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Masinagudi from “…Road trippin’ with my two favorite alliesFully loaded we got snacks and suppliesIt’s time to leave this townIt’s time to steal awayLet’s go get lost…”- Road Trippin, Red Hot Chili PeppersDilettante,Crocodile and I drove down to Masinagudi last weekend. Masinagudi is asmall town in the Mudumalai hills. It’s in Tamil Nadu, and the forestis basically a continuation of the better known Bandipur forest on thisside of the border, in Karnataka.Dilettante has a short post with photographs which does a good job of outlining our exploits (or lack of them). I’m posting my pictures here.This was where we stayed. It was by a canal/river kind of thing, which was nice to laze by at sunset (below)Wewent on numerous rides in the jungle on the jeeps looking for animals.We didn’t see much except deer and birds and stuff. But the jungle wasnice, with muddy brooks all over the place.Wealso spotted a wild male tusker, which was a scary experience. Willpost pictures when Crocodile gets his snaps developed etc. Masinagudiis a small one-road town, though. How-to-get-there and other touristy information: The best way to get there is by road. First take the “Infrastructure Corridor”to Mysore. From Mysore, get on the road to Nanjangud, and just keepdriving, and you’ll reach Bandipur. Keep driving, and you’ll reachMasinagudi. It’s difficult to miss it. Keep driving further, and you’llget the steeper road to Ooty, with the 36 hairpin bends. As far asanimal sightings go, I feel that Bandipur is a better bet thanMudumalai, though. Just my opinion. Masinagudi has many lodges andresorts which will cater to your stay and subsequent entertainment.

Saturday, June 24, 2006 Naruwan Taiwan Never had been to a Chinese country that enjoyed unfettered democratic freedom.The change was heralded by thisIlike the way that letter ended , those last 3 words are used time andagain by foreigners to best describe the quirks of that country and itscolourful parliament.(Check this 1 , 2, 3 )..andsome grand freedom too , even in proud-of-freedom India or Bush country, I doubt if a protest wouldve been allowed right at the main entranceto the Hotel…but hey , it was not without some supervision…and some photo ops for Tourist brethren from less free Chinese lands .Tamasha.Cheese.Click.Given that approach to dissent , the news media has a ball. Not sure if Indian media has yet reached this level of Frenzy.(Aye! to the Gents 1 , 2)Everylittle restaurant/shop/barber who has a TV is glued to breakingnews…no matter if its been broken to smithereens by 48 hours coverage.In Taipei, News is King . Solpa contrast to pelvic grinding Jhankar in Indian small shop TV.TV graphics on steroids PresidentChen Shui Bian is facing a recall motion thanks to his wife trying tosell SOGO(ala Shoppers Stop) discount vouchers worth millions – newfrontiers in under the table innovation…. and the media milked it.…complete with flow charts… and you know the media is doing more than its job when you have question marks and exclamation spicing headlines..which might be alright if we are talking political scam. But speed limits”…or a panel discussion with a dentist””…and, yeah – I tripped on the blazing colours, sensationalism and Chinese dissent.But this tendecny to cram every inch of eyeball real estate goes beyond Television, evidence this chinki chaat stallIts probably no coincidence those TV screens remind one of Japanese TV games.The Japanese cultural Armada has shaped a large slice of Taiwanese conscious…and street signageWhich leads to outdoor innvovations like this building(not an exception at all)in downtown TaipeiKeep Gaping.But there sure is more to this nation of 20 million.I expected a Hong Kong/Singapore like aam juntadisposition , and as anal as customers can be about procedure andprecision , I found the people quite chilled out , unhurried andgarrulous. Taxi drivers entertained me with their barrage of mandarinto encourage my spartan knowledge of that fascinating tongue...and to satisfy the famed Chinese libido , the city is peppered with Love Hotels . Complete with 24 hrs inhouse porn channels...and with Computex Taipei on and all hotels full,and while I lounged here , one of my colleagues solpa bent company policy by shacking in one of those .If he did care to find out what Room Service meant in a hotel like that , he kept it to himself.This is whats called a truly national beer.…. much as this bird tries to paint itself in the colours of the Chinese OperaI used to trip no-end on that Famous Grouse TV ad….and ofcourse no visit to a Chinese city is complete without guffawing at the Ingwen Check it the guy inside , making a point as a Frenchie would in a Parisian Cafe.As popular as golf is in East Asia, my guess is more business is carried out in Massage parlours than on the greens.Meanwhile at Shihlin Night market – Dear God! We have a situation , Consumerism is in overdrive.…and I’m a selling the values on this T-Shirt … and there are five Starbucks and seven 7-11’s within 5 mins walk of each otherBut then again , theres also street food to die for....and wash it down with some Chinese Tea ( thats now cosy with Japanese heating technology)…or some bitter gourd and carrot juice…yeah thats bitter gourd on the left , fat as fat cucumber and the colour of a ripe guava….but also Dear God ,look , heres a Cat striking a pose…and Ray Charles is Smiling … so maybe its still OKChineseRay chose a vertical keyboard , probably because,back in the day ,Chinese was written right to left and top down.As this vertical menuattestsOn the 30min commute , often times saw stalls with bright lights and sultry women , on enquiry they turned out to be Ping-lang chi-tsi. Its never Ping-lang nuihai(Betel Nut woman) ,its always Ping-lang chi-tsi, like if we’d say Yeley Adke Apsarae Imagined the stall back in the day when mini-skirts were unknown in China , a geisha with a red-tongue . Much like the Indian association of beeda with sensuality….remember ” Khushboo in Nattamai jiving to ‘Kotta paakaum..kozhundu vettalyaum..pottal vayyy sevakkum’ …buahahahahaAnyway …these bright neon lights are on every street in Taipei .The economics support that number , a pack of 7 little beedas , the size of a large bubble gum costs about Rs.70 .Andso the clientele spends more on Betel nut than does the average chainsmoker on ciggies…and it has a cult following on the night-clubcircuit.Reminded me of the days in school when we’d hoard up on Bambaiya from Friends Stores during the lunch break.Ofcourse , I had to try some pinglang , and stopped by that chi-tsi above . The Taxi driver warned me its addictive . I ventured forth boldly….andas I savored the juices , our friendly taxi driver went onto describehow a famed local fraudster not unlike Harshad Mehta , was sentenced to10years in jail and the terms of confinement included only 20mintues aday outside the cell for a walk in the prison yard. Devout ping-langchewer that he was, he pleaded that he be given ping-lang in exchangefor giving-up the 20min a day walk. Thats Stranger than Camus….and last, the place that served some kickass Taro bubble tea and reminded me to blog this.Cross posted at Makyo Verandah

