Archive for January, 2008

:: Bangalore Turf Club::

One morning in December 1 1920, four stewards met at the grandstand of the Turf Club’s present location in High Grounds. They were: Major R.H.O.D Paterson, Sir Leslie Miller, Major J.M Holmes and C.N Suryanarain Row. These gentlemen approved to form a race club in the city.There were to be 30 club members. The Stewards could elect an unlimited number of stand members. The admission charges for both types of memberships was Rs 20. Men were required to pay while entry was free for women.

How it works now?
I happen to visit this place on 19th Jan 2008 with Greeshma, and did some decent photography as well. It was a Saturday afternoon, where they had 8 races with a time gap of 30 minutes between each race. When we entered it was already 3.10 and three races were over. The race extends to a distance of 1200 metres and lasts only for 2 minutes (actually less than 2 minutes) and they need the balance 28 minutes to prepare for the next race.

The horses with their jockies were taken to the paddock, to show to the people, who are involved in the betting, before they were put on to the Race Course. This is in a way helps the betting guys to check their horse and jockey and always shout and clap and motivate these jockies before they go on to the actual race. I could also see people in suit talk to these jockies in the paddock. Guess, they are the owners of the horse or the big level betting guys.

Here are few of the pictures from the visit…
paddock (by peevee@ds)

Walks deciding Runs..
walks decide the runs (by peevee@ds)

expectations (by peevee@ds)

Got to know some sad story as well.
A person by name vinod, came with Rs.1000 at 2.00pm and lost Rs.900 at the end of 5th race. He was talking to us, saying few days, they win and most other days they loose money. Another person, was very happy when his horse (horse number 2) won the race in the 5th race. He wanted us to test our luck as well. I had to tell him and convince, that i know my luck and i was there for a different objective and not to bet. I remember, there is a horse statue under the Anna Flyover (formerly Gemini flyover) in Chennai, which was installed in the remembrance of stopping horse races in TamilNadu. But.. thats a forgotten history now. The rich becomes rich and the poor becomes poor in the race course.

Do you think, you and I can do something about it?

~ peevee.

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:: its my day ::

Jan 18 2008. Another usual 24 hrs passes, afterall its my birthday.
Actually this was one of the longest days in the recent past, as i was sitting with my phone continuously attending calls from 11.50pm(17th Jan 2008), when Raghuram Ashok called me first. Unlike previous years, this year therz no Egg / Cream Abhishekam. Slept around 1.30am, after answering couple of calls, with alarm set at 6.30am.

Guess.. i woke up ar 6.20am, thanks to my sister’s call.. Wishes started pouring in from mom, dad, sisters, uncles, nephew, niece, friends including, couple from BWS. Lot of Mails, Messages, scraps, cards, gifts and Calls made me feel proud that i too have a set of caring people. LOL.

Then.. a breakfast at Sangam on the Residency Road, First client call from UdhayShankar of Intel, First client brief from Gunjan Rawal of Intel, Few creatives, few picture uploads to flickr, lunch at Nilgiris, on the Brigades, some cash deposits in bank, online update on the Ind-Aus Cricket, few more calls/chat with fellow friends and finally a call to Lions Eye Bank, JC Road, to understand pledging eyes. Yes.. gonna sign the form to pledge my eyes tomorrow.

Thanks to Sara for this picture…
me on my day (by peevee@ds)

I thought i may be going for dinner with few friends in the evening, some TV, some more mails, some more flickr… there ends the DAY. But.. at around 8.00pm.. there was a sweet surprise… Chaithu/deep/sow/aanu came to Residency Chambers. Had a Cake Cut.. few clicks and got my fave color long Kurtha. Thanks guys. It was already time for Dinner and headed to Tandoor on the MG Road.. Had dinner with all strange named dishes.

Post dinner headed home, to cut one more cake, few snaps an Excalibur shirt. So the time is 12.08am(19th Jan 2008) and time to sleep…

So… its not just an other day in my life.. Thanks all for the wishes and prayers.

~ peevee.

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:: jallikattu ::

Do we need Jallikattu even in this 21st Century? Every year, i think on the same lines, when i see the news/article with sad/bad news coming from Madurai and few other parts of TamilNadu. Every year, i expect that the event will be banned atleast from this year.

