My Long Hiatus And My Dubai Visit !

(I just realised how my last 2 posts have been out of frustration towards the inefficient, the dishonest and all the other morons.I think its time I grew up and Stopped living in my utopian world and face the reality that truly sucks….)

So anyhowwww coming to a lighter-brighter part of my life…Vacation!! I had taken a LOOONG vacation (3 weeks seems like an eternity when you are “working”) and went to Dubai and Riyadh.Add to all this, the day I was supposed to go on vacation, my company drops a “bomb” that they are closing down two of the 3 groups we have! Closingg!!! In other words, we were all being “fired”..but the saving grace was that the client company who some of us have been working with for 1.5 yrs now wanted to acquire our team.But the choice was given to us.Inspite of all this tension, the only thing that was constantly worrying me was whether I will be able to go on vacation..Was going after 3 years and I was super excited about meeting Orks & Pobz and visiting Doooppaaai.So thats how I decided not to care whether the company was falling down or rising up or going nowhere at all, and just went ahead with my vacation :D..

dubai skyline

Oh and anyone looking for a vacation spot, Dubai is Definitely the best place to go!! I was absolutely smitten by the place.Its got this whole cosmopolitan feel to it, with all those glittering malls and their grandeur, the breathtaking skyline with those spectacular skyscrapers, sexy firangi girls in chintoo shorts running around (;)) and yet it has the “desi” feel too, because wherever you look there are Indians!!Although it was reallllly hot when I went (in June) , If you can arrange your own transportation, it wont be a problem.Everything is air conditioned..the taxis , the malls, the houses! (On the downside , Getting taxis are a bit of a problem now for some reason and yeah ahem there are quite a few traffic jams because of the Dubai Metro coming up and I thought that was Bangalore’s speciality) But shops are open till around 12 in the night and multiplexes,pubs, discs till 2 or 3.So we can always find ways to avoid traffic :D..One thing I really liked about Dubai was the mixture of races and nationalities that you see around.It was sorta very refreshing to see people of all continents together under one roof.

Sheikh Zayed Road

We spent the first day in Dubai with my mom at the Gold souk(yeah yeah, the gold is good and cheaper than india I guess)and Meena bazaar where you get all dress materials and stuff(which i think is a ripofff..Oh Converting everything to rupees is not a very good idea btw..I kept multiplying everything into 11 and did not have the heart to spend a penny!) In the night, went to a multiplex to catch Shrek 3.Sat in Starbucks till 12:00 (the showtime) and I had a really scrumptuous strawberry cheesecake there.slurppp..The theatre was pretty deserted..not like PVR where I need to book in “advance” like I am going on a train or smthing ! Hehe..And yeah there are no “intervals” for english movies there (Except India , I dont think they give intervals anywhere else).Sniff I dint know this and missed my popcorn..After the movie, Pobs drove me and orks around for a while, and showed me around the Sheikh Zayed road(pic above).Thats where all those extremely talll skyscrapers are and all the office buildings.It was such an awesome ride..All those huge shiny, glass buildings on both sides and Us in between.

Dubai Palm Island

So anyways on the second night we (With Orcie Pobi and Her colleagues from work) hit this club called Barasti in Le Meridian.Its actually set on the beach (Oh if you have seen the palm shaped island thingy , this hotel is on one of the leaves of that palm tree..pic above 😀 ) and had a very “movie” like ambience.It had the total firang feel to it..firang moojik, firang people crowding the floors and dancing the firang dance.In all this, I was sitting there and trying to find an ugly or even slightly obese female in that entire crowd and trust me, I came up only with one(excluding me that is) ! All the females looked like baywatch models.The clothes, their toned bodies and long legs! Sniff..I actually scared off a group of women sitting in front of us by staring at all their legs for too long..I couldnt believe “real” people can look like that.What happened to the high rates of obesity in the european and other countries??? So Not fairr..aargh..anyways even after a few drinks, our desi legs refused to move to the firang music.We so need the “bhangra” beats and our remixes to get us on the dance floor..So we got out of that by 2 and headed home.The next day we (Orcie and her friends from work) checked out this club called Oxygen or Nitro (Or it was called Nitro on some nights..whatever) but it was this total desi place with alll the great remixes.And finally normally shaped indian woman..What a relief to spot them hehe …I danced my headoff to bhangra and bollywood remixes for 3 hours or so continuously.I think theres something about Red Bull which makes me soooper hyper and I can JUMP nonstop for more than 3 hours! Oh but the highlight of the evening was when the security at the entrance asked to see my ID for age proof (yeah i needed to say that, lest someone thinks I look like a criminal!)..sniff..Atleast SOMEONE thinks I can possibly be less than 18..I could have kissed that burly security fellow for making my day ;)..At 2:30am or so, they closed down the place and very reluctantly I went out..sniff..i could have definitely jumped for 2 more hours :D..Headed back home after that and chatted away with orks till 4:30 in the morning!:) I was leaving the next day so dint have anything planned for that day..

