A Memoir – Year 2017 For Us And Suryansh

It was a memorable year 2017 for us. Some of the highlights that I can think of

  • Suryansh’s first big trip to the Himalayas!
  • Moving into the new Home – Aashman!
  • Bhutan Motorcycle Trip!
  • Numerous Motorcycle Rides in the Western Ghats with Jyothi!

I have a couple of video doing the talking rather than a big written blog or a audio narrative, which I am planning to do ( a first to me). Audio narrative hoping to help Suryansh later when he grows up – to listen to!

But for now, enough said. Here it is!



Pushkar Mela – Vibrant, Colorful, Cheerful!

I got a chance to travel to Pushkar this time – it is usually held in mid-November every year. It is a week long extravaganza – camel trade, traditional folk dance, music, circus, concerts – rock, fusion, classical etc. The vibrance and colors are simply breathtaking. Here, I have tried to capture the beauty of it all  from my perspective to the best of my ability. Here are some of the moments from the trip.

Rebooting The Modem

BSNL Broadband is a very unreliable one most of the times because of the ADSL signal on a copper line and weather (yes, believe me it is!) – it is always bouncing and the DSL protocol renegotiated. This invariably means I can’t access my Synology DS214Play NAS server from anywhere outside my home. This is because my public IP address changes. I haven’t paid for a static IP as it costs a bomb and it is not reliable either because of the reason mentioned in the opening line of this post.

The synology has a built-in mechanism of refreshing the NAS’s public IP address and usually it is pretty reliable. All the above assumes that the TP-link modem (shown in picture for illustration only) is quite a robust one when it comes to ADSL protocol negotiation and frequent re-establishment of the PPPoE connection and getting a public IP address. Many a times, I have seen that the TPLink Modem hangs and not able to either establish a DSL link or obtain and renew a public IP. In such situations, I am left with no access to my NAS as mentioned before.

TPLINK - 8817 ADSL Modem

TPLINK – 8817 ADSL Modem

After pouring over the web and analyzing many options available – from replacing the modem with a better one  to rebooting the modem every now and then. Those solutions were impractical – changing the modem – because of costs. rebooting the modem regularly – 5mins, 1hr or 1day??

I came up with the below solution.

Rebooting/Resetting the Modem whenever

– there is a connectivity loss to an external device/node and sending email if reboot triggered.

– whenever an internal connectivity loss to one of the LAN nodes and sending email when reboot triggered.

– if we are redirected to a different page from the ISP and asking us to reboot the modem. Yes, this is done by BSNL after you reach the FUP limit.

I have observed that while the Modem is in the hung state, it’s CLI is still accessible via telnet and I am able to run administrative commands.

Scripts running on the NAS:

1. logip_reboot.sh  – A Shell script having the logic to determine the IP and reboot modem in case of failure. This is run every five minutes as a cron job.

export MYIP=`cat /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ip.me`
### curl ifconfig.me > /home/aashman/ip.me
### export NEW_IP=`cat ip.me`
### export NEW_IP=`curl ifconfig.me`
export NEW_IP=`curl http://myip.xname.org`

#Strings present in the BSNL redirect page.
export REDIR_MSG_1="Please wait while you are redirected"
export REDIR_MSG_2="ssssportal.war"

#To flag redirect page or not.
export IS_REDIR_MSG=0

### export NEW_IP="<html>
### <head>
### <meta http-equiv=\"Refresh\" content=\"1; URL=\">
### <meta http-equiv=\"pragma\" content=\"no-cache\">
### </head>
### <body>
### Please wait while you are redirected ...
### </body>
### </html>"

if [ -z "$NEW_IP" ]
 echo "NULL Returned from curl"
 echo "IP:NULL | `date`" >> /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ipAdd.log

#Debug , enable to debug.
### echo "$NEW_IP"
### echo " "

