Showing posts from June, 2013

A Road Trip to Cherish...

I remember taking road trips since my childhood. Perhaps that’s how I got bitten by the travel bug. My earliest memories of a proper road trip are of the 7-day long journey to the hills of Assam and the other North-Eastern (NE) states. 

It all started one fine October morning in 1989 when Uncle G and Aunty L from Bombay Natural History Society visited us at our Guwahati home. They were planning to a take a tour of a few hill towns of NE for research purpose and wanted Deta’s (my father’s) inputs. Our Durga Puja vacation was on and we kept on flitting in and out of the living room where the elders were having their discussions.

I could hear snippets of the conversation. 

“ fact, why don’t you all come along with us?” I heard Aunty saying.

Deta threw a worried glance at us, and then looked towards Ma. 

That evening saw the parents conferring earnestly among themselves. Finally, Ma approached us.

“We will be going on a long journey,” she said. “And you must behave yourselves in fr…

A Day Trip to Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (Part 2)

Part 1 here.

We left behind the lake with its hundreds of inhabitants and proceeded towards Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. On reaching Sathanur, we had to take a left turn for Muthathi and drive on some rough patches of road. Sometime later we came to a little pond by the side of the road where there were several baya weavers’ nests. The bright little birds were hard at work and after marveling at their ingenuity we carried forth our journey. Breakfast was on-the-move, without halting anywhere. 

Baya Weaver
Now, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary is not your typical jungle teeming with wildlife and predators. It is more of a reserve forest, bounded by villages, and hence don’t be too surprised if you see more of cows, sheep and goats there. But apparently, it has elephant, wild boar, leopard, spotted deer, barking deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, slender loris and malabar giant squirrel as well. The sanctuary is particularly known for its grizzled giant squirrel and I harboured a strong desir…

A Day Trip to Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (Part 1)

We were bored to the bone waiting for monsoons to arrive in Bangalore when we finally decided – rain or no rain, enough is enough – we should go out somewhere. Since our son had just recovered from fever, we decided to make it a day trip and not go too far. I quickly took a look at our options and finally fixed on the destination. A date on the calendar was circled with red ink and marked as ‘Trip’. In no time, the itinerary was set.

The date: 1st June, 2013
The destination: Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
Distance from Bangalore: 135 km (approx.)
Route taken: Bangalore – Kanakapura – Sathanur – Bheemeshwari Fishing Camp (Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary)

The day before the trip, heaven broke loose and poured heavy rain over Bangalore. We drove through a sea of water on the roads on the way back home from office. Anxiety streaked my mind as I carried on my pre-trip preparations (something I had written earlier). I strained my ears all night to hear if the rain had stopped. This was not how I had exp…

My Favourite Biryani in Bangalore

I love my rice. I search for the plate of perfect pulao/biryani in every city that I venture into, besides scouring the worldwide web for the perfect recipe. While in Mumbai, I used to be treated to Persian Durbar’s sumptuous mutton biryani at my report designer’s place in Reay Road. It made me look forward to visiting his office every 2-3 months. My office at that time was located in Ballard Estate, a block away from the famed Britannia and its equally famous Berry Pulao and Dhansak. The Berry Pulao there used to be our comfort food whenever one of my colleagues and I had a frustrating time in the office. At times, we used to order biryani from Noorani near Haji Ali and also from Jaffer Bhai and Zaffran. On my birthday, I had once served biryani from Food Inn at Lokhandwala and on another occasion, Lucknowi Biryani from Just Biryani at Versova. 

I had to cover Kolkata as part of my job and despite my hectic schedule I used to find out some time for grabbing the amazingly aromatic bir…

The Joys of Travelling

I cannot express my feelings adequately in words if one were to ask me what I love about travelling. The thrill that I experience in knowing that I shall be basking in the beauty of another land is immeasurable. The expectations that build up with every passing day, the eager plans over Gtalk, the fervent discussions at dinner time - everything contributes towards the journey or trip. It does not matter if it is a matter of a few hours or a few days. The excitement is always the same.

It begins with one of us (meaning the husband and I) uttering the most beautiful line in the world – “Let’s go somewhere.” Being the researcher in the family, it is upon me to conduct a study on the possible destinations. We then confer on the shortlisted places and finally pick the one we feel to be the best for the period. And then, we pop open the bottle of excitement!

For the next few days, all we can think of is our upcoming trip, where to stay, what to see, where to eat, what to eat, and more. I f…

"Smart Phones, Dumb People?"

A few weeks back, I had written a brief post on my cousin Paul Da (Parthajeet Sarma) after reading about a short story competition for a book on Indian entrepreneurs. On a whim, I had written the post during office lunch break, without pausing for a second. I did not know then that I would be writing about him again! Or rather, about his book ‘Smart Phones, Dumb People?’

Paul Da had kept his book under wraps and it’s only recently that I came to know about it. I wondered how he managed to find time to write the book considering his hectic professional schedule and the presence of two kids (the younger one just 18 months) at home. The book’s prologue answered my query – he wrote during the early morning hours. So, that’s what had been going on in his mind all those years when we were in Mumbai and found him awake at 5.00 am every day.

Now that his book is out and I read it, I don’t know if I should call this post a review. Principally because this is my first non-fiction book (excluding …