See! I’m flying. It happens after every trek that I go to; whether small or large. Being in one with nature can rejuvenize you so much that you will be in that state of mind for a few weeks to come :)

Ombattu Gudde

View from Ombattu Gudde - Deepadakallu and Jenkallu

Ombattu Gudde or Ombattu Gudda or OG, as its fondly called, is one terrific place that’s about 6 hours from Bangalore. So… on 14th Nov 2009, 36 of us, all pumped up and excited about the next 48 hours decided to explore this place and reach the peak of OG. The peak is at a height of 968m from Mean Sea Level. The trek would put us through too many terrains in quick succession that it’s as if nature was changing boulders like we change t-shirts after a day’s work.

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Save Tada Campaign

November 3rd, 2009

Though, undoubtedly, Tada Falls (or Ubbalamadugu Falls) is one of the most beautiful places near Chennai, its also one of the most abused natural places near here. Until few years ago, when the place was just a plain old forest, it was limited to very few people who dared to explore the place and trek for themselves. But ever since the raping started in the name of Eco-Tourism, the place began to lose its shine and green.

Leaf

Mother Nature could be literally heard screaming for help. She was dying a very excruciating death. Broken booze bottles everywhere and in every crevice possible, combined with tons and tons of plastic, cigarette butts, beedis and what not, the place was bleeding. It was so bad that, during the Tada Fort Exploration couple of months back, we didn’t get any interest to get in the water at all. The general abuse of the place was compounded by the fact that the forest guards and locals take money and allowed liquor and other illicit materials to be carried in to the forest. They get drunk, urinate and puke in the same stream itself, spoiling the water for those downstream. Hell! They even bring live goats from the town in to the forest and kill them to eat fresh meat :( . Who knows what diseases are lurking there?

Save Tada Campaign

Save Tada Campaign

We heard the SOS message loud and clear. The men and women of the soil decided to clean up the mess and teach a lesson to the vandals raping the place.

The Gang

More than 230 people visited Tada Falls much to the chagrin of the guards and forest officials. The group was divided into 20 Garbage Busting gangs. Each gang took over a circle of about 60 yards radius along the stream. Since each team had anywhere between 10-15 people, a designated area would be freed of plastics and bottles in no time. Armed with huge garbage bags and gloves, we started collecting garbage in and around the area. Crores of plastic bottles, broken liquor bottles and other plastic materials were stuck everywhere. We retrieved them using long sticks and filled them up in our bags.

Garbage Busters in action

Garbage Busters in action

Our dear ancestors, the monkeys 😀 , became very curious of the bag’s contents and a group of them would swing down in an instant and make an attempt to get at the bags. We felt sorry that they couldn’t understand how dangerous the contents of the bags were for them.

Highlight: More than 230 people, 2 tonnes of garbage and in less than 4 hours time.

 

Piled up Ex-Garbage

Piled up Ex-Garbage

Then, we started walking downstream and formed a human chain to transfer the garbage bags from one person to another until the base camp was reached. We collected so much garbage that it was enough to fill up a harvest tractor up to its brim, forming a mound of sorts on its top.

Press

The press came and recorded our activities and it got published in various newspapers in and around Chennai & Andhra Pradesh. ETV conducted an interview with Peter Van Geit (co-founder of CTC) which was aptly translated to the news channel by Aditya.  Few reporters from Deccan Chronicle had come to take note of the atrocities happening there and reported them in yesterday’s newspapers, highlighting the fact that CTC was doing its best to save the place.

The Pools !

With the day’s objective accomplished, we did what we do best 😀 – Trek to the nearest pool and chill off. By the time we climbed back to the pool, we realized how clean the place looked devoid of plastics and broken booze bottles. I felt a huge wave of satisfaction envelope me as we made our way to the pool. Jumping and diving ensued. The pool was very beautiful and there was a small and gorgeous waterfall at the end of the pool. It may have been a 30 meter  swim to it. And tell you what, it was amazing feeling to know that I was able to swim that distance on my own 😀 . Brijesh accompanied me during this time by my side just to make sure that I would be able to make it to the end. My joy knew no bounds. I was able to put my new skill to test and succeeded 😉

We had lunch besides this beautiful pool and making sure we never polluted this place, we started off after a good swim and delicious lunch.

