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Sri Marathandavar Temple

I had one last road trip left before then year ends. We traveled to the temple of miracles, the Sri Maranthandavar temple near the town of Maran, in the east coast state of Pahang. (Marathandavar means God of the Tree; Maram means tree). The temple dedicated to Lord Muruga is located about 3 hours away from KL and has been one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage centres in Malaysia.
Entrance

This is one of the 2 sacred trees at the temple. The original miracle tree has died and the bark is preserved and embedded in the sanctum behind the statue of Lord Marathandavar.
(the link sourced from this blog shows the apparition of Lord Muruga and his wife Deivanai on the bark of the miracle tree)

Flight of freedom, again :)

The temple itself is built to the shape of an octagon.

The Sri Marathandavar temple has beautiful architecture to be admired.
[+] The story of the origin of the [Temple of miracles].
[+] Two very good guide blogs to many famous Hindu temples of Malaysia [Malaysian Hindu Tem…

Strawberries!

We interrupt your regular Christmas programming to bring the Attack of the Killer Strawberries!!

Red hot!

Strawberries dipped in chocolate...heaven!

Fried prawns...served hot with chili sauce
This is a non veg blog after all :p

Honey comb
There are a few honey bee farms in the Highlands

We traveled to the coldest and coolest and highest night market in Malaysia,
located at the Cameron Highlands.
(Friday and Saturday, every week from early evening till midnight, Brinchang Town)
Cameron Highlands is the biggest among the hill stations in Malaysia, situated in the state of Pahang on the Titiwangsa mountain range. It was developed during colonial times, the cool climate and ancient rain forests attract many local and foreign tourists throughout the year. It is very famous for its tea plantations, both Boh Tea and Barath Tea own huge tea plantations in the Highlands and famous tea stops among the hills.
And of course, not forgetting strawberries, the ever famous Highland strawberries are grown there.…

Happy Holidays

Wishing everyone a safe, wonderful and memorable holiday.

Hope that we all take time to...
remember the less fortunate
remember the victims of the 26th December Tsunami
remember the ones who departed too early this year,
from us, from our hearts

remember our roots,
remember the histories,
remember the colors and cultures,
and travels :)

remember our parents,
appreciate them for everything,
love them for making you who you are,
taking care of them,
for they are your existence

remember to say thank you,
remember to hold the door,
remember to help someone
remember to love and show kindness

remember how far we have came in life,
and how hard we worked for it,
so that we can teach others to come up,
and help them to be strong

remember to make that one call,
to say hi, to be that someone,
to make a day happier,
to make a difference

remember to plan for the new year,
to take note from past experiences,
to learn to survive
and to always remember,
there are beautiful tomorrows

remember that I am here,
for you
and for me to rem…

lets go away, 900th post

lets get lost...


[#] 900th post :)

Guess, 3

This will be the final contest for this year.

Guess the name of the (i) City and (ii) Place; where this monument is.

The country is India.

Same rules apply as the previous contests (Guess 1 and Guess 2) for who can and cannot enter. Comments will be moderated.

And all who have guessed will get a Book or DVD of their choice posted to them.

Previous winners may enter again :)

Competition closes on the midnight of 24th December.

*Prizes for all 3 contests are sponsored by the Northern Lexicon Translation Agency.


[[#]] Winners of Guess 2, please mail me your addresses at humanuniverse[@]gmail.com. Or just buzz me in Gtalk or YIM.

4th anniversary

thank you for 4 wonderful years in this electronic world
and a lifetime of memories from the real world :)

this blog, and myself went through a lot in 2008
memories that i will never forget
love and joy to cherish everyday
regrets and pain that will never go away
but i find myself
waking up another day
and many more tomorrows
within them i find my answers
i am still alive
the world is still here
bold and beautiful
what matters is taking a step forward
making someone happy
changing something
being the change
and living your life
may we have another wonderful year
and many more lives to touch
and not a dream lost
love all



[+] Place: Tanjung Dawai beach, Kedah. Travelers; Kumar, Indran, Ghost. Shutter light tracer; Indran.

Guess, 2

Winners: manisha, milady, stpdsor, brocasarea, jeevan, karthi, anitha, nachi, ne, arv, neha

This is the second quiz this month, since I'm so in love with December.

