About Me

Just another normal person

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Dry days or not (so i think)

With nothing much to do (courtesy my unemployment), I took the couple of days I had to visit Plymouth. I hadn't really visited any place in Devon or Cornwall, which gave me a chance to add a pin on the map.

Funny though, I had no plan whatsoever to visit and I ended up spending a fortune on my trip. It all started with improper planning where I decided on the same day that I will travel to Plymouth to meet the doctor and told him so. What happened at the end? I was hopelessly late, the doctor's friend (who had an exam in a month) had to waste half hour of his time to wait for me at the station, and I ended up running across the platforms of many stations I have never visited before.

After all the hullabaloo, I finally settled in plymouth (or so I thought)... Completing the previous day with "Whyte and Mackay", I realized that I woke up very late the following day. With nothing much to do, I decided to go around Plymouth. It was nice: the sea front, the royal parade and all along with the fact that the weather was quite good. At the end, it was not a bad day at all, the walk around Plymouth city centre and the sea front, not withstanding the fact that I managed to let off a job opportunity in the melee.

There wasn't much for the next day. I had thought that the day would be a plain trip back home considering it was 4.5 hours back to London from Plymouth.

What happened though, was an unplanned melee of a pleasant trip... I always had Land's end in mind, so why not it then, since I am so close?

I finally set off on the morning of Friday from Plymouth with a view of visiting Land's end (Me and my friend had planned some time back, with a plan to do an end to end  from here to John o' groats albeit with a car, which never took place unfortunately). Up pretty early per my standards (woke up at 5:30), I was contemplating on how to plan the trip so that I could get back to London the same day. It seemed little hard and hectic. Nevertheless, my early 'awakening' got me rolling quickly. I did however manage to miss the 7 AM train which would have handed me a good one hour extra for the trip. I finally caught up with the 8 AM train to Penzance which would take atleast 2 hours to get to Penzance.

The train ride was quite good, as it is passes through a beautiful scenic route starting from Saltash. However, I could not take any good pictures as the train windows were pretty dirty. What a shame! would have loved to take some good pictures. The train passes through a route which has beautiful scenery with the train passing on top of tall via ducts with villages and towns spread out in the valley below the via ducts. The ride did lift my spirits considering the fact that my body was still not back in its prime of incessant travel viz 20 hours a day for travel (I had slept for only 5 hours previous night).

On approaching penzance, I noticed an island out my window and realized that it was the same island I wanted to visit for a long time.... I always knew St. Michael's mount was somewhere in cornwall, but never this close to Penzance. This added some pressure to my already packed schedule. It was a one hour journey from Penzance to Land's end and not knowing how much time I would need in Land's end, it was pretty hard to include this in the schedule.

Nevertheless, I thought of giving it a try once I visit Land's end. Luckily enough, the rest of the schedule worked like a dream. I got down from the train, found the bus going to Land's end the next moment. Now, I had not done enough research and had thought that there was only 1 bus / provider going to Land's end and per my current arrival, had to wait for atleast an hour to get to Land's end (I was thinking of the taxi had things not worked out) - One good reason to be angry on myself for missing the 7 AM train as it would have perfectly taken me into Penzance to match the bus timings. But then, I was wrong. There is another bus going to Land's end and it was just 2 minutes away!

After the wait for a couple of minutes, I was on the bus, on my way to Land's end. Now, I had the flexibility of spending 2 or 4 hours at land's end and not the 3 hours I had earlier calculated as the time return to Penzance!

The bus which takes an hour to cover a distance of 10 miles, though eats up a lot of time, takes you through a very scenic route again. And since the bus was a double decker, you can imagine my excitement being on top (pun intended). The ride did bore me a bit towards the end though.

On reaching Land's end, I walked to the first and last restaurant in England to have something to eat (I was hungry all along), but I couldn't figure out if it was open or closed, so I decided to push my hunger for some more time. It took me an hour to roam around Land's end, without venturing too far to get some good clicks. I even had a photo taken with the Land's end sign board which unfortunately, is not free. But then after coming this far, would I mind sparing 10 quid for the name of Mysore on the board? Nah!

