Friday, March 6, 2015

Sensitivism or Sensationalism !!!

Its been 5 years and finally the documentary has opened my eyes. Its inspired me to write a blog after a looong looong time

To all those who have not yet seen the documentary : sadly the official link is not available in Indian IP addresses. but there are suggested links on side which have the same documentary in enjoy.

To all those who have seen the documentary : I know your blood boils to kill those guys immediately in your own hands and your heart is for women emancipation etc etc blah blah (pun intended or whatever)

At the core are certain issues that really need to be looked into before going gung ho and halla bol for the documentary. Also mentioned are certain other issues which are equally sensitive and definitely need our attention. 

1) The defence lawyers are High court/Supreme Court lawyers not sure. They have this great mindset and that itself is enough for people to hang them along with these rapists. But my question is did anyone listen to the fluency in their English. It will definitely put a TOEFL or IELTS Topper to shame. How did they get to this position with such skills. People abroad will be laughing not at their mindsets but at the terrible skill for our highly powerful lawyers. So enough of your Hindi bachao, Tamil than engal pechu and moochu , Kannada rakshana vedhike , Marathi Manoos/Mi Marathi  and all such shit. Get your kids enrolled in proper schools where the english teacher knows english and for schools where english teacher himself/herself doesn't know english, help them out. Publicity "athons" are not needed on news channels and lots of “athons” can be done to improve this quality of teaching.

2) We discuss so much about secularism, equality, right to speech etc etc. But how many of you still enjoy your privileges. How many of you enjoyed an admission in a top ranking college even though you got less marks than many others. How many of you got admitted in college just because you are from so and so religion or creed. Damn if I keep going on with more examples I might sound like Arnab now. Bottom line is how many of you have asked questions against such systems. How many of you have rejected such systems? How many of you will take to the roads to protest if anyone starts or better how many of you will start a protest against all these? How many of you agree to the fact that a whole community is protesting against the government because they want to be recognized as backward class ? Why I mentioned this point is very simple and has nothing to do with me. It’s basically to do with all those underprivileged people from the Hindi Heartland…oops sorry from UP, Bihar and central India who have just been denied a gateway to showcase their talent just because some rich chamcha from a lesser division/strata of society has used up that opportunity and that too for what, to mainly join his father’s business or party. I may seem like I am supporting those rapists which in no way I am. I am just stating that if Mukesh or Ram Singh or the other three for that matter were educated enough both morally and scientifically, Jyoti Singh and many more such women could have been saved.

3) We talk about freedom of women, equality of women, women are goddesses and so on and so forth. How many of you actually have stood up to violence/ ill treatment against women. It could be of any kind. How many of you have questioned a man who has more than one wife. How many of you have questioned people who treat their wives like baby making machines. Oh yeah right whole India protested when Sakshi Maharaj said that women are baby making machines. But if he was educated he wouldn’t have said the same. Anyway I have told that in point two. Coming to this, people only question when someone says women are baby making machines. But people care a damn if they actually see others who have treated their wives as baby making machines.

4) Coming to this case, this fast track case has happened gone on for almost 2 years. The rapists have got a stay over their hanging and finally at end of day, the Honorable Supreme Court will pronounce the verdict after another two years as “Being in death row for so many years is more torture than hanging. So let’s commute it to life sentence as per recent verdicts of the Nithari Killers or the Rajiv Killers”. (Oh please Rajiv Killers were pronounced to death not for fighting for eelam/freedom cause in Sri Lanka, which is what Hafees Saeed says that he is fighting for Freedom of Kashmiris, but for killing more than a 100 people along with Rajiv). Then will come the case like Manu Sharma where these people will want to write exams and get degrees and finally after about 10-20 years we will forget Jyoti Singh and will start an agitation as to why Degree holders and PhD holders (who knows they may complete) are in prison serving life sentence, ours is a tolerant society and we must pardon them just as how we grant furlong to Sanjay Dutt at the drop of a hat.

