Thursday, December 28, 2006

JB Home goes online ;)

Finally the private blog for the JB-ians has been set up. You can access it here.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sivanasamudra @ night

You know, water falls look beautiful in the night. Don't believe? Then you must ask our Naushu, for we went to Sivanasamudra yesterday just to experience that ;)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Get Together @ Ferns for Theresa's B'Day


Mail from Aji on Oct 24, 2006:

Hi friends,
We would be delighted if you could join us with family for the first birthday celebration of our daughter, Teresa Mary on the 29th of October. Do come and share our happiness and help make the occasion memorable.

Time : 12.00pm, the Sunday 29th of October
Venue: Ferns Habitat Club house, Ferns habitat layout, Doddanekundi, Near Marathahalli

With best regards,
Aji & Anju

Now some excerpts from the replys (no names provided, but you-know-who-said-these...):

"A long term *pending* get together happening now. Cheers :)"
"Thanks for the invitation. I hope, we will get a cumulative party, once we reach there!! Convey our best wishes to Teresa"
"Does cousin form part of family? ;)"

Thus a group from our friends circle gathered at the above place to celebrate Theresa's birthday, and that was a very nice gettogether for all of them after quite a long time. Unfortunately, I missed the occasion, since I was at home on a long vecasion. Some people who couldn't make it gave explanation later, like this guy:

"Krishna was on leave in Kerala...Thale divasam vellathhinte overdose aayathinaal I couldnt make it either :(" - Again, you-know-who ;)

And finally came the "Thank you" note from Aji.

it was a good gathering. Most of our classmates turned up. Dhakan couldn't join since he had to go to Kerala. Sachin's case is already self confessed (Ivanokke valu vachu kidakkan kanda samayam !!!!) .Krishna is in Kerala. Shahul said he couldn't join since his baby was creating some troubles :-). Undu, we missed you very much !!!!

Some people like Birju & Feby , they are missing in the photo since they left early.
Thanks a lot to all for making this occasion very much memorable !


So that's all about the celebration (that I know about. Others please add to this). And my belated happy birthday wishes to dear Teressa. You can find more snaps here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Framework for Swing

See this article A Framework for Swing. This now addresses the issue of writing swing applications for the desktop, which many of the developers find difficult and tries to put Swing back on track where the open source projects are successful.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rock Climbing @ Turahalli

I got a mail from Mr. Suresh from Angel Adventures on 4th regarding a Rock Climbing planned on 10th at Turahalli, which is around 30 km from Bangalore. I have never done such a thing before, so wanted to join them. Since I didn't want to go alone, asked by gang whether they are interested in joining. The answer as a "no way" from most of them due to various reasons, like JK is almost 'side' (sorry for those who are not familiar with the usage), CM is not in a mood to think of rock climbing, Rashmi was worried about the wind at the top of the hill, ... Some brave ppl didn't even bother to reply ;) So finally two brave ppl from the group (Sid & myself) decided - 'Let's do it'. So just called up Suresh to inform that we are in. He told the pick-up point is in front of 'Family Mart' on Kanakpura road - at 7:00 am sharp.

At 6:30 AM, I was in the office. Called up Sid, but no response. He must be on his way. Filled petrol & check air. By then Sid reached and we started. At 6:55 am, we are in front of family mart. Waited for 10 minutes, nobody turned out. Called up Suresh. He was surprised - it seems that nobody called them up in the previous evening to confirm the trip, so he thought that nobody would be coming. Mistake from our side - we were thinking that the program is anyway on, so no need to call them up in advance !! He said he'll be there in half an hour. To utilise the time effectively, we decided to have breakfast ..

We didn't mind the wating, hoping the program will not let us down. Suresh reached by 8:30 pm, accompanied by another instructor and a kid (his son, 2.5 yrs old). Thus started our trip to Turahalli.

Turahalli is around 10 km from Family Mart. We reached the place in half an hour. The program was basically to understand the different techniqes used for rock climbing and practice them. They took us to different types of rock formations and we tried climbing them. Checkout this Turahalli Album for more photos.

The kid was very enthusiastic throughout. Suresh told he likes to go out with him and loves to do all these. He want to climb evry rock !! Suresh also encourages him to do everything his own.