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 PhotoBlog – Around Colorado @ Garden of the GodsEver seen a double rainbow”@ The Balancing RockStorm ahead – on the way to Denver

Monday, June 12, 2006 Afternoon in Cipanas Havingdeferred my grand plans of doing a Michael Palin , first filming andthen writing Sahara , I make my first post with pics from Circa 15months ago. Cipanas is a tea garden town outside Bandung,Indonesia.Bandung is 2 hours from Jakarta on a freeway which can be a parking lot on weekends and public holidays.Thanks to outpourings from the active volcano – Tangkuban Perahu, its a ‘hill station’ with a to-die-for weather. Theres a perennial nip in the air , much like Bangalore’s pre-monsoon breeze. If Bangalore had the SAARC summit in 1988 and forgot about it,Bandung had its Asia Africa summit in 1957 and to this day , children are named Asia Africa.Apparently, Nehru did his thing there and laid the groundwork for the Non Aligned Movement.Pic above: Road to the airport lined for Asia Africa ReduxAnyway , Bandung is a charming city . Famed for its factory outlets,steamed Brownies and Sundanese food . Its a memorable place. Weekend drive down to Cipanas yielded some..# Solpa like Mannina Ooru# Made with Clove – Gudang Garam. # Green is the colour.UntilI was 10 , lived in a house where we and the neighbour each had Guavatrees , the fruit of the neighbours tree was the best. They thought ourwas.All those who trip on pink guavas – say Aye.# Chettiar Bommai – 2 thumbs up# Rice# Back after shopping# Chaiyeeeee, Chaiyeee Soooda…chaiyeee# White riding hood # Susu – Bahasa for Milk# Bubble de dum# Tilt#The minds eye keeps more than a picture.

Saturday, May 20, 2006 Colorado Springs – PhotoBlog 1

Saturday, April 29, 2006 During Sunrise Thisone’s exclusively a sunrise post. I also had some shots of the Mahabsbeach under a full moon, but cameras on phones aren’t up to catchingthose too good. (Reminder to buy a real camera)

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21 Jan 2007

21 Jan 2007
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog

posted Friday March 2007



  • It was by a canal/river kind of thing, which was nice to laze by at sunset (below)Wewent on numerous rides in the jungle on the jeeps looking for animals.
  • Andsome grand freedom too , even in proud-of-freedom India or Bush country, I doubt if a protest wouldve been allowed right at the main entranceto the Hotel…but hey , it was not without some supervision…and some photo ops for Tourist brethren from less free Chinese lands .