Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…


Watkins Glen State Park – Gorge Trail

My wife and I decided to visit Watkins Glen State Park. We decided to make it as a one day trip & started from Parsippany after having our favorite Bagel from Wawa for breakfast. We started around 9:30 AM and reached by 2:45 PM. It’s a 230 mile drive. We stopped twice in between, first stop to make call to our parents and next stop to have lunch.


My wife had prepared lunch for our trip this way we can have lunch at our convenient location, we’d lunch in a beautiful spot, spent some time there and headed to the Watkins Glen, New York. Since it’s fall the trees and the mountains still had the majestic colors and it was very beautiful to witness the colors.


My wife did research and identified the trail for our hiking. We reached our destination at 2:45 noon. We took a glimpse of the trail map & started hiking immediately. We entered from the southern entrance as the main entrance was closed for renovation. As we entered the bridge at the entrance to the trail, we could hear the sound of water gushing & a lot of people hiking the different trails. People looked very tiny as the bridge at the entrance was at the peak of the trail.



We took the Gorge trail as the Indian trail almost covers the same path as the other trail. The gorge trail has 19 falls and several caves. As we moved on the we started exploring the beauty of the park. The fall color throughout trail & the slight drizzle made the place most beautiful. It was a great workout climbing the steps before entering the central cascade & later near the Jacob’s ladder. The rock steps were built in the year 1908!


We enjoyed the rainbow falls and couldn’t move away from the pool at central cascade as it was so beautiful. We spent a lot of time near this spot and then proceeded with the trail. They even call a small water flowing rocks too as a water falls 😀

Click the image in circle to open it.

One of the main agenda in this hiking is to take photos of the water falls. I’d ordered a 55mm ND filter in Amazon as a expedited delivery but amazon failed to deliver it in a day as promised even after charging a $6. I have called them on Friday night which is when it was supposed to get delivered but they didn’t had any info and told me that I might get it the next day. I was very disappointed and sad that I won’t be able to take the photos I’d imagined in my mind.

I’ve seen photos like these a lot & always wanted to take it by myself. Without having a ND filter I thought it’s not possible to take, I remembered reading a blog about taking long exposure at day time without filters and gave a try & yes, it worked out very well.

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We breathed heavily by the time we finished climbing Jacobs ladder a 180 stone steps which marked the end of the Gorge trail. Huff!!! It started raining heavily but we had the shuttle service luckily to head back to the southern entrance. It was 5:30 when we completed the trail and took the shuttle back to main entrance. The shuttle driver was very kind and explained a lot about Watkins Glen & the Finger Lakes. I was very surprised and amazed to know that the lake was 700 feet and extends to 38 miles. Wow!
He stopped near the Elk farm and we saw few Elks wandering in the park which is raised by Germans. He also said that the main entrance is being uplifted by a $6 million renovation.

By the time we reached the southern entrance the entire parking lot was almost empty! We had fun time playing swing & it was a relaxation after the hiking 😀

We sure will visit Watkins Glen State Park again to explore more.



Cycling at Central – Spring 2016

Since the winter is officially over and Spring has has begun! I was waiting for a day to ride cycle in Central Park again!

Since friends schedule (:D :P) didn’t match, I went alone on April 24th to Central Park. I was well prepared for the day and my goal for the day was very clear, it’s just a day for me and to enjoy the day well by cycling!

Carried a fully charged power bank, sunglass, Cap, wallet, a juice bottle and a box with apple slices for the day. Made sure my rope bag is as light as possible (which I usually do!) so that I’ll feel comfortable the whole day & the energy won’t be wasted in carrying the bag with unnecessary weight & won’t reduce the time to ride bicycle.

As I reached the rental shop, there were few people but no cycle! Yeah.. I was late already & the shop was almost empty, but there were cycles left for me. They seem to have changed the cycles & almost all cycles were new. Last year the cycles were silver color and this year the new ones were black color.

Rented a cycle and since there were no locks left & I was asked to wait until someone returns the cycle to get a lock for me, I didn’t spend time waiting for anyone, I just left saying I’ll collect it later if I need.

Left the rental shop just the same way I use to leave the rental shop in my childhood paying 1 Rupees for 1 hour 🙂 As I entered the park, I was among one of the thousands! And the rest were almost same as last year.

Here are the pics and video taken this year.


This flower adds beauty to this post!




Relaxing after completing first lap!


ohhh… you too relaxing??


End of lap 1.

