Saturday, February 24

Computerized Toilets Ticket Counters

It was one of the most hilarious and disastrous happening d during my trip to Munnar around the New Year.

After the ferry ride @ tekkady proved to be a disappointments we were looking forward to take a leak (some even desperate). We found this counter were tickets were issued for using the toilet facility. Rs 1/- for the urinal and Rs 2/- for the latrine. Fair enuf!

At the counter we were surprised to find that it was a computerized system. They would print a small coupon with infromation of the 'Date/Time of Issue', 'Amount' & 'Validity Period' he he ROTFL =)). The coupon was pretty much like those balance receipts that you get at ATM's. We all exchanged looks and wondered - "WOW! When did India become this advanced." The printer used was the miniature economical ones that TVS and other companies had developed for use in market place and such dusty environments.

Given to our past experience, all but those who were in dire need of the service took it up while the rest of us waited for them to take the 1st ride :D (cunning huh). Not a drop of water in the toilets as some people there reported, and as a bonus none of the guyz to get any closer than 5mts from the entrance :D. So much for a computerized toilet ticket counter :).

On a positive note, the A1 restraunt within the premises of Reliance Petrol Stations are a wonder on the highway. Spic-and-span, very good quality food and prepartion in from of you eyes. I was amazed at the sanitary conditions. Rs 5 bucks for using the restrooms, but trust me, they are absolutely worth it. Very well maintained, its a haven for travellers. They even have microwave ovens, a snacks shop and such facilities. If you are gonna be traveling through the NH, you don't have to wait to reach civilization for a pit-stop, Reliance A1 would be a better experience than most towns.


Thursday, February 15

Snapshot Munnar

I'v been really lazy to come up with posts lately. This stuff has been pending since New Year, so am flushing it off :D. Picked some picturesque snaps from my trip to munnar for the New Year. Its taken me 3 days to compile this post. Thats how lazy I have become :).

The speed-boat ride was quite some fun :). I loved the sharp turns that they took. Some of the guyz felt nauseating :(. It was a picturesque and a fun experience. It almost ended up being a photo-shoot destination as we waiting for our turn and the the gang to return.

Our trek down the mountains. For most part it was walking through the mountains, but for the last 1km which had us being on all fours, hanging onto trees once in while. My cousin brother ended up falling, forunately grabbed two trees with both his hands. Said he was seeing dead people (uncle, grandma to start with) for a moment ;)). It wasn't a fatal fall, but could have been hurt real bad and with no one to call for help it was a :-s moment. Thanks to our guide all is well :).
This guy was our guide for the trek. Unfortunately we had no clue about the trek until we reached the spot :( (Top Station). Had we known we would have planned to drop in earlier and well prepared for a nice bath in the falls. We ended up climbing back quickly to beat the sunset. Of course, its an unofficial trek via private property, which the locals offer ;).
This pic shows kurinji flower that blooms once every 12 years for 3/6 months I believe. We were lucky to make the trip right on the occassion and better yet, go on a trek down the mountains to see them cover stretches of the mountains upclose :). We were there towards the end of the season so there weren't as much as they used to be I presume.

Not all that beautiful though. Its got a dirty violet colour. Nevertheless, the fact that they ain't gonna bloom for another 12 years kept our attention for a while. Damn Lucky I say!

The reserve turned out to be quite a bore but for the physical exhaustion and spotting the "Wild Boar" *duh*. We had to walk perpendicular to the slope of the mountain for kms together. Our ankles were on the edge of ending up with a sprain. The walk bestowed us with tons of thorns. Not the big ones. Little soft ones that stick onto your clothes and wouldn't go unless you deligently pull'em out. Do it wrong and they were pulling out strands of the clothing :(. One of my friend had so much on his sock (worn with a slipper) that he just dumped it.
Wild mushrooms! We had to be content with spotting such trivial things. The worse part of this trek into the forest was that were a group of 7 and we couldn't talk but in whispers. The previous days trek had its toll as well. One the bright side we got a nice burn out :), physically.

If you plan to visit the sanctuary, give it a lot more time. Coz our one hour trek only managed to get half was inside and back. Keep a window of 4 hours and you should be lucky to spot the celebrities there ;)) he he.

Thekkady was another blooper. We woke up @ 2am to reach there from munnar. As expected NO WILD ANIMALS! The ride is the ferry was good only for a good view. No way any animal would come out after hearing to the ferries loud noise. They were probably mumbling for having disturbed their peaceful slumber ;)) he he. We were short of time so that's was all we could cover.

Ooooooh yeah! We saw birds. WOW, so much for wild life.

It was a 4 day trip and we thought we'd dry out of places to watch. Maybe so for honeymoon couples ;)). But if you are hitting as a bunch of bachelors, there is just so much that I'd suggest a week to cover em all in spirit. On the downside u'd get bored of the greens by then. The wild life reserve has tree houses which you can book and stay, yeah away from civilization :). I believe at thekkady too you have such a facility. You wouldn't be able to see the elephants otherwise, unless you are okie with shelling out 300 bucks per head for a ride. We planned just 3 weeks on a small budget before our trip and everything was booked.

There is a lot in and around munnar for more than a few days. But its quite likely, unless you have a big pocket that you get bored in a while. Offbeat places would be the best bet when you are on a budget. And in my experience even though minimal, these turn out to be much more fun. You could cover plenty in a couple of trips to munnar. I'd recommend taking the road route, of course with a gang. Otherwise you are gonna miss quite a bit of nature. Given to the punctuality of the guyz and the super fast driver we missed at mountain top (forgot the name) before entering munnar, where sunrise is said to be absolutely beautiful.

As always the hilight of our trip were the off-beat places. No crowd and just us, it was perfect! So you bachelors out there, hit to this destination and get adventurous with your gang before you get hooked ;). Adios.

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Wednesday, February 7

"Placement is my right" PERIOD.

WOW! Now that's some attitude. This was one of the banners held by students of a management school protesting in UP yesterday. They went about damaging a whole lot of the institutions property. I don't need to explain if these guys deserve a placement, now do I? Their attitude speaks for themselves.

Protests are part and parcel of every democracy. As someone said - "it is a positive indicative that people are free to voice". I wonder how many of these people have the least understanding as to what it is they are protesting against for or against? To me, these sound more instigated than one demanding fairness, justice and whatever they associate with it. Being as blatant as those who deny it, it is politics that drives much of these.

I don't know about elsewhere, but in India most protests these days seem to be more over emotions, sentiments and stubborness. Almost every other day people protest against "The Law". I don't mean to say they shouldn't at all. But if the local governments are themselves bickering and defying the law, what do you expect the common man to understand of this? The supreme court having to resolve every bickering is just too much for the system.

The economic imbalance brought in by the IT sector seems to add up to the problem. Everything tending to a "Flat World", the incompetent just seemed to have lost the race by miles. And with nothing else to do, they begin to indulge in anti-social activities (for money and/or out of sheer frustration, the source of which is well known to all).

A first hand solution for this seem to be providing education to the inopportune and enable them in becomming skilled. But then, would the country be able to cope up with that. Recently I heard that china has too many graduate students but not enough white-collar jobs. Ironically mechanics and people involved in menial jobs seemed to be earning more than the educated.

I wonder where India is heading? Not to be negative, but I believe that the political system is only aggrevating the divide between and elite and the inopportune for their own survival. Talk about altruistic leaders, they are history!
P.s: I'd actually posted it in a different blog of mine #-o. Gosh! I am becomming absent minded :D.