KhardungLa Challenge – A challenged run

This was not a run to be running in first place unless well set. Few things that did me in:

  1. Over ambitious
  2. Lack of practice
  3. Lack of acclimatization for the altitude
  4. Tiredness of the body

While registering for Ladakh Marathon I should have got myself registered for Full Marathon. A small desire which creeped up made me push myself to register for the tougher category. All the earlier said were pushed aside.

The day prior to the run we (runners) were transported from Leh to Khardung village. The next day the run starts at 3:00am and we run up from Khardung village towards KhardungLa (K Top) a distance of 32kms. And then run down to Leh a distance of 40kms. Calculations did not seem difficult. Clear the first hurdle and then it is downhill all the way.

After an early dinner we are all off to bed by 9:00pm after another round of briefing. The dinner is provided by them which is simple meal of dal, rice, aloo gobhi and chicken. Not to mention unlimited tea! All fine so far so good.

Morning is when everything turns around. I was getting all my stuff sorted out and about to change to my running gear when my tummy turned, flip-flopped and I ended up vomiting! Probably altitude sickness! It is mentioned that vomiting is one of symptom of altitude sickness. I decided not to change any plans. Put on my running shorts, tee and a jacket for cold. After eating a bread was off to the starting point.

1km up done managed to run/walk up amidst body challenging at all mights and sides. Slowly with the will power which was the only one that could propel forward I moved ahead slowly and steadily. And not too slow too. I kept looking at the km stone and was feeling not all that bad. Energy was definitely draining out. Probably extra glucose could have helped. The other part which was tiring me out was breathing from mouth. This was increasing the dryness and pumping lungs at far higher pace than what it could take.

I managed 20kms upwards in all. Another 12kms to the top and then downhill. Done. Seemed to be doable just that it did not happen in reality. Body buckled and few more times of vomiting. Beyond this there was no reason to continue further. I called it quits and just asked for assistance to be dropped back to Leh.

On a reality check if I was able to do a 20kms climb up I could have done a full marathon in Leh town!

It is not a run which is not possible neither is it all that tough. In the conditions I was in if I was able to do 20kms with training and acclimatization I would have ran with decent timings.

Maybe some day in future!

Happy Independence Day – What is it?

What do we mean by “happy”?
What is “Independence”?
Are we really being happy and independent?

According to the happiness index survey we rank 117 out of 158 countries.
A girl child cannot go to school freely, a girl or lady cannot go around freely. We have school girl child molested or raped. Any girl walking alone is not safe.
We live in fear most of the times. We are unsure about where what is going to happen.

A BPO employee works even today since other countries are not on holiday. They still have to pick the phone and talk in a fake accent.

We have farmer’s committing suicides.

We have tourists attacked.

We have rising inflation but annual hikes never match up to those numbers.

We have parliament sessions which do not see any concrete business.

We do not have decent roads to drive around cities.

We have protests and dharnas for anything to everything.

We have corruption.

Whatever happens we are still moving on with life. Like Robert De Niro says “Life goes on”.
We have great initiatives by the Government.
We have group of people who are cleaning up cities.
We have army guarding our country.
We have automobile companies making profits.
We have constructions of huge apartments.
We have bars and pubs making good collections.
We have restaurants who charge exorbitantly.
We have Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza.
We have entertainment industry in different languages.
Lastly, we have cricket our religion and Sachin our God!

“Jai Hind”


Sundar Pichai and What is in alma matter

Success is a breeding ground and every microbe wants to thrive in it.

It therefore comes as no surprise when everyone from the past wants to take pride in development of Sundar Pichai who became Google CEO recently. If he became CEO of say Indian Airlines and turned around the profits I would have been more happy.
Being also an alumni of the same school that he went to as a kid, the school is not proud of my achievements neither is it of my friends or of other alumni. Everyone has done something significant in their own spheres and areas of interests. For example Jayam Ravi is also an alumni but the school would hardly say we help in developing a child’s interest.

Going gaga over someone becoming a CEO just shows that our schools are still interested only in marks and academic marks and academic marks. We have not educated and brought up a statesman or a bureaucrat or a sportsman. For all that Jawahar Vidyalaya does not even have a webpage! Surprising right.
There was a remote school in Rameshwaram unknowingly gave rise to a scientist who became a president of a country. Here in elation to a CEO I do not know how much benefit it would bring back to our country. Except the cash register could be increasing for the school since this would be used for marketing.

