Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sanghi Parivar

Ok, Before you start reading this, Let me warn you. If you are not a Marwari, that too from Sanghi Family who hails from Kanwat, Rajasthan (Garg gotra), then this blog might not interest you. Still, I request you, if you can, please share this on your profile or website or anywhere, so that this blog has some chance of achieving what is aims to.

This July, My Dad showed me a hand written note made by my grand father. The paper had turned yellow. Ink had faded. It was difficult to read what was written.It appeared like a big flow chart has been drawn on a small piece of paper. My father told me, it's our family tree. Your grand father has very carefully traced out our genealogy on this paper. I tried a little harder and I could read my father's and uncle's name at the bottom of the paper.

And my father told me that he wanted to make sure this family tree is properly maintained. This was not a tough task. I promptly took out my laptop and created a word document and also added my, my brother's and my cousin's name to the list. It was all very simple.

You can download the family tree from here.

As you can see, it traces our family to 8 generations back. But it traces only My Grand father's Father's (Marked in red colour) family. It does not say anything about any of his brother's family. And also we have no idea who they are. And suddenly my dad told me that he wanted to expand this family tree to include them and also get in touch with at least one of them.

This is a tough task. How do I do this? Agreed Internet has shrunk this world. But how can I search for someone or rather someone's descendants after 4 generations. And only thing we have is their first name. Then one day I saw this Airtel 3G Facebook AD (Kanthilal). And I thought, I got to try something similar.

So friends here I am trying my luck out. I m not very sure or confident that this will work. But as they say: "You risk failure when you are trying. But by not trying you ensure it."

Request you to get in touch with me at or leave a comment ,in case you happen to be part of this tree  or you know some one who is.

Also request all of you to share this, so that I have some chance of fulfilling my father's small wish.

Here is the link again. If you are not able to access the link, here is how my family tree looks.
Family tree, Sanghi Parivar, Garg Gotra, Kanwat-Rajasthan

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thank you, Sir

Life does not come with a manual. Most of us need someone to guide us through the initial phase of life.
I was lucky to have some very good teachers as my guide.

One of Kabeer's doha says:

                Guru Govind Dono Khade, Kako Lagoon Paay,
                Balihari Guru Aapki, Jin Govind Diyo Batay.

When I was in school, i was made to learn this. And if i can remember correctly what it means is:
Kabir says, if teacher and God both are standing before him, he will first bow to his teacher and not to God". And he explains why.

Now for most of my life I have been an atheist. So I never had to choose between God and anyone else. But if I have to choose someone as God, I will opt for my parents and/or my teachers.  This teacher’s day, I pay my respect to some of my teachers.

I was born in Rairangpur, a small town in Mayurbhanj district in the Indian state of Orissa. Now, 26 years later, I am working for a multinational company. I would not say success has already kissed me, as there are plenty of things that I still need to achieve. But whatever I have become today is the result of many factors. 

We all meet many teachers/professors during our school/college days. We love to bunk classes, make fun of them. And we hardly ever like to listen to them. But sometimes we come across someone special and few things in life changes. We probably do not realize the change at that very moment. But when we look back to our school/College days, we always remember them with  smile and gratitude.

Now I have been lucky to have been tutored by some great teachers. I probably do not remember them for what they taught me, but I will always be indebted to them for making me believe in myself. It’s not what they taught made them special, but it’s how they taught.

I went to school (Sri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre) only because my parents got me enrolled. But I was only 4 then. Was I supposed to know what happens in school? My overall performance was average. I made some friends. (I am still in touch with few of them)

There was one guy who was very smart, hardworking. He always used to come first in everything, be is academics, quiz or sports. Then this happened. One of the teachers (Patra Sir) told that guy, you may be better than Lalit (that’s me) today, but mark my words "one day Lalit will be more successful than you". I never knew what prompted him to say this, but that was a huge confidence booster for me. There was someone who showed more faith in me, than I had in myself. For the records, that smart guy is still way ahead of me and I wish him all the best. I hope someday my teacher’s word will come true. But competing with him is not what I want, and also I realize this is not what my teacher must have meant.

After I passed class V, I needed to change my school. The choice for new school was not a tough one. There were only 3 schools in my town for class VI onwards. And all of them taught till class X. Out of these 3, one was for girls only. To make the choice even simpler, I have not even heard of one of them, and my two elder brothers were already studying in the other one. So I ended up in Rairangpur High school.

In class VI, Mr. Munindra Nath Parida came as math teacher. I went to him for my private tuitions as well. Now everyone knows the saying "you can take the horse to water, but you cannot make it drink". But he made me drink. It was him, who actually ignited the fire in me. It was him who taught the value of education in life. I owe him lot for making me what I am today.