So photos done, I decided to roam around a bit. Incidentally, the gentleman who was taking photos asked me if there is a company which makes sandal soaps in Mysore! On my answer, he said that himself and his wife use that soap! (Considering the fact that not many people come from the place where your soap is manufactured, he should have given me my photo for free ;-) )

After a quick chat with him on best places to get some good clicks, I was on my way. I spent close to an hour walking around the place with the Atlantic roaring on my face, back, body and all. Weirdly and luckily, the weather was so perfect, the sea and land were very bright and colourful. After some good time pass, clicks and my conversations with nature and god, I decided that it was time to cater for my hunger. The food at the restaurant in land's end is good, but rather overpriced. Nevertheless, I did not have a choice as I had half hour left and I could not use this to get into the cove village (A small village on the coast 1 mile North east of Land's end, which is sort of situated in a cove) as I had St Michael's in mind.

Done with my lunch (if i can call it that way), I was about to leave when I noticed the RAF rescue helicopter hovering around for a rescue exercise. But as I was short of time, I could not afford to spend more time there. Luckily (again), I was just in time for the bus. Once back in Penzance, I caught the bus on the way to Marzion square (which is the closest point to St. Michael's).

As I started approaching St. Micheal's I realized that it was the wrong time of the day as the Sun was beside the object rendering any attempt at my photography useless as it was pretty hard to find a spot which would shield the island from the Sun. Nevertheless, I attempted to take some pictures (which weren't so great). There was another catch, the boat was not going to the island for another 20 minutes and per my calculation I would need atleast a couple of hours on the island, which would really stretch everything to the limit given that I had to catch the 4 PM train back to London (I know I could have planned this better, but then this was a totally unplanned trip!).

So I decided to get back. I had enough time to reach Penzance, get some cash from the cash machine, get some water and mags for my journey back and get back to the station, minutes away from departure....

As I settled in the train and typed the blog, I was happy that this was one eventless journey to only realize that I would be asked by a drunk passenger that I was in his seat. Luckily (again & again), the TC pointed that he was in the wrong coach. Now that I settled finally thought "Wow an eventless journey after a long time" (None of my travels are peaceful, one way or the other), I did not realize that this was all the same!!!

As i finally trudged home from a delayed bus, I had a super mushroom gravy ready for me (courtesy my friend), which I finished and slept like an unconscious person. Something that finally came out of the trip was the fact that it finally kicked off my traveling spirit which was dead for an year (that is what I would think, atleast).

All I need to do next is, get a license, buy a car and stay in Penzance and put a proper plan to complete cornwall, St. Michael's and all and not to make the days so dry after all!!

Game for a chance? ;-)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Mission what?

Right! So, with nothing to do I decided to watch ghost protocol. So before we dive into my cynicism or how i would like to put it - My opinion, here is a thing - Spoiler Alert!!, if you do not want any spoilers stop reading now. My verdict for those who decided not to continue - 2.5 out of 5.

Behold people (the ones who thought of continuing) - the movie in a few words: Good action, not so great storyline, missing detail, sucky music and anil kapoor who acts like a buffoon (and not a tycoon).

Gosh how i miss the first two installments. Right, off we go with a name that would make you want to watch the movie but with a story that wouldn't leave the same effect afterwards.

Even though the movie did run quite alright with my attention in the movie intact throughout, there are quite a lot of downsides in the movie - no reason for hunt to be in the prison, a Jeremy renner who acts through the movie as if he is the villian, but turns out to be a damp squib with a funny reason on how he ended up at the wrong place. Did i not mention the play boy and tycoon, sorry my bad - the buffoon. oh! and not to mention the sucky music (again) - what were you trying to do? A sitar and MI1 slow music combo with beethoven??? - Right dont want to continue my tirade any further and would rather concentrate on the pluses.

