Nov 23, 2008

A trip to Mangalore

Although I have been living in Bangalore for six years, I haven't explored much of Karnataka except for the nearby Mysore. I feel it's quite strange given the fact that I love to travel. Early this year, I visited Madikeri with a bunch of friends and it was a fresh experience. Last weekend, it was the turn of Mangalore. With a big group of friends interested in this trip, our travel planner took the efforts to book the tickets and a place to stay.

A big surprise came to me when I noticed the cranky side middle berths in our train. The railways would be making great profits but it's so very inconvenient for common people. A person of short stature like me found it hard to fit in my head. I wonder how the tall guys or girls would manage. The morning breeze and the scenery reminded me of my numerous Kerala trips. After a quick shower at the hotel, we got dressed and were ready to satiate our hunger pangs over complementary breakfast at the hotel restaurant. The hotel manager would have dropped the idea of free food, looking at the way we all hogged the dosas.

We spent the sunny afternoon at the Ullal Beach playing a game of ring. After lunch, we headed out to the enchanting Bekkal Fort. This is the place where Manirathnam shot the Uyire song in Bombay. A stroll around this fort with the breeze and the sea for company is a perfect way to spend an evening. The beautiful sunset and the rocking waves were so romantic.

The next morning, I was so looking forward to visiting St.Mary's Island. I felt it wasn't worth the hype. But I collected some cute sea-shells, adding to my collection. After a quick visit to Krishna temple at Udipi, we rushed back to catch the train back to Bangalore. When we thought the fun was over, we were wrong because a game of UNO in the train made the trip even more interesting. An interesting weekend got over and it was time to get back to the routine. Karnataka has so many beautiful places to see. Hope I could visit more new places next year as well.

Nov 10, 2008

Goodbye Dada!

After reading Skely's post, I felt I should note down this day in my dear blog. I'm glad that we won against Aussies with all the might and strength. A convincing victory it was! But I want to write this post for a different reason. One of the three veterans has signed off today from test cricket; yes, I'm referring to Dada a.k.a Sourav Ganguly. I have been following his cricket career completely ever since the England tour in 1996 where he made his test debut. His back-to-back test centuries, many successful opening partnerships with my idol Sachin in ODIs, the way he smashed the Pakistani bowlers in Sahara Cup at Toronto, his aggressive captaincy inspiring many youngsters like Yuvraj and Kaif and most importantly, his classy off drives and cover drives making him "next-to-God in offside batting" - He used to be my second most favorite Indian cricketer (Do I need to say who the first one is!).

The time will come when the other two will also face the same day. I want to scream what Joey says on Rachel's 30th birthday, "Why God, Why you are doing this to us?".

Nov 2, 2008

An emotional read

I have never felt this way while reading a novel - eyes welling up and emotions stirred. "The kite runner" provided this new experience and am glad I read this book.

With 5 hours to spare in a train journey and with a couple of magazines in my handbag, I wondered how I would be able to while away my time. I don't know if I'm fortunate or otherwise - my reading speed is pretty fast and I was confident that I could browse through the magazines in an hour. I suppose God has heard my thoughts. An old man was selling a bunch of books and I chose "the kite runner".

The initial part of the story was a beautiful narration of the childhood friendship between Amir and Hassan set in the backdrop of Afghanistan. There were funny and playful moments until a disaster happened which changed their lives forever. I stopped at this juncture during my train journey.

After more than a month, the Diwali break provided a good relaxing time to continue this superb novel. Following the disaster that hit their lives is an emotional journey of Amir, his quest for his lost friend, his journey from Afghanistan to Pakistan to United States and back and most importantly, the unfolding of the political situation in Afghanistan. The journey is painful, nostalgic and sentimental. We not only understand the emotions of the characters but also the transformation of the country.

A power packed writing of human emotions, turmoil, guilt and redemption makes "The kite runner" a must read.

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