My 4th Patent application got approved for filing!

Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry

Date: Sep 18th to Sep 21st

Places covered: Vellore, Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry.

Transport: 3 cars - My first trip outing in my Ritz.

People: Pallavi (wife), Divi (younger sis), Mom in my car.... jeeju, hema (elder sis), nieces - Aditi and Bhoomika, Sis parents-in-law, Anand bhaiya, Jaya bhabhi and their daughters - Dimpi, Anjali.

Stay: Mamalla Beach resort in Mahabalipuram and Hotel Sooriya International in Pondicherry.

Didn't cover Gingee fort or the Tiruvannamalai temple as it was getting already very late.

Took leaves on 18th (Fri) and 21st Sep (Mon). Since Friday was also Mahalaya Amavasya, we took head bath and planned to do Pooja in the morning itself. Pallavi and mom got up even earlier and finished up cooking too before 6. After finishing pooja, we did start at 6:30 in the morning. Jeeju was driving his Wagon R, Bhaiya his Alto and me the powerful Ritz :). Took NICE Road and hit NH4 road. The road was too good and for the first time in my life I crossed 100 km/hr while driving myself and did clock a speed of 160 Km/hr.... Hoo hooo.... !!!!

Stopped only in Krishnagiri to fill up the tank. We continued and planned to stop at Vellore for breakfast, but didn't find any sign boards which said vellore and we continued further until I found sign board for Ratnagiri. So we took a U-Turn and went back 20 kms to hit a restaurant on the highway. After having masala dosa, we went to Vellore fort and Jalakanteswara temple. The temple is an old one and has good architecture. Fort around, we couldn't walk around as it was already very sunny and hot. After taking few snaps, we left for the Sripuram Golden temple. It is an enormous temple with a golden mandap. yes the whole structure is made of pure gold and is said to have cost more than 6000 crore to be built. We had a nice view of the temple and then headed to Mahabalipuram. We had lunch in vellore itself and jeeju got an indigestion. So couldn't travel that fast. We stopped for some rest in Sriperambadur on the highway itself. Reached chennai at around 7 and we did 2 hours intercity route finding. Every damn person we asked on way to Mahabalipuram gave us different routes and with 3 cars in the heavy traffic, we did all kind of circles and finally found ECR at 9. Reached Mahabalipuram - Mamalla beach resort at around 10:45 PM.

{Traveler's note: GRT and Sterling Resort were the choices jeeju initially suggested. With cost of around 5k/day for 5 rooms, it just didn't seem worth and hence I suggested - Mamalla beach resort or Silversands/Ideal beach resort. we checked some reviews and found silversands/Ideal beach resorts weren't upto the mark, but mamalla look to be good one. We spoke to one Rajeev, who is the manager I think and his gentle assurance made us decide on the place. our package was Rs 20K for 5 rooms for 2 days with breakfast and one bon-fire :). }

Mamalla beach resort is a good picturesque resort. Well maintained and neatly done but rooms are okay and definitely not worth the 2k/room rates. Since the restaurant was already closed, we went to a nearby local restaurant and got some egg biriyani's parcelled. Had that and dozed off. Oh yeah, before dozing off, since it was my sis bday, gave some gifts to her at 12 sharp. Got up early in the morning with a call from Aditi and we headed to the beach which is just behind the resort. The beach here is little harsher and the black soil for some reason doesn't encourage getting wet :(. But with the joyous attitude of the kids - Aditi and Dimpi, we ventured into it and played nicely. After breakfast, headed to Crocodile park - This is really worth a visit. The sheer number of crocs grown here are mind-numbing. Some of us did experiment holding a baby crocodile, a baby python and a tortoise. It was fun. we also went to poison removal session and heard a nice lecture on snakes. After finishing this, we headed to Tiger's cave. Don't mistake it for another wildlife park. It's a hill carving of a tiger den and has good carvings. Lie down and enjoy a break here :).

We headed back to our resort and had lunch. It started raining, so we couldn't venture out, but went to the swimming pool and had nice fun. Evening, we played in the beach and then we arranged for a cake cutting and bon-fire. Sis cut the cake and had a nice view near the bon-fire. Had dinner outside and returned to hotel and slept off.

