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Showing posts from November, 2011

Boycott is not a way at all

Dear BJP,


With all due respect to the senior leaders and the partymen, it is unfair on people's part to boycott someone or the parliament session. If you have some proofs against some person, please hand them over to judiciary system, invoke pleas to remove that person from the seat. If you feel it is not right to have that person in the seat even until the judiciary system hears your plea, please start educating the people of India and have peaceful protests outside the parliament. If your claim has value, it will surely see the light of the day. People of India have proven their eagerness to fight against corruption and if you have strong case, people will support you as we. But YOU need to prove beyond doubt that you have a case.


By boycotting the person and thereby halting the working of parliament is sheer waste of time and money for the people of India and please understand this. These hours could be used in a far more productive ways in order to complete the agenda of the ses…

Facing hospitalization in family?

[Note: This is an old post I had started writing back in 2006, revising and publishing it only now] God forbid, that should not happen with you, but we face this situation some or the other time in our life. It takes a lot of things to pass through this phase, and this collection of items would help you survive.
Be on timeWhen you tell the patient that someone will reach hospital at so-and-so time, make sure someone reaches at that time. The patient usually won't have clue why you are getting late. Keep coolIt's easy to panic by various things during the hospitalization. It is utmost important not to let it reach the patient. Ensure some cash with the person accompanying the patientMany-a-times doctors ask you to get some medicines quickly and if you don't have enough money, then you waste time in arranging for the money and then getting the medicine.Take care of yourselfJust because someone very close to you is hospitalized, doesn't give you any excuse not to look afte…

Tadoba - Part 10

Read earlier posts here - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9


After much debate, we decided not to take Ghugus Road for the worst experience we had earlier in the trip. There were two options in front of us. 
Moharli-Chandrapur-Warora-Jamb-Hinganghat - This would still have made us travel a comparatively bad road from Hinganghat onwards past Deoli.  Moharli-Chandrapur-Nagpur-Amaravati-Akola - Good road condition from Nagpur to Akola was a major temptation. However, the distance was too much and the road from Hinganghat to Nagpur was again unknown. Finally decided to take Warora-Jamb road. 


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And to our surprise, the road was beautiful!! However, this time we kept our fingers crossed almost until we reached Jamb.


We reached Jamb at around 2, which is just about two hours for 90Km!! It was time for lunch and we were looking for decent place. Unfortunately, we didn't see any good place, which was contradictory to whatever we had heard about…

Tadoba - Part 9

Read earlier posts here - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6, Part 7, Part 8


While we were busy with Safaris mornings and afternoons, MTDC was acting as our base. After the 3-4 hours of bumpy ride, the room in the resort provided for the comfort much needed by the body. The room was spacious, lot of empty space, a balcony and a sit-out. All this was situated very next to the tiger reserve and we heard some stories of tiger slipping out of the Jungle boundaries and capturing some of the cattle from the village around.

The restaurant @ MTDC was a big "thumbs down" experience. There wasn't much choice available in the food items. The menu was more or less restricted to Panjabi items, which were prepared with pathetic raw material. On one of the meals, I just separated the pieces of Paneer as I couldn't eat them. Breakfast/snacks comprised of either Pohe, Bread Omlet or Bread Butter. After having "mirchi" pohe, we resorted to bread butter for the snac…

Mrunmay's first Karaoke

It was Ragini's Birthday earlier last week and I was not in town, so Meghana and I decided to take her out on last Friday after I returned back. As a practice, we try to visit newer places when we go out and this time it was "Puran-da-dhaba" located at Pride Hotel, Shivajinagar. 


Given that it was a Friday night, I thought there would be a rush and hence called them up and reserved the table for four. Fortunately, the place was not crowded at all. As we entered the place, the ambiance caught our eyes. The place was decorated to give the dhaba look and to a large extent it was successful. A "khaat", a bullock-cart, some posters. There were mehendiwali and chudiwalee and an astrologer too (this is something may not be part of actual dhaba.. but nonetheless it was there). 


As we climbed up the stairs, a more Dhaba-like look appeared. Around 12-15 tables. Few were unoccupied. The captain pointed us to a table reserved for us. The curious eyes were looking all around …

Tadoba - Part 8

Read earlier posts here - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6, Part 7


With 60% of the safari's complete, we were getting anxious. There has been no sighting of the tiger or leopard or even bear. Deer and Monkeys - we were not so excited. Bandipur had given us enough pleasure of seeing them pretty closely. What we wanted was Tiger, leopard or bear.


Second day, afternoon safari. I charged myself up by convincing that the eventful morning is a kind of promise that there would be tiger sighting today. When we reached the reserve gate, we saw a new driver along with Ashish - Jeetu. Ashish introduced him to us stating Jeetu is a lucky guy for him, whenever he had taken Jeetu, he had seen tiger. We're like - okay - if that gives us a chance to see tiger, why not??  


