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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sinhagadh Expedition!!!!

Taking advantage of 3 days holiday, we made a plan to climb Sinhagadh fort located very near to Pune. 3 out 5 were the first timers for trekking, so it was decided that we climb on first day and then rest and repair ourselves in next 2 days.
We started from home at 6 o'clock except for one who joined us later midway climbing Sinhagadh.
After an hours journey on bike, we reached the base of Sinhagadh.
Being early morning and an amazing atmosphere, we first decided to warm us up with Poha and Tea.
The members included all belong to different states and so having Poha and Chai in this atmosphere was a memorable event for most.
Among all the forts in Maharashtra, I guess Sinhagadh is the fort that has been developed inview to facilitate the trekkers. Initial roads are broad ones made by putting stones. This ofcourse later on becomes normal and more close to nature, but still show signs on some work done on roads.
In between there are small huts where that provide refreshing NimbuPani and Taak ( butter milk).
Although Sinhgadh is otherwise an easy task for trekkers, our journey uphill was rather slow. First time trekkers and halts at regular intervals to click photographs of nature and not to forget our own in different poses made it very slow.
We took almost 1.15 hrs to complete 60% of uphill journey, when our late running member met us.
All overjoyed member decided to take a break and wished to refresh with Nimbu Paani.
After 2 hrs 15 minutes we finally reached the gates of Sinhagadh.
Normally the trekkers like to take a break when they reach the gates of any fort. We could not enjoy that because of very small shadow present there.
So, after a brief halt, we decided to take a round around the fort. Starting with Wind point, Tanaji's Samadhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak's Bunglow and alsothe Dev Take, the water source.
Inspite of so much hard work done, all the members were because of variety of food available on the top. Every body enjoyed the famous Kanda Bhaji and Zunka-Bhakar to the maximum.
After some rest, the downhill journey started. This journey was relatively simple and we managed to get back to base with in one hour.
Over all the the first experience of trekking was good was for the all the members.
And I was saved from their wrath for taking them to a hard working expedition.
Some snaps of our Sinhagadh expedition:

Right: Are you sure, we have to climb this hill?
Middle: Confused, as always, I guess so. Anyway, I will do what everybody do!!!
Left: Oh God, Why did I come here. God help me!!!

You can find Nature and Science living together here.

Some closer look at nature.

Curtain of water dripping naturally

Team Sinhagadh that finally made it to the top.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Permanent Driving License!!!!

Finally yesterday I put an end to a long awaited task of getting license. Yes a license to drive.
I already have two wheeler license and recently I was trying for four wheelers license.
This getting license task has always been a big headache.
I very well remember how was troubled for learners license for two wheeler. Must have visited RTO atleast 5 times then. Relatively getting permanent license is easy. Only one visit and license in hand.
Keeping that experience in mind, few months back I once again dared to visit RTO, this time for learner's license for LMV.

From there started my journey that seemed endless for while. I was told that in this new RTO, no questions are asked while giving the license. I went to RTO with all the documents, filled the form. But before going to the officer, a thought came to my mind. Its ne
ver easy for me to get Learning license (LL). I took a brake, went to nearby baord all the rules and signs we need to mug up for a short period. Once felt perpared I went to the officer. The journey begins now.
If you do not mind may I ask you the rule 128?
Do you remember? I am sure you do not, but still you are driving and that too LMV. Out of all the bunch only I was asked a question and that too rule 128. Obviously I could not answer and so rejected. I was wondering why only I was asked question? Because my face was odd one out or they had my suspicion about my driving skills and knowledge or because only I was only one appearing independently and through only motor driving school?