After the rock climbing lessons we tried rapelling, which I liked. Rock climbing was little difficult for me, since my hands are not strong enough to hold my body weight. Also, in the first attempt itself, I got many scratches in my hand, which made the subsequent climbs difficult. But Sid was thoroughly enjoying it.

We concluded the session by 2:30, and returned. Later in the evening, I realised that such a wonderful program came with a price. My upper part of the body was paining a lot, and it is still there even after two days ...

Team Building@WonderValley

Originally uploaded by krishnakumar_cs.
The photos from the recent Team bulding workshop could be found here. The program was at Wonder Valley Resorts near Bannarghatta. The training was conducted by Mr. Gopakumar, from NavGati.

In memory of Gabriel

While going through Sachin's blog found this: In memory of Gabriel. Gabry was a friend who made the life a big celebration. May his soul rest in peace.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Journey alone - Part 3

Originally uploaded by krishnakumar_cs.
Got up by 5 am. It was too cold out side, and to add to that it was windy too. The distance from Vagamon to Thekkady is around 65km. A minimum of one and a half hours is required to cover this distance in a two wheeler considering the state of the roads. My initial idea was to start by 5:15, so that I could reach Thekkady before 7:30. The reason was to catch the first boat trip into the lake, which is supposed to start by 7:30. However, the local people told that it was not advisable to start too early, due to the possibility that the animals might come down to the roads. Also the population on either side of the road is almost nil, which would make it difficult to get help if needed. Also considering that I am traveling alone, they suggested that I could start by day break.

I was ready by 5:30, and it was still dark. Went down to the hotel for a hot black tea. They were opened so early just for the sake of the policemen - Thanks to the temporary police camp set up there due to some local fights.

I started by 5:45, after finishing the tea. It was still dark outside, but the ambient light has become better. I started off slowly, but soon I was enjoying the ride through. The road goes through small hillocks, tea estates, small settlements ... But nobody was on the road. The winding road made it difficult to speed up, and the road was quite bad in some stretches. But bike has the advantage of being a little more agile.

Even with the best effort s I put, I reached by Thekkady 7:35, which meant that I missed the boat. Next boat will be at 9:30 am. Those two hours was valuable to be since I wanted to visit 'Ilaveezha Poonchira" on the way back. Since I couldn't make it I will have to drop it ;(

Had tea from the nearby shop. The hotel owner was more than happy to know that I am from B'lore since he had some relative here and was planning to come down to Bangalore for some job.

After taking the pass from the entry gate, I went inside. The boarding place for the boat is around 1km from the gate. Took the pass for the 9:30 trip. There is a small hotel inside which serves refreshments. Had my breakfast from there.

The forest department had a small setup there. Thekkady is one of the eco tourism initiatives from the forest department. They arrange various programs with the help of the tribal / local people there. Since I was alone and really didn't have much time to spend there, I decided to try that next time. Also, I was just back from our wonderful trip to the Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary. In fact I haven't recovered fully from the leech bites I got from there ;) The situation wasn't much different in Thekkady either - so decided that I better try it later, may be sometime in April.

The boat trip was uneventful, which was expected. Since it was during the monsoon, the chances of spotting the wildlife are pretty narrow. But was a very relaxing trip, but wasn't thrilling at all. And I lost another two hours ;(

Since the route from Thekkady to Munnar was a bit bad, I decided to drop the plan to take the de-tour. So nothing more was left - I started my journey back.

Just then I realised that the petrol in the tank was not enough for the next 200 kilometers. Not wanting to take the risk of filling on the way, I tried to fill petrol from the nearby pump. But petrol was not available due the tanker strike in Kerala. The strike was apparently called off, but the supply was not available yet. After checking with a few people, came to know that petrol is available at Kambam, which is around 20 km from Thekkady. So decided to go there and fill the petrol to be safe.

But this short de-tour itself took around two hours, since I had to stop in between due to the heavy rain. But at the place where I filled petrol (around 2 km from Kambam) there were no rains, since it fall in the rain shadow region. On the way back, the rain was even stronger, I enjoyed it to the maximum, but I had to stop when it become heavier.

