15 December 2011

McDonalds Drive Thru @ Kasturba Road

These stones tell you many stories…
After an exhausting evening at Avenue Road, on our way back we stopped at McDonalds at Kasturba Road for a quick bite. Being 10.30 at night we thought McDonalds would be a convenient option. As usual, we grabbed our meals and headed upstairs. The best thing here is the usage of pebbles as part of the restaurant interiors. Whoever gets in here, have something or the other to pen in these pebbles. Their feelings, emotions, friendship, love, fun, illustrations, graphics and so on. You get to read many stories from these pebbles.

Imagination has always been a favorite hobby or pastime for me. It is somewhat interesting observing these pebbles and imagining the stories from the engraved illustrations or names. Some scribble about their emotions to their partners, the depth of friendship with their names engraved in blue, red ballpoint pens or even using a permanent marker. Creative thinkers would scribble or illustrate creative graphics on them. Its like, when you pick each pebble from the box, you get to imagine a story behind that. 
At times, I get back to my college days where we used to have such fun when with friends. A couple of year back, I had come to the same McDonalds and my friend had done a portrait on the pebble. I remembered that and I was trying to find that particular pebble. After few minutes search, I found that pebble and I started laughing looking at the pebble. My friend had drawn a girl’s portrait and someone had added a mustache on that. That was funny! Things will not remain the same when you next find them. This is what I thought at that moment.
I love to visit this place always, cherishing my memories and creating stories from someone else’s memories.

Here is the link to the pictures taken at the McDonalds drive thru… https://plus.google.com/photos/107767421120953479303/albums/5680325651489142209

P.S: All the images here are copyright protected to Prashant Bhandare. Anyone who wants to publish or use these images for any purpose, please contact the concerned for permission.

19 October 2011

Birdwatching - My new-found hobby

I had always enjoyed being amidst nature. However, I had never given a serious thought into bird watching. Nevertheless, I always enjoy the chirping of the birds.

Off late, I have started enjoying my new-found hobby - Birdwatching! It is kind of recreation for me from the hectic schedule and from the hassle bustle of city life. I agree we hardly get to spot any birds around the city. Where are the birds, which we used to find in the gardens in our childhood? Are all of these birds threatened with extinction?

One Sunday morning, I was in my deep sleep and my friend calls me and says, “I’m at Kaikondrahalli Lake and there are lot of birds here. Come over here and you’ll enjoy.” I din’t want to wake up early, but somehow I made my mind to go there once and see what kind of birds are there. So unwillingly, I woke up and headed towards Kaikondrahalli Lake.  It was a pleasant morning. Cool breeze, tranquil lake and serene environment! Even though the lake is beside the Sarjapur main road, as you enter the lake you will not feel you are in the city. I felt refreshed as I entered.

Now comes the exciting Birdwatching part. My friend went busy with his photo shoots.  I started spotting different varieties of birds. I never knew Kaikondrahalli Lake had so many species of birds. Yes, I heard amateur photographers heading towards Hebbal Lake, Lalbaugh to name a few. I was stunned to find these varieties of species here. I found few birds and I did not know their species, what are they called, I was seeing them for the first time.  That day when I came back home, I searched for the bird species information and their habitats.

After that, almost every weekend I try to join my friend at Kaikondrahalli. An added advantage for my for friend as he says my eyes are sharp and I spot the birds easily. That helps him in his photography. :P So far at Kaikondrahalli Lake I have spotted these species of birds:
  • Green bee-eater
  • Ashy Prinia
  • Indian small cormorant
  • White browed wagtail
  • Yellow Wagtail
  • Jungle Myna
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • Pond Heron
  • Grey Heron
  • Purple Heron
  • Black Drongo
  • Red Wattled Lapwing
  • Paddy Field Pipit
  • Common Coot
  • Spot Billed Duck
  • Common Moorhens
  • Kites
  • Brahminy kites
  • Sparrows
  • Parakeets
  • Sunbirds
  • Small Egret
I might have not yet noticed few of the water birds. My favorite among all these birds are Pied Kingfisher. I spotted this bird at Kaikondrahalli Lake only once. This bird is so awesome. The way it flew and attacked on its prey, unbelievable. I was just starring; it was so quick in its action. I just went crazy for this birdie. J

Next on my list are Grey and Purple Heron. It is because; there are quite a few Grey and Purple Heron at Kaikondrahalli Lake. However, they sit on the islet or hide near the bushes waiting for its prey or they will just sit quite and silently in the tree far from the shore. I sit near the lake and watch these birds, waiting for prey, they just concentrate without any movement, and sometimes you can only see its long neck.