5) Two years ago Jyoti Singh was raped and a nation boils as to why justice is still not served. Two decades ago, precisely on January 19, 1990, that’s exactly 25 years (wow…a quarter century) a whole community was massacred and chased out of the land that they were staying for generations. Have we become so insensitive a society that on the anniversary (how ironical) week alone news papers and news websites carry volumes of articles and every news channel covers the day in detail and next day forgets it. Yes I am talking about the Kashmiri Pandits. Those innocent people who were the residents of India’s Shaan (read Kashmir) were called immigrants and chased/massacred away from their land. No one talks about them or even thinks about them. The very few voices among them have been termed as right wing, left wing and so on. Anupam Kher, Sushil Pandit, Ashoke Pandit (his work "And the World Remainded Silent") and the list goes on. People may say all of these people have something in common or their political affiliations are same. So let me add another name which is radically different. Sunanda Pushkar. Yes you heard it right - Sunanda Pushkar, who was herself a Kashmiri Pandit. She supported the very man who mocked her for being a 50 crore girl friend just because he spoke in a public forum about a cause close to her heart. Finally someone seemed to remember those people.  Have we thought about them even once? Has the parliament debated about this issue atleast in January (like how media does)? Check these out for more

 6) The fifth accused, who was a juvenile at the time of crime (he was 17 yrs 6 months. Just 6 months short of adulthood, how innocent), whom Mukesh Singh said did the maximum damage vis-à-vis the iron rod and stuff, is currently being treated in a correction home. Indian law states that juveniles cannot be tried on par with adults and hence he is currently serving a 3 year sentence in the juvenile home. Surprise, he will be released in December this year. How sweet!!! We have managed to correct a child from going on the wrong path and led him on the path to enlightenment. Now he will come a changed man and will see to it that his life is used in the betterment of the nation and for nation building. Last week in parliament, a law was supposed to be passed which would have given the fifth accused and many more such people the gallons. Did any media house talk about that. All the news channels were so busy in finding out where Rahul Gandhi has gone for vacation and discussing on it. (Like we care). It was also busy discussing whether Venkiah Naidu must apologize to Congress or not since he told them to introspect among themselves.  But the law was rejected by the Parliamentary committee comprising members of all parties. All the news channels reported about was "Menaka Gandhi shunted out by her own party" and human rights activists rejoiced

Ok forget about all that has been said above. All said and done we will not rest until the documentary is shown by BBC in Indian channels. Of course who wants to see the people hanged. All we want to see is the documentary released.

So to all those who really want to protest. Here are topics which you missed the bus on. Sadly the media did not consider them important topics

1)      A Tiger, yes the endangered national animal whom we boasted had increased in population, was shot dead in TN-Kerala border. Who gave the permission to do that? Whose mistake was it if the tiger strayed on to human lands

2)      An oil slick happened in Sundarbans in Bangladesh threatening the ecologically sensitive place. Sundarbans is home to some of the most endangered flora and fauna species in the world. Millions of people’s livelihood is based on that. Sadly this topic was nowhere discussed.

3)      We have a parliamentary MP who happens to be the daughter of a sitting Chief Minister and she happily says that parts of India do not belong in India. Yes Kavitha Chandrashekar Rao said that in a public forum and it was forgotten completely by the media

4)      Foreign Journalists offers food to a tribal population peacefully co-existing with nature in Andaman and films them. Government arrests them and files an FIR no one asks questions because they were foreign journalist

5) Smoking in Public is against the law. How many of you still do it or how many of you have questioned people who do it. How many of you have reported such people. How many of you are subjected to health hazards just because the person next to you wont nip the bud.

6) The usage of high beams is banned in certain cities. Infact Section 360 (3) R/W 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act also bans the same. How many of you still use the high beams. How many of you have questioned someone using the high beam. Are you aware of the health hazards of it. In fact there are a huge list of traffic rules to be followed which are basic but do induce a fine. How many of you follow it. (Air Horn among the most frequent violations in our city roads and the next highest will be the use of indicators)

So long…others are welcome to point out more instances where media just failed to notice sensitive issues or certain basic issues which people/media cared a damn about. Of course Azam Khans buffaloes are always on news. Kudos to media for covering that non-stop.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Know What I Have Missed

When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them all the things that they wanted and that they would imagine. He gave the whole world to them. But as they say, you have to be inhuman if you are satisfied, they were also not satisfied with what they had and yearned for the apple that Satan gave to them. The rest as we all know is history. There emerged the world somewhat similar to the one after Pandora had opened the box. It was a world full of droughts, of suffering, of problems and of deaths. As I belong to the superior species i.e. human, I was also controlled by the deadly sensation that is desire. But thankfully, my desires were not deadly enough.

