Tuesday, 7 December, 2010

Ways to Reduce Smoking

Cigarette smoking, one of the most harmful habits. It not just affects the smoker but the people around them and the environment.
This is not a Philosophy post that is going to make you realize the harms of smoking and motivate you to reduce smoking as everyone know about the hazards of smoking and most of them still continue to smoke, and that is because habits die hard. To quit smoking is not a easy thing, and am sure that all the smokers have learned that they smoke more when they attempt to quit smoking. After countless attempts to quit and ever dragging deadline of your last cigarette, many of them have given the hopes of quitting. So, your Best bet is to Reduce rather than quitting itself. 

I being a non smoker, among a lot of smokers know for a fact that a person who smokes 20 Ciggies a day will smoke so many no matter what because they are all stuck in their routine like, a smoke with morning/evening tea, a smoke during office breaks/movie intervals, a smoke before a ride to work, smoke with pals and so on. They are all stuck in this vicious cycle, making it very difficult for not smoking up one at that hour of the day.

I have come up with some small things that you can do to reduce the amount of Nicotine intake with smoking up the same number of cigarettes each day.

1> Smoke 3/4 of the Cigarette
Once you light up a cigarette don't smoke up to till the end(butt) of the cigarette, by doing this a person who smokes 20 Cigarettes a day would have only consumed nicotine in 16 Cigarettes. By the end of the year your nicotine intake would have reduced by 1,460 cigarettes (staggering isn't it?)

2>Increase the Idle time
If you feel that you cant waste that 1/4 of the Cigarette that you paid for, or you are a person who cannot stop yourself from smoking up till the very last puff, then you must increase the gap between the puffs you take. For eg, if you take a puff every 10-15 seconds, increase the gap between the puffs to 20-25 seconds, it will have the same effect of smoking just 3/4 of a Cigarette.

3>Share Cigarette
If you have a companion in smoking then light up just one Cigarette and share it. Remember the old saying "Sharing is caring" and here its caring for your own health.

4>Dont buy more than one Cigarette
Storing a pack or few Cigarettes in your pockets/bag are the worst thing you can do. You can smoke anytime you want. Buying just one at a time will surly help you satisfy your nicotine needs for that moment, but by storing them you will smoke up more than you actually need. Also not having a cigarette handy will let you smoke less cigarettes per day

5>Chop the Cigarettes
If you are a person who always has accessibility to cigarettes and cant help yourself from smoking up one every now and then, then you must go for the smaller ones, or lighter ones. I know most of them don't like the taste of lighter ones, so I suggest you cut a part your cigarettes and store it and throw away the rest. Now every time u reach out for that smoke, you are taking in less nicotine.

Thursday, 5 August, 2010

Download Rupee Font For Free


Everyone knows that the Indian Rupee has been given a new symbol `. This is not just a  symbol to represent INR but it also shows the strength of the Indian Economy. New keyboards will have a key for this symbol. None of the fonts have this symbol and am sure all of us want to use ` instead of the traditional “Rs.” right away.

Foradian Technologies have incorporated this symbol and have created a font: 'Rupee Foradian'. It is available as a free download and that is the reason am sharing it with all of you.

Note: This is only for windows users. There might be other ways to use this for the Mac and open source users.

Steps to install the font

  • Log on to http://blog.foradian.com/ site
  • Download the font file. There are 3 versions and I suggest version 2 (my preference)
  • Now copy and paste this font file in the fonts folder that’s found in the control panel
  • Now open Microsoft Word and change the font to Rupee Foradian or sometimes it might appear as a blank, as the fonts are always in the alphabetical order u will find it in the ‘R’ list.
Step 4: Selecting the font Rupee Foradian
Step 4: The font may appear as a blank also
  • After selecting the font type ~ key, found on the right of the ‘1’ key, whoa!! you have got the new rupee symbol `   

Air in my hair

Bike Trip to Manchenbele dam!!