Well those were the 2 “hap” places I visited while I was at Dubai..it was just a 4 day trip.Managed to watch 2 movies too in those 4 days!! One of the malls there which is worth seeing is the Ibn Batuta Mall.It is this humongouss “theme” mall.Divided into 6 different parts with 6 different country’s architechture.Pretty Cool Huh?? I didnt get to see all of it though..

Well thats about it..I missed the Mall Of Emirates which is the world’s 2nd largest shopping mall and you can walk for 6 hours and still not cover the whole of it.And yeah I would have liked to visit the “beach”..but it was pretty hot,so thats okay.And I couldnt visit the Burj Al Arab..The building which makes a lot of apperances in Hindi Movies…Ofcourse nothing seems good when the company isnt good and I got to meet my beshhtest friendz so I couldnt have asked for more.I hated leaving Dubai for the place it was, and parting from Orciee..The rest of my 3 weeks vacation was spent in Riyadh with my parents, doing absolutely nothing but eating and sleeping and a little bit of cooking.So that sums just about everything up doesnt it? 🙂

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A Leechy Affair

Its almost a year since my last trek (to Ooty) So I decided I should lug my big lazy ass off that comfy beanbag.Tarsh and co had arranged this trek to Madikeri (Talacauvery to be precise) last weekend.This time I had taken along a huge hugeee bag which weighed like a ton of bricks!! I have no clue what I put inside it..Just extra stuff for the rain you know.

— Extra t-shirt if it rained ..Another Extra t-shirt if it rained and the other extra tee gets wet too. (it ended up with 5 tees for 2 days out of which I just wore 2!) :D.

— Extra pair of chappals if it rained(This is always a must.Your feet will get sooper tired with shoes and all the torture you put your shoes through).

— Sunscreen lotion,Nice smellin Ponds powder (you never know if therez going to be place to take bath!)

— Night dress (I dont know why I thought I’d need it cuz What happens ususally is that You are so frigging tired you dont care if you are even wearing clothes and you just crash)

— Sleeping bag..

— Stuff to eat..the usuals.. Dates..Gum..Water etc .

Although Tarsh had warned in his mail to carry “snuff” powder and “strong smelling deodarant” to get rid of leeches, I did not pay heed to it.I just assumed that since mosquitoes were never that fond of my blood neither will Leeches. So anyways we reached Madikeri in the morning around 6am, freshened up, had breakfast and left for talacauvery which is like an hour from Madikeri.

See how I was made to be Luggage while going up there..sniff..cruelty 😉 ..

Just starting towards Talacauvery
By the time we got near talacauvery , got permission frm the Forest Officer and all that, and started our trek, it was 11:30 am.It started out beautifully.Breathtaking views, amazing weather and great company..I was breathing in so much, sucking in all that fresh cold air around me with so much intensity , that I thought soon Talacauvery will face severe oxygen shortage!

Check out the view!!

After walking through the first forest cover, I heard people talking about leech bites and since I had never set my eyes on one, I dint know what to expect and what it would feel like.And people were sayin, dont stop , just keep walking else they crawl up.So thats what I did..I dint dare to look down and almost RAN through like 2 kms until we came to some open space (The funda is that, leeches dont survive under the sun..so forest cover –> definite leeches but open space gives you some respite)..So anyways I finally dared to look at my feet and what I saw pretty much terrified the hell outta me.There stood my bloody legs, with some 5-6 already sucking the blood away to glory.Another 4-5 were making their way up my shoe to get to the site of the bloody orgy! And I couldnt bear to touch those disgustingly slimy and ugly looking creatures with my hands. So I had to resort to asking Tarsh to remove it the first time, then brave brave Flavia..then Joshua then Anybody who passed me had the honour of removing a leech from my legs! yeah I had that many and Much more..Thing is, you dont feel the leech bite..a slightly cold feeling on that spot but thats about it.They apparently inject some anasthetic before they “dissolve” your skin..So the first time, they had actually reached my thighs before I spotted them..Eww..and the disgustign way those slimy hogs fatten up after drinking your blood..Ugghh..And it makes quite a bloody messs..My socks were blood stained , mah tracks were blood stained, da shoes were blood stained..Eeeks..Sigh and you should knw the sight of blood does not in any remote way “calm” me..

(I hope you understand what a torturous experience it is ..just to write about them leeches..sniff..I was searchin for leech photos to psyche you ppl up, but just by seeing their photos, I started feeling something crawling up my body so had to ditch that attempt.)