Interestingly when I returned to the board and checked for rule 128, I found out that it is related to 2 wheeler vehicles where the driver can not carry more than one passenger behind and that they should be sitted such that it doesn't trouble the driver.
In second attempt I wasn't asked any question but still rejected because my Passport xerox wasn't enough as my address proof, instead they insisted on MSEB bill!!!
In the mean time, all rules changed and now there is a test you need to appear for answering 10 odd objective questions. If 6 questions answered correct you are through. This time I was sure I will get the license. To be on safer side I attcached all possible and available documents to prove my identity and my address proof.
Prepared very well for the exam.
Format of exam is such that a question is asked with 3 options is given. You have to select one option in 10 seconds and after 10 seconds they tell you which is the right answer. Sounds cool.
Attempted all 10 questions and concluded that 9 out of 10 answers were correct.
Believe it or not I got 1 mark out of 10. Wondering if that 1 mark was given for wrong answer, I tried enquiring about my failure. As expected they had no answer, but from the answers they gave to other failed candiates, i guessed they might have failed me for copying!!
What had happened was while entering the exam room, a lady sitting next asked me for help to answer. I refused to do so. But must have happened that she tried copying me. As a result both were failed. I had lost all the hopes to get a LL. For the first time in life I was given a document saying
This was a big jolt and so decided to give last possible attempt on the date for rewritting the paper.
In the last attempt I was cautious enough not to speak to a single person and attempted all the questions. This time I scored 9 of 10 and finally got the LL. But while leaving the room, I checked the score for seat number 12 where I was in previous attempt. Even this time the candidate sitting had failed with a score of 1 of 10!!! So was it the technical failure that failure that failed me?

I joined a motor driving school and tried learning the car in most possible best way. Ofcourse some funny incidences did happened while learning, not exactly siimilar to showed here but happening ones.

I feel now I can drive car properly. Even if not smooth yet, but definitely not troublesome for others although few techniques unwritten in books are yet remaining to learn.

Yesterday, after heavy practise I went for permanent license. From my earlier experince I deduced/predicted that I will manage to get the license.
The driving test I gave was one most of the funniest incidence I have ever experinced. Not funny about my driving skills but for the way tests are conducted. I will try to portray the picture here. Please try to imagine the situation yourself. Our driving school had brought one car for the test and there were 10 candidates from the school. Now the way it works is funny. Initially the RTO officer along with our instructor and 3 candiates sit in car. About others!!!, they are supposed to either run behind the car or carry a two wheeler to catch the car. Person after giving the test moves out of the car and some body other running behind the car till then takes his seat.
Biggest surprise is that this test is being conducted on a ground where there are not obstacles inway. Even if you try going for accident, its not possible
The officer asks the candidate to perform few things which are then common to all.
For us the task was to start the car, put in 1st gear, drive, put second gear, drive, Stop. Put it in reverse gear, drive, stop. Thats it!!!!
Depending on your skills you cover the distance. For me it was hardly 20 meters front and 2 meters reverse.
I decided not to run behind the car and so captured the back seat.
First person did well, second person just couldn't managed to raise the car in 1st car and so failed.

Suddenly the officer realized a lady is running behind the car, so he invited her to give the test.
The said lady struggled for seconds to put the 1st gear forget driving.All this was making me more more tensed. But some how she managed to get going and then it was my chance. Fortunately every thing went smoothly and I cleared the test.
Later on we were told that except one all others have cleared the test. It was joyous moment for our class teacher as last time half of the class had failed.
Now we have been told to collect the license in coming 8-10 days.
I am still keeping my fingers crossed and waiting to finally get the license in hands.

P.S. The cartoon artwork has been taken from http://www.cartoonstock.com/ available on net.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Creature called Snake!!!

Well its an old story now.
But I happen to come across this photo today, so putting a note on it.
Few days back, one early morning, yes, I do see rising sun, I was in our parking and one uncle in our society brought my attention to one of the corners.
I could not understand what he is pointing at.
I had to go very close to the spot when I realized something is moving in there.
I spotted a snake lying there.
It was idle.
Its size was very small.
Doubt it was a grown one.
But since I was moving out somewhere urgently, I could not get much of the details.
Days past then and the story was forgotten.
One fine morning, I spotted the same creature lying at the same place in same position as left earlier. This time I was relatively and so decided to spend some time for it.
I went upstairs quickly and brought my camera.
Clicked some snaps.
Unfortunately his position was very awkward from a photographers point of view.
Tried telling please take a better pose so that I can click you properly.
But it was in no mood to listen.
Reason you can figure out form its figure.
A swollen belly explained all the story.
Soon few others joined me and we tried discussing its background.
With no expert around wondered if it is a poisonous one.
Also thought to call some snake friend group, since this is its second appearence in our vicinity.
But then, nothing happened and was again forgotten till date when it reappeared and this time directly on my desktop!!!!
This time I am taking a strong action and directly its picture on net.
If anybody knows this personally or carry any information, kindly let me know.
Although it is missing at the moment but nowonder if reappears again on the earth!!