Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rehashing Nash Hash at Araku - as it unfolds

Day 1 - 23rd Jan, '10: Sun n Sands at Vizag

Savoring in, the view from the hotel room, overlooking the beach, the pier, the speed boats from the luxury of a perched up, A/c room at Rishikonda Beach Resort at Vizag.

Run1: In true mismanagement style, the rego happened an hour late and it did take a while before the 150+ (no one knows the actual numbers) got into yellow tees. The run was laid by the Hyderabad hashers. It was a bloody run, right over some hills we could see from our resort. The trail was thorny, rocky, slippery and marked somewhat. Shreya and I stuck to the runners trail. After we had survived the first 7k or so, the trail ended at the shore. We ran towards the distant lights of the resort, in fading twilight, along the shore. Check this trail hugging the shore-line. It was awesome!

Well, if you thought the run was mismanaged, you should have seen the circle!! Can the hashers be civilized to queue-up? Yes, they do anything for Beer. So there was, this never-ending line in front of this one Beer keg! The circle was a quick one - the Malaysians were iced (they were a bunch), the hares were given down downs over the announcement of the 5am (yes, 5am) start the next morning. The theme for the pardee was 'the 60s'. People didn't party much back then, I suppose. There wasn't much of a party.

Day2 - On On to Araku...but first the 'rail check'

Rail Check - Sunday, 4am!

Wake-up call, so we could get packed to leave by 5:20, to catch the train to Araku at 6:50. Ok, so on on we went in 'booses' to the station.

We march into the railway platform like kids on a school excursion - in a single line, in pairs, in uniform, with no luggage/money, packed lunch in hand and in total nonchalance. But hey, make no mistake, we weren't kids (atleast kids have some brains) we are Hashers who don't.

Well, the plan was for the AP tourism guys to save two unreserved compartments for us. That didn’t happen and the hashers settled down (albeit noisily) in the reserved compartments. The problem was it was not reserved for us. So, when the guys with the reservations came in, there was high drama – some were elbowed, others were reasoned with, most were ‘adjusted’. All was well, till there was a railway announcement for all people without tickets to move out of that Kirandul passenger. Ha ha ha, and we stormed out of the train, making a lot of noise. The song and dance continued outside the station too, till we waited for the booses to take us to Borra caves.

Borra Caves & Run 2:
We strolled into through the Borra caves – stuffy with all the limestone, stalactites, stalagmites and the bleaching powder (to keep away the bats). After spending an hour or so in the caves, we were ready for the run, which started at 11.
The trail took us up and down the hills of Araku. The runners looped some extra, while the walkers ambled along. We climbed hills, some steep ones, crossed little streams, walked on field bunds, through a 300mt railway tunnel, along across a railway bridge, a water stop, before we climbed and climbed a never-ending uphill trail taking us to the Ananthagiri hill resort for lunch and the sacred juice.
It was a tough one for Shreya I would think – the walkers also stuck to most of the runners’ trail. She did have a lot of Tamil MH3 hashers for company. It must have been an 8k for the walkers, I took 2hrs for the 12.5k!!

The circle was very entertaining – first Hyderabad hashers Venki Charade, Obelix & Chicken shit took turns with the horn. But the honors should go to the Malaysian hasher with his ‘Engineer song’ that went “Ah-hum titty-bum titty-bum titty-bum”. Shreya was iced & given a down down with the “She’s alright” song.

A 30km drive took us all weary hashers to our Haritha hotels at Araku for some much-needed rest. We were ready to rock at dinner time – the Mr. & Miss. Nash Hash titles, the Hash skits and the party.

Day 3 – The Ball breaker
The ball breaker is a very long run in tough hash trails usually in the range of about 20kms. Jugy & Navin wanted to do a 35k as a part of the training for the Auroville marathon next month, and I decided to join them. So we ran a 15k in the valley on the road towards Orrisa border and then did the Ball breaker. The BB was about 15k or so, taking a good 2.5hrs up and down steep hills. We completed another 3.5k and back to finish our quota of 37k for the day. It sure was good time-on-feet training, nearly 5.5hrs (1:45+2:30+0:57) at the end of which I had begun to cramp.
Pick a spot in a map, land there, pick a direction and run. While we ran the first 15, I saw this hill with a patch of bare earth and wondered how it would be to run up that. In less than a couple of hours, we were actually doing just that on the ball breaker. At the end of the ordeal, I had 2 bruises, one wet and muddy right shoe to show off as trophies!!

And while I was busy with all the mileage, Mrs. Phatphatia was baptized “loan shark” at the circle (her 5th hash run). It was a Hyderabadi cusine with biryani, dahi vada, puliyogare, gongura chutney, etc, etc.

The tribal dance show replaced the Dance hash and the party, we hit the sack early after a continental dinner. We missed the recovery runs to catch the early flight out of Vizag. On On

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Countryside Overdose

Saturday Northern Loop

9th Jan 2010: This was 'my' virgin route. I was always wanting to ride up this loop from Hebbal > Devanahalli > right on to the Devanahalli Hospet road > Gummanahalli > Bagalur > Hebbal.
This loop is about 80kms and we took 4:05hours to do it. 'We' on this ride were me, Venkat and Dinesh; the bikes were 2 Giants and a Rockrider 8.2.