#Check if it is the redirect message.
case "$NEW_IP" in
 printf "\nSet for Reboot now, Found: \"$REDIR_MSG_1\"\n";
 export IS_REDIR_MSG=1;
case "$NEW_IP" in
 printf "\nSet for Reboot now, Found: \"$REDIR_MSG_2\"\n";
 export IS_REDIR_MSG=1;

if [ "$IS_REDIR_MSG" == 1 ]
 printf "\nRebooting Now, IS_REDIR_MSG: TRUE\n\n";
 sh /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/scripts/syno/rebootModem.sh
 printf "\n\n_____________________________________________________________________\n"
 printf "\n"
 printf "|*******************************************************************|\n"
 printf "|*** Done Rebooting ADSL Modem - Try connecting after sometime   ***|\n"
 printf "|*******************************************************************|\n"
 printf "_____________________________________________________________________\n\n"
 # Send email here and log.
 echo "ADSL Modem Rebooted | `date` " >> /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/adslModemReboot.log
 echo -e "Subject:ADSL Modem Rebooted\n\n" "ADSL Modem Rebooted @ `date`" | sendmail -F "Aashman" -f home.aashman@gmail.com pradeepprakash@gmail.com
 printf "\nChecking if IP Address has changed and Logging, IS_REDIR_MSG: FALSE\n\n";
 echo $NEW_IP > /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ip.me
 if [ "$MYIP" == "$NEW_IP" ]
 echo "IP Has not changed"
 #echo "IP:$MYIP | `date`" >> /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ipAdd.log
 #cat /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ip.me | mail -s "Public IP Address Changed" pradeepprakash@gmail.com
 #echo -e "Subject:IP Address Not Changed\n\n" `cat /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ip.me` | sendmail -F "Aashman" -f home.aashman@gmail.com pradeepprakash@gmail.com
 echo "New IP is $NEW_IP"
 #cat /home/aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ip.me | mutt -s "Public IP Address Changed" pradeepprakash@gmail.com
 #cat /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ip.me | mail -s "Public IP Address Changed" pradeepprakash@gmail.com
 echo "IP:$NEW_IP | `date` **" >> /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ipAdd.log
 echo -e "Subject:Public IP Address Changed\n\n" `cat /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/logs/ip.me` | sendmail -F "Aashman" -f home.aashman@gmail.com pradeepprakash@gmail.com

2. rebootModem.py – A Python script to reboot the modem. This is called by the above script.

import getpass
import sys
import telnetlib

HOST = ""
#user = raw_input("Enter your remote account: ")
#password = getpass.getpass()
password = "aashmanf2$"

tn = telnetlib.Telnet(HOST)

#tn.read_until("login: ")
#tn.write(user + "\n")
if password:
 tn.read_until("Password: ")
 tn.write(password + "\n")

print "rebootModem.py - All set for rebooting\n Done!!"
tn.write("set reboot\n")

print tn.read_all()

3. Crontab entries:

#minute hour mday month wday who command
*/5 * * * * root sh /volume2/Aashman/Dropbox/aashman/scripts/syno/logip_reboot.sh

Dandeli Anshi Karwar – Bicycle Ride

This was being planned for quite sometime now – from last year, to be precise. Me switching jobs meant the plan could not materialize in 2014.

But in 2015, I wanted to make it count. And the plan pretty much went like clockwork considering the initial logistics hiccups  that we had to face. Buses, government and private, refused to carry the bikes in the cargo or in some cases, they weren’t convincing and not confident about shipping the bicycles.

So we headed out in a car. Some pictures and the routes we took.