For class VIII-X, I went to Mr. Kali Prasanna Mohanta for my private tuitions. What I learnt from him is -- Yes Education is important in life, But it’s not everything, and you learn only when you enjoy it. Best part, he never made me mug up any formulae, he encouraged to figure out a way so that it strikes you, rather than just mugging it up.

Anyways, I wrote Xth exams, and passed with dissent marks. And the need was now to search for a college.There was only one in the town. And my marks in Xth were not good enough to get me admitted to any other better colleges outside my town. And I joined Rairangpur college for my XIIth (+2).

But before I could join College, I needed to decide the stream I wanted to join. We had options of Science, Commerce, Arts. Now if your marks are good you take Science, if average than Commerce and bad then Arts. That’s how the streams are decided in my town and it hardly depends on personal choice. My marks were good enough to get me a seat in Science. One of my elder brothers was already in science and the other in commerce. But my elder brother and father decided I will not be able to tackle the pressure of science, and hence I should be joining Commerce. And I agreed.

 Then entered Mr. Kishore Behera. He somehow convinced my father to get me enrolled into science. He has never met me before. And his reasons were simple, if he does not do well; he can always switch to commerce in +3.  One more incident of someone else having more faith in me than I had in myself. Later I went to him for private Chemistry classes. He was one of the very few teachers in the town who actually cared to teach things that were being taught to other students in better colleges.

I always loved Mathematics. I was fond of solving problems. I loved the very funda of Calculus, 2/3-D geometry, equations, and numbers. But I hated one particular topic, “Probability”. One particular day i got so fed up, I just I told my math teacher, Mr. Hemanta Giri, I cannot do these sums and it’s a waste of time for me to try and solve them as I will never be able to solve them. Then came his reply. Which I will never ever forget in life. He simply told me: "Lalit If you think, You cannot do these sums and you do not understand these sums, Then it’s better for me to stop teaching this. If I cannot make you understand, there is no one in the entire college who will understand this". I don’t remember what my reaction was. I almost went blank. Here is one more teacher who has more belief in me than I have in myself.

This is how the college years came to an end. Then I joined Vellore Institute of Technolgy for my B-Tech. But by then, I had full confidence in me. I saw people from all part of India from some very good colleges there, and I told myself I might have come from a small place and yet I am there rubbing shoulders with them. So there is no need for me to be afraid of anyone. But it was because of all those teachers who have helped me develop all that confidence in me. And how I performed in VIT, well all my friends know about it.

Thank you Sir, I will always be indebted to all of you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A trip to DudhSagar

Its good to plan. Even if they don't work every time, planning gives you a sense of security. But if you plan a lot for an adventurous outing, it might become boring.

The only part in our trip to DudhSagar that was planned was return bus tickets. And it turned out to be one of my best outings till date.

Before I start with my story, let me introduce my mates who were with me when we trekked to Dudhsagar.
From left to right: Gagan, Vidhu, Karthik,Lalit(me),Rafeeque,Sharath. And Sameer is taking this picture.
All the pictures are taken by either Sharath or Sameer.
the gang 

We ended up going out that weekend probably only because we have missed out on our trip to SriShelam the week before. We planned SriShelam trip almost 10 days in advance.

On july 26 Gagan posted the suggestion of Dudhsagar on facebook. We just said yes without taking it seriously. On 28th the tickets were booked. I was like what the hell. On 29th I went to meet other guys thinking probably they will have a plan. And no body had any idea, other than what omniscient google has to say. The only thing we could find was we have to carry every thing from food items, to mosquito repellent as there is very little chance of finding anything there.

And finally on July 29th evening we boarded the bus to belgaum, with very little clue about our next steps. And only in the bus I realized even our seats are not together. But that did not dampen our spirit.

The Begining
We got down at Belgaum @ 6 in the morning.  We asked the locals there about how we can reach DudhSagar. And we were told we have to go to Mollem first. Now the bus that we got down from goes through Mollem. Now we needed to find out another way of reaching till Mollem. We tried hiring cab(very expensive for our budget), Train -- Nothing at that time, So we ended up boarding another bus to Mollem. It took us 3 hours to reach Mollem. But it is one of the most beautiful and dangerous bus journey I had ever done. Yes both beautiful and dangerous.

The start of the bus journey was uneventful. After some time the view became beautiful. All you can see were trees, with natural shade on the road. It was like walking through jungle. And as we started gaining some altitude, a very dense fog engulfed us. We were seating on the first 3 rows of the bus. So we should have had clear view of the road. but because of the fog nothing was visible. And the road was full of curves (Hair pin curves). It felt  like the driver is driving not by seeing the road but by experience and intuition. To make things more interesting, it even started to rain.

