Its been well over a year since the last post and I have seen/been through a great deal of change, as anyone would expect. And again, a great way to get back to blogging. First of all, I am no longer with Motorola, I have moved on to a different company. And that change, though took a while for me to get settled, has been good. And it is this new company that sponsored our visit to celebrate the successful launch of the new version of one of its major products.
I know well that I don’t have a great readership, but in case there had been any, I apologise for not having posted anything for well over a year. So, in a few brief words, the year that was – The year started off pretty ok. Work at office was tight, quite tight in fact. Despite the great support offered by friends there, there were a great many deterrents. And as the year progressed, work load increased to the extent that I had to put in at least 12-13 hrs a day. So, when this announcement was made, I decided to have that as a trigger for job hunt. Thanks to a friend I got into my current company, joining it on 8th November, 2010.
Now to the topic of this blog. Being a market leader in its domain, my company keeps releasing newer, updated and more robust versions of its major products every year. And in December 2010, the company saw another such release from the team that recruited me. And to celebrate that, a few members of the team planned well and came up with this trip to river Kabini and the Nagarhole national park. Thanks to them, the whole trip was beautifully organised, thoroughly enjoyed and ended without the slightest trouble.
The whole team, a really cohesive group of about 18, assembled at our office on the morning of Friday, 11th March. And people started to joining slowly from 06:30 to 07:15. We left our office in Bangalore, and proceeded along the route to Mysore. For reasons unknown to me, we didn’t take the NICE road. We halted at the Kamat restaurant for breakfast, at about 09:30. For the first time, I saw a buffet breakfast. They served “kotte kadubu”, masala dosa, puliyogare, vada, kesari, upma and the regular chutney and sambar for side dishes. They were also serving grape juice and papaya as desserts. Had a couple of dosas, a scoop each of kesari and upma nad a kotte kadubu with vada. (A mighty heavy breakfast indeed!). We did not stop any further and reached the Kabini River Lodge resort, of the Jungle Lodges and Resorts, on the banks of River Kabini near Nagarhole national part at about 13:30 hrs. We were welcomed with cool lemon juice and were guided to our rooms in the resorts(Forgot to mention that we were about 18 ppl and booked 10 double-bed rooms).
After dumping our bags, headed straight for the dining hall, named “Gohl Ghar”, which is situated just on the river banks. Had a sumptuous, healthy(?) lunch of Ragi balls, Roti, dal and the usual sambar, curd with carrot/peas for the side dish.
Then started the fun and merry. We all spent about an hour idling on the huge hammocks there. We had fun with the hammock by “pulling the legs” when people tried to climb up the hammock. Then came the tea/coffee at about 15:30, just a little over an hour after lunch. After that, we departed at about 16:30 hrs for the boat safari though river Kabini. It was a good two and half hour ride on the river, where we spotted a variety of birds, a few elephants and the Indian goar on the river banks. We also had a glimpse of the sun set at about 18:30 hrs. Though a few people thought that it was a boring ride, I felt it refreshing with wonderful unpolluted breeze and the cool air, somethings that simple don’t exist in Bangalore.
After the boat safari, we were shown a documentary that explained the present state of tiger population in the world, in general and specifically in India. The various tricks adopted by the hunters/poachers were explained. It’s indeed sad that such a majestic animal is on the verge of being extinct. We, as the citizen of the nation(and the world) have a duty/responsibility in the safe existence of all living beings. We don’t own the world. We just share the place with millions of other species. The human race is just one species.
After the documentary, we had a sumptuous dinner and then headed straight to our beds. The 5 hour journey from Bangalore and the safari and the food would have cured even the strongest bouts of insomnia. Despite that, we had lengthy chats of various things, and nothing in particular. Slowly, as sleep over came our strong will to stay awake, we drifted off to the dreamland.
The next day started “early” for many as we had to wake up at about 05:15-05:30 to get ready for the jungle safari. We had our morning coffee/tea and left out in 3 jeeps, hoping to dare the tigers/leopards etc. etc. But despite being a two and half hour safari, none of us(the three jeeps took different routes through the forests) spotted any of the famed beasts of the forest. All that we saw were elephants, a herd of the Indian goar, wild boars and a lots of deer pf different variety(Spotted, Sambar, etc.). The closest that we came to spotting a tiger was when all of a sudden all three jeeps stopped(it was at the starting of the safari before deviating to different routes) and the guides told that there had been a “warning call”. The “langur”s at that spot made some kind of sound that would sound as a warning to the deers in the surrounding area that some carnivore is approaching. But didn’t see any carnivore, other than the humans of the three jeeps.
On returning from the jungle safari, with some disappointment for having failed to spot any wild beast, we had our breakfast at the Gohl Ghar again. This too was wonderfully prepared. I had kesari, idly, vada and a ragi dosa. People really enjoyed the meal there, all three times. After that, as the final leg of the trip, we all went for a coracle ride, on Kabini. It was a ride with 4 members(+1 oarsman) per coracle for a short distance into the river. After that, we all vacated the JLR resort and boarded our bus back to Bangalore, only to find that the “famed” Indian middle order was utterly useless(or maybe helpless) against the SA bowling and we successfully managed to lose the match, Thanks to Dhoni’s wonderful captaincy skills.
Well, a blog post way too long for anyone to read fully, but sorry, something to compensate for having left it dormant for more than a year.
PS: Will check with my team members before I can link to the photos. Not everyone likes to share their photos on the Internet.