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Old 23rd October 2010, 19:47   #286
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13th Oct 9:00 am. We were all packed and ready to leave.

9:30 am. Breakfast at Durga restaurant just besides the reception. Idlis for all.
The watchman had again cleaned up my car. This time, he didn't wait for me to tip him 20 bucks. He flatly stated that he's charging 30 bucks per car! The last time I stayed there, I'd tipped him.
10:30 am we bought tender coconuts and filled daughters feeding bottle and were off towards Ankola.

Roads were in peach condition on NH4 all the way from Katraj till Dharwad.

11:20 on a bridge which climbs down to the Dharwad end toll gate, when I was cruising down slope at above 80 kph, overtaking a huge tanker truck on the left lane, a crazy moron in a M800 was reversing up slope. Apparently, he saw the toll at the end of the bridge and wanted to avoid it. So he decided to reverse all the way upslope, then down slope, then get on the service road and get in to dharwad town.
Imagine seeing that moron reversing when you reached the top of the bridge.

No way I can stop and avoid hitting the moron. So I did a crazy gimmick. Accelerated and over took the truck on the left lane and cut in sharply on the left lane allowing the moron to reverse on the right lane nonchalantly.

I decided to take the exit to Kalghatgi through Dhammawad. Saves me around 25 kms. I was already late by an hour while leaving Belgaum. Thought this would save some time.

Kalghatgi to Dhammawad was ok roads. Avg 40 - 50 kph. Occasional potholes. Watch out for the huge bulls/ oxen/ cows/ and the carts they log which might come in from anywhere.
And welcome to Karnataka's own bumper scraping speed breaker ridden roads. Keep eyes open for villages as there will be those monstrous things before and after each village.

Dhammawad to Kalghatgi was better roads. slowly speeds climbed up to 70s.

Kalghatgi to Yellapura was a blinder of a circuit. Road were amazingly good. Thank Karnataka for banning export of illegal mining iron ore!

Yellapura to Ankola was terrific roads too. Not much truck traffic either. Thanks to banning of export.

1:20 pm NH17 - NH63 junction. Can see road deterioration.
"I need to slow down here. Kamat comes in a curve 2 kms from here. We made good time in NH63 as it was in peach condition"

As I was stating this and reducing to 30 kph, climbing up slope on a right hand curve, what I saw got my heart to my mouth.

A truck coming opposite, being overtaken by a st bus which was inturn being overtaken by an unladen truck all coming down slope.
Now the truck and the bus were hogging 3/4ths of teh highway and motoring down fast. The third truck got off the highway on his extreme right, with two wheels on the road and two wheels down and is hurtling directly towards me.

I hit the brakes hard, got off the road, got off the gravel, came to a grinding halt at the edge and saw the moron barely squeeze between me and the bus. Luckily, the bus driver had some sense and slowed to allow this other moron to squeeze in.

1:30 pm, we parked and walked in to Kamat hotel. My mood was terrible. Nearly got killed because of two morons. They come in all kinds of vehicles. One drives reverse up slope in a bridge on the right lane. Another tries a stunt in overtaking a bus which is overtaking a truck down slope on a curve.
1 hour, two southindian and two northindian thali's later, we were on our way.
My daughter relished vanilla icecream that came with my meals.
"Appa. Ragi Aishkeem".

We broke in to a laughter as we drove out.
Ankola to Kumta is ok stretch. could easily keep 80 + beware of occasional potholes though.
I stopped at Kumta BP pump. Drat. They don't accept cards.
"At honnavara they accept cards sir".
"Ok. Fill 5 litres for now"

These stops are causing delays.

Shortly we saw a nice shop selling tender coconuts after kumta. Stopped there and bought tender coconut for all of us.

My daughter refers to it as juice. Let me break the monotony of so much of info by staring with the first photo of the trip!

