Friday, June 30, 2006

Hill Turmeric

Curcurma pseudomontana

Hindi: Kachura
Mar: Sindarbar
Guj: Kachuri

Found in western ghats, on forested hill slopes. Bright yellow flowers are borne among mauve-purple bracts. Flowers sometimes appear before leaves.

Food plant of grass demon skipper butterfly

The small almond shaped tubers are boiled and eaten.

Flowers between June & September

This pic was shot by Sunand, during the KMA summer camp for children at Muthodi in April 2005.

Should get the pics of the yellow flowers.

Material: BNHS Common Indian Wild Flowers by Issac Kehimkar

Friday, June 23, 2006


Had visited Germany in March 2005. Stayed in Ulm, and visited Esslingen often to meet our client. And, after the last meeting, as Ganesh and me walked back to take the train to Ulm, I took these pictures.

River Nekar flows through the city, rising in the black forest (SW Germany) , flowing 367 km, encountering 20+ hydroelectric plants before joining the Rhine at Mannheim.

Note: 20 hydroelectric projects over 370 km.

It was a Friday evening, as we walked back, 1 more day, and then we fly back to India.

March was strange. It snowed in the first-fortnight, and got warmer in the second. And, a lot of flowers started blooming.

Yes, the time then was 4:35 ;-) It was tough to focus all 3 objects.

Spot the jogger. Jogging/Running seemed to be Germany's pastime. Even with snow people used to run. And that's infectious.

There was this dew on this flower. Tried hard to get a good pic of it.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A dog's tale

Last Sunday, my friends walked upto Nandi hills, and all along a dog accompanied them. Sunand, looks at the walk as seen by the dog.

Wooof! Life changes with one walk.

Woooaawww… what a boring life it can be just to wake up this early every morning look at the same concrete structure, the same people walking around everyday carrying their tiffin boxes. I know so many things, My age is 7 months, this place is I guess Hebbal afterall I belong to this place, And I know this is a big junction. Hey, look.....people....that means possibly food. Looks like these guys are carrying some goodies in those backpacks, letme give it a try, Hey wait there Give me something … yeah young lady you are calling me ? I have no problems in fact I want to enjoy a new company, and you three humans seem to be on some sort of a mission this early in the morning.. I love walking , if I am guessing right these humans … oops.. what are their names, let me find out, One of them is Suma , the other Chap is Sunand, this third does not belong to Bangalore, he looks like somebody from the mountains, … oooohhh they are calling him Ashith.

Oh my … those rogues wont let me step into their territory WOOF WOOOF, guys I am just a puppy spare me, please … I don’t want to stay here I am with these humans, , that fool almost bit me, Its been an hour, looks like no signs of stopping I AM HAVING FUN, WHAT I cant believe this …… How the hell can you name me, did you see my stars, did you check the numerology or atleast the surname, , How dare you Name me Walker,Why not call me Tiger, Rambo, Why Walker? I hope you atleast have a get-togather for having named me.

Good pace guyz 6kmph I am very comfortable, mainly that you guys need to understand my language, I can even sing for you, I hate those heavy vehicles, who don’t care for our community. Thanks for driving those dogs away I feel more secured now , actually You know what... I can be of help to you, guess you guys realize this....It is not sunny but hope it doesn’t rain.

Guys it is already 7 am when are you stopping, don’t you want a break, these humans act crazy at times, oh … thanks for that biscuit… how do you expect me to jump and catch that, I am not trained. But I know my instincts, I am much more cleverer then you guys. At last you decided to halt and it is 8am now … Give me water and ofcourse I love the bread too, anything at this moment , afterall we have been walking like jobless creatures all through the morning.

If I can read your intentions , I guess you are after the distant land of the Nandi. Guys please promise not to leave me , I have started loving you, I will be your best friend . .. hmm are we resting, lemme take a small snap wwooooowwwwwww..........Hey, where have they gone ? sniff sniff sniff, … there they are, did they forget to take me along, I need to run, you idiots…. Did you do this intentionally, didn’t you know I am with you, ok.. now lets make it clear I am walking with you.. now stop patting my head you Suma, and you too Sunand I know you have a scared look when you touch me, You are a fool if you are scared of me.