Next day, again we spent some time in the beach and the swimming pool. We had our breakfast and left at around 9:30. Shore temple is a good magnificent old temple on the shores and we went around other places like Krishna mandapam, Arjuna's penance, Krishna's butterball etc. we came back to our hotel and refreshed. Left back at 2 and had lunch at Anand Bhavan. It was a chaotic experience with self-service and huge queue/rush. After spending nearly 2 hours there and with raising tempers, we left and went to Pancha ratha. it's again a marvelous place and must visit. Beautifully done. Had lot's of icecreams and coconuts there.

We left for Pondicherry at 4:30 and reached the place around 7. we had not booked a room here as most of the beach resorts were very costly and we planned to stay at a decent hotel in the city itself. We took some time to hunt down a decent hotel and after that the crap people took 2 hours to ready the room and hand it over to us... (they had told rooms have to be cleaned up - it would take 30 mins)...

Pondicherry is a decent place. we first went to the so called beach in the main town. This is full of big rocks and good to take snaps but you can't venture in the sea. So, we headed to Auroville beach around 10 kms from the city. This is a nice one and the beach here is calm too. Played well here. Didn't visit the Auroville town though. Went back to the hotel, got freshened up and headed to the Aurobindo Ashram. Has his samadhi and worth a visit. Had lunch on the way back (Anamalai International).

We left Pondicherry around 4 PM. Since it was getting dark, we didn't cover Gingee fort or the Tiruvannamalai temple but took coffee break there. Stopped in Krishnagiri for dinner and had nice roti's. The road from Pondicherry to Tiruvanamalai is a good state highway. Not much potholes but 2 lanes makes it difficult to overtake especially in the nights. We reached back Bangalore at about 12:30 AM on Tuesday.

Overall a great trip. Main intention was to spend lot's of time in beaches and we accomplished that very well !!! :)

First Anniversary - Kerala Trip

Sep 11 (9/11) happens to be my marriage anniversary and thought about taking a day or two off and go to some place on our first anniversary. Initial choice was Lakshwadeep, but after speaking to "Raghu The Great", decided against going there in the rainy season. Goa and Kodaikanal were two other options we initially covered but thought would go for Goa in November timeframe and Kodaikanal wasn't worth if it's raining...
Since Rohit had been to Kerala last month and mentioned it was a memorable trip, thought will check it out. Kerala Greenery website  had lot's of packages and we zero-ed in on SP-05 which covered Alleppey to Kumarakom backwater, Munnar hill station and Cochin city.
We started here on 10th Sep 9:00 PM train from Yeshwanthpur - Kochuvelli Garibh Rath express.. It's a fairly new train with only 3AC and hence people are not aware about it... You can easily get tickets even 1 day before your travel….. Train started on time and we had our packed dinner even before the train left. We reached cochin at around 7:50 AM…

 

After the mandatory coffee break in the railway station, headed outside. Our cab driver was waiting with the placard. His name was "Joy" - a Christian and was friendly throughout the journey. It's about 2 hours journey from Cochin to Alleppey…..

We reached Alleppey at around 10:00 AM….Had our breakfast in a small restaurant there. Since the check-in time for house boat was 12 PM …we had to wile away sometime, so went to Alleppey beach and spent nearly 1 and 1/2 hours there in the hot sun…. Didn't get into the water but just walked around the beach side. We checked into houseboat at 12PM…. Spending a day on the houseboat was an inviting experience and since Rohit warned us that it get's boring we made sure we got list of DVDs accompanying us. After a quick Lemon juice refreshment, we went over the boat and took some nice snaps. . The view was good... So quickly got ready and came to the front and sat down to catch all the surroundings. It was a nice experience… seeing all the other houseboats sailing across leisurely .. .in no hurry whatsoever.. the beautiful landscape. .. the greenish water .... (No I would never swim in that but for scenery it makes a good background :)).. After a nice lunch, Pallavi and I did try driving/steering the boat for some time. We docked at a place at around 6 PM and took a leisurely walk around the place. Watched Amrutha Dhaare (Kannada) movie and Geetanjali (Telugu) movie on the boat and went for sleep early.

