Exploring 2009

Every year brings with it new adventures, and this year 2009 i think brought me so much more… Absolutely loved it just for the fact that i spread my wings a bit more than earlier, and took off to explore new terrain- literally and otherwise!!!!


2009 began with me getting enthusiastic about photography… and took the step to go for a Photowalk around Egmore area in February… [Was using my uncle’s Canon Film camera..]

Wesley Church

A chariot awaits…



From there, the year saw me fly across the country to Bombay, March end, for nearly a month….  
Spending time with my friend, helping them as they moved from Colaba to Karanja .... 


Sunrise from the boat as we sailed towards Karanja 

The castle near the jetty in Karanja



and then ofcourse the highlight being the trip to Pune in April for “Vipassana”!!



It was time for yet another Photowalk with the Chennai Photowalkers…. This time we hit Casino theater and walked it down a bit… 




Next stop was Bangalore for the Hoysala Trail on 29th & 30th May …[Inaugurated my Sony w220 digi camera :)]

Hulikere, temple tank….
Belavadi

June 1st i was back in Chennai, and  on 2nd we were off to Sringeri, for a family occasion- me,mom & dad… 

Vidhyashankar Temple

June was also when my Uncle and co came down from Delhi, and off we went to take a tour with Story Trails – Peacock Trails around Mylapore… 

The Santhome Church                                       Kapaleeshwar Temple

July had me back in Bangalore, this time for a reunion of sorts with the gang that travelled on the 1st Hoysala trail organised by TravelWise!!

The gang @lunch

Also managed to do a bit of birding at T G Halli prior to the lunch…


And a visit to LalBagh garden before we heading out for a fun Play followed by dinner

August was when  Lakshmi & I headed off to explore a few Heritage sights around Chennai. – Chengelpet, Uthiramerur, Kancheepuram, And Mahabs…

Colorful silk threads @ the weaver, Kancheepuram

Kailashnath temple, Kancheepuram

Singaperumal temple,Chengelpet

Was already on the road to Ambur once again before Aug came to an end… Aug 31st was Uncle’s 60th bday celebrations… 
Uncle – Aunt with gramma n aunt!!

Couldnt wait for September 30th to come…. We were off to Coorg… what a fun memorable trip it was… 

Bylakuppe…

Omkareshwara temple, Madikeri

Work kept me busy through the month, and once again excitement was in the air as October 30th came around the corner.. Was packing my bags to set sail to Goa...


Bom Jesus Church

Moon glistening in the night sky, during the River Mandovi cruise

Finally, December came upon us… Mahabalipuram, the 1st weekend was the impromptu plan… ;o)





Beautiful sunrise in mahabs… 


To finish it off, a short quick trip to Pondy happened over the Christmas weekend… 🙂

Pillars around Gandhi Statue in the beach

The Matri mandir in Auroville…. 


This year has been a definite high in my life… Loved every minute of it, and now, 
Am looking fwd to 2010… 


Hoping to cross the ocean, and set sail further into new unexplored terrains…
To Fly away…far… far…. far into the horizon!!! 

Coromandel Coast… Mahabs!!

