Monday, June 27, 2011

My sudden leap to everything 'Adventurous'

This entry was scheduled for two days back, in fact- two nights back. But a wish to sleep early on the first day and a phone call lasting for over an hour and half on the second day, forced me to postpone this. And I am happy about it. On time is a wonderful thing, but a small delay helps in gathering more points to write about and the zeal to write increases.

At India Gate, 6 AM, 25th June 2011
Yesterday I did start writing this entry and my first and last line was, ‘Not much time has passed since my trip to Rishikesh’. Well, I guess, if I am writing this entry now, this line wouldn’t be a suitable first one. I thought of the first line this morning, while returning from an early morning assignment at India Gate. It went something like this: ‘It seems, ‘something adventurous’ has somehow become a daily dose for me since my Rishikesh trip began.’

So kindly allow me to re-start this entry.

Well, the above lines were written by me two days back. Yes, you guessed it right; I am delayed by yet another two days! Umm…well, no more change to the intro. I am going to start it exactly as I planned two days back. So here it goes…

Cliff jumping into the Ganga
It seems, ‘something adventurous’ has somehow become a daily dose for me since my Rishikesh trip began. Going on the first day as intern to cover a press conference alone and getting lost in the corridors of Hotel Ashoka, interviewing the Managing Director of the adventure-promoting company Woodland, spending a whole night on the terrace at an unknown place with unknown people, venturing out at 6 in the morning to India Gate to witness the flagging off of the Himalayan Odyssey- a biking trip to Leh and beyond, and going to Adventure Island for a family trip and trying almost all the adventure rides there- everything has ‘something adventurous’ to it!

After joining my internship, I wanted to do a news-story on adventure tourism to Rishikesh, thanks to all the excitement that had built up inside me post my trip to the place. Well, my story-idea was appreciated and I started working on the topic. Talks with tour-operators, company owners, friends and acquaintances, preceded my writing of the 700 word piece. After about four rounds of editing, my story was finally sent to the desk, which was followed by two more editing rounds before the final publication.

The Freefall ride at Adventure Island
And on 23rd June 2011, when I reached office at noon, I was informed that my story had been published and this being my second by-line, my efforts were highly appreciated.

I was asked the reason behind me not putting the links to my stories published over the internet, on facebook for the world to view. Well, I had a reply to this ready. Everyone is doing that, why should I follow what everyone else is doing? And even if I put, how many links shall I share for one story? Twenty? Thirty? Or all the many links which can be found on Google by typing the headline, 'Rishikesh, Ladakh - the new getaway for adventure seekers' that would search and display thousands of places where my story is present over the internet?
Well no, I was not going to do this. And somehow I had decided that I would have a new blog entry every time I got a new by-line. This is something which nobody else is doing! Hehe…

What about this one, this has images given by me:

Well, whatever may be thought or said, reading my name on the article written by me after so much research and work and being aware of the fact that someone from some corner of the world is reading it and getting to learn so many things, that’s kind of a happiness which I don’t think I can ever express!

And to conclude this entry, I have a PS: If you do not know what a ‘by-line’ is, then please check my previous entry, which has the definition of a by-line in its ‘P.S.’ and my first by-line as a link.

And about the sudden rise of the adventure spirit in me, well, I don’t know why this has happened. It is just that I now know for sure that I love the thrill of adventure and want to go through it all the time. It is so much fun! Or probably, because of reading of so many adventure-novels (including Harry Potter of course) and the lack of adventure in my life for so many years, has finally led to all the adrenaline flow suddenly! Hehe…

Enjoy! :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fasting, fasting, fasting….and feasting??

Photographed by me from inside a telescope
Almost 10 whole days of Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare doing nothing but fasting, fasting and fasting, I was seriously thinking- is there no other better news that the news channels can look for or afford to telecast? I was completely fed up. You go anywhere, switch over to any channel, talk to the auto-wallahs, everyone is just talking about one thing-Ramdev!! Huh!! I was completely irritated.

On Tuesday evening, I got to know about a much more interesting and happening event- The total lunar eclipse of the 15-16 June night. It was being talked about in my office and I volunteered to go for it. My request was accepted and that meant, I was going to be out of home, in Delhi, with no one I know, till at least 3 AM in the morning and that too at a place completely unknown to me!

