Saturday, May 28, 2016

Me and MRI

I never thought or imagined an MRI (scan) could be such torture!  I took an MRI for the whole spine yesterday to study the course of my scoliosis and to clarify the discomfort I am going through in the lower abdomen, for last few days. I have taken CT scans earlier and I was thinking MRI would be similar to it, and could be taken in few minutes, but the first dismay came when I learn that no wheelchair or stretcher is allowed inside the scanner room. The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machine seems to have a gravity to pull metal things and so I have to leave the wheelchair outside and my brother lifted me and lay on the scanner. Unexpectedly a coin from his pocket was pulled into the machine and only then I understand the magnetic attraction the machine holds. 

Before they put into the machine made sure that no metal is attached to the body and also no polyester is worn. They cover the face with a mask like thing and the head was tightly tapped to the sides to prevent moment. I could manage these things and lying for 45 minutes and motionless isn’t that stressful but the sounds that raises from the machine make me tensed.  The machine develops different constant beats that enough to create headaches to feel terrific. I just want to shout to stop these and discontinue the exam, but tried to be patient and bring peace of mind. I closed my eyes almost the scanning period perhaps to keep away my scare and being tensed. Glad there wasn’t anything difficult at breathe and mom sitting at a corner of the room gives me little comfort, though any moment is banned inside the rooms during the process.

Out of my control, I was praying for the moment to come to an end.  It was pretty cool inside the room and I was trying not to shiver and it was great sigh of relief when I hear the door was opened and pulling out of the machine my first question at the diagnostic person was is it finished? The technology has developed a lot and I wonder why anyone didn’t find a way to keep away the terrific resounding of this MRI.  I felt like I would never go for an MRI again but I should be glad that I unaware about this process until experienced myself to keep away the pre-tense. Except few remarks on scoliosis and lordosis the report has comes out almost normal! Looking forward to check with the doctor tonight and I am feeling slightly pain in the abdomen lately, hope all is well soon.  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fences around mountains pass and valley

During my recent travel to Kodaikanal, I come around fences/barriers along the mountain pass that make certain safe passing. The photos (below) were shot along the Palani-Kodaikanal road in which I traveled for first time to reach Kodai. This is a former road to Kodai before the prime route from Batalagundu was carved out of mountains.

Fence along  the valley

Motion blur created by our  moving car
P.S. Sorry for not updating frequently here and miss reading many of yours… The weather is terrific hot here and I am almost feeling tired and unlike to eat anything… and also lack concentration on things to keep me away from here and other activities. Hoping for better situation to blog and continue reading. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

NOTA and other Parties

I see a high number of NOTA (none of the above) this time in the Tamil Nadu state election...  I need to say I don’t support it quite. I see it's an option to choose only if we think/consider all the candidates in a constituency are unfit. But before we head to poll a vote we should aware who are contesting, and whose words are promising, reliable and yet realistic. I don't know people think voting to nota as a fashion statement? But rejecting everyone blindfold isn't a democracy. We are forced to survive among thorns and what we should see is which one is less sharp… I support for a change, but in a largest democratic country like us it will take time and people has to come out of their comfort zone to choose their candidates and parties.

As expected there had been a heavy competition between the two prime parties of Tamil Nadu and   both has come close in defeating each other in minimum number of votes… thanks to the 3rd front and other parties to go on individual rather making an alliance. Though they all witnessed defeat in all constituencies (never like before), it only helped the prime parties gaining more than enough seats to form a govt. and strong opponent. The ruling party (ADMK) has come to power once again with majority of seats and ever in a history of an opposite; DMK has scored an increasingly large number of seats to hopefully to see a healthy debate. With any other parties having voice for people, the DMK has more responsibility to preserve and restore people’s rights and need in assembly.

Apart many complain of money distribution for voting (which is true) from both the parties, the 3rd and 4th level parties losing the deposit only proves their wrong calculation and blindfold confident. Overall they are planned to praise themselves than making a strategic. Apart making freebies and implementing complete prohibition there isn’t anything prudential in their manifesto (including the prime parties) and making an alliance in a short period and indifference attitudes put them down front. Though change is their main goal but the way they chose to be wrong… a change could be happen only step by step, just the way prohibition should be, because a sudden change will not be healthy always and long-lasting is doubtful. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A brief note on my travel to Kodai

I would like to say it was a great escape from the scorching heat of Chennai (but the weather is pleasant now due to summer rain) for less than a week... but it was quite terrific until reaching the foothills of Kodaikanal and way back to home. Yes, I had a fabulous vacation come travel last week to the princess of hills, Kodakanal. The destination isn’t new for me and I love being there and times no matter, but this time it was really different, wonderful and exciting only because of the things done, routes traveled and the place of stay. Every time I visit Kodai I try to explore something new and make sure leisurely the drive. As planned we headed to Kodaikanal first through the Palani Ghat section which I really wanted to do for very long time. I have been more than 6 times to Kodai and first time I got to explore this route and I really need to say it is very natural and scenic than the prime route (via Batlagundu) to Kodaikanal.


