Saturday, March 24, 2007

Marooned on the Paradise Isle

Each place on earth seems like the best . . and better than the other!

Driving over 130 kmph in a star lit night on the Bangalore Mangalore highway can give you the highs. The traffic is less this night and a few that are on the roads are zipping past at matching speeds. Its dangerous to drive in the dark of the night, but the trick is to drive on 'auto-pilot'.

Along the route, there are burning tyres, felled trees and armed Policemen. A fire engine dousing the fire in the middle of the road. Policemen guide us around the burnign tyres and urge us to move on. War zone ? No, we learn there is trouble and its a bandh called by some political party this day.

We dawn upon the Paradise Isle at unearthy hour. The guard at the gates refuses to let us in. After thrusting the required papers, he lets us in.

At the breakfast table the Manager tells us the entire town is shut business and its a bandh! It means - grounded!

Well, the bandh turned out to our advantage. The Paradise Isle wore a deserted look. Few people out on the road and none at the beach which would swell with people on a regular day.

The boatmen agreed to smuggle us to the St. Mary's Island for 800 bucks! A 20 minutes boat ride from the Paradise Isle.

The only habitants of the island . .

Crystal clear waters and pure white sand ...

A couple of hours in the sun and sand .. the tan lines began to show up. The men folk would wanna stay, but the ladies had to save their skin :)

Back on the jet . .

Leaving St. Mary's Island . .

Back on land to a wonderful Sunset . .

Back to Malpe Town

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

aati kya Khandalaa ?

At first you miss a flight that has been preponed 6 hrs from original scheduled time :) Ever heard of that ??? No one complains! Imagine if it was the railways. The train is scheduled to leave at 6.15 pm and they take off at noon the same day.

Well, the rush hour had begun. If not work, it was rush hour back home when at 11.00 am we realise that the flight that was to take off at 6.15 pm was bout to take off in an hour and fifteen minutes. Pack your bags .. stuff in what you can grab and run. Drove like i was on a jet plane .. the midnight beauty took me 1hr15mins to reach the Airport. An Air Deccan assistant at the door signed the ticket promptly - "Arrived at 12.15"! We pleaded at the counter to let us board.. "an urgent matter Sir, we have to get on that plane" .. "Sir, matter most urgent" .. who the hell cares.. cant you see the security staff have cleared the plane to take off, blurted a shrewed Cat at the counter, while the beauties gave us a coy smile :) We were like stranded passengers.. approached another airline .. and got a spot fare deal done for the next day to Pune. Next day got a couple of hours early to the Airport (Mr. Bean style) and lounged about at the Airport. The flight took off on time.

Shot a couple of pics from the plane.

But while landing at the Military base at Pune, it was made clear that no aerial photography was allowed.

On the road again and on to Khandala. The date with Colonel, the bomb disposal expert had to be skipped if we had to keep our date with Aamir Khan at Khandala .. so on to Khandala ..

the winding roads.. and mile long tunnels ..

Valley view

And finally .. the shooting point .. and the whole purpose of "aati kya khandala!"
( in 70 mm, Eastman Color ) ok am color blind :))