Green bee-eater, this bird is not shy about human beings. :P When my friend was photographing, this birdie used to come sit close and kind of shows it’s attitude. Common click as many as pictures you want. LOL.

There are plenty of Little Cormorants at Kaikondrahalli Lake or you can say anywhere in India you can find lot of Cormorants. Nevertheless, you will not get bored watching this bird. They are very funny. The way they get wet and the way, they keep their wings open. I assume they dry the water after refreshing in the water. You will love to watch that scene. They most of the time fight with each other.

There are couple of Brahminy Kites, if they see Human beings coming close by they don’t mind but if they see Camera’s with big lens focusing on them they just escape. These birds are very smart you know.

Kingfisher, they are so shy birds yet so beautiful. I will be so excited when I spot Kingfishers. But, they just fly away when they hear human beings coming near them. I recently visited the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary just for Pied Kingfisher and the Common Kingfisher. I was content with my trip as I could spot these birds there. Someone had mentioned in a blog that Pied Kingfisher is the super model of Ranganathittu. Yes, indeed it’s the supermodel over there. :P

On my last visit to Kaikondrahalli Lake, I saw a little birdie; I am yet to research about its species and habitat. I loved the texture and the color of this bird. God has created amazing creatures on this earth. Truly, god is the great artist. He has used all the beautiful color in his creations.

Another inspiration for my newfound hobby is the Rio movie. This movie inspired me a lot in terms of Bird watching and learning more about the bird’s habitat and their behavior.

On my last visit to the Kaikondrahalli Lake, I also spotted a Reptile - a huge Spectacle Cobra. After seeing the snake so close to me, I could not get my nerve to stay there for long.

You can find my experience at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary at http://travelsoiled.wordpress.com/. I will put up a post about my experience about the birds at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary and our Mysore visit soon.

Overall, I am really enjoying this hobby. With all the hectic schedule and city lifestyle, this rather gives me relief from all the stress. Yes, for me bird watching is a stress buster!

You can view the bird photos captured at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/meprashant/sets/72157627662109439/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/meprashant/sets/72157627703116508/. The pictures will be updated randomly. All the images here are copyright protected to Prashant Bhandare. Anyone who wants to publish or use these images for any purpose, please contact the concerned for permission.

26 July 2011

Day train to Mangalore through Western Ghats

Day train service from Bangalore to Mangalore started few years back. I've always heard from my friends that the scenic journey would be mesmerizing. Since then, I wanted to take a day train journey to Mangalore. Moreover, during monsoon the journey through the Western Ghats would be more enticing.

So far I did not get an opportunity to travel via day train. Either the reservations would be full or I wouldn't have a company and above all the journey takes 10 hours while compared to the 7 hours KSRTC Volvo bus journey. When comes to Mangalore travel I would hop, jump, run, and twirl to reach Mangalore at the earliest. This time, I did not let all those reasons stop me from taking a day train journey. Though I had to travel alone, I made up my mind I would GO!

My journey begins on 22nd July. Morning at 7.30, the train departs from Yesvantpur station. And at 6.15AM I start from Koramangala. And this day being Auto strike, I wondered if I could get any Auto or if I could get any direct bus or at least towards Majestic. I finally get an auto, who agreed to charge me Rs. 200 after bargaining a lot! I wondered, the train journey from Bangalore to Mangalore which is around 451Kms charged just Rs. 100 plus the reservation charges. But just 30Kms in Auto charged me Rs. 200.

I reached the station at 07.00AM and the train was already at the platform number 1. I had booked a Window seat and the seat assigned was on the right side facing the engine. One of my friends too had planned to come in the same train and I got to know from him that to enjoy the scenic beauty of Western Ghats we need to get a seat on the left side facing the engine. Ah!!! I was disappointed. The journey began from Yesvantpur and went through Tumkur, Tiptur, Arsikere, and so on. Between these places we got to see few lakes. The train would stop here and there either for crossing or track change. Then we reached Hassan. It was around 12:30PM and they dint stop for long there for lunch. The next stop was Sakleshpur.