So anyways, after that I was too psyched to actually look up and enjoy the fresh air, the green forest and the likes.I was staring at my shoes, trying to make out if any brown squiggly creature has landed on my shoes and flicking them off whenever I could.Ofcourse inspite of that they managed to suck more blood from my ankles..

After all this, I just ended up with a bad neck ache looking down and walking all the time and that tension in my head.I literally begged Tarsh for some OTHER means of transportation other than walking back the same way again the next day(along with a few others).So thankfully it was decided that 5 people will go by the jeep and the rest will walk back after dumping their backpacks in the jeep.Just the thought of NOT facing leeches the next day was enough to spur me through the rest of the journey and we reached our camp.

I realise most of this post is about leeches and my feelings about them but I cant help it.It really preoccupied my thoughts out there..

The next highlight of the trek was the stream next to the camp where we (Da Girls) decided to take bath the royal…princessy way.You know, pouring water Oh so gracefully over your arms and face and all that..It was such a delight.Splashing around in that cold clear water was just soooo refreshing that I forgot about the bloody war I had had with the leeches..It was with a very heavy heart that we got out of that heavenly stream but the others needed the bath too and it got prettty dark..I just crashed after devouring maggi( slurpp) and soup (Kudos to Shyamoly and team for that!!) .

The next day, I was dressed casually in my bathrooom slippers. I was so thrilled I dint have to wear my shoes and WALK back and face the slimy leeches.But as luck would have it, our jeeep stopped like 10 minutes into the jungle.Apparently the gauge was faulty so it showed full fuel but it was actually empty! We had to wait at that one place for almost 5 hours for the diesel.I refused to get out of that stufffy jeep for 3 of those 5 hours fearing another leech attack.But surprisingly, there werent as many leeches that day or maybe they decided to lie low till the LEECH magnet (aka ME) stepped on them..

So there we have it — Day 2 was uneventful on the leeech front..but I actuallly felt sad for missing out on the trek back  and absorbing all that “NATURE” into my veins….

Alrite now  that I realise How big and boring I’ve made this posttt, I would like to congratulate people who have managed to make it this far without dozing offf..;) Adios Amigoo…

Trek Near Ooty

Alrite folks, I have finally gotten over my trek hangover! And it is SUNDAY with nothing else to do, so here I am updating my blog.

I had gone to Kodanaadu, some 49km off Ooty with the BMC(www.bmcindia.org) . We were around 37 people, 3 Tempo Travellers and a whole lot of expectations.

Neways Ooty is one of the most amazingg places I’ve ever seen(although I really havent seen that many places :D)..It is about 2200 meters above sea level.We stopped for breakfast there and proceeded to Kodanadu(which is situated at a much higher level than ooty..dunno the exact figures though)..The scenery and the weather was soo breathtaking, that in a very dog-like fashion, I was jutting my head out of the window , just breathing in all that fresh air , the cool air hitting my face and taking in the wonderful view.It was soooo greeen, coool, cloudyy and captivated each ONE of my senses! Felt like buying a ‘farm house’ right on the pasture there..(the feeling passed quickly after realising I’m pretty broke!! :))

So here’s a quick summary of the trek.. Day 1, we couldn’t trek since we reached the starting point by 3 pm plus the whole “Change of Migratory pattern of Elephant” thingy. We ended up walking around the tea plantations, taking snaps and talking with the tea-pickers . After which we reached the guest house ( which was VERY impressive , clean and well maintained ! I was expecting a run-down shack )

Oh here’z the INVITING entrance to the guest house (Note the SKULL below the Wonderfully painted board 😉 Oh and wow Sunlight drifting through the trees and all..Never realised I’m such a good photographer! :D)

Inviting Entrance huh!

We wiled away our time in the evening playing Dumb Charades. I dont want to boast, BUT I was really on fire that day, I was getting even the more “obscure” ones right…(Yuppp..Every Dog has His day 😉 )

Day 2 — It was 9 am by the time we could get everyone together( Although we were supposed to start at 7:00!) I was asusual bent on being in the front or atleast with the group in the front.I dont know what gets into me in these treks, I usually want to be the First to reach. This urge to “show-off” my stamina( Which is a joke believe me!!) overcomes me and I am running paying no heed to the scorching sun or my trembling thighs! We were desperate to spot animals ( atleast those Migrating elephants!) since we were all excited reading Tarsh’s mail on the big list of animals which were supposed to be roaming around in those forests. But All we spotted was Elephant Shitt – little shit , scattered shit , grouped shit, fresh shit , dried up shit ..Hahha..I now pronounce myself an expert in distinguishing between cow/bison and elephant shit..alrite, enough of all this crappy talk..

