Friday, December 10, 2010

Adrenaline filled weekends!

Frappe..Second article :) I enjoyed writing this piece..!

Choose the road less taken to make those precious two days more memorable!

Bored of heading to the usual coffee shops and downing a cup of mocha? Clubbing, tasting hookas, Go-karting, snow bowling... Been there, done that? Probably, the most radical way you would have spent a lazy weekend is to hit the road, head to Pondicherry for a crazy night out and get back home by Sunday night.
Frappe brings you new options that will make you change the way you look at weekends. Filled up to the brim with adrenaline, the following are the unique ways you can end up enjoying a weekend, forgetting the competitive crazy world around you.

Sport fishing:

Highlights: You get to ride on a boat, visit a ship wreck and catch fish. You also get to take photos with your prized catch!
Vivid in my memory is the scene from the movie Dil Chahta Hai, where Aamir Khan and his friends catch fish from the beaches of Goa and take candid photos with the catch. In the robust beaches of Chennai, where water sports and other facilities are still in the nascent stage of development, Blue Waters sport fishing is a unique place that offers angling, or sport fishing for aquatic enthusiasts.
I headed to the Chennai Port, where The Sea Hawk, a speedboat that takes the anglers to the fishing spots stood statuesquely near the horizon. The salty air brushed us as we got onto the boat and settled down comfortably for an exciting adventure that lay ahead. Every angler is given fishing rods, artificial bait among other things and a life jacket that one should wear compulsorily.
2 hour package
The 2 hour package typically takes one to a ship wreck of 1962, near the coast of Chennai, which now houses schools of fish and constitutes a good place for trawling. The anglers are briefed about the various techniques and ways to get hold of a fish. Giant Trevally, King Mackarel and many other types of fish fall bait to the anglers near the wreck, which offers great photographic moments. Catching a giant fish is an experience of a lifetime. Don’t miss it for the world!
It works up to Rs. 6000 for a group of four, which is quite reasonable since in foreign locales, the same experience costs a whole lot more! Says Mr. Nischit from Blue Waters, “It costs anywhere between Rs. 45,000 to Rs. 1 Lakh when one does sport fishing abroad.” Make use of what you’ve got, I’d say!
Word of advice:
•The ideal time to go for this sporting activity is around 5:30 am.
•Book dates with Blue Waters beforehand so that they get your port passes ready.
•Things to carry: A set of comfortable clothing, sunglasses, cap and sun tan lotion. In case of sea sickness, carry medicines prescribed by your doctor.
•The catch can be put back into the sea for ecological conservation, but if you want to take the fish back home as a prize, that too can be arranged.

Highlights: You are strapped on to a parachute and a jeep pulls the parachute up, along with you, of course. The very thrill of being up in the air is something one should experience most definitely!
Man has always been intrigued by the art of flying; something that has been denied to us since time immemorial. We try, in every way to replicate wings, build monster sized planes to fly across countries but have never been able to fly by ourselves.
The closest yet that man has got to flying like a bird, is Parasailing; the mind numbing feeling when one is lifted off the ground, the exultation at being able to soar through the air, the panoramic view of the world below. The people of Chennai can now experience Parasailing, at minimal cost at Adventure Zone in Madhurantakantam. Says Ms. Madhura Vaishnav of Adventure Zone, “We have got a fantastic response. A typical trip to Adventure Zone is when one finishes other activities offered by us at the campsite, lunch and then parasailing! “
The company is run by a former army commando instructor with specialised training and over 20 years experience in adventure sports.
Talking about the owner, she says “Major Roy, a retired army officer was a trained paratrooper himself and he set up Adventure Zone without any help from foreign companies.”

Method of parasailing

The method followed here is quite different and much safer than parasailing done in the sea. The participant is harnessed to a parachute and is towed by a jeep. He is then lifted into the sky at the height of about 200 feet. The joy at looking down on the world below is equal to none. After the five minute stint on air, he is brought down to a safe landing by the support staff. This sailing is done over a dry lake bed, five minutes off their camp site at Madhurakantam.
The minimum air time of five minutes on the parasail costs Rs. 600 per head which is quite reasonable when compared to cost of parasailing in other countries. If one wants to extend the air time, the costs vary accordingly.
Safety measures
The parasailing activity is conducted by trained instructors and professionals. The equipments used are high class and they are regularly checked. Every participant is given a life jacket and a helmet.

Word of Advice:
•Wear full sleeve shirts and full length trousers to avoid scratches or bruises and carry suntan lotion. Also, wear sneakers or sandals with straps. Avoid flip flops, unless you want to see them flying off your feet!
•Ideal time to go for parasailing would be 12 pm when it’s not too windy.
•There is no age limit. Anyone can go for it. You also needn’t be physically fit to take flight!
•Parasailing at Adventure Zone is closed till February due to the rough monsoon weather that Chennai is experiencing right now.
Now that you’ve got an idea how to spend a weekend that lets you take home cherished memories and de-stresses you for good, give it a try!