During my middle school days, my parents asked me something which would have done me a wealth of good. They asked me to learn classical music and play the violin. My dad wanted me to follow his footsteps. A gifted violin player that he was he wanted me to succeed him. That was when I took my first wrong decision. I ignored his request since learning music would have interfered with my play time. Alas! Here I am mesmerized every time I listen to classical songs, but not able to do it myself. There has not been a single day when I have not yearned to play the violin or any musical instrument or sing well.

Coming to my high school days. It was time to choose my career. I started concentrating on my studies. The board exams were over and I thought I was destined to join some good college. It was time to bid farewell to my friends, my school life and my happy teenage and the golden days of my so far life. Those effervescent memories are still fresh in my mind. I can still recollect how we used to tease the staff as soon as they entered the class, how we used to madly fight for a single piece of masala dosa or poori that one of our guys used to bring. Poor chap he would not get to eat anything. I can still remember those days when we used to have a mini grand prix of sorts and would race around in our cycles going to school and coming back. Man!!! Only god knows how much I miss them now! How much I yearn for those school days to come back again! I really miss them.

Then came the time to decide my career. How much I yearned to join the Air Force. How much I yearned to serve my country. I successfully cleared the UPSC exams against all odds and went as far as the physical tests. But Alas! Fate had other ideas for me. A higher authority in the selection team did not believe a fellow Indian and rejected me just because I had brought my mark sheet as an indication that I have passed in my 10th standard instead of the pass certificate.

Finally the college days, as I said I thought I was destined to join some good college. But destiny had other plans in store for me. I joined a college that was well established, a college that had a very good name for years, a college that was known to have the best infrastructure around, a college that was the most disciplined around. But all good things end there. I ended up in just another college where there was nothing new. There was the same mugging up from the text books and not much work for our brains vis-à-vis knowledge and innovation.

But I have successfully managed four years in this hell-of-a-place and also got a great job (the only good thing I thought that had happened to me in this college). With big dreams and great aspirations I entered a successful multi-national. I hoped this new entry of mine would lead me to developing myself as an individual and also the nation as a whole. I hoped with this my technical and professional knowledge will increase and mettle proved. But Alas!!! I have also ended up being one among the have been’s. I am doing something that least interests me, which doesn’t give me much vistas to grow as an individual and something which is next to null outside.

I am learning to live with this and wait for new vistas that open up. Vistas that help bring out the real me. Vistas that make me realize the finer things in life and those which bring out the creative and innovative best in me.

On a finishing note, as they say, you have to learn to live with what you have and not yearn for something that you don’t have, I have learned to live a life without the yearn to satisfy my desires. I am satisfied with what I have. Taking a page out of the book of those who don’t have anything, those who don’t have proper means and those who are differently abled but yet happy with their life, I am also happy with what I have.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A joke to share and a shoulder to cry

You may all be wondering what the title's all about or whether i have found my soul mate and getting married or something like that. But the title is all about friendship and the joy one gets in spending time with friends either in person or through the electronic media vis-a-vis phone, email, chat etc etc. The blog may be around 3 weeks late, but better late than never. You may also ask why such a topic now considering my previous topics were about music or adventurous trips. At this point of time my mind couldn't think of any other topic other than friendship considering the great ones i have and the not so great ones i try to avoid.