Next day morning, we got up at 7 .. got ready and left for Kumarakom in the boat...  The Vembanad Lake looks great with all the birds flying around... We reached the shore at about 9:15 and then headed to Munnar.

From Kumarakom to Munnar is supposed to be 5 hours journey….. but we took more time than that. We stopped at Vaikom Shiva temple. Beautiful Shiva temple and we learnt few different principles they follow there thanks to a keralite who explained the significance of not doing complete round of Shiva linga. On the way to Munnar there are two waterfalls….Cheeyapara waterfalls and Vallara waterfalls….Vallara falls is just a  view and vehicles aren't allowed to stop. However we got down near Cheeyapara falls and took some good snaps. We started back and then reached Munnar  finally at around 3-30 PM….. As we started the final ascent into Munnar it started raining and we came to know from the restaurant that it had been raining since past few days especially in the evenings :(

We had our  room booked in Misty mountain resort… It's a beautiful resort which is about 7.5 Kms from Munnar (there is a sign board stating Munnar actually starts from this point on the road). We checked into our room… and rested for a couple of hours. Evening, our driver mentioned about some good Kerala massage center and that got Pallavi interested. We went there and Pallavi took one for Rs 900/-. Since it was about 1 and 1/2 hours, I spent the time loitering in the Munnar town. Pallavi mentioned the massage was okay and nothing great as I had expected. We went back to the resort and had dinner (which was okay).


Next day we started at 9:30 AM……Visited photo point( nice view of tea estate)…next went to Elephant riding place…. great place and though costly (Rs 700 for 30 mins ride for couple), the ride was electric. The elephant trekked over a forest area which was damp and slippery. The ascent and the descent were really scary on it and it felt great to be back on the camp :)... Next visited mattupetty reservoir and dam…it has a great view…Speed boating option was also there .. but we just landed in front of the boating office at 12:30 which was lunch time and they closed the gate in front of us. So we continued on and went to Kundala Dam and lake. This is again very very picturesque and has breathtaking scenery. We didn't want to do Pedal boat, so waited 30 mins for rowing boat and took one (with a rower ofcourse :))... He was nice chap and explained us all about the place and even thought us both on how to row properly :)... It started raining heavily as we reached the shores and then headed to the Echo point. As the name says…if you shout at this place …u can hear the echo…. but since it was raining heavily we couldn't get that. We did some shopping and then headed to Munnar.


Came to Munnar town and had our late lunch in some hotel just outside the Munnar town…. Headed back to hotel and reached hotel at 5:30 PM… It was raining still... so went to room and took rest… Did a short walk after that but couldn't venture very far as it was quite dark without any street lights.
Our last day of the trip, so we got up early and did a 1 hour walk around the tea estates. The place was as green as it can get and very very beautiful. As per the package plan…there was not much to see… so we asked our tour co-ordinator if we could go "Athirapally waterfalls" which was a deviation on the way back. It is around 92 KM from cochin about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours drive….Since they agreed, we set for it and reached the place around 2. Went to the sea pearl aquarium and then headed to the waterfalls. It was a nice one though I would rate Jog falls and Shivanasamudra much much higher :)... This is the place where the famous "Punnagai Mannan" Tamil movie was shot majorly... And is quite famous.. Supposed to the best in Kerala. We left back at 4 PM and reached cochin around 6.. Went straight to the Cochin marine drive and did a cruise ship tour of the backwaters there (covering harbor and marine drive). Driver dropped us to the railway station and after saying bye to him, we headed to MG Road to have a walk. Did some window shopping and then after dinner headed back to the railway station. Train was delayed by 15 minutes so it arrived at 12:20 AM. We were dead tired and dozed off as soon as we got into the train. Morning got up late and got down the train at 11:45 AM. And we were back in our apna Bangalore !

@ 07th Oct - Update from himateja was that we could have done trekking and gone to the base of the athirapally waterfalls which was simply great experience. Missed that part :(

Royal Enfield - Thunderbird !

