Sunday, November 20, 2016


They say that a cat hides its pain very well. If it is injured or suffering from pain, it is very hard to recognise it in its early stages. Our 8 months old kitten Gundu, behaved no different. After his fall from a neighbouring building, he seemed to behave unaffected. It was only after a few weeks from the incident that we noticed his rapid breathing. He hated to be lifted or cuddled and avoided lying down sideways. This alarmed us of some abnormality. On his first visit to the Vet, Gundu was frantic. We were totally unable to control him during the drive. Out of fear and perhaps due to his unknown condition, he began to breath even more rapidly through his mouth. Doctor could not clearly tell if his breathing was an effect of anxiety or a disease so, she requested us to observe him for another week. 

We got him back home and kept him on observation. He seemed to eat as normal but his breathing still remained rapid. When I returned from Mumbai, Gundu had lost his appetite severely and had turned skinny. While describing his symptoms to another Vet over phone, he suspected that Gundu might have hurt his ribs during the fall. However, he could not say that for sure without a X-ray or proper diagnosis. 

Many of the Veterinary clinics  in Bangalore do not have X-ray facility and that makes it harder for us to shuttle the cat from one location to another. Searching for a good clinic that has all the facility, we landed at Jeeva, in J P Nagar. Dr Nagesh Reddy seemed to be sensitive and gentle towards the animals. Doctor Vishal who observed the X-ray of Gundu suspected that this was something strange that they had not seen before. In the X-ray, the heart and lungs were not clearly visible. The doctors suspected that there was fluid accumulation around them. To verify if the fluid had passed from the intestine to the region around the heart, due to a ruptured diaphragm, they gave us some bromide powder that had to be fed to Gundu. The routing could be then traced in an X-ray. 

That night, we had to sadly force Gundu to have those powder mixed in water. However, the next day, X-ray seemed normal. At least the diaphragm was not damaged. His blood test seemed normal as well. Antibiotic injected to him the previous day seemed to have improved his condition a little in terms of eating but he had severe constipation. A drop or two of Olive oil in water seemed to ease his excretion a bit. 

At Jeeva, we were directed to CUPA in R T Nagar. They suspected this was a heart condition and could be genetic. CUPA seems to be the best facility you can expect in Bangalore with some modern equipments. Most doctors seem to suggest going there if they do not have the necessary service. 

On a Saturday morning, I took Gundu to CUPA. He cried all the way, requesting me to open his basket and take him back home. He seemed very curious to explore the clinic but he had no strength to do so. So he kept looking around with great interest. Occasionally he looked at me and communicated with me. CUPA can get really crowded. After several minutes of wait a few doctors came in and performed an ultrasound. 

That which masked the heart and Lungs of Gundu, did not seem like fluid anymore. The doctors suspected it to be some kind of a tissue. They still tried to rupture and try to pull out the fluid. They warned me that this could be dangerous and there is a possibility that he might collapse. We had no other go. No fluid came out confirming that it was a case of Lymphoma (Cancer). The doctor said that this is very rare in kittens. Generally, common in older cats. Unfortunately, they could not do anything more but manage it. One of the doctors told me that if the growth had been in the stomach, they do remove it but around the heart can be challenging and they did not have that expertise here. They wrote me some antibiotics and immunity syrups. With a heavy heart, I carried Gundu back. Sadly, that was all we could do. I felt miserable but to know what Gundu was suffering from was an important. 

Gundu survived one week after that last visit to the hospital. In that one week, he craved for wet food, tried to eat as much as he could, drank milk when we fed him with our hands and responded when he was called. On Sunday, the 6th of November, when I returned from Jogging, Gundu was unable to move from his place. As we petted him with love, his soul departed releasing him from his pain once and for all.  

I called Gundu a dog and not a cat. Because, he never behaved like a cat. Every morning when my alarm went off, he would come sit in front of our bedroom door, ready to greet me. He ate food and drank milk only when we sat next to him and sometimes when we held the bowl of milk in our hands. He hardly went out and whenever he did, he wanted us to accompany him. Which was unusual because, the other cat, very much like a cat, cared nothing but of her timely feeding. 

Gundu had a short life, but in that short life, he brought joy to our house through his playfulness and his sensitivity. I hope, we made some difference in his life as well!

After all, animals are no different from humans. They hide their pain, we hide our pain too; if not physical, our mental dilemmas that we have still not successfully learnt to express.

To my dearest Gundu, You will be always remembered!

Gundu from AJEYA on Vimeo.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mahuli Sangam & Baramotichi Vihir

Next morning, we got ready by 8 AM, ate some tasty poha for breakfast and left Kaas. Our first stop was Mahuli Sangam. It is a beautiful place where river Krishna meets Venna river. There are a lot of temples around the bank of river Krishna but the most popular one is the Sangameswar temple. If you cross the river, you could reach the other temples.