A composed daughter who is relishing her car seat as well as her tender coconut water. Time - 3:41 pm. Photographed with SE Xperia X10 Mini Pro. Resized.
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"How much more to Udupi?", asked my wife.
"roughly 150 kms. Normally it's 2 hours. But the difference is that we have Bhatkal in the middle. So I can't say anything till we reach Byndoor".
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Old 23rd October 2010, 21:51   #287
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We decided not to stop at Murdeshwara. Instead, we thought we'll stop at Maravanthe beach and let our daughter wade in the beach for a while.

At honnavara BP pump I was told that they don't accept card there, but in Bhatkal.

Then the horror started. Shortly after Honnavara the roads vanished. The next 35 - 40 kms was a pain. I had to keep my speeds in single digits. Every pot hole that I was crossing was growing bigger in size. The run-up to Bhatkal was pathetic. Some stretches were so horrible that if you fill water in the pot-holes, it can easily accomodate 2 - 3 buffaloes each!

We stopped briefly at Bhatkal BP pump. No credit card there either.
But with such bad roads and a mix of 1st and occasional 2nd gear with a/c running full blast on a fully loaded car whose fuel indicator was pottering towards the empty mark, I decided to add 10 litres. That should take me to Udupi.

There are no words to describe the horror of Bhatkal roads. Somewhere in that stretch, I got a call from planet ford.
"Sir. You had got your car repaired and serviced at our place. We want to ask your feedback about the same. How is the car now sir?"
"I'm testing the suspensions and clutch. I shall revert back shortly".

Bhatkal. The perfect place to test each and every nut and bolt in your car.

So disgusted was I with that stretch of NH17 that in my facebook status, I challenged the Karnataka MLA's with this statement on 13th of Oct.

"Forget confidence vote. Ask the ministers to drive from honnavara to kundapura. Let's see whether they have confidence to do that."

I'd even sms-ed friends from T-BHP that Bhatkal should be removed from the road-map of India!

Thank god we decided to skip Maravanthe. I would hazard my car after sunset in that lunar surface.

Honnavara to Byndoor was nightmare. 55 kms of hard-core nightmare. 35 kms of that was untolerable torture.

6:20. We stopped at Maravanthe to catch up with the sunset. It had taken 2.5 hours to traverse 50 kms. I will get the exact speeds when I analyse and put up my gps logs.

15 mins of wading my daughter had in the beach and seeing the red sun setting, we got back in the car.
"Appa. Anumaa, Shun Aa amm", she said.
"Yes", I replied, "Hanuman did indeed eat the sun. Now sun has gone to sleep and will come back tomorrow".

Sometimes one just is amazed by what kids start speaking so early. She's 1 year and 9 months. And she communicaes. And when the sun set, she thought Hanuman has managed to eat it.

7:30 pm. We were home . Quick clean up we went out for dinner. Woodlands was damn crowded. So we went to an olden day haunt called Amantrana (Ramakrishna hotel).

That night sleep engulfed us early. Every muscle, bone, cartilage, tendon, sinew, tissue and cell was hurt in that 35 km of stretch. 35 odd kms of over 700 kms from Pune to udupi.
We slept like logs. Nothing like home.
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Old 24th October 2010, 01:28   #288
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MX6 - Thorough log. Loved reading through, on a lazy Saturday morning.

I am happy NH63 is in great shape.

What is the reasoning for not repairing NH17?

Btw, i must say, you are a great father. You are giving inspiration for us, "Non-fathers" to take the plunge!

Kediyoor is where i stay every single time i visit Udupi. Rs.800 for a Deluxe Room and believe me, it is very neat and cosy, with brick colored walls.
And room service and food is very good. I am sure you must be aware of this.

In our family Quarters, any incident related to a snake (could be sighting them often, or seeing a dead snake), we are asked to visit Kukke.
When i visited Kukke this time around (6 months back), we happened to sight 2 snakes in a matter of 10 min.

