Monsoon Trekking

Karnala was the place.

Located at a few kilometers from Panvel, New Bombay.

There were 8 souls frustrated with engineering and we decided to end it all with a nice monsoon trek.

We started off at 6:30 am in the morning and half of us were dragged out of the bed by those lousy cellphone alarms.
Anyways what started off as a normal walk ended up as a treacherous climb.

Karnala, was a fort built by Shivaji for the protection of his empire. Although it was built as a fort it ended up as a watch tower in lieu of its panoramic view. It is located at a height of 800 ft. above the sea-level, easy to baffle any kind of enemy.

We started off along our usual trail and halfway through lost the path. As is the nature of the Sahyadri mountains in monsoons, the soil was all slippery and sloshy. And although the alternative path did lead us back to the oft used trail, it was really tricky with hardly any support. The first-timers were lashing their hands at nothing trying to grab the roots and branches of the trees. But finally we made it.

From the top of the fort is a sight of a lifetime. Kilometers and kilometers of cultivated and fallow land are visible all around. Cars look like the hotwheels we used to play and Konkan railway looks like a moving arrow. The wind at the top of the fort is something I would never forget. The gale rushing in at atleast 100-120 kmph. is enough to put any man off-balance.

Finally after the one hour trek down the slope we stopped at our usual highway hotel and allowed it all to assimilate with one huge bottle of Kingfisher Beer


Evangelist or Satan

“A profession that was revered by people from ages is out to denigrate itself.
The drift here is towards the medical profession. Whether to generalise some of our experiences to inveterate the whole medical community remains a question.

In medieval India and perhaps everywhere else, Doctors where equated to Saints. There was a factor of humanity in the profession. The doctor knew that if he was out to earn money, his primary aim would be to save lives and treat them with utmost humanity if not affection. If the rich could be cured, so could the poor.

Time progressed and the medical profession retrograded.

The modern doctors are nothing short of money minting machines with objective and impassive frame of mind.
Take the case of one of my Grandma, who had to undergo a full body CT Scan. As soon as she stepped into the room full of patients waiting for their turn, she was asked to handover the five grands, as the cost. Then she was made to wait for atleast 4 hours before her turn came. Agreed that here there was no doctor, there was just some medically trained staff, but it all finally boils down to the profession.

Take the case of our Eye Doctor. He keeps the patients waiting outside in long queues for hours at end while he joyously sits in his air-conditioned cabin to chat with his family members. When we came to know of the reason we were shocked beyond words. “”He had earned enough money to keep him and his family supported for the entire life. So he did not need to earn more!!””

Ask any bombayite and he will shudder at the thought of going to a doctor. And all this when were are ready to pay!!

Finding good doctors in this metropolis is like finding a needle in the haystack, not that there are none. But I, for one, have completely lost faith in this once worshipped profession. I would pray to God not to make me ill, not because I would suffer, but because I would have to face another doctor.

Skeptics Galore!

“Its really amazing how skeptical the Indian politicians can get.
I was watching “”Question Time India”” on BBC yesterday night when they were discussing some of the current topics that are dogging the centre. There was Mrs. Sheila Dixit (Congress) and Mr. Prabhu (BJP), among the more prominent of the political faces.
There were various issues raised in the heated discussion. Among them one was that of the Golden Quadrilateral and the juxtaposed canalization of the perennial rivers. Mr. Prabhu was desperately trying to explain to them that the project was supposed to be really gargantuan and everything would take time. But still Mrs. Dixit as always was raising petty doubts like “”Wouldnt the political parties of the states interfere?”” or like “”Do you think this project will be successful?””. But never once did she go through the statistics which said that one side of the quadrilateral was already completed.
I would like ask you one thing. The congress was given 50 years of ruling power. What did it do, apart from make foolish decisions and eat up the country’s wealth?
Now when things are looking up for the country only because of the new ruling power people raise petty doubts and make them look like minnows. After all its been only one term since BJP came into the centre. But it was good to see that the audience fully supported Mr. Prabhu.

And when someone from the audience asked Mrs. Dixit about the problems faced by Delhi (her state), she was hopelessly trying to defend herself.

The opposition in India is sticking by name and is being literal all the time by ‘opposing’ the ruling party. This has to end somewhere for the country to make some progress.

Bash ‘Em Up

“It has become more or less a fad to bash Microsoft whenever possible. Talk to any person who has got a little bit of computer knowledge and he will be the first to say, “”Microsoft is the worst of all….No stability…No strength….high propietary prices”” and the other BLAHs.

But come next day and the same person will be busy using Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger and the likes.

The truth is, do what what you can, but you will never be able to take, the gargantuan monster called Microsoft out of the software/internet world. I almost had a laugh when people filed anti-trust and monopolisation lawsuits against Microsoft. I mean is it all you can do?? It was really the last tug that they could have given to grab a pie of the market share. It would have been really sad if the judiciary had succumbed to splitting Microsoft. Thankfully they did it to a lesser degree. Really, it’s not fair to tear apart someones vision. Its like telling them, “”OK. You have given us a great operating system. Now you give us the source code for it, and get the hell out of the market.””

Microsoft did not do anything wrong in bundling some software with its operating system. It has every right to do that. After all the vision called Microsoft wasn’t setup in a day. It was the collective effort that finally paid off. Even today people do not refrain from bashing the ubiquitous Windows XP. But yet when they develop a new software, they go ahead and copy the Microsoft look for the interface. Why??