It was a bright cool saturday, i was all excited for i knew it was gonna be a fun weekend! my bag was packed, camera battery charged and all pepped and ready to go!!! There came the call i was waiting for –
“lets meet for lunch at 1 at New Woodlands and then can scoot from there”, he said..
“Wokie dokie”, i chirped… before bidding adieu to all at home and stepping out!!!
Antique car parked in New Woodlands parking lot…
As we drove along the ECR after a fun meal, the cool breeze kept us company, soothing music from the radio and our phones/ipods kept us in high spirits..!! We had no agenda, dint have any plan of any sort, but all we knew was it was going to be a good weekend…!! Woohoo… 🙂
Pretty butterfly art on a rock near the toll booth on ECR
Now, have i known these looney bins long? nope… 2 of them I’ve known little over a year, and the 3rd, the Senor ;o) well, met him thru the other friend sometime in Aug and we just hit it off…
Where were we headed? Not far… Mahabalipuram aka Mahabs…..
 Interesting stall, dont u think?
Only smart sensible thing about this trip was Senor and moi had done a bit of research and i had called ahead to check if Golden Sun Resorts had rooms, which they claimed they did and we could just drive in, and no advance booking was required!! Oh well, we sure hoped their word was good..
 Terracotta horse standing tall outside our room
Drove on past the Golden sun, reached A2B -adyar ananda Bhavan – had a coffee and fed the kiddo some dosa… experimented some with our cameras and were on the road once more, this time back to the resort to make sure that room was available.. after a quick tour, peek a boo, we found a room.. Room 14, alas, discovered the front door wouldnt shut…up we went to Room 12, and there we found key wouldnt work in the lock.. what a bummer , right? nope, we were enjoying this!!! 😀
playing around with the lights in the beach
Finally settled into Room 11, the one we saw 1st.. the french door opened out to the pool, and a few steps away was the ocean…. beautiful…. we were 3 and half happy contended souls !!
Why not check out the Shore temple? we thought and made our way out the resort towards the beach… it was nearly 7pm, dark and so couldnt shoot any pics, but the place was beautiful.. could make out the silhouette of the shore temple against the night sky…
Pathway to the ocean
The mommy and kiddo took a ride on a friendly horsey called Santhosh.. the horsey took liking to senorita, licking her hands like Floppy does to me..hehehe..following which we had a bit of adventure..Mommy discovered her phone was missing, and we set about looking for it in the beach, while a brainwave struck me and i called her number only to hear a guy’s voice telling me he had the phone and had just called her home, told her mom the same thing!!
 The 3.5 stooges
Phew.. such a relief… but that kinda took the zing off the evening, and we walked back to the car park to return to the room…
Golden sun reception area
Armed with camera, and our wacko mood, we walked to the beach.. playing , cracking up, clicking pics… playing in the swing…. grooving to the romantic numbers that floated in the air… What timing- hunger bells were just about starting off in our tummies, as took us to the open air restaurant…. The buffet was what we had opted for, Rs200 per head- naan, a kebab kinda starter, couple of side dishes, rice, pappad, and curd rice with pickle were the order of the night…. lazing by the pool, just letting our thoughts flow, we were chilled out completely…..
Pic of Shore temple a friend had taken during her visit a year or so back…
We were tucked in by 9, but sleep was nowhere in sight… Senorita suggested we play cards, and that we should go buy a pack[ well, what happened there shall remain a secret, that is until any of the looneys come around reading this post….:D] … which ended up on me, the brave one! hehe… so, out i went into the dark night to buy a pack of cards… the game began around 10, and suddenly the pros wanted one more pack, so off they went this time… we played Rummy for an hour or so… before calling it a day, or rather night and snoring away…. 🙂
The next day dawned bright and early… 5.30am.. Senor and moi, took our cameras and headed off to witness the sunrise, capture the moments on our cameras… It was beautiful, breath taking and an amazing sight that never fails to leave me speechless… !!
Sunrise at Mahabs beach
Time sure flies when you are having, a phenomenon that i see happening over and over and over again!!!  it was 9 by the time we showered, and got ready to hit the road.. back to Chennai.. not before making a stop for breakfast at A2B… that place is just amazing – hot food, good quality and not very pricey… right next to the Radisson Temple Bay and walking distance from the Shore temple, it draws quite a bit of crowd…
A pic by senor…
Savoured the ride on ECR… laughing, having a good time we reached the city… That was one fun weekend… sometimes, it pays to just up and go, esp with a bunch of equally nutty adorable caring sweet nuts called friends… 🙂 Thanks guys for yet another rocking trip!!! 🙂
Trying my hand at clicking diff kindsa pics with my camera!
[Next time, lets do Mahabs and actually get around to visiting the heritage sights and beaches]

Time…

Wow, today is Dec 27th!! Wonder where the year went by… Last night as i sat in the bus,returning from a mini 2day trip [hush now, will write abt it in a bit] back to Chennai, i was really thankful for 2009..



It was a year 

  • Where i grew closer to certain friends… 
  • Made some amazing friends – online and offline… 🙂
  • Explored new terrain at work ..
  • Learnt a bit more about how to deal with people
  • Learnt a bit more about myself [ my +ves and -ves]
  • Tried my hand at some new games= Dart n Pool
  • Where i travelled more than ever.. some trips on my own as well 



Wonder what is in store in 2010….but am sure its gonna be a roller coaster year!!! 🙂

The River, The Heritage and The Loot.. Goa Part 4 Finale!!

Phew.. writing this Goa travelogue took more energy than packing my bags and spending those awesome days out there!! 🙂


Read these earlier posts, to know how my journey was…. 



the South goa tour then took us to  the Colva beach .. This has to be the most favorite beach of mine in all of Goa… so beautiful.. calm…. the sand was wet and flat like a well laid out cement floor, and it was just woww!!! 


This is where i decided to give Water scooter a try… what rush.. wanted to do parasailing, alas, too crowded and time was up by the time crowd fizzled out… ! Always a next time!! 

The ripples formed by a small stream as it joined the ocean

A lone star fish..

next time i shall!!

