Just 130 Kms is what it takes to transport yourself to a simpler place from a different time. Malshej Ghat is place that seems stuck in a time and geographical loop. While the people, green fields, open spaces and clean air look like they are separated from Mumbai by a 100 years, the lake and the mountains look like Maharashtra’s version Pangong Tso of Ladakh. And this is one of those trips where the journey is as rewarding as the destination itself. 

 The roads are beautifully paved, full of breathtaking vistas and scenic stretches. If you make the decision to ride to the top, you will be rewarded with beautiful corners that constantly war with the view for your attention. We had so much fun going up and then back when we were riding down that I wish I could have done that all day long.






The MTDC hotel and the view of the drop off behind it is a must see, you should also visit the lake and the Pimpalgaon Joga dam and the Harishchandra Garh fort. The monsoons make the place even more beautiful with myriad little waterfalls and streams that dot the landscape that wants to display a million shades of green all at the same time, like a deranged St. Paddy’s day celebration.

The weekend is almost here, dust your helmet, indulge your wander lust and ride out. The Mountains are calling.  

I got married! yeah, yeah i know it was sometime back but my surprise is from the fact that i got a girl to like my goofy, geeky personality long enough to think that marrying me and living with me for the rest of her life isn't such a bad idea after all.

This was 4 years ago and now we have a beautiful young son all of 10 months old. Like all parents we agonize over what we will teach our son and what he will learn when he goes out into the world on his own. This is a small list of things that i learned the hard way and wish that my son would pick up because this will make his life better. 

  1. Read, doesn't matter what, read as much as you can. 
  2. Treat your fellow humans with respect. You don't need to bend over and be subservient but treat every one with respect, especially those below you.  
  3. If you don't know something, admit it. It will save you a lot of grief later 
  4. Never lie or fib. It makes life a lot more easier & makes for less things to remember
  5. Never stress about life. there is nothing that a good night's sleep, a good drink and good company cant solve.
  6. Don't stereotype people, don't judge them before you get to know them. but if you do, never let your prejudices cloud your actions. 
  7. Listen to your gut. That is your brain creating insights from past experiences & warning or encouraging you. 
  8. Choose your friends carefully, they can be the difference between a mundane life and a happy one. 
  9. Everyone Deserves A Second Chance.
  10. People who are really good at what they do, become good with failure. Take risks, fail, you will learn more. 
  11. "Don't hide from your mistakes, embrace them. A mistake is a chance to learn something new." 
  12. Quit! The moment you realise you don't fit. dont take it to heart. Quit and move on. 
  13. Never raise your voice! raising your voice is a sign of weakness and lack of confidence.
  14. Fall in Love. over and over again. Profess your Love Loudly. If she doesn't reciprocate, let her be. Move on. 
  15. If a girl loves you for your goofiness, she is the one. Dont let her go! 
  16. Never bring religion, money & politics into love & friendship. Never trust people who judge you by these either. 
  17. Learn to laugh, with others & at your self. Its the single most important thing you will do.
  18. Never try to make others happy. If you are happy, the people who really matter will understand and be happy for you. 
  19. You aren't entitled to anything! everything you have/get is generosity or luck, dont take either of them for granted. 
  20. Say "Thank You" & "Sorry". Hold doors for others, smile. Everyone might not notice, those who do make it a better place.
  21. You will mess-up. its a part of life, even if we get angry, it will be momentary. we will always love you
  22. You are not responsible for anyone, you don't have to be. But stand-up for those weaker than you, your friends and siblings. 
  23. If you see someone bully, be malicious or unjust, stand up to them. 
  24. Never act in anger. You will always regret it. 
  25. Learn to tune out the world! it will help you concentrate and be more productive
  26. Never believe everything you read, hear or see. every story as another side. Question everything. 
  27. Try and always finish what you start. You don't want to carry the regret with you. 
  28. Be the one your friends will turn to in need. People turn to those with a good heart.
  29. Girls/Women who become friends but who will never be anything more, will be some of the most important people in you life. keep them close and cherish them. 
  30. Respect the women in your life. 
  31. Learn to cook and do your laundry. at least enough to keep your self alive and clean.  
  32. When you think your mother would disapprove of something, dont do it, or be completely sure it has to be done before committing your self to it. 
  33. Never buy more clothes than you need, but always have a surplus of underwear and socks. 
  34. Do not Bully or start a fight, But never back out from a fight either. 
  35. Life will not be cakewalk, there will be hard choices and decisions. Trust your self and commit to your choices. You can do the hard things in life. 
  36. DO NOT DO DRUGS. They will make you senseless, cost you more money than you have and make you do things you will not be proud off. 
  37. Learn to drink. But dont if you cant hold your alcohol. Do not drink with everyone, people will videotape you and put it up on YouTube if you are lucky. 
  38. The internet remembers everything! Be careful what you put out there. 
  39. Dont do something at 17 that you would be ashamed of at 40. 
  40. Get a Dog. Treat it the same way you would treat your child. 
  41. Never trust people your dog is suspicious of. 
  42. Be generous and help others when you are in a position to do so. 
  43. Every once in a while. call your parents and your friends. Make time to do so. 
  44. Nothing beats a good pair of shoes. Have at least 2. 
  45. The way you behave, reflects on your parents and your friends. Do not make us look bad. 
  46. Buy flowers for the women in your life, your mother, girlfriends, girlfriend, sisters and cousins. It is the best investment you will make. 
  47. Pick up a sport, no chess or poker are not sports. Sports will keep you healthy and your mind sharp. 
  48. Make a habit to run and cycle. it will also keep you healthy and clear your mind after a long day. It will also allow you to run away when required. 
  49. Make listening to news and or good music in the morning a good habit. 
  50. No matter what happens keep your head down, talk to your friends and family, it will Always Get Better. 