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End of the day! After 5 laps.

As usual enjoyed my cycling & had fun with my friends Sriram and Kalai who joined me at evening after seeing the photos I’d posted in our whatsapp group!

Watch the short video that I took while cycling!

As I say in all posts, leave your comment below, when I revisit this post after several years, I could read your comment. Comments in whatsapp and FB will be long gone after few years! Thank you for reading!

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Horse Riding at Fort valley Ranch

We came out of the adorable Luray caves after the spending a wonderful time there, We then spent half an hour at the entrance corridor and took rest. We were not sure about the next place to visit. We’d initially planned to visit White House on our way back to New Jersey, as we’re already in Virginia we’d planned to visit either Virginia beach or go for Skyline drive in Shenandoah national park. All of a sudden one of our friends suggested Horse riding.

Without second thought Ananth had called up fort valley people and inquired about the timing. The next batch was about to ride at 4 o clock. Before riding there will be a demonstration session for which we were required to be there exactly at 3:30 PM. But when we’d called the time was 3:15 and it was 10 miles away from where we’d stopped our car. Map showed that we could reach there only by 3:50 or so. But we didn’t want to miss this chance as it was the last ride for the day.

Ananth had started the car and all I could see him was nothing but Jason Statham in Transporter movie. He had bursted chuckles and gripped the steering firmly.

Though it was just 10 miles, since it was a valley, the roads had very sharp turns and if we go off the road, we’ll be down somewhere down the hill. So he was riding very carefully. On our way to the ride, it was already 3:30, I’d called them up and said ‘heyyyyy… hi…’ we’ve almost reached… We could see your place… yes the board’ (but we had no idea where we are and map showed 2 miles). The location outside was so beautiful , but we could barely enjoy it as we were in a hurry to make it to the place. Just when we thought we would reach the place after looking at the map that said ‘drive 1 mile straight and take right turn’ , it had said ‘drive for 800 meter and take left turn’ and so on… so every time it was like the crowd cheering the football player shouting ‘yeeeeeeeeeeeah’ to make it to goal, but when it is missed, they sit back shouting  ‘huuuuuuuu’ in chorus. Also there was a truck ahead of us going slowly without allowing us to pass through which slowed down us by few mins.

FInally we reached there at 3:45. Good job, Ananth. As soon as we entered the valley, a group of people who were waiting for us to arrive, so that they can go for ride breathed off like relieved, and the jockeys got ready and the front desk lady hurried up to enter and fill the disclaimer form. oh god! I was so happy until we reached there and when they gave the form to sign, I got scared reading at all the points. 1. If you fell off and broke your leg we’re not liable, 2. If you get hurt badly and lose life we’re not liable and all that which makes you scared. hmm… lets’s sign it, thought to myself and I’d signed.

She asked us to pick a helmet if we need and asked to keep our bag and my selfie stick 😦 there before getting to the Horse. She asked us to hurry up to the back of the office where the demonstration would take place, we went fast but the demonstration was almost complete and I heard only three points, 1. how to sit while climbing up the hill while sitting on the horse, 2. how to sit when climbing down 3. how to pull the horse up when it eats the grass and then said are you clear? We only got practiced to say yes, when this question was asked since childhood, so said yes clear in chorus and waited to see what’s next. 😀

There was a two steps stand to get on to the horse and he had picked us randomly and pulled horses from its stable. We missed to hear the first point itself! How to get on a horse, then how will we get on?!!! I was thinking in mind,,, dai don’t call me, don’t call me… let me see how others sit on the horse’… 😀  Everyone started getting horses and now I was thinking I should get a clean horse. Then came a white horse but faded off colors, I was thinking that he shouldn’t call me, and he turned to my side… (chaaa!!! I was thinking…) but he called Dhileep who was standing next to me 😀 😀 The next horse was wow!! Dark shining black Jersey horse (that’s how I have seen calling this kind of horse in Tamil movies and even my dad had said this Jersey horse name quite a few times). He called me and I looked at him and he gave the rope to control the horse and I sat on the saddle without any problem.


This was the Horse I rode!


Last time I went for a Horse ride was in 2006 I think. And it was in marina beach, That was my 4th or 5th time horse ride. Where the jockey use to hold the rope and walk for few meters and come back and that’s it, the horse ride is over and when I got down from the horse the last time, I got sprain on my right leg, yeah I remember it. Now I sat on this horse after a loooooooong years.