When we reached Sakleshpur there were little bit of chaos here and there. Yes, those who knew about the day train journey or have experienced started jumping towards the doors on the left side facing the engine. I was hungry as well as I wanted to jump towards the doors to hold a place. We got some Mangalore Buns and ran towards to door. When the train departed from Sakleshpur station you get to see the real beauty. The beauty of Western Ghats! The greenery, the paddy fields, the tunnels, there are around 30 Tunnels from Sakleshpur to Kukke Subramanya. It was an awesome experience, when the train passed through the bridge, when you look down, the water flows several meters n depth, the Western Ghats completed covered with fog.

I reached Mangalore around 5.30PM. It was a prodigious experience every must experience once in their life time. I would travel once again with a bunch of friends. That will be really exciting.

However, as it is in Indian train, the trains are not in good condition, you'll not feel like placing your hands on windows, doors, or even you won't feel like entering the W.C. I don't know when Indian Railways will be tidy and hygienic. I wish that will happen soon or will it ever happen in India?

All in all, it was a very pleasant journey and I feel so good when I'm back home. I feel blessed to be born in the land of Mangalore. People, Place, and Food - best in the world! :-)

Here are the pictures which I tried to capture on the move: https://picasaweb.google.com/107767421120953479303/DayTrainWesternGhats02#. Beautiful scenes captured but I could not capture them beautifully.

4 July 2011

His first DSLR…Yes!! Dreams come true!

Getting his DSLR was his dream and yes, dreams come true. Having great passion for photography, he’d been hunting for the right camera. Buying the right one took its own sweet time. There were lots of Canon models in his wish list. Again, dreams come true, but how much ever you chase your dreams, destiny rules. There’s a perfect time for everything and that’s when your dreams come true. This is what I believe.

With his first DSLR in his hands, happiness fills in his heart! Though he had his hand on high end SLR’s earlier, this one is his own very first DSLR. What more can I ask for on my special day. Nothing more than finding happiness in someone’s face, on a special day. :)

A few shots of the gear and few pictures shot using this gear. As I update this post, these are the only pictures which I have at this moment. 

Haji Ali

Haji Ali

1 June 2011

Update - Marathahalli Snake catchers number...

It's going to be a year after the snake's visit to our place. We were lucky enough to find a snake catcher at the midnight for our rescue. I hope the snake will be fine in the forests somewhere.

Today when I was looking for the updates on my blog, I found this comment from Kannan on my previous post Snake...Snake..Snake inside the house!

I was glad that these details what I post on my blog is helpful. This is what Kannan says: 


Thank you very much for sharing the Snake catchers number in your blog. I spoke with Mr. Hariharan, Marathahalli for catching snake in my apartment car parking area hid in a rat pothole. He said now a days he is not available for the snake catching, instead he recommended his father Mr. Kumar. His number is 9********. I spoke with him and he said will reach my apartment with 45 minutes to come from old airp ort area. He came within the time he mentioned and did some enlargement of the pothole and caught the snake. It was a cobra. He will take it to Bannerghatta National park. We paid him Rs.500/- as his service charge. Felt very happy to save a snake. Thank you very for your help in sharing the phone number of Mr. Hariharan

Thanks Kannan for sharing this information. So, anywhere nearby if anyone finds a snake, please call Mr. Kumar at 9*********. Please don't harm them, and the snakes will not harm you too. call the snake catchers, they have the tricks to catch snakes without harming them. Hope this helps you when in need.

Update 07 September 2015: The person mentioned above is no more into snake catching. He's been recieving many calls regarding the same so I have masked his number. There was a snake in our apartment yesterday and when I called the number we got to know that he doesn't do this anymore as he is old and his treatment is going on. 

26 April 2011

Awesome food @ Kamath Swaad

With power cuts and heavy rains last week, you really feel lazy to cook sometimes. Last Tuesday was one of such days. We headed towards Koramangala Sony World to have something for Dinner. It was drizzling though.

