Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where the rains are born....

There is a definitive beauty of western ghats aka sahyadris that makes one go to her lap time and again. Every trek to these beautiful cloud mountains brings in new sights, smells and tastes. This time we decided to trek close to Bhimashankar in Maharashtra. And on the way back at Junner / Malshej regions. Some of the most beautiful landscapes that Ive seen outside of Kerala and Europe can be found here. Pity that not a lot of folks know the place - oh well, in a way it's good that the crowds dont know a lot of the trek trails herein. Else if will just become another Malshej or Lonavla with the city slickers on their honking cars, playing hindi bar songs at top volume, eating and throwing leftovers and plastics all over or in general making a mess of themselves and their surroundings.
We took off early morning at around 4 a.m from Mumbai. Decided to drive through the expressway rather than take the Malshej route on the onwards journey. Had hired a Tavera given that there were close to 4-5 of us. Reached Bhimashankar at around 10 after a few breaks and stayed as usual in the Blue Mormon resort. As a friend and I tried the gupt bhimshankar trail for some birds to shoot, wife and friends went to Ahupe to trek the ghats there. Next day all of us trekked the Gupt Bhima trail (A very small and easy one) followed up in afternoon a drive to Junner and Malshej.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Our report on Environmental and Energy Sustainability is out.

As we fight our way to reduce emissions, its also critical to create carbon sinks through afforestation and prevention of the largescale destruction that we are forcing upon our forests. I like to look at simple broad indicators to assess the health of pristine forests. One of which is the rate of death of free ranging tigers.
Most observations point to the alarming fact at that rate of 10 per month, we have another 10 years at best before free ranging wild tigers are wiped out from India. That would also mean huge water crisis, droughts and floods since many river sources are inside these protected forests. What a sad turn of events from a point during the time of Indira Gandhi when many felt we might win the war on tiger poaching.
Planned construction of a memorial for YSR in the midst of pristine forests is yet another knee jerk reaction. Haven't enough sacrifices been made by nature for your gods and politicians ?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Finally Toyota brings home the Fortuner !

So its finally here. In what would be a strategically important move for Toyota Kirloskar in India and one that is going to make the off road pretence of CRVs and Captivas of the world take notice, the Fortuner is in India after a wait of more than 6 years.

The price at over 18 L is still out of reach of many but is clearly unercutting CRVs and Captivas and Endeavours. That is a key pricing point for SUVs in India. Sub 20 L. To that extend one might think Toyota has got it right - once again ! But hey the same one is sold in Thailand at around 13 L. I was expecting something like 15 L for this in India. Anyways as of now it remains in my dreams. But yes, if they had priced at around 12-13 L it would have been pushing my bankruptcy quite strongly ;). That would also have sent a big warning to Mahindra to get their act straight on Scorpio which though an able product is quite ageing.

Lets sit back and enjoy the drama in Indian SUV market ! For now, Im glad that Fortuner is atleast introduced albeit at a higher price than comparable markets.