As it is Game of Thrones (GoT) season I sat on the horse with the GoTs theme music 😀 He walked with me and made the horse to stand in a line, I asked him, will you be coming with me? (I asked him this thinking, will he walk with my horse holding it’s rope) but he thought something else (will tell you what in next para) and said yes. Now I could smile as this ride will last for one hour and we’re going to ride on a mountain, I’d asked him that question.

He went back and helped other people to get on the horse and took them to the line. Now I was shocked to see him sit on a separate horse and he rode ahead of us and stood in front of the horses. Adapaavi!! (Exclaiming word in Tamil) I said to myself and looked at my friends, they were sitting happily! There was a jockey at front and there was a guy at back of the queue. So a 20 horses lined up and the horses started to move. Just when I started the GoT theme music fastly as it use to play, the horses walked slowly! The theme music faded down to slow phase in my mind 😀 😀

The horses are trained very well and it started to walk when the jockey at front started moving. He said it is going to be a slow walk on the mountain and we’ll climb off slowly after a while. I started looking around the places and when we just moved away from the back of office, we were beginning our horse ride. My first horse ride, without a jockey holding the rope and walking with me. We then entered at the bottom of a mountain and started climbing through the muddy pathway.

The trees had no leaves as it was fall season and climate was moderate. At the start of our ride was a small pond and a big landscape and behind these was a mountain! Wow! It was amazing as I use to watch it in documentaries and in cowboy movies! Wait it is just the beginning, something said to my heart and I’d smiled. 🙂 We then started moving towards the mountain and the horses followed one another gently. A horse at front had stopped so are the horses at the back till end. The jockey at front turned back and took a look, he said that horse is trying to pee, so it will move once it is done. As all the horses were stopped my horse moved forward… Ayayo!!! I was thinking to me wondering how to stop and I didn’t want to do anything with the rope other then turning left and right as I was afraid that might make the horse run fast. my horse chased Dhileep who was ahead of me in the line, while doing it my horse and his horse got fight!! Both were shouting in horse language 😀 We didn’t know what to do and my horse was trying to kick his horse… Luckily the first horse in the line had done with peeing and started moving! 😀 😀 So other horses started moving now and the fight got over abruptly.

We started moving further, the mountain was so calm place and all we could hear was chirps and tweets and singing of the birds. With the sunlight rays trying to enter the mountain through the tall giant trees with leaves off, the horses moved further walking and breaking the dried leaves that are on ground that had fell in that season.

We climbed few ups, the demonstration was absolutely helpful and I’d moved the horses left and right when it was needed. All of a sudden my horse stopped moving! And in this gap Dhileep’s horse tried to overtake me, but my horse’s kick kept him away from overtaking 😀 😀 The jockey said now my horse is peeing! 😀 I asked Ananth see if it spills on my shoe 😀 Luckily it wasn’t  😀 We then moved and only after half an hour or so I sat relaxed. There was small stream in the mountain and we got to cross that, It was very beautiful moment 🙂 The horses walked with ease in all ups and downs.

It was very quiet mountain and the tree shades made it very enjoyable though there were no leaves. I felt how important it is to plant trees and was smiling gladly thinking about more then ten trees that my dad and I’d planted in our house and thought to plant more trees further.

We then climbed down gradually and came out of the mountain, I was smiling so happily after reaching the starting point as nothing happened negatively as it was written in the forms we’d signed. It was a wonderful and best time ever. It was absolutely worth for the money we’d paid ($30/Person) & must enjoy. Thanks a lot to Ananth who decided to drive the ‘Transporter’ way, if he had thought we couldn’t make it to the place, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this ride until now and who knows I wouldn’t have enjoyed it anytime at all!

If you’re planning to visit Virginia, you must include this in your agenda. Tips: Don’t be afraid while riding, it is absolutely safe and enjoyable, unless you kick the horse in his sensitive area 😀

Here is the brochure I got from the Valley.


On our way back was a spectacular meadows, Microsoft should have taken picture from here for the wallpaper instead of California. It was beautiful grass meadows with cows eating grasses. Stopped our car for a while in roadside and enjoyed the place and started back home 🙂

Uncut video version of this trip below (04:09 minutes). Subscribe to my YouTube channel to enjoy more videos.


Cycling at Central Park, New York

As a bicycle lover, I always wanted to ride bicycle in New York. As it was winter season when I’d arrived here, I had to wait until the winter is over. As the spring begun a month ago, I had been telling my friend to make a plan for cycling. The wait was over finally on April 18.