(i) Guess which movie the following lines are from - title, actors.
(ii) Name A very famous song from the movie - title, artist.

I would rather have had...
one breath of her hair
one kiss of her mouth
one touch of her hand
than an eternity without it.
Should be very very easy if you're a movie buff. And definitely NO CLUE this time. :P Oh btw, its an English, Hollywood movie.

Remember BOTH questions must be answered.

The Prize will be: A DVD or Book of your choice mailed to you :)

[#] I'll moderate the comments for this post, Everyone who gives the correct answers will get the prize.

Contest closes exactly 24 hours from now (Malaysian time 3pm /GMT +8) - 19th December - Friday (wherever you are :)

[#] My immediate friends in Msia and the Chumma Travel gang is not eligible to participate. As well as the winner from the previo…

Best of Adventures: Adventures of the Year

[a must read!!!]

This was the price, finally. The planet can look small, and an adventure exciting. You can chart out detailed routes and plan to cover thousands of miles and many months. It can all seem so straightforward and plausible. But then you find yourself in one particular place at one particular time, and the world feels as vast as it is. You wait to find out whether you're going to die.

[read full] [180degrees.com]

[+] Read All The Adventures [NatGeo Adventures of the Year]
[+] 2007 Adventures of the Year

tied travails

sometimes we wonder
if buildings can indeed be the identity
of cities or countries

and in another moment I would like to make a biased generalization
saying that
this would indeed be the only towers that represent a culture of modernity
with a touch of familiarity
giving a strong identity to the city and country
the twins are tied so close to the hearts of the citizens that we cant sever it
however way we look at it
in whatever moments of humanity
we see the struggles of a nation
birthing a monument of splendor
of excess beauty
with nothing to compare with
and among the mindless fractured modern cities around the world
I see scrapers rise from sand and stone
but none has the character or life or soul
of this fantastic existence

and from a distance in time
I see how the towers of 9-11
has become an identity of change and fear
of hope and eternity
how changes can happen
as radically as any building could be
smoldered to the ground
and among the rubble's we find
our voice to speak against tyranny
among the dead…

Many Miles

during the days of remembrance
a moment of retrospection
a deluge of memories
drains your life
makes you
stop


[#] Niki hit 20000 km today...in 5 short months. How many memories the car share, how many more to discover. I hope I dont stop walking the roads... :)

Xmas at the Valley

Xmas at MidValley Megamall

hey! :D

Framed...Circled? Sphered!

the one tree i really like
made of ribbons

And this is at The Gardens, the decor was really good...

and it was a huge huge cage!

yeh...now you know where I live! :D

this the season to scare your children silly
...at the Valley...tralalalalaa la la la... :D

[#] Xmas decors is a big craze at local malls. And since the tree at KLCC turned a dud this year, I think MidValley and The Gardens shopping mall did good for this season. Hope one day I get to see the Rockefeller Center tree :)
[+] Travelers Velan and Ghost

Of Driving

This could be rated as one of the most pressing matters in the world today; Driving with your parents (and grandma). And its going to be a very long drive. I woke up this morning to find all my CDs missing from the car! No more Nusrat, no more Atif, Maroon 5, Bocelli, they even took away my Dalai Lama chants...oh come on. And there's a lot of CD's with no name...which I'm gonna presume are really really sad 70's and 80's Tamil songs...

I really dont mind the driving part, its a pleasure to take them along and knowing they would be happy to travel as much as I am, but music always puts me in a spot during these times. And I will do anything not to switch on the radio during drives with family. Because at moments you least expect there will be a bloody radio show about arrogant children who don't take care of their parents, or something about marriage, work, etc. And along with that will be some free advice from grandma about marriage, etc. We cant talk back. Prob…

LOL!

[#] How true, how true :D

Lata Bayu

Its so good to wander, coz there's heavens to be found :)

But it was not an easy task...

it needed some heavy duty lifting...

and searching...

and goofing around...

before heaven is found

The Lata Bayu waterfalls.
(Lata Bayu loosely means Cascading Breeze / Breezy Cascades? :p )

symmetrical evolutions

majestic beauties

and mysterious creatures...

Rest of the snaps at [Rain Forests - Malaysia]


[+] Lata Bayu
[#] Travelers Vj, Indran and Ghost

Rainforest, 2

On the road again...