We started walking on the lane, from the temple, towards the KP trek entrance. This lane is on the right side of the temple. So before we cross the stream/river bridge, we saw a HUGE snake cross the road right infront of our eyes. It was so long that, it managed to cross a huge gutter by extending its body from one end of the gutter to the other. If i am not wrong, it did have stripes across its body. And finally it escaped into some thickets around. Snakes around Kukke is not uncommon. There are too many around, not to sight any.

And then, we walked ahead, in awe of the sighting what we just had. I was not sure if it was a King, or a Common Cobra or a Rat snake. But i am very sure that, Common cobra doesnt usually have a heavy body. And rat snakes are long but again, not heavy bodied.

So i told myself that i have just witnessed something which i had always dreamt of, a King. But again, i am not sure.
We continued to walk ahead and just before the KP trek board, we saw another snake. but this time, a dead snake. This was indeed a rat snake and was much smaller. May be 2 feet long. As we saw that and were about to walk past it, not able to help the cause, we came across 2 local people. Both were in their 60s i guess and the lady felt sorry for the snake and was a bit angry as no one passing by cared to do anything about this dead snake.

I realised what she was trying to tell. And so we did. We took the dead snake to the road side and buried it in the mud.

The lady walked away happily.

Last edited by pramod : 24th October 2010 at 01:30.
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Old 24th October 2010, 06:48   #289
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@MX6 - That car seats are looking so B.E.Autiful. Given a chance, I would like to sit there once

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6
I hit the brakes hard, got off the road, got off the gravel, came to a grinding halt at the edge and saw the moron barely squeeze between me and the bus
This happens all the time; very sorry state. Most mornings I see this happening with school bus & college bus, leave alone MTC. I sometimes feel like parking perpendicular to the road & run away to the footpath when I see such morons.

One of the reason being that most of us have frustration & lost patience. The main reason that's attributing is lack of proper education on road sense & civic sense. Whew!!! once again, we need to keep going over; less said better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6
I'm testing the suspensions and clutch. I shall revert back shortly
I hope it was worth every penny of money you paid to them

I'm just wondering as why those roads have been neglected? Atleast, how long are those roads in that shattered condition? One year or more? But why? Isn't Govt realizing any revenue through the road due to less number of vehicles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod
Btw, i must say, you are a great father. You are giving inspiration for us, "Non-fathers" to take the plunge!
If need to learn patience, get married; if you want to experience peace, have children & get them attached to your wife & start doing household chores. Having 2 of them are equally fun & at the same time pulling my brains out.
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Old 24th October 2010, 11:30   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
...
...

That evening as I left office wondering how to manage the finances for this trip. I've been living like an American. Pay check to Pay check! This is new to me. And I know this will get over by this year end. I'd have more to spare by year end.

When I reached home, my father comes over to me.
"How much do you need? I can withdraw from my pension account in Udupi and give you."
"About 10K. And I'm strictly borrowing. I'll pay you back in a couple of months".
"It's all yours. You don't need to pay me".
I just thought this within myself.
No. Nothing's mine. Not even this car. I have another 25 years of earning. He has retired over 10 years back. If I depend on him now, it's not fair. It will only make me a bad manager of my finances down the line. I have to pay him back. Actually I feel miserable borrowing from him. But then, he feels happy and important by helping me.

"Two months. I'll pay you back".

....
....
....

6:50.
NH4 Katraj ghat road junction.

"This is for your safety. It will help you. It will make your travel safe and comfortable. So please sit in this".

She refused. Cried bitterly at first. Wailed later. Then came tired shrieks. It was heart rending. She refused to sit and didn't allow us to put the 5 point harness.

I refused to move. I can't risk her on the highway without a car seat. Just that she's feeling insecure in a new contraption.

My wife and parents were shocked. Should we turn back?

"No. We shall go to Sringeri. We shall go after she settles down in the car seat".

And my daughter was looking at me with sorrow and confusion in her eyes.

I took her, held her on my shoulder and spoke in to her ears softly.