The route is fantastic, ideally one should cover the distance to Devanahalli on the Airport road in the wee hours to avoid traffic. Once in Devanahalli and off the highway into NH207, towards Singahalli, you get into some neat countryside - fields, villages, good rolling roads and limited traffic and with it the fresh air, the visuals, the sun.

The route offers multiple possibilities for loops of different distances. Roads have been freshly laid right upto Bagalur, the rest is a fast highway anyway.
We stopped on the way back, at Yelahanka for breakfast and I rode right back home for a shower and well deserved lunch.

Sunday South-East Loop

Some lovely countryside trails off Sarjapur road at the Run No. 518 of the Bangalore Hash, hared by the Sarjapur Sultan (Ravi a.k.a private soreass), Navin and BFG.
Run report copied straight out of the Hash trash and pasted below:

The first run of the year namely ‘the prickly aunty run’ started with a remarkable 55 hashers along the country side near Sarjapur road. Pleasant weather as compared to the snow in various less fortunate places around the world; we enjoyed a very bright and a beautiful afternoon.

As usual we commenced with a false trail which nearly resulted in the entire pack heading out of the in-trail. Awesome. But BFG somehow guided us correctly back and in no time we were off into open landscape with lots of bushes and tree cover to confound the hounds.

Some excellent false trails - but by now of course, most people had twigged that it would be a right-hander, so only the extreme dimwitted (of which there were many) hounds went chasing off in the wrong directions at the checks.

Nice water stop on the edge of a field after which those with more energy than sense went off on a long loop and the smart ones amongst us headed directly back to the beer - only to find it missing somewhere in the bundu. Luckily it reappeared before a full riot got underway and all was well.

A well laid trail by BFG and gang, and pasta and cake by Mamma Mia to celebrate the New Year. Well we really had a very good time indeed.

The circle led by the GM went on as follows:
-Hares BFG, Private Soreass, Vinie the Pooh and Crushed Nuts were cooled off on the ice first for laying a really horny… oops thorny run
-Finger-In was very pro-active to flash her new shoes and very keen to drink beer from them and so she got a down down as well along with Cheap Dyke for not wearing his cheap old shirt to the hash
-A few harriots namely Sticky Sex, Pyramids and Take Your Pick demonstrated that they were hottie harriettes by wearing really warm jumpers in the sun so were officially chilled and brought down to the normal temperature by the beer.
-Virgins Smita, Chandan, Dinesh, Manish, Romilla and Ayub were given a taste of ice as well
Sushila (who was implausibly, in view of her full head of hair) accused of being Halfmoons big sister enjoyed a beer along with Halfmoon for trying to mislead us
-Arvind was given a down down for being in his best girly attire and arriving at the hash on a girly bike too
-Few returners Useless Prick, Red Hot Chilly Peppers and Discount were reminded that they cannot get off so easily without getting iced
-Mamma Mia was iced for serving up such excellent Hash Food along with along with Take Your Pick who was celebrating her 25th birthday (again)
-And last but not the least Private Soreass was promoted to Sergeant Soreass for participating in a really long (don’t remember the miles but really long) biking event but for not completing it. Also for quitting his job for another really long biking event.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wipro Eco EYE

Reproduced from the article that appeared in an internal Wirpo webzine
Left to right: Gangadhar, Balaji, Chitra, Arnab, Kiran, Vijay Kumar, Purinder, Manoj, Winston George, Karthik

On the 11th of January, 2010 a group of 10 Wiproites started off the first bicycle commute to Wipro EC at 7:20 am from Silk board. The group consisted of some regular cyclists and a few newbies who choose to burn fat over petrol. The ride lasted 40 minutes and went a long way in shattering myths, proving many points and started a new journey.

The myths we shattered:

• Cycling on Bangalore roads is dangerous: No it not, just stick to the left and take the service roads wherever possible.
• Cyclists are bottom feeders: No, you aren’t. When in proper outfit and on a decent cycle you get enough if not more respect than motorists.
• Pollution: Yes, roads are polluted but you can overcome that by cycling during off-peak hours.
• Physically demanding: Absolutely not, rather it’s physically rejuvenating. You don’t yawn or doze off in the bus or cab; hence you are at your peak when you reach office, the most energetic guy ready to take on the challenges of the day.

The points we proved:

• Cycling is fun: It’s not a stressful activity like driving. It rejuvenates you and does not tire you like driving. And when you ride in a group it’s even more fun.
• Traffic congestion is a non-issue: You always find space to ride your cycle through. When things get worse you just start walking with you cycle, carry it over the divider and in the worst case lift your cycle and negotiate through the congestion.
• Social exposure: You meet many new people which you don’t when you commute in an enclosed car.

The journey we started: Promote cycling as a sustainable means of commuting.

• Organize this group commute every month.
• Organize workshops across Wipro campuses on this theme.
• Form a cycling club within Wipro.
• Promote Electronic city as a cycling zone.

All those who have missed the fun this time, please do join us with your bicycles next time onwards. Let’s all have fun and do our bit to save Mother Earth. To get involved, drop a line to either or