29th July 2010, It rained the whole day and there was nothing I did on this day. With no plans for Friday I went to sleep at 11 PM and that is when I thought of going on a Bike Trip. I got on to the internet and planned out the destination and places to visit on the way.

Home,Bangalore> Big Banyan tree> ISRO Moon Mission Control Room> Savanadurga and then back Home.

It was a 170 Km ride through the city and country side. On the trip day it conditions were overcast and cloudy throughout the ride with occasional showers. I knew there would be some rain (used the weather forecaster on my phone), so we took our jackets, sunglasses and extra clothing. It was just two of us on one bike. Me and Priya started our ride at 8 AM and the first 90 minutes we covered the most horrible part of the journey, the 23 KM within the city limits.

It was more than a perfect day for a ride and both of us have never been to these places. Once we were out of the city limits, we enjoyed the ride. Like I said in my previous bike trip, "Riding down the country side is pure pleasure". We reached our first Destination: The Big Banyan tree. This is one of the worlds biggest trees in terms of the area covered by the tree, a staggering 2 acres. This tree hosts a lot of birds and macaques. The Banyan tree's aerial roots were like pillars of a huge building. I had never thought that looking around a tree will take an hour!

At around 11AM we left from there, with the weather conditions looking like it was still 6 in the morning. After some biking, we came across the ISRO Moon Mission Control Room. We stopped by to see the mammoth satellite dishes and then continued on the curvy roads to Manchenbele.

With few of ups and downs we reached the Dam and it was probably one of the best days to visit the dam and the reservoir. With few birds flying by and clean air with a awesome panoramic view, the reservoir looked great. The fresh breeze kept the water moving and the dark clouds above made the water appear dark. We walked down to the banks of the reservoir and sat there for some while and enjoyed the weather.

We could see the Savanadurga Rock from the dam which is 14 Km from the dam and that is where we were heading next. After 90 minutes of wandering in Manchenbele, it was biking again. By the time we started from Manchenbele, it started the drizzle and we kept riding until it started to rain. We then took shelter under a huge tree for some while. When the rain stopped we shot off to Savanadurga. Savanadurga is one of the world's biggest monolithic rocks. We wanted to trek there and we could see this rock throughout the ride from Manchenbele, but we never got there. We were only going around it and never found a way to reach it. While riding, we were so engrossed with the landscape that we went past Savanadurga and we found that we were very far away from it. So, we traced back on the same route and we saw huge rocks and stopped there to trek. We reached the top of the rock and were chilling out and that was when the rain started pouring and we took shelter under few boulders. We had to wait there for more than an hour and realized that we could have not trekked Savanadurga Rock in the rain, as it is one huge smooth rock.

Savanadurga at the back ground
The highest point of our trek.
This is where we took shelter from rain

With an hour and a half for the sun to set, we headed back. On our way back we got lost, we had a great GPS signal but we were on the roads those were not on the map. I rode like crazy and did not bother about the route, as I started to like the adventure. There would come across some occasional sign boards and we just rode to enjoy the climate. One of the sign boards did not have "Bangalore" on it at all. This is when we came back and took a different route. On our way we crossed around 5 villages.

The cost for the trip was ` 200 for both plus the cost of food. There were no entry fees anywhere and all the money that we spent was for the fuel. We did not eat anything throughout, but had a very early dinner once we were back to Bangalore.

Wednesday, 28 July, 2010

Vrrooooommmm..!! Bikers on road

The Bikers: Arvind, Kailash, Sudhakar, Santosh, Shyam, Nitin, Ravi, Ravi Urs and Harsha
The Bikes: Pulsar 150, Pulsar 200, Fiero, and Unicorn.
Safety Car: Kumaresh in his Maruthi 800.
Distance Covered: 950KM

All were set out for a good adventure and a great ride and that is exactly what we got at the end of 3 days. We left Bangalore early in the morning and avoided the city's traffic. Once we were out of the city, it was all about riding in the empty roads with beautiful landscapes that gave us a endless supply of fresh air. A ride through the country side with a cool breeze, the pleasant weather in the morning could not be have been enjoyed better.