By 2:15, I was back in Kumily, and I continued the journey back. The return journey was pretty slow, first due to traffic, then due to the frequent stops to take photographs and then due to the heavy rain. The road conditions made it worse. I finally reached home at 9:15 pm. Had a nice dinner and before I realised, I was in deep sleep.

This trip was a very different experience to me. For the first time in a trip, I really did the lead role. The terrain was unknown to me, and I faced it fearlessly. It was risky, but I was thrilled at that opportunity. And all that was done alone - that taught me that the greatest strength and weakness is just me. I can stretch to my limits, but vulnerable to my own weakness. A team excels in reducing those vulnerabilities, but it does restrict your ability to stretch the limits. "The chain is no stronger than its weakest link"

Friday, December 08, 2006

Journey alone - Part 2

Originally uploaded by krishnakumar_cs.
It was a long ride indeed, but not so tiring. May be I was too excited ;)

Short break near Kurisumala for a cup of tea. Met a teacher from the Labor India School there. He gave a lot of tips on where to stay & what to see. Went to the Kurisumala Ashram first to see if I could get accommodation there.

The winding road beyond the main gate is lined with stone walls, and is in a pretty bad shape. After negotiating a short stretch of steep road, you'll reach a small junction where you can find a few shops. Take the straight road which goes down to the valley, and you'll find the ashram on the next turning on your left side. The dirt road is paved with cobblestones at the top of the rise as we near what must be the monastic compound, but there is still no overt sign, no cross, no statue that would demarcate a Christian monastery. I went to the reception and checked if there are any rooms available. And sadly, there were none ;(

I went to the Vagamon town, to search for accommodation. The town is actually a small street, with a few shops and a vegetable market. I located a small hotel and had my next round of tea, kappa & beef curry. With their help I located a small home stay. I just needed a place for sleeping, and I got an attached room for just Rs.150. It was getting dark, I went to see Kurisumala, without wasting time.

Kurisumala is a small hillock around 3 km from the town. The road goes via Kurisumala Ashram. The road is well maintained, except for the initial part before the Ashram. The Kurisumala is considered as a pilgrim center (see for details). The climb up was a ok, and since it was getting late, I was in fact rushing through. Going alone is an advantage when you want to stretch yourself - and that's what I did. I reached the top in just 15 minutes. But I was tired by then. Spend some time taking photos. Even the ambient light was quite low, and within no time it was pitch dark. To add to that I was all alone. The last group was the one I saw while climbing up. Fortunately, I had torch with me, which helped me to identify the route back. Even then I lost way two three times, and had to track back. I was more worried about the vipers which are very common in such terrains, that even my hosts warned about. That was a very good experience which helped me to overcome many of my 'fears' ;) But looking back, I know that I was a little too adventurous

I reached the foot of the hill, taking a little less than 25 minutes. Went back to the hotel, had a refreshing bath in ice cold water (no heater, & I liked it ;)), had kanji for dinner. Reminded me of the dinner at Munnar - just that I was alone. Other settings were same ;) Went back to the room for an early light-off, for the next day's journey was supposed to start by 5:30 am.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Journey alone - Part 1

Originally uploaded by krishnakumar_cs.
I was thinking about a trip alone for quite a long time. That was part of my new set of resolutions to overcome my inhibitions. Well, the timing of the trip was just perfect and neither my friends nor my brother could join me for the trip. So I packed light and started on my YBX. This was my first bike, now almost 7 years old, and maintained well by my brother now. I never had a problem with this bike and I still love the instant pick-up.

Well, that's about my companion. Now about the place. That was already decided - Vagamon in Idukki district. This place is around 160 km from my place. The road goes via Angamaly, Perumbavoor, Moovattupuzha, Pala, Erattupetta & then to Vagamon. After the first 50 km, the terrain changes slowly to hilly, and after words the road became steeper. That's when I really started loving my bike. It was really fun riding this one - I could comfortably ride in 3rd & 4th gear when I see others struggle to negotiate the steep climbs.

Since the travel was in the middle of the monsoon, most of the time it was raining heavily. I should have started early from home so that I could reach there by afternoon. But I started by 12 noon, & reached Vagamon by 5 in the evening, with lot of stops in between.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Am I looking cute?