Moi… got a guy who was with his family to click, turned out he was a professional photographer and one who wasnt too crazy about SLRs… “I dont know when i last use an SLR, he said parting ways…”!!! 😀

Following this came the romantic, beautiful,mystical cruise on River Mandovi, in Panjim… I had paid for this while booking South goa tour, the cruise was just Rs150/- 


We reached the dock at 5.30, hopped on the cruiseliner, explored a bit, before making our way to the top, open air, with chairs laid out, and a view to die for… The cruise was for an hour, there was a Dj belting out some famous numbers, a dance floor, and an MC who kept the crowd entertained.. Oh, we witnessed a few popular local Goan dances as well … 

Not just these, the vessel had a Bar, snack counter, a discotheque in the basement floor as well… Good fun…!!! a new kinda experience… one that i enjoyed like crazyyyyyyyyy…. !!! 🙂 

The moon shining bright in the sky… Ahh, what a sight it was…

The following day was free.. infact that morning, got a call from Fernandez asking if i wanna do one more tour, but declined his offer as i wanted to explore some of the town on my own…. Set about walking along the road near the hotel…. Found this place called Calizz, kinda like our Dakshin Chitra…
Check out pictures here [we arent allowed to take pictures inside the buildings]
My entry ticket..Rs200.. but totally worth it..

They have restored couple of houses– from Pre and Post Portuguese eras…Lovely stuff… to look at how people lived before and after.. The guide Kunal made is so interesting, i was lapping up every word he uttered…
After an hour or so around here, i took the bus and headed to Anjuna market to generally chill out… A friend had reccomended this place called Curlies, quite nice.. Lounge kinda arena, sit back, wit a book in hand a breezer.. sheer bliss!!! 😉
The loot i brought home from Goa.. [Sri, here it is… :D] 
Anjuna Beach -from that local gypsy kinda woman…. Bracelets , neck pieces and a pouch…  and err, other stuff.. ;o

Till next time… Toodle doooo~!!! 🙂

Portuguese live on.. Goa part 3

This post is long due.. i had written about my 1st few days in Goa here  .. here’s a glimpse into other sights that treated/greeted me in Goa…. 

A colourful vase sitting atop the almirah.

How can i come to Goa, and not visit Portuguese homes or areas right? well, that is exactly where we headed next – Dona Paula [Trivia – The name “Dona Paula”  is reportedly  derived from the name of  the daughter of  one of Goa’s Portuguese Viceroys,  who threw herself off the cliff  after she was refused permission to marry a local fisherman with whom ] …

entry into the place

Caught this guy napping near the ticket booth



We were taken on a tour of a Portuguese house after picking up an entry ticket of Rs 30 = Rs10 for me +Rs20 for camera .. The guide, one tiny character decided after a whisper of a vote that he was gonna speak in Hindi and took a group of about 30odd souls , of which nearly 15of us were lost, unable to hear him and totally not interested in his ramayan.. we wandered around the place, on our own, clicking, every now and then a word or two drifting to our ears!!! the place was just a run down House that once belonged to a mighty rich and snooty Portuguese family… i mean, they seemed to have lived like “Am the king, rest of the world does not matter” kinda attitude!!! 😀 


Horseshoe, used now to hang keys and a set of nasty antlers

The porcelin pots and pans used by the lady to wash up… 😉



Could also see a lot of resemblence to our homes when i walked around – vessels in kitchen, door handles, beds, and so on…!! Interesting… 

 Typewriter, radio of those days!!


Masks adorning the walls..


 Kinda liked this shot.. blurred, but interesting… 
Ting ting ting ting… Chappati rollers..!!

Remember, i said they had attitude.. They decided to put in this moon and a star, to look at before going to bed.. Dint feel the need to look up at the sky!! Shucks!!! 


Oh, a special mention should to the room we saw last…. It was filed with cupboards and shelves adorned with Ganeshas of all shapes an styles.. Apparently in that portuguese house, there lived a Brahmin, who collected Ganesha figurines… and today, the collection has over 1000 pieces.. preserved.. The Daughter of the house decided to let them be … 🙂


Guess what this is??

Ok.. this calls for one final post on the awesome end to the South goa tour and rest of the time i spent out there…

[H] ear….

Me: Hi, Do you have any Goth music ?

Salesman @leading bookstore- Karthik music madam? sure, they are right here in the tamil movies section

Me: err, i meant Goth.. Gothic…!!!

Salesman @leading bookstore – Let me check..
few mins later, comes to me saying ” No, we have only Karthik movies music” …

[Pic Courtesy : http://www.aggiemoms.org]

Do they have a hearing problem??? or did i speak some other language??? 😛 [had a good laugh with friends and left the store wondering]  …. Aside from this wacko instance, the day was too good to be true!! more on that in another post… 🙂

No Smile for You…

It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round..[remember this as you read on…. :-)] 

Today, i had to accompany gramma for her massage/treatment at Arya Vaidya Sala….Mom’s been going with her the past week, so i guess the ladies there were familiar with mom’s face .. We reached at 9.45 for her 10am appointment, but alas had to wait nearly an hour before the masseuse was ready for gramma!!!.. Anyways….. the reception table was empty, but soon a “not so happy looking, actually sour and grumpy looking” babe walked in, dumped her bag, and went about meddling with the computer and what not.. Gramma was sitting in the chair near the desk, and i was seated in another chair few yards away, engrossed in Lee Child… She dint care two hoots about either of us!!! 