With a great band of friends and good bikes we were covering distance in no time or rather that is how it seemed to us. Soon we were in Bidadi, were we had a good breakfast. No prizes for guessing what we had there: thatte idly and vada.

With a safety car in place, we had all our luggage in it and unlike true bikers we had two of them in each bike. We kept changing partners and bikes throughout the trip and that kept us in good company and never got tired of biking for 3 days. 

On our way to BR hills (Biligiri Rangana Betta), we took a diversion and visited  Shivana Samudram falls and relaxed there a bit and by now the clouds were clear and weather had become sunnier. By noon we entered Biligiri Rangana Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary. This was the first time I have entered a forest region in a bike. When opposed to a view from within a car, we could see a lot more from our bikes and the weather here too was cool and enjoyable. Now our bikes slowed down to much lesser than the allowed speed limit and our curious eyes were wondering to spot some thing interesting. With riding a little more than 200KM our first day's ride came to a halt at BR hills Government Guest house. We all got some much needed rest and a food to refuel our bodies... Without having any consideration about the limitations of our body we enjoyed and partied the entire night. The fun fueled our souls and the cards and booze energised our sleepless night.

Day 2 started a little late that we planned and we missed the morning safari. With just a couple of hours of sleep, we got ready and we visited the very famous temple there. Then were off to see some wild elephants in Gopal Swamy Betta. The early morning ride through the dense forests of K Gudi was the slowest and one of the most enjoyed part of the forest ride. The anxiety of spotting some wild animals and the creepy feeling of the creatures that can hurt us made us enjoy the ride. We saw some deer and elephants here. Though we missed seeing any elephants in Gopal Swamy betta, the ride up the hill was a nice one. Here we visited the Gopal Swamy Temple and had a small break and we were back on track and entered Bandipur forest at afternoon and had lunch in Mudhumalai Forest. Never thought that I will ride through 3 forest reserves in 2 days on a bike. We rode through Masinagudi and reached Ooty by evening. The weather here was cooler and we were late for the boating. This was mainly because of the bikers split and total misunderstanding of the meeting points. It was fun though. After a couple of hours of shopping, we were all off to Coonoor. The weather here was very chilly and was very difficult to bike. At Coonoor Ravi had booked a home stay and it was a fully furnished huge double bedroom house with a lawn garden. By the time we reached here all of us were drained out, but that was no reason for us to stop enjoying. We had a campfire in the lawn. Even with the fire the night was unbearably cold.

Day 3, the most grueling day of all: started with slow rides in the ghat sections of Ooty. This was probably the best conditions to ride. The never ending curves, the ever changing landscape, the ups and downs, the teas, and many more best things came along with us in this ride. We visited Kothagiri View point and also trekked a bit here (the view point was a 24 KM deviation from our way back home so we rode 48 more KM.). We got down from the view point to lower lying cliffs (dunno if this was allowed). Riding through these ghats with deadly and unprotected  curves were very thrilling. My most favorite ride of the trip was this 48 KM, I tried to go as fast as I could and the there were no straight roads longer than few meters and we had to take a lot of dip turns and Nitin sitting behind me helped me in balancing the dips by moving his body at every curve. Am sure if we fell of some curve, there would have been no way to find our bodies, as the valleys were very steep. Once we were down and out of the ghats, the heat started to get on us and we were not able to bear the heat. Mettupalyam was like a grill and we all were like a chicken in the grill. The roads in Tamil Nadu are the best I have come across and we were belting in hundreds non stop. We rode like we were going to find the end of the world. We only did that so we could cover more distance before sun set. 