They had it !

It was time for the guards to answer us. Through this trek, we were accompanied by Forest Officers who were in charge of maintaining sanity at Tada. They questioned the guards and guides in front of us and gave them sound warnings that if liquor and stuff happens again, their jobs will be at stake. We also informed them that these were the same guards who used to break in to our vehicles and steal valuables. They would extort money from us for taking our bikes and cars and would also harass women and children of the group. We recorded their apology & will play it back to them the next time we visit Tada.

The forest officials at least acted that they were guilty for ravaging this beautiful place. I’m doubtful that their atrocities will stop soon but I can assure you that it was a great beginning.

Tractor

Highlight is the tractor which carried our collected garbage bags for disposal.

Garbage Tractor

Garbage Tractor

It was a very satisfying day. Combined with act of keeping nature intact & with an ultra-easy trek, nothing could beat this weekend. Hoping to do more of this in future. Our future is in safe hands :)

The Kids of the Trek

The Kids of the Trek

Photo Albums

Thanks a lot for capturing the moments shutter bugs. Without you, we wouldn’t have a story to tell today.

  1. Gowtham – The Best Album
  2. Karthik Yadav
  3. Samyak
  4. Vinoth
  5. Vijay Krishnan
  6. Raja
  7. Vijendran
  8. Hari Prasad
  9. Anupam
  10. Loganathan
  11. Hari K Balasundaram
  12. Nara

More albums on the way! Until then, catch you soon …

School Prank

October 16th, 2009

As I was reading through Rohit‘s post on how he missed school, I recollected one of the pranks that a few of us did back in school.

….

The Maths staff was droning on and on about some crazy analytical geometry stuff that flew over my head. Lunch bell was supposed to ring in 5 minutes and I was looking at my wrist watch every 10 seconds to see if those nerve-wracking 5 minutes were over! Each second passed painfully as a minute. Stomach was rumbling as well & in all restlessness, we came up with a prank to execute it during lunch.

Benches and desks in my school were lengthy. Up to 4 people would be able to sit with their bags on them. Oh! and we would start having those border problems of whose bag can come up to which place on the bench… But that’s for another post.

As soon as the lunch bell rang, we dashed out even before the teacher had left and brought in lunch :) . The teacher was slightly shocked but left the class nevertheless, glaring at us. We devoured our lunch quickly. As per the prank’s plot:

  1. We would punch lot of tiny holes on the bench using our compass and dividers.
  2. We would then pour tiny amounts of water on them and let it soak. When wood gets soaked for sometime, its topmost layer comes off and leaves a black substance.
  3. Students would be called to sit at the place and answer a few questions and then made to go off.

A bubbly girl named M was about to finish her lunch. Did I say we were in white uniform that day? We called M, made her sit on the bench with soaked wood. With a pen and paper, it was like we were conducting an interview… asked her some silly questions and told her to go to the black board and write as, “The interview was good.” which she did. Giggles were starting to spread around soon & few more guys and girls started to appear to “take part” in the interview. One by one, their bums became black and wet with all the water we had poured on the bench and before long, lot of their pants had soiled 😀

The bell rang & as a teacher entered in, she noticed one guy’s pant being soiled. She stared at us & sent us out immediately because we were giggling by that time.

….

Those were fun times man! It was a different kind of fun than we are having now. But fun… it sure is! Share your pranks in the comments :)

Last Sunday, we celebrated Ayudha Pooja at our Kalari class. It is during this day that we revere the tools/weapons we use & also pray that they may be used carefully in all scenarios. Shortly after the pooja was over, each of us had to do a sampler performance using the tools that we had kept in pooja. The sampler turned out to be an extempore one. So, we aren’t in the usual practice dress.