I always wanted to start early for any trip but end up waiting for my friends to get ready! This plan was no exception! I’d got ready and was waiting for my friends to start from their place & finally I’d started from my place an hour before it was noon. I’d reached New York port authority bus terminal, only difference was I was not in formal wear as I do everyday to office.

As soon as I reached I was wandering the streets and went to times square just to pass time until my friends reached NY. As they reached I’d boarded the car and together we came across few streets to find parking. One main thing to keep in mind if you are visiting New York on a weekend in your car is that you need to either reserve your parking in advance or you need to know which street has meter parking for longer hours.


                                                                          oh! Who it at the top right corner? 😉

For those who like to know more about parking in New York is that there are several types are parking available in New York. We cannot park cars anywhere we want, like we do it in India, There will be selective portion in road which are allowed for public and it will be allowed for 3 hours, on weekend some streets will allow maximum of 6 hours, if your plan exceeds 6 hours, you need to renew or add more hours after the 6 hour is over. There will be meters placed on streets, you need to enter the number of hours you need to park and pay through card, Once the receipt is printed, it needs to be placed in front of driver seat and it should be visible for cops. Else penalty/ticket (fine) will be issued.

So we roamed around few streets and finally found a place to park. But we were already moved ahead of the parking place, so I got down with Ananth’s friend and we both were holding the parking place by standing in the parking space on road, It was like holding place for your friends in movie hall or in bus 😀 Ananth had to go around few streets to get back to the same road again, we cannot simply take a reverse to park even though it was a few steps or one car space ahead of the parking space.

We then walked to a cycle shop on 56th street and rented 3 bicycles. We’d booked it already through mobile. It was $20/Day through an offer. Else the prices were different. We then headed to a Subway nearby to have lunch. As it was cycling day we didn’t want to eat heavily as it would ruin our cycling mood.

I felt awesome when I started riding the cycle, it’s after 6 months I’m riding a cycle. When I rented the cycle it reminded the days when I use to ask 50 paise and 1 rupee from my mom when I was at school. I use to rent cycle for one hour and roam around streets of Hosur enjoying with my friends, every now and then we use to go to the cycle shop and ask the owner ‘Anna how many mins left?‘ and then go on to the streets again. 🙂

Similarly I took the cycle here and only difference I don’t have to visit the shop to ask for the hours as I have a watch now and also it’s rented for a full day. The lady asked us to return the cycle by 10 PM. When I’d left the shop the time was 2:15 noon. After lunch we started from Subway around 2:50.

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The rental shop lady gave us New York city map for cycle route, central park map & another brochure with rules for cycling in New York (which I read the next day :D), the only rule I have for cycling is enjoy the ride without causing trouble to commuters. As I started form the shop my friends asked me to carry water bottles in a bag for which I said no! may be they didn’t ride cycle for so many years now and had forgotten how painful it will be to ride cycle carrying bag at your back. As these cycles didn’t had carriers at back I didn’t want to carry it in my shoulder. Since I’ve done that during my school days I knew I won’t enjoy the ride if I carry load, so phew!!!! Kept the bag in car and headed to park.

Central park starts from 59th street to 110th street. It is the biggest greenery spot in New York City, One cannot believe New York City, the concrete jungle has such a beautiful place in center of the city. It was heavily crowded and streets were full of people 🙂 It was so nice to see the city with more people in streets. As the weather on that day was awesome city was heavily crowded and it was full of people. As we entered the park, we started riding cycle in the cycling track, the road/track in central park is the place for cycling, running, walking, roller skates and much more. On weekdays public transportation is allowed but on weekends it’s strictly for the above said purpose.

As I started riding cycle I was so amazed by being in central park, secondly I was riding cycle, so I felt very happy when I headed in the track. As it’s spring season, there were blossoms at many places. Some trees with white flowers and some with pink. When I kept riding I saw a place where people were looking through a fence. I wanted to look what it was, but my friends were not interested… haha! I said I’ll look at that and I had headed to that fence… Wow! It was a ground and it was full of people! It looked awesome! People were with their family and their loved ones. Just like a picnic spot in movies, they were sitting on a blanket and enjoying their time. Many were with bikini and taking sun bath. The kids were playing, people were playing frisbee. It reminded me the days I played frisbee with my sister and cousins at Marina beach, Chennai.

