Friends, Foes , Friends forever(Chennai) …

We are fucked, seriously ! Lets spin the wheels back to about 70 years, this is how the greenery around this area(Chennai) would have looked like. They were friends (chuddy buddies), the plants and tempting breezes.  One nourished in the other’s presence, displaying lust and love affectionately using their whip lashing movements. They were inseparable. Together they are uncontrollable and never dishonored. On dispute, they tend to be violent. Who knows , what their recent hassle was. Vardah, was her name, chaotic and dominant was their elderly alliance. In moments, her vigor got the towering majestic tree’s dark green leaves to cower on the roads like crawling toddlers. It was a pathetic sight 😦 I understand guys, but please resolve your dispute meekly. Over thousands of giant trees grounded in a day. Some of these trees, shadowed us when we walked past , but now they were under my shadow -sabotaged and defeated – brushing my boots as I walk, bid their goodbyes.  It will probably take decades to see the greenery again in the same place in that same old manner, may be we hope they remain friends again forever, without such a dispute .

Old to New ()…

Its been a while since we went on a trail together, times been running without mercy. Once again, Mr.Firefox and Mr.Scott decided to explore the options and finally set out for a round trip from Old Airport(HAL) to New Intl Airport, Bangalore.Old airport is used solely for special operations. Precisely, New Intl Airport isn’t new anymore, it came into operation since 2008.  It was the gateway to Bangalore that i took 3 years ago! Nostalgia 😛 Though airplane’s travel protocol makes it a less fancier travel option between the two contrasting cities, I feel that people of Chennai and Bangalore still love to fly to and fro.

It was 3 am , I started from HAL main road and got pumped up due to the cold temperature, it was dead cold. Reaching KR Puram was a big feat, to get past the sand dunes that was shielding my visibility on the way. This hour of the day, necessarily did not seem to be the right time for any vehicle, particularly to the ones in the bottom of the automotive chain. Heavy vehicles seemed to be politely honking with a blaring horns just to embrace their ego. I pulled away towards the KR Puram bus stop, making the milestone call to Mr.Scott. Few night rangers were barking at me, their jaws grinning and gleaming in the high beam lights. It was a realization on existence of fear towards untrained dogs that was deep hidden in me 🙂 The plan was to meet at Horamavu junction, then head together to the New Intl Airport. Lets maintain the naming references for clarity, despite the years that passed by 😀 I was finding some warmth at the tea spot that had lit some waste materials to help heal the frozen dermas. Mr.Scott had arrived and we started the trail, ensuring Strava to track our co-ordinates. ORR has most number of flyovers and subways. Surmounting these architectural highway structures is always pleasant, cold breeze cuddles you on the down slope. Straddling my legs on those peddles down slope is just a mega version of vert skating down a ramp with my skateboard, both gratify with an adrenaline rush.

So many days i have been bantering about Bangalore’s climate being no better than Chennai’s (precisely from under the quilt). Now, I was shivering, out on the roads, damn the coldness! I take back my words apologetically! But,only 47% humidity, that looked kinda funny and too low according to my Coastal standards. A few miles surpassed, my thoughts were substantiating the visuals I saw. Few boys and girls were smoking their lungs out, early in the morning. I was trying to draw a reasoning, cyclists like us cannot afford to smoke, it will affect the mileage that we could cycle. On the contrary, motorists are more inspired by their sputtering engines that smoke ghastly. It was way before dawn, motorists were all relaxed near the Hebbala junction, I and Mr.Scott were desperately peddling our tires against the dusty tar, evading the sporadic potholes. Yes, we hit the express highway that connects to airport. Quite , dark and pacified like a graveyard; I could listen to my breathing while I was weighing my chances of crossing a junction on par to a car which was heading towards the junction from the opposite direction. I was commanding my 4 chambers to pump harder, faster and my air chambers were at their best. But, I could lay no harm to the horsepower generated by those inhumane pistons, the white sedan went past me, swish ! I dunked half the bottle to vain. Stealthily, we passed through the service roads that were actively guarded by the barking crawlers.