Let me start of with my nearest and dearest ones....the one's whom I've had for the past 20 years. They are the one's who've been with me right from the time i was toddler lazily going in an over crowded school van carrying a small school bag. I still remember the numerous talks we had, the little fights, the contest as to who will go with the birthday boy to give chocolate, etc etc...all evergreen memories....though i missed about 6 years of my life without any touch with them, we all still remembered every single memory we people shared. What started out as a small chain mail has now become a raging storm with us expecting every single reply and competing as to who is the fastest reply. This may sound very kiddish...but at the end of the day we are still those toddlers who used to shout together "Good Morning Miss" and still remain kids at heart. Its a great feeling for me to have taken this relationship one step further and building a permanent bond through the Upakaaraka Trust. This is one initiative which we are never going to give up on as long as we exist as friends which i am sure will be an infinite loop.

After school must come the college days...but i am afraid to say that though there were some great memories i cherish from them, certain incidents still make me want to forget my college days big time. To have ones trust broken to such an extent that he forgets the meaning of friendship is definitely something i wish to forget. People say college is the golden period in one's life, but for me it turned out otherwise and so let me skip this portion.

After that came my office and i had a great set to join with. Being campus recruits, we were a fresh set outta college and there was lots of effervescence in us. We all were a close knit group and the time we all spent together in bench was unforgettable. Though this group no longer exist due to various reasons like fights, transfers etc etc, I still cherish the few people who are still close to me.

Next comes my the newest part which has been spicing up my life a lot...its my treks and i was introduced to it through my colleagues. But my first friend from the group was a bizarre one...we became friends even before we knew each other and then once we met on the trek it was no looking back. Then followed numerous outings and experiences with the club and there i got my latest and newest set of friends. Group of totally disconnected individuals that connected through various meetings and now we have bonded big time...we may call ourselves "The MAFIA Gang" based on the game we played on the trek and play at get2gethers...but trust me everyone is pure at heart and there is the sense of genuine friendship which i last saw with my toddler mates...One must remember we are all totally unconnected people who even wouldn't have met if they din go for the trek, but the levels of trust, mutual admiration and bonding we have had amongst us is definitely unbelievable. I don't believe in fate and destiny...but it seems like as if we were destined to meet each other in the most unlikely of all places and means..

There are numerous things i have learnt as a person and a friend through these experiences...things like what to do and what not...things that define true friendship and those that define namesakes...There are lots of lessons that i have learnt through the friends I have, have had and no longer have and wish to share with those looking for real friends. These are random things i learnt and everything has the same top ranking...its like without these friendship can never and will never exist.

First and foremost thing that pops right away from my mind is trust. Once you are in a friendship, never ever even in the hardest of times try to break that. it may be a happy experience for you and you may feel much relieved that you have got back at ur friend who no longer is one...but u must understand that the result is negatively compounded at the receiving end. If you feel 10 times happy at what you have done by breaking the trust, the one whose trust is breached will feel 100 times more heart broken. As long as there is trust in the friendship, it will stay green...else it will also be a case of has been...

Next comes mutual admiration. We must always applaud and appreciate our friend even if its a small achievement. For us the achievement may sound small, but imagine the pains and hardships he/she would have undergone to get it. Its is such small appreciations that will be a morale booster to them.

Then comes positiveness. Whatever the situation may be, always look at the positives of your friendship. If there has been a misunderstanding between you two think of the wonderful times you must have spent together, remember those escapades, those teasings, those movie outings etc etc to revive your friendship and forget the hardship.

Always be like how a cigarette is to smokers. If you ask them they will tell its my 6th finger. Similarly try to be a complement to your friend and support him. Always be a joker for them to laugh and a shoulder for them to cry. The last thing one wants is crying alone without anyone to support. Also try to lift the spirits of your friends by talking some crap or making some jokes. You can even try to get them angry...though the temper may be temporary, the reason for sadness will vanish permanently...

If you really wanna identify a true friend from among the just friends, just be with them most of the time. If at a stage they share with you all their inner pleasures, pains and memories, they go straightaway and hug them. You can never get a better friend than them.

Wow...this has been my most delayed (almost 2 months since my last posting) but fastest posting...start to end within a day. Though many of you may not agree to what is written, as i said these are my personal thoughts from my personal experiences. Please do criticize or add your own points to this since it will be useful for someone else

Monday, May 31, 2010

Gods own children in God's own land

This was my third endeavour with CTC. The first two had been out of the world experiences and i wanted to check out the other side of CTC this time. The side that has the most fun and also the side that's most satisfying.