Pooja setting with our weapons

Pooja setting with our weapons

Present below are two videos of my master:

  1. Using the Silambam
  2. Vett Aruval fight with a senior student

Silambam

Silambam is an integral part of Kalari. Using just a stick and rapid movements, a defender would be able to ward himself off various attack vectors and give them back a taste of their own medicine. My master performs a basic lesson that is taught to beginners in Silambam.

The first 14 seconds of the video showcases the “Guru Vanakkam” or paying respects to the teacher before starting off. Watch closely. You will be able to hear the Whoooosh sound of the wind. That’s also the speed with which the Silambam is being rotated.

Aruval Fight

Aruval is a sharp instrument that’s used to cut tree branches, tender coconuts and in some cases, heads of humans 😉 . In this video, my master is fighting with a senior student using a sharp aruval. Usually the edges are devoid of their sharpness during practice sessions. But this one was sharp & one has to be very careful when using these weapons. The video below is a 30 second teaser. Fighting with aruvals is taught after about a year and a half of continuous practice.

Hope you enjoyed these videos :) Let me know how you feel in the comments!

Before you understand what this post is about, you have to first read about the Venkateswara Dead or Alive trekking experience. Go ahead. I will wait.

Twiddling thumbs & waiting …

Tree

Back? Good 😀

Way back in Cave Pool 1, I was holding the sleeping mat and was trying to swim in shallow waters. As I was doing that, Vinod Sir swam to me and asked, “Hey did you go to cave pool 2 and see that gorgeous waterfall?”, to which I replied, “No .. I haven’t gone there yet.” He was visibly shocked; “What?? You haven’t gone there yet? Having come this far, you don’t want to miss it.” I had my defense ready, “But I can’t swim in deep water.” to which he said, “Hey, that’s not a problem. There are so many *real* swimmers here and you can’t drown. Grab a mat, go to that perpendicular ledge, climb it up and jump in. If you don’t go there, you are missing the essense of the trek!”

That did it. I was very curious at what the waterfall would look like and at the same time, I was afraid to go to the other side because of my scanty swimming skills. Before coming to this pool, I was telling Gowri Shankar that today would be the day that I would lose fear of swimming in deep water and learn diving. Gowri was enthusiastic about it and said that he would surely help me shake off those stupid imaginary fears. I made up my mind that I would dive in to the deep water from the ledge of cave pool 1. Then some swimmer would help me with a sleeping mat. With the mat, I would swim to the ledge, climb on to it and visit the cave pool 2 & see if I could have a dip there.

By that time Vinod Sir came back to the shore. I told him and Anagha that I would be diving and they be ready to save me … in case I drown. The water was very deep and the height from which I would jump would be around 20 feet. They were in position. They were positioned at about 3 feet away from the ledge. Each of them were holding a mat and told me to jump. I climbed to the ledge and went to its edge. Then the fear started off. I just couldn’t get myself to jump.

Another tree design that looks like a man!

I felt my legs trembling and I was profusely sweating. I have never seen a trembling leg before. So I looked downwards to see if my legs were really trembling. But heck no! They weren’t trembling at all. Sweating? I couldn’t digest that also. I felt as if I were sweating but I wasn’t sweating also. Only my hair was wet. My heart was pounding. My intestine was in my mouth. Vinod Sir was shouting from the bottom, “Dude, jump in. We are there.” & Anagha was shouting from the other side, “Jump in Aswin. Nothing will happen. Once you go in, you will come up again & we shall give you the mat then.” As this fear episode was happening, Vinod Sir lost all hope on me and climbed on to the ledge. He came next to me & jumped in to the water as if it was so normal.