We had our first stop at Vidyanagar Cross. A2B logo was blinking with colors that were familiar. Mr.Scott. put on the earphones, seemingly inspired by the situation. Probably he was listening to the EDM masterpiece. No pun intended. I was shadowed by a group of dogs, slowly i moved to the lane closest to the median.Bingo! The league of shadows vanished. Mr.Scott popped out a map on his bright device, we had almost reached the toll gate. I was determined to step a foot on the New International Airport, we continued. The freeway was a smooth as butter, bordered by the greenery and lighting was perfect. I could see some modern fireflies rising ahead of me, approaching me faster than i expect and some vanishing even faster. I realized that these were zillion times bigger and mightier than the fluorescent insects, whose analogy i drew. We stopped peddling , gliding until we reached the Cargo Circle. This demarcation meant 15 mins rest. My airport visit was shattered by Mr.Scott’s claim about security checks at the airport. Just kidding! After 3 hours of ride, I had an uncontrollable desire for food. We spotted a highway dosa corner, I happily stuffed two dosas. Hebbala was our next stop on the way back, we separated out following the schedules demanded by our own body! It was physically tiring, we traced the route back dodging the mighty flyovers, shabby subways and expected a perpetual down slope to Marathahalli. Clearly, I could see the impact of population explosion in Bangalore, amidst the tightly  populated urbanization was the humongous areas of military and air bases. I noticed the flying school at Jakur, flying has been one of my fascinations like any other kid, inspired from flying kites. We halted at Mr.Scott’s place for a while. Then i found my way home, Old Airport Road, it was 11 am.

RBCs & the Rest of Them()…

One fine day,  an office mail about blood donation camp popped with a ting! This happens twice a year, but I am a first timer recipient. Within few moments of skimming through that mail, a Chubby, happy and smiling dude came up to my cubicle and fiercely said “Come On! Let’s hit the camp and shell out few RBCs (RedBloodCouriers 😀 ) and some WBCs( WhiteBloodCops 😀 )”. Trust me, the mail laid out details with all motivation and clarity a newbie needs to become a Blood Hero(donor), no sorts of Biological major required. A transformation far from top-level R&D discussions, the conference room was now filled with lots of recliner cots, soft mattress laid underneath a white blanket ,a puffed up pillow and a side arm to rest. Few unfamiliar people with white overcoats wandering like ants established their identities as Phlebotomist by carrying blood pints instead of cheese. Initially you are gauged on a weighing machine to hit a mark above 45Kg, glad I was eligible. I had breakfast less than 4 hours ago ,it reiterates my eligibility. I was requested to fill a long questionnaire addressing my personal details while I was awaiting my turn. To give an euphemistic gist, it is necessary that your body was exposed to proper hydration(pure drinking water) and void of Smoke Pollution in the past 24 hours. Certain norms that spanned over few months of look back on personal hygiene. A sharp prick on my forefinger, a representative of millions peaked out and she was dropped off immediately in a solution which looked like a vertical section of the pacific ocean, her scuba dive down to the bottom of the beaker asserted that I was not anemic. I walk to the next counter embracing her valor and guts for that dive. Few gulps of water anticipating the void in the near future. A technician comes close and taps on my shoulder, I look back and walk in the direction he points me. He goes to the table at the far end of the room and picks up a pouch with a lot of cables attached to it, like the wires that hang out of an old Pickup’s radio. One end of the cable had a rectangular plastic hanging aloof and waving in air as the technician strides towards me with my Bean Bag (that’s how I call it).A few barcodes and labels transcribing my personal details were attached to it. I lay silently on the cot with both my arms extended, not knowing which arm the technician would prefer. He signed at me asking arm preference, I hovered my sight sinistrally, contemplating it’s benefits being dextral by nature. Armband of Sphygmomanometer was pressured up against my tiny bicep’s to catch hold of the heroic vein and also to ensure my vitals are sane based on the mercuric freefall observations. The removal of the plastic cap exposed the iron hand in charge of collecting the blood cells, the opening was slant, symmetrical curvature (an invasive attribution). Needle’s walls are few mm apart(usually gauge 17) to prevent damage of blood cells at the visage of iron hand. A cotton dipped in deep yellow solution is grazed against the forearm on  the inner side of elbow to kill the bacteria , prospective Villain. After the abrasion you witness an invasion, the translucent cables now become opaque with all the redness that you emanate, slowly the cradling Bean bag gets filled leaving a sense of constant turbulence in your arm. The invasion is lopsided so as to prevent the breech on the opposite wall of the vein. As I was appreciating the tech’s precision, a beep begins and the cradling stops. The technician leaves the other donor whom he was initiating and pulls out the needle delicately, I felt the pore clotting. I turn and look at the chubby dude with a huge smile “). We were pampered with a lots of confectionaries and juices, given ample time to rest we fed our stomachs full and it was then I saw a badge on my technician “I am silent by nature.”, later realized all his signs during the blood donation procedure. Ever since my first blood donation a couple of years back , I voluntarily donate blood every 3 months . A Funny analogy which I use to motivate people around me is “Even Petrol engines need change of Oil every maintenance, think about your Heart :D” and My dramatic friend’s quote “It gives me immense pride and happiness to give away the river of life to others👌🏼👌” .

