music, the energy, the lyrics, and the sounds are always so lively! I usually never listen to Hindi songs, and don’t listen to Kannada songs either (the language in which this band sings), but somehow I’ve taken a deep liking to the songs they sing. I’m not very good at Hindi, and neither in Kannada, but the feelings the songs evoke are many.
Right now, Swarathma is launching their second album ‘Topiwalleh’ and they’re doing a tour around India, and they’re half way through. Tomorrow they play in Mysore!

Vasu Dixit, Swarathma

The first time I ever listened to Swarathma was about two years back at the Hard Rock cafe here in Bangalore, and I was mind-blown by their energy and performance. I hadn’t even heard a recording of any of their songs before that, and I had no clue what that evening had in store for me. After watching the six of them play live, listening to their songs on Youtube, or on the computer was nothing like listening live, clapping and moving and jumping to their music, right there with them.

Pavan Kumar on percussion, Swarathma

However, some of their songs I listen to over and over.
Here are a few songs with good recordings on Youtube:
Pyaasi:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCii9Pmjxho
Duur Kinarahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR9H5iZ-l1I

Here’s a site with some of their other songs.
Here, I’d recommend: Pyaar ka rang, Sur mera, Patte Saare and Ee Bhoomi.

Oh, and I almost forgot. My next article was about their concert in Bangalore.
Click here to read my article and get a sense of what their concert was like!


Elephant dung and Monitor lizards

The day before yesterday, my friend Chayant, his friend Xan and I went to Savandurga. We left early in the morning, and the air was still chill from the previous night’s heavy rain. We set off on two scooters, and stopped for breakfast four kilometers away from the base. After eating hot idlis, pakodas, and drinking a cup of sweet coffee (Xan had three!), we continued up to the point where our bikes could go no further. Then, we started climbing.

It usually takes about an hour and half to climb up the path that lies behind the hill(including stopping and resting). All the trees, plants and grass around looked so fresh and green. Amazing what a couple of showers of rain can do! Going up, we saw a lot of elephant dung. I’m no expert at telling how fresh or old elephant dung is, but I’m guessing what we saw was around a week old.

On the top!
Pic: Chayant Gonsalves

We had trekked up for about 20 minutes, and then I heard something that completely changed my thought processes for the rest of the trek. I heard elephants! Whether it was one or more, I couldn’t tell. All I knew was that it was an elephant. I like elephants, but encountering them on foot in the wild, that’s a different thing. Chayant heard it too at that moment. I panicked. Quietly at first. Then I said it. “Guys, I think we should go back down”.
Honestly, I was confused myself. We heard the elephant(s) from the valley below, and surely they weren’t that close, or that’s what I chose to believe! We sat there for 10 minutes wondering what to do. Chayant was pretty confident it was okay to go up, and Xan was hearing for the first time about how wild elephants can actually be dangerous. At the end of this, we decided to hike up anyway. Better to go away than towards! As we went up, we saw less dung, and the terrain started to look more like the kind of place an elephant couldn’t get through or across. I was relieved.
We had walked for a while longer and just when we arrived at a clearing we saw a monitor lizard on the flat rock, and then Whoosh! Before we knew it, it was gone! We ran after it, but there was not race of it. That was the second time I had seen one in the wild. We saw yellow-throated bulbuls and white-throated bulbuls, and a couple of raptors were circling high above us.
When we had almost reached the top, it was starting to get hot. Chayant tried to reach the top of the rock which has the pool through a  different way, and got stuck on the rock. It’s a pretty steep rock, and the grips are few. Finally though, he did make it down. We went and sat by the pool for a while, drank lots of water and ate some chocolates. It was hot, and there was hardly any wind. We couldn’t see very far as it was quite hazy. Even then, it was lovely to be on top.
The lovely school I studied in from my 7th to 12th grade is on the way to Savandurga from the city, and we decided to stop by there for lunch on the way back. We called a teacher and informed him that we would be coming. It was already 12.30, and we decided to head down. Heading down meant one thing, at least for me. Elephants! This was the first time I was genuinely scared of something in the wild. Well, apart from snakes actually. I did have a phobia for a couple of months, but even that passed! Before we started to head down, we called our teacher again and told him, that we were coming down, and that we heard elephants. “Okay, come down safely”, he said. What else could he say?
Going down, we didn’t hear anything, but that wasn’t enough for me. Until we reached the fort wall which runs at the foot of the hill, I couldn’t stop thinking about elephants and that they might be on the path. And when we ultimately did reach, I was so relieved, and so happy that we reached the entrance.  I didn’t want to think about this for this for a while. In a way it was exciting, but I was still shit scared, and I wouldn’t want to be in a situation like that again. At least not for a while!
We got on our bikes and headed straight towards school, and away from the elephants.
While riding back I was thinking- This is something I’ll never forget!

When it gets too hot

Click here to see what to do When it gets too hot in the summer.

So, with summer here, I had decided to write an article about a few indoor sports arenas one could go to in Bangalore. Here, even with the sun blazing, you can enjoy a good game of football, cricket and a whole lot of other sports! Read on for more details.

Trekking the Monolith

So, here’s my second article. Got published in the newspaper today!

Click on the picture to read, and see the article enlarged. This the printed version.
Click on this link to read what got published online:  http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/leisure/article3400265.ece

This one’s about something I really enjoy doing- trekking! A little more than a week   back I was asked by someone in The Hindu to write an article about trekking on Savandurga. I said yes, the minute I was asked if I’d write about it.

Savandurga is a beautiful place to go to whether you’re a trekker, birdwatcher or historian. More details and descriptions of this massive monolith in the article!

Those who haven’t been here, please try to make a trip to this place. It’s certainly worth the long-ish trip from the city. And once you’re on top of that hill with that fantastic view, trust me, you wouldn’t want to make the trip down.

Hope you enjoy reading this!!

My first published article

Click here to view: My first published article









This summer, I’m doing a six-week internship at Citizen Matters (Bangalore) and here’s my first article. This got published a week back. Citizen Matters is a Bangalore based citizen oriented news magazine which encourages citizens to write for citizens. This internship is a compulsory part of the three-year Communications course I’m doing.
I’m enjoying and I’m learning a lot, researching, speaking to a lot of new people, and always trying to write about things that both interest me, and hopefully will be of interest to the readers. I also see this as a chance for me to learn about Bangalore, and what’s happening here wheather it’s social, cultural, environmental or political.

Two weeks over, and four more to go!

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