Guys move on. Yeah I am having fun,That’s Davanahalli The city is whoofing up at this alarming rate. I am worried about my brothern, Ah ha it is only 25 kms more from this turn. And we keep walking I love this greenery. I think we are going to climb that hill .. Whats that sunand’s buying, are those eggs, no they cant be, they are green and they are in a bunch, Hey whats that.... give it to me, oooh he calls it grapes, that’s Angoor, why is Sunand teaching Suma its called Langoor in Hindi.. She is in big trouble.. hey wait don’t throw it for me, sniff sniff, doesn’t even smell yummy huh. Looks like, they are trying to send me with this boy, but why don’t they understand I love them and not the boy, I have been walking the whole of 45 kms with them, why are they cutting the string of love between us, wont they take me with them, Why is he going for a string, I do not require strings to be tied up with, is this the real humans, I don’t think so, they are trying to put me with this boy, I need to find why, They are even paying the boy some money,HEY WAIT DON’T BE SO RUDE.. why that loop, I don’t need to be tied, I am not a fancy item, I am an animal, I have my rights too, no leave me... I hate being tied , I have to run away, see I am running back, will you like it now.. Hmmm they are far now and the boy is gone too, and these hikers don’t even have the rope, letme catch up with them..Hey buddies, I am back, I like you, I know you like me too.. then why this silence, take me back, comeon lets walk back, ask your friends how you will take me home, I know that guy on the phone you were talking to, think you called him Murtuza was asking you to take me back, , listen to him atleast you idiot.

That’s the base you have walked 55kms now and we have shared about 50 kms in that, don’t you still feel like doing something extraordinary today, I am watching your every move, you don’t dare leave me in this place. I know no one here, look at that Black and White, he is already giving me a warning that he is the king here, how will I survive, Its 12 kms to the top now, and I am feeling a bit tired too like you guys, this Ashith is already down, Oh so he shall Sit, I will move on with you, to the top and we will reach Nandi Circle, the climate has been perfect for the long walk. And we walk just walk.

That’s Nandi Circle, people told it is 8 kms climb from here, some shops here maybe I get some food here, hey guys thanks for the biscuit and the bread pieces too, this dog looks friendly too, let me relax here in this shade, but I am watching .

OH oh… did I take a nap, can’t believe it, they are gone, I don’t know where they are gone, let me find, Hey blacky… did you see a guy and a girl walk with bags, , he is not too sure,I think they are gone, what will I do, how will I live here, atleast a friend , where will I sleep , who will I speak to, who will admire my beauty, they didn’t even say bye to me, It’s been 6 hours and no clue of them, think that’s the end , I must live with these new chaps here, I still wont give hope, I know they will come and take me with them, I am the walker.

YAHOO! I see them.... thats the team and at this hour..... it is already 8pm I wonder where were they,WOW, GUYS I AM HERE WAITING FOR YOU, , CATCH ME . HERE I JUMP, I AM SO HAPPY… Ok so you walked all the way to the top that’s about 8kms from here and came back now, I am so happy to be with you, doesn’t my unstoppable tail tell that..Hey aren’t we walking anymore may be a night walk, Don’t tell me you guys are going to jump into one of those big steel boxes humans call Bus and speed away, since evening I am seeing people doing this, If you do this take me along, hey there it comes, no don’t throw the bread, wait take me, just wait, I will cry if you leave me here, just look into my eyes and tell me you want to leave me here, don’t you love me. You are just leaving me like that….


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Nandi walk

Bangalore to Nandi-hills walk has been majorly promoted by Murtuza, so much so that my Dad calls him Mr. Nandi. Recently, Murtuza & Shaheen walked until Devanhalli. Inspired, Sunand & co. went for the summit on Sunday, 4th June. A nice account of the walk by Sunand.

Walker we called her.

Just walk , keep walking, keep walking and then ? walk,Yes … you guessed right , its about Walking and we walked Not 5 not 10 not 20 not even 40. 50 was alright, we walked all the way up covering a total distance of about 67 kms.

From Bangalore to Nandi hills Covering the total distance were myself and Suma, another guy Ashith Lama tried hard to keep up with us, but towards the end I had to pack him in a bus upto the summit (The last 12kms climb) . The star attraction of this high energy walkathon was WALKER our own desi dog, who got along with us from the hebbal flyover and kept up with our nonsense talks , the changing light of the day walked all the way to the Nandi circle it was with us for a total of about 50 kms.

The intention to walk was natural with Suma and myself doing our regular training sessions for the marathon . I had this long standing desire to conquer this route..Sunday 4th of June was decided to be the D day. The day being close to the earth day had a special importance, and we planed to start early.

We started at sharp 03:40 am from the R.T.Nagar police station, walked towards the Bellary Rd and in no time caught up with the National highway leading to Hyderabad. My only fear dogs and they did compliment that fear at times till we reached the hebbal flyover it was 04:07 am at that time, we were honked by a Hoysala team sleeping under the flyover, we told our intentions and kept moving, , some dogs here and there looking at us suspiciously, we walked on one dog started walking with us , Suma generally tapped at the dogs head, I tapped at Sumas head to leave the dog alone. I think by then invisible relation was made: the dog, the suma, the ashith and the me, all walked facing the glare of the oncoming heavyvehicles, it was still dark.

