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  1. A road to Chitkul

    Sep 30, 2009

    Chitkul is a remote village in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is the last village on the Indo -Tibet trade route and the road ends here. After Chitkul the journey is to be made on foot.
    It's a small and beautiful village with a population of not more than 700 people. Climate is cold throughout the year. And it's located on the right bank of the Baspa River.

    The Trip:
    After returning from the night shift, I along with three other friends (namely Yatish Kumar Singh, Sumit Awasthi & Vinod Birdi) started our journey at 8'O Clock in the morning. Chitkul is nearly 120 Kms from our place. After traveling for one and half hours we had our breakfast (Paranthas and Chole alongwith India's national drink (hot tea)) at Tapri - a small station on the right bank of Satluj river. Here we stuffed our cab with plenty of eatables and a large bottle of Coke which we were unable to drink.

    After traveling for another hour or so we reached the famous Sangla Valley. Located on the banks of the Baspa river, Sangla valley is a delight for the nature lovers. Especially the stretch after Raksham and right up to the Chitkul. The valley is extremely beautiful, on the left bank of the Baspa river are the snow cladded mountains and on the right bank the whole terrain is full of apple orchids and wooden houses. We stopped at a place called Bhateshwari and ventured into the nearby orchid to have a photo session. There the owner of the orchid - an old man gifted us fresh apples from his orchid, and we enjoyed them as if we have never had apples in our entire life.

    After this we headed towards our final destination - The Chitkul.
    At Chitkul we tracked for nearly three kilometers and then climbed down to reach the river.

    The things which amazed me about the Chitkul are:
    Baspa River: Chitkul would not be so beautiful without the Baspa River. I just fell in love with the serene blue water.
    Wooden houses and temples: Most of the houses here are wooden and have an unique aroma which still haunts my mind.
    Bhoj Patra: Bhoj patra is the bark of a special tree found in the Himalayan belt. The bark is easily removable and resembles the pages of a diary. The Ancient people used it for writing scripts and keeping records. Even today it finds its use for the religious purposes.
    Potatoes: Yes, potatoes are grown on a large scale over here and they are the costliest in India. They are known for their sweet taste and heat producing effects.

    After a lot of fun we settled at the nearby hotel and enjoyed the delicious lunch. And when the sun disappeared we started our return journey. With a promise that someday we'll again visit this heaven on earth.

    PS: For more interesting pics, check out my Flickr stream.

  2. Tim Asks

    Sep 27, 2009

    In the retrospect I desired to be a famous cartoonist. My dreams got shattered the day my drawing teacher asked us to draw an elephant. I gave it my best shot. After putting much pressure on his right brain my drawing teacher named my sketch as Buffalo. I happily accepted the award of two beatings for the masterpiece. For I thought he named my cute elephant as Buffalo because my sketch was Untitled. It was my friend cum roommate who made me aware of the actual fact. Maybe it happened coz I never saw an real elephant. Or maybe I ignored the fact that an animal could have such a massive pipe like structure in place of the nose?.
    Well that was that.
    Recently I happened to stumble upon this great site named ToonDoo. It's an online tool for creating cartoons and animation. And here is my experiment (Though the joke is not my original).
    Tim Asks:


  3. Ram and the Leela

    Sep 24, 2009

    RamAvatar a local electrician was to enact as Lord Hanuman in the village Ramleela. Though a man of weak physique, he did not settle for any other role. Everyone in the village, be it children or the ladies made fun of him and this was his only chance to prove something.
    His role for the first day of Ramleela was simple, he was to enter the stage with a dummy mountain in his hands and speak out "Jai Shree Ram"- his only dialogue for the day.
    But RamAvatar was a cleaver man, he thought, why not use some creativity and impress the villagers?.
    In the afternoon, he took a metallic plate and decorated it with electrical bulbs and wires, giving it the shape of a mountain, and placed it on the branch of a tree right above the Ramleela stage. He also tied a long rope to the branch. Upon his turn in the evening, he would light up the bulbs, hold the dummy mountain in one hand and the rope in the other and would climb down right into the middle of the stage and speak out his dialogue.
    Some guys from the village came to know about his plans for the day and they thought of fooling him. So they climbed the tree and short circuited his electrical decoration.

    In the evening when the villagers gathered for the Ramleela, RamAvatar climbed the tree and eagerly waited for his turn. The right moment came. He switched on the circuit and as soon as he lifted the dummy mountain he got a heavy electric shock and fell right in to the middle of the stage. Gathering courage he got up and screamed out loud: "Who the bloody hell did that?". And the entire audience broke into laughter.

    On the second day everyone was astonished, for some other man was portrayed as Hanuman. What about RamAvatar? Where was he?.
    The entire audience again broke into laughter when RamAvatar entered the stage as Goddess Sita.