‘Isme tum asli journalist wala kaam karoge’, my boss remarked!

I was excited. This would be fun. This would be another adventure. How I am going to come back- will think of it when the time comes! (Well, I did call up Just Dial and contacted some cab services for the night, just in case I need one in an emergency!)

I had left office around 7.30 PM to reach the venue around 9.15, after a gruelling search for the address! An initial scene story of the to-be event was reported by me to the office. Very few people, mainly young kids and college students with the SPACE employees were present. After a few minutes I actually started wondering, “Is this going to be so boring?”

By the time the main event began, which was 5 minutes before 11, more people had gathered and the atmosphere now seemed quite lively.

And then, the hide and seek game began.

Large telescopes pointing at the moon, kids jumping around excitedly to take a look at the craters, young college students explaining to them how a lunar eclipse occurs, and scientists making observations of the various phases of the eclipse with Bollywood scores in the background to keep the mood of the gathering at a high- that’s the kind of look that the terrace of the SPACE Foundation, Janakpuri, held late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning when the world witnessed the darkest and the longest lunar eclipse of the century.

The short skit was fun. The saas-bahu saga continues to tickle the people of all ages in its satirical humour. A few news channels had arrived. Yes, they were literally ‘few’- Just three, to be precise! And I was in no mood to go in front of the camera!

A projector connected to a laptop which was in turn synchronised with a digital high-power telescope, projected the changing looks of the moon on a big screen on the terrace of SPACE. Activities had been organized for small kids. And then, at 11.10 PM, the left side of the moon started vanishing!

I was now starting to enjoy myself. My tweeting was on and I was looking forward to make friends with a few people here, or else, I would get bored till death! And I did get to know some people, a few students of IIIT-Delhi who were here as part of a summer course.

The break the myth langar began at midnight when the moon entered the partial eclipse phase. After 6 hours of having nothing, the aloo-puri and the cold-drink tasted awesome! What a feast! Haha…

Kids danced to the tunes of Chanda chamke cham cham and other chand-songs and seemed to be enjoying themselves a lot with no worries in the world and enjoying the different ‘looks’ of the moon.

1.15 AM- The moon vanished completely. Even the advanced telescopes were not able to spot it anywhere. The atmosphere seemed to be getting dull. I opened my laptop and started typing this blog entry, but didn’t feel that it as the right time to do that! Fun-conversations with my new friends, helped me while away the minutes.

2.15 AM- Dekho chand aaya, chand nazar aaya started playing as soon as the moon reappeared. Coke doubled up as champagne to celebrate the event. And everyone was again glued to the telescopes and clicking pictures. The moon never looked so awesome before!

With a ten-minute countdown, the whole event came to an end around 3.32 AM and I left for home in a taxi that I had booked.

I have a two-hour difficult sleep after that and then I am on my way to office again to file my story and there I get a big SURPRISE- 16th of June, 2011, 1.35 PM, my first ever byline gets published on the internet for the whole world to view! :-)

Or type: ‘From terrace, nightlong chase for century's darkest eclipse’ on Google and click search and then open any of the many page results that you get!

P.S: For my non-media related readers, I would like to explain what a byline is. A ‘byline’ on a newspaper or magazine article gives the name, and often the position, of the writer of the article.

I hope even you witnessed the spectacular event of last night and enjoyed it as much as I did. Do let me know how much you liked this blog entry and the news story on the above mentioned link. Could they have been much better? Awaiting your views! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

What's new on this 3rd birthday?

Yes, I know it has been sometime now since I made a new entry here. People have been asking me for the reason and requesting me for new posts. I have been unable to live up to my best readers’ expectations. But, I am sure, they would be glad to see these little changes that I have made ‘on second thoughts…’ for the third birthday celebration of my blog.

The newest addition to my blog, something which has never been seen here before, is the links to some stand-alone pages on the navigation bar on the top panel, something which I am sure must not have missed your eye when you opened the blog today.

Another feature added to the blog is the ‘My Tweets’ section on the side-bar.

Apart from these, a recently introduced google feature helps in viewing my blog in many different formats and templates. Try the following links (Right click, and open in new tab) and find out for yourself which view is the best one for you!
Go around the blog and search for the other tiny winy changes yourself. Have a great time! :)

And yes, do not forget to wish my blog a very happy birthday! :)

Take care
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