What is this event all about?
1. Jallikattu is wild bull taming sport ( first place can we call this a sport?) played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebration.
2. Have 2 other names like MANJU VIRATTU (chasing the bull) / YERU THAZHUVUDHAL (hugging the bull).
3. Its one of the oldest events, as old as 2,000 B.C. to 1,500 B.C (found some paintings on caves, in a village near kothagiri in Nilgiris, TN)
4. According to legend, in olden days the game was used by women to choose their husbands. Successful “matadors” were chosen as grooms. And men also tame the bull for the bunch of coins tied in the horns of the bull.
5. The Majestic Kangeyam bull is involved in this game by Jameendar’s, as they are naturally more ferocious and muscular than any other of its species.

Is it relevant now?
1. Is this event relevant for the current scenario?
2. How many women select the matadors as their grooms?
3. How do we call this as the sensible tradition?
4. Why should we harm the animal and harm self as well?
5. What is the kind of pleasure men get out of this horrifying act?
6. Don’t we have better entertainment/work to do, other than jallikattu?
7. What is the lose, if we ban this? May be Some bull owners will incur some monetory losses.

Why should we BAN?
1. No relevancy to the current scenario. We should be Sensible enough to understand the issue.
2. No tradition is good, which permits us to harm anybody, human or animal.
3. No Safety / Security for the men cos of animal and vice versa.
4. No humneness, when the bulls are allegedly made to drink arrack and chilli powder is sprinkled into their eyes to make them ferocious.

Why should we NOT fight against BAN?
1. Jallikattu is just an other practise followed in few disctricts of TAMILNADU.
2. We are gonna loose nothing, if we ban this activity. TamilNadu will get its own Foreign investment / Number of tourists etc.
3. Check the list of abolished Senseless Traditions to quote a few from the country. Sati Pratha / Child Marriage (to some extent) / Caste System (to some extent) / Devadasi System (are we arguing that Jallikattu is older than Devadasi System?)

Few pointers to note:
1. Im a TAMILIAN and I seriously dont feel BAD that im loosing an AGE OLD Tradition, If we ban Jallikattu.
2. Looking for a Socio-Cultural Revolution to evaluate several old age practises.

~ peevee.

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Hmm… Finally i got this image in place, after thinking for minutes together.
Here are the doubts i had before going to the Center Spot under the Windmill tower.
1. Thought, what if i get electocuted, if i go close to the tower. (Im lucky)
2. Thought, what if the blades on my head. (LOL)
3. Thought, what if some security shoots me, from otherside.. (Fortunately NO one)

I must thank Suruchi for her bold act of going to that Geo Spot and make us also move to the zone. Here is the RESULT.
above my head (by peevee@ds)

~ peevee.

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:: Chitradurga::

Chitradurga: City of Fort and Windmills
Chitradurga is a city located in Karnataka and gets its name from Chitrakaldurga, an umbrella-shaped rocky hill found here. According to legend the Chitradurga district dates to the period of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The whole district lies in the valley of the Vedavati River, while the Tungabhadra flows in the North-West.

The Fort of Chitradurga with seven circumambulations surrounds the seven hills of Chinmuladri range. Though the construction of this fort commenced during 10th Century A.D it was completed only in 18th Century A.D during the rule of Palegars, with the latest additions being in the years leading to the 19th century, during the reign of Hyder Ali and later Tipu Sultan. According to one estimate the total length of the fort is about 8 kilometres. Of the seven lines of ramparts 3 are built at the base of the hill while 4 rows are on the rocky slopes. The inner fort is like a bowl with a cup shaped valley that is more like a plateau, in the middle.

There are four main entrance gates with the walls built out of gigantic brown granite stones, and though irregular in size these are cut and placed in such a way that there is hardly any gap – somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle after it is completed. Constructed in a slightly pyramid-like shape ensures its stability. The lower three ramparts are protected by moats guarding the outer approaches. The Fort has never been overrun.

There are 14 temples inside the fort and the most prominent of these are those dedicated to: Ucchangamma, Sampige Siddeswara, Gopalakrishna, Subrahmanya. Sanctums of Ekantaeswara, Phalguneswara, Hidimerareswara are also established here pointing to the broad minded and tolerant nature of the community.