Three days | Three bicycles  | 157 kms  | Western Ghats | Monsoon | Karnataka | India

Day 1: Dandeli  -> Supa Dam  ->  Ganeshgudi  ->  Dandeli   –  Night halt  [ 50 kms ]

Dandeli | Supa Dam | Ganeshgudi

Dandeli | Supa Dam | Ganeshgudi

Dandeli | Supa Dam | Ganeshgudi

Dandeli | Supa Dam | Ganeshgudi

Day 2: Dandeli  -> Anshi National Park  [ 50kms ]

Dandeli | Anshi Nature Camp

Dandeli | Anshi Nature Camp

Dandeli | Anshi Nature Camp

Dandeli | Anshi Nature Camp

Day 3: Anshi National Park  -> Karwar  [ 55kms ]

Anshi Nature Camp | Karwar`

Anshi Nature Camp | Karwar`

Anshi Nature Camp | Karwar

Anshi Nature Camp | Karwar

Route Map combined:

BrahmaKamala | June 2015 | Timelapse

This has become a regular yearly event now in our household every year, but this time it was a mega bloom, the first time around it was 10/11 or more at a time. This time it was 8 at a time. It starts blooming at around 7:30 – 8:00 pm, stays for the night before closing down and withering away at around 5:00-6:00 in the morning.

Some Facts:
Colloquially called as ‘Brahma Kamala’, it is actually called by the names – Dutchman’s pipe or Queen Of The Night, scientifically called as Epiphyllum Oxypetalum.

It is a type of cactus. Usually flowers bloom in the season leading upto monsoon and monsoon.
[ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyllum_oxypetalum ]

Yakshagana | Haribhakta Sudhanva

Yakshagana | Haribhakta Sudhanva

Yakshagana | Haribhakta Sudhanva

Yakshagana | Haribhakta Sudhanva

Yakshagana | Haribhakta Sudhanva

Haribhakta Sudhanva:

During the performance of the “ಹರಿಭಕ್ತ ಸುದನ್ವ” (Haribhakta Sudhanva) in our residential layout.

A small episode from the Bhagavadgitha/Mahabharata.

“Sudhanva, who is a great devotee of Krishna, fulfills his desire to see Krishna in person by defeating Arjuna.

Krishna gives into Sudhanva’s wish, appears before him and helps Arjuna kill Sudhanva thereby granting him salvation.”

Yakshagaana, the traditional dance form of Karnataka is one of the most popular too in the state. Often used to portray and narrate stories from the old texts. It involves very dramatic enactments, with the artists using bright colored paints, attire. Usually performed in the night under lights, it can go on all night.

Fantastic to watch the energy in the performances. Watch this space for a small film on the same.

Copyright 2015 © Pradeep Prakash / Pradeepclicks.com

More below on Yakshagana:

Backpacking In Bhutan

It was in late July that I and Jyothi decided we would head to Bhutan. Until then, we were unsure about making it to the trip with the group, who had decided on the dates for the trip. I was in the middle of a job switch and Jyothi had to make sure she had her leaves planned properly so that we made optimum use of the leaves. So after a bit of delaying, it was to be from 19th August to 31st August of 2014.

This is more like a photo-blog than a travelogue. It is also different from the fact that it categorizes the photographs by themes. Following are the series I present you.

Bhutan – A Window Into

Bhutan And Khor (Prayer Wheels)

Bhutan And Art Badges

Faces From Bhutan

Bhutan PanoScapes

Our plan:

day 0 : 19 August, Tue – Bangalore  >  Bagdogra [Night Halt]
day 1  : 20 August, Wed – Bagdogra  >  Paro  > Thimpu [Night Halt]
day 2  : 21  August, Thu – Thimpu > Bumthang [Night Halt]
day 3  : 22 August, Fri – Bumthang
day 4  : 23 August, Sat – Bumthang > Trongsa > Wangdue > Thimpu [Night Halt]
day 5  : 24 August, Sun – Thimpu [Night Halt]
day 6  : 25 August, Mon – Thimpu [Night Halt]
day 7  : 26 August, Tue – Thimphu [Night Halt]
day 8  : 27 August, Wed – Thimpu  > Punakha [Night Halt]
day 9  : 28 August, Thu – Punakha  > Chimi Lakhang  > Paro  [Night Halt]
day 10 : 29 August ,Fri – Paro > Takstsang > Paro [Night Halt]
day 11 : 30 August, Sat – Paro > Phuentsoling > Bagdogra [Night Halt]
day 12 : 31 August, Sun – Bagdogra > Bangalore [Home]