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The macho man on the Royal Enfield Thunderbird !!! :)

Test riding my brother-in-law's bike ..... My good old but special splendor (the rear wheel is visible) in the background !

Magadheera - Telugu movie review

 

Captivating story line with good acting and impressive visuals.

Different movie compared to the run of the mill love stories currently - This has Ramcharan and Kajal playing lovers in 2 different eras. When I heard initially that it would be a rebirth story, I felt nostalgic about how it would shape up but seeing the movie made me completely reverse my opinions.

The story starts impressively with Ramcharan (as Kaala Bhairava) and Kajal the princess talking in their dying moments. They are reborn as Harsha and Indhu. Read many comments that the next 30 mins to 1 hour in the new world is boring, but the pair's bubbliness makes that enjoyable too. I would have loved Chiranjeevi to have done something different though. I always enjoyed the spontaneousness and effortless dance of Chiranjeevi and hence seeing Ramcharan dance was little bit anticlimax. The steps were great and he is a fabulous dancer, but you get a feeling that he is trying too hard to get the tough steps correctly which shouldn't be how dances are picturised :). The villain does great job of his part and deserves the brickbats he receives :). Rebirth - Special effects on Ramcharan touching Kajal's fingers can be termed as cinematic liberty though some of the sequences like jumping off the rooftop to reach helicopter and the final sumo bouncing to reach the helicopter are definitely aberrations that could have been avoided.

Two scenes that highlight the entire movie are with Ramcharan as the warrior getting saved by his horse and the other one where he fights 100 Sher khan's soldier's single-handedly (reminiscent of the movie 300 with narrow passage and the fights that take place). Sheer brilliance !!!

There seems to be various inspirations for the movie - Warrior safeguarding the princess as in The Myth, Fort resembling the one in Arundathi, Battle scenes as in 300 etc

The movies visuals is great compared to their lousy official site: http://magadheera.com/. Music is good. Songs gel with the movie and hence are better viewed than listened, atleast for the first few times. Overall a great movie that is thoroughly enjoyable even for viewing multiple times. And by the way, you can view it even if you don't understand Telugu and still be able to grasp the movie fully so do give it a try :)

Angel's Landing in Zion National Park - Homepage of Bing today !

 

Very happy to see Angel's Landing in Zion National Park as home page for Bing today. One of the best places I have visited in my life.... and what a hike it was ! :).. Still amazed seeing the videos if I really did it :-).

Comment on why the monolith was named as Angel's Landing is worth reading: "While exploring Zion in 1916, Frederick Fisher exclaimed, "only an angel could land on it," and thus the monolith was named Angels Landing".

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Some more cool images and text @ http://www.naturalbornhikers.com/AngelsLanding/angelslanding.htm

A video from Youtube: <Not mine :)>

Weekend Visits - In and Around Dodballapur

So, past few weekends I am travelling to my "athe mane" in Dodballapur regularly as my wife is there :) and visited lot's of places there-

July 4th - had been to Nandi Hills - a beautiful small hillock about 70 kms from Bangalore. Not many "view" points to see as in hill stations but the whole place is great to laze around especially during the cool drizzling climate we had. Did a half round of the hill top after visiting the temple and then played some games - shuttlecock, Frisbee, volley ball etc. .. :)

Last weekend - Saturday - had been to Sai baba temple and Nandi temple on Dodballapur - Chikballapur road. Not to be confused with the Bull temple in basavangudi. It's in the Nandi village right below the more famous Nandi Hills we had been to last to last weekend. It's now called Bhoga Nandishwara temple, and has idols of Bhoga Nandishwara, Ugra Narasimha and Arunachaleshwara. An ancient and very beautiful temple - you can definitely feel the calm presence of god in such places :)... I really would like people visit it more often than the other newly architected modern malls kind of temple. We also visited Vrudhashrama - with Sai Baba temple and a basavanna temple on the way back.