[+] B32 and N32, Semenyih to Kuala Klawang, Selangor to Negeri Sembilan. Beautiful hills, reserve forests and beautiful waterfalls. The waterfalls are actually littered all along the route. Larger falls are deep in the jungles.

Cosmological Nomads / Moving

Finally I've started packing, cleaning the apartment to move out. I will really miss this place, the quiet night hills and memories. I'm moving to somewhere a zillion time busier but who cares since its all relative anyway. Its a new dawn for me, with renewed spirit and I foresee a lot more travels in the future. I love this nomadic nature of life and I really want to travel.

Just like a few months back, I'm on a mission. It looked impossible in the beginning, but when I make it happen the world will seem a lot more easier to live. Making it happen is hard, but its almost done. I am proud with myself for starting it.

In the photo is my model B17F Flying Fortress (build by Bob and myself 3 years ago). It stands testimony of what could have been, what can be achieved. But people change and I have no regrets now. Especially today, I have no regrets at all.

I have accepted the fact that there are some out there who cant see who I really am. I was ready to give everything, because…

Shabir / Alaipayuthey

Alaipayuthey - Shabir
[link back up! all hail free domains! :P]

[#] A very good Tamil song by Singaporean artist Shabir. The song is from his bestselling 2006 Album of the same name. Shabir has recently launched a new album called TraffiQ (urban Tamil compositions ?) which is airing strong on the local radio stations.
[+] Shabir.Com.Sg

Violations

[#] downhill, tirumala hills, ap, 2008
[+] click on the image for a bigger version

Mumbai, 3

[removed]
[sourced: Editorial Cartoons by Michael Ramirez]

[#] Took a while for me to come to my senses, a thank you to Nachi and Milady for the fine reasoning (do read their comments). I've removed the cartoon.
[#] This ed-cartoon has many meanings. What I see is a lawless country, where sanity is dead i.e. Pakistan. And from their fractures, its neighbors are paying a heavy price.
[#] The terrorists want attention, and dirt. They cant have dirt, but attention they get everyday from the media. What we don't have to give them is any reason, logic or rationale for their actions. We can condemn them and their ideologies, we write about them and we never forget.

Mumbai, 2

[By Suketu Mehta]

...

So I’m booking flights to Mumbai. I’m going to go get a beer at the Leopold, stroll over to the Taj for samosas at the Sea Lounge, and watch a Bollywood movie at the Metro. Stimulus doesn’t have to be just economic.

[Read the full op-ed: What they hate about Mumbai]
[Via: Kavi's Twitter]

[+] I think I jst found a stronger reason to return to India sooner. But am not sure if the world will always remain the same, will it always absorb the pain fast enough to make us forget the past atrocities...

Of Life, Of Love

For the question of whats next; the question of love and marriage, as much as I try to find the answers I really cant. What makes life put so much hope and desire in one person, I have no answers for that too. I pray that at this juncture in life I get to have it my way. Hopefully.

Mumbai

Why are you not doing anything yet India? I'm with Kavi on this, its time to get tough. No more negotiations, no more waiting and no more speculations. Just get them, and clean up the country. This is ridiculous, I've been watching the news since morning and no one has any idea of what the hell is happening there. Seriously, what is happening in Mumbai? One army officer says there is an hostage situation, another says everything is cleared. And then politicians offering lip service, bullshit. What's worst in this is, if a country like India is caught offguard (for the nth time!!!), what will happen if it happens in Malaysia? What are the intelligence service doing? Is CNN better than the intelligence services? Twitters and blog updates are faster than the army and commandos. Who do you want to trust your safety to now?

[+] Mumbai Help

wanderers

[+] click on the image to make it larger :)

[#] I cant forget the memories of the blue skies of Shimla...mesmerizing as ever.

Divya

Meet Divya...my occasional rant friend. But of course she doesn't understand a word I say.


It'd Divya's birthday today :)



[#] Apparently I suck at taking human photos. :( I took me a lot of chocolates and another 4 people to coerce her to stand still for this photos...oh sigh. Why r they scared of me...like I'm a ghost or something... :(
[+] Im seriously swamped with work...hope to be visiting all the blogs this weekend, sorryyyy...