For that matter we living within the country are not talked about for improving the economy of mother nation! Whatever be the inflation we still buy all the groceries, vegetables, sundries…
We, never matter how much was/is the fuel cost we fill it, we pay taxes every month not knowing where it has gone to!
We travel all over and spend money to every department.
We give money to beggars on the street.

If I have to become a Sundar Pichai for my school to talk about me, I would rather remain who I am currently.

Disclaimer: Am not against any of my teacher(s), am only against marketing of his success.

Self Driving Tips

If you are new to self-driving they are some useful tips to survive in Bangalore city roads (also include Bangalore – Mysore highway, SH17).
There is one very very important accessory in your car or bike and never ever forget it. There are variants available also depending on cost and which one would turn you on!

When I learnt driving there were only few things we were thought:
1. A for Accelerator
2. B for Brake
3. C for Clutch
4. Look at rear-view mirrors
5. Slow down at turnings
6. Honk when required

Today, if you are learning what you learn is
1. H for Horn
2. H for honk
3. ( H * n ) times. ‘n’ denotes duration of honking depending on how badly you are getting screwed
4. A for Accelerator
5. B for Brake (use with caution)
6. C for Clutch

Having got your license and driving on the roads and you know the first lesson already few things you should do:
1. Put a freaking big ‘L’ sign behind your car
2. Get a blaring horn fixed to your vehicle. Remember who honks first, who honks longer time and louder wins the battle on ground (read Road)
2. Raise all windows (to minimize the decibel level of honking sound reaching your ears)
3. Switch on radio and turn on the volume

What you can expect on the road:
1. BEWARE OF 4-WHEELERS BEARING YELLOW BOARD AND REGISTRATION NUMBER IN BLACK. They are also called as cabs which are for transporting workers from office to home and vice-versa. Other times they are on making money.
2. A slow moving 2-wheeler on first lane. What do you learn? It is ok to be on first lane and drive slowly. Other vehicles would move to second or third lane (depending on availability).
3. If you are driving on main road and reach an intersection, check for any other vehicles turning in or out at the intersection. If there is a 2-wheeler, they will push their front wheel in and if a 4-wheeler push the bonnet in. Remember lesson number 1 – 3 from learning days. Honk Honk Honk Honk.
The expectation of other vehicle is that you would apply breaks which is why they keep pushing forward.
4. Don’t be surprised if the pillion rider is wearing a helmet while the rider is without helmet on a 2-wheeler. Statistics say most death’s on accidents are pillion’s.
5. If you want to turn, just turn. The other guy would apply brake.
6. The helmet of 2-wheeler ride would cover anything except safe-guarding their heads.
7. If you are slowing down at a speed-breaker honk for the vehicle in front and vehicle behind! Honking ensures both vehicle know you are there. And be prepared for vehicle behind you to honk at you when you slow down at a speed-breaker.
8. Overtake from any side you want to, nobody cares as long as you honk enough when over-taking.
9. If you see red colour volvo bus, then it is BMTC, Stay aw nuch away. You never know when they will stop & start, when they will move too.

Everyday on road is a learning! Happy riding.

PS: Some things are facts and some are sarcastic in this post!

Piku (Hindi) – Movie Review

Statutory Warning: Do not feel constipated on your seat.

Piku as a movie is a good entertainer. All the characters most of us would be able to relate to especially in today’s urban upper middle class family.

A single daughter who juggles between her father’s taunt’s and office. Daughter who is irritated and frustrated due to her father and takes the anger out on others. Daughter whose temper shoots up at any instance.
A father who constantly feels he has problem with his stomach and keeps taking medicines all through. Father who always feels girls are not meant for getting married and submitting themselves.
Constant arguments between father and daughter.
A doctor who probably has the father as his only patient.
The male maid who is obediently with the father character taking care of his needs and the house. Happy that he is better off except at times when he shows his emotions of complaints on tantrums.
The co-owner of architect firm who is also trying to woo the daughter in personal life. Agrees to everything said.
The taxi driver who finds it difficult with drivers who run away on mention of picking up the daughter. Who finally turns up as driver and takes all humiliation from the father and finally manages to win a soft corner with the daughter.
And not to leave we have a mashi who wants the daughter to get married and tries to fix her with single men. Who though married multiple times thinks marriage is the ultimate.

The daughter is Deepika Padukone (Piku), father is Amitabh Bachan (Bhaskor Bannerjee), taxi driver is Irfaan Khan (Rana Choudhary), co-owner of architect firm is Jishu Sengupta (Syed Afroze).
The best part is all characters have done the role with so much effect that it looks like a typical family drama. There are emotions, motions, romance.

