Sunday, May 30, 2010

KY Trip (Part-1): Ft.Wayne to Corbin, KY

I’ve had enough of cubicle life , or in my tiny town in the last 2 months. I desperately needed a break to burst out and rejuvenate myself. This Memorial day long weekend gave me the time & opportunity to do it.

Four of us (Me, Muthu, Ravi & his family) planned for an outing – Road Trip to Kentucky!!! . My first ever trip in the US !. “WHITE WATER RAFTING at CUMBERLAND RIVER” was the stirring vigor which made the trip to happen.

Our trip started on the Friday evening; We left a bit early from office (trying to avoid the long weekend traveler rush) and picked up a BIG car for our trip. Almost a brand new, Hyundai Sonata joined us, as the 5th member of our team; he gave us an excellent company and enjoyed the complete 3 days trip with us.

Our trip was from Ft.Wayne,Indiana to Corbin,Kentucky thro Cincinnati,Ohio. We clicked the “shortest route” in our GPS device which took us through some of the bad roads of the United States ; full of cracks & potholes and it was a bumpy ride till we hit the Interstate -75 Highway.

Muthu & Ravi grabbed the fun of driving on the highways. My Superfluous driving skill was not required for those little interstate highways :-); hence I left it to those guys!. Our 1st pit stop was at Cincinnati, where we stopped to refill air in our car tires, have some drink & for a loo break J

Resumed the drive around 5PM, again on Interstate-75. The scenery on both sides of the road was remarkable and we passed through large Mountains, fields, canals ,rivers and gorges. The hilly roads to Kentucky were so green and enchanting as they always are.

The drive had turned pleasurable. Music, talking, laughter, and snacks were the norm till we halted for dinner at – Mexican Restaurant, Cincinnati. Late evening drive on the Kentucky roads was wonderful (that too... on a full moon day), excellent!!!; I just loved it.

We finally reached our destination in Corbin,Kentucky around 1.30AM (late night) and were ready to doze off. however, the beautiful views kept us awake for quite a long time. Still the excitement over next day’s rafting didn’t leave us asleep.

KY Trip (Part-2): White water rafting

With all excitement, we woke up early in the morning, got ready for the rafting.
After signing certain disclaimer documents, we were made to watch a 15mintues safety Instructions video. It made us completely nervous and scared!.

We were dressed up with all safety PFDs and Helmets; got our paddles and headed towards the Cumberland falls. On the banks of the Cumberland River, We were again told other set of safety instructions and experiences. We’re absolutely panicky.

Just below the high and mighty Cumberland Falls, is Cumberland River put-in for the whitewater rafting. Our guide, Max instructed us to paddle into the river, and leaded towards the mighty falls!!!.

We enjoyed the beautiful view of the falls at put-in, before we paddle downstream into the waves of whitewater.

First 5 miles of the trip was the peak of excitement; through Class II & III rapids such as Center Rock and Surfing Rapid. The River has chutes, drops, and large holes that challenge both the guide and guest alike.

Whitewater rafting is not like a one in the theme park – it’s a river; there’s no lever that makes the ride control/stop …The ride down the rapids was intense.

As the water smashed against my face and I missed the surf, I became more and more comfortable with the frightening situation. It’s a life time experience man!!!. I just can’t expound the excitement in words!!!

After some 7-8 miles of intense, the water became slow and soft like a lake. We got down from the raft and tested our swimming skill for some time.

Jumping from the Rock, Lunch at middle of the River, Motor driven chained-raft ride…. All made the trip spicy and exhilarating!.

Our guide was an expert, who carefully headed to make the ride both safe and exciting. It was nearly 15-20 miles of pure adrenaline, yet I still found the time to look up and enjoy the breath-taking scenery that surrounded me.

KY Trip (Part-3): Cumberland Falls

After a day long adventurous rafting, we were tired and wanted to spend the evening coolly. We headed towards the Cumberland falls, with all our cameras filled with Charge & Memory.

Cumberland Falls, sometimes called the Little Niagara, the Niagara of the South, or the Great Falls. It’s a 130-foot wide curtain of whitewater that pummels 68 feet into the Cumberland River.

The falls, River and the surrounding areas are vey scenic and Impressive. We’re shooting all angles of the falls till the camera battery drained out.

One thing special about the Cumberland falls is “The Moon bow”. On a clear full moon night, the mist of the Falls creates the magic of a Moon bow. Cumberland falls is the only one place in the western hemisphere to see a rainbow produced by the light of moon.

We’re unfortunate to witness the Moon bow and returned back to our Camp. We tried rock? Climbing; made a camp-fire in front of our Inn; Chatting over topics, Politics to Economy, Sports to Cinema… the evening just swept off.

KY Trip (Part-4): Geo-caching, Trek, Horse Ride

It was time to Geo-caching. We were taken in a wagon into the deep of the forest. The trip was full of natural scenery, where the stream dropped down to a series of waterfalls, called as “Triple Falls”.

Indicating the navigation signals, our guide dropped us in the mid of thick forest and left the place. We had to come back to our net, by exploring the “caches” over the path.

We just walked into the lovely green- wet forest with no clear goal in life but to enjoy the surprises thrown by the forest trek. The most memorable part was the waterless waterfall :D! Memorable for the people slipping on the rocks and bruising several body parts in the process.

Horse riding had been a dream for me for many years; and this trip full filled that too. We experienced the thrill of Horse riding too.