Always when I get back home, I see Kamath Swaad restaurant and feel like grabbing something from there. Somehow I never got a chance to get in. I had savored the delicacies at Kamath on the way to Mysore near Ramanagara. But the location being crowded always, I never got a good feel over there other than the awesome taste.

Here we got into Kamath Swaad at Koramangala. On the ground floor you find the self service area. On the first floor you'll get Multi-cuisine delicacies of Kamath. While we entered the lift to get into the first floor, we noticed there's a jowar roti meals service at the third floor. We wanted to try that out. We directly got into the third floor.

The place was not crowded as it was raining earlier. May be there were people in 2 or 3 tables. First thing what I noticed is the place was kept very neat. We sat in a table and in no time a waiter in North Karnataka attire came to assist us.

He said in this floor, we get Jowar roti meals and that's it. There are two options one would be normal meals and the other special meals. We were two and we opted for one special meal and another normal one. The service guys here are so well mannered, filled with patience and good humor. As soon as we opted for the meals, they kept two banana leaves on the tables. Ah! It was long since I had food on the banana leaf. It feels and tastes authentic, while having food on a banana leaf. They started serving salads(Spring onion, methi leaves, carrot), variety of dishes and then comes the Jowar roti. Trust me, I may not have had more than 1 and half jowar roti's so far. Here, as the server served the hot hot just made roti's, I went on eating until he served me 6 to 7 roti's. The server went on reminding the food is unlimited! I seriously did not have space on my tummy to fill-in the rice which was yet to come. But, the food was so tasty that I didn't want to leave anything. The butter milk they served was too tasty. The masala which they added in the butter milk was something different and it tasted so good.

Done with the food session, here comes the dessert. The dessert (Fruit salad with ice-cream) comes with the special meal. You wouldn't want to skip the dessert 'coz they would be definitely too good.

To end with they get you a Banana and the sweet pan. Ah! what a perfect meal on a rainy day! I would definitely go back to Kamath Swaad again.

25 April 2011

Coorg Home stay: Bel Home

How could I forget this trip with my family to Coorg for a home stay? Alas!! It took this long for me to write a recommendation/review.

I had done little research and had picked few destinations: Jaipur/Rajasthan, Srilanka, Coorg or Chickmaglur for my holidays. And then I remember my Dad's words few years back talking to my friend. He says in an innocent voice, "I love hill stations; I always love to go there." So I shortened the destinations to the nearest hill stations around Mangalore.

Coorg or Chickmaglur? These were the two options I gave my Dad when I was about to plan my holidays. He says, Coorg. Though I've visited Coorg lot of times, distance being just 4 hours from Mangalore, during School/College trips, this time I planned this trip for my family. I planned for a Home stay at Coorg!

I researched a lot over the Web, and I found one place which had no negative remarks. It’s the Bellari Mote Estate, Bel Home at Madapura. Also, two more home stay's Faith Cinchona Estate which Mr. Prabhu takes care and Polaycad Bungalow at Ammathi which Mr. and Mrs. Cariappa's host. We were lucky enough to get a cottage room booked at Bel Home. Above all, at the last minute, my sister and her kids plan to join us! Now what! I called Ms. Ramolla to find  if there's any option at their place. Yes they did have the Swiss tents. And I went ahead and booked the Swiss tents too.

Vijai and Romolla the hosts, they were in touch with me regarding our stay from then on. Even before I booked the place for stay they were worried about how would we commute from Mangalore? The Mangalore-Mercara roads would be closed for 3 months on road widening and it was of no use getting our own vehicle. Mr. Vijai then asked me to check with KSRTC if there would be any direct bus. And we find there would be shuttle services from Sampaje, Puttur.

The day we travelled Coorg, since we did not have a definite time when we would reach I had asked Ms. Ramolla that we will arrange vehicle on our own when we reach Mercara. When we reached Mercara, we couldn't get any taxi or they charged very high. When I called Ms. Ramolla at the 11th hour, she was to arrange for a vehicle.