You can find so many birds and squirrel in the park, there was a tortoise too!  There is a zoo in the park which I didn’t visit. I then moved on to enjoy some guys who were playing guitar and singing. People were sitting, resting and enjoying that. I spent a few minutes near a small pond and then moved on. The cycle track/the road in park is full of ups and down (don’t wave your thoughts about the quotes now, life is full of up and down :D). So many trees in the park which reduces the noise from the outer streets. I kept riding, there was a small water falls, swimming pool (which didn’t had water, I think it’ll be filled in summer), a very big lake, two playing grounds, a very big open place filled with grass to sit and rest.

It took one hour ten minutes for me to complete the first round, As I’d stopped at many places to enjoy the spots it took this time in first lap. I then started with the second lap and rode slowly and enjoyed the lap time was 4:50, end of 3rd lap 5:35, end of 4th lap 6:30, there was a CNN news display at one point in the track from where I saw the time every time I wwas near the end of lap. For every lap I’d stopped at the lake and asked someone else to take me pics. At 4th lap I took a off road and walked in a small hill inside the park near a waterfall, that spot was very nice. It looked like one of the track which I’d played in NFS.

Then during 5th lap I bought some snacks which were costly than what we get outside the park, even the water bottle! It was $3 inside the park with just a difference in shape but was costly for that price. But there were drinking water spots in park which is very neatly maintained. There was another spot in the park to sit which is so close to another lake, it was so peaceful, we can sit there for hours just to enjoy the beauty.

I’d completed 5th lap and then called my friend who asked me to come directly to the rental shop, so after 5 hours of cycling I met my friends 😀 Gave back the cycle and felt so happy for riding cycle for a a long time… Time was 8:15 when I returned the cycle, so from 3:00 – 8:15 I rode cycle in Central Park. All that I was wondering was I didn’t felt pain or I didn’t sweat a lot. Just that last lap I rode fast in a steep hilly track in park, otherwise I rode slowly and enjoyed every lap.

I then headed to bus terminal and reached home at 10:30, had dinner and went to bed. It was at 3 am, when I turned upside down and bent my leg 😥 😥 my god! I couldn’t bend my leg 😀 😀 I felt pain at 3 AM. I woke up and went to wash room, did a small warm up to make ease to legs. Did few sit ups 😀 haha… it was like doing dumb-bells at gym the very first day thinking rock and john cena and ending up with pain in hands. But I rode it slowly, may be the longer hours caused the pain. I then slept at 4:30 AM. As soon as I woke up I wanted to check the area of the central park to know the miles I’d rode. I was so surprised to know it was 6.1 mile a lap and that I’d rode 30.5 miles which is 49.1 kms. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was so surprised that I rode cycle for so many miles without even knowing! And now planning to do it once a month until the season is over 🙂

Plan for cycling in Central Park if you visit the city. You can rent cycle per hour, 2 hours and so on. Check websites for rental cycle and make your plan.


Luray Caverns, Virginia

We went to Chipotle before leaving D.C. and got take away for dinner. We were heading to Virginia for our night stay as we’d planned to visit Luray caves the next day. As we were heading to other state, the speed limit in the other state had increased, which was 70mph I think. I’d slept soon after we’d entered the highway. We missed to stay on a left lane which continuous to the highway & entered a different route, as the maps re-routed, the road we traveled was thrilling. It looked similar to the road that I saw in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil movie last month. By the time I woke up, we’d reached the night stay ‘Quality Inn’. It was a good place for stay. It was 23:30 when we reached, we had dinner as soon as we entered room. It was time to charge mobile, there were enough ports to charge mobile, however i thought to carry a three pin charger next time when I stay outside. I must mention that the room was neat and I’d a peaceful sleep.

I woke up first and got ready and alarmed others to get ready. one by one Ganesh, Ananth & Dhileep got ready. Meanwhile Varada and his wife were ready and were waiting in their room. We started from hotel at 10 AM. We stopped at Mc Donald’s for breakfast and the headed to Luray caves. It was not even a mile from there we’d reached our destination.

As we reached the destination I was wondering if that was the actual place for the caves. Because it appeared to me like a normal place. The entrance looked like a park or museum entrance. May be this is how entrance for all other caves looks, I don’t know… This is my first visit to a cave. As we were getting ready to enter, Ganesh had bought the entrance tickets. As we entered the queue we were asked to take pictures which the photographers will edit with the main theme of cave, we can buy it if we are interested when we come out of the cave, After taking pictures we entered the hallway, it was the store to purchase things about the caves, I was still wondering where the cave is.