The city is also famous and in controversies cos of Windmills. In Chitradurga, windmills, built to tap a sustainable source of power, is threatening the environment. Scores of windmills have been built in forest areas and this has affected conservation. Windmills have been set up in at least two major reserve forests of the district – akkihalli and Jogimatti — allegedly against the norms.

According to the sources in the Forest Department, cases of encroachment and violation of the Forest Conservation Act have been booked against two major windmill operators in the district. The villagers of Gounahalli and surrounding areas in Hiriyur taluk opposed the construction of windmills in the Lakkihalli Reserve Forest and brought civil works related to them to a halt. Following the protest, forest officers rushed to the spot and filed cases against a windmill company. They reportedly seized vehicles and machinery.

Few pictures here shot during my recent visit to the city. Its worth a visit to this city and is easily accesible from Bangalore and is just 4 hrs away (198kms on the NH4)

A view from Fort:
together (by peevee@ds)

Wind Power:
wind power (by peevee@ds)

chitradurga (by peevee@ds)

~ peevee.


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Its been a long time wish to visit atleast 60% of South India (viz. AP/TN/KA/KL States) and lemme try to do that this year.
My wish list goes like this…

TamilNadu / Kerala / Karnataka / Andhra Pradesh Circuits:
1. Chennai – Pulicat – Kanchipuram – Mahabalipuram – Thirukazhukundram – Uthiramerur – Vedanthangal
2. Pondicherry – Chidambaram – Gingee – Vellore – Nagappattinam – Karaikal – Thanjavur – Kumbakonam – Seerkazhi – Vaideeswarankoil
3. Thiruchirappalli – Karaikudi – Madurai – Thenkasi – Kutraalam – Kulasai – Tiruchendur – Rameshwaram – Kanyakumari
4. Ooty – Kodaikanal – Yercaud – Elagiri – Kolli hills
5. Walayar – Pollachi – Theni – Kambam – Munnar – Periyar – Thekady
6. Coimbatore – Palghat – Adhirapally – Cochin
7. Srirangapatna – Somanthpur – Mysore – Wayanad- Calicut
8. Madikeri – Bylakuppe – Mangalore – Kundapur – Udipi – Malpe – Maravante – Jog
9. Gokarna – Goa
10. Hampi – Badami – Aihole – Bagalkot – Belgaum – Bijapur – Gulbarga – Hyderabad
12. Chitradurga – Chikmagalur – Belur – Helebedu
13. Sringeri – Dharmstala – Shravanabelagola – Melkote
14. Vishakapatnam – Machilipatnam – Warangal
15. Srisailam – Mahanandi – Ahobilam – Kailasanadhakona – Suruttupalle – Talakona – Yadagirighutta

Apart form these mentioned above, the list goes like this for the REST of MY LIFE..
1. Mumbai/Pune/Ajanta
2. Pushkar/Jaipur/udaipur
3. Leh/Ladakh/Srinagar
4. Bhuj/Ahmedabad
5. Dehradun/Mussourie
6. Varanasi/Allahabad/Lucknow
7. Kolkata/Darjelling/Patna/Ranchi
8. Majoli and entire NE
9. Gwalior/Bhopal/Raipur
10. Bhubaneshwar/Puri/Cuttack

I guess.. I need 365 FULL days to finish this, though i have covered many places earlier without my NIKON toy…. I have 20 days of Leaves and of course 52 Sundays.

I know, im very ambitious.. and lets see.. where it ends.. 🙂

~ peevee.

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Year 2007 was great for me in terms of Travel and Photography.
The Travelogue 2007 here.

January 2007:
2: Alampara Fort:
The ruins of Aalampara fort on the shores of bay of bengal, near Kadapakkam, Kancheepuram district, TamilNadu. Story
Pictures at…. Alampara Fort

14: Kokkre Bellur:
Team of 7 on an early morning, been to Kokkare Bellur Village…. 14th Jan 2007. Lots of huts, Lots of trees… lots of nests.. lots of colorful birds… pelicans, painted
starks, lot of tourists with lots of cameras around.
Pictures at… Kokkre Bellur

15: Kelavarapalli Dam:
Been to Kelavarapalli dam near hosur, on Jan 15th 2007 and with all nostalgic moments, roamed around the town.
Pictures at… Kelavarapalli Dam