Fog on the way to Mollem
We got down at Mollem @ 11. Again asked the locals about how to reach DudhSagar. And they told we have to go to Collem. Another 20 minutes journey by bus. In the mean while we tried to find out if there is any place  at DudhSagar where we can spend the night, or tents available on rent which we can carry. To our surprise we were told  we can easily get a place to stay there by talking to the locals there.

In any case we boarded another bus to Collem and we were there by 11.30. 
The other thing that we knew about our trip was we have to trek along the railway track for around 10 km. 
As soon as we reached Collem we can see the railway track. Some guides were also available there. They have bikes and you can ride pillion with them if you want. now we had to decide whether we want to walk 10 km or just ride comfortably. It was a easy decision, we chose to walk and that was the best decision we took.

The Trek
As soon as we stared trekking, it started to rain again. Till now we were being saved by bus. but now we have to take care of our luggage. we quickly took our wind cheaters, rain coat, umbrella and hid what ever we can.
The trek starts
It's little difficult to walk along the railway track but it has some of its own benefits also. If you notice there are two milestones (white and yellow on each side of track), they helped us to track our progress. And every km crossed gave us more energy.

When we started the trek it was raining. But it stopped raining in some time. And rain continued to play hide and seek with us. When ever we stopped to take a break, even the rain stopped and the moment we started again, so did the rain, as if rain was also part of our gang.

Yes we were walking in rain, yes we needed to walk 10 km but the scenic beauty the track provided took away all the pain. The green forest, the grey railway track, the approaching trains, the dark tunnels, numerous milk white water falls along the way and whenever the trees allowed to see the cloud covered horizon made the journey a melting pot of such natural beauties that it was a pleasure to walk.
Green Forest, Grey Railway Track & Cloud covered Horizon

Dark Tunnels

Approaching Trains
We met few railways worker on the way and also came across some of the smallest railway platforms I have ever seen. And we kept asking them whether we are on the right track, how much further, will we get something to eat some where. We all knew the answers to these questions but still we kept asking. And to our surprise, one of us told that there is a Bar near one of the stations, and we can get beer from there but food will be a problem. Beer was ruled out because we did not want to walk after drinking and carrying extra weight of bottles was a strict No-No. We took break, ate biscuits and glucose which we were carrying. '

The one thing this confirmed is Reliance might be behind the line"karlo duniya mutthi main" but its actually KingFisher who has the duniya mutthi main.

The First Shight
And after walking for around 9 km, we got a glimpse of the DudhSagar fall. The fall was still 1-1.5 km away. What we saw took our breath away. And we realized something so gigantic and powerful can also be so soothing and calming. It took away all our tiredness and we marched towards our destination with renewed energy. 
Love @ First Sight
The Fall
We had to pass through a split tunnel to reach the Falls. And the split tunnel actually added to the aura of the fall. It was like walking through a divine opening to witness the fall falling from the heaven. When we finally made it to the falls, we were spell bound. On one side The magnificent fall was falling down from sky and on the other side, water was rushing across the green forest. 

The Fall

Other Side

Night @ DudhSagar
We had stared trekking around 11.45 A.M. and we reached DudhSagar around 5.30 P.M. Yes, we were tired. And we remembered that some one at Collem has told us we can get a place to stay easily by talking to some locals here. But now we realized, its not going to be so easy. And locals, there were none, You either see tourists there or people working @ the railway station. Some one told us we can either go back now, A train schedule to come in 1 hour (yes you can board a train to come to DudhSagar, but its no fun), or we can spend the night at either a church or the railway station and leave the next day.

So we started walking towards the Church, which was 1 km away from the fall and little distance before the railways station.Now when some one thinks of a church at least an average sized white building with a cross on the top comes to mind. And hence we were high on hopes of spending the night comfortably. But when we reached the church, what we saw were: Few stairs leading to a 3-walled room with tin roof. It had a statue of mother Mary inside and a bell (which normally is found in temples). We did not bother to stop at the church and kept walking to the railways station. The railways station was even smaller and hence we came back to church and agreed to spend the night there.
The Blue Church :)

Now we had decided to spend the night in the church. We had 2 torch lights with us. And it was getting darker. We had no idea how dark the night can be. So we decided to collect some dry wood and lit a fire. But because of the rain, we could not found a single piece of dry wood. Not even in the tunnels. We tried to get some kerosene from the people at the railway station. It was a very difficult task. Not that the people there were not helpful, but getting stuffs there was so difficult that no body wanted to part with what ever they had. But some how we manged to get some out of them, and came back happily to the church.