So Pluses - the action is pretty good, camera work being good as well - It did keep my attention intact all along. Tom cruise is good, though age shows in his body. Simon Pegg and Paula Patton are alright. For some reason I was always expecting Jeremy renner to be the bad guy, but well.... The gadgets used look pretty cool. The comic timings (in the few junctures) are good as well.

Now for the funny things - Anil kapoor (I am trying to find a reason why he is in the movie), music (at times), hacking into an international satellite using a super computer in Sun network building in Bangalore (ok I get the drift on what you may be thinking, but....), a huge national television building (Sun network) with only one guard, and power failure (yeah i know), and finally the scene where Ethan follows the bad guy into a Mumbai mall and ends up in a german parking lot (or was it Dubai?).

Overall I would say that the movie is something that you can avoid, but then the box office grossing of the movie so far may be speaking otherwise.... Ironically, the rotten tomatoes app on my android shows this movie as - Mission Improvable.....

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Coming back.......

2 years, lost and forgotten. Now is the time to revive the blog.

Hello World!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Bienvenue en France

"Bonjour monsieur"
"Sil vous plait Passeport"
*Blank stare and a flash in mind*
"There you go"

A smile exchanged. Looks @ the monitor, my photo and then me. After some verification he seems to be satisfied by the way i look.

"Its me"
"Bienvenue en France"


Thakur was done with his entry stamp and was having a smoke.
"ho gaya?"
"Hmmmmm. Except that the guy was still not convinced that i am me. The photo in the Passport is old enough"
"Chal baithte hain"

As the ferry left the shores of Dover and sailed over the english channel with the bus safely parked on board, we got ourselves a glass of rose wine with couple of burgers.

A couple more swigs and we were fine to carry for the rest of the night. Going from Dover to Calais meant we lose an hour on time. The rapid sway of the ferry transformed into slow sways as the channel calmed down a bit.

As we approached Calais, i noticed the change in things. It was hard to find boards in english and then there was the left hand drive. As the bus got off from the ferry, i slipped into deep sleep.


"Utjaa saale"

The board read - Eurolines Coach station, Bagnolet. As we picked up our stuff and got off, we noticed that the place was far outside Paris and we had to get back to the city center.


"Bonjour, 2 day tickets please"
"14 Euros"
"Crap, i forgot to exchange the currency. I have only GBP"
"Saale mujhe bhi yaad nahin aaya"
"Zere one ATM, outside"

The lady had been courteous enough to redirect us to an ATM outside. But then neither of us had a credit card.

"Bhai, ek kaam karte hain. We will give it a try"

200 euros out and we are on our way in the paris metro to Victor Hugo for our hotels were near to Arc de triumph.


"Ab kahan jaayenge" exclaimed an unfamiliar voice in the background. Thakur's turning around towards the source prompted the guy to ask "Aap hindi samjthe ho?". A couple of minutes and all i could do was stare as Thakur had started chatting the 'mala - tula way' until i broke in "kai zala? Mala marathi yet nai".

Paris was not a bad place after all, what with the pretty negative feedback we had got from people on 'not so clean streets' and 'thugs'. As we reached 'Hotel d'Angleterre etoile', it was close to 10.30 AM. The lady at the reception was not a very hard nut in contrast to the one i had spoken with before leaving for Paris. The other one spoke very little english, substituted French in between and had asked if i was male or female on seeing my name in her email after which i had to give her a call to confirm her with my voice.

The pretty girl at the reception was more than eager to help especially when her eye would never get off thakur. The small room gave enough room to freshen and sleep at a very small price. The choice hadnt been bad after all. Lying down on the bed i could not help but wonder on the 3 days ahead in the french capital.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

The long walk home...

