Just another weekend trek, Was it ?

On October 8th, I had planned a trek to Peth (near Karjat) with friends (Sankool, Swapnesh, Hardik and Manav). Like all other treks it was awesome. Just the right weather to go for the trek! It was shady during the ascent and drizzled a little while on descent. Last year I had been to Peth-Bhimashankar overnight trek. We halted at night in the caves of Peth fort. This time it was only one day trek.

Some interesting tit-bits…

We started late (anyone cud have guessed that 😉 and Manav who is in Pune joined us from Karjat. From there we hired Vikram(10 seater) to reach base village of Ambivali. This journey was coOL and enjoyable. Lots of PJs + stories to tell eachother. On reaching Ambivali we quickly asked for directions and started out trek. None of them had an idea of Peth except for me. I just told them that they won’t believe me when I point out the fort to them. Primarily because it seems impossible at start but is pretty doable. You just need to have a trekers mindset. My favorite line is always “We trek only to a point from which we can return safely.” I say this just to make them feel comfortable. Also, I only choose treks which are comfortable to first timers. So, on the whole I make sure they reach the top (touch-wood).

The initial part of the trek is crossing a mountain and getting to the plateau from where you can get to the base village of the fort. It is only then that you get a clear view of the Peth fort. No first timer can believe we would make it to the top of that fort. There was Hardik who thought I was joking, Manav and Swapnesh knew I was serious but had no clue how and Sankool who knew I was serious and there would surely be a way to the top. Their perspectives tell you how seasoned trekers they are. We took a lot of snaps here. Next we reached the Peth base village and had nimbu pani in a house and also asked them to arrange lunch for us when we come back.

Now from the base village we started our ascent of the fort. We missed a right turn towards the top and ended up taking almost a half circle of the fort before we realized and to our luck we were guided by two females who were carrying firewood back to the village. Its fun getting lost and then finding your way back again. We were soon on the right track and were gaining altitude soon.

We reached the gate of the fort soon and did a customary ‘Jay Gunj’ which is a salute to Chattrapathi Shivaji Maharaj. Next we visited the caves. Now there was another interesting thing which is fairly unique to the Peth fort. There is a secret(everyone knows about it though..) tunnel to get to the top of the fort which is just superb. At the top of the fort it always feels amazing. You feel victorious and satisfied at the same time.

The descent from the fort was also exciting and we did it pretty quickly. This time we didn’t loose our way to the base village. Also, it drizzled just right and for the right time so it felt good. We had our lunch in the village and then just lazed away for a few minutes.

On our return journey we were quick and didn’t take a halt. We were back to the base village of Ambivali just before it got dark. We were damn tired by then. We lied there on the road for sometime just to let the feeling seep in. Then we tried to take some pictures of ourselves sleeping on the road in a formation. After a few pics we could hear Vikram ( the 10 seater ) making a vroommmm sound and approaching us. We boarded it and it took us back to Karjat station. The journey back was unforgettable as it was nice and coOL by then and the ambience was moonlight. I could not stop myself from singing “So gaya yeh zahan…. soo gaya asssmaaan …. ” ( I am sure others surely wanted me to stop.. for obvious reasons but I went on… .>!

Manav got a train back to Pune quickly and rest of us had to wait for another hour. Travelling in the train was also fuN and I started a story telling session which was quite interesting. Hardik (dukh bhari kahaniyaan) and Swapnesh also shared their own stories. By then we reached Dadar and then in sometime to our sweet homes.

Yup, every trek is truly unforgettable and unique 😀

Pics from the Trek:
meter down diversion ... DSCN1136 DSCN1142 DSCN1145 DSCN1160 DSCN1162 DSCN1170 DSCN1176 DSCN1183 DSCN1185 yes! been there, done that bhojan ka samay zonked almost aLL

Click on the image below to browse the album:

Pune Ruby Hackathon !

To start with I said to myself, “I have tried the Half Marathon! Why not try the Hackathon too !! – 22nd July”

I was not sure of taking part in the hackathon as i had never treid RoR, there was still a week to go and not many participants had signed up on their wiki. Even then I just happend to put my name there in the list of participants. There was a faint chance of me going for the hackathon if Shweta (intern at my office) would join in as she has been trying out Ruby on Rails (RoR) for over a month now. I asked her and she was going to leave for Hyderabad a day before the hackathon. I had almost left the idea of joining the hackathon as i had to work a lil harder the same week to meet project deadlines. To cut things short I was surely going to miss the hackathon. Later in the day (I guess Tuesday) something happened (I am not sure wat) but I decided I would give it a try. So, here I was having no clue of RoR but wanting to attend the hackathon a core no-frills geek meet. I took a 15 minute tutorial (LoL) from Shweta on RoR and also got the Agile Web Programming with Rails book (thnks to my office). I would read the book while travelling in the bus and late at night. I could only read it for 3 days.

It was around 11am on 29th July and I typed the first command to start a project in RoR… $ rails mars

If I do not discuss the positives from the event then I won’t do justice to the thought behind organising such an event.

To keep things short

People !

– I met quite a few interesting, friendly and like minded people around.

Vaibhav Domkundwar from Better Labs who was one of the organisers, was really interested in the proceedings and made everyone feel comfortable. One of the things he stressed on was taking this initiative forward. He also discussed the future potential of the applications with each one personally. He even discussed about his latest initiatives like dealplumber.com and how he wanted the Tech community in India to develop and grow.

– Satish Mishra again from Better Labs made sure that everything was in place. Later after the hackathon he also shared his views on what Better Labs was all about and their india2.0 initiative.

Pratik who also happened to come down for BarCampMumbai was participating. I had read his blog and even commented on the BarCamp posts. Never happened to to know/speak him (didnt happen to start a conversation with him at the BarCamp). He has been actively involed wtih RoR for around 3 months now. BTW he won the hackathon !
Learning !

– Yup, being there was a learning experience. Though I was not sure of how I would fair at the hackathon but I was sure that I would try to experiment with RoR for 24 hours. Everyone present was helpful and alway ready to share what they knew.
IDeas !

– Everyone was working on their own ideas. The positive vibes around were contagious. Being there was really encouraing.

Future !

– I am sure something like this will catch up soon in other cities too like the BarCamp. Looking forward for more of such geeky encounters.

Deliverables !

– I would surely be realeasing Mars soon to the open source community. This is going to be my second initiative after Qikblogger and I am excited.

Thnks !

Yup, thnks to the organisers and congratulations for a super-successful event.

The MaRaThoN has just begun 😉

HaCKaThoN OveR bUt MaRaThoN bEgiNs

Have been following Ruby and Ruby on Rails(RoR) for some time now. Today (in the last 24 hours) I finally treid it out live at the hackathon. Ruby is coOL and Ruby on Rails is even coOLer! Like there is no smoke without fire… RoR really stands up to the hype (wateva) around it.

I also liked the whole concept of a hackathon. Cheers to Better Labs for initiating it and hearty congratulations for its success.
More about it later…

Hey I was selected as the SiLver Hacker at the hackathon after the evaluations ! Cheers !!! I built a planet application using Ruby on Rails in 36 hours and named it Mars (any guesses y ?). You can know more about it here.

I guess I was waiting for a excuse (?) to start using RoR. Now I am sure its going to be a MaRaThoN run with ruby for company.