All said and done. Imagine a beautiful waterfall, rafting in the middle of a dense forest… life rocked! Having played and fallen enough, it was time to get back.

A good happy two days spent, I must say.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Kathaa Vilasam" S. Ramakrishnan

I got introduced to the writings of S.Ramakrishnan first with his '#ThunaiEzuthu' series in Ananda vikatan. Soon I became his fan, when I started reading his another series “ Kathaavilasam” in the same Ananda Vikatan.

Writer S.Ramakrishnan is a modern Tamil fiction writer, an essayist, a playwright, Film script writer and a world cinema expert... He’s written four novels, five short story collections, nine collections of essays and three books on films. .

His “#Kathaavilasam” introduced many of modern Tamil writers and their writings. Indra Parthasarathy, Naanjil Naadan, Paavannan, Nakulan, Mouni, T.Janakiraman, Asokamithran, Ki.Rajanarayanan, Pudhumaipithan, Vannadasan, Vannanilavan, Narasayya, La.Sa.Ra, Ku.Pa.Ra, Sa.Kandhasamy, and the one and only Sujatha are all the notable ones from the “Kathaa vilasam”...

I have read very few of his works. But still they made an impact in me. Checkout his website here , where you can find all about his writings and views.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Colonies, Revolution and Independence

With high birth rates, low death rates, and steady immigration, the colonial population grew rapidly. Every colony concentrated on extending and enriching their geographies. All of them legalized the African slave trade. And these African slaves were the backbones of all the civil development work.

Between the late 1600 and 1700, thousands of people from England were shipped to America and started accomplishing Britain's American colonies!!! Britain became dominant of all.

In 1770, Britain colonies had a population of 2.6million; which is about one-third that of Britain; nearly one in five Americans were black slaves.

Though subject to British taxation, the American colonials had no representation in the Parliament of Great Britain. The sense of self-government and Britain’s monopoly lead to “American Revolutionary War (1760-1776)”.

[Surrender of Britain]

As the end of American Revolutionary War, American forces, assisted by the French defeated the English.

On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress, under the command of George Washington. adopted the Declaration of Independence, drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson( You can see hundreds of streets are named after him, in all the states of the US).

[Declaration of Independence]

That date July 4th , is now celebrated annually as America's Independence Day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ancient America

It is believed that native people of the U.S. mainland (including Alaska Natives) could have migrated from Asia. They began arriving in to the American lands from some 12,000 ago.

After a couple of hundred years, Europeans (who hated Europe for many reasons) found out America as their freedom land and began settling in the Americas.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus, under contract to the Spanish crown, made the first contact with the native people of Americas. On April 2, 1513, Spanish Conqueror Juan Ponce de León landed in the US, is the first documented European arrival in the America.

[First English settlements were through the ship “Mayflower” in 1620, as depicted in the book “The Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor]

Following the Spanish, English and Dutch started moving into the country and in 1500-1600s. During this time, millions of Native Americans died due to many imported diseases such as smallpox. And America had almost become a country of Immigrants.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

History of United States of America

From my early ages, I always aspire to look into the history. Whenever I go to a new town/country, I used to read a lot about the new place, culture, politics and about their history. It makes me so excited and to feel something good.

Every country has its own credentials and magnificent history behind it. When comparing with other nations, United States is very young, but its history is as great and exhilarating as any other country in the world.

Under the tag “History of the US “, I will share the essence of American history and more about the country.

Disclaimer: All data and information I’m scribing under the tag “History of the US“, are purely based on my knowledge from reading various sources – And is for “informational purposes only”. Correctness and completeness of any information on this post will not be liable for any errors and mistakes.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sujatha - The Genius

Today, the 75th birthday of my beloved writer Sujatha aka Rangarajan.

Sujatha, the one person whom I wish I had a Master Brain like him. If I get a boon, I would choose his brain in my next birth. He was one of the most versatile writers of Tamil.

He could talk/write on any topic- from Sanga Ilakkiyam to Science Fiction; from Naalaayiram Dhivya Prabandham to Nanotechnology; from Physics to Politics. I have never seen such a muti-faceted personality.

I just love his way of writing. Be it a Short story, or a novel, or an essay or Movie Dialogues, he has made a Mark in each and every field.

Sujatha Rangarajan- An exceptional writer who made the reader feel wiser….
The Man who inspired me a lot for writing.I admire him. I salute him on this day!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

From Huntington

Started my life in the US at Fort Wayne,Indiana; Stayed at Marriot Residence Inn for 2 weeks.

As my office situated in Huntington, I just moved to Huntington - IN46750 ( an hour drive from Indy - 3hrs drive from Chicago).

Huntington is not like Fort Wayne. It's a very small town, situated by beautiful corn fields, Wabash river, Salamonie Reservoir , has an approximate population of just 17,000 people.

சோளக்காடு, கிராமத்து ரயிலு... அட, நம்ம பாரதிராஜா அமெரிக்கா வந்து படம் எடுக்கிறதா இருந்தா நிச்சயம் இங்கதான் எடுப்பாருங்க !

Apart from Agriculture, It’s known for it’s huge number of Industries. Huntington has 50+ medium and large scale industries. I guess,It's the second largest revenue creator in the State of Indiana.

Though US is known as the "Country of Immigrants", Huntington is all different. More than 90% of the population are base Americans. Complete City (Ok… OK..Town) is religious; Has very descent, structured culture (not like other part of the US).

I really like the calm and natural atmosphere over here. Hope I’ll enjoy this place and have a pleasant stay.