My recent Blood donation was informative and bit of fun , every hospital has huge blood bank facility attending only 3-4 donations weekly which is ridiculously less when compared to the needs. Blood is not synthesized,marking the limitations in Scientific advancements. Blood donation benefits you and the recipient in a very short span. Blood donated has max shelf life of 35-42 days, caters to 3 persons and enables the process of saving the needy. On my way back home by a crowded Volvo bus, I had my phlebotomized hand being ants :D,then I raised my other hand to find balance. I loved this realization 🙂

“Donate Blood when you are alive, Donate Organs to project afterlife meaningful since both helps the living mankind to be healthy.”

Our Body regenerates Plasma within 48 hours to fill the void, rest of the blood components are regenerated within 8 weeks.

Review: Unlikely Friendships: Dogs: 39 Stories of Canine Compassion and Courage

Unlikely Friendships: Dogs: 39 Stories of Canine Compassion and Courage
Unlikely Friendships: Dogs: 39 Stories of Canine Compassion and Courage by Jennifer S. Holland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Advanced Reader Copy: Jennifer S. Holland

My Heart beats woof -woof -woof. This amazing collection of dog’s interactions with varied set of fellow beings on this planet was completely transfixing. The author’s words could gravitate readers blindly to realize what love is in a dog’s world. Selfless, fierce, passionate and its surely not a one way lane you pass by, its duplex levitation on 100% trust. Scooby is what we call him, a Labrador retriever.
“A fawn colored moving canon fur ball with pitch dark black eyes and an electrifying tail” is a perfect metaphorical description. I drive to Marina Beach, he accommodating himself between the bars of the frame of my scooter .After a brief bumpy ride we reach the coast and finally step on the sandy shore placing the 6 feet(4 paws actually) only for a moment, swish like a wind he would sprint towards a huge blanket of blue shades with symmetrical and calm, yet deceptive appearance.
Flop on to the water as long as he is tired, the waves try to pin him down. 1, 2, 3 and boom! knock out was revoked. Its a constant tug between the untiring Bengal waves and Scooby, the electrifier.
After a few bounces and digging up of crabs and snails from the puddle, we start a walk to parallel the horizon either towards Light house or its counter. Waves still teasing Scooby with their ghostly grabs targeting our paws(2 feets actually). We reach the end and trace back the way leaving new footprints exactly where they were before the waves stole them off the shore. Greedy Waves! We will fight you till we tame you,funny we. Placing the rump on the sand carefully, we gaze at the sun thoughtfully hoping that the layers of clouds could dramatically increase and acquit us from sun burns, greedy we. Fishermen, few of them on their tiny boats far away seem to be fishing valuable schools, now come closer and closer fighting against rip. A fish tossed at us would do no harm, rather be a blessing, but such generosity is a rarity. Parallax rays from Sun reminds us about the time that’s flying , we walk away from the shore wearing a sandy sox and flops in my hands,leash in his muzzle.

This book was absolutely a brilliant repertoire about the passion that dogs spread across the species on this planet. A must read for each and everyone , even remotely connected to a living being. 🙂

View all my reviews

between the wheels() …

Cycling was all that we did 6 to 7 years back as schoolgoers for a significant amount of time. Few weeks back, a fund raiser cycle marathon for cancer awareness was hosted at CEG, Chennai. It was of 10,20,40,100 km formats , my adrenaline was hyped up for 10km , tried registering for the event at the last moment, nothing new of that sorts. The registration was closed, still i was urged enough to rent cycle from Track & Trail hoping the existence of on the spot registrations. Next day morning, was at the registration counter for the event before sunrise. I was astonished to see a file of people for about a few hundreds of metres, and trust me there was a board above that read “on-spot registrations here”. Patience wasn’t ingrained in me, my dad had teamed up with me for the event. I blurted out to him saying that “Let’s start now on the same route, looks like registration will take time!”. He looked convincing, given the fact traffic will be fighting out the waves on ECR once there is sunlight. I gave no time for him to defend that I should be joining the file. We reached the destination, Mr.Cannondale and his dad. Dad had glimpses of happiness on seeing the cycle, which was modestly fancier than the ones of his days, back in 70’s used by a common man. Shimano shifters were of alien to him, at the beginning , later he got versed with the know how of the gear system and disc-brakes. Mr.Cannondale was all concerned and watchful about the safety of his dad, he is seeing him on a cycle for the first time since inception. An analogy to what a dad feels when his amateur kid drives for the first time, ironically my mind was conflicting to accept the fact that he is a pro from 70’s.We had an awesome 20+km trail and some snacks on the way back home ,Dad was on a fueled bike patrolling me. Slept sound like babies of the new era ! I was convinced to buy a cycle for my own in the near future.