Then Vishal came in and jumped. Then Indira and then a few more. One by one, people just walked and jumped. My mind was goddamn racing. “Is it really so simple? Or am I complicating it so much? What the heck is it?” My mind was having conflicting thoughts. “What if you drown?” and then it would answer, “No no… they would save you. No one wants a trek to be spoiled by non-swimming idiot.” and again, “What if you hit the rocks when jumping?” to which, “Ha!! There’s only water below and all the rocks are behind. There’s no way you would hit the rocks.” My legs were trembling even more. Every time I looked down at the water, my mind would give some sort of conflicting lecture or other. At this time, there were 6 or so swimmers down there who were all literally yelling at me to jump. But I couldn’t.

Slowly one by one went away. Anagha was the only one who was waiting & damn patient with me. I was standing there and wondering what to do. Should I climb down the way I came up and miss the waterfall & go back a loser? Or should I get over my fear, jump in and go to the waterfall? Instantly I knew the answer. The trembling came back again. It was a lot stronger this time. From the opposite ledge, Gowri Shankar took a perfect dive. Mind you, he didn’t jump. He dived. He saw me and said, “Aswin!! You haven’t jumped yet? Come on, come on, we are there to save you.” Anagha was shouting the same thing at me she said earlier.

Suddenly, that wave engulfed me. The wave of courage. Mind became clear. I was standing on the edge. Trembling legs stopped. The only thought was, “When you land on water, close your mouth and shut your nose.” Done. I screamed, “Gowri, I’m coming …” and JUMPED!!! I could see myself going down at drop dead speed. I don’t even know whether I screamed. Suddenly, the speed decreased to a crawl and I was in water! What the Hell!! I’m in water. Whoa!! I started paddling my legs under water and was moving upwards. My eyes were open this time. I could see Gowri Shankar’s legs paddling and his hands were on the lookout for mine. I could see that from below. I shouted, “Gowriiii” but he couldn’t hear and I shouted once more. Immediately I realized that I didn’t open my mouth at all while shouting. Mind was playing double games again. I knew better this time. I closed my mouth and shut my nose. I was slowly going upwards.

Tree on the way

A few seconds later, I felt a hand tugging at me. Yay! I hit home. In a shot, Gowri pulled me up. With an amazing speed, head came up first… HUFF .. PUFF… SPLIRTT … HAH .. SPIT .. WHOA .. SPLIRTT .. PHEW … BRRR … Yayy!! Gowri handed me the mat to which I held on to & soon everyone was clapping. Or at least I heard so. Mind playing double games again? Don’t know. But who cares. I asked Gowri whether I can do it once more. This time it was easy. Get up on the ledge. Jump. When in water, close your mouth and shut your nose. Done. It was over in a second. Then myself, Gowri and Anagha swam to the perpendicular ledge, then on to cave pool 2.

Anagha dived here immediately. I dived after her & Gowri helped me with a sleeping mat. Here, he taught me the underwater cycling trick. I was cycling and slowly went under the waterfall. It was pushing me. Then for a second time, we went around it. The water was warm and we moved in once more. Gowri told me to look above & I had a look at the most gorgeous place ever. The two hills created a ceiling with a huge kind of hole in the middle. Through one part of the hole, the waterfall was gushing with a ferocious pace. Through the other part, the hill’s peak was visible brightly illuminated by Sun.

From cave pool 2, we slid down to cave pool 1. I held on to the sleeping mat while sliding down the water slope. At this point, Ravindran helped me and both of us swam to the cave pool 1’s shore.

Phew! What an experience that was. I lost the fear of deep water and height. I will definitely put this to test next time I visit Nagala or Venkateswara. I need to thank an innumerable number for giving me this experience. Gowri Shankar, Vinod Sir, Anagha, Ravindran, Ravi Ghosh, Indira, Chitra, Mohan S, Max and a few more who made it all the better.

Thanks guys! I owe you one! I came back a winner.

Update: My cave pool drama has been written. Do check it out.

Trekking is exhilarating. Trekking is addictive. Trekking is challenging. Every time a trek is announced, I see my spirits being increased to the levels that it had never gone before. Despite any silly setbacks that may occur, you can see me in the finest of moods on the week before the trek & on the trek… Especially since this was one kind of a trek that I had never attempted in my life before.

