August 31, 2006

August 29, 2006

Mullayanagiri - Reloaded (26th &27th August)

August 29, 2006 Posted by Vijay 3 comments
Reloaded, because Renjith and I (We) had been there on a partially successful trek on the first Saturday in October 2004, in what was a forgettably memorable trip which we cherish till date. I know the usage of the adjectives in the sentence gone by was nothing short of confusing, but the trip was all about each of those words and I couldn’t find a single word to fit in our experience.

Sanity was restored, when we again started planning for a weekend outing (from Bangalore) in the weekend (just went by) to whichever place held surroundings which would be on a hilltop. That’s all what we had in mind. Freak out and trek to some hilltop. We had been going through a lot of options like Thiruneli/Pakshipathalam, Brahmagiri and Babbudangiri/Mullayangiri. After enquiries at Pakshipathalam at the DFO we were told that it was unsafe after a lot of rain in that region and Brahmagiri too lies closeby. And since we hadn’t quite completed the Mullayanagiri (read MU) trek 2 years back (having lost our way and drenched away downhill in heavy rains!!), we didn’t have any problem in zeroing in on Mullayanagiri.

Sanity restored, because when we embark on such treks we seldom plan, which can have its pros and cons. But we have always been ready for them. Buying 2 tickets at the back, in an express bus, 2 days before the trek, is proof of what I just said. We bought the tickets for Chikmagalur which is where the beautiful hills of MU reside.

On Friday last, we did some quick shopping for food items which comprised of dry fruits, a pair of 2 litre bottles, biscuits, 3 bread packets and some water proof pants (you read it right) knowing its not the best time of the year to trek. But the weather Gods had given us a green signal it seemed, with the Lycos website predicting good to cloudy weather in Chikmagalur for the weekend. We though, were better prepared with 2 umbrellas instead of 1 in the previous trip, and with jerkins which were seemingly water proof.

August 22, 2006

Gone Up In Smoke ??!!

August 22, 2006 Posted by Vijay 4 comments
The Cola bans are creating a lot of heat across the country.When SRK (i.e. the Bollywood star - Shah Rukh Khan) made a comment, trying to justify his Cola endorsements, saying that even mother's milk is contaminated, there was anger amongst the political brass which was vented out at a theatre screening his latest Bollywood movie, KANK (Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna). Window panes were smashed down and posters were torn apart.

The point is not about the Cola controversy itself. It is not about endorsements either, which really are out of the hand of these cinestars. But such justifications and comments can only instigate more protests. What irks me more is the way SRK had vowed to quit smoking as part of his new year resolution, and gone ahead in DON and stylishly (atleast that's what the intent has been) smoked away to glory !

DON, a remake of the old Amitabh superhit, being directed by Farhan Akhtar of Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya fame, has SRK puffing away for almost 5 seconds on national television, in slow motion ! Now, what I find absolutely ridiculous is that there were restrictions imposed on smoking on the Television and especially in films. It seems these regulations which if ever existed have been thrown out of the window. And if SRK had any conscience, he would have thought twice before going on air with a 5 second slomo trailer of the biggest star in India smoking away to glory.

August 21, 2006


August 21, 2006 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
The title of this post epitomises what the ICC or the International Cricket Council is all about, that they don't have balls ! Well, Pakistan and England had to end what was quite a well conducted and well contested test series on a controversial and sad note, with Pakistan having to forfeit the final test, even when the match was still in favour of Pakistan to win it. The ball tampering controversy came back to haunt Pakistan after the incidents in the late eighties involving Imran at the helm. Only this time, the umpire involved in "accusing" Pakistan so to speak has had other controversial involvements in the game. The name is Hair, Darrel Hair !

The 4 match series was already pocketed by England 2-0, and this the 4th at the Brit Oval was the last test match and was a mere formality. When Darrel Hair, before the tea break got hold of the ball and believed that it's condition had been changed by means other than cricketing ones, he wouldn't have known the ramifications of such a decision. That he took the ball in his hand and then enforced penalty 5 runs on Pakistan, and then also replaced the ball, was indication of the fact that Darrel did believe that the ball had been illegally tampered with. It was obvious that the Pakistani captain and team alike were quite disappointed and aggrieved that this had to happen, eventhough they were in a commanding position, and when there was no evidence whatsoever to justify such an action by the experienced Hair, whose sense of common sense seems to be disappearing as fast as the hair on his head has too.

Post tea, after these events took place, Pakistan wanted to register a protest with the cricket officials that they felt they had been hard done by and were being wrongly accused of ball tampering. This is what the version was of the PCB head Shahryar Kahn. They wanted to delay coming on to the field of play as part of the protest even as Billy Doctrove and Darrel Hair walked out with the 2 English batsmen at the crease, Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell. After having waited for a few minutes, and not having seen the Pakistani team come out on the field, the most controversial action of all happened, with the umpires removing the bails of the stumps, implying that in their view, Pakistan by not taking the field had forfeited the match. The drama had just begun.