It was an Ambassador car, after ages I got to travel in an Ambassador; Anthony rode us to the gates of heaven "Bel Home". Its 45 minutes to 1 hour from the Mercara bus stop. We had to pass through few other coffee estates before we reached Bel Home. Roads for around 1 or 2 Kms would be little tedious with mud roads for around 1 Kms. But then, you get to see the heaven on top. Two cottages with two lovely couple waiting to welcome you along with their two dogs Tiger and Patch, they are ready to play with you anytime.
BelHome 073
Bel Home is located amidst the coffee estate, with a river flowing nearby, completely serene and beautiful.
BelHome 053

The guest cottage consists two spacious double bed rooms, a common hall, a porch overlooking garden and coffee estate where you also have you breakfast, lunch and dinner. Couple of easy chair is placed in the porch to sit and relax while you read your favorite novel or sip a wine during the cold nights of winter. The rooms were kept so neat, flower vase on all tables even in the bath rooms, they get the hot water ready whenever you wish to. There's no television and that's when you enjoy the serenity and somehow for the network was available in the cottage room. It may not be the same for you, so you might be lucky.

The Swiss tents are adventurous and not a bad idea at all. We were tentative about the idea of sleeping in the tent. When our host Vijai accompanied us towards the tents itself, he assured us not to worry about the safety. We were rest assured, though Mom and Dad didn’t let myself and sis to sleep in the tents instead they did. However their pets Tiger and Patch will be wide awake at night. The Swiss tent had a foundation with the tent on top. A spacious room, bathroom and a porch with an Armchair. The tent is put-up in the Vanilla garden few meters away from the main cottage. You hardly get a feeling it's a tent.

They are a lovely couple. My parents liked them a loved for their respecting nature, their simplicity, hospitality, their extremely friendly nature, they give you privacy at the same time they are approachable anytime you need. My Dad liked speaking to Vijai and Dad about the coffee estates, about Coorg or on any topic. Vijai also arranged for a Taxi of a Mangalorean fellow so that my parents feel comfortable while we are out on sightseeing. Ms.Ramolla was curious to know who slept at the night and she gives me a "You made your parents sleep in the tent" look when I said who slept on the tent. And then she reminds me my words, she didn’t want her parents to sleep in the tent when she initially booked the cottage. :P In other words, the Deviah's are so caring couple.

Awesome Coorg cuisine. My mouth is still watering when I think about those cuisines. Both Veg and Non-Veg are delicious and they would keep your mouth savoring with the taste for months.
BelHome 249 
It's great if you have your own vehicle. Else, Mr. and Mrs.Deviah's would arrange for one.

You don't have to worry about the security when you are around Bel Home. I used to sit out on the porch late till midnight, several times at night either Tiger or Patch would come around the cottage for their rounds.

Care takers:
They are one among the people who contribute in keeping the standards of Bel Home. They help in preparing awesome food, keeping the place tidy, etc. On our first day at Bel Home, after dinner my Mom went to wash her hands. They keep a bucket full of water to wash hands. The water was cold. There was a care taker called Sathish, he noticed that Mom didn’t want cold water. Immediately he got a bucket full of warm water. At Bel Home, you don't have to ask for anything. They'll sense your requirements.

Only thing what I regret, I couldn't spend more time at Bel Home and enjoy the natures calmness. Anyone who plans for a Home stay, please do not plan to visit anywhere towards city. Just be there, relax and enjoy the serenity. The hosts also arrange trekking activities to nearby peaks.

The two days we stayed at this heaven and we felt were at home. We did not feel like getting back home.

Rooms Bed & Breakfast – Rs.3000/per couple (During season)
Extra Bed - Rs.1000
Non-veg – Rs.225 per meal
Veg – Rs.175 per meal

To book your stay, please visit: http://www.belhome.co.in. You can call Mr. and Mrs.Deviah on the numbers mentioned below or email to bellhome_homestay@hotmail.com.

Vijai Deviah - +91 94488 - 73543
Ramolla Deviah - 08276 - 204477
+91 98809-08135
+91 93410 - 80586

To find other best home stay’s, visit: http://www.getoffurass.com/  or http://besthomestaysindia.com/

I would really visit Bel Home next time. I also want to explore South Coorg and want to stay at Faith Cinchona Estate which Mr.Prabhu and Mrs.Maya look after.