April 2007:
2: Mysore / Bluff / Talakad:
Team of 5 on a two day trip to Mysore-Talakad circuit.
Pictures at… Mysore / Bluff / Talakad

6: Lepakshi:
Images shot during a mini trip to Lepakshi, AP on 6th April 2007. The village is 120 kms from Bangalore city and houses Veeranadra swamy temple. The village can be reached at the 20th km just after crossing the Andhra Border via NH7.
Pictures at… Lepakshi

21- 28: Delhi and Beyond:
The set of images shot in Delhi, Kullu, Manali, Shimla, Chandigarh, Haridwar and Rishikesh on a ten day trip, April 2007.
Pictures at… Delhi and Beyond

May 2007:
26-27: Coorg:
On an official visit to coorg.
Pictures at… Coorg

June 2007:
17: Melkote:
One of the BEST TRIPS I have ever had with BWS. 3 Nikonian Shutterbugs…. 330 Kms… 13 hrs.. 400+ clicks….
Pictures at… Melkote

24-25: Madurai:
Been to Madurai City on a personal visit, Last week of June 2007. Visited Thirumalai Nayak Mahal(More Details @ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirumalai_Nayak_Palace), Meenakshi Amman Temple and American College.
Pictures at… Madurai

June 30-July 1: Alappuzha:
Alappuzha, Kerala – The Venice of the east. Been on a two day trip, visiting Champakulam Boat race and Alappuzha Backwaters.
Pictures at… Alappuzha

July 2007:
June 30-July 1: Alappuzha:
Alappuzha, Kerala – The Venice of the east. Been on a two day trip, visiting Champakulam Boat race and Alappuzha Backwaters.
Pictures at… Alappuzha

22-23: Mumbai:
Been to Mumbai, the Commecial Capital of India on an official trip for 2 days. (22nd July 2007 – 23rd July 2007).
Pictures at… Mumbai

August 2007:
4-5: Talakona Falls / Horsley Hills:
The team of six on a weekend to the beautiful Horsley hill station of AP and the neighbouring Talakona waterfalls.
Pictures at… Talakona Falls / Horsley Hills

19: Kunigal:
Been to Kunigal town on a sleepy sunday, a bike ride with pradeep, my colleague. 19th August 2007.
More pictures at… Kunigal

26: Ramanagaram:
A team of 7 shutterbugs biked to ramanagaram, 45kms south of Bangalore on a sunday, 26th August 2007.
Pictures at… Ramanagaram

September 2007:
2: Manchinbele Dam:
A team of 13 BWS shutterbugs at manchinbele dam, 35kms south west from bangalore, through big banyan tree…..
Pictures at… Manchinbele

15: Krishnagiri Fort/Dam:
On a Lonely Saturday at the town of Krishnagiri, TamilNadu, 15th September 2007.
Pictures at… Krishnagiri Fort/Dam:

29-30 September – 1,2 October: Gokarna
Team of 20 on a 4 day trip to one of the beautiful towns in Karnataka. GOK is a famous Hindu pilgrimage centre as well.. in particular for Final Rites. September /
October 2007.
Pictures at… Gokarna

October 2007:
29-30 September – 1,2 October: Gokarna
Team of 20 on a 4 day trip to one of the beautiful towns in Karnataka. GOK is a famous Hindu pilgrimage centre as well.. in particular for Final Rites. September /
October 2007.
Pictures at… Gokarna

28: Nrityagram:
On a trial travel to Nri…
Pictures at… Nrityagram

November 2007:
3-4: Mahabalipuram:
A day spent at a small village called mahabalipuram (once the major port of Pallavas), on the eve of a get together.
Pictures at… Mahabalipuram

10-11: Thiruvannamalai:
A temple town with Lord Arunachaleshwara temple. Thiruvannamalai also houses the famous Ramana Ashram.
Pictures at… Thiruvannamalai

December 2007:
15-16: Mangalore/Bekal:
On a mini trip to Mangalore, Karnataka and Bekal, Kerala.
Pictures at…
1. Yakshagana
2. Kambala
3. Mangalore
4. Bekal

24-25: Pondicherry:
Trip to pondicherry on the Christmas Eve.
Pictures at…
1. Christmas Eve
2. Misty Morning

Have ambitious plans for 2008. Will write ASAP.