Reaching Yelhanka at about 5 am we were happy with the speed continued the walk passed Yelhanka Airforce station. Number of villages, towns, hamlets, we named the dog ‘WALKER’. It had such a beautifull smile, very patient and understanding, Suma was talking to it, at times it would walk by the side trying to lick the handstay back catch up with ashith and run ahead to walk with us, we became a good team.

At 8:00am, We took our first break, shared the bread, and water and we already got worried about the fate of WALKER once we reach the top and return by bus, so we wanted to leave her at some village so it can take care of herself, during the first break we somehow managed to get away without her notice but … woooph within some 50 mtrs he spotted us and came running joined us , we continued the trailat about 10:00 we reached Devanahalli and moving a few more Kilometers we reached the deviation to Nandi hills,It was another 25 kilometers from there, at this point Ashith was a bit tired so managed to make him agree to walkup to the base about 13kms from there.We keep walking.

The huge hills right in front of us but still the summit is so far 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 we see the km stones pass by give us a lot of satisfaction, the pain already has entered the shin but I wanted to speed up , Suma wanted it a bit slow, Ashith was already giving up , WALKER was really good , we bought some Grapes kept walking that path, I picked up talk with a young boy who was selling grapes and was walking along , trying to convince him to take WALKER along with him and I even promised to pay him 30rs if he agreed , he agreed , he even told he is not doing this for money and that he liked the dog , well I was happy , he quickly found a small piece of rope and we tried to tie WALKER so he can keep it with him, WALKER resisted this though not by barking etc but not being at ease when we tried to put the loop, I am not at all at ease handling Dogs at this level, It started running the way we came from , A few villagers standing there asked what we were trying to do and I told them the whole story, they asked us to leave it there and that it will take care of itself, Hoping for this to happen we just left, gave that boy some money to try and catch the dog and take care of it, and started walking filled with a sad thought of leaving WALKER behind but happy about it finding a new place to live .

In about 200 mtrs we saw the slender figure of the light brown dog running to us from a distance, no words….. we walk on, not wanting to think of what she is thinking..Reaching the base at about 01:20pm, I ask Ashith to catch the next bus and wait for us at the top 12 kms from there, we move on 4kms from from there is the Nandi circle, The dog , The Suma and The me, walk to the Nandi circle from there it is a steady climb of about 8 kilometers, at that junction, WALKER gets busy taking rest and trying to avoid some local biggies .

Myself and Suma drank tender coconuts water and started our final move to the summit, When asked for the time required for the walk some locals laughout saying we will reach only by night, without wasting much time we start on pass the 8km mark each step felt like a mile, lots of two three four wheelers pas by both ways , some yelling at us , some encouraging us , a very few offering to drop us to the top, some bikers coming down even said HI , I think that was only for Suma she was happy when I told her that, We walked and walked and walked … the beautiful view of the sorrounding villages the highway gave us some more energy, 3 km mark, the 2 km mark , we hugged and kissed the 1 km mark. And soon at the end of the 45th curve on the Nandi hill we saw the Grand entry it was like heaven the time was 04:15pm When we put our feet at the summit.

The return Bus came at 6pm , we jumped into it , but the day had more in store for us, just two curves down the Axil broke and the bus came to a sudden stop, the driver called the nearest bus depot Chikballapur and a bus was expected only at around 9pm , with no energy to walk back or even down we decided to try our luck with the local vehicles and luckily one jeep took a lot of people I had the honour of having a real plump kid sitting on my already breaking legs. We reached the Nandi Circle from where we had to Catch a bus to Doddaballapur.

To my surprise WALKER came running from nowhere and started jumping at us wagging its tail, I was shocked , Suma was too emotional too, she said the dog is questioning us as to where we went and why we left it behind, the next half an hour it remained with us we saw the glaring light of the bus , had to leave WALKER there, climbed up , My dear friend kept watching, I can feel the thoughts that went in its mind, But we had to leave, I felt the gear being applied, the bus moved, my friend walked a few steps... I got inside the bus.

Reached Bangalore at 10:30pm via Doddaballapur.

Friends walking is fun, lets do more of it, its not very easy though but with practice we can achieve a lot, this is just a start , we wish to do more such walks in future, It only requires us to take that first step and things happen after that.

Signing out. Sunand 9448476683