The funniest part being that, the new Red Hat Linux 9.0 (Linux is growing to be an arch rival of windows) has copied the soft XP look for the Graphic Interface . I think this conclusively proves that Microsoft still rules the roost.


Hope is a walking dream. I was talking to Keval the other day and he hapened to mention this. And then I just got into the train of thoughts and realised how true it was.

All those who have seen, The Shawshank Redemption, I think would impulsively agree with me. Over the years, Hope has given lives to the bereft few. It has lit up the arroyos of blackness and chaged the definition of abyss. It is indeed a walking dream.

There is a very thin line between being optimistic and having hope. People have struggled to define both of them specifically. But this has only led to disheveled results and bemused minds. It is something that even I pondered over and got lost in the mirrored room of views and counterviews.

Hope can, at times, also be a deterrent to happy living.
After all, how do you define hope??
Time will tell…….for sure.


“To whomsoever it may concern,
I am taking a sabbatical from my diurnal blogging. I have got my exams coming up. I will resume the ritual after the exams. Who knows the exams might infuse some more maverick thoughts in the always laggard mind. As you can see all my GRE words are turning up out of the buzz-bin. I think its time for a break…. As Arnold Schwarzenegger would say it, “”Astalavista baby, and I’ll be back””.

A to-be engineer.

Atheist or Agnostic

Today, I embark upon a very sensitive topic. I dont know whether I will be able to do enough justice to it. But here goes:

The world is a stage,
Life is a drama,
We are all actors,
And God is director.

I had heard this quote from my mom long back when I was a kid (I think its written by George Bernard Shaw). I used to believe every word of it. But as you grow, you tend to come out of the perennial blindness that the inherent culture inflicts upon you. Till recently I did not know what was the difference between and Atheist and an Agnostic person. I used to call myself an Atheist, but no longer I do.

Atheist: A person who denies the existence of God
Agnostic: A person who is skeptical about the existence of God.

Well, now I know fit into the Agnostic faction. For centuries people have been believing in idol worship, in almost all religions in India. But there is no one to blame. The ethos that define a culture are induced gradually and not spasmodically. Why do we believe in worshipping an idol made out of stone, or a framed photograph of ‘someone’ whom you refer to as God?? Why do we blindly follow the traditions which were set-up eons ago?? Sometimes when I think aloud I get the answers saying that these were written in our ancient scriptures. Come on!! We are in the 21st century!! We do believe in scientific facts that were written centuries ago, take the case of Archimedes. But we dont deny those facts because they are not just thrust upon us. They come with a plausible reason. Give me a good reason for idol worship and for believing those ancient scriptures and I will believe in them.

I believe in God when He comes in goodness.
I believe in God when He comes as thoughtfulness.

I resent digesting mere facts because they are bound to lead to a nation-wide catharsis at some point of time and more so because I do not have a plausible reason to believe.
It all seems so fallacious and so pretentious. Its a house of cards, waiting for a gust of wind.

Digressing a little, I would like to mention the Lotus Temple in Delhi. It is one place where you can feel God. The tranquility of the place is insuperable. That is one place where you have to find God. He is not given to you in the form of some ‘stone’ or a photograph.

Bombay Meri Jaan

You can take a man out of Bombay,
But you can never take Bombay out of a man!!

(Sorry Saffron Brigade, But I am not gonna call it Mumbai)

Bombay for years has been India’s bastion.
A city where dreams come alive,
A city where hopes culminate,
A city where reel life and real life have only a literal difference.

Thats Bombay for you.

Today after the first rains lashed city, I got this unstoppable urge to write about this city, which has become a friend. Bombay is not just a city, its a way of life. Its a city where millions came to riches from rags and some went to rags from riches. Thousands of people pour in everyday with a hope from this friendly city and Bombay doesen’t disappoint many.

Go to any urban part of India and you will not find people as helpful as they are in Bombay. You ask where is a particular road and pop comes the answer, and mind you its always right. People do not equivocate you out here.

And last but not the least, this famous verse that some good soul from Bombay has written.

Woh elco ki pani puri, woh chowpatty ki chaat,
Woh Naturals ki ice cream, Wah usme thi kuch baat.

Woh tiwari ki mithai, woh raste ka dosa,
Woh shivsagar ki pav bhaji aur Guru Kripa ka samosa.

Woh local train ka ‘suffer’, woh juhu beach ki hawa,
Woh chowpatty ke tange aur joggers park ka sama.

Woh december ki zara si sardi, woh baarishon ke mahine,
Woh garmi ki chuttiyan, jab chutthe they paseene.

Woh holi ki masti, woh navratri ka garba,
Woh diwali ke patakhe aur ganpati ka shor o sharaba.

Woh peak hours ki traffic, woh BEST ki rush,
Woh tadapti garmi mein, Snowmans ka ek kala khatta slush.
Woh Juhu beach ka mahol, woh samunder ki leheren,
Woh doobte suraj ka nazara, Wah uska kya kehena.

Woh Sterling ka popcorn aur Cotton World mein shopping,
Woh Fashion Street ka nazara aur Nariman Point ki building.
Woh cinema ke queue, woh black ki ticket,
Woh Shivaji Park ka maidan, jahan practice karte thhe cricket.

Itni cheezen kehene ke baad, aur kitni karoon mein baddhai,
Yeh shehar hain mera apna, jiska naam hai MUMBAI (OK here Mumbai is used just for the rhyme)