"Please. It won't hurt you. Remember your old Car Seat? This is better and bigger. We have another 320 kms to do. It's a long distance. In case of accident, if you sit outside, we will hate ourself for not taking proper care of you. Remember, you are everything we have".

I prepared to put her in the car seat.

Hey MX6,

it appears Parents will remain Parents forever, I think this Parent-Children relationship never changes irrespective of how older the children grow.
I have also seen this across nationalities/culture, education/financial status.

Your last sentence above "Remember.. you are everything we have" says everything about this relationship.
You log is going very well, please continue..

EDIT:
Living the American Way : From pay check to paycheck is not suitable for Indian society where there is no Social Security, Old age Healthcare etc. Some of the following things are absolutely mandetory.

3-6 months Living Expenses in cash
3-6 months equivalent EMIs in liquid funds
1 year equivalent funds needed by the children
Contingency fund

Last edited by StarVegabond : 24th October 2010 at 11:49.
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Old 24th October 2010, 14:05   #291
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Great story MS. Waiting for the rest of the story to unfold. Glad to see the extent of care you take to ensure the safety of your daughter. Wish everyone did this.
-Biju
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Old 24th October 2010, 14:50   #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
MX6 - Thorough log. Loved reading through, on a lazy Saturday morning.

What is the reasoning for not repairing NH17?

Btw, i must say, you are a great father. You are giving inspiration for us, "Non-fathers" to take the plunge!

In our family Quarters, any incident related to a snake (could be sighting them often, or seeing a dead snake), we are asked to visit Kukke.
Thanks for your kind words Pramod.
NH17 is all political imbroglio. NHAI has it in their plans for 4 laning, but then that doesn't come up for many more years. And since it's under NHAI/ Central Govt, the state govt can't do a thing on that road. So any stop gap arrangement after much of protests gets even worse following ensuing monsoons.
A very beautiful stretch of highway is in tatters now thanks to authorities who are more interested in spending hard earned tax payers money on CWG, than pumping them back in for benefit of its own citizens.

And I'm happy that you are thinking of taking the plunge. Trust me, there's nothing more beautiful than rediscovering a child in you, along with a child with you.

Reading your snake story, it indeed looks like you managed to see the elusive King. The next trip I plan to that region in december, Kukke will be covered. I wanted to take my daughter to Agumbe rainforest research center (Romulus Whitaker) and show her the snakes. But couldn't do it though was agonizingly close. Guess next weekend it will be Rajiv Gandhi Snake Park in Katraj.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
@MX6 - That car seats are looking so B.E.Autiful. Given a chance, I would like to sit there once
Well, you sitting in my Car's seat is welcome. Not in my child's car-seat. She's already very possessive about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Hey MX6,

Your last sentence above "Remember.. you are everything we have" says everything about this relationship.
You log is going very well, please continue..
Thanks SVB for the kind words. The PC2PC status will change in a couple of months. There were some long pending trips to be done and some pressing expenses which couldn't be ignored. Add to the fact that my salary isn't going proportional to the work I do or the industry I'm in. 2010 has been a draining year for me and have been twiddling my thumbs for better part of it (except when driving).
Thankfully for me, most of my expenses are already done. Should be back to old glory shortly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
Great story MS. Waiting for the rest of the story to unfold. Glad to see the extent of care you take to ensure the safety of your daughter. Wish everyone did this.
-Biju
Thanks PJB. The safety part in India can start with making Helmets for parents mandatory. When they safeguard the brains some morons lack, they can probably put it to use thinking about safety of their offsprings!

The rest of story will unfold soon, this time with some photos. Let me resize the photos now.
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Old 24th October 2010, 22:52   #293
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Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Reading your snake story, it indeed looks like you managed to see the elusive King. The next trip I plan to that region in december, Kukke will be covered. I wanted to take my daughter to Agumbe rainforest research center (Romulus Whitaker) and show her the snakes. But couldn't do it though was agonizingly close. Guess next weekend it will be Rajiv Gandhi Snake Park in Katraj.
I have always been a KingCobra fanatic (Any other word to describe in a higher note??). I have bought all the Romulus Whittaker NGC videos, straight from NGC website.