The prelude to the trek itself was pretty topsy turvy for me. After N61 i was looking forward to a social trek and when this mail came, i was cursing myself to the core since i had some prior commitments that day and couldn't join in. Just 4 days prior to the trip i found myself free and immediately contacted peter if there was place for one more person. He replied on the affirmative and i was head over heels to join this trek. Then i contacted two of my friends and they too said they are willing to join in and we planned to take my car. I told peter that i will be joining with my friends in my car and he said thats all the more good. Now this all looks to be fine and you people will be wondering why i used the word topsy turvy. The reason for that is to follow. On Saturday, i.e the day before the trek one of my friends called me and told me he couldn't make it since he had a sudden commitment and i said to myself fine atleast i have my other friend. But that Saturday night he too told me that he cant make it and my spirits came crashing down. This guy was supposed to drive my car, yes i don't know to fact i can drive but didn't want to venture that far, and when he said he didn't come, i was wondering what to say to peter since i had committed my car and i was pulling my car out the last minute. I called peter and he said no problem and that i can join in and my spirits soared to a high.

I spent a restless night and didn't sleep much. I had kept the alarm at 4:30 and kept waking up every hour to check the time. Finally at 3:45 i decided enough is enough and woke up for good and got ready for the trek and did a last minute check of my bag. Ironically my alarm rang at 4:30 when i was on my way to tidel park and reached there by 4:45. I was waiting there for about 10 minutes with no one around and i repeatedly checked my cell for the date whether it was indeed sunday the 30th. I prayed i dont make a fool of myself waiting alone at tidel park a day before. Then shahul hameed walked in at 5 and by 5:10 when i saw karthik yadav and hari i was convinced that it was indeed the day of the trek. Peter then came at 5:15 and we left for madhya kailash by 5:30. There i spotted alex and meenakshi from my CCC team and me and karthik joined their car and we left for guindy. There we saw a big gang waiting and sudhir bhai was also there. I also spotted debu from my venkateshwara trek. We unloaded the food packets to plastic covers and started to porur. We were finally reached prem vasam at 7. They recognised us from CTC instantly and it was great to see the kids all ready and roaring to go.

We then decided that since we had ample cars with us, the bikers can leave their bikes at the home and all of us could be accommodated in the car. The children then were split up into the cars along with adults and we started to our traditional home. We kept going for around 1 and half hour time and most of the kids were asleep. I initially went in the Fiat Linea (sorry i forgot the name, think yoganath) and had a nice time with the kids. We had a difficult time deciding the playlist. The kids seemed to know all the latest movies and were asking all the latest songs most of which even we hadn't heard. We had to follow peter's car since he knew the way and when we saw his car first the left indicator was on, then the right indicator was on and later the parking lights were on when he was going. We thought he had put the parking indicators just to show us the route is straight ahead all the way. It was only later that we found out that he did not put the indicator and it was the other three drivers in his car who were doing it. Then we reached the check post and once we crossed it, we stopped by a nearby trailer and the group photos started.

Then i changed my car and was back in alex's car and we continued the journey. That was the most difficult part of the trip. Alex was having a hard time and me and karthik were sitting behind laughing all the way. Meenakshi and suresh (one of the kids) had teamed up and were giving us a tough time. Both of them were constantly changing the songs and increasing the volume. When we told meenakshi so settle for one song we got scoldings from suresh that if we ever tell anything to his akka (refer meenakshi), then we will have to face his wrath. It seemed straight out of a movie and meenakshi was making it worse with her own punch dialogues.