“Interest kills time”, rightly said. I was with a brand new firefox within a few days from the thought. I had managed to gather a set of people floating with common interest to go on a cycling for the weekend. Bangalore was kind enough to throw a lot of options for newbie like us. We had feasible options of Cubbon Park, Hoskote Lake, Chikka Tirupathi.

Unanimously Chikka Tirupathi became the track for the weekend, en-route Sarjapur and tracing NH207 on the way back. Early morning alarms were of no use, guess right ?

I was up even before the alarm time. Checked out the fully covered cycle(Night Fury) at the parking. Removed the light brown wrappers to expose the freshly painted black matte to the chillness of Bangalore, because i knew that he has a tiring day ahead fighting the pollution out there, the dark side of this lively city. Had a steaming bath before I called up the fellow bikers on game for the plan. As planned we hit the roads before sun rise, as I was waiting at the Kundhanahalli Signal for people to reach the common point, I was happy to a see lot of people on the wheels with a commanding ride on the pitch dark black roads , cutting the yellow hazy fog. I was waiting under the incandescence street lamp. There was a voice, “Dude”. I looked back and all of us have assembled at the signal, where there were a bunch of violators jumping signal, speeding through recklessly. I was happy for the trail about to start, but concerned about safety amidst these law breakers. The team consisted of 4 members , Mr.Trek 21s, Mr.Btwin Rockrider 7s(Sr.) and his Twin(Jr.), Mr.Firefox Cyclone V- 26. The road was frictionless as the moist had lubed the surface well. Terrain was with mild ups and downs, we rejoiced the downhill rides without foreseeing he blatant uphill that was waiting to surprise us. First stop was at the curve of Varthur lake that will join NH, heading us to Sarjapur. The lake was completely poisoned with factory emissions and was foaming and bubbling out without the need for any catalysts.Mother Nature was pleasant and kind, she screened us from reality. Mist and Fog were all over spreading to my right, curtaining all of buildings that were eager to reach the sky above them, such was the spectacle. It took us a while to get out of the appealing welcome of the weather, after a few kms I could see the Sun shyly taking a peek from the east to witness our southern journey. The road was ours, until occasionally the multi-wheeled Trailers remind us with blaring honk that we were just passers-by on NH roads they bequeath. We halted next at a restaurant for a typical idly and sambar breakfast. We flagged Sarjapur and now on roll for the destination. Mr.Firefox din’t have any of the accessories though. He was a violator for the day. My Legs racing each other to establish their superiority over pedals, after a while I lost track of count and hoped that it was finally even. I like my right leg, but dint wanna be partial. The roads were flat for a while, most of the time few degrees downhill which was faking delightfulness, and few degrees uphill truly punishing. Jr.Btwin was most enthusiastic guy on the team, he was outstandingly prepared for the trip. Shorts, tidy shoes and a trademark bottle on his black alloy frame. He was at his pace speeding ahead of us, now and then blurting out about his fitness plans and how this trip was laying standards for the plan. His bag had funny long rope hanging out and trying to arrest the rear wheels, Jr.Btwin was rarely bothered about these minor issues and kept on pedaling ahead of us. Mr.Trek was the most experienced member in the crew, with few trails ahead of us. He was our navigator, using the GPS now and then to steer us in the correct coordinates. Mr.Firefox & Sr.Trek often shared stories from their childhood, now and then running over things that have changed absurdly in the last few years. Human happiness depends on so much virtualized elements now,but not completely that was the only good thing. There was a board reading out “Chikka Tirupathi 0.0 km”. Towards our left was the famous Temple, I was tempted to rest in the premises. So we locked all our cycles on their rear wheels, looping in the single chain with a lock that I had. The localites were astoundingly welcoming to the sweaty strangers from far Halli. We parked our shoes at the flower shop, she was interested to know if we were willing to buy a few flowers for the deity. We were puzzled and finally entered the temple hands empty. A long walk to reach to the inner buildings were the deity was present. A few tens of people waiting ahead of us, for the spectacle of the deity. I walked ahead, outside I noticed a marbled floor tempting me to rest on them. My calf muscles were enjoying and peacefully in resilience mode. Chillness was growing up on to my shorts from the marbles beneath me, I stretched legs unknowingly and exhaustively. There was an alarming voice “Nimma kalugaḷannu padara”. My reflexes lead to fold my legs even before I could barely make out that what I was requested to do. After a while Btwin Brothers and Trek joined me as I lured them to indulge and rest.Few kids were trying to ring the huge bell afloat in air, they failed pathetically. On my way out I was happily striking that huge bell to trigger those kids with jealousy 😀