I saw his King collection at Pillikola near mangalore. But havent been able to visit ARRS, even though i have been doing umpteen Agumbe trips.
I always wanted to take part in the Kingcobra tracking telemetry program, where they worked on following the snakes in the wild using tracking equipment to understand their eating, mating habits and they did find that they are Cannibals. They also found that Males wandered atleast 20times more distance than a female for food and mate.

Cant rule out the fact that Kings wander around Kukke town.
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Old 24th October 2010, 22:57   #294
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14th morning 9:30 am.
"Your passport has been despatched on 12th. That's the day we left Pune", I told my wife, checking the status online.
"I checked before we left and it didnt' say that it's being despatched", she replied.
"I checked it yesterday from Belgaum as well. I checked it last night after reaching Udupi. Nothing. Now this"
"Now what do we do? The postman shouldn't find the door locked and send it back".

This time no twiddling of thumbs. I was to take my father to the bank to withdraw cash. We thought we'll check with the post office in Udupi as to what's the procedure and how we can work this around.

10:30 am. Dropped father at his bank. No place to park there.
"I'll park inside Kediyoor hotel and will be at their reception".
"I'll come there once the bank work is over", said my father.

10:40 am. Called up my friend Anand who was in Bengaluru.
"Anand. I was browsing through Better photography magazine Oct issue. Page 71 (or so) there's a photo of Hampi. Is that yours?"
"Can't be. I didn't give them mine".
"Check it pal. Looks like yours. If yes and you didn't give them, then it's plagiarism / blatant theft".

10 am. The staff at Kediyoor clean the area around me. Oh yes, they also switched on the fan to make me at home. I stepped to Varna color lab and picked up a 2gb sd card for my camera. Did I tell you that I left the 8 gb card back in my laptop at pune trying to clear off some place.

That explains just one photo on the onward drive from my mobile!

10:50 am. We are at Head Post office Udupi taking to the post master (or mistress?)

"We retain the speed post for 7 days. Every day the postman takes it to deliver. If the door is locked and there's no letter asking us to retain it then we return it to sender. This is what we follow. Not sure about what Pune post offices do".

Great. The passport if was brought home yesterday (wednesday), then I have time till tuesday to do something.

11:30 am. I drop off my father near car street and come home. Told him to have his lunch and get me Idly Vada parcel. My mom and wife had food at home itself.

12:30. pm. We had the help of our kind neighbour who said will go to the post office, ask the post master to retain my wife's passport with him till we come back from our pilgrimage and also call us from there so that we can talk to him if needed. So we decided to leave by 2:30 pm from home after clearing this off.

2:00 pm. All things packed. I got my Casio keyboard in the boot along with the other luggage. I picked up my old slr so that my wife can learn photography the traditional way. My daughter and I were ready on time as usual.

2:30 pm. I sms Samurai San. "We will be leaving shortly. Would like to spend 5 - 10 mins with you enroute to Sringeri". He replies giving his location.

3:00 pm. We are late. My parents are still working up with some packing and unpacking of their one bag. The good news was meantime I spoke to the postmaster who was kind enough to retain it at his post office till tuesday. My neighbour gave a letter of requisition on our behalf and he accepted it.

3:30 pm. My mother wants to pick up anklets for my daughter. I'm gnashing my teeth. An hour delay and they want to go shopping still. But then, relented last moment and waited while she went to car street to get anklets. Afterall, isn't sringeri the place where Ubaya Bharati stopped as Shankara and his disciples turned to see why she wasn't following? They knew she was following till they could hear the anklets she wore. When dust entered and it stopped making noises, they thought she wasn't following them.
So it's more of sentimental attachment. Daughter has to go there with Anklets.

4:00 pm. sms from Samurai - "What happened?"
reply from me - "Shopping. Sorry for the delay."
reply from him - "Car street?"
reply from me - "yeah. Funny thing is that we are residents of Udupi. And still they go to car street.