None of the scenes or the characters are over-dramatized. At a moment when you may feel it is getting boring there is a change. Actually nothing is done overboard to make you feel like getting up and leaving the cinema hall.

Personally I believe it is performance of Amitabh Bachan which has given the motion to the movie.
This movie is worth the watch and you would laugh loud, motionless.

My rating 4/5.

Life is tough – 59 (Cycle of things)

There is currently a huge uproar on social media over the government ban on the video of “India’s Daughter” by BBC. Maybe government is right in banning the video due to the legalities which were not followed.

Rape incidents are a major issue not just in India but across the world. There is something about rest of the world to blow up incidents that happen in India. Rather than deliberating on India Vs Rest of the world, let me put my little brains into the whole problem.

It is not just rape there is a whole lot of things which maybe inter-connected. There is a big divide between the rich and the poor. The poor see life of rich and also dream of it. We all know about “mistress” and “call girls”. We all know what money can buy.
Yes we are a paternal society where everything is right about what the guy does. The women have been abused, violated and have been subjected to domestic violence post marriage. Where does this all lead to? Men see women in different light. This percolates down to son’s and son’s and son’s. The girls learn house hold work and this is important to survive in husband’s family post marriage.
Primarily everything is related to marriage and re-production.
We want to kill girl child before birth or post birth. And men are ready to go to extent of paying money to get married. In fact the men buy girls from far away land for marriage and reproduction.
Did we not have issues of people high up in corporate accused of sexual harassment? We also had a high-level police officer involved in same. When the punishment to people high-up was not severe the people lower down in the social rank lose the fear of law and also want to do something.

Everyone has right to be educated and we got RTE the moment “sex education” is to be made as part of curriculum everyone wants to protest. The same parents who are worried about their daughters do not want education as part. This in fact could solve partly the major problem. Further on education itself is a difficulty for many due to economic issues.
Affordability is something that is in far distant. And many in the ladder of society cannot afford education. Why?
Multiple issues like, more number of children in the family or lack of proper earning jobs for parents. Again lack of qualification does not get them jobs where they would get sufficient money. And the chain continues that not everyone can afford for education to next generation.

If government targets development then we have different issue which is forcing tribals out of their homes (comfort-zones) and also losing out on forest cover and greenery. Then we have this massive organisational fight against this grabbing of land and the next problem is of maoism, naxalite and so on and so forth. Development as a term by government has its own evils that finally nothing much can be done.

On the other hand for development if the resources are given to corporates we have increase in pollution and depletion of natural resources. Bhopal gas tragedy is something that happened in the past. What was the outcome? Why would people agree for new corporates to come in? Thus ending chances of employment too! Can the government employ everyone into services? Where would they be paid from?

And to top it up we got certain leaders who give bold statements like “since “xyz married hindu’s and spread religion they should marry muslim women now” and “hindus should rape dead muslim women for revenge”.
This is poison in our society, can we eliminate them?

What I believe is everything is knee-jerk reaction. It is not easy to solve the entire cycle which comprises of social – economic – education – development – disparity. Unless all these are brought together and addressed in year or two or three, we could forsee rising incident.

Capsicum Chettinad Kuzhambu (Sambar) – Recipe

Total cooking time is less than 30mins and I love that!


To chop:-
Capsicum – 2 if big otherwise 5 small
Onions – 1
Sambar powder – 1 spoon
Bay leaf
Cloves – 2 or 3
Curry leaves
Turmeric powder – 1/4spoon
Asafoetida – A pinch
Tamarind – small size ball

To grind:-
Red chillies – 2 or 3
Jeera – 1/2spoon
Coriander seeds – 1/2spoon
Tomato – 1
Grated coconut – 1/4cup

Soak tamarind in hot water. Alternatively tamarind pulp can also be used.
Heat oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds, followed by jeera, cut tomato and coconut. Once fried allow the contents to cool down. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
In the same pan add more oil and heat it. Once half hot add mustard seeds. then add bay leaf and cloves, fry it a bit. Follow this with curry leaves. Now add chopped onions (small onions give better taste) and fry till golden brown. Then add cut capsicum. Fry a bit and not too much. Crush the tamarind to extract the juice. Add this juice to the pan and then turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt (required quantity).
Once the raw tamarind smell is off, add the grinded mixture.
Allow the contents to boil till the capsicum gets cooked.

IMG_20150305_213709 A nice aroma will fill the house during this cooking. If you love garlic they could be added.
The dish is now ready to be served with rice.