Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Who would have expected to bump into more Chinese than Westerners at famous tourist destinations and air ports.
Who would ever thought that the 'Super' power could face a debt crisis.
Who would have thought protests which were earlier considered as a disruptive tool be converted into a revolutionary tool and educated youth will be running them to topple leaders who had conquered for decades.
Who would have thought that there would be riots in London.
Who would have expected the English Cricket team of being capable of winning series' and winning the world cup or being number one in any form of cricket.
Who would have thought that an Australian Cricket team could actually loose matches.
Ah the list is too long. I quit, but the world has changed!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
As usual I had a field day taking pictures till the others said, dude its time for us to leave.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs I did get a chance to visit the place and these are the pictures I managed to capture there.
|[picture on left]The plaque at the outer side of the house||[picture on right]The house as it stands today|
The scout and the Girl Guide badges engraved on the walls
Lord BP's office room
|From two angles|
Collection of his sketches
Saturday, August 27, 2011
After some time when Harsha inquired something about the room I remembered that I have not sorted it out. So I went and told the staff I cannot find SB. They replied, so you are the King, I replied no I am Sayanthan. All of them laughed and said you are going to stay at the queens suite so you are the King. I was still clue less, then they took me to the room marked as queen Elizabeth suite and explained to me the history of the place. Apparently its at the old tree top which is about 100 meters away from here where then princess was on Holiday when she descended to the thorn. The room I had been given, I was told is the one in which she had stayed during her visit in 1982 and hence named as her suite.
I am not a fan of Royals and monarchy, but one thing that still fascinates me and fascination increases the more I travel is on how they managed to rule the half the planet with such a small number of people from a relatively small country. Its something which I had not been able to understand or interpret. Right now I am not worried about the nostalgia about the room I am typing this from but happy for the splendid views I am having right in front of my eyes.
Plus I have just returned from a game drive at which too we were lucky. I would write and post pictures of what happened there during the next few days. Keep reading!
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Friday, August 26, 2011
As a kid one of the best things I choose to do, is scouting. I choose to do scouting not because I understood anything about it, but it was because my siblings were scouts and I have heard too many tales from scout camps, hence I wanted go and experience the same.
As soon as I joined, I realized that I was a junior and I am not really a scout till I passed tender foot. Initially I was told that I will be given four weeks and if I don't pass the exams; I cannot make it to the camp. I tried hard but still I couldn't pass all the exams on time. I struggled to pass the history of scouting exam. It was not easy to pass for two reasons, one because my hard disk has always been bad secondly, when Mr. Gnanaprakasam asks those questions its impossible to recall what you memorized.
By being a scout I learned a lot of things which are helping me in each day of my life. Starting from travelling, cooking, getting along with people and above all it has contributed in crafting my value system. As a child I was thankful to scouting for giving all the fun. Today as an adult I admire the contribution that it has made to make what I am. At that time Lord Baden Powell was just the founder of the movement, but today I realize what an admirable man he is, to have started such a movement and enriched the life of millions ( or is it billions).
Although I was weak in the history of scouting, right at this moment here I am seated at Nyeri in Kenya, right at the scenic place at which lord BP picked to spend his last three years of his life and doing the best I can do by writing a blog to pay tribute to the great man!
Tomorrow I plan to make a visit to the lord BP museum and then a game drive in to the adjoining nature park and spend the night there. Be prepared to read my post tomorrow.
Note: Nuwan has been chasing me to write about our days of scouting for many months, I guess it was fittingly postponed and probably meant to be written from this historical place!
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African ones - I called this picture the "parents meeting"
Our ones - This one is called as "lil one"
But irrespective of the continent or species the mothers love doesn't change!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The caves at the Hell's gate national park, Naivasha, Kenya as I mentioned on another blog kept on reminding me the film 127. The landscapes and the formation was something similar to the Grand Canyon pictures I have seen, I might be completely wrong since I have never been to the Grand Canyon.
It has a beautiful variation of landscapes and taking a drive along the Savannah and taking a walk among the antelopes and zebra's is fun.
The place is also home to extinct volcanoes but still the products of it our largely visible, including hot springs, lava rocks and of course the extinct volcanoes.
Monday, August 22, 2011
I was trying to find whats common in all these revolution using my little knowledge of politics. First what I see is that in all cases a youth segment has rallied around these revolutions. Few years back youths and politics didn't have any connection, they were a segment which disconnected themselves from the decision making process. Although they were disconnected they did have a frustration about politics and politicians at large. This particular generation of youth were the people who were not from affluent backgrounds but mainly from middle income and low income families. But in most cases they were full of accumulated frustration about how their country was being ransacked by the elected (in some cases self elected) representatives. This generation had a majority that was dependent on private sector hence automatically they start thinking on the lines of transparency, good governance and professionalism. So this youth segment just needed a rallying point and in most cases the governments out of sheer arrogance and without knowing the gravity of actions tried to curb a protest in an unethical way and ended up in converting them into revolutions.