Life has a way of teaching its own lessons, i hope some day you read this and picks something from it.  

A friend’s two year old presses the home button the iPhone 5 and says out loud, “Chu Chu”. Siri obliges and starts playing nursery rhymes from the popular YouTube channel of the same name. Kids these days are more adept at flipping through books on tablets than real books. I once had the extreme pleasure of watching a 1.5 year old try and tap on a magazine and look befuddled when it didn’t flip a page.
New smart phones and their operating systems have changed the way we communicate. Voice searches that really work, Virtual assistants that make hands free operation a reality, and Google Now cards that keep track of where you parked your car, and suggests the best drive routes home or restaurants close by based on past check-ins are altering life as we know it.
To see the true impact of these devices, look at children interacting with them. When toddlers would destroy real books, they intuitively find, access and browse thru the virtual version with minimal or no help. With 44% users using smartphone globally, these little devices are altering human behavior, physiology and psychology. Researchers have found that smartphone use is changing the way our thumbs and brains interact and may even be reshaping our brains. Having evolved as a handy devices that would let busy business executives’ deal with email, they can replace a surprisingly long list of devices. They have become ingrained in our lifestyle and keep us linked to family, friends and the world, and sits as the control valve of a firehose of information that can be switched on in an instant.  Their role in shaping human interaction in the 21st century has been as dramatic as it is far-reaching. The world is changing and the smartphone is driving the change, From starting revolutions in the middle east, to forcing government to take Hong Kong protestors seriously, this little gadget that barely weighs a 100 grams and is thinner than your average tabloid is just reaching the zenith of its capabilities.
Google and the other giants envision a device that will with wearable will augment reality, pay for purchase with a tap, help diagnose and treat disease, and be a teaching aid in remote areas. Its literally giving humans superpowers and giving us the real power to change the world one swipe at a time.

Friendship

The degree of one's friendship is determined by seeing how stupidly one behaves in front of his friend... !!

Press the backspace key on my Nokia E63 and Google Search pops on screen. It has icons for Mail, Maps, Picasa and other Google apps. Hold the call key and say what you are looking for and it will search it for you you don’t even have to type. Switch to mail and you can read your mail on the go. Now you don’t have to even know what you are looking for, just type ‘Near me now’ in the search window and Google lists the most obvious choices starting with restaurants.

Google’s corporate moto is ‘Do no Evil’ and the search start-up doesn’t seem to know where to stop. So its taking over the world. Now it has a stake in medicine, renewable energy and even energy distribution. Larry Page and Sergie Brin would never have dreamed how their little search algorithm would change the world we live in. from providing free search, free alternative to all the GPS provided by giving turn by turn navigation Google Maps with Android 2.0 phones, to browsers that work smarter and cloudier than the others, to trying to catalogue all the books every written. Oh and it is not as if all of Google’s ideas are ground braking, free web mail was Hotmail, search was Archie in 1990, online maps was first done by Xerox Parc in early nineties, and the first browser was Netscape. The difference lies in the fact that their engineering mentality and the dedication to open source. Every that isn’t absolutely required isn’t included instead it is provided as an app or an extension. They have understood it better than most that most users don’t need or understand the bulky and often complicated features that most software come bundled with, and those who would like to use additional features will know how to use the add-ons.

Maps is one of the best example of how things work with it comes free as a download tailored to most middle level and high end phones, is easy to use and has a simple interface, when it was first launched, most place in India were nothing but high resolution satellite imagery. Not much detail was available, today if you take the pointer on the any landmark, say the Chinasawamy cricket stadium, in Bangalore, the pop bubble shows link to a Wikipedia entry that lists the famous matches that were played at the stadium. A friend of mine planned his Istanbul to London ride using Maps and it helped him track budget B&B’s rest stops and petrol stations. The shares of Tom Tom and Gramin dropped a few points when the service that they provide for a substantial fee, and still makes people drive into ditches, was offered free by Google on the Android 2.0 phone for no charge at all. With RFID tags on most products, barcodes that help in download a brief to an unknown place, with just a picture, Google promises to change the world. And it is inviting us to change with it too.

ruins

I look at the ruins around me, and realize that the future has to rise from it.

I have a confession to make, some days the world around me scares me enough to want to roll up in a ball and die. it takes time a effort to rebuild. The wreckage of the decade around me leads me to dispair and i wish i could ask for help. But fear of being pittied stops me. Once i believed i was invincible and now every step is a challenge. its funny how one careless word can drain your world of all the light, joy and happiness and leave you an empty shell of your former self.

Chances

Life, is all about chances. Some people get more than others. Some dont see them, others throw them away. My take has always been to grab whats been issued, run with them and never look back. Some thing might catch up with you.