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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Give me some sunshine,give me some rain
Give me another chance,
I wanna grow-up once again…

In our hectic lives, many of us rarely get a chance tIMG_3054-2o live as carefree as we might have spent our childhood. So, when the opportunity comes to relive those days of tenderness, we should never let it pass by. That was the thought that came to my mind when I saw the mail about the Social Trek from Satish. Subsequently, I registered for the social trek event. The social trek event was for the kids from the Lakshmama Orphanage, Kodigehalli, Bangalore and was scheduled for 31st January, 2010.The place chosen was Pearl valley also known as Muthyala Maduvu.

On the D-day, I landed up at Corporation circle by 7.45 A.M IST. The bus was supposed to come at 8.10 A.M IST at that place. Little did I realize, that we were running on the Sunday version of IST(Indian Stretchable Time). So, the bus was a little over one hour and twe1001310015-2nty minutes behind schedule and soon we were zooming past the Sunday morning traffic of Bangalore towards Pearl valley, our first stop.We had our first pit-stop just after crossing the Gottigere village. We stopped by the road-side to have our breakfast around 11 A.M. IST. Since the junta was really hungry by now, the plate-sized idlis and vadas were attacked with gusto. The kids finished their prayer before starting on the breakfast, while the remaining participants of the trek had no such heavenly inhibitions and royally attacked the food. Breakfast was quick, over and done in 20 minutes, garbage was packed and taken along in the bus.

Meanwhile I got introduced to my seat-mates for this trip. One of them was Likhit Raj and the other Murthy. Since my Kannada is never improving, I remain silent after the initial intrIMG_3072-1oductions. As the bus was on its way, those two were sleeping till they were awakened by a few failed attempts to start a chorus before breakfast. After breakfast, Likhit was particularly energized and the fields and the cows on the way provided him a vent for the energy. He explained something about the cows and the fields to me. I kept nodding my head. As the bus reached the Bannerghatta junction, the big hill which houses the Devasthana on the top, led to collective gasps from the young brigade!(maybe they thought we need to climb that?)Soon, the chorus started hitting on the right notes and we had a pretty decent thing going, mixed with Kannada and Hindi songs. We reached Anekal around 11.30 A.M. IST and Pearl Valley (about 8 kms from Anekal town) around 11.50 AM IST.

The Muthyala maduvu falls or the Pearl Valley falls is a gushing stream cascading down from a height of 92 m. The drops of water strewn across the rock surface on impact lend the appearance of scattered pearls. Hence the name. The fall, its serene ambience and the lush green valley is a huge draw for visitors.It is a multi stage waterfall.
Source : Karnataka tourism website.

Once we reached there, we carried the lunch items and water to the place where we setup base. This place was just in 4320300477_e882b077cd_b-1front of the multistage falls. There are two falls  as we go down the stairs from the car stand. the first one, opposite to the temple, is a small one. The second falls is a ten-minute walk from the first, whereby water falls from a very decent level. Unfortunately at this time of the year, there was not much water to be found in the falls.We started with a round of introduction from the children as well as the participants. It was a fun-filled session whereby the kids took us through their background and education, while the participants took the little ones through their work and place of stay.After the session, since it was already 1.30 PM, we decided to have our lunch. After serving the kids, we had our lunch amidst the watchful eyes of the monkeys who wanted to grab a piece of attention. The sumptuous lunch consisted of pulao and curd rice. After a heavy lunch, we lazed around for sometime and decided to move to T.K. falls, a small falls, about 12 kms from the Bannerghatta junction towards Kanakpura road. The falls was supposed to have relatively more water than the Pearl valley falls.

We reached T.K. falls in an hour from Anekal. After a slight discussion on the route, we decided to take the kids through the easier 1001310108-1route. About 20 minutes of walking, led us to T.K. falls. The falls had more water than Pearl Valley falls. We spent some quality time near the falls, helping the kids see the drop of the falls. Since we wanted to move to a flatter ground for the sports activities, we made our way in the opposite direction of the falls and came to a field near the temple. The place was well suited for team games as well as the nearby trees provided shade for those intending to laze around.Soon, Satish coordinated and managed to kick start a game of Lagori, wherein the striker of one team knocks down the stones, and the other team tries to hit a person from the opposing team with the ball, while the first team tries to reconstruct the pile of stones. It was a close contest and Satish's team won by a margin of 7-6.Meanwhile, all this time, rest of the kids were busy with the other participants in games such as Badminton, Volleyball and Cricket. As for myself, I was busy with the shutter :-D

At around 5 PM, we ended the games session and moved towards the nearby temple where we had a variety of snacks, perk chocolates etc. We stayed there for around an hour, during which we had a entertainment session from Geetha (on the guitar) and Michael(on the mouth organ). Shyam also lent his vocals to a couple of numbers. Junior Khan wante4320499867_f00051ab14_b(2)-1d a piece of the action and tried tuning the chords a bit :-) At 6 PM, we were on our way back from T.K. falls. The timing turned out to be perfect for shutterbugs as the sunset was majestic. Maybe it happens many days a year, but watching these sunsets from top of a peak with miles of jungles down you or viewing them from acres of fields such as in this sunset, are very rare moments to cherish.Once we made sure, everybody was on board, the bus started off from T.K. falls. We were on Kanakpura and reached Bangalore in an hour. The jam near Ragi- Guda temple confirmed that.

Highlights of the Outing:
1. Satish, Shyam, Geetha, others and the chorus.
2. Rafique who wanted the intros of the girls :-)
3. Thilak Raj, my seat mate, the silencer, who talked very little.
4. Sharan, the youngest among the kids. He was so cute, quite a few girls will have  weak knees.
5. Kids with diverse background as in from states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa but very fluent in Kannada.
6. Energetic bunch of participants, who were always willing to take on extra responsibilities of carrying the items, managing the logistics, interacting with the kids etc.
7. Inquisitive and disciplined bunch of kids, always willing to help out and lend a ear to the volunteers/participants.
8. Michael and his mouth organ.
9. Little Khan and his antiques, right from climbing up a tree to romancing with the guitar to flirting with the mouth organ. 

Special note of thanks for Satish for taking up this initiative on the social front from Bangalore ASCENDers and driving it to a successful completion. Teaching kids at a early age to learn a sustainable way of living in co-habitation with nature and raising the level of eco-consciousness is an important task for our future generations to enjoy these forests and this social trek from Bangalore ASCENDers(BASC) was a little step in that direction.

Note of thanks to all the participants, who doubled up as volunteers and spent a day with kids reliving the old days and also helping out in the smooth execution of the day of events.

This Orphanage is run by Nagaraj and his family,they do not have any corporate or government sponsorship.They are funded by people like you and us.Those who wish to donate or volunteer can contact to the below address.

V.Nagaraj
Smt.Laksmamma Orphanage(R)
#27/1 , Amco Layout , Kodigehalli, Near Impact college
Godwin School Road, Sahakaranagara Post
Bangalore – 560092
Mobile:9845304581,9342198459.

Visit our Group @ CLICK HERE
Join Bangalore ASCENDers @
CLICK HERE

Written by: Pranjal (Courtesy: SINDBAD – THE SAILOR )
Event organized by: Satish
Image Gallery:
Pranjal,Satish,Sudheer