Sunday, August 26, 2007

Picnic @ Pragathi Resorts

Pragathi Resorts( was the venue for the latest Team Picnic on the 23rd. It was taken as a second choice after Lahari Resorts (which was booked by its owner for the whole week) was not possible.

The Picnic turned out to be great despite the heavy rains the whole city witnessed that day. I would say the light thunder showers and non sunny weather was infact favourable for the venue. The resort despite whatever it boasts to be basically provides only a single major ride. The (swimming) pool is rather shallow for any kind of swimming. The thing ppl like most was the big mass of water falling from approx 30 ft overhead. (What is the name for that ?)

As far as water sports are concerned you can only play volleyball, which turned out to be good fun too, specially the "splashing the culprit" part after anyone makes a mistake without sounds of "Yahi hey, Yahin hey" etc [:D]. We also played Frisbee in the water.

Post lunch activities started with Musical Chairs, which was fun to see, as ppl ran/raced and did all sorts of thing to keep the chair. Krishna and Antara's run for the chairs was particularly hilarous. The next thing after musical chairs was difficult to decide. Ppl weren't enthu enough to dance and it there were mild showers outside forcing ppl to do things like playing Bang or Antakshari. A few of us like minded ppl however decided to go out and play rain football. I didn't know it would be so much fun. Everyone remembered old days at school or college when they played football and it was definitely worth getting drenched. By the end of the game we all decided to look forward for any opportunities to play the same again. (We did start looking for grassy grounds available for the weekends for the same),

Tips for trips to this resorts:
1) Carry a good swimming costume (the rental/ buying ones are very light quality)
2) Carry Frisbee and Basketball (We got football from them and they also have cricket kits)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Sensible speech on 15th August (Indian Independece Day)

Waking up early this 15th August turned out to be a great reward. Unaware of what the reward was I just managed to make it to IIIT campus early morning(8:15 is early for me) to witness the flag hosting and participate in the National Anthem singing.
To my surprise Dr. A P J Kalam was the chief guest for the occasion. What a pleasant surprise. The usually low profile 15th August celebration turned out to be a big event. With Police, photographers, Fire brigade and a big Pandal etc in place. I have been used to watch the event every year attended by some 100 students from all batches sitting on the small ground next to main building. This time it was on the main grounds with certainly 300+ ppl attending it. Faculty strength was also overwhelming.

As Dr. Kalam spoke, I realized it was not one of the usual 15th August speeches we have been hearing all these times. Most speeches I have heard in the past have been on the theme "Have we really achieved anything to be proud of, Have we solved problem of poverty, unemployment etc." All concluding that we are really in a screwed up situation rt now and blah blah. Some others are again on similar topics of "How much we want India to be poverty free and propserous, but without any ideas or suggestion on how to achieve these far fetched goals". Dr Kalams speech was (were) different. He talked about science, technology and ways of transforming the society with the help of these. It motivated students to think about what little/large we can contribute to make India developed by 2020. It had some firm ideas and suggestions instead of just usual cry over the current situation.

It was specially great to see how much technically advance and aware a person at that post is when he said about writing emails to him at his personal email address and then told if you miss any point or want to revise the speech you can visit his website( moments later to see the transcript of the speech. In his thought provoking speech he clearly showed the students the reasons for which the much hated Jeevan Vidhya or moral science lessons were very important. The link for the two speeches he delivered there are:

Would be great if someone can upload the video to Youtube so others can watch him speak.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Matheran Trip

Matheran trip turned out to be a great one, far beyond what I could have imagined when I registered for the same. The situation was that I hardly knew anyone in the whole group except for Gowtham and Malik whom I have met quite often in the office.
The trip started with us taking an early leave from office on the Friday. We took a cab to Begumpeth Railway station (during which we guys started making new friends). On the station the group strength was clearly visible we were around 70 in numbers. All ppl had doubts about what the trip of such a big group was going to turn up into.

The train journey started, very soon all my doubts were cleared. A few of us sitting in same compartment started talking and soon we became such good friends that we decided to keep awake the whole the night gossiping. The idea came from Somu who kept iterating it was rather senseless to sleep for a such duration everytime some one thought about it. Ultimately everyone did decide to go for sleeping only that it was hardly 1/2 hr to 1 hr we could. Of course the gossip that went on the whole night played a serious part in giving the whole trip a great start.
We got down from the train at Kalyan station, and from there took a local train to Neral station . followed by a Car drive to Dasturi point. Which is the last point for vehicles. From this point we walked mostly along the toy-train track (Toy-trains are not functional during the Monsoon season). The way was pretty difficult mostly because it was raining hard and very few ppl were actually prepared for that though most of us had rain cheaters but the rain was too heavy for that. Most of us were totally drenched by the time we reached the resort the "Brightlands resort".

The bigger trouble was yet to be witnessed, the rain water had soaked in into the bags and all the clothes were wet. The situation was the same with almost al l :)
As decided during the breakfast we left for Trekking right after the breakfast. We trekked towards the Echo point and got drifted off the way many times for there were many beautiful tracks on the way, including a big lonely Bangalow like ones seen in ghost movies. We moved on and reached Echo Point, it was wonderfull. I would leave the photos to speak about it. The best effect was that of the waterfall's water thrown upwards by the wind. The echo didn't really work though [:D]

As is got late we decided to walk back for Lunch, which was a long long run as we had no idea where to go back and had to retrack the way so many times (thanks to Luqman for his great intuitions :))

Post lunch a much larger group lead by Zubin walked to Charlotte lake. The lake was not the most beautiful thing, the whole trek was. Had a great run from the monkeys while eating Corn("Bhutta") and drinking tea on the way. The Corn was too tasty and the tea made lot of sense in the nice rainly weather.

The evening was concluded with an hour or so of Disc which was obviously great fun. The next morning we left from the resort came back to Dasturi point on horse. Where Kiran showed her horse riding skills. The reverse journey got over very soon as we gossiped a lot and made plans for future outings.