Sunday was more adventurous - we planned to goto Nelamangala - Vishwaroopa darshana temple. Since it was only around 36 kms from dodballapur, we thought we should be able to get back in around 3 hours and hence left around 3:30 PM. This was one of the nightmarish road that I had ever travelled on - a road which didn't exist infact. After doing all circus on my bike on the muddy road, we reached madure, another small village which has this famous shani temple. We thought we will take a break and visited it. we spotted a small temple on a hillock as we continued our journey - Guddada AdiShakti temple. Climbed upon the hill and visited that too. Found that there was a drivable path to the top after reaching the top. Another temple we covered on the way was Jai Santoshi ma temple - recent one with some north indians settled there perhaps.  Anyway, after lot's of tussles we finally managed to reach Nelamangala around 5:45. We had dosa in a small restaurant near the bus stand and set for Vishwa roopa darshini in Vishwa Shanti Ashram which is around 6 kms from the town on the Bangalore highway. we spent little more than an hour there - visiting various temples - rama, anjaneya, all avataras of lakshmi temples, Vittala Statue, Arjuna - Krishna chariot and finally the large idol of Krishna's vishwaroopa. Wasn't as well maintained as expected - could see cobwebs all over the roof of the building which has the main statue. But it's good place to spend an hour or more there.

We started back at 7 PM - just as it got dark. I initially thought can take the bangalore highway reach outer ring road junction and then head to hebbal. However since it would be almost double the distance, thought will manage the humpty dumpty road we had taken earlier. Since we saw some buses going from Nelamangala to Dodballapur - we thought we will have some company. But as it turned out, not only was the way pitch dark - except for the street light, there was absolutely no vehicle movement :(.. With hardly any houses too, it was a real scary scenario... As we reached dodballapur, it was  a collective sign of "Thank god, we have some light now :)".  Different experience but might be worth to do that once in a lifetime :)

Booked my first car!

16th jul Update: Looks like the registration for the car will be delayed as it's not left from Gurgoan and might be another couple of weeks :(.. . was eagerly waiting for it early next week :(.. ..


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Maruti Suzuki Ritz... ZXI - Baker's Chocolate color (same as above).

You can click on Features, specs, colors to get more details about the car.

Total Cost: 5.66 Lakhs. Booked in Bimal showroom, Bannergatta Road.

One of the most time taking decision of my life... . Story of my choice o->

Initial thoughts were to go for a mid-segment car. .. just to meet the space criteria. Thought about Fiat Linea, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Verna. Didn't like Swift Dezire based on it's looks, Accent because it's a very old engine and rumors that it's production will be stopped soon... Honda City and Civic were way above my initial budget thoughts...

Linea being a fiat, issues with services were prominent; Fiesta got bad reviews about petrol car mileage and maintenance, I almost decided upon Verna until everyone in my family gave me a big lecture on not going for big loans (basically ಹಾಸಿಗೆ ಇಧಸ್ತು ಕಾಲು ಚಾಚು )... so went for Smaller cars... I still feel bad whenever I see the verna on road... might be I should have gone for that only.. :(

Anyway I wanted something comfortable for 5 people to sit. . so spark, zen estillo, Wagon R, i10 were all out. i10 is touted to be a 5 passenger car, but not for people of my size :)... width is about 12cm lesser than swift which makes a huge difference for 3 people sitting backside.

Getz, Fabia and i20 were costlier for the same features as Swift. Didn't check out Uva or Palio... So decided on Swift, until the day before going for booking read about Ritz in the newspaper and sister/friends started suggesting that.. After test driving Ritz, felt the 2 BHP difference between swift shouldn't matter and Ritz having some good features I liked, I finally settled with Ritz :)...

Every person I have spoken to has been saying bad design - backside of the car is worst etc... until I say I have booked the car and then they backtrack and say - no .. no it's a good car or atleast no comments then :P... But hopefully the looks will start getting better in people's perspective as they more of the car on the road :)

BITians get-together

Raghu was back from Boston for a 2 week vacation and we finally met today in Gopalan mall (closer to Raghu's house... as the USian has lost touch with driving in India and doesn't want to touch his bike/car :) )... So raghu, his wife hema and son agasthya, Rohit and his wife shubha, Pramoda, Myself and Pallavi met around 3:30. Just went to the Food Court and chatted and chatted non-stop for more than a couple of hours. It was great to meet raghu after nearly 1 and 1/2 years and others after a long gap. Forgot to get a camera but shot some snaps from mobile:

RCB - what a turnaround !