Rainforest

Before the events of the previous post, we went to the jungles of Mount Jerai, to a waterfall named Batu Hampar, in Kedah.

crystal clear waters

a giant poisonous man killer bug thingy, probably a meter long
a giant centipede, common in the Malaysian rainforests

evolution

it was so hard to get this shot,
wished the other butterflies and dragonflies cooperated as well

slow shutter, but it turned too bright


[#] Travelers Velan, Vj, Indran, Ghost and Kumar
[+] will upload the rest of the pics in my flickr

Sunday!

I had an awesome Sunday...

- Seat belts saves life
- Airbags should be made standard on all Malaysian cars
- And, there still are dirt stupid idiots who make sudden stops and
u-turns in the middle of busy traffic


[#] My cousin and his buddies went for a ride, and decided to do a Bond. They're all safe, with some stitches and minor bruises. Am really impressed with Perodua MyVi, the structural integrity is very good, but air bags would have been better, just that there are no laws for mandatory airbags here and well no rules against street stupidity. Oh and everyone thought I'm a reporter! :D

random hearts

im back home in Malaysia now... and figuring how to answer when everyone asks which is 'better' India or Malaysia now how do you make a choice like that? i'm not going to answer them on that I've just been smiling for the whole day now... i think when the time comes
for us to live our dreams and others are left just a glimpse of it there is no room for justifications jst memories long lasting :)

[#] will be there soon...in ur writings, in ur dreams. Have a good weekend :)

Days are Forever

As my journey comes to an end, and many of my dreams fulfilled, good and tiring days, traveling many cities in such a short duration, and that too while swamped with work really messed my schedules. Missed to meet many good friends along the way. But I always believed what is meant to happen, will happen and last Tuesday I met my long time blog traveler, and the person I admire the most in words and writing and in courage, my brother Jeevan.

I cant describe my happiness walking the long courtyard to his house; it was a bright and sunny Chennai morning. He was in the hall and that happy smile broke all the tiny awkwardness of meeting for the first time.

A quick chat with mom about his ailment brought me to understand more of his situation. Jeevan is diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. He is undergoing regular therapy and are trying new treatment methods which keeps his muscles active. It is infact right now an irrevirsible ailment and research are being conducted actively around the world…

Randomism and a Weirdo :p

Miladysa tagged me with the weird and random tag thingy, and here goes:

[Rules]
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

[The Answers]
1. There is one memory that I remember from childhood as my 'first ever memory'; waking up and seeing the sun rays through the window, not sure how old I was then btw. I cant remember anything else from that time, and my next good memory of my childhood is when I was 5 years old and in kindergarten.
2. Whenever I go out, for shopping or eating and I withdraw money from the atm, the bill will somehow come to the exact amount I withdraw. It happens 9 out of 10 times. Its freaky.
3. There was a time when I was in lower secondary, I only liked green toned shirts. Good God.
4. I get sudden flue which last…

out here we be rockstars

let me be selfish tonight
for one night
of whats left
in the dissolving days
let me be selfish
for having
the best of friends
for I may never find
such genuine ones

let me be selfish today
let me live my life
for eternity
with this great feeling
of peace and calm
in the days of autumn skies

as I leave
not saying goodbye
but with silent words
~why end
something that we started
in our innocent years
searching
for something beautiful

as I leave
not wanting any
but hugs and kisses
let me be selfish
for one night
of many
that I hope to
encounter and live
years to come

-gp-pune-nov2008-

it takes a lifetime, but when it happens, its beautiful :)

[#] nah, not a poem, just rendezvous with great souls, rock stars and more :)

Thank You!

snow covered peaks of the Himalayas,
taken from the Jakhu temple,
situated on the Jakhu hill in Shimla

Jhaku Temple, a Lord Hanuman temple,
I cant describe the feelings and emotions at that moment
being in the temple, seeing the Himalayas,
the serenity of it all, and the sweet prasadam given,
life changing...

I like this photo a lot :),
Jakhu Temple

Daymoon,
at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla

snapped at the gardens of the Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla


Today I trekked the hills of Naldhera,
near the Mashorba Valley a short distance from Shimla
and I saw the snow covered mountains of the Himalayas
one of my dreams came true
I want to thank Life for this :)


[#] Its so close yet so far, one day I must set foot in Nepal and god willing, climb the Everest :)
[#] Btw, I think this picture turned awesome...
[#] As usual, anyone wants hi-res images of above, please buzz me, TQ!