4:45. We are at Samurai's place. With a heavy heart I declined coffee offered by Samurai as my whole family was in the car and we were in a hurry.
4:50. After a small discussion about small worlds, Samurai walked me out and met my parents, wife and baby who was still in her car seat.
5:00 pm, While showing him my ligament tear ankle, I realised that I left the Brace back home in Udupi. Damn. I kept it separately so that I won't forget to wear it before I left. And I managed to forget it because I'd kept it separately from my luggage.
5:15 pm. Back home, retreived the brace and wore it. Got a call from my cousin who was flying to US. so sat in car and spoke for a long time.

Finally, 6 pm, we were on our way to Sringeri a good 3.5 hours later than what was planned.

Roads from Udupi to Manipal is good. I still am irritated at the 4 laning which is unnecessary at the cost of over 200 trees may be?

Manipal to Parkala was ok. Occasional potholes. Parkala to Hebri was also ok with occasional potholes. Hebri to Someshwara was a breeze.
Someshwara is a mandatory pitstop for my father to break coconuts at the ganesh temple.
7:00 pm, we start the climb up the agumbe ghats. the road is in great condition for 8 of the 14 hair pin bends. After that it's broken concrete, but still ok condition. I was really surprised at the smoothness of the first 8 turns!

20 minutes later, we are at Agumbe. Patchy roads. Fog is settling in. Visibility is poor.
7:50 pm - we reach Sringeri. Get our rooms in Sharada Kripa (mutt's guest house). Had our dinner and went to see the Darbar.

11 pm - Bodies are still shaken from the Bhatkal drive the earlier day. We knock ourself to sleep. Friday is a big day. We have the Suhasini puja to do in the morning.

P.s. Samurai San. We appreciate your playing host with sincere gratitude. Amazing set up you got there and great photos that adorned your walls. I would love to spend more time with you when I do come down in Dec. I'll also let loose my daughter at that time! Sadly, it struck me when I passed your place second time after 6 pm that I missed a photoshoot with you. Next time.
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Old 25th October 2010, 00:42   #295
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Hei MS, nice log as usual. 1.6 L in fuel bills - hmm, that's something.
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Old 25th October 2010, 12:10   #296
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@ MX6, great to read your log again. For a few days, I wondered whether you were ever going to complete this. Let's get it goin!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
In our family Quarters, any incident related to a snake (could be sighting them often, or seeing a dead snake), we are asked to visit Kukke.
When i visited Kukke this time around (6 months back), we happened to sight 2 snakes in a matter of 10 min.

We started walking on the lane, from the temple, towards the KP trek entrance. This lane is on the right side of the temple. So before we cross the stream/river bridge, we saw a HUGE snake cross the road right infront of our eyes. It was so long that, it managed to cross a huge gutter by extending its body from one end of the gutter to the other. If i am not wrong, it did have stripes across its body. And finally it escaped into some thickets around. Snakes around Kukke is not uncommon. There are too many around, not to sight any.

And then, we walked ahead, in awe of the sighting what we just had. I was not sure if it was a King, or a Common Cobra or a Rat snake. But i am very sure that, Common cobra doesnt usually have a heavy body. And rat snakes are long but again, not heavy bodied.

So i told myself that i have just witnessed something which i had always dreamt of, a King. But again, i am not sure.
We continued to walk ahead and just before the KP trek board, we saw another snake. but this time, a dead snake. This was indeed a rat snake and was much smaller. May be 2 feet long. As we saw that and were about to walk past it, not able to help the cause, we came across 2 local people. Both were in their 60s i guess and the lady felt sorry for the snake and was a bit angry as no one passing by cared to do anything about this dead snake.

I realised what she was trying to tell. And so we did. We took the dead snake to the road side and buried it in the mud.

The lady walked away happily.
Man!!! you sure are very lucky if you have spotted a King. Going by your description, it could be a king. What was the colour pattern on that snake?