We stopped enroute to have our breakfast. It was some delicious idli-vada and poor karthik had to give his breakfast to us and go take photos. By the time he returned all that remained was half vada. Tilak was trying his best trying to keep Vinodha's car clean and Hari was helping him in the endeavour. By the time we finished our breakfast Vinodha's car was refered to as sambhar car :) :)...Then we proceeded towards Nagala via uthukottai and that was when the other suresh in our car became active. He was actually not well in the beginning and once we had breakfast he was full of life and we knew we were gonna have a tough time...We crossed the TN border and entered andhra and how we wished someone hadn't brought a red swift car. It was munish's car and the now active suresh didn't want that red car to overtake us. We tried to pacify him showing the red linea behind and he was hell bent that the red swift should not overtake us. He told alex at the drivers seat that if alex doesnt overtake munish's car then he will start driving. After lots of scoldings poor alex underwent of which some were sell this car to the scrap materials guy, buy a bolero, buy peters car..., we finally overtook munish's car and thought finally we can travel peacefully. Already we were having a hard time with the brother-sis duo and now with suresh's wish granted we thought we can travel silently to nagala. But then suddenly we saw munish car overtake ours and that was when suresh was totally mad at us. He went and sat in alex's seat and told him either alex overtake the swift or he will go behind the wheels. Thankfully munish car slowed down and pulled over slightly to the left to let us through and we overtook him. Finally suresh was satisfied. Alex let munish through and suresh was mad at us again. Then munish let us through again.

We halted near a split roads so that the trailing cars behind don't miss the turn. There we met munish and were talking with him when he said his side of the story. The kids in his car wanted him to try anything to overtake alex car and seems when we overtook his car they said him to chuck his car and buy a mercedes or a mclaren or ferrari. Gosh the knowledge such kids have at this age. I did not know such brands existed till my 10th and when i first heard the name mercedes in my childhood i thought it was a super costly chariot that the rich people and kings used. Once all the cars came we proceeded towards base camp and reached there in 10 minutes time.

At the base camp, we volunteers kept the food packets and other essential items inside our bags and distributed the caps to the kids. Then each volunteer was given the responsibility to take care of a kid and suresh was given the responsibility of taking care of meenakshi. With this the actual trek started and we climbed the dam and the got down to the other side. It was as if the dam was a barrier between the civilised side and the wild side. We initially kept walking under the hot sun and along a proper trail for around half hour. I was sweating profusely and was thinking o drinking water, but i was determined to test myself and limit my water intake. It seemed difficult under the hot sun, but seeing the kids walking so fast and also gia (the 3 year old kid) walking cutely all the way was a big booster to us and we kept walking until we reached a large shady area and we put our first halt there.

We the proceeded towards the first pool. Enroute, we stopped at a small stream and thats where the fun started. The children who were kinda sober and little tired till then showed their true colours. Peter and Sudhir were mauled and Tilak had a tough time controlling the kids. On the other hand hari was back to what he does best capturing photos in whatever angle possible. There was a 1000 W smile in Gia's face who till then was very tired and was walking fast just because her mom said she will see the swimming pool soon. Almost everyone got into the water and there was Sriharsha who was having his own WWF match with the kids. The kids just loved it and it took a long time to get them out of the water and proceed to the next stream. Finally after this small trailer of a stream everyone's spirits were on a high and we rushed to the next stream

We walked for about 15-20 minutes and there we saw the first pool. Though this was not the planned halt and we were supposed to go to the second pool only, this was in itself a super pool. The water was falling sideways along the rocks and it looked like a slide pool. Also there was a good sitting spot near the falls and that spot looked like a natural chair. We were waiting there for sometime since the people in the front had to encounter a tough climb and it was taking time. One of the trekkers (as usual i don't remember the name, but he was incharge of the children at the home) took time of to have a dip and he was enjoying a lot. I wished to get in but since people told the second pool is better than this pool, i did not get in.

