Last December, my wife and kid stayed back at her parent’s
house and I came back alone to Bangalore on 27th December 2015. Back
to my bachelor days. Last week of December was practically empty so hardly went
to office. On 31st night, had Hari and Ashok at my home with drinks
and KFC chicken. Bandy joined us in the night. Planned for going somewhere and
rooted for Pondicherry. All agreed and the plan was to go next weekend. HK and
Ashok stayed in the night. Next day had breakfast at Udupi Park followed by a
nice lunch at Plantain Leaf. Slept through the afternoon. In the evening they
left with plans to get Praveen roped in as well so that all can go out for 3
days. That evening got hold of Ritesh and Vinay and had our New Year party.
Following week, I checked with HK but Bandy and Praveen
backed out so nothing worked. Then checked out my friends like Deepak and
Sanjay but there were more in to Cubbon Park and Lalbagh.
So finally last week had called up HK on Thursday to enquire
about plans. He was ready and so was Ashok. He said he will check with Bandy
and confirm. By night it was like Bandy won’t come so it will be the 3 of us
and it will be Pondicherry. Friday around noon, checked again with him but he
was busy. I was back early to home by evening when he called back talking about
some weekend work for the next weekend release. Was able to put some sense in
his mind that work will always be there and no one really cares about work so
he agreed. He said that Vikas from his team will also join in and Wayanad will
be a better place to go at this time of the year. I agreed.
I asked them to pack some dinner and come to my house. They
came in like 9:30 pm. Had dinner of roti and 2 chicken curries. Looked through
places to stay but did not book it as the rates were negotiable and it’s better
to check them on spot. So just made a list of top 5 stays. Also made a list of places
to visit. HK was still like return on Sunday night but I knew I can convince
him for Monday giving us a full day to see the place.
Woke up like 4:45 and started getting ready. Made some tea
which we had with biscuits. Left home at 6. Drove till A2B before Mandya which
was like 100 kms from home. Reached there like 7:45. Well on time. Had masala
dosa. Left around 8:30. Bypassed Mysore on its outer ring road. The road from
Mysore to Nanjagud was under construction so had to slow down a bit. From Gundlupet
took a right and entered the Bandipur National Park. Road was good and mostly
empty. In the national park faced a lot of humps at regular intervals. Stopped
for a while inside the national park for some photos. When we moved out of
Karnataka and into Kerala, the forest changed its colour. From the dried white
and brown tree barks, it all turned green and full of leaves.
The first big
town in Kerala was Sutlan Bathery. Finally stopped at Meenangudi just before
Kalpetta which is the district headquarters of Wayanad. It was around 12.
Started checking out the places to stay. Found a good one name Coffee
Aroma Resort and got set for it. Started like 1 and reached there close
to 2. We were welcomed with a nice sugarcane juice and then moved to our twin
It really had a mountain stream flowing next to it like the photos.
We all decided to take a dip in to it. So just headed out. Found a place where
you can lie at like 30’ as well a small waterfall when water was flowing down
from say 10-12 feet. I settled for lying down with water gushing all over my
body. HK and Vikas took shower in the small waterfall. The water was really
cold but got used to it in some time. Then just laid there with eyes closed.
Had trouble breathing as water flowing over my head and nose so had to sit up
intermittently. But that was a 30-45 mins well spent.
The resort manager came
looking for us and informed that lunch is ready. So we went back to our
cottages and took a quick bath and then down to the dining area. Lunch was
rice, chicken curry (Malabar style) and dal. Small menu but good taste. Had a
stomach full of it and straight back to our cottages for sleep. It was already
like 4 pm. Slept till 8. Woke up and went back to dining for some tea. Had
asked chicken biryani (kerala style), roti, paneer makhni for dinner and some
beer and chicken fry to start with. Called up home and buny. Back to cottages
and things were ready by then. Lots of talk of office and general life. Had
dinner. A group of boys had come to the resort and they partied late in to the
night so was awake for quite some time. Finally got some sleep.