Welcome to DOA a.k.a “Dead or Alive” trek. These treks have trails the pass through some of the most amazing rock formations, crystal clear deep pools with tasty water, not to mention gorgeous waterfalls and amazing hill-top views that put regular tourist spots to shame. These treks also contain risky up-hills which have to be scaled & long streams; the only way to cross them is by swimming to the other side. Its also on these treks that humans exhibit their best’est’ qualities and is a team building exercise in itself. Where else can you learn how to cooperate and have fun with people whom you have never met before?

Venkateswara Hills

Venkateswara Hills

Chennai warriors travelled to Renigunta by train, where we were joined the Bangalore team. Train journey was awesome. We had formed a gang and teased Mohan S & Karthikeyan about the fact that they wanted to camp together on day 1 on the same sleeping mat on top of each other 😀 . They were teased to death until the station came, where we had to disembark. An hour or so later, the Bangalore team joined in. It was a quick time for introductions. From the earlier Nagala Trek, I met Ajay and Aditya & Mohan S and Ananth joined us from the previous Tada Fort Conquer Exploration. With so much known faces and exciting new ones, time literally flew by.

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Beach

August 23rd, 2009

Its good to be a kid – a *real* kid – once in a while.

I’m a regular visitor to the beach. Its one of my favourite places in the city. Where else do you get amazing peace of mind with lots of space and hot bajji? So, one fine day, myself and 2 more of my friends decided that its been many days since we went wet our feet at the beach. Marina is just about 10 minutes walk from my home.

Beach :D

Beach :D

It was a full moon day and the tides were high. We went straight waist deep into the water. A few minutes later, a huge and strong wave came and pushed us down! Since I knew a bit of swimming, I floated with the water and reached the shore. This was something I never expected.

Two and two together, we ran to waist deep again & turned our backs. When the next wave came in, we jumped on top of the wave and swam to the shore. That was fun I tell you!

From somewhere, a rubber ball fell besides us. We picked up the ball and tried to throw it back to the claimant but no one claimed it 😉 and it was some more fun time! Totally wet from all the swimming, one of us stood near the shore and threw the ball in to the water. We dived in to retrieve it and throw it back. All through this episode, we were making so much noise that passers by would have surely noticed us. To hell with them! Who cares … We were having so much fun!

After an hour and a half of this, we decided to start back home. The lone noor rooba note in my pocket was fully wet and dripping. Carefully we retrieved it and exchanged it for some spicy kadalai and bajji.

Its nice to be like this once in a while :)

Image Credits – http://www.flickr.com/photos/chuck_taylor/3846464151/

10 gruelling hours, 4 brave souls, 1 lost fort … 1 mission! To find the lost British Fort among the beautiful Tada Hills :-)

Tada

Tada Hills

The Climb Uphill

The day started early with the blessing of the rain Gods. The downpour was so heavy that I was having my own doubts about whether we will proceed as planned. But a quick call to Ananth and Sujai a.k.a Mokka Boy removed all doubt. All plans were intact. A quick shower and 30 minutes later, the four of us met.

After a high-five and hip-hip-hooray, we wrroooommed on Mohan’s A-star to Tada to find the long lost British Fort and a road that led to it. Armed with a GPS receiver and lots of food, we stood at Tada’s parking lot as if we were going to climb Mount Everest :). A few passers by even gave us a strange look. But none of that would stop us.

As were walking on the road towards the regular Tada waterfall, Sujai suddenly looked at the GPS and shouted, “Guys, stop!”. Wondering what got him excited, we peered in to the GPS device & found we were standing near the edge of the road that led to the old Fort that was marked on the GPS. Quickly, we decided to chuck the normal route and proceeded to take the hilly route. There wasn’t even a beaten trail that we could follow. We made trails as we progressed. The hill on which we were hiking turned out to be a small 50m mound. Nevertheless, we trudged along following the GPS. We were exactly overlaying the ancient road marked on the GPS with the path we were taking.

