Friday, January 30, 2009


December 13th, 2008.
My flight from Bangalore to Kuala Lumpur this morning was bad but what bothered me more is that the home I grew up in Malaysia may be my home for the next few months, or even years. Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting home, it is “living” here I’m feeling a little nervous.

A few days ago in a small conference room in the Bangalore "company" office, I had a conference call with my manager who was in California and my worst nightmare came true; my position has been terminated and I am where near my home in New York. Within minutes, my laptop, cell phone and badge were taken away and I was escorted to the entrance of the office building where a driver would take me back to my service apartment. I admit I have been worried sick about this day but I was also in major denial (or refused to acknowledge I might be a candidate of the layoff) and the worst of all is I had zero back-up plans. Naturally, like any self-respecting Asian, I moved back to my parent’s house.

January 13th, 2009
It’s been a while since my last blog, so I won’t spend too much time bitching about how the “company” has screwed me over because of unforeseen, uncontrollable and inevitable reasons. To summarize my whine, I won’t be able to work in the U.S. right this instance because my H1b visa is no longer valid (I was on my 7th year H1b visa right before I left NYC – 6 years H1b is the maximum for each alien), which means if I get a job offer tomorrow with a U.S. employer, I am not legally able to work for them. However, I was told that the H1b visa resets automatically if you are out of the U.S. for 365 days. I left the U.S. mid-June 2008, hence I have another 6 months to eat and travel.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

South India Jungle Safari

This post is long overdue and so I got my buddy Anand to contribute (without his consent - so is this ok, Anand?). Just to give you a bit of context, the 5 of us took an extended weekend trip to Masinagudi Forest Reserve for a jungle safari. Here's Anand's summary of our trip.
Can also lah :)
Here you go... as best as I can remember:
Morning Leave Bangalore
Stop at Kamat Lokaruchi for brekker Mysore - Bandipur - Masinagudi - Singarra - Anekadu
Lunch at Anekadu
Post lunch sack out
Early evening walk around the estate
Late evening Jeep Safari
Night Bonfire / Barbeque / Dinner

Saw this leaf while trekking. Check out the thorns.

Lorenzo showing tiger scratches on the tree
Lorenzo pointing at scratches apparently by tigers on the trunk.

Morning trek around the estate -- see heaps of elephant dung but no elephants :(
Breakfast at Anekadu
Post breakfast leave for Forest Hills (Bokkapuram) via Masinagudi - PO: Forest Hills is our second hotel. We slept in tree houses. Anand, Lorenzo and I shared a house call Machaan)
Sack out at Machaan
Lunch at Forest Hills
More sacking out at Machaan
Hike to the water pool
Still more sacking out at Machaan [By now undisputedly our favourite line item :)]
Dinner at Forest Hills

One of the tree houses we stayed at Forest Hills

The rooftop of the other tree house - Machaan

Morning -- outstanding trek covering part of the elephant corridor and some tiger trails (See tiger pugmarks, tiger Cave et al) - PO: May I add, total trekked time was about 4 hours.
Breakfast at Forest Hills
Leave late morning for Bangalore -- attempts to get the cook to move to Bangalore do not meet with success :)
Stop at Mysore for late lunch at Hotel Metropole
Stop en route to Bangalore at Channapatna for '5 minutes' to buy wooden toys and stuff - PO: Er, 5 minutes turned out to be 2.5 hours.
Reach Bangalore late evening

Tiger pugmarks


More Jungle Safari Pictures