Thursday, April 24, 2014

New design cycle valves

Learnt a new thing recently. So far I’d only seen traditional valves used in cycles- having a rubber tube on top of a metal valve. This rubber tube was expected to make the valve air tight. But over time they do release small quantities of air out of the tube. This necessitates filling up air into the tyres once in a while.
Looks like I am not too updated about latest developments. Recently learnt about this new design valve, which sans the rubber tube. It has an air outlet mechanism in-built and I find them very effective. They are able to hold air much longer, few weeks and more.

Below: left side is the new design value, right side one is traditional 

My roadside mechanic calls them as ‘China valves’- not sure if they’re originated in China or made locally. They cost Rs 8 a piece (traditional one costs less than half that amount, but given that filling up air cots Rs 2-3 per tyre, the china valves are worth the money)

'Sudhi Kannan: An Elephantic adventure' by Krishnaraj HK

'Sudhi Kannan: An Elephantic Adventure' is a work of fiction written by Krishnaraj HK. This close to 300 pages book narrates a young boy's adventures at Elephanta islands off Mumbai coast, which terrorists were planning to take control of.
Plot revolves around a mischievous kid, named Sudhi Kannan, who is all set to be expelled from his school, while his father is on the verge of loosing a mega business deal. Amidst these, they head out to Elephanta caves for a day's outing. While it was supposed to be a simple trip, destiny had other plans. Some deadly terrorists have made their way into the island and are plotting bigger plans. Terrorist leader has a special skill to hypnotize people in-front of him and make them obey his command-a deadly skill he uses effectively to neutralize security forces.

There're sub plots involving Sudhi's classmate Pooja, politics at the school, one of the terrorists falling in love with a villager's daughter, and so on, to keep the narration interesting and going.

Detailed account of Sudhi's conversation and mischief with Pooja, description of the Elephanta islands & caves, occasional slow motion narrations etc keeps adding spice to the already interesting novel.

Book is interesting till the end. But the climax is little disappointing. I feel the story is not taken to a logical conclusion- all questions are left unanswered. As you read the novel many questions build up in your head, which you expect an answer by the end, but in this book, audience is left to guess the answers.

Did Mr Kannan get to retain his clients, who is Boss, how were they neutralized, what happened to Stephen and Roopa, Did Sudhi become a national hero? Did the school drop the idea of expelling him? All these are left unanswered- you can use your imagination to conclude the story, or probably wait for the sequel, if there's any.

Nevertheless, story telling, plot selection and narration is good. Written in simple English, book retains interest till the end while building curiosity and suspense. Pretty good action movie material.

  • Title: Sudhi Kannan: An Elephantic Adventure
  • Author: Krishnaraj HK
  • Publishers: Blackbuck Publications
  • Genre: Fiction
  • ISBN 978-163041949-3
  • Pages: 292
  • MRP:  Rs 180 ( Rs 133 on

When I had been to Mumbai I had a chance to visit Elephanta caves. I missed it. After reading this book, I am more tempted to check out the island.

Sudhi Kannan is author Krishnaraj's first book. I wish him more success in subsequent books.

Other Book reviews: RIP * F@?k knows * Jack Patel’s Dubai dreams * When Signal turns Red *  Shoes of the dead by Kota Neelima * Tantra by Adi * How I braved Anu aunty and co founded a million dollar company * 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ottinene sunset viewpoint ner Byndoor- revisited

After my first visit to Ottinene in October 2011 in an Aria, I've had 2 more visits to this place off NH17 (66) between Byndoor and Bhatkal.

Ottinene is known for its sunset view point.However first 2 visits were during morning and the latest visit was exactly at sunset time. As we drove in, I was expecting sunset to happen right in front of me, where I could view river joining the sea. But the viewpoint is angled southwards, while sunset would happen on the west, so naturally my expectation was stupid. Also the bushes had grown a lot compared to 2011 and view was not so great.

So we walked downwards towards the ocean, using the steps in between the woods. From here we could get good sunset view and some photos below for your reference.

There're some cottages here in Ottinene if you wish to stay, but bookings need to be done at Forest Department Office in Kundapura town. Room rents are about 800 Rs a day. However no restaurants are available, you'll have to drive to nearby town for the same. One resort is also available nearby (Sai Vishram resort)

Below: Cheetah sneaking in from the woods, waiting for its pray

Nearby: Murudeshwara * Kodachadri * Maravante * 10 Adventure activities you can try in Karnataka

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book Review: "Awaken the leader in you" by Mitesh Khatri

'Awaken the leader in you' is a practical and highly useful book on personality development. Author Mitesh Khatri is a well recognized corporate trainer in India and in this book, he has shared many of the secrets he would share with his workshop participants. 

Awaken the leader in You is not written to induce false dreams into you to become super rich super quick. It is instead written to help you learn viewing daily problems from a new perspective and finding practical solutions. 

Book explains with simple illustrations and examples how leaders differ from ordinary people.Let me share a few examples from the book:

1. There are few things that are not in our control and few that we can probably change. We should quickly identify these two, accept things we can't change (for example, your boss) and focus on things that can be changed/improved (your co-workers, how you manage your time etc). Wasting time and energy on wrong things is no good and will drain you out, leaving little to spend on what you could have changed.

2. Instead of asking 'why' , think 'how'. Instead of thinking "Why is this happening to me", ask "how can I come out of this". This simple change in approach makes huge difference to outcome.

3. Situation + Response= Results. For same situation that everyone faces, how you respond makes the difference between a leader and an ordinary people. Leaders face the situation and try to turn it into opportunity or manage it well, while ordinary people are comfortable avoiding the situation or succumbing to it.

4. Ordinary employees always think with an employee mind set, find excuses to justify their inaction or failures, while leaders think with entrepreneur mindset, often taking ownership of the situation and getting things done dispute the odds. While it is easy to take cover behind a layer of excuses and justifications, success follows those who deliver results, consistently.

5. Take control of your physiology to take control of your emotions. If you're physically tired and exhausted, your brain can't be at its best. 

Book also has stories of several prominent leaders and businessmen who started from almost nothing and now leading their respective empires. Lots of games and exercises conducted in the workshop is also shared.

'Awaken the leader in you' has 11 chapters, focusing on different key topics such as Emotional Intelligence, Values, Managing time, Communication, Building trust,  Building great teams and so on. It is a must read for all individuals having bigger ambitions in life, irrespective of their current positions and situation.

It was very interesting to know that Mitesh Khatri conducts walking on the burning coal (he is a known fire walking expert) exercises for his workshop participants, to boost their confidence and eventually achieve extra ordinary results.

Title: Awaken the Leader in You
Author: Mitesh and Indu Khatri
MRP: Rs 250 (Rs 200 on flipkart and Amazon, $2.67/Rs 160 for Kindle edition)
No of Pages: 185
Genre: Personality Development
Publisher: Jaico

Author can be reached through his website,

Note: This review is part of Book review program. I got a copy from them for review purpose. There're few other books with same title but written by other author. Be careful while buying.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Skywatch-An evening with XUV500

For this week's Skywatch, its a car again. This time the XUV500 W6. You might have seen some of the pics already (it was too difficult to resist posting them)


Little later, when the sun was further down, clicked by Ravi Raj

More skywatch pics on skyley
Skywatch Muttukadu * Mircolight flying *Sunset with Ecosport *  sunset with BMW, Sunset with Tata Nano Twist