Few mins later, another girl/lady walked in, and went straight to the desk, but she smiled at gramma, asked how she was doing and if she was waiting for her appointment… Looked at me directly, but no smile- grim look.. i did give her a smile, but when i dint get any in return, left it.. 

She then suddenly starts :

Are you with the patient [my gramma]?

I have seen another lady come with this patient [my gramma], i thought it was her sitting and was all set to smile and greet, but when i saw it was you [ a new face] i cut off the smile… 

Gramma then butt in and said  ‘this is my granddaughter, my daughter’s daughter, since today is Sunday, my daughter wanted a break and so she has come with me” .. 

That lady – Oh ok… and then came the smile!!

Dint know you had to know someone before flashing a simple smile… was even more surprised that the lady actually told me she dint smile cos she dint know me!!! hmmm.. people are strange!! 

Shooot….

Yesterday was quite the busy, and Missy Aarti [aka Me] had her hands full till 7pm or so… yep, she was a busy busy girl, working, finishing errands, attending a not so interesting meeting and then ofcourse having FUN… ;o) 

Well, you already know she enjoys going to the Club at her friend Apar’s office…  What was bound to happen was what happened last evening!!! After spending the noon at Citi center with A jr, watching him freak out at Fun City, running around and generally having a good time… she also took him to Landmark, before embarking on a wacko auto ride to “Amma’s office” [as he calls it] .. 

Just as we turned into the street, clouds thundered above, making way for heavy rains… Managed to reach shelter, but not before getting drenched to the bone [by now i know what that term means… and i think its also got to do with the outfit i wore..everytime i wear it , it RAINS] .. 

Missy Aarti was so glad Apar ordered a cup of hot coffee, just the thing for this weather~  Sipping on it, she was drawn to the Pool table sitting majestic… Since Apar had promised to teach, she took her up on it and thanks to S she was able to get down to learning how to play the game!!!  N and A, pros at this game were also around, cheering me on, helping her, and making sure she got a few balls into the holes… i dont call it cheating, just a bit if help on the side…  ;o) 


What fun it was…. I actually managed to make a few shots… some slipped past, some bounced off to lalaland… but am looking forward to playing some more, getting my balance in and enjoying some more of this…. Arent i glad i met Apar and am happy she works where she does, and her office mates are damn nice!! 🙂


Inspired by the day, Missy Aarti managed to whip up yet another 55er – The Game…. 

20..4..13..17..1…

This week has been interesting and different from my usual Monday and Tuesday!!!  Why? well, cos i’ve been doing different things, exploring various hidden aspects of mine and learning/discovering new things/traits as well…

Sunday evening Apar and A jr came over to spend the night.. After a few hours or talking, laughing, thinking aloud, it was time to call it  a day, err night… !! Monday dawned bright and cool, and i spent the day with A jr, juggling between playing with him and getting some work done.. Was an interesting experience, not babysat in ages, actually, not babysat a smart 4yr 5yr old boy ever.. He is one well behaved kid, who knows what he wants and will ask/express if he wants something else.. so, life was easy!!

That evening, went to Apar’s office club [read about my 1st time experience here] … Said a round of Hi hello to familiar faces and settled in to play a game of Rummy with 2of her colleagues… Was fun.. i had recently learnt the game properly… lolz.. Lost it cos i dint have a card! Damn!!! From there, moved around looking at the folks playing Pool [another game i’ve not tried but been tempted to]… Following that my eyes strayed towards the Dartboard in the corner… S, Apar’s colleague came over asking if i want to play…

Said, why not and picked up 3 darts each…. there was a mat placed which i guess marks the distance from where one stands to throw the darts….  Was quite impressed with myself… 1st game i won, 2nd game S did and 3rd game we played till we couldnt play anymore..frustration took over as neither was able to shoot the required score!! 😀



We start the game with either 301 or 501 as opening score [ don’t ask why, were just told thats how its done  :-)heck i dint create the game!! ], and keep deducting the score we earn after 3shots.. as you come to smaller numbers, say 40 and below, you need to get double [ shoot in a 20 double spot, or if your score is 5 = shoot a 1, and then in 2 double slot and so on….]…. 🙂 



Quite a lot fun!!! It was the 1st time i was playing the game and at the end of the day, my right arm, near the elbow hurt…. ha ha ha.. [serves me right for getting over enthusiastic] but no regrets…. 


Coming up next…. attacking the pool table… 🙂




Pic credits – 
1.thedartshop
2. goldamboo.com