Rickety Rickshaw

This is originally carried on my other blog PUNE BLOGGING ;the blog that is Pune , India

Our three wheeler freind , the black and yellow Rickshaw (actually comes in an assortment of colours).
This transport of millions is not exactly what I call the breakfast of champions.Yet,the auto-rickshaw is India's most used urban transport.
When I came to Pune a year ago, I found few transport options to get from point A to point B .. Let's face it , Pune like many other growing Indian cities has a public transport problem.
Yes there is the Pune City Bus system (PMT) ,but there is one major problem with it all the busses go either to Swargate or to Corporation. Therefore if you get from to your destintion you have to via either Swargate or Corporation , which can be a tad irritating when your destination is in the other direction.
Therefore my choice of Public Transport The Rickety Rickhaw.
Actually most of the world's auto-rickshaws are made in Pune , by a company called Bajaj Auto.
A rickshaw ride constitutes first finding one .You will most likely find one at most Pune Nakas.There you'll probably find the 150cc 4stroke beast in the colours of the tiger.The anatomy of the rickshaw both exterior and interior greatly varies from city to city in India. For example ricks in bombay are fitted with extensive 1000watt sub-woofers hi-fi systems with makes them moving bose speakers, punching the latest the Hindi hits one after the other. Who needs FM RADIO,thus bombay rick embodies the city and the pune rick embodies pune , a more quieter and sleepier city.
What do you mean by quieter and sleepier ? The classic example to the fact is that all shops (except the bussiness like marwadis) close form 2:30 pm to 4pm for their "Afternoon Siesta" , now you know why I said sleepier.
Thus the Pune Ricks are simpler looking with plain more elgent interior.Our freind the rickshaw walla , bhau (brother) to you and me sits in the rickshaw cab , reading yesterday's edition of Sakal (Pune's most read daily).
After supplying Bhau with your destination and on him agreeing to it where off with the ring of the tarrif meter.The streets of Pune like many another Indian city can be chaotic and sometimes hellisly gushing with traffic (cycles,lunas,scooters,motor-bikes,PMT busses,cars,trucks,rickshaws,the occassional cow or stray dog and of course pedestrians.)The rides starts as the he power ups his 150 cc 4 stroke engine zips out with sound that yout grandfathers vespa may have made.
Piercing to traffic , ricks are perfect modes of urban transport in heavily populated cities which have sometimes bad road conditions in diverse weather .
Once you are finished you have calculate the tarrif , from the metre ..which most of the time is governed by a complexed mathematical quation.
In Pune it is X*6 - (absX - 2)
,where X is meter reading.
There for if you metre reading is let's say 3.20
You multiply by six and minus it from the differrence of two
Thus the fare is 18 rs (20 paise) but we round it off to 18 rs..

I hope you've enjoyed my ride in the rikety rickshaw.

Colombo Continued Picture


Colombo Continued !!

Galle face road , is Colombo's equivalent of Marine Drive .But it's a little differrent the long and elegant sea-facing boulevard , is graciously fronted by a long green esplanade ,used by the tourists and locals alike for walking and enjoying the sights and sounds of the Indian ocean.Also did I mention it's also used as cricket ground, and in the morning it doubles as a coaching centre for young enthusiasts of the sport. So all in all Galle road is Shivaji Park meets Marine Drive , in strictly bombay terms that is.

So if you ever land up in Colombo,here one pick I should send your way, even though it may sound a little strange .
You should visit Kollupitiya Station in Colombo.
Why visit a station you may ask??
The answer is , I found to be one of the most unique stations I have ever visited .
Kollupitiya ,a station part of the Colombo mass transit local train system is on Galle Road again and the unique thing about it is just a stone throw away from the sea .. & The main track is on the beach.
Also a good is way to see Colombo by rail if you take a short train ride fro Kollupitiya to Colombo Fort station to get to see the City in it's true sense.As you glide by the Indian Ocean over and over the backwaters of Colombo Dutch past. And did I mention it quiet inexpensive it cost about One Sri Lankan Rupee per kilometre.
Just to put it into perspective One Sri Lankan rupee is 50 paise.Therefore 1 SL rupee is equal to 1 CENT.

Taj Samudra , Colombo Posted by Hello

Auyobowan Posted by Hello

Day 1 - Escape to Colombo -

(date posted as 20th June)
The Sun had already risen from its holiday in the east , as the flight UL142 touched down on sunny and blue skyed Colombo morning. The time 6:20 am . I found myself 6hrs ahead of ,having succesfully evaded the Mumbai rains (Yeah!!).
On the tarmac of Bandaranaike International Airport , looking at the sky, a refreshing breeze blew by gently ,soothing my senses . This was Sri Lanka saying Ayubowan to me , What a sweet welcome to the Emerald isle.

Formalities over , I was on my a way in taxi to our hotel , The Taj Samudra.The drive was though long was interesting , as it was my virst view of Sri Lanka at work. The traffic like India was sometimes hectic , even at 7 am. Our driver driving speedily throught the narrow Airport-Colombo roads overtaking Tata busses ,while locals dotting the streets doing their saturday morning
shopping .
The driver , told us "Sir ,you lucky not working day otherwise traffic lots , long time to go Colombo".
Buddhist viharas strung up on both sides ..colonial bungalows , bakeries .