Wherever you find rat snakes in plenty, you can always feel that there is a king lurking nearby. So, your guess could be correct.

Regarding the dead snake, was that killed by people? It is sad that people still have the mindset that all snakes are dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Reading your snake story, it indeed looks like you managed to see the elusive King. The next trip I plan to that region in december, Kukke will be covered. I wanted to take my daughter to Agumbe rainforest research center (Romulus Whitaker) and show her the snakes. But couldn't do it though was agonizingly close. Guess next weekend it will be Rajiv Gandhi Snake Park in Katraj.
MX, ARRS does not keep snakes. They release all the rescued/captured snakes back to the wild once they collect data. But, it is a nice place to go though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramod View Post
I have always been a KingCobra fanatic (Any other word to describe in a higher note??). I have bought all the Romulus Whittaker NGC videos, straight from NGC website.

I saw his King collection at Pillikola near mangalore. But havent been able to visit ARRS, even though i have been doing umpteen Agumbe trips.
I always wanted to take part in the Kingcobra tracking telemetry program, where they worked on following the snakes in the wild using tracking equipment to understand their eating, mating habits and they did find that they are Cannibals. They also found that Males wandered atleast 20times more distance than a female for food and mate.

Cant rule out the fact that Kings wander around Kukke town.
You can add one more to the club. Even I wanted to do some volunteering for ARRS, but this worklife never provides an opportunity to engage in such activities.
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Old 25th October 2010, 13:21   #297
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@Arindam. Thanks.

15th Oct - Durgashtami. Somehow I kept getting this lines from the movie Chandramukhi in my mind.
"Innikku Durgashtami". Along with it I could visualize Jyotika jumping around with tubelight on her eyes. Strange things. You go all the way to Sringeri and think of the most comic thing in Tamil Cinema there.
Don't miss the expression at time 1:01 to 1:04. You'd know what I mean.


Guess that was my mistake, associating such a holy day with a crazy tubelight on eye issue. When I think of it now, I can only laugh on what happened.

Morning we finished the Suhasini Puja at Sringeri.

10:50 - On our way to concluding part of Suhasini Puja Photos of the view of temple. Since camera can't be taken INSIDE the temple, I just took these photos with the mobile I carried, as I'd left the cameras behind in the room.

First view of Vidyaranya temple and Sharada temple with some amazing skies as back drop.
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Old office. Currently this houses the entrance to the new Shankara temple being built and the life story of Shankara in paintings.
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Yaga mantapa. All major Yagna's are conducted here.
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Sharada temple. Notice the Solar panels on top. Sringeri mutt derives most energy from Sun. The sun is our energizer as they say in vedas. Also notice the differently abled person working as security. Sringeri mutt also gives them employment and a standard of life.
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My daughter in the concert hall. During dushera and other important days, many concerts happen here. During other holy days big Purnahuti's and homa happens here. Strangely, this other boy was running all around my daughter! My daughter carries her Hanuman whereever she goes.
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Later we went in to the temple and my daughter was very happy to see the shankaracharya in person.
She was chanting right from the beginning of the trip - "Ummachi Thatha polama" - Shall we go to god-grandfather. We got our prasadam and proceeded to peshkar office.

1:30 pm. After Suhasini puja is over, we decided to have lunch in the mutt. Prasadam time.
Near Peshkar office. We are waiting for my wife and father to join us to proceed to lunch. My daughter decides to take Hanuman for a walk.
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After nice lunch it was rest time. First time she tried eating from a banana leaf herself. Seated between my wife and mother, she fed her eyes, nose, ears, chest, forehead everything, much to the amusement of others present there. First time she also had food not cooked by us. We were very happy as she loved So went back and put our daughter to sleep. She was literally nagging me to take her to Ummachi Thatha.

So we stepped out to go pay our obeisance.
5:30 pm. My wife was reciting a shloka in front of him.