Our route to Bangalore was:
Coonoor  >> Mettupalyam >> Avinashi >> Perundurai >> Salem >> Dharmapuri >> Krishnagiri >> Hosur >> Bangalore.

By the time we reached Salem the sun had already set completely. After sun set we stopped for tea and later for dinner. The after dinner ride was a bit troublesome. Both me and Harsha were on one bike and both of us were sleepy. It was around 11 PM when both of us just couldn't control sleeping. I also had a power nap in a dhaba. There were a hell lot of lorries still we were ripping at 100Kmph. We entered Bangalore at 3:30 AM and we were more than happy to go over the Elevated highway. We knew our journey had come to an end and this is the last place were we could rip. We covered the 9KM highway in less than 5 minutes and here is when I touched the max speed of the trip 115Kmph and by the time we were down, our bike stopped. We had to tow to our house with the help of another bike. One of the best rides of my life

Overview of our road trip:

View Road Trip in a larger map
*zoom in and click on the places to see the details

There were a lot of great pictures take in the trip and its difficult to put them in the post, view albums here

Wednesday, 14 July, 2010

Add 2 tb spoons of .... COBRA????

Last night when I opened the kitchen cupboard to take some rice, I saw a snake move very fast. It did not startle me as it moved away from me rather than coming towards me. What surprised me was, how did the snake get into a closed space. The snake was about 2 ft. and it appeared to me as a baby rat snake as there was insufficient light. I started to take out the vessels and tins one after the other. There was no way for the snake to go other than the door, where I was bending and blocking its exit. All of a sudden the snake moved towards me and spread its hood and that's when I realised that it was a cobra.

Now I had to be cautious and I shut the door. Wore my gloves and glasses and then asked my dad to get a sack to put the Cobra. I didn't want to hurt the innocent venomous striker, so I got my badminton rackets. I tried to take the Cobra like a dosa on one racket and held it tight with the other and put it in to the sack that my dad was holding. I made sure he/she was not hurt and that was quite a challenge. We let the cobra free at a far away place.

Since I did not panic and noticed the snake clearly, all was well as it all ended well. Now all of us in my house are traumatised by the hallucination of the snake's presence. Our area is snake infested and I have lost count over the number of snake encounters in the vicinity, but this is the 3rd time a snake has come inside my house and that too inside the closed cupboard. The last time round, it was a Russel's viper and it almost took away my brother's life. Thank god, last night I cooked rice and not my mom, Don't know what would have happened then.

Last night, there was no power like usual and I was all alone. I thought this was the right time for some light painting and did not use any light and was busy light painting in the dark. Now I feel that there is so much that could have happened in the dark. I am so used to my house that, in the night I move around without turning on the lights. I don't think I am going to do that ever again.

I was not afraid of the one snake that I saw and caught, because I saw it and knew it was there. But am afraid of the many snakes that I don't see and feel its somewhere in the house. God's grace that nothing went wrong, but thinking about all the things that could have happened is making me hallucinate. Hope I get over this in few days.

After the 140 heart beats per second job it was time for some photography..

Venomous Visitor

Marvelous hood

Ready to strike

After the incident, one of my neighbours told us that we were lucky that the cobra came home on Tuesday and it will bring us wealth and prosperity. The lady claimed with a lot of jealousy that goddess Lakshmi (Hindu Goddess of wealth) has come home. Now lets wait and watch.. If I don't become richer by next Tuesday, am gonna throw a Cobra in her house.

Tuesday, 29 June, 2010

First Glimpse of the Namma Metro

Namma Metro

Metro Carriage parked on the Ring road!! Lucky to spot it!!
here is few pics for all Bangaloreans

There is a rapid improvement and growth in the infrastructure of Bangalore. We must be happy to have been born in this generation to have witnessed both sides of Bangalore. What we have seen is a underdeveloped Bangalore and what we are seeing now is the developing Bangalore and all of now know that this city will soon be like the other great cities of the world.