Make sure to read all the reviews and check with friends/blogs to find a best place to stay. In my opinion Bel Home is worth the price. To view more pictures of Bel Home, please visit: https://picasaweb.google.com/SeemaKotian/BelHome#

20 April 2011

Sunfeast World 10K is now TCS World 10K

I've been blogging about Sunfeast World 10K run and have been participating in the 10K run for the past 3 years. Procam International have been organizing the 10K run with the sponsorship of Sunfeast for the last 3 years in Bangalore and they've got great response from the very first year they began. More than just running for fitness or health, people participate in this run for a cause, supporting for a cause. Yes, the amount raised by this event will proceed to the charity's. Number of charity's are registered with Bangalore Care's and raise funds through this event.
When I participated in the first edition of Sunfeast World 10K run 2008, I was just excited to run. I asked my friends if they would participate, when I did not receive anticipation from them, I went forward and registered myself. I ran the run, my first 10K run in the roads of Bangalore with cool breeze in the morning hours. I had no idea what it means by supporting a cause, I completed the 10K run with content, throughout the run you feel that you are running for a cause.
I was eagerly waiting for the second edition of Sunfeast World 10K 2009. In the second edition of Sunfeast 10K, I opted to raise funds for charity. I chose Child Rights and You(CRY) as a supporting charity and raised funds for this charity. I did not get a great response but still I did a bit from my end. I was happy running the 2nd edition of world 10K run at Bangalore and this time I had a company to run.
And then comes 3rd edition of Sunfeast World 10K run. Super excited for this run. Preparations went on from March, April and May. I planned to run the Marathon with the NGO-Child Rights and You(CRY) unit. They’ve been doing a great job working for the rights of underprivileged children in India. We bought t-shirts designed by Child Rights and You(CRY) with a theme Run to School. On the race day, we got the placards with the slogans which gave meaning to our cause, showing it over the pedestrians and influencing them to support. I was content again and I promised myself, as long as I’m in Bangalore, I'll run the World 10K for a cause. So this time it isn’t Sunfeast World 10K, it’s TCS World 10K. Just a name change, with the same vision and aim.
For registrations visit: Registration

Event Date: 5th June 2011
Place: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru, India
Race Categories: Click here

Online Registration Begins: 21st March 2011
Physical Mode registration: 21st April 2011
Registration Last date: 14th May 2011 or when the running places get filled.
Collecting Bib No and timing chip: 1st to 4th June 2011
Let’s run the run! Run maadi Bengaluru. Run for a cause.

21 March 2011

Japan Disaster - Donations

Watching constant news from 11 March, 2011, offering prayers for the safety of the people out there at Japan, finding for the best means to make a contribution. My thoughts go out to all the victims and their families. Hope Japan makes a speedy recovery.

Bring out your wallets and consider what you can do to help unfortunate victims of this terrible tragedy. Make sure to choose the right channel to make your contribution. Please find attached the Indian Red Cross appeal or you can make online donations directly to Japanese Red Cross Society by credit/debit card through Google checkout. http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html

Click on the image to view the details clearly.

Also, your prayers would go a long way to helping them through this anxious time.

8 March 2011

Calligraphy Workshop by Achyut Palav

Calligraphy - Expressing your thoughts from the strokes! Come, enjoy playing with the strokes.

Interested in Calligraphy? Where do you begin? Doesn't a Workshop from a renowned Calligrapher sounds good?

I'm excited to announce that there's going to be a Calligraphy workshop in Bangalore by Achyut Palav. This workshop is to all who are interested in dipping their fingers into the inspiration pool. This workshop will give you all ...a firm step up on the path towards mastering the elements of calligraphy.

The Workshop date is April 23, 2011 Saturday and April 24, 2011 Sunday at Jaaga - Creative Common Ground, Opposite Hockey Stadium, Shanthinagar. Yes, it's a Weekend and you have lot of time to plan. You can go ahead block your calendars for these days. It's going to be a 3 hours session each.

If you are interested and if you have any questions related to this Workshop, please write to: calligraphy.blr@gmail.com.

http://achyutpalav.com/ or http://www.apsc.net.in/ to learn more about the works of Achyut Palav. Send this invite to as many people who are interested in Calligraphy.

Watch out this place. More updates to follow!!!