Woke up like 7 when the alarm was for 8!! Surprised at what
nature can do to you as we were practically inside a coffee plantation surrounded
by forest. There was dew on the window. So just headed out alone as rest were
still asleep. Went down the river and then upstream. Took photographs and then
sat of a rock over the stream for some time. **PEACE**. Came back.
up by then. Got ready and headed for breakfast. Vikas had headache so he ate
little. Talked to the manager who said we can go upstream to a bigger waterfall.
So we went for it after breakfast. It was like a 20-25 mins climb upstream
jumping over rocks as we moved ahead. In a short time, it became tiring as we
were like jumping rocks of size 2 or 3 steps each time. But all of us reached.
The water volume was less still it formed a good waterfall. Just wondered how
it will like during monsoons when it will be full of water. Caught my breath
for some time and then headed up the spot when the water was rushing vertically
I was followed by HK. Ashok had a corn is his foot which was troubling
him but he followed a little later. Vikas was literally sick and he threw up
and sat at the base of the pool of the waterfall. The water was now chilling
and since it fell from some 30 feet, it was like needles hitting the skin. It
took some time to adjust but thoroughly loved it. Slowly I moved out at sat on
a rock between the spot and the pool. I was still getting splashed by water but
it was not directly over me. HK joined first followed by Ashok. After lie 45
mins, went back to the rocks by the pool and dried ourselves in the sun. On the
way back, took a different route via the tea plantation. They had tea at the
higher levels and coffee at lower levels. It was an easy stroll down.
our cottages, took bath and got ready. The jeep was ready to take us down. Back
to the car we headed for Kalpetta first to get Saridon for Vikas. After having
it he felt better. Then on way to Banasura Sagar Dam,
had lunch close to the dam itself. It was already around 2. Finally reached the
dam. It was the largest earthen dam in India and since it’s a hilly region,
there were a lot of island which were formerly hill tops before the dam
submerged dam. They had a park and play are by the dam. Vikas looked for getting
tickets for speed boating but we were late.
Left the dam at 4 for Lakkidi View
Point. Wow. It’s the place where the road leaves for the Ghats and it was like
a drop from Wayanad towards Kozhikode. The road snaked down one and then came
up the opposite hill at a much lower level.
Took some photographs and left it
for Pookot Lake which was close by. Took a stroll around the lake with Ashok
and took some rest on the benches on it periphery. It was evening and it was
good to take a leisurely stroll in the woods surrounding the lake.
started getting dark, headed back to the resort. Reaching there, called up the
Jeep. In the resort had tea. Thereafter played TT with HK. I had played it
after quite a long time. For dinner, asked for rice, dal, fish fry and aaloo
fry with some beer and chicken fry. Back to our cottage, had the drinks and
back to dining for dinner. Vikas and Ashok went to sleep. HK and I talked about
office and life well till midnight. Then called it a day and went to sleep.
Today as well woke up early around 7. Just walked around the
resort. Went for breakfast at around 8 but breakfast won’t be server till 830.
So had tea and waited. Had chowmein
and poori-sabzi. Came back and got
ready for departure. Were ready to leave at 1030. The plan was to go to Edakkal
caves. On reaching there, we were told that it’s closed on Monday. So moved
ahead. Drove non-stop till Gundlupet where stopped at a CCD and had a fruit
drink. It was hot today. It was already 2 o’clock and did not feel like eating.
So drove to KR Sagar Dam bypassing Mysore. Reached there by 4. Had some snacks
at the shops at the entrance and then shared fried rice with Ashok in the Karanataka
Government eatery in there and it was really bad. Sat at the head of Brindavan
Gardens. Still after 100 years, the view is simply great. Strolled with Ashok
through the gardens and then up to the musical fountain area.
Left at 630 and
we were closing Kengeri around 9 when we stopped for Dinner. Had Chole Bature followed by ice-cream. Left
around 10 and reached home by 11. Pretty drowsy so went for sleep. HK and Ashok
stayed back but Vikas left. Next day HK and Ashok left before I awoke.