By Manasa. K. Kumar

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

My gravity at crossroads

Signs point toward something impending
A disaster of sorts.

I space out

A labyrinth of daily monotony
Distracts me.

I'm shoved into the dismal future ahead

What if one more person goes away?
What if I'm stranded again
At the brink of adulthood

I enjoy momentary material happiness.

It feels like bliss,
But only helps me scrape through reality

Pure bliss,
Never been close to that feeling
Some say love, is pure bliss

Love has never been
A permanent chapter
In the story of my life.

It comes,
And goes away too.
With the whir of time

I want more..
The surety, security and constancy.

The feeling of freedom, till I drown in it

To hold on
To let go
To be

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


This is my first article for a Cafe lifestyle magazine in Chennai called 'Frappe'..Read on!

A gentle breeze swept the second longest beach in the world. Hundreds of people walked with passion in their hearts to show their support for spreading awareness on breast cancer.
One Walk One Hope 2010, a walk to bring about awareness on breast cancer was organised by CAN STOP (Cancer Support Therapy to Overcome Pain), an NGO working in aid of cancer patients. The walk was flagged off by S. V. Sekar, renowned actor, theatre artist and MLA of Mylapore constituency, V.K.Subburaj , Principal Secretary, State Department of Health and Family Welfare. Actress Khushboo, Mr. Guna, President, Rotary Club of Madras and a representative of the US Consulate also attended the event. It started off on a musical note as traditional drummers who participated in the Chennai Sangamam, performed a dance with their drum beats resonating through the grounds.
Mr Subbaraj said, “India is a country that is burdened with diseases. There are over 1 million people detected with cancer and 2 million people who are in need of diagnosis every year in our country.”
Stressing on Women’s health, he said, “The two most important types of cancer, affecting women are cervical and breast cancer. Over 1 lakh women have breast cancer in India. Women discover that they have breast cancer only when the cancer has progressed to the third or fourth stage. If identified at the very first stage, it can be cured.”
Mr. S.V. Sekar said, “From next year onwards, I will get special permission to conduct the walk through residential areas and the slums so that the awareness is spread on a larger scale. I am ready to participate every year for this cause.”
Actress Khushboo, clad in a t-shirt that read the slogan “one walk, one hope” designed by Thota Tharani said, “It is a pleasure and honour for me to be associated with this event. Educated women believe that they lead a healthy lifestyle and hence won’t be inflicted by the disease, but this is a wrong notion. The first sign of cancer is when you don’t experience any hunger pangs and have severe stomach pains, but you shouldn’t always rely on the signs. Go and get yourselves checked!”
“We all are here to support; not only to give financial support but also to provide moral support for cancer patients. Our motto should be ‘We will stop cancer, and not can stop. It is also so wonderful to see so many youngsters gathered at this event. Anything for women, and you can count me in!” she signed off.
CAN STOP which organised the event is a Centre for counseling for cancer-affected patients, their relatives. Its main goal is to help people learn about cancer and cancer related problems. T-shirts and merchandise designed specially by famous Art Designer Thotta Tharani was put up in pink stalls for sale to raise funds for cancer patients.
Ms. Naina, President of Soroptimist International of Chennai Downtown, a branch of Soroptimist International, a worldwide organization for women in management and professions, gave out mementos to the dignitaries who attended the event.
Over 50 students from Lady Andal School attended the event, with every student sporting white or pink t-shirts (which was the dress code for the walk), holding placards and shouting slogans. Trishanka Menon, a student of the school said, “I always show my support for such initiatives, because only the youth have the power to bring about change in our society.”
This was the second edition of the walk, organised to mark the National Breast Cancer Awareness month or ‘Pink’ month of October. The walk started in the Lady Wellingdon College grounds, went up to the Labour statue and winded up at the college grounds.
Cancer is one draconian disease for which a definite cure has not yet been found. Millions die every year due to cancer. Of the incidences of breast cancer among women in the city, 22.4% have breast cancer, according to a recent study by the Indian Council of Medical Research. With such walks being organised at regular intervals to spread awareness, the light at the end of the tunnel will get brighter for cancer patients in our country.

By Manasa K Kumar

Monday, December 06, 2010


The low hum of the ceiling fan is soothing. Everything seems like its okay. Maybe I could close my eyes and rest a while. A dark horizon faces me. Several shadows and murmurings cater to the scene. Then, it hits me. Reality doesn’t let me dream. Vestiges of my past re-play, causing a crease between my shaped brows. Was what I did right or wrong? What will he/she think? Maybe I was wrong? But does it matter? I should be feeling good about this. This just didn’t happen. Conversations between me and me are the longest I have ever heard or spoken. It’s so loud; it makes me take hasty decisions just for the decibel level that it’s breaching in my head.

I try to play down the ‘grown up’ tag that’s being thrust on me immediately after I hit my eighteenth birthday. I also don’t want to be a kid. It’s too painful a transformation to go through again; decisions that solely hold you responsible, no matter how clueless you are about the consequences.