We had quite some way to go … but we were on track. At the top of the 50m mound, we were about 250m away from the Fort as per the GPS device. But vegetation was slightly dense and hence, we couldn’t even see anything that remotely resembled a fort. We moved to the adjacent hill from the mound. This was a big one, poking a hole in the sky through the clouds. Crushing twigs and thorns we were on a steady ascent & never stopped anywhere. The climb was getting steeper by the minute.

At the first check point

At the first check point near the peak

When we were around 50m of the radius of the Fort as per the GPS device, the four of us split in 4 directions in search of the Fort. After 30 minutes of searching, we found not even a stone that could be considered part of an old fort. We zoomed in to the GPS device at 5m and moved along the direction it was pointing in the map. At the exact point where it was pointing, IT WAS THERE!! A huge dense bush of overgrown creepers and dead trees. We went round and round about it in circles to make sure we missed nothing. But that was all there was. Just a dense growth of vegetation. We all laughed heartily at the madness, had a pear each to celebrate the “success” and decided to conquer the peak of the hill we were on.

Reaching the Peak

After trekking for about 30 minutes, we reached near the peak. The peak was a huge rock that was bent at an awkward angle. Climbing it with our backpacks wasn’t possible. Hence, we left our bags and proceeded to climb up the rock. There were nice crevices and strong roots that helped us climb the rock. After a tiny struggle, we managed to reach the top, only to find that the peak was even higher. This rock was huge and hid the peak from the angle we were looking. On top the rock we were standing, there was a magnificient view.

Straight opposite to us, there was a “very green” hill that was sandwiched between two hills. This center hill had a cap of the most beautiful fluffy white clouds. The breeze was too cold and nice to ignore. All the hills were ending on the horizon to our right and we were given a lush view of the plains far below until the horizon. Our joy knew no bounds and spirits soared! With a high spirit, Mohan started ascending the rocks above, quickly followed by the rest of us. At a certain point, I couldn’t climb at all. The rock was just too high for me. Others somehow managed. But I was not to be left behind. After 3-4 minutes of pondering what to do, I climbed down to the next level, grabbed a tree root and with its help got on top of the offending rock in a swing :D. It was kind of cake walk after that.

Hill edge and clouds

Hill edge and clouds

We Found the Fort!

Suddenly, Mohan squealed at the top of his lungs that he saw a wall of rocks! The three of us ran in the direction he was pointing. At the place where we were standing, 400m above mean sea level, there was a 3.5 foot high wall that ran for about 100m until the next hill. We were shocked and surprised at the same time. Surprised because we found the old Fort walls on our own. Shocked because the US Army Map from where we copied the co-ordinates of the Fort were wrong! We could not have copied incorrectly because we were master copy cats.

Fort's Perimeter Wall

Fort's Perimeter Wall

Totally ecstatic at the discovery of the Fort, we were looking for more clues. We found a few empty bunkers below the walls and even found a round rock design with a hole in the center. Then we passed another structure that looked like an entrance. Going through the entrance and spending time at the top of the hill and the world, we were overjoyed. No words could do justice to the mission we accomplished.

The Round Pattern Rock

The Round Pattern Rock - (From left to right) Mohan, Sujai & Ananth

By this time, the rain Gods were threatening us again. The weather became cloudy and it looked like it could pour anytime. We started descending. At a particular point during the descend, we had jump through a thorny bush. While trying to avoid it, I made the mistake of moving backwards. Ten thorns pierced through my trousers and underwear and punctured my bum. Around the same time, the wind was shaking the leaves to make them tickle at unwanted locations. With a punctured bum, I made a small leap and reached the slope. All of us soon assembled, rested for sometime, picked our bags and made our way down the slope.

The Bunker

The Bunker

The slope was pretty steep. It would have been at around 50 degrees because we were constantly pulled down by gravity and couldn’t stand at all. All of us at some point, slipped. But instead of falling, we skidded to a small distance by taking advantage of the slip. Tucking away the GPS, we were moving towards the voices we were hearing at the bottom of the hill. After an hour’s descent, we reached the Tada stream and happily jumped in to cool off our butts and bodies.