It was back in April, when i was told that we might need to return back to India, when i was trying to see if i get some new options to continue... However it turned out that things would continue over here and we were said to stay back for a couple of months. It was in June when finally the date came that July would be the time to get back home. People had started taking options and leaving early with some guys leaving around June 14th and 25th. I had started taking stuff to get back home and my gift wrapping was kinda complete for my friends and was looking forward to get back home, when my date was pushed forward to July 11th. Now i had a plan to go through Europe, before getting back to India and started making plans. Things were up and running on the last day 11th of July when i had started making my plans and i was told the date has to be pushed for a week again. To add more fuel, it was extended by an additional week. Our team had thinned, friends had left and these days the office looked very thin. I realized i would be alone for the final week without anyone from my team. As i reckon how it would be, i realize that my walk home would be a long one... The long walk home huh?!

Sunday, 15 June 2008


Two decades back when some one spoke a different language, i used to wonder "what the hell they are talking about?". Obviously i did not know english to even know what 'what the hell meant'. When my mom used to come as my saviour and translate the words for me 'Putta, it means ....' for whatever it meant.

Growing up, i started learning Kannada and Sanskrit. I was shocked when DD1 started and aired programmes in Hindi. Just when i had thought that Kannada & Sanskrit are the only 2 languages in the world this new language comes up and i can't even make head and tails out of it and to add fuel to fire, the cartoons which looked inviting used to speak in this weird alien language.

Luckily i was in a school which used to teach Hindi from class 4. Now learning a new language is not a small thing and i used to misspell, mis interpret most of the words. Sometimes i used to get lost in translation, but somehow used to manage pass the subject.

It ended up that i decided i was about to master all the languages in the world, when we had a new neighbour move in. Now, they had a very cute daughter and i became all set to help them setup their new house. I persuaded my mom to go over and welcome them to the neighbourhood. The first word they uttered shattered my world, now where on earth was Tamil till now; i had never known of its existence.

No matter, i decided i would learn the language and used to pester my mom to teach tamil. However it was no good, as it was getting tough to learn the language. 'Vanakkam', 'Vaango', there were too many words for me to remember. But i was very much determined to befriend that girl and from my mom came to know that she studies in an english school. This was too much, how many languages the girl knows Tamil, English, Kannada and i was thinking i know all the languages in the world.

Moving on from what i had left during those days i have managed to learn a couple of languages more like telugu, marathi, malayalam (though i am absolutely hopeless, efforts are on). I know how to converse in these languages, but i fall flat when it comes to writing or reading them.

As i move on from place to place with my current job, i keep finding out new things, new languages, new grammar of already known ones, languages which have become extinct, languages which have borne new ones. The more i read, the more i find. Sometimes i wonder at the cute girl who had moved into my neighbourhood and fuelled a great passion in my life.

When i meet a friend who is carrying his 1 year old son, i try to talk with his child and say "Arre beta kaise ho?? Kya naam hain tera" and i wonder if the child is thinking what i was thinking nearly 25 years back....

Monday, 26 May 2008

Story telling.....

I have been a kind of story teller for some time.. I had never known my ability of cooking up stories or forming up my opinions into words.

The first time i noticed this, was during my social science exams which included history. Now I did not have a good memory for stuff which happened before i was even there and the way out was only story telling. Surprisingly most of my social science teachers initially used to wonder - 'Wow! How does this boy know so much of history that he can write pages and pages of it??!!'
But when they started to read the details they found out that half of what i had written would have never happened in History. Surprisingly the teachers used to give me decent marks even after knowing this and this somehow fuelled more of my story writing streak.

Now this became a habit and I started risking leaking this practice to other subjects. In fact i went ahead and submitted a 85 page booklet completed in my board exam for (don't laugh) Physics! (Luckily the paper had some genuine content and the person who evaluated my paper might have been be a very patient person, that i passed with a very good score). Thats when i decided i should re-direct this useless habit to someplace else, and thus my story writing started....

These days i do not find much time to complete the stories i once started, but then someday i am gonna forget everything and sit for it... Till then chota mota things like blogs will keep satisfying my craving to tell stories....