"Shri Guru", said my wife and my daughter joined in - "Paheemaam".
The guru looked up and laughed out repeating Pahimam.
My daughter fell at his feet and managed to get an Apple as Prasadam from the guru.
After genuflucting before the guru we came out towards our room.

6 pm. My daughter noticed the clouds and said "Appa. Shilver Laineeng".
"Yes", I told her, "Silver lining just as you've seen in Stuart little".
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Shakespeare. You are great. Everytime my daughter says or does something like this, I'm reminded of what you said. Child is the father of man.


We then went window shopping/ actual shopping. Bought some toys for her and her friends back in Pune. Bought a Slate and chalk for the next day's Aksharabyasa. After having dinner in the mutt (prasadam), we retired for the night. My daughter again sat in between my wife and mother and ate from her own banana leaf.
Next day was important. Saraswati puja. Aksharabyasa for my child who is barely 1 year and 9 months old.
Plan was to go around taking photos with my cameras after the Aksharabyasa. Take a bath in Tunga with my daughter again (after my Jan trip), attend all pujas on Vijayadasami and then leave on sunday back to Pune (Monday was a holiday). Collect my wife's passport on tuesday and then report back in office.
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Old 25th October 2010, 20:24   #298
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MX6, I dont know how I missed the updates. I had sent a PM to you asking for some details but never bothered to check the travelogues for 4-5 days. Excellet narration. I felt the pain that you endured for the snake through your words. You cannot help it though. " Pay check to Pay check " thats a nice word to describe the way Americans live. Eagerly waiting your return back to Pune.
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Old 26th October 2010, 10:30   #299
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This explains your absence from here Your travelogues are a delight to read.
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Old 26th October 2010, 15:49   #300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venki.bala View Post
MX6, I dont know how I missed the updates. I had sent a PM to you asking for some details but never bothered to check the travelogues for 4-5 days. Excellet narration. I felt the pain that you endured for the snake through your words. You cannot help it though. " Pay check to Pay check " thats a nice word to describe the way Americans live. Eagerly waiting your return back to Pune.
Yes. Anyway, atonement is done. Thanks for your kind words. I AM back in Pune. Apologies for the delay in responding to your PM. Hope you managed to find that in Vijay Sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
This explains your absence from here Your travelogues are a delight to read.
Thanks KRRaj.

Saturday - 9th day of Navratri - Saraswati puja. We were up early. However, we had to wait for the priest to come for the Aksharabyasa. It was Rahu kala and we had to wait for that. They don't start anything during Rahu kala.

There were 5 families around and my daughter was the youngest. I was a bit worried about whether she'd sit in my lap for that long and write along side me.

10:35 am. All kids sat on the laps of the mother. My daughter sat on my lap.
As per our tradition, the father is the first guru. He's also the first god. As they say in Tamil - Ezhutharivithavan Iraivan aavan. (the person who educated you is your god!)
I got to play guru and god for 10 minutes that day.
The priest borrowed our slate and started writing on it in Sanskrit first.
Aum.
We held our kid's fingers and traced that out.
Then he started teaching. A. Aa.
My daughter goes Aa. Amm. (she says that when she eats).
The priest breaks in to a laugh.

10 minutes later, it was done. We taught her how to write. She seemed to enjoy it a lot scribbling on rice.

11:00 am, we went to all the altars offering prayers. Met up with known faces and exchanged pleasantaries. I made a mistake of shaking hands with someone there. Big mistake. I didn't get to know the effect of that till later that night.

11:30 am, we went outside to see all the animals of the mutt decked up. Cows, Horses, Elephants. They'd all come to the temple.

"Appa - Ossh", said my daughter.
So we took her near the two horses which came over.

"This one is Arjuna. That's Subhadra. They have a colt which hasn't come here today. It's called Abhimanyu. The Guruji named all these horses".

Then my daughter stroked the horse on its face. The ungulate seemed to appreciate and like it. Now with her eyes getting bigger, my daughter suddenly jumped off my hands.
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