We then reached the second pool in 10 minutes time and boy-o-boy what a pool it was the kind i've seen in calenders and film songs. The water was pristine and the ambiance was superb. It was a small falls that split into two. The place was enclosed by mountains on all side and it looked like we had a big hall to ourselves with an angelic waterfalls at the end. Everyone's spirit was at its peak. Gia, who was till then eagerly awaiting the falls and bearing all the hardships, was a picture of happiness and her face lit up on seeing the water. She was eager to get into the water which by now was full of the kids having a nice time. It took me a lot of time to get to water since the kids were enjoying themselves so much that i found it hard to cross them and go to the other side. Peter and Alex were pulling their trailers, competing occasionally whose trailer is bigger. By trailer i mean kids in tow. Some of the kids and adults were enjoying the falls while others were having a nice time playing catches and target practising with the sponge balls. I spent most of my time near the falls occasionally jumping from the water and at times going under the water to avoid being hit. The target practising was superb and we were the targets. There were two teams one near the falls and the other team the opposite side, We were competing which team was getting hit the most and obviously we were on the loosing side since we were kinda cornered by the falls. That was a good time pass. The ferrying of the trailers was happening at a brisk pace and i took time idling in the cool waters. Meenakshi was doing a nice sweeping job collecting the balls which went to the corners and giving to either teams ofcourse wearing a float. Alex too joined in the game and with more people coming to our side we were becoming stronger. This continued for a while and then many settled for lunch. In the mean time i found a good partner and we were giving catch practice to each other for a long time. His brother also joined in and it was a nice time pass. We spent around one and half hours at the falls and there were various activities right from catching to target practising to ferrying as mentioned before. Some non swimmers even tried their hand at learning swimming and the kid in my car, the non suresh, was impressive swimming on his own without the floats. I was having so much fun in the water that i even forgot to have lunch and when tilak said its time to leave that was when i forgot i didn't have dinner. I was also not in a mood to have lunch and settled for two five stars.

We then started slowly from the place back to base camp. Last minute checks were done to the area so that there is no litter present in accordance to CTC policy and everyone started. On the way down Uthara twisted her ankle and needed some medication. Tilak and Sudhir helped her out and we started moving. The kids were already halfway back. It just amazes their speed and enthusiasm!!! I just couldn't believe that within 15 minutes we were back at the first spot where we enjoyed. Just before that janani, whose shoe sole was half out right from the start of the trip, had her shoe sole completely out this time in both her legs. Harsha had a real hard time tying it since the as soon as she took a step the sole would slide out. It was then decided to leave it just like that with a makeshift arrangement since we hardly had another 10-15 minutes walk.

We then touched level ground very fast and stopped for a photo shoot with a huge peak at the background. It was unbelievable how we made it so fast. The same distance that we took around 1 hour to climb, we returned within 20 minutes. There we took lots of group photos some with children alone and some with the whole group and headed back to the dam. Everyone was in the best of spirits and lots of people who had a first hand experience of either CTC or a social trek (in my case) became hooked on to it. Harsha for instance who had come with his CISCO collegues janani, guru and co told that they are very much looking forward to the real trek. Gia who was by now the darling of everyone was telling her mom that she wanted to go to the next social trek also. Guess we have a regular trekker from among the youngest trekkers in the making!! The kids who were the VIP's of the trip were also looking forward to their next outing with CTC and am pretty sure that's not gonna be far.

Here are a list of most memorable things/happenings/events from the trek:

Firstly the enthusiasm showed by the volunteers. How many would have expected 60+ people wake up early on a lazy sunday just to take some kids whom they have never met outside.

Next the kids themselves, who were ready and raring to go that early in the morning. The suresh in our car said they woke up my 4 in the morning and were all ready in an hours time.

Next comes that unforgettable drive to nagala. Every car was suddenly turning one way or the other and horns were blaring even at empty roads, courtesy those kids and our car experience with alex, meenakshi, karthik (uncle) and two satish and the other kid was awesome. Trust peters car also would have had a unique experience with 4 people at the drivers seat.

Next comes Gia, how many of us would walk 2-3 kilometers that too under a hot sun at the age of 3. Her determination was alone enough to encourage everyone else.

Special mention to Harsha...the guy is full of energy and i a must for a jungle trek with the various animal sounds he can mimik. He was full of energy all the way.

The photographers need to be applauded for those mind blowing photos that they provided.

Special mention to Uthara and janani. Uthara for making it through with the ankle twist and janani for making it through with a torn sole right from the start and we never knew it was torn.

Oops!! and i forgot...i am becoming a lucky/unlucky charm in all my treks. Every trek something is lost and against all odds its found. This trip guru lost his car remote just 20 minutes into the trek and believe it or not we found it during our return almost 6 hours after it was lost!!!

Last But not the lease, vinodha who sponsored the sandals for the kids