Originally uploaded by krishnakumar_cs.
Wondering who is this? Well, she is Vishnu Priya, my sweet daughter. She is just 10 months old now. Already started talking in her own language, loves to travel a lot and hates to take medicines.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kodaikanal Trip

Originally uploaded by krishnakumar_cs.
We (the AiDA project team) used to go for shoprt trips (to be precise, till Subu moved out of AiDA). However, there was no trips in the recent past. So to bring the good old days back we decided to go for a trip. "Kodaikanal" was the only option - Thanks to Renga. Nobody dared even to suggest another place and thus the trip finally took shape.
The trip was fun filled, and all of us enjoyed every moment of it. We have decided to write a 'formal' travelogue for this episode and hopefully we'll finish it by this weekend.
Since the newbie travellers got the taste of it, I hope to see many more trips in the future ;)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Originally uploaded by waideas.
It's long time since we went for a trip. Dhanya was the one who tried to pull the lazy guys. Being the real lazy guys, nobody bothered to reply for that mail! Finally last week we realized that we have nothing else to do on the coming long weekend. After a few mail exchanges, zoomed in on 'Mudumalai', and this quick trip is planned. However, only the place is decided - what to do there is still an open issue. Let's see the how the chaotic planning work this time ;) Will write about this experience once we are back on Tuesday.

Check out the description Mudumalai@Outlook Traveller if you are intersted to know more about this beautiful National Park

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sachin ki Kahani

Some of you might know this guy. One of my oldest friends (ya, he is a chronic bachelor too), right from the college days. For some unknown reason, he started a blog. You know, we used to get a lot of junk emails from him, and instead of hurting his feelings most of us ignore these mails. Some how he got to know this - for he used a very nice strategy to announce his blog. Send an e-mail to all announcing his new blog, and recall the mail immediately. When we got the recall message, obviously everybody was curious and checked out the blog. Nice strategy, Sachin.

I now have to dig his posts to understand his real self! Life was much easier before, when he used to talk over a couple of, you know what, ........... soda ;)

PS: He is a no-nonsense guy usually (!) & and the junk filter story is my contribution ;) Btw, he really has a blog called 'Meri Kahani'.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Photo taken by Arul at Munich Zoo (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Anizham pookalam
Originally uploaded by Suresh C Nair.
I was feeling very nostalgic today. For the first time, I am celebrating onam alone. Still I cannot stay away from the sweet memories from the past, and making a perfect (virtual) 'pookkalam'. Thanks to Suresh for the photo ;)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Weekend Trip to Salzburg & Prien am Chiemsee

I am now at Munich, Germany for a training. In fact I came to Berlin three weeks back and here, on friday evening.

Was planning for a 2 day trip to Salzburg hoping to cover 'Sound of Music Tour', Ice caves & salt mines. However, the trip was cut short to one day which covered a walk around Salzburg & the 'Sound of Music Trip'. It was raining all the day (not too heavy), which made the scenery a little dull and reduced our mobility. Still, it was very nice trip, except that we didn't get too many photos ;(( Dhanya's camera which I was carrying went on strike, thanks to the cold climate.

For the next day, we made great plans in the night. By the time we got up in the moring, it was already half past 7 O' clock. Rushed through the morning formalities, reached the station by 9, 7 obviously missed the 8:48 train too. Got the next train by 9:42 and reached Prien by 10:50. The small narrow gage train took us to the harbour, and reached the island in the next boat.

It was a short trip which lasted around 15 mts (?, sorry I really don't remember the time ;) ) . It was raining on and off, and three of us shared two umbrellas. It was cold & windy, and I was the only one in the whole island who didn't have a jacket ;((( I was almost freezed, still went around the island. We roamed around till 4 in the evening. As you can see in the photos ( check my Flickr photos), it was lush green around. The clowdy atmos & the light drizzle added a great charm to that. & That's when you realise how pathetic the point-and-shoots with slow lenses really are (I did'nt mean your digicam, CM. Even I have a slower, stupider digicam now - Nikon coolpix L3).

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hello Word

Guess a "Hello World" program is mandatory in all programming books. Then why not in a personal blog? So here is my "Hello" to the "World".

Hope I can update my silent zone often ...