On reaching Colombo , You could here the glorious roar of the Indian Ocean as she worked herself to a high tide , and the shiny two World Trade centres in the background reflected the sun ,like glazed glass prisms.

I'm back!!!!!!!!
Yes of know I'm home from Serendib.
More on the holliday tomorrow , I couldn't update it in Sri Lanka bc of various reasons ... but don't worry about it you get it soon enough

Here my proposed itenary to the Blessed Island (Sri Lanka)-
Day 1 *20th* Colombo

Day 2 *21th*
Colombo / Kandy
Mode of Transport-
(Intercity Express Colombo) (07.00)--reaches Kandy----(09.30)
(AM) Have late breakfast and leave for Kandy, the city
beautifully located on the shores of a lake and a cultural
sanctuary where ancient ways of life, arts & crafts still
survive. It is also the home of the "Buddha Tooth",
rescued from the flames of his cremation and Sri Lanka's
most cherished relic.
(PM) Do sightseeing tour of Kandy, visiting the city, botanic
gardens, the temple of the Tooth and the upper lake.
Evening : Observe a memorable cultural pageant which
will be followed by a "fire walking" show

Day 3 *22th*
Kandy / Nuwara Eliya (“Noo-ra-i-lie-a”)
Transport -- Options- (distance 70 km-- terrain -- GHATS)
1.car/van from Kandy . aprox price --- Rs1000
2.Inter-city bus (a.c exp) ---RS 50
3 Train to Nanu Oya and catch the catch a taxi (about Rs125) or bus (about Rs15).

Places of Interest .
^The Tea Factory Hotel
^World's End
^Laboukelle Tea Factory

Stay in "Nuwara Eliya"

Day 4 *23th*
Note -- Should leave Nuwara Eliya as early as possible.preferably around 5 am

Nuwara Eliya / Kandy via Matale (spice gardens) / Dambulla / Sigiriya
(70 km) (26km) (47km) (24km)

Total distance ------ 167km estimated time 4 to 5 hrs

Mode of Transport -- Most likely to be rented van / bus.
Stay at Sigiriya/Dambulla

Note -----
Deciding which of the two ancient capitals Polonnaruwa or Anuradhapura - is the more impressive is a tough call.
Anuradhapura is much older and its ruins cover a greater expanse of land. Polonnaruwa is much more recent - although it was built more than a millennium ago
- and is also better preserved.Also Polonnaruwa is closer to Sigiriya than Anuradhapura
---thus two options

Day 5 *25th* (Option 1)
Distance -------(26 km)
ancient Sinhalese city

day trip... back to sigiriya/Dambulla

Day 5 *25th* (Option 2)
This sacred city was established around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment', the Buddha's fig tree, brought there in the 3rd century B.C. by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is now accessible once again.
Stay in Anuradhapura ...

Day 6 *26TH*
Return to Colombo and return home

From the map it clear I going to visit Colombo , the capital of cource and hikkaduva and galle to the south and sigiriya , dambulla and kandy to the north ... more on the locations later Posted by Hello

Trivial MATTERS goes to Sri Lanka
Sicily is Italy's football ,just like Sri Lanka is teardrop rolling down India's face. Think Sri Lanka and it conjures up vivid images of lush tea plantations, and palm-fringed beaches. May be even the picture of the civil conflict in the North of the country , or even a pictures a great cricketing nation.Read Muralitharan and Jayasuriya.
All in all images of Sri Lanka envisage paradise , the garden of eden , the emerald isle and alot more.
Now you wonder whar baits my mind to direct my visor to Sri Lanka. Well the answer is quiet simple , I'm going to
Sri Lanka.
Therefore Trivial Matters will be put in travel gear for the next few days ...
Trivial Matters goes to Sri Lanka.
More on the following /\later

These following are Members of the Security Council
Permanent Member

Permanent Member

31 December 2004

31 December 2004

31 December 2005

31 December 2005

Russian Federation
Permanent Member

31 December 2004

United Kingdom
Permanent Member

United States
Permanent Member

31 December 2005

31 December 2004

31 December 2005

31 December 2005

Don't you think they're missing a country?? A country with a population of 1,065,070,607 a GDP of $3.022 trillion .
Why is India a Memeber of the UN security council ??
The answer baffles me.

Reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons .. Posted by Hello

In what should be summer the sky seems to change, the clouds seem to takeover and the sun has taken a holiday in Ibiza.
The Wind roughs up the trees and the birds dance like shamaans in the desert .
The kites cirle in the sky whirling around down . pulled down by an invisible hand and then it thunders...
And we're all covered in a white cool hard piercing rain.
I love the rain.
AND which I'm pretty much overdoing ... the picture bit too

I'm thinking of a movie review on a moive I saw yesterday called "Girl With A Pearl Earring" ,
which is based on a book by Tracy Chevalier which have read .
Just liked them so much.

 Posted by Hello

The sky has turned dark ,  Posted by Hello

The Monsoons are here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Posted by Hello

A wind blows through behind the asokha trees and aged they swoop and they groan .Swaying like giant pendulums with physics as there master scurry in the green of the brown searching for safe ground.
The sky grumbles and spurts rings of light like someone's ready for a fight.
In the quarters of the asokha trees lies a gate to the potters wheel it turns .. With shape and balance .. Molded to perfection by the projection of the potters hand.
Why I write this I don't know , but If I knew .. I wouldn't go.
For this is not a writer's word but the theater of the absurd.