Anyways, bottomline is we din’t spot any animals while trekking and that I was frigging tired at the end of all the running. After the trek and the 2 km walk from the “guest house”, I had my first “coracle” ride (those round boat thingies). We had a 2 hour ride across the “jungle” in our TT’s and we managed to spot quite a few animals(Finallllllyyy no more “shit” 😉 — wild rabbits (5-6 of them!), a porcuppine (which was so adorable since it was moving Zig zag on the road before us), several bisons (or Indian Gaurs)..Thankfully we were in the first Tempo traveller so were able to spot the animals before scaring them away ;)..After all this excitement, I got up after a restless sleep (I dont think I slept for more than 30 minutes at any stage!) wondering why I was such an idiot and kept running to finish the trek..My whole body was aching in parts I had no idea even existed! Sigh..but a great experience nevertheless(I should Mention the fact that I love the feeling of pain after a “workout”..I always seem to imagine that the “painful regions” will miraculously get toned up and will lose all that flab :D) Can’t wait for the next trek!!

Herez a “sample” pic :)..Where do we see such greeeeenery??!

Sample Ooty Pic
So here are some links to Pics I and the other trekkers took :D..(I’m assuming You are also pretty jobless and pasting 3-4 links! 🙂 )

Pics frm MY cameraa (Ya I know It looks like only Me and Shakthi have trekked!)

Dileep’s Pics ( These Pics are just amazinggg !!)

PJ’s pics

Kiran’s Album

I think that should suffice to waste pretty much all your time 😀

Trekking in Dandeli

Oookiee..Its almost time for my next trek (to Ooty!! Yayy) , so I thought I should get done with my Dandeli Trek "description" before I have other things to say!

I had gone trekking in Dandeli (which is around 11 hours from Bangalore) and whitewater raftingg in Kali River. *Yayyyy* When I started off(unlike the last time when we were a gang of four and "fun" started from the word go), I was a bit apprehensive about gettin bored et al..But believe me, I dont think Trekking can EVER bore you.Its got its charm and its freaking addicitive.

I walked close to 9 hours in a jungle with 11-12 other trekkers with a local guide who seemed to be lost himself .Plus it stretched well into "night" time and believe me , darkness and forest and rocks and streams – well, they dont agree TOO well with each other! Initially, we went over what seemed like a million streams , hopping and perching precariously on rocks, trying not to get ur shoes wet, but once that started slowing down our progess, we just waded through "stagnating" water not caring even if our jeans get drenched and little worms found their way into our socks! Right!! it is Ewwww 🙂 The Highlight of the trek was undoubtedly spotting a 6-ft long python , which I didnt really "spot" for too long cuz I was (ahemm) busy pushing everyone off , getting as far away as possible and images of a snake family having dinner totally spurred me on . (Inevitably , when I got back from the trek, People got to hear about the 10 feet long "anaconda" that I encountered and bravely fought with ..ahemm againt! ;)) Walking with minimal lighting in a jungle leads to all sortsa things — getting poked with thorns and stones and roots and shoots and god knows wat — Twisting your ankle walking through all these weirdly shaped rocks — getting bitten by "Weaver Ants" and imagining their presence on your body even when you are a mile away from them — Tearing even those "tough" (or so you had thought) pair of jeans. When the 9 hour ordeal got over and we found civilization or atleast a "tar" road, I was lying flat on the middle of the road which actually felt like a soft bed.I was soo darn exhausted to move even to the horns of ongoing "traffic"..So that was Day 1. We reached back to our "guest houes" and I went and crashed straight onto a real bed

Day 2 was less strenuous. We were scheduled to have our Whitewater rafting session in the morning, but some political bigshots a.k.a VIPs managed to steal our slots , hence we ended up waiting for 4 hours. In the meantime, while waiting, I managed to fail pathetically in a carrom game, then tried to redeem myself In Table tennis which proved to be much better .. Success tastes soo sweeet :D. Finally we got to our Kali river rafting starting point. We were given instructions and life jackets and helmets and an oar! 😀 So off we went into the not-soo-white but exciting nevertheless, water — learning to row a boat , swimming and thrashing around in the water trying to save yourself from drowning even with life-jackets, ducking when the rapids got the better of us, trying to race with the other rafters !! On the whole, an Amazing experience !!Sigh Is this Heaven OR IS THIS HEAVEN! Can't wait to go for my next trek..

Check out some more PICS from Kavitha's album here

And THIS is my album
Oh and Herez that 15 ft long anaconda I was talking it ( Notice how the snake keeps growing?? Strange huh 😉 Haha)

Check this Snake outt
Aaah Kidding :D..herez the REAL one

12f5scd.jpg

 And NO thats not Just the skin! 😀
Herez another shot of a Scaryy pythonnn

Hehe..Ciaoo