Crucially at the same point of time this generation of youth got tools which helped to fuel the fire within them, one the social networks, through which news could spread like wild fire and secondly the news hungry 24X7 news channels which easily sensationalize a protest and project it as a revolution.
What worries me is the end result of such unsustainable revolutions, in most cases they do the revolution and then they do not have an alternative. Take the case of Egypt, its probably the only instance in the history of the planet where people did a revolution over threw a dictator and handed the governance to military! Military else where try hard on coup to capture the chair, but in this case people did everything and presented the crown in a plate! I hope revolutions also give better alternatives and do not become a fad which replaces one devil with another.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Seeing these man eaters in wild gives me a childish excitement (but then I am a child so I should be getting that excitement). Yesterday we took a boat ride along the Naivasha Lake in Kenya, it took us to the close proximity of the herds of hippos. They put up quite a good exhibition, some carrying the young ones on the back while swimming, some doing summersaults in the water but ending up with a huge thud and others were making a noise which was very similar to a babies cry.
The seated on a tree and watching the exhibition is a fishing eagle.
A herd at work
get off my back
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Anyway I was actually supposed to fly back home today but was forced to stay another week in Kenya. People were laughing that we were 'forced' to do this, but what they forget was that we are people who make sure we pick up something and get up even when we fall down. So we vowed to allocate all the saturdays for safari's and we had been having a ball since then. First was a trip to Nakuru, of which I had bored the readers of this blog with a week full of pictures from there.
So today we set off in the morning to Hells gate national park, which is about an hours drive from nairobi. We enjoyed some breath taking landscapes and the caves which kept on reminding me the Danny Boyles film ,127, which I guess was filmed at the grand canyon.
After about 5 hours of walking, driving and rock climbing within the park we went to the Naivasha lake to take a boat ride at sunset. The finale of the day was the date with the hippo's! Check the blog next week for the pictures.
Heartfelt thanks to the nice people who helped us to go to both Nakuru and Naivasha.
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Friday, August 19, 2011
Colonian Cousins - Krishna
A gem of a song with superb lyrics, which always be applicable until the human race is around.
Other two songs are more to do with the catchy tunes, one is from backstreet boys, i guess that's the only male singing group I know of!
The liking for the song "Mysterious girl" was more an acquired taste from a friend who was addicted to it and kept on re-playing it.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I had this picture which I took at Nakuru National park of a nice little bird. I was showing it to Lewis who is a graphics Guru and this is what he did in 5 minutes! btw He nick named it the Angry Bird ( nothing to do with the application )
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I happily came back switched on the computer connected to internet and was about to make my call. There was an electricity outage. I was a bit worried that I might get late a bit, but I expected it to be a small hic up.
After two flashes the electricty "arrived" and I was delighted. But the delight was short lived. The wifi was not working :( the power with it had taken the wifi network. Still I had hope, I have a dongle. I connect and check the balance to see that it has touched zero :( worst part is that, I was actually reminded by the lady who sells top up in the morning, that I might be running out of credit, I told her "not really I have 200 bucks and will come after I use that up". Now the fail over plan is also screwed. Now I have only one option that is to ride my luck tommorow!
Hope that lady luck is with me.
Lesson learnt - never depend on technology and don't leave things for the last moment depending on it.
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Another misconception that people have about Rhinos are that since there are two species of Rhino's named as white rhino and the black rhino, hence they expect them to be differentiated on color. Unfortunately someone probably had made a mistake when naming them, both are similar in color but the difference is in their lips. So next time you go to a game park stop looking for a white color rhinos, since both species are actually gray :D
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Today I got a a second chance, this time it was a trip to Nakuru National Park. The objective was again to see the Zimba in wild! I vowed that if I do not see it today I will declare that Kenya doesn't have Lions. Kenya didn't obviously want its reputation dented ;) But for the first 3 hours of the journey the writing seemed to be on the wall. No lions and other visitors also hasn't seen the lions on the day.
We lost hope and were returning to have a peak from the cliff. All of a sudden we notice a car signaling to us, we approached it and they indicate to us that the Zimba is here! Rest is history we were at close proximity intruding the privacy of a Lion and Lioness while they made love!
See the pictures which would tell the story!
Friday, August 12, 2011
What I had realized over time is that mind maps are useful to plan out daily activities, requirements gathering and planning, strategic analysis, product design, report planning, solution analysis, etc. The biggest advantage that I have seen from a mind map is the ability to capture the "eureka moments" that come up in a spur of a moment while we are analyzing something, which if we had been thinking in a traditional sequential way of analysing, we would have ended up ignoring or delaying to put down on paper and eventually forgetting it altogether. Hence mind maps have the ability to capture a good brain dump and then allow to organize them into associated groups making it easier for analysis and execution. Give it a try its worth it!
