After reading Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service by Michael Bar-Zohar, I found Black Tornado: Mumbai 26/11 in the related section. It is written by Sandeep Unnithan, Deputy Editor, India Today. It was meant to be an article and evolved into a book. Because of the good reviews, I took no time in buying a Kindle copy. It covers the military response to the terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008, popularly known as 26/11.
I find book very engaging and thoroughly enjoyed it. Black Tornado is the name of the NSG’s operation on the attacks. A few tidbits-
- Browsing through the tenant mailing list yesterday, I learned the society in which I stay Sandeep Vihar, AWHO is named after Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who was killed in action during Operation Black Tornado.
I like rally race over circuit race. Circuit race- Boring! I follow neither. But if I were to pick, it’s rallying any day. I found an interesting video on how a rally car is built.
From the video-
* From the outside, rally cars look like normal cars except for the graphics. They are very different inside. How come the driver and navigator walks out with no scratch after the car rolls over a few times?
This post is about the much awaited trip to Yelagiri that did not happen. The route was carefully planned. Hotel booked. Lunch will be at Ambur at the famous Star Briyani. The onward journey will run parallel to Old Madras Road. Return journey will involve a ride through Javadhu hills, swing by the Observatory if possible, turn left into Vellore and connect Old Madras Road after Chittoor. Playlist carefully selected.
But it did not happen.
I booked Kannas Guest House, Athanavoor Main Road through Stayzilla. At 1600 for 2 occupants, with a resort like campus, backed by a comment at TripAdvisor, it seemed like a good deal.
Route – Onward https://goo.gl/maps/nR7NURjTMtq
Route – Return https://goo.gl/maps/GWRWZW2dWeS2
I am sharing the route I planned to take should someone find it useful. The idea of this route is not meant to be the shortest route but to be exploratory and fun.
Reiek Tlang is a popular day trek from Aizawl. It’s a 30km, 2 hour drive to the west of Aizawl. This time, like most people I ignored it for long because I can go there anytime. Why the hurry? But that time never came.
In May 2014, I was in between jobs and had a month break at Aizawl. I decided it was time to strike Reiek off my list.
I have seen pictures of the cliff and the narrow path on the edge leading to the peak. I though was that was it. What I didn’t know was that the short 3km trek to the peak through the thick and well preserved forest would be so amazing, if it were nearby Bangalore, it will attract loads of trekkers!
It’s the best 3km trek I have done. Let me take you there.
Half way to Reiek, you will reach Tlawng river. There is a small tea stall where you can have tea and snacks.The tea stall with its wide windows make it a nice place to sit and sip tea as you admire the river below.
I had not been to Kanhmun/Damcherra Bazaar in more than ten years. The last time was 1999. I had been wanting to go there. Since we were at Kawrthah for a brief visit, it was a perfect opportunity to drive down to Kanhmun. The twin town is a popular shopping place in Mizoram west. It lies at the border of three states- Mizoram, Tripura and Assam. Kanhmun in Mizoram and Damcherra in Tripura, the two separated by Langkaih river. People come here on Tuesdays from various nearby villages. I don’t know about Assam and Tripura. From Mizoram, shoppers used to come from as far as Mamit.
The Bazaar Ni (Market Day) which is Tuesday is observed seriously like a special day. Pu Muana, a pastor who was posted there said you can’t really plan anything on Tuesday.
We went there on a Monday since we wanted to head back to Aizawl the next day. We started from Kawrthah around 7 in the morning. After Zamuang, we stopped at Bairabi peng (junction) for tea.
Most people don’t explore their own town. I am not most people. I chose to continue that by exploring Bangalore on a bus. With a day pass that cost a mere 70 rupees, I rode BMTC buses one whole day. The benefit and ease with day pass is not having to worry about change (conductor hardly returns change at once) and not having to know the stop (to tell the conductor for fare). Just get on and get off wherever you want.
The routes I traveled by bus
- Kannamangala to Kadugodi. Rs. 14 for bus fare, after this I used day pass. (Blue Bus)
- Kadugoi to MG Road (SBS-1K)
- Brigade road to Wipro Gate, Electronic City (G3)
- Wipro Gate to Silk Board (356 CW, Silk Board via Flyover)
- Silb Board to Banashankari (200 series Volvo)
- Banashankari to Hebbala via Silk Board, Marathalli Ring Road (500 Series Volvo)
- Hebbala to Majestic (Blue Bus)
- Majestic to Brigade Road (335 E Volvo)
- Bayapanahalli Metro Station to KR Puram (304, White and Blue)
- KR Puram to Hope Farm (304, White and Blue)
- Hope Farm to Kannamangala (Blue Bus)
What did I learn?
Multiplexes have not put Rex out of business. There’s a sky walk near Forum Mall, Koramangala and at other places on Ring Road. I was totally unaware there’s a railway track under Hebbal fly over. There’s too many Volvos plying 335 E route, Majestic to ITPL. Freedom park is not just a part, it was Bangalore Central Jail. There is not just one but several marriage halls in Palace Ground.Totally enjoyed Shivaji Nagar in the evening.
I tried to get a day pass at Kadugodi Bus Station but the staff in the office told me I could get it from the conductor. Since the only IDs with me were photocopy, I went back to the office to get a BMTC ID. I had no desire to run into trouble with a picky conductor.
I got very few photos as we were just passing through. Zawlnuam and it’s adjoining Borai are one of the bigger villages in Hachhek hill range in Mizoram West. They had diesel engine powered electricity long before the power grib reached. It lies in the river valley right next to Langkaih and Borai lui. The other side of Langkaih to the west is Tripura. As it is in flat land, fish ponds and paddy fields are a common sight. The weather is extreme in both winter and summer seasons.