Mission Accomplished!

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

Sitting neck deep in water, we unpacked our food and were polishing them off one by one. First were the buns, then the chips, some cookies, poli, mixture, apple, pear etc. Soon, it was time to start home. Ambling our way out, we reached our car, dried ourselves and got on it to drive to home-sweet-home. It was a short trek and a very enjoyable one. I loved every moment of it.

Hey Guys,

I attended Proto.in yesterday. One of the biggest changes that happened at this event was that, it became a one day event rather than the usual two day event. Of all the sessions that happened, keynote talk by Mr. Ganesh Natarajan, CEO of Zensar and the “Angels can help you fly!” discussion from Mumbai Angels were very good.

The Event

This time, there were 15 products from a variety of areas including but not limited to Education, Internet and Mobile, Software etc. I liked the presentations from the companies namely English Seeko (a dial-in solution by phone to learn spoken English). Even though their demo was good, they would have lot of challenges with speech recognition. Then I liked the Credit Card Reconciliation System from Aerosoft. It was a very well put together presentation and I immediately understood their product’s validity from their presentation.

There was two presentations that did blow the audience away. One was from TouchMagix about their Microsoft-Surface-like product. Other was this launch of custom made bikes by Vardenchi Motorcycles in the range of Rs. 2.8 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs. They are already profitable and they brought 2 of their custom made bikes to the Proto.in stage to showcase them to the audience. They looked beautiful. When funds allow, I will surely design & get my own bike from them.

There was another company with the name GoVasool. Their presentation reminded me of the product named SpotEazy that presented during the first Proto.in in 2007. I couldn’t get their concept of why vendors would compete with each other to give a lower price for a select group of people. And then there was Vrixx (pronounced as vri-ksh), a end-to-end college management product, based on the all prevalent SaaS model.

Mumbai Angels

Near the end of the event, Mumbai Angels announced that they would pick two startups from the lot and give them the opportunity to present to the angels at their offices for funding. They picked Vrixx and TouchMagix. Congrats guys! It seems ConWizta (content management and testing application) missed that by a narrow margin.

Links

  1. Proto.in Live.
  2. Company Profiles.
  3. Send feedback to startups.

It was a good way to spend the weekend and this event is making me feel guilty every time because I haven’t started up yet.

Michael Jackson: Beat It

July 22nd, 2009

Okay, its kind of shameful to disclose this. But here goes.

Only after a day of MJ’s death did I come to know that the famous “Beat It” song was created by him. I have heard that song numerous times on various occasions. But all I felt was, “Damn this song man! Who can ever sing with such a stupid voice … I hate it!”. MJ’s death did little to clear that opinion cos’ I felt, “Common … MJ cannot have done this crap.”

But, I soon realized that I couldn’t really enjoy the song because I didn’t lend my ears to the lyrics and this link came to help. The second time I was pouring over the lyrics, I fell in love with it. Especially the line where he says, “Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight; It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right“. That was an awesome line. Then with the lyrics in front of me, I ran through the song again & this time, I could begin to like it. The bunch of gangsters in the youtube video were pretty helpful too.

So… all in all, I’m just kind of getting started on MJ. If you have recommendations, let me know of them in the comments and I shall be grateful :-)

P.S. While you are here, you might want to drool over his dance on the Dangerous live performance video. My favourites are the dance sequences at 0:22 – 0:38 (at this place, the guy on right side of the video does an awesome stunt) and 0:51 – 1:01. Then the most awesome sequence is at 1:30 – 1:40. In this sequence MJ throws the guy with the gun on the ground. Just see how perfectly he falls and remains flat for a second. Also see the way he creatively moves behind the dance crew at 1:40. Perfect. Just perfect. Then notice how the dance crew crawls into the scene at 1:51 😀 Man! So much perfection. And then the dance sequence from 3:21 – 3:37. Watch MJ in the center. MJ is a magician in many respects.