Movie mania…

Written on 6:53 AM by Tushar Thole

Last weekend was a little unusual as I was at home most of the time. I spent some “quality” as well as “quantity” time with my family members:P I also met my room partners who have moved to other places (B’lore and Mysore) in search of better opportunities.

I saw the republic day parade on Jan 26th.My dad was fortunate enough to watch the parade in person in his college days. The ammunition and highly advanced military equipments that were showcased in it were mostly indigenous. It is a pleasant shock to know that not the entire talent in India is running after IT.

This week I discovered that I have become a total movie buff. If I am not reading any book the only thing that I feel like doing is watching a movie! I watched two animated movies _ Shrek II and Shark Tale. Shark Tale is undoubtedly the winner! I am crazy for such animated movies and my friends tell me that I need to grow up:P

I watched a horrifying Marathi movie called Blind game with my college pals on Sat that too in the theatre:( We could not stop laughing in the end not because it was very funny or something but we were wondering why on earth were we watching that crap!

On Sunday I watched Rang de Basanti… I don’t wanna comment about how good the story/direction/casting/acting/music is. You must watch this movie to get a feel. By the time it got over I had started thinking about my closely knitted college group, all the fun we’ve had together. The movie clearly lives to it’s title_ a generation awakens!

Flamingo watch!

Written on 5:30 AM by Tushar Thole




'Bird watching' is a the most favorite sport among all teenagers. You know what I mean:)I had not been trekking since past six months and was dying to go for something exciting.I was aware of the bird watching activity conducted by Insearch Outdoors at Bhigwan dam which is located at 100 kms from Pune. We were supposed to get a glimpse of greater Flamingoes (if we were lucky!)and other birds which stay in the wet grassland habitat. This sounded something I had never done before and I said to myself ``Lets try this thing too!''

There were 2 buses loaded with amateur bird watchers which was unexpected. We were a group of 8 friends namely me, Minu, Ramu, Ankur, Riyaz, Nikhil, Mrunal and Uttara.I had to try really hard to convice the organizers to reserve our seats. On Sunday we all gathered at Garware College at 6 am in the chilling cold.The bus was full of
'senior' citizens and amateur photographers who were carrying their really expensive cameras . We occupied the last seat in the bus.As the bus took off we started cracking PJs and I felt pity for the PSPL guy who was sitting with us.

The bus waited at a hotel on the way and we had breakfast which was provided by the organizers. This is when we saw the first animal in our journey which was none other than a cockroach! Ramu was the lucky one to find it in his dish:D. Soon we reached Bhigwan Dam and I beg to differ when somebody calls it a dam...it was no less than a ocean. I AM exagerrating but the quantity of water was enormous because of the monsoon in 2005.The water is spread on the both sides of the bridge which is supposed to be the center line of the water body.Greater quantity of water has attracted more species of birds this year.

There were boats arranged to take us to the Flamingoes which were on the other shore of the dam. Greater Flamingoes come from Gujrat and Iran. These
migratory birds are really beautiful. They are about 4 ft in height and have pink shade in the inner side of their feathers.They feed on the algae and insects which can be found only in the shallow water and that's why they are always found on the shore of the water bodies. Bhigwan has suitable i.e. warm climate and food for 'visitors' is plenty.

My friend from VIT , Vishal Gokhale was our guide who is a amateur bird watcher and was volunteering with Insearch. The boat was really small and could accommodate only 9 to 10 people. It was shaking continuously and the 'boat captain' was making us change places to achieve the balance.On our way to Flamingoes we saw different types Herons [especially the Grey Heron is bigger in size], terns, cormorants and sea gulls. Till that day I knew only one seagull and no prize for guessing _ Jonathan Livingston Seagull:)...I had seen this type in Goa as well and I like the flair with which they fly. We saw many seagulls sitting in a line on the electric wires running from one pole to the other which were immersed in the dam water. Thanks to the fantastic camera [Canon IXUS]that Uttara had got I clicked many pics. Mrunal was ofcourse there with his mindblowing Canon S2IS camera clicking the pictures wildly:)

I saw thousands of ducks on the water and one could see black dots on the horizon in all directions. Brahmani ducks caught my attention in particular because of their brilliantly colored feathers. As we reached near Flamingoes Vishal told us to observe the silence strictly. These birds are very sensitive and fly off whenever they sense any danger. We were about 200 mtrs away from those beauties who were busy fishing. We clicked pics frantically and I was happy on my decision to get my binoculars along. As we were observing them closely some jerk tried to come near them from their back and the whole flock flew... It was an amazing site. Thank god Mrunal could capture those memorable moments in his cam. The whole flock flew and went to the opposite side of the dam thankfully exactly near to the place where our buses were standing. We turned our boat and starting our return journey. We spotted painted and other varieties of storks as we again approached Flamingoes. This time we were lucky and spent 15 to 20 minutes observing those birds.

As we reached the shore after two hours of fantastic and memorable boat journey we headed off to the sugarcane field nearby to satiate our appetite temporarily. There was a calf which was 2 to 3 days old and I could do some wild life photography as well:)

After having lunch in a dhaba we headed towards Matoba dam. We saw Baya weaver bird and other types names of which I don't remember:)...Sunset at the dam was fantastic site and m glad to capture it in the cam.After a journey of 3 hours we reached Pune. We had dinner at Nisarg Hotel near Nalstop and were rolling on the floor laughing while listening to Nikhil's anecdotes.

Epilogue:
Mrunal and Uttara are goin to upload the snaps soon.
Bird watching is really cool and shall do that again given a chance.
Made some new friends and we have decided to cook some more plans in coming days.

I came across a really nice link where one fellow who accompanied us to Bhigwan has uploaded pics taken during the trip.

The fun has just begun!



Cool Computer but…

Written on 11:12 PM by Tushar Thole

Since past two days I was trying to install Linux on my home PC, which has an AMD 64 bit Sempron processor.

The computer which I had in my college days was a real pain. It invariably used to not work when I needed it the most. I remember I changed the motherboard once and even got the existing one repaired, changed FOUR hard disks, got the SMPS repaired, once the ram was burnt so I had to put a new one (it turned out to be really difficult since old SD RAMs are not readily available nowadays), my keyboard had all keys jammed. Just before I got rid of it, my UPS was screwed and soundcard had stopped working. The only part which I did not change was the processor (Touchwood!) which was Intel PIII – 933MHz:)

Few days back I switched to AMD (though it is still a desktop). I have a 64 bit hardware on which I hope to do some RnD in the leisure time. It has got a DVD writer and the best of all a broadband connection! This computer has made my life a lot easier.

Today I successfully installed SuSE 9.1 on it. It is not at all difficult to install Linux on most of the machines but you can hardly do anything if installation cds stop co'operating’.

In the beginning of the installation of SuSE a message is flashed on the screen…
“Cool Computer But…
You are about to install a 32bit software on a 64 bit hardware!”

So human! Windows really lacks this!!

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