Saturday, 21 March 2015

Endemic Birds of Western Ghats.

The western ghats of India are a mountain range that runs parallel to western coastal belt. Surrounded by thick forests it hosts rare medicinal plants, vivid flora and fauna, scenic beauty spots, natural streams. The range starts from Kerala and ends in Maharashtra.

I had the deepest desire to watch endemic species up close and only one place could fulfill it--Dandeli. So, I packed my bags for 3 days and headed to this small town. Due to year end, I could not get a stay at Dandeli, however I managed to get one at Kalache, a remote village near Yellapur. This place comes under Western Ghats of India and it offers an amazing bird count.

Second Look---Unfortunately could not get front view.
Malabar Pied Hornbill--Female.
Malabar Pied Hornbill--Male.
Orange Minivet--Male.
Orange Minivet--Female.
Crimson Backed Sunbird--Male.
Crimson Backed Sunbird--Female.
Plum Headed Parakeet--Male.
Plum Headed Parakeet--Female.
Vernal Hanging Parrot.
Hill Myna.
Grey Fronted Green Pigeon.
Chestnut Headed Bee Eater.
Malabar Grey Hornbill--Juv.
Malabar Barbet.
Flame Throated Bulbul.
Yellow Browed Bulbul.
Square Tailed Bulbul.
Indian  Yellow Tit.
Blyth's Starling.
Malabar Trogon--Female.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

One Bold Decision--One Big House.

A decade ago, people were happily staying in a rented house as it was affordable. Now the trend has changed. People think to buy a home instead of stepping into a rented place. Housing projects have set a new way of living in the city.

I took a bold decision and it was in favor of all family members. We decided to make a home..! Well, a middle class family like ours generally think twice before taking up this decision. The very reason is Money. Everybody knows that making a nest takes plenty of energy. It is considered as a life time commitment, and mostly an achievement. Fear and anxiety haunted us when we all agreed to proceed.

Thus began our dream project. There are plenty of things that needs to be looked after when you are signing up a new home. To name few: construction quality, material quality, wood furnishing, interiors, exteriors, elevation, electrical work etc. All these essential components would sum up to a beautiful house. We approached relatives and friends who shared their experiences.

So, based on other's experiences, some research and with lot of courage we started covering each critical components and ensured there are no flaw during the project. We kept a strong objective in front of us--it’s our home, it should look good. We ensured that our hard earned money is not wasted during this process.

This project was close to our heart. We at any cost had to arrange funds which was beyond our savings. Now it was our turn to approach banks which offered housing loans at lesser rate of interest. It is fairly a difficult task to get the funds we aspire as banks will be having predefined terms. Fortunately, our housing loan application was passed without any hurdles. We duly signed on their contract for next two decades agreeing to pay EMIs. Thus, one of the nationalized bank agreed to help us in achieving what we were overlooking.

Our dream house was taking a wonderful shape. Every time we visited our unfinished home the feel was eternal.
The desire to make a beautiful house became stronger in each of us. We keenly looked into the fittings, furnishings and wood. We imagined our house before selecting necessary parts. We chose right people to carve out the interiors so that it appears good.

With months of struggle and sweat we finally look up to our new house. The feeling is just amazing. Unknowingly, a bonding was created between my family and our new house. We were now proud owners of a budget dream house, thanks to Am grateful to my family members who were instrumental in fulfilling this one big task.

One bold decision led us to wonderful big house..!


The best thing to do in life is to travel. There are beautiful places which not only gives you pleasure, but also boosts your inner energy.

Since my childhood I have been an active traveler. This habit was induced by my father. He promptly fulfilled my eagerness to visit different places. Apart from his monthly expenses he used to contribute a little towards some outing and ensured it was memorable.!

Mysore is about 130kms from Bengaluru. A beautiful small city that boasts with rich heritage and culture. It's infamous Wadeyar's palace, Chamundi temple, Churches, Zoological park, the monumental Krishna Raja Sagar Dam with lovely brindavan garden attracts tourists from rest of the world. People throng to this peaceful city whenever they get a chance, specially during Dussera (Navaratri).

I was 12, although this place was reachable to every school friend of mine, it was not to me for so many days. I kept asking my father to take us to this wonderful place. As a kid I was fascinated to listen to descriptions from my friends who had been there already. This fascination changed to determination. I pressed on and on till he finally agreed. With a minimal budget, he charted out a plan to take my mother, me and my younger brother to Mysore. I was excited..!