Overall a nice drive of around 750 kms where I was the
driver. Nice scenes. It will be way better post monsoon when it’s all green. Still
this was better than staying home at weekend :)
This year, I took up the task to get my Electricity Meter changed from my builder's name to myself. Reason being its one the essentially government address proofs for your house which is used everywhere. Most folks in my apartment went the normal path of getting an agent to do it for a fees for Rs 1200 - 1500. One or two had given a try themselves and succeeded. As my friend Vinay and myself are practically free in the weekends so wanted to give it a try. If it worked then fine, else the agent is always there. It was our first Rendezvous with the famed Indian bureaucracy - and I wanted to have a feel of it in Bangalore. Even if we failed, we would have a experience and will know things how they are supposed to be done (and what not gets done).
So first went through online stuff like blogs and group mails to get as much information we can but later realized that there's more that not written anywhere hence this article. I stay close to Marathalli so most of the information is localized. There will be similar arrangements in other localities of Bangalore as well. So here is the story:
Weekend 1 :: Information gathering We went to the local Bescom office at Chowdeshwari Temple Road, Marathalli (google map) and talked to the junior engineer about our request. Surprised to see that he was pretty courteous and explained the basic forms to fill up but they don't have the forms themselves. We had to get it from a shop nearby named Bhavani Electricals at Tulsi Theater Road (google map ) . From there we got:
BESCOM Transfer of Electrical Connections (Form 1)
BESCOM Power Supply Agreement for Low Tension Electrical Energy (eStamp Paper with a stamp of Rs 200)
BESCOM Indemnity Bond (eStamp Paper with a stamp of Rs 100)
For the 3 forms, the shopkeeper took a total of Rs 350 (Rs 50 as his fees)
Weekend 2 :: File Preparation and visit to local BESCOM office
We filled in the forms and along with it we took:
NOC from our builder
Latest electricity Bill
Id Proof : Driving License copy will do
Address Proof : Bank certified / Notarized copy of the Sale Deed (* this has a story described later)
Photo of the electricity meter from outside and inside (else the engineer will ask to visit the premises to confirm the meter installed)
With all this we went to the Marathalli office but bad luck. It was 2nd Saturday and government offices were closed on the day. We saw some folks in the office and went to talk to them. They were most likely agents themselves and they discouraged us a lot that so and so proofs are missing and it requires this and that and you will need a agent. Getting back home, we were almost ready to hand it over to the agent but as it goes - we could not get hold of the agent !!!
Weekend 3 :: Junior Engineer's approval - To BESCOM S-7 office This weekend we made some nice progress and felt its almost done but had some more steps to go. We met with the Junior Engineer at the Marathalli office. He went through our forms and proofs and then signed on the backside of the "BESCOM Transfer of Electrical Connections (Form 1). He asked for the last meter reading and that was the only information required. With the first official step complete, we went to the BESCOM S-7 office and Old Airport Road (google map ). As it was end of month the workload was high, so the officials in there asked to come next Thursday. Hmm.. not sweet, still we moved. The account manager Mr. Manohar asked us to put all document in a standard cardboard file as plastic files don't work in government offices - new learning.
Weekend 4 :: Account Manager's approval and submission of fileInstead of Thursday, we went the next weekend. Initially the account manager asked us to wait. We waited for some 20 mins and then he took our file for review. Mine had a additional issue that I had the original sale deed and its photocopy and I thought he will attest it. He first asked to get it done from the notary but later with some request, he finally agreed to do it himself and I thank Mr. Manohar for that. It kind of brought some belief in me - ki sarkaari kaam late hota hai magar hota hai aur sab chor nahi hain (government work takes time but it happens and not all are black sheep). With that, the file went to a clerk who said, that it late for today, come on Monday to raise a demand of Rs 100 for the name change.
Next Monday :: Demand Raised With no mood to delay things further, we went Monday sharp at 10 AM when offices open. Got hold of the clerk who had a lot of files with him. Had to search for our files and got them. He put it a request for Rs 100 which we paid standing in a line for another 20 mins. With the receipt in hand, we put it in the file and asked the clerk when will the name change show up in the BESCOM portal. The reply was around 2 weeks.
Weekend :: Address CorrectionDuring the week, the name change happened in the BESCOM portal. Really fast but the address update was not there. The whole purpose was to have a address proof and we had just the name. So we went to the BESCOM office for address update. Luckily this happened from the helpdesk itself. The lady logged in to the portal and updated the address a put in the form. All good.
Now I have a critical government address proof which took around a month to get without any outside help.