Out, we were. Refreshed and on the wheels to expedite NH 207. We shared some Cucumbers with spicy garnish, we hydrated to conceal ourselves from unexpected dehydration dramas. NH207 was totally different, with a few pits and potholes initially. It was pleasant to see the roads designed with patches of cow dungs here and there throughout. Mirage is the only thing that I was looking for on these roads, as I was sure that the shyness of Sun has wearied out, he was shamelessly smiling from an aerial view, not to the extent of shamefulness he puts up at Chennai. On our way back halts became more frequent, few times it was due to bike‘s mechanical issues and rest was tiredness. We went past a mobile Tender coconut highway shop around mid-way back, Jr.Btwin who was always ahead of us instantly took a U-turn without any reluctance with a ear to ear smile on his face. We had exceeding quantities of coconut water, enough to please us for the rest of the journey. Took some snaps on the way. Mr.Firefox was well behind others on his own pace, enjoying the scenic beauty on the sides. There was a huge tree with withered leaves, housing a colony of bee hives. As the tree got closer, the bees dancing for the tunes of the cricket and birds around put up a spectacle. Deceiving bees had lured me to pass through them slowly, in the blink of an eye there was a swarm of bees around me, I was not alone. Sr.Btwin was also with me, merciful bees let us past through them without a sting. May be it was fear for their life too, once they sting, they die I guess. There was a lot of vacant lands on my left full of trees, and on my right I could see the humans painting the canvas with deforestation and urban buildings. There was a friction, reluctance in welcoming us from fast appearing crowd on the roads, it was a demarcation that indicated the arrival of city limits. The roads were pathetic, the same environment that we went past,now looked like hallucinations in the presence of these world class jokers of the concrete jungle.The terrain was punishing and we started to walk like toddlers balancing on the cycle to get past traffic blocks. Whitefield main road was a rejuvenating downhill ride. Finishing the trip with a devouring lunch, we all set out to go back to our houses to please ourselves with a tight nap.

P.S: As a matter of fact I have also been a part of this society and responsible for the degradation. hoping to be good here on!

Came across a lot of places named Halli, now i find it a funky keyword that i can suffix it to any word as i like 😀

unspoken() subtle beauties . . .

I own a fury dog with shades of fawn and patches of pink on his black soft nose covered with moisture, the most notorious and beautiful form of life (excluding humans and unknown Aliens) that I ever witnessed in my 24 years of search for  eternal beauty ! I say “beauty of one’s character is the reflection of eternity”, as humans we are constantly in the process of evolving such a character which at once will become eternity. In contemporary life so many incidents that we come across are with subtle beauties where our companions apart from humans exhibit the utmost subtleties in glimpses, in a regular pattern which becomes a routine in our life yet we really miss out to observe those. One such incident which happens every day early morning from the day a puppy with shades of harlequin all over his trunk, a long,slender and curled up tail wagging in 360(deg) to which his counterparts would fail to compete was born. Was Jr.Harlequin programmed to step at my house right in front of the gigantically figured counterpart Sr.Fawn and bark/bully irresistibly ? May be I am an outsider who is repeatedly interpreting their sweet conversations wrongly, being miserably Mr.Human ! Somehow Sr.Fawn synonymous to mischief all along, remains affectionately  standstill whenever Jr.Harlequin shows at his disposal,irrespective of the funny acts that he puts up every visit. Respect seems to be puppy’s intention and love is Sr.Fawn’s reflection, i could finally have one of their perspectives from their daily lingo.

Sr.Fawn = Scooby, 7 Years Old
Jr.Harlequin = Jr.Harlequin (really i do not know his name,he is from the neighborhood), Few Months Old