He made suitable logistic arrangements prior to our visit. It was his first time visit too, anxiousness was clearly visible on his face.
The day finally came when we boarded Bangalore-Mysore state road transport bus. Yet another vacation..!

Words fall short to describe the enjoyment. My father ensured to cover all popular places. Tiredness, fatigue did not bother us, until we reached the grand Mysore Palace. We thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the palace, but the second half was too tiring.
We still recall this funny incident : My brother was just about 6 when we did this trip. He was very naughty and active. He ran across big halls of the palace, clearly showing his excitement. Soon, we reached the place where souvenirs are kept. Mom, me and my father were indulged completely into it that we forgot where the little guy was. He was not lost in the crowd, but we saw him crawling on the floor..! He was too tired that he could not complete the trail by walk. :-D.

With loads of happiness, memorable events and little bit of shopping we concluded the trip. My father fulfilled his promise by taking us to this nice city.

Years rolled by, we still continued to visit places. But out of all Mysore trip etched a forever mark on all of our hearts.! Thanks to my family who made it such a memorable event.

So, after many years it was my turn to make my family happy. Along side my wife, I planned a short trip to Kudremukh, where my father started his early career. Weather was perfect and I took care of the logistics.

Covering beautiful temples and meadows we reached Kudremukh. His face was lit up with fond memories. His ex-colleague took us to Kudremukh mining company where my father started briefing how the machines worked. He was just above the clouds..!
I knew my mother pretty well. Her interest is more on temples. So, I covered the temples which my family members had not seen. There you go, all happy faces at the end..!

It feels great whenever I look at the photos taken during these trips. Drives me optimistic so that I could work harder to make my family feel both comfortable and secure.
Now, do they feel secure without a own house..!? No..!
When I spoke to my parents about the plan to make our own home they did not hesitate to say YES.

Thus, a new chapter was opened in our small family. We are on the verge of stepping into our dream home.! Thanks to
We live here, together...forever..!!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Hopeful about the future---An optimistic approach.

Days were tough few years back. Due to financial crisis arranging institutional fees was quite difficult. I used to feel insecure looking at my friends who did not have this situation. I cursed my fate all the time whenever I used to starve. It was difficult times. The more I endured, the more it affected on my studies. I kept wondering when this would end so that I too can have good days. 

Friends are an ambient part of your life. Best friends are like important organs of a body. They will stick to you no matter how you are--all time. I was fortunate to have few best friends during my college days. They understood my situation, although I would not utter a word about it. 

One fine day, we all were speaking about our next big thing soon after graduation. It's quite obvious that everybody would say "jump into a big organization" and make savings. But then, what next..? That was our discussion of the day. After other's dreamy opinions it was time for me to express the same.

I said, "A home"..! that startled everyone, no body had thought about it because everyone had a home of their own. My friends curiously looked at me and asked "How..!?, we all know your background and making a home is an outstanding task, and that requires a bank lot of money". I replied, "I do not know, but am optimistic that one day I'll make a home, it's my dream.!". They were surprised but very happy that their dear friend is looking for a bright start. 

With that dream in mind and with same situation back at home, I graduated with flying colors. I got a job too. Recession had hit the industry, revenue was less. But my little rage would not agree to spend everything. I started collecting something out of few penny that I earned.

Years rolled out, I questioned myself "You've been saving a lot yet there is no sign of a home.!?". Again, I hoped for a new change, but did not expect the change would happen so soon. I was introduced to a new phase of life. A Dear friend from college days now became more dearer to me, she be came my life partner.! She too shared my dream. 

We now worked together to achieve OUR dream. My optimistic approach and struggle was nearing it's goal. After saving some amount it was time for us look out for a beautiful HOME. We could not wait too long to get one.

There are many builders and houses in the market, but how reliable are they..? We were confused to core. I came across an ad, well they were unique-- Dream homes are now reachable to a common man. Now that's something to cheer about. We did not wait too long and went through their projects, it was convincing. What happened next is indeed dream come true.!!

There will be terrible days in everybody's life. But do not forget, there will be Magical days ahead of them. I learnt this by experiencing myself. Just as I thought that there will be no happy days at all, my instincts had immense HOPE and FAITH. That feeling made me an optimistic man. 
My dream has now been converted into reality. 
This incident turned out to be a lifer to me. Whenever my colleagues or friends would turn hopeless, I'd narrate this story to try and make them understand the importance of being an Optimistic.

"Hope" is the only medicine for a healthy life..!!