We saw another queue inside the store and a women was allowing us to get to the stairs every 10 mins, as we’ll be escorted by the guide. Unlike India we don’t have to pay separately for guide nor the guide will scratch head end of the tour for extra money. After a few minutes we were allowed to enter a staircase which went beneath the store. Yaay! I could see the staircase leads to the cave. 🙂

As I entered the cave, I was so excited 🙂 We’d climbed down a few steps and we were on ground. That was the entrance to the cave and it was found by a farmer in 1878 in his land. It is now protected by Virginia state government. As I reached the ground I was so amazed at the rock formation and the way the cave looked. It was so beautiful and it the atmosphere was chill at the basement. After a few minutes a guide from Luray caves started explaining about the discovery of the place and that was the last thing I heard from him 😀 I was looking at the rock and turning 360 degree to enjoy the ceiling and the hanging formation of the rock.

As my group of friends were already on to photo session, I’d started moving forward alone to see the rest of the place as I was still at the entrance. As I headed forward I’d noticed the water droppings and I couldn’t find from where it was dropping. the ‘clip clip’ sound of the water dropping made me smile and I’d moved further. As I looked ahead of the path I was walking, the floor was constructed with bricks for the visitors, we were asked to stay on the bricks and not to walk on the rock surface as it might skit. The interior was so vast that we kept walking for two hours (of course looking at every place and slowly).

The path was almost similar to hiking a mountain but on a flat surface. There were ups, downs, zigzag, curve etc… What we could’t do was, there were many areas in the cave which were too deep, the vertical deepest point in the cave is 260 feet!

There is a place which is very famous for this cave, it is a water formation, a pond. It looks amazing! Such a beautiful view in the cave. The beauty about this pond is that it reflects the hanging sharp edges of the rock which reflects in the pond water. The pond appears to be 3-4 feet, but actual deepest point is 6-7 feet. This is must see point in the cave. A photogenic view in the cave. I moved forward without having my mind out of the pond.

As I went further in the cave, I could see giant pillars, which were architecturally looked like pillars in Indian temples. It was amazing when I realized that they are natural formation. I was enjoying the cave so much that I missed the group that was escorted by the guide I’d entered the cave with & not thought about the group of friends I came with 😀 After an hour or so my friends reached the place where I was still standing & admiring the beauty of the cave. The colors of the rocks varied from yellow, red, orange, green, grey etc…


The musical instrument The Great Stalacpipe Organ was created by American mathematician and scientist Leland W. Sprinkle. I couldn’t hear the melody and beauty of the instrument clearly in the caves as some kids were crying & their parents were shoo-ing them to be silent which further made more noise & other group were talking loudly about how to pose for a photo, by that time the music had stopped playing! But I looked at those stones that had created the music 🙂

I’d found this wonderful video about this music, do watch this.

As I moved further, there was a wishing pond, with lots of coins in it. And I learnt that not only people in India, people everywhere in world has some belief and hopes their prayer should come true in someway. The pond was filled with more coins, though it didn’t give me the feeling of throwing a coin, I thought to pray for my parents and through a coin, but I didn’t had a coin, haha I never expected there will be such pond in U.S. 😀 I’d asked my friends and even they didn’t had coins. Like India, I’d asked a visitor from Spanish speaking country but she didn’t had enough coins to give me change. To mention, the guide said and even there is a board there that said, those coins will be collected every year & it’ll be donated to some NGO (America is famous for NGO! Don’t know where are those NGOs and whom they help, there are loooooooot any homeless in U.S. ok, forget it for now! Will discuss that in a diff post!)

I headed further from the wishing pond to know that I’ve reached almost the exit of the caves, walked slowly to hold the memory of the cave and finally came out with a fulfillment. Usually I buy a small… as much as small thing from any place I visit, just for the memory of that place. As I looked for such thing there, everything was ‘Made in China’! Why would I buy something that is made in china for a place that I’d visited in U.S? hmm! I looked at almost all products, even the stones that can be kept in showcase were made in china! Are those stones from the cave or from China? I should have asked the people at cave! Anyways, I bought a magnet hanging with the cave name which was made in China 😀


How will a post end without my pic 😀

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Rise above fear – Based on True events.

Statutory warning: This post might remind you about your exam times. For those who are still studying, please do not try this at school/college. Tricks are performed by ‘an expert’.