  4. Aaiye Sahab, Aaiye. Welcome to BookTroniks, we are one of the best book stores in Dilli. Myself Mr.Mishra, you can ask for any kind of book.
    That's interesting, I interrupted. Do you have a copy of "One hundred years of solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez?
    Arey Sahab, Kya baat kar di aapne? Mere hote hue aapko foreign author ki book padhni pade?
    And he immediately handed me a copy of "My Spouse" by Dobha De.
    I was scanning through the pages and the chatter box started: Sahab, Dobha Ji kya likhti hain!. You won't get a better book on male-female relationship than this one.
    Upon this I asked: But Mishra Ji, I have heard that she had some problem with her first husband and she got divorced?
    Arey Sahab, Aap bhi kamaal karte hain? If she is a divorcee, that means she is quite experienced in this field?.
    Valid point. But I declined to go for it and asked,
    Mishra Ji, can you suggest me a good book?
    Mishra Ji to his helper: Arey chotu, go and get a copy of  "Kamasutra" from the top shelf.
    Me: Arey nahi nahin Mishra ji, you got me wrong. All I'm asking you is to recommend me a popular book. I mean a book which is much in demand.
    Mishra Ji: Arey Sahab, this book is never out of demand and you know we have only three copies left?.
    Me: Mishra Ji, try to understand, I'm not yet qualified enough to contribute to the India's population.
    Mishra Ji: Kya Sahab? When I was about your age, my third child was in the first standard.

    Mishra Ji was about to speak more but a lady entered the book stall and asked for a copy of "The monk who sold his TATA Safari".
    She was going through the index page and I interrupted, Excuse me madam, If you like fiction then I think there are much better options than this one. This book is more of a self help kind of stuff.
    The lady agreed and asked the shop owner: Mishra Ji, can you suggest me a Good Book?
    With the copy of "Kaamasutra" still in hands, Mishra Ji glanced towards me.
    And I immediately left the book store.......

  5. Monkeys are everywhere

    Sep 18, 2009

    Once a dog was passing through the jungle when he noticed a lion coming his way. He got scared, the lion may kill him. He noticed a bone lying on the ground and immediately turned his back towards the approaching lion. When the lion came very near, the dog yelled at the bone, "You bloody lion, you think you are the strongest of all the animals?, Now see you've become my delicious meal. And don't you dare forget the lesson."  Hearing this, the lion got scared, that the dog has already killed one lion, and he is strong, he may kill him too. So the lion backed off and started running into the woods.

    A monkey was watching this from the nearby tree and he thought why not approach the lion and narrate the actual fact?. Hearing this the lion would appreciate him and would never eat him. So the monkey ran for the lion.
    After a few minutes the dog saw the lion angrily running towards him followed by the monkey. He immediately realized the situation and again turned his back towards the lion and started yelling at the bone, "You know?, You could have not become my meal if you would have not followed the advise of the monkey. See now, he has gone to fetch another lion."
    The lion heard the dog, got scared, and again escaped the scene. The rest you can very well imagine.

    This story has a very strong message, "beware of the monkeys".
    These monkeys are everywhere, in the offices, colleges, social gatherings. All I wonder is that what do they really get out of all this?

  6. "Catch them young" is an old and a bit outdated adage, you realize this only when you are old enough, and an old man with a young catch? definitely there is some error in the code.

    There was an era when "Have a bike, have a girlfriend" was a major hit. But these days who doesn't have a bike? and guys seem to have learnt it the harder way. You and your friend follow a girl on bike & she hardly gives any Bhaav (Value). Her silence means "Guys, this is old fashioned, try something new."

    Every era has its style of love, firstly there was the era of Sacha Pyar (true love) where the girl's family would get her married to anyone except the guy of her choice. Then came the era of "Hogi Pyaar ki jeet" or we may say the era of "Love never dies". Here the girl would love against the family wish, only to realize later that the guy of her choice was not like what she thought of him and then she would decide to marry the guy her father had chosen for her, but at the very last moment she would realize that she was wrong, and that her lover was her love for life. We can also name it as era of Confusion.
    Next came the era of "Money hai toh honey hai", where the girl would love the rich guy and say blind no to the poor guy who was in love with her.

    We have been through so many eras and love has ever stayed love. But now the latest trend is that of "Sorry Bhai". That is look out for your best friends girlfriend and then just apologize to him. Now that the female ratio is declining at a very high rate, isn't it that we are left with very limited options?

  7. Just imagine your death bed.  Your family, friends, office colleagues & relatives are attending your funeral. I mean, it may sound a bit strange but just imagine it for a moment. And also imagine the things for which you'll be hated even after you are dead.

    » Habit 1: The egoistic jerk (Wife's perspective)

    See his face, won't even smile on the death bed, such an egoist. O' God he is gone and the whole family is just a bunch of Morons, I can't adjust with them. I'll update my IndiMatrimony dot com profile, maybe I can get some hot hunk this time. After all, excluding Sundays & holidays I'm mere 26.