Would have been great to see them lift the DLF IPL cup... but to be the runner's up from a position mid way through the tournament where they were thought to be below or equal to last year's position is a great turnaround.

Congats RCB.. We are proud of your performance !

Treat to UTM-IDC Team @ Jalsa

 

Finally after all the hectic work in the last 2 months, UTM team reached code complete. To celebrate it, I thought as a team we could go out for lunch. After discussing on various restaurants like - civet, bhagini, lemon grass, village, aadi, we finally chose Jalsa (recommended by Amit). So the whole UTM team - Mayur, Ramesh, pasha, Guru, Amar, Pratyash, Saravanan, Rajendra & I (excluding Nikhat) and Amit & Anand set off around 12:50 in Amit and Anand's cars. Vishnu joined us for desserts. None of us had taken a camera, so attaching the snaps from mobile below:

Jalsa in on Outer ring road between Marathalli and KR Puram. Nice place with good ambience. Food was tasty too with good quantity per item. Nice place to go out on weekends but little on the costlier side.

Harry's marriage

Had been to Pallavi's cousin's marriage on May 2nd (reception in the evening) - 3rd morning (marriage) in dodballapur... Some snaps of the same:

Hair makeover - trial

Found this link in digg.com : http://www.instyle.com/instyle/makeover/ & my wife was keen to try out various hair styles :-)

pallavi5_thumbpallavi10_thumb pallavi7_thumb Pallavi8_thumb  pallavi9_thumbpallavi6_thumb

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and experimentation on me:

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 Mohan4_thumb1   Mohan3_thumb1

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Thiruvanamalai

 

Mom had prayed that she will get me and Pallavi to MelMarvathur (Om Shakthi) temple after marriage. Again, I wasn't too keen, but had to... initial plan was to goto chennai and then visit this and spend remaining of the weekend in Chennai. But as we enquired about details, we came to know that going via Thiruvanamalai is better and we can visit Vellore while coming back.

So we left early at 5:30 on 7th March, and then headed to the Thiruvanamalai. Stopped over at Krishnagiri to have breakfast. Reached Thiruvanamalai at 9:45. Booked a room in Hotel Arunachala which was supposed to be the best hotel there. MelMarvathur was about 100kms from thiruvanamalai but the route was supposed to be good. So we left immediately after having breakfast and we reached around 11:50. saw the temple, prayed for sometime and headed back to Thiruvanamalai. Reached at 3:00 - had lunch, and then went to Girivalam (the route with temples all around the base of the hill). After visiting few temples around the hill, (we missed most thinking we will find bigger ones).. we went to the main temple - since I misjudged the queue, didn't take the special darshan tickets and hence had to spend considerable time in the queue. But we had a good darshan and came out at 8 PM. did some shopping, had dinner and slept off.

Got up in the morning, visited the temple again - visited girivalam again and more temples this time. We also met a famous sadhu who predicts and gives blessings. Then left 4 Vellore.

Visited the golden temple there (in sripuram). All splendor - the interesting part is the way they have explained why spending so many crores (6000 crores) on temple makes more sense than removing the poverty of so many places. We took special entry tickets of rs 100 each to avoid the queue. There were interesting slogans all the way to the park. Pallavi was disappointed that we didn't take a special pooja ticket, but I somehow don't get a feeling of god in such grandeur temples. Temple was beautifully done and the god's statue was good. The swami (though male, called as Amma) was with the god everywhere. After darshan of god and a Puttu in front of this temple, we headed back to vellore. Visited the Vellore fort and temple inside.

Then we headed to an interesting place called "ratnagiri", a small village about 15 kms from Vellore which has child Subramanya temple. we have to climb around 300 steps (or has a road to goto the top). Temple was excellent. Prayed for some time and then headed home. We reached back at 9:30 but had already finished dinner at Krishnagiri...

Ph0t0s below: <http://picasaweb.google.com/bschandramohan/Thiruvanamalai>.

