Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
The Chennai municipality had assured everyone that they were ready for the monsoon but the arrival of the monsoon has once again proven that the municipality has no clue what being ready means.
Vehicles are found stalled on most roads due to water ingestion into the carburetors. Schools have been closed and there have been problems with electricity availability at some places. Our area though has not had any major problem.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I am visiting my daughter and son-in-law and getting to spend time with my grand daughter who was born on 29 Sep 08. Should be back in Chennai on 23 Nov 08. So till then - good bye.
Monday, October 20, 2008
We drove straight into Star holidays Inc., a resort about 2 kms short of the main city centre. This resort has cottages, which are neat and clean and provide you with ‘value for money’ pricing. The stay at the resort was good. The cottage had a double bed, an inverter, geyser, television (128 channel cable connection) and running water. The amenities were adequate. The surroundings are very green and ‘just adequately’ maintained. The only drawback is the restaurant does not cater for very much, as the occupancy was poor – maybe because it was a weekday. Star holidays are located very close to the lake – the centerpiece of Yercaud. We walked down to the lake in the evening. The weather was really perfect after the Chennai heat.
We drove to the Kiliyur falls on the next day. The falls are situated at 3.2 kms from the lake. The road was narrow and winding down. There is a platform to park the cars about 0.5 kms from the falls. Do not drive beyond this platform as you would not find any place to turnaround on the steep slope before you turn cross country for the falls. The falls are approachable only through a narrow goat track that has very steep drops and roots sticking out above ground level. The ground was also wet in places. Please be appropriately dressed for a professional trek. It is doable if you are fit and ready for the adventure. The overflow water from the lake drops about 300 ft on this rock face which comprises the Kiliyur falls. On this occasion, the falls were a very a narrow stream. Monsoons, or just after, would be the right time to enjoy these falls. However, the path at that time would be very treacherous. On one side of the pathway is a barbed wire fence guarding a coffee estate - please exercise caution. I do wish people would not throw non-organic waste while enjoying the trek and the falls. There were a lot of wrappers and empty water bottles dumped on the rocks close to the falls.
Thereafter, we visited the Pagoda point, Gent’s seat, Ladies seat and Children’s seat. The view from each of these vantage points is good. However, our civic sense leaves much to be desired, not that Tamil Nadu Tourism has made any provisions for collecting and removing garbage. Wrappers, bottles, plastic and waste are strewn around all over. The other thing – most Government signboards are in Tamil – really frustrating for people from other parts of the country, and abroad. Maybe Tamil Nadu tourism is not interested in opening this hill station to people from outside Tamil Nadu. However, looking at the commercial activity in terms of hotels and guest houses, it seems that the private sector is already gearing up for increased traffic in the future.
We had dinner at the Tamil Nadu hotel restaurant on the first night – satisfactory. The next night we went up to Hotel Grand Palace. The view from this hotel was beautiful – the hotel is located on top of the ridge; the rooms were better laid out, but more expensive. The restaurant was classy and the food was good.
The last place we visited before leaving Yercaud was The Sky Roca hotel. The location of this hotel is on the eastern rock face. Every room in this hotel faces Salem town. You can see Salem about 4800 ft below. At night the view from the rooms must be gorgeous – considering that all rooms have a glass front to the East. There are five classes of rooms. The most expensive suite comes with a private lawn, Jacuzzi and other frills – highly recommended for once in a lifetime celebrations. Rooms are expensive but then you pay for the location, the ambience and the thought put into designing this hotel. Worth a stay – though a little on the higher side for the pocket. The catering is by ‘Sam’s Kitchen’ from Chennai. We had breakfast – nothing very great, though the location is once again good.
Our drive back to Chennai was uneventful. Overall the trip was very relaxing and enjoyable. We would love to visit Yercaud again, though by train the next time. Yercaud to me means – just unwind and relax, away from pollutions of all kinds, and enjoy the weather – just perfect.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Being a Saturday, I had a half day at work and therefore decided to have a siesta in the afternoon. Windows shut, Curtains pulled and AC on, and off I went to sleep. Woke up at about 5:30 pm, made myself a cup of tea and came back into the room to watch TV while sipping the tea. Decided to open the windows and let some fresh air in, and this is what I saw - the sun was very bright behind a dark cloud. Waited for a while mesmerised by the beauty of the 'dark clouds with silver linings'. Imagine the all powerful sun can also be blanked out by a dark cloud....though only for a while. How true about life too. The other way to look at it is that even the dark cloud has a silver lining. Anyway, suddenly saw the reflection of the sun on the window pane - the colour bright orange, just touching the clouds with coconut trees in the foreground. Made a beautiful sight. Clicked it. Enjoy this glorious sunset at Chennai captured on my TV room western window pane!!!!!!!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
How many times has it happened to you? You are driving around in the city, by night, and are blinded by the headlights of the oncoming vehicle. It must be a daily occurence, and the only constant, if you happen to be driving around in Chennai. The majority of the vehicles in Chennai drive around with their headlights selected to high beam. It blinds you completely for a few seconds, and this is even worse with the latest high intensity headlights that most of our modern cars, motorcycles and scooters have. Many a times I have just about missed a poor pedestrian crossing the road, who is wearing no reflective clothing, or even aware that he was just going to be run over. At other times, I have missed cattle, dogs, or bumped over a pothole, or gone over a raised manhole cover. There is a need for all of us to be considerate to each other on the road. This would help us all, and also ensure that we donot run over some poor pedestrian trying to cross the road. We donot need the high beam at the speeds that we are driving around in the city. It is only needed when you are probably clipping on the highway. Even then, courtesy demands that you dip your lights to any oncoming vehicle. Can we all help each other and make our roads safer for people - both on the vehicles and on foot.