Even after some rounds in Jamunjori, Kavichi lane and what not, there were no new signs , trails of the tiger/tigress. We were kind of pumping up Jeetu to get something. While driving on a lonely road inside the J…

Tadoba - Part 7

Read earlier posts here - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5, Part 6


The carnivores


Second day safari started full of hope or should I say an assured one? Kal ki appointment miss ho gayee, lekin aaj to dikh hi jaayegi!! And the start was good too. We took a turn on the left side of the main road to "Jamunjori" and the road started itself with fresh pugmarks. It looked like the tigress had crossed the road in the night and had taken this route. Ashish started navigating carefully on the road. There was a sharp turn from where the pug marks disappeared.. looked like going straight as if the tigress didn't like to take the turn ;) Vitthal bhau told that there's water body few feet away, where she could have slipped into. Waited for few minutes to check if we get any movement. No luck. Vitthal bhau's opinion was that we have lost the trail and the tigress was into the another part of the jungle where we weren't allowed to go. So Ashish decided to take us to som…

Tadoba - Part 6

Read earlier posts here - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, Part 5


The Chase


Time for afternoon safari. This time there was a longer queue outside the gate of the Reserve. Some private vehicles were also waiting there. It looks like the Reserve is open for private vehicles as well, as long as the official guide is accompanying. This was something different than what I had observed at Bandipur, where only official vehicles were allowed inside the forest. 


I also came to know that there are only certain number of vehicles allowed inside the reservoir and the forest department controls that number!! I didn't find the logic behind this...


Our safari started. Ashish was maneuvering the vehicle through the jungles, looking for trails. I was spending time in reading the signboards and peeping through the trees/bushes hoping I would be the lucky one to first notice the tiger. Mrunmay was at his task - sleeping!! Yeah, he had fallen into sleep in the morning and even now. Good for us, I thought.…

Tadoba - Part 5

Read earlier posts here - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
"Let's start at 5:30 AM tomorrow", Ashish said. Ashish was our tour operator/safari guide. After reaching to MTDC, he set the stage by stating the schedule. There would be two safaris each day. One starts at 6 in the morning until 10:30 and the other starts at 2:30 in the afternoon until 6:30 evening. So it was going to be almost 8 hours a day of safari. Looked pretty interesting and easy. On top of it, we were lured by possible sight of the tiger(s) and leopard(s).  Long before our trip started, we had started charging up Mrunmay to see the tiger, so that he is excited enough and keeps his patience through the safari. Compared to our last safari in Bandipur, we were hoping for more calm behavior from Mrunmay. He was just about 2.5 yrs when we had visited Bandipur. I'll never forget that incidence.
After couple of fruitless safaris at Bandipur, we got a sight of a leopard. The animal was quite far off for Mrunma…

Tadoba - Part 4

Read earlier parts here - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Almost 6 hours from the time we had eaten something substantial, I was desperately looking for some place to have food. Since the time we hit the Wani - Chandrapur road, one common thing was "bar and restaurent" and all with shady appearance. Finally found a restaurant in Chandrapur which appeared okay and claimed to have family seatout. When enquired, the person behind the desk was completely clueless about "family seatout". We were almost deciding to skip the stop, and we crossed a restaurant, named Tristar. It was a good relief to have some basic amenities and some good food too ;) The staff was good and also helped us with the directions for the remaining road to Tadoba.

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By the time we left the restaurant, it was close to 5:15 PM and it still looked like around an hours journey - close to 40 km. I was getting worried about the fading light. I usually find it difficult to drive on unknown road after d…

Tadoba - Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2


"Wow.. what a road!!" was the first reaction when we hit the NH7. 3+3 lane road in excellent condition.. what else would you ask for on a road trip? But soon we were presented with the stark reality. There was a diversion on the road. It seems some part of the road was under construction. Still okay. A kilometer long road - to be traveled from the other side - ok.. shouldn't be a problem.. and we were back on the right side of the road, I mean the left side, which is the right side :p All looked okay. 


And then came another diversion, and then another and ...


With every diversion, the road was getting worse and we started to question our decision to take NH7. I was driving at a speed of 20-30 KMPH on National Highway, when there was NO bumper-to-bumper traffic. Forget bumper-to-bumper - there was very less traffic. and still...


We had to drive all the way to Wadki and then took the road going to Vani.




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The road from Wadaki to Wani was comp…

Tadoba - Part 2

Continued from earlier post - Tadoba - Part 1

Considering our past experience, we decided to start early in the morning to avoid late evening/night travel. Surprisingly Mrunmay was also up by 5:15 AM or so and we could leave Akola by 6:30 AM. 
Road to Amarawati is absolutely fabulous, barring some junctions and few rough patches. Meghana and I were happy that we had taken the route. Just before Amarawati, we took the bypass. This bypass is very recently built and is a very pleasant experience to drive on. The gentleman at the Toll Gate told that for Pulgaon, we'd need to take a right turn on the same road. But the road was so beautiful, that we missed the turn and reached the other end of the bypass road!! Another toll gate. The gentleman here gently told us that we have missed the diversion and we'd need to go back... It turned out that there was not enough signboards at that diversion :( This was quite contrary to the experience so far, as we had seen ample indicators in ou…

Tadoba - Part 1

As our bi-annual vacation planning started, I did the easiest thing - asked Meghana to find the destination and do the bookings :) Jokes apart, she is really good and lucky at finding good places and accommodation. I had tried once, but ...
Given her passion for photography (you can see some examples here, here and here), I knew we'd end up somewhere in the Jungles, and so was it!! Incidentally, we had to visit Akola before our vacation time and it was very thoughtful of her to choose the destination closer to Akola (lesser driving for me :p). Tadoba (Chandrapur district) seemed to be a good choice. It is a tiger sanctuary and is known to be good. Without much discussion further, we finalized the destination. The real question came about the accommodation. There didn't seem to be any choice apart from MTDC @ Moharli and couple of other "resorts". The Local contact and the tour guide strongly advised to take up the MTDC as it is the best amongst the available. With h…