After completing L.K.G to 5th standard in Sri Sathya Sai Bala Gurukulam (Which is no more called by the same name, as my school was taken over by a new educational group 😦cleardot ), It was my first day at a new school in 6th standard. I’d 7 subjects (Tamil, English, Hindi, Maths, Science, Social Studies, G.K) until then and when I’d joined the new school, all that I’d in mind was Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Maths I, Maths II because these subjects are going to be in separate books from 6th standard. Never worried about Geography or History as that’s my favorite subject.

Until class 5, I use to get ranks between 1,2 & 3. I remember showing answers to others. One of the greatest moment was I’d helped my friend’s brother who was in class 3, when I was in class2, while sitting next to each other during exam. We used to sit in stairs of our school during exams, the climate in Hosur was always chill so we use to sit in stairs, varanda during exams. The lowest rank I remember that I got was 5. This is until class 5. And that’s the last time I remember I got ranks in single digit in top 5. Haha :) I was so happy in my life until the first mid term exam timetable was circulated in new school. Very first time I was afraid of something. Not just because of so many subjects, it’s because I may not get top ranks :).

Fear in me got increased year after year. Studying for enjoyment and rank (up-to class 5) turned into studying for better mark and good rank. Further it got worst in class 8 and 9. Studying for better mark turned into studying for pass mark for few subjects. And when I was scared about how my marks are going to be in exams, I’d started taking help from friends during exams & I remember I’d even stopped talking to my friend Arulganesh for not showing his answer in exam :). It was just a 2nd mid-term exam during 7th standard. I didn’t talk for a week and that’s not because he had not showed his answers, it’s because he’d advised me in exam hall to write anything I can remember about the answer and not copy. :) Haha… He didn’t realize I would’ve written something if I know it well.

It was during a quarterly exam, I’d decided to come out of fear… Instead of asking friends to show their answers, I started looking at their papers in exam hall and gave them confidence that nothing would happen if they shows answers in exam hall :). Years passed by and I was in 10th standard, Oh god! Back to state board and only 5 subjects, No one would have been happy like in that year. Because after so many years only 5 subjects that I’d to study. And I’m back to form by showing others my answers, It was during my public exam, on Maths exam, I’d completed my paper in ONE HOUR and was planning to double check what I’ve written, when I began to do it, Muralidharan (not a friend, but my class mate) asked me to show my answers, first time i was afraid to show my answer though I wanted to, as it’s exam hall I may be debarred from exam for 3-5 years if caught. Yet, the examiner gestured me as ok to show & I’d shown my answer to him. And in this meantime, I forgot to double check my answer. After I gave the answer sheet to invigilator I’d realized that in an answer instead of writing (x-5) (x+3), I’d written as (x-5)(x-5) because of which I lost 3 marks and missed centum in maths by 3 marks.



Then +1, +2 (11th, 12th) went on little dull & got a decent good marks in final exams. Now in U.G, though subjects were known already, but syllabus were in depth. Marks were like waves and understanding was like graphs :). 3 years passed by & in meantime secured college first mark in Tamil during 3rd semester. After 3 years finally out of college now and joined job. I was so happy for few months that I need not touch books there after. But things were different!!!

GFT – Green Field Training. For initial two months at office, I’d studied like never before. If I score pass mark (70), I’ll leave office as an employee or I’ll be terminated 😦 Two months went with fear about my final result. Whether I will be an employee or not… Finally stayed there as employee :). Months passed by… realized that I need to do a P.G and joined MCA in “toughest university in the Universe or milky way galaxy” (for me) & number one university in India (per govt statistics), IGNOU. My colleagues scared me by saying it’s very tough university, 75% attendance is mandatory and tough evaluation in exams etc… I smiled and said that I’ll manage.

3dfbb7898-1  Joined MCA now, no fear for exams. :) Came out of all fear and I could breath easy at exam hall though I didn’t know a single question in the paper :)For a subject in 3rd year, I didn’t LITERALLY open or see the question paper. I’d applied all ‘kathukitta vitthai’ (meaning implemented all tricks I’ve learnt throughout these years) with all my prior ‘taking help from friends’ experience, and passed almost all subjects and even viva (will write a separate post about this later) made victory!!!!

It’s not my victory… It’s people’s Victory. :)

A final message to you… Come out of fear… do what your mind says… There is lot of fun waiting. :)

Watch the video below to rise above fear!

Achham thaandi uchham thodu!!!

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