After spending some peaceful time around there, we headed towards the Baramotichi Vihir, a well with a palace built within it. It is something unique. There are some intricate work around the well. 

Apart from the well, there is nothing much in the village. The villagers were selling fresh vegetables and spices grown in their fields. 

On our way back to Panvel, we stopped at a Balaji temple a little before Pune. It is a typical South Indian temple. Free food was served for lunch. After having that, we continued our journey back to Panvel. On the way, we stopped at Datta snacks to have some tasty Kothambri vada, Vada Pav and  a sweet called Kharvas.

I had less than an hour to get ready and leave to the airport so I packed and left almost immediately after reaching home. A conversation with the taxi driver, observing an impatient man guiding his family to board the flight and hurrying even before the flight time was an hour away, browsing through the stores, Dealing with a very talkative Uber cab driver back in Bangalore, made up my travel back. 

This trip to Mumbai was so eventful that five days just flew by. Wheter it was the hike up Hatrishchandragad or Walk to different pendals around Panvel, or our kas and Satara exploration, all of it was very relaxed and at ease. There seemed no ru I always enjoy going to Mumbai and now with so many new friends, I think I should visit Mumbai more often. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Kaas Plateau

On the 11th of October, Ganesh Bhai, Akki, Deeku, Varun and I left Panvel at around 6 AM. My brother in law could not join us on this trip as he was traveling to China on work the same night. We stopped at Pune to have some delicious Misal Pav. I loved it. We also made another stop at Joshiwala to have delicious vada pav.

We directly drove to hotel Kas Pathar  (Contact Nilesh Mane - 9545149482, 9768223720. Website -  that is situated on the way to Kaas plateau from Satara. Its a beautiful bungalow with three rooms for tourists. The bungalow is situated at a cliff overlooking beautiful mountains. The place is neat and tidy and Mr Nilesh who owns this place is a kind host. He lives in Pune with his wife and kid while his mother and uncle look after the bungalow. On this day though, they were all here. We were allotted two rooms and we took off immediately to the plateau after looking around the beautiful place.

Kas plateau charges Rs100 per person and Rs100 for camera as an entry fee. Vehicle parking is planned poorly though. You have to park about 2 kms away and walk back to the main gate. Hitch-hiking with others who are on their way to park their vehicles would be a good alternative to walking the distance. 

The flowers in the plateau was not in abundance though. Having seen more flowers in Harishchandragad, this place seemed rather unimpressive with tourist pouring in. However, there were a few flowers unique to this location that I had not seen during the trek. 

We then headed towards Bamnoli boat club. We had rice Bakri and Pitla for lunch in a local restaurant and took a boat ride to an island. The ride was very peaceful and I truly felt like I was floating. At least my thoughts were.

At the island, while we sipped some tea with fresh lemon grass flavour, Deeku and Varun took a speed boat ride. 

Returning back, we stopped at a small temple that was a little off track from tourist attraction and thus deserted and peaceful. 

Just before reaching the bungalow, we found this beautiful location where a local was selling maggie, sandwiches and tea. We ordered all of them and sat there embracing the magnificent sight. It was a magical moment, as we sat there watching the sun go down. 

Back at the Bungalow, we had some really tasty dinner prepared by Nilesh’s mother. Chapati, Paneer dish, sabji, Dhal and home made sweet srikand was totally yummy. That just made my day. We chatted for a while and then went to bed. It was a relaxed evening, well spent in a beautiful place. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mumbai Dasara!

After returning from the trek, a day of rest was mandatory. Not just to relax but also to reflect upon such a beautiful experience. Most of the day, I slept. Akki had prepared some tasty Kerala Velliappam for breakfast. 

In the evening, after Akki returned she prepared some delicious paneer Pakoda. Later, Deeku and I went out to try some Khandvi and Moong Dhal Bajia. The foody in me was extremely satisfied. 

Ganesh Bhai came home that evening to discuss our Kaas plateau trip. While speaking to my friend Anupam, he mentioned that he was at a Durga pooja pendal in Vashi and requested me to join. Though tempted to do so, it was late already. While mentioning this to Ganesh Bhai, he suggested that we visit the Pendals in Panvel. That seemed like a great idea. 

Akki, Varun, Deeku, Ganesh Bhai and two other neighbours of Akki - Kadam and his wife, all headed first to the Bengali pendal. Durga idols were very impressive; typical West Bengal style. 

We also visited some other pendals where the Durga idols were more South Indian style. Daandya dance was in full fledge and lot of people were dancing to DJ music. It was a festive atmosphere.