Ananthoo's updates

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Just that we have heard so much of it so often and anyways we shall be so close, so as well include Darjeeling..thats how this famous hill station came in to our schedule..
After that train journey and that night’s stay at the NJP station itself (that itself is a big story, so many warned us of the north Bengal, notoriety, not advisable late night venturing out etc and so we coiled there in the station esp after the train reached late at midnit!)..this inspite of having a friend at Siliguri which is a sort of twin city of NJP..and btw folks, never buy the idea that siliguri (bcos of its proximity or words of friends like Bimal) is a hill station or atleast a plesant wud only luv to run away from there..and so we did as fast as possible from NJP and siliguri..try_n_avoid_them_if_u_can places!
The route to Darjeeling though was good if not exotic..a typical tree and greenery filled route with lowering temp as we climb..but the roads were pathetic..(main reason being heavy rains just b4 we went)..add to that the horrible traffic and rough drivers..inspite of the rains we didn’t get to see any interesting sceneic water falls..
If Darjeeling has become a biiiiig concrete jungle the carbon spewing gaadis have made it an environment nightmare..but there are less plastics on the road sides, esp bcos of the ban on usage of plastic. No shop gives u plastic covers and u can see people carrying cloth bags or things wrapped in papers- like in our young days..hey, what a nice culture to come back isn’t? The hotel we stayed – Shangrilla Regency was a very impressive place! Don’t miss the Kanchenjunga view from their top floor restaurant if u go there. But be warned! One can die of! what amounts they serve for breakfast, phew..
The best part of Darjeeling wud be the Tiger hill visit. Don’t give it a miss bcos u have to wake up as early as 3am and leave hotel by 4 to see the sunrise..but its worth every ounce of laziness u beat with gold..the sunrise and the colorful kanchend’zonga (ya, that’s our Kanchenjunga) is just out of the world..then there is the left over of the brits like glenarys, english style pubs, good continental places! add to that scores of ‘pure veg’ restaurants, cookies joints and what not..good walk paths also, but too much of building all over have eaten in to the hill side views..
And then to that steam engine hype: every one wud have spoken of that toy train aka steam engine train of that ‘meri sappanon ka rani kab..’ fame, 100 years and all that..thats a big let down..the amount of black smoke it throws and the fact that most of it makes it way in to ur face thru the window and that it goes at such a slow pace wading thru the nasty and crowded roads is no fun..

Rating – so so
Will I go again- NO!
Best time to visit Darjeeling – pl see the prev line, still want to? Then early oct, before puja so u can beat the crowd..or late feb if u like snow n cold

for the photos pl go here


Monday, October 29, 2007

he hee:-(

oops..the subject is for those of u who caught me 'test'ing..
i was trying picasa for the 1st time and so was tryng to load some fotos and parallely tried if i can get that in to the blog directly..
it actually did, so it looks like..but in the proces my modem conked and i was stranded..cud not know if it indeed uploaded or was it linked here..felt sheepish to ask any body to check on that ..i thot i wud fix it the first thing (not that bsnl wud solve it, but i had planned to go to a friend's place and do it..) and then murphy sir came in to action..but got held up one after another till now and so this he hee...
now the 'test' is removed..those of u who saw it wait till i hook the text and then that link again..meanwhile u too delete that from ur memory if u can..u can ask W for assistance to delete things in a whiff;-)


Sunday, October 28, 2007

the pick..

Friday, October 26, 2007

Train journey - the start!

North East I

I shall narrate my experiences and feelings of the places visited for 2 reasons: 1- my personal collation 2- to have good tips for guys who wud want to seriously do NE later, but in parts..

I have taken the Blore Guwathi train from blore till madras many times and wondered how it wud be to travel all the way to Guwathi..and then wud randomly check the temp there (and once during a cricket match there, they did show some interesting clips)..all these pushed me to include it during my north east tour..and since this fancy for the blr- ghy train was always there, we (me and Wify, hereinafter W) traveled by the train, broke our journey at NJP (newjalpaiguri) and went to Darjeeling, sikkim and then came back to NJP to proceed to GHY.

I shud confess the train journey was not at all interesting:-( ordinary scenery till Orissa and then very ordinary from WB(West Bengal) all those fantastic sceneries imagined were only imaginations after all…but some good things to be recorded here:

Clean Train Station: That was a revelation! Vizag station was spic and span. Neat, clean, well documented and conspicuously litter free. Well maintained platforms, clean shops visble and usable dustbins all over were remarkable. I have never seen such practical and neat stations in India. So, after all, some improvement in Indian Railways, eh?
That was not all..from Vijayawada on all stations were looking better with Vizag being a steal..
Later on we were to find that most of the South Eastern railway’s stations were outsourced and they were doing a great job. So it was impressive all the way till Kharagpur and then back to typical railways..other stations and especially Chennai has lots to learn..These guys who were doing the cleaning at all these NE stations were doing a great job (for sure one cud not have seen such commitment if they were from Railways) and rushed to finish all the coaches, even cleaned window glasses of all AC coaches and stood on the edge of the platforms waving at the moving train/passengers!

Tip #1: looks like people have nothing but pooris for breakfast, lunch n dinner from Howrah on and so u get only prepared or pack urself.

Then we enter WB, the great left the pantry of the train grinds to a halt lest they shall be beaten up by the vendors..thats just the first irritant..then there are some 100s of vendors selling right from pins to balls to casio keyboards, calculators, stupid toys and what not (hey, we are near china rit?)..its like some 100 guys in a minute..and they keep criss crossing chanting the name of products cost etc. This irritation shall continue till 11pm.. it was a shame or a big joke that after 10pm when almost everyone had slept these guys wud walk with their display piece murmuring something in the dark..real jokers..i didn’t see even one of them sell much for the train journey.

Tip #2: Just don’t do trains (except small distances in shatabdi / Rajdhanis or when left with no choice )..u better save that time for one extra day in a good place plus save that much energy.

oh! its already long..lets pray for brevity in next posts;-)



Back to base after a very hectic but amazing tour of north east (partial)..a great and different part of India but so much amchi india..esp in all wrong ways;-0
many interesting events, funny incidents, new places, nice info and more..all that soon, in pieces..

before signing off..
a corporate lesson (a recent email fwd!)
Usually the executives and staff of the company play football.
The middle level managers are more interested in Tennis.
The top management usually has a preference for Golf.

Finding: As you go up the corporate ladder, the balls reduce in size.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Holiday in Vacation

am off..for a month!
going to North East india (sikkim, assam, meghalaya and NE bengal!)
expect some fotos of pristine himalayas after i come back..
as for blogging here as the title says- hols inside my life called vacation:-)

if i get time and net cafes there i shall post some snippets..for full time blogging after I come back, energised by the himalayas..