Visit to Tirupathi after more than 15 years

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Last time I went to TIRUPATHI was with my family - grandma, dad, mom, lathakka, kavi and a small small divi :)..

Wasn't too keen to go there again, but it so turned out that Pallavi had prayed that she will get her husband there and that too to climb the seven hills barefoot and visit the god :(...

I reluctantly had to agree and decided on a Saturday and Sunday with Pallavi's parents and brothers.

We left on friday night by KSRTC Airavath -11:30 bus and it reached at sharp 4:30. We checked into a hotel in Tirupathi and got ready and headed to Ticket counter to get the tickets. We were able to get the Archanananthara darshanam tickets for next day morning at 4 Am. Booked a Innova and saw few temples around: Kanipakam (Lord Ganesha's temple), Srinivasa mangapuram and Alamelu Mangapuram. Food was okayish in tirupathi. After visiting the temples, we decided to start the climb to the top of Tirumala where the world famous Lord Venkateshwara resides. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.

 

So we started around 6PM, so it was chill and we won't be sweating much. Pallavi's bro Bharath had climbed previously in 2.5 hours and Pallavi was saying she had climbed it in 3.5 hours. For record, this was bharath's 6th, Pallavi's 3rd, Pallavi Mom's 5th I think :)... I was thinking I could ape their speeds and we should be done in 3 hours time.

The initial climb is difficult with steep steps and the first 1700 steps are continuous. It was a hard task and I was drained out before I could complete that. Took a long break - had juices, hot bajji (they tasted so yummy after the tiring climb), took a long breather and then started.

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The climb after that was less tiring in that number of steps were less, but the walking part too was draining out the feet. Luckily there were places to wash our face and legs, the cool water hitting the burning feet was like drinking amrutha ... okay bad analogy but that was really refreshing :). There was some deer park in-between where we fed some carrots and food items.

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We finally managed to reach the top around 10:15.. 4 hours.. not too bad...  We had to hunt for food to eat and place to sleep and finally we thought no point in sleeping and spent an hour chatting and then started getting ready. By 4:30, we were at the entrance of the queue. It took about 1:30 hours to get the 30 seconds darshanam and we came out tiring to find our slippers stolen!.. And the worst part is since it's a holy hill, people don't sell slippers. We had to walk barefoot from then on until we came down to Tirupathi and bought some cheap roadside slippers .. something to wear.. we then dozed off after having a quick breakfast. Got up in the afternoon, went to govindaraajpattinam temple and then headed to a sick telugu movie. Supposed to be a comedy but it was just passable. After the movie, we had dinner and headed to KSRTC bus stand and returned by Airavatha,

Voter Registration by Jaago Re! One Billion Votes

 

Registered and got a mailer with forms and a request to share this below message:

Hey,

I've been awakened and I want you to be awake too. I realized how important it is to stop complaining but start voting to make a difference. And now, it's simpler than ever before!

Jaago re! One Billion Votes - a nationwide movement on voter registration - has made it possible to fill a voter registration form online and that too in just 5 minutes!

Go to www.jaagore.com to learn more and register to vote right now..

If you have already registered to vote, you can still register with Jaago re! One Billion Votes movement and get periodic confirmation of your voter status, and election related news and reminders. Believe it or not, even registered voters sometimes do not figure in voter lists!

Go to www.jaagore.com for more information, and to learn about voting related rules and procedures.

Thanks,

Third patent approved for filing

 

"And I am banking heavily on a 3rd one." - almost comes true. Though that particular application got rejected, got another one which was a spin-off of that idea approved ! ... Feels good to get so many ideas going to next level !

Second patent approved for filing

Okay.. .so "hope this will be the first of many" comes true ! ... Second one of my patent draft is approved for filing in US. And I am banking heavily on a 3rd one. - I had discussions with our vertical head as well as the Global business head. Let's see how things go on... 

Cool links to check (3) - For Indian Startups

 

http://www.pluggd.in/

pluGGd.in profiles and reviews Indian technology startups; and is at the center stage of events that are shaping India 2 .0. Has some interesting insights.