Things were fine until reaching Kodai, but we couldn’t stay over there due to some unsuitable lodging. We have a friend there who used to book cottages for us every time and this time he slightly went ahead with sloped terrain which supposed  to be very difficult  and the couple of cottages we checked hold great views but where tilted either up or down.  So with no other option and time to search (as it was about 8pm) we decided to move to Thandikudi to stay at my uncle’s newly built woodhouse come cottage. We actually planned to stay at woodhouse but I wanted to explore an interior area, which could be easily accessible from Kodai so I liked staying there for couple of days before move to Thandikudi. It was 10pm when we reached the woodhouse and past Kodai it started to shower heavily and all the bags tied to the car top were drenched.

Winding wet ghat road
The next day turned out to be the most exciting part of my vacation, an off-road ride in Jeep to a waterfall near Thandikudi. It was indeed an unexpected ride and I didn’t believe I could seat inside a Jeep but it all happened only because of my brother. It is a complete off-road ride I ever had and we crossed a small river and had fun all together. The other day I took a long drive on the mountains leading all the way to Kilavarai, the last public accessible destination in Kodaikanal hills, where the famous Escape Road (a trail road that connect Kodai-Munnar) begins. It was entirely a very scenic pass, with rolling grasslands and terrace framing taking place on either side, the cold breeze continue to caress from the tall pine and eucalyptus trees. It took my entire day taking plenty of photos including birds and wild flowers.

Had a exciting jeep ride - inside me
Uncle’s woodhouse (in Thandikudi) is a very pleasant abode for nature lovers and it has a wonderful balcony to bird watch at the backyard. Though the woodhouse is built close to the road, it sense amazing to listen to birds chirping from all sides and felt serene almost to name as Serene Woods. My recommend to Thandikudi would be mainly for bird watching and the pristine natural environment exits among the coffee, pepper and orange plantations aside canopy of tall trees of different species. Staying there, I also visited Parappalaru Dam. About 45 km from there, the travel to the dam was through vast coffee plantations, beautiful villages and forest region with a pristine lake among the dense. By this travel I covered almost nooks of the Kodaikanal Hills but still feel there’s more to experience and explore at leisure. Hope to share more my experience in future/further post. 
My uncle's woodhouse

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Bird Watching @ Thandikudi: Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher

I have been to Thandikudi (on the lower Palani hills of Kodaikanal,) couple of time, and with a plan to go ahead tomorrow, I like to share one of the lovely birds I captured over there. Thandikudi is a wonderful place to enjoy bird watching and it is open to cute little birds alike the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher.

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher

Tickell's Blue Flycatcher is a small passerine bird in the flycatcher family and it is an insectivorous species which breeds in tropical Asia, from the Indian Subcontinent eastwards to Southeast Asia. Its range stretches across all the countries from India to Indonesia and they are found in dense scrub to forest habitats.


Measured about 11-12 cm in long, the bird has blue upper parts and the throat and breast are orange and the rest of the under parts are white. The bird sings in metallic tone includes a series of clicks followed by five or six notes that end abruptly. It is a wary bird and not always easily observed and it a forest-loving species which is found in thick cover and shade, and particularly haunts the banks of wooded streams.

Linking this post with SATURDAY CRITTERS

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Signal Problem

After shifted to my current location and close to my native house in Adyar, Chennai, I chose to go to our family doctor for the check-ups in my wheelchair rather taking the car since the clinic is about a km from home. But the only difficult I face during this course was crossing the LB Road, the main road that connects Adyar and Thiruvanmiyur signals. Though there was a zebra crossing and separate signal for pedestrian to cross the road (near hotel Lakshmi Sagar), it wasn’t literally difficult, but until only the signal works.  
The signal i have pointed out here
The signals flashing orange (which means cross with caution) is a common one in the cities at night and it usually take place only after 10pm when the traffic comes down, but when it happens as early as 9 pm (which is also a peak hour in cities like Chennai) crossing the road is a challenge. Some vehicles stop to give way when seeing me in wheelchair to cross the road, but we can’t expect the same compassion from public buses and bikes. They kept moving even the signal turned red really scare me to cross and travel aside the road.  

My cousin brother used to come along with me and when the signal shut down he blocks the vehicles to let me cross the road. For me it shows the irresponsible and laziness of the traffic police to shut down the signal when there was still heavy traffic. Other day I was close to the signal and before I cross it turned flashing orange and vehicles started to cross from all directions turned to be difficult. I notice to amaze the signal next to this was working and regulating the traffic and here we are in trouble crossing the road. The traffic signals are automated and I don’t find there could be any difficult for the traffic cop to regulate but still switching off only sends frustration.

Monday, May 02, 2016

RGB Monday

Merry go round @ Marina Beach, Chennai  

Merry Go Round

The colorful merry-go-round is a hand cranked or motor driven produces fun and amusement to both adults and kids.