Thursday, November 1, 2018

Madikeri in Coorg

I was reminded of Asterix and Obelix when I read this on the menu card "To fight like warriors, you must first eat like warriors"

Had been to Madikeri (Coorg) last week to attend a wedding. 
We stayed at a place by the name "Udaya Home Stay"  The sight of the hammock right at the entrance makes you feel relaxed. 

The warmth and the hospitality of the hosts was genuine. 

Breakfast was complimentary and we had akki roti with scrambled egg and chutney on the first day. 

The next day it was Paputtu with egg curry 

I liked the fire place in the common room and they still use wood (as compared to the modern electric heater) 

The sheaf of grain is supposed to bring prosperity to the house 

The stay in Udaya was just relaxing and we wished we could have stayed for a few more days. 
One of the eating places that we liked was the Coorg Cuisine (which is opposite the post office) The pandhi curry is one of the popular dishes there and so is the bamboo shoot curry. 

The above mentioned menu card was from the same place. 
One of the pages from the menu card - Coorg cuisine is known for its meat dishes, the best known would definitely be the 'pandhi curry' or pork curry. The key ingredient, known locally as kachampuli gives the dish a unique sour taste, besides the dark and delicious look. kachampuli's Latin name is Garcinia Gamagachi. 
It grows in Coorg's rain forest and all along the western ghat mountains surrounding Coorg. Garcinia reduces fat, cools the body, purifies the blood and fights cholesterol. It is used in many Indian Aurvedic preparations. 

The Kodavas of Coorg is one of the few tribes in India who are allowed to posses a gun without a licence.

Visited a Honey bottling plant which was walking distance from Udaya Homestay. I found the area clean and well maintained and the product tasted really good. It was much cheaper than the bottled honey you get in the commercial market. 

They were good enough to open one of the containers and show us where we could see the honey in the crystalline form 

At the town square I found two statues and one of them had these wordings "Lest we forget" 

The usual tourist crowd was not to be seen. Probably due to the hyped news by the media about the recent landslide. I found these two boys carrying home firewood. 

Driving down to Madikeri is the best option, but those who don't want to drive, KSRTC Fly buses ply from Bangalore airport to Madikeri. The drive is very very comfortable and the roads are good.

On the way back we went by the Airavat bus (again KSRTC) Talking of KSRTC, I found that they are the most efficient and well organised road transport company in India. Very polite and customer friendly.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Cycling for Health

It was good to see the happy atmosphere even before the sun was up. Some parents (and grand parents) came to drop off their kids while others were busy clicking group pictures 

Some helped in putting the tag numbers on the cycle the right way.

Took part in a cycle rally where the distance to be covered was 20 kms and the turn out was pretty good.
All waiting in anticipation for the flag off, which got slightly delayed, probably waiting for the dignitaries to arrive. 

One of the participants had his blood group and emergency number printed on his Tee shirt. I think that is a better option than having a card in the pocket.

Finally we were flagged off and all took off in earnest with the younger ones going off in full steam. 

I managed to capture a few clips while pedaling and it was amusing to see some sights, like this guy cruising along with a helping hand from his friend. 

There were running events too taking place on the same track (for 5 kms and 10 kms) and as the roads were taken up, we had to manoeuver through the side walks. If the shadows are pretty long then you can be sure that you are out at the right time in the morning for pedalling and jogging. 

This dog must be pretty confused "where are these guys running to on a good lazy Sunday morning" 

Saw some good samaritans helping a participant fix his stuck chain.

This guy who handed out the water bottles was generous with his smile. (passed him twice as we had to do two laps to cover 20 kms)

Talking of water bottles, I saw most of the participants chucking away the empty bottles on the road. It would have helped if the organisers had placed dustbins at strategic places en route. This is not only about participation but an opportunity to inculcate the right habits of disposing trash. 
The scenic beauty of the place was good and added to the spirit of the occasion. 

While overtaking this guy I cheered him saying "good show, keep it up"  He was quick with a smile and a thumbs up.

While crossing the finish line I noticed that the time was 8.45 which means I must have taken about 80 minutes to cover 20 kms. Well it was not a race but participation was the key word.

Later I was told that Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal had flagged off our event, but like me, many must have failed to notice them as the flagging off box was placed a little too high. Later I saw Mary Kom flagging off another event for kids.

Made a short video of all that I captured.

The mandatory group photos by the successful participants 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

911 Mambo Orchestra

When compared to the previous blog written two weeks ago, the venue was the same and the crowd was (almost) the same. The only difference was the band. 

Had been to the Schaumburg Library Town Square where the 911 Mambo Orchestra gave a wonderful performance. 

The group achieved national attention when it was nominated for a Grammy Award for best Traditional Tropical Latin Album.

Some of the audience joined in for a dance and I could see that people from all age group had a good time. 

Our friend the artist was there sketching the performers and as usual he was quick with his sketches. 

One of the singers made everyone stand and asked them to dance from wherever they were standing. "I am from the medical field and I don't want any thrombosis to happen" he said. In a way it was good as it gave a chance for everyone to shake a leg especially those who were shy to come to the dance floor.   

Made a short 14 minute video of all what I could capture. One could say that the musicians enjoyed what they did.