23 April at 10:00 - 24 April at 10:00

Jaaga - Creative Common Ground, Opposite Hockey Stadium, Shanthinagar
No. 16/1, Rhenius Street, Off Richmond Road
Bangalore, India

It’s a great opportunity to all who are in Bangalore. Don’t miss this event. It’ll be interesting!!!

16 February 2011


I’m writing this while I’m relaxing my evening at the park. A naughty little boy smiles at me as I take out my book from the bag. Round the park, there are stone benches and I’m sitting on one of them. Ah! Ah! I realize ants are biting me. I need to shift to some other bench before they climb all over me.

I shifted to a place near a group of women who’s practicing some religious songs. I can hear them sing something something Hari Om! something something Hari Om! Though none of them are having melodious voice, they are involved in the song and enjoying the Bhajan. Hmmmm…one of them is distracted, she’s looking at me, smiling. I smile back at her.

Park! When you think of park, you recall, toddlers playing in the sand pit or play area, senior citizens on their regular walks, Couples spending their leisure time on the corners, health and physique conscious people jogging or walking round the park. And yes, especially in the evenings, mosquitoes biting you.
No...There’s more to this.

Park! Today I realize, gives you space to think. The light and fresh air helps you relax. I realize, giving oneself an hour or so is really important to get out of all the stress and anxiety in our daily life. Kids, they have their own way of making us smile. I’m happy that we still find kids coming to the park to play in the evenings, leaving behind their electronic gadgets.

Here there’s a lady sitting beside me. She too came in alone like me. Unlike me, she’s not looking around here and there. She’s sitting quite, to herself, enjoying the evening. Refreshed!

I’m refreshed too!. :)

31 January 2011

Chitra Santhe 2011 - Street Art Festival

Yet another year witnessing Chitra Santhe filled with Artists all over. This year again it really meant, it's Chitra-Santhe. Entire Kumarakrupa road was so colorful, not only for art works but also souls from various realms.

About Chitra Santhe:
When: Every year there will be a Art Exhibition called Chitra Santhe on the last Sunday of January.
Where: ChitraKala Parishath - Kumara Krupa Road, Bangalore
Timings: 9.00AM to 7.00PM
Registration: Artists can register for the event from December last 25th onwards paying 100 Rs registration fees. Look out for the ChaitraSanthe website for details. Free entry for ArtLovers/audience.
Entrance of ChitraKala Parishath

We started our padayatra from one end of the Kumara Krupa road, enjoying various form of arts, talking to the artists, clicking pictures, buying interesting things...One wouldn't know how the time passes when you are around there. It took three hours for us to reach to the other end of Kumara Krupa road. A day is really not sufficient to experience this event. We were wishing if the event could go on all night, for art lovers to cherish this event.

This year, the stalls were increased in number with increased spectators. Chitra Santhe 2011 has got immense response. Art lovers appreciating and buying paintings big or small; low cost to high to higher, highest as well.

Few stalls which caught my eyes are:
Paintings by Rajarajan..They are just out of the box! It's got a lot of depth in them. A buyer who was buying those paintings, addressed those art works as 'He' and 'She'. She really found the character in those paintings.

The "Banana Seller" - This painting was sold for a huge amount.

The showcase of ART 420 as part of performing arts!
ART 420

Artist from Bengal - She was just so creative and hardworking, using even the free time at the stall.

Magazine art - I just liked them and they looked so creative.

Magazine Art

Art works by the Association of People with Disability. They are the special people and specially abled.

Converse - These girls did a happening job. They did number of designs on Converse shoes and they were so cheerful. Of course they needed that energy drink to keep them so lively.

Tiny statues of Bronze - These statues capture all the details even if they are so tiny.

Star@Stalls - Masked people full in Yellow with a Yellow star on their head were roaming from one end to the other end.

Art work inside the bottle and pen refills. I was just wondering what amount of effort he had to put in these works. They were amazing!!

The Crowd - I didn’t imagine so many people would be there at Chitra Santhe today.

Art Mart opposite to Chitra Kala Parishath. I could get my Calligraphy nib there. Also there were so many Art stalls which were offering Art materials on 20% Discount.

Few other pictures of the event...

After Painting Competition; Child showing his painting to his dad.

All in all it was another great experience!