I see this concept even in a more general form than in software or architecture. I see its application in life, business, philosophy, etc. What I had realized is that I am a person with limited capacity and I am no Einstein, this is a fact. But crucially the problems that I face and want to solve are problems, which others had already faced and either solved or narrowed it down. So instead of trying to re-invent the wheel from scratch its much more easier to go look for 'borrowed knowledge" from the people who had documented the derived pieces of wisdom in the form of books, articles, blogs or pick their brains.
The point of "nirvana" I got with regard to this is from the day I realized that the problems that I am facing are things someone has already faced and found a solution to and stop imagining that "This problem is unique to me". This belief has made me read more books and also helped me to use other peoples experiences when coming up with the solution for the problem at hand.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I do not have a clue why I got addicted to this. I had not been a fan of this song and it was a song which I accidentally bounced onto when I was engaged in pointless "follow the click browsing".
Out of all that I have a special liking for the following three stanzas,
ஏழையின் நீதிக்கு கண் உண்டு பார்வை இல்லை
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
What I remembered at this point is a colloquial idiom when directly translated says "coming Colors not good" Good Bless this world!
Monday, August 8, 2011
Once I was talking to an Architect he explained to me how creating spaces in architecture can make a huge difference in the environment it creates. It was something that I saw being practiced here.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Then I arrived at Dubai for the transit, as usual picked the sport360 paper to read and what I saw on cover was a full page picture of Dilshan leaping for joy after scoring a century. I was suprised to see a Sri Lankan thing to be making such headline news in a non test nations sports paper. It was indeed nice to see this.
When reflecting I remembered that last time I was in transit the same paper had a huge middle page potrait of Shahid Afridi after he has master minded the win against Sri Lanka at the world cup. The news of Pakistan beating Sri Lanka took up one third of the paper with even a timeline showing how it happened with pictures. I could understand Pakistan making such news in Dubai, but then how come a Sri Lankan match is in limelight. Only pointer that I could pick was it was to more do with being anti australian in cricket than to do with supporting Sri Lanka.
Anyway one thing that cannot be denied is that two things that has put Sri Lanka on the map is Cricket and Tea. There is a third one on the way you, would know it soon ;) air hostess is worried that I am using an electronic device when its about to take off so, that's it for today. I will tell about the third thing later :P
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Saturday, August 6, 2011
Given all this one thing which is hard for me to digest is seeing Monks doing politics. It becomes even more annoying to see parties formed by them and perverting the name of the religion for their own gain. For me politics is one of the worst form of worldly pursuits, seeing a sanyasi in it I cannot stop thinking of the epitome of the irony. If your cause is liberation of mind, dude what are you doing politics?
Recently I was following the news about the fasting Sanyasi, who through his trust owns a island in Scotland and flies in private jets, fasting with a demand to eliminate corruption. The demand was good I agree that corruption should be killed but then I would have loved if he hadn't been wearing the saffron robe and wasn't planning to start a political party. What they should realize is that "when you fight with a pig, both get dirty - but the pig likes it!"
Friday, August 5, 2011
Now it has become a routine, for me to set off in the morning and sit by the beach all alone and admire the beauty of the sea, while recounting and reflecting! All of a sudden I have more time to my life and more energy each day! Anyway I am a bit worried how this habit will be kept when I start travelling next week :(
Second benefit that got out of this book is at today's strategy meeting, we wanted to tell a story as an ice breaker and set the tone for a pitch. Then I remembered the lighthouse story from the book which emphasized the need to be focus on the priorities. So as usual I banked on borrowed knowledge and used it and really enjoyed using it!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
This resembles the shape of a Tail of a fish and is also referred as Holy Mountain or Macchapucchre . Easily the most exotic of the annapoorna range, but supposedly is not high as it looks when compared with the others in the range.
Annapoorna III- the elephants back
Look a bit closely you could visualize an elephants back in there. If you really concentrate and see you would see the ears and if you are intelligent you would see the elephants trunk too! Those who can see it please do let me know.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
In Sri Lanka there are only two things that I had observed to get cheaper and also at the same time get better in quality. The first commodity is of course the mobile tariffs, over the years they had been decreasing in price while increasing their quality of service. This is a world wide phenomenon in which the margins had got thinner and the competition has increased.
The second one is surprise factor the popular veg restaurant in Colombo has slashed the price of a packet of lunch from Rs 120 to Rs 100 at the same time making the quality of food better and had started serving luxury items like Cadju and cauliflower as curries. If you are in Colombo you need to pay a visit to it and have a serving. There are few bloggers who are carrying out mud campaign against this place, but do not take their word on this :P click here to read vimal's side of the story
You know I cannot write bad things about the place because I learnt at school,
"உப்பிட்டவரை உள்ளளவும் நினை "
which when directly translated says "remember the person who gave you salt"
Find A1 on the map marked in blue marker.
View 6.923756, 79.850006 in a larger map
Monday, August 1, 2011
Tricycles is a primary mode of transport and the humbleness with which they cycle and take people around is really touching. I found almost all the tricycle drivers very humble and honest.
On the other hand they have the three wheeler, but its a bit upgraded version with extra security features and special drivers suite ;)