    » Habit 2: Married against my wish (Father's perspective)

    If he would have married Mr. Sharma's daughter he would have lived 100 more years. From the first day I knew that this lady is not good for him. Son of a fool. God, take good care of him and get him married to the girl of your choice because he is a complete idiot at that.

    » Habit 3: Bloody drunkard (Friend's perspective)

    No one could beat him in drinking, he was a big size Tanker. I know him since school days, whenever nervous, he would take two heavy pegs and face the situation. He even did this for the college Viva.  O' God, may his soul rest in peace and I promise I won't drink now onwards, unless un-till some friend insists. You know I'm poor at saying No.

    » Habit 4: Good for nothing (Colleague's perspective)

    All day he kept surfing the net. Now I'll have to clear his share of files. He he :), He didn't even knew that I got him transferred to this department. Anyways, he was good for nothing. Now that one more fool is less in my department I stand a chance of promotion.

    » Habit 5: Rahul was a better option (Girlfriend's perspective)

    I can't believe he is dead. Now who'll pay for the dresses I've ordered at the tailor's?. He denied everything I asked him, wife was always the first priority and look at her, bloody B***h, She can't even fake tears. O' god forgive me for the sin but I think Rahul will pay for the dresses, after all he is head over heals in love with me.

    » Habit 6: The Selfish Moron (Family pet's perspective)

    Everyone except him cared for me. The other day I tried to take a bite from his plate & the moron hit me hard with his leg. Bloody jerk! Even dogs have heart. He always wanted me out of this house. But at times he really took my side and yelled that "He was living a dogs life in this house" - the softer him. May his soul rest in peace.

    » Habit 7: _____ (Mother's perspective)

    A mother who hates her dead child? Such mother does not exist.

  8. I generally don't write movie reviews because I watch a movie, enjoy it, and just move on. Rarest of the rare movies make it to my second time list and Ye Mera India (Y.M.I) is one of them.

    » The Story line

    Written, Produced and Directed by N.Chandra, Y.M.I is a satirical analysis of common issues which we watch every day on news channels. It's a story about 12 people from various strata of Mumbai.

    Once an American scientist who did not believe in God visited India, and upon returning he straight away went to the Church upon which his friends asked about what did happen in India that he started believing in God? And he answered:
    I observed India very closely, It's a strange country. There are so many religions here, no common language and hatred at every level. The Hindus hate Muslims, Muslims hate Hindus, Upper caste hates the lower caste and even car owners hate the people who travel in rickshaws. There is so much hatred in this country and still it's progressing, now tell me who accept God can run this country?.
    Y.M.I is director N.Chandra's attempt to analyze this uniqueness in India. It touches the sensitive issues of Religion bias, Caste differences, Politics, Gender bias and the immigrant issues which are common in every other state now a days.

    »  Rating and Conclusion

    On the scale of 5, I would rate this movie as 4 for its good theme, cast and the story. When you finish the movie, I'm sure some change would have taken place inside you. With the ending note I would recommend this movie to every Indian.

  9. 25 Revolutions

    Sep 6, 2009

    He is just an ordinary guy with ordinary dreams, that's it, No big deal.
    When young, he would curiously dream of becoming the BIG GUY. The one who is lavish in living & could marry the girl of his dreams. But nothing sort of that has actually happened till now.
    Life is such a ----- thing. Your desires are never fulfilled; maybe because you never actually stop desiring?.
    25 years have quietly passed by and the hairs on his head have started aging. Gosh! It is a complete lie that mirrors at times fake, Mirrors never fake!.

    With time friends are getting fewer and you realize this when your internet banking account is the first one to remind you of your Birthday; after all technology is getting more friendlier than human beings. After completing 25 revolutions around the sun, he just wish if life could be better than what it is?.

  10. Rape & Conscience

    Sep 2, 2009

    A 19 year old mentally challenged girl is raped repeatedly by the security guards of the institution she stays at. (You may read the complete story over here)
    This issue was in limelight because the girl fought for justice, but there are numerous cases where the victim simply stays mute due to obvious reasons we all know.
    Newspaper dailies are filled with news about the atrocities faced by females amongst which rape is the worst of a thing a woman could ever face.

    Due to lack of physical strength the female fraternity has ever been victimized and this thing is also obvious in the holy epics such as Mahabharata or Chanakya Niti.
    Draupadi, the single wife of the five Pandvas had to face the Cheer Haran (Stripping of clothes). Lord Indra - who is depicted as a strong character in the Indian mythology too fell for the wife of Gautama Maharishi.

    Man is known to be a social animal but I often wonder that though an animal is not gifted with as much conscience as man, they (the animals) are better known for their caring attitude towards females. Is it that along with intelligence a man is also provided with greater libido for whose gratification he can do anything?