Cool links to check 2 - Info about Intuit 25 years !

Nice to know that Intuit is going green in true sense and instead of paper filing for "GreatPlacesToWorkFor", intuit employees created this website to articulate all the details: http://www.intuit25.com/

 

Cool Links to Check 1 - Cool way to learn technical stuff

http://codingfreak.blogspot.com/2008/05/cool-way-to-learn-technical-stuff-from.html

Really like the idea of these guys from CommonCraft: http://www.commoncraft.com/. Paid versions and Free versions available.

Ramalingeshwara temple - off Bannergatta road

Last weekend had been to Ramalingeshwara temple which is off Bannergatta road.

It's basically a cave temple - Rama's idols along with Seetha, Lakshmana and Hanuman and another with Shiva linga are present here. There is also a dhyaana mandira. The evenings are extremely quiet here and can spend some peaceful time here. You can also sit atop the small hillock and see around the kind of growth this place has seen.

It's close to the more famous Meenakshi temple - which is thronged by 100s of pilgrims day in and out. To reach, you have to take the road opposite the meenakshi temple (there's a sign board for Hulimaavu police station) and travel for a little lesser than 1/2 km. Sad that this road is in pitiable condition - maybe that's the reason for not so many visitors to the temple.

Again, since it was a temple visit, didn't take the camera and hence no pictures to attach, but would definitely recommend everyone to pay a visit to the temple.

There is also a "peeta" stated to be 2000 year old where rishis used to come and medidate. From the link: Oldest place in Bangalore, not sure how true it is.

Patents - how do I find out how it works! or what is patentable?

 

[Draft]

Nope... I am not talking about "How patents works?"  google search or in HowStuffWorks.com.

Some people tend to not like software patents as it kind of restricts the features being used widespread. Mostly OpenSource minds tend to believe nothing should be patentable and any new idea/tech should be reusable. Though makes sense, in this cut-throat competition world, don't see that as a possibility.

Now coming to the actual questions - I am still figuring how things work in the patent world. I see some cool ideas not getting patented or then some "not-so-cool" ideas getting patented and lying with no-one using them. Should all patents be productizable? Not definitely. Swype as a product - not sure if it will definitely catch on, but atleast with the patent, it knows there cannot be 100s of imitations of that in the market or a larger organisation adding it into their product and not paying any royalty to the actual idea generators.

Some companies just file patents to get richer by filing lawsuits against larger corporates who might be using the some rudimentary ideas which have now been granted to them.

There are both pros and cons... but given a chance, I believe people should get their ideas patented if applicable.. ..

Swype - real cool innovation?

 

Looking at the great comments - fast, hypnotical, magical, blindingly fast, love this... thought it's worth checking it out.

Link: http://www.swypeinc.com/

It's a cool invention and using it might help in quick typing, but it does have it's nemesis'. It's not 100% accurate as typing (if you type correctly) as it uses some kind of data matching with it's dictionary to find the words as you swipe across the panel. Not sure you can enter Abbreviations and some code names using this mechanism. A great invention but with not that impressive dependency.

Why on earth can't I disable SearchWiki in Google Search?

Google Experiments are usually very interesting and I participate/use many of them. SearchWiki is one cool concept too... details about searchwiki are here. Now that I experimented, I want to get rid of that, but for some strange reason, google doesn't allow you to ! ...  Any logged in user by default gets the searchwiki with all the buttons around and previous modifications to results. That looks crap and I want to get out of it but just can't find an option.. Google search found thousands of people lamenting on the same and one of the links talked about how to disable... the page: it talks about

  • signing off - Nope.. I don't want to do that as gmail doesn't require login for couple of weeks I think and I don't want to sign off google to keep signing into gmail everytime.
  • GreaseMonkey script - No, I don;'t want to install some plugins to just do some search
  • Join some experiments - well, if I have to join an experiment to get out of another experiment. ... whatever. .I tried giving a shot and joined experimental keyboard shortcuts.... And then too the searchwiki is enabled :(

Not sure, if anybody has been able to figure out a good opt-out mechanism, if so, please share your thoughts...