We had our dinner. Bread and Jam that we were carrying. And after some gossip we tried to lit the fire. Now we tried almost everything, but we were unable to light fire. Blame it on the wet wood, or our inexperience, we just could not light fire. After several failed attempts we had no other choice but to give up. After some time we realized that we needed some kind of light otherwise, its going to be very difficult.
 Gagan and Vidhu saw lots of molten wax in a stand before Mother Mary, and they built candles out of those wax and took turn to make sure those kept burning. Soon it was pitch dark. Quite a few number of engines kept passing every hour. And they were happy enough to stop if anyone wanted a lift from DudhSagar to Collem or Londa. But we had decided to enjoy the night and hence we stayed there. 

Early Morning
This was a Sunday morning. We got up @ 4.30 in the morning, only because a train has stopped right in front of the church and was blowing its horn with full power. And then around 60-70 people got down from the train. And for the first time we realized DudhSagar is a very popular tourist place. People come early in the morning by train, spend some time there and go back in the evening by the return train or by boarding any of the engines.
It was still quite dark, and we have to make place for all those people in the church. Every one was waiting for the first ray of light so that they can go and enjoy the waterfall.  
Once there was light, we also left for a last view of the fall. It was drizzling. There was very dense fog, and we could hardly see the top of the fall. It was nature its best. The beauty can not be described in words. You have to be there to witness that beauty. And it is now why the fall was named DudhSagar. The flow of water was milky white.

Return to Belgaum and to Hyderabad
Around 11 in the morning, we decided its time to say good bye to DudhSagar. But no one from us was in mood to trek back. So we boarded a train to Londa and from Londa to Belgaum. Now DudhSagar does not have a ticket counter, So you are at the mercy of ticket collector if you are boarding a passenger train and not just a engine, or a goods train. We booked a hotel in Belgaum and rested there till evening and boarded the bus back to Hyderabad in the evening.

For people interested to Visit DudhSagar
1. Trek from Collem to DudhSagar - ~10 km along the railway track
2. Trek from CastleRock to DudhSagar - ~ 15 km along the railway
3. Board a train to DudhSagar from Belgaum

If planning to stay there or trek, always carry food, First aid stuffs, dry clothes and torch lights. And dont forget a very good camera. Its a paradise for a photographer.

More Pics
A Closer View

Dark Tunnel

The Journey

First Sight

The Split Tunnel

View from DudhSagar

Friday, August 12, 2011

Books Vs Movies

Best way to time travel : Read books.
Few months back, one of my Friends made me buy a book. He himself had not read the book. But have been suggested by many and read somehwere that,this is 1st part  of a very Widely acclaimed and International best Selling trilogy.

Few days after that purchase, On a uneventful evening I opened the book for the first time but could not read beyond first few pages. The book was just not connecting with me. I gave it few more try in next few days, but never managed to go beyond the 1st 15-20 pages. So the book ended up in some corner of my cupboard.

Last saturday, after returning from office I just switched on the TV and going through the channels @ random. on HBO, I noticed a movie based on the same novel was to be telecasted @ 9 PM. It reminded me of a T- Shirt tag line that I have read some days ago (my younger brother's). It said "Why read books, Just watch the movie." And believe me I did not like the T-Shirt (I love my brother).

Now, I am not a movie buff. I normally watch movies for the heck of it. But some how I wanted to see this movie. I felt like anyways I have already wasted my money on the book. lets just sit for 2 hrs and find out what was the book about.

To my horror the movie turned out to be in Swedish (with English Subtitle). But I enjoyed the movie thoroughly. I had to concentrate more on the subtitle than on the screen, But I did not move till the movie was about to over. 5-10 mins before the movie was scheduled to over, I with lots of relucatnce switched off the TV. I just did not wanted to know the ending.

The only thing that kept coming to my mind was if the movie is so good, How beautiful the book should have been. Or the book is acutully very good,but its no my taste. in that case I should not have liked the movie also (that too in swedish). So i decided i ll give it one more try. If required I ll force myself to read atleast 1st 50 pages.

So Thursday , I carried the book to office, read few pages there. Nothing much. Thursday night i continued reading. Still not very exciting. But slowly the plot become interesting and I started enjoying the writing. Now I knew whats going to happen next ( as I have already seen the movie), but the experience of reading the book completely different from it watching it on TV. And today I finsihed reading the book. 

My reaction : The movie was SHIT, if u compare with the book. 
Even when I knew whats going to happen next, Book gives so much details of every thing, it literally transforms the reader(at least me) to the scene of action. With all the slightest details ranging from the kind furniture, color of the wall to the clothes the character is wearing, You feel like you were actually watching all events unfolding right infront of your eyes. As if you are physically present there. With movies, you like the acting, you like the special effects, but you never connect with the character like this.

Reading a book feels like time travel. Watching a movie is just a dream.

P.S. : the novel is question is "The Girl with Dragon Tatto" and Thanks Sarat for making me buy this book. I enjoed reading it.