~ peevee.

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Whats in Store for you in 2008?
1. 2008 – International Year of Sanitation.
Proper sanitation: It’s a seemingly mundane thing that most people in the developed world take for granted. But at least 2.6 billion people – some 41 percent of the global population – do not have access to latrines or any sort of basic sanitation facilities. As a result millions suffer from a wide range of preventable illnesses, such as diarrhoea, which claim thousands of lives each day, primarily young children.

Improving access to sanitation is a good investment because:
a. Sanitation is vital for human health,
b. Sanitation generates economic benefits,
c. Sanitation contributes to dignity and social development
d. Sanitation helps the environment
e. Improving sanitation is achievable!
To put the spotlight on this issue the UN General Assembly declared the year 2008 the

International Year of Sanitation. The goal is to raise awareness and to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015.
Source: http://esa.un.org/iys/

2. 2008 – Year of the Frog.
In 2008, AArk will lead zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums in a globally coordinated public awareness campaign “The Year of the Frog.”

The main goal of this campaign is to generate public awareness and understanding of the amphibian extinction crisis which represents the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity.
Source: http://www.amphibianark.org

3. 2008: Year of Information Overload?
Interruptions aren’t merely annoying; they’re also bad for productivity. And when you multiply the interruptions made possible by email, phone calls, text messages, and Twitters across the entire US, the result is lost productivity on a massive scale: $650 billion in a single year.

That’s according to research firm Basex, which chose “information overload” as its 2008 “Problem of the Year.” Failure to solve the problem will lead to “reduced productivity and throttled innovation.” The situation is dire enough that Intel’s Nathan Zeldes estimates “the impact of information overload on each knowledge worker at up to eight hours a week.”

This is hardly a news flash, of course. Multitasking has long been recognized to have deleterious effects on productivity. The great irony is that multitasking is meant to improve productivity, but the human brain turns out to be bad at rapid task switching. The Atlantic ran a lengthy piece on the false promise of multitasking in its November edition (subscribers only), using as one of its epigraphs a line by Publilius Syrus: “To do two things at once is to do neither.”

4. 2008: Year Of The Location Based Services?
Americans are buying global positioning systems (GPS) for their cars in large numbers, reports AdAge. The NPD Group says that revenues are up 214% and GPS unit sales up a whopping 488% over last year.

The M&A activity in the sector is on an upswing, and the primary driver being location-based and mapping services on the mobile phones, the latest being NXP Semiconductors’ $85 million buyout of GloNav.

As new network-enabled Dash devices and more mobile phones come to market in 2008, next 12 months will see an upswing in news and noise around location-based services.
Source: http://gigaom.com/2007/12/24/2008-year-of-the-location-based-services/

5. 2008: The Year of Micro
This was an exciting year in online technology. If you look at it from a 10,000 foot view, humans are really still blazing a trail on how to utilize this relatively new medium, the Internet. Perhaps it’s obvious but I believe 2008 is really the year that applications and strategies go Micro.

The evolution of the social web (Web 2.0) is now moving rapidly into new, targeted territory. The massive, one-fits-all solution will be evolving to provide you with the right connections to the right people and the right content… at the right time.
Source: http://www.douglaskarr.com/2007/12/26/2008-year-predictions/

6. 2008: International Year of the Potato.
The year 2008 has been declared the International Year of the Potato by the United Nations, noting that the potato is a staple food in the diet of the world’s population, and affirming the need to focus world attention on the role that the potato can play in providing food security and eradicating poverty. Food and Agriculture Organization is invited to facilitate its implementation.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Year_of_the_Potato

Now… Turning to my 2008….
7. 2008: Year of Empowerment in Photography.
I have declared this year as an Year of Empowperment in Photography for myself , considering the FACT of pursuing photography seriously from the serious hobby
photographer status.

Having said this as the vision, here are the missions to be accomplished.
1. Learn the MATHS of the aperture / shutter better.
2. Look for more contacts in the photography world, get to MEET more Pros and wanna be pros.
3. Organise a SOLO Exhibition in Bangalore in the next 6-8 months.
4. Work HARD to make all the above possible.
2008 (by peevee@ds)

So lets have a sea of change in everyone of us,in the next 12 months. All the BEST. Let’s jointly welcome 2008.

~ peevee.

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