Sustainable Energy, Travel

SELCO Visit – Day 1 – A travellers perspective

It all started when Harsha, who looks after projects across South Karnataka proposed that we go on a branch visit to Kumta and Shimoga for two days, starting Monday night… Since it was my first branch visit, I was excited about it. My role in the visit was nothing but to see what happens in the branches, get to know the people, see their work and visit a few clients for enquiries (along with Harsha).

We were on schedule, boarded the sleeper at Majestic by 9:00PM, and I started getting my share of SELCO knowledge from Harsha about projects at SELCO, mission projects, about Harish and many more (which by the way was just awesome)…

We reached Kumta by 7:00 AM and to describe Kumta, it is totally different in most ways from any place I’ve visited. The sedimentary rocks they use to build everything, those amazing two-storied tiled houses with huge compounds, a variety of indigenous short breed of cattle, the bowls they use to serve water at hotels and houses (yes, they use bowls to serve water), the sambar they make…

We reached the branch office which is right under the hotel we were in, got introduced to many people at the SELCO branch. The people were very friendly, and then the real trouble came in. ”Kannada”. Every one of them spoke in Kannada for the next three hours, where I had to ask Harsha at regular intervals on what was the point of discussion. All I could figure out was the English words they used like ”inverters”, ”solar”, ”watts” and a few Kannada words like “maad beku” and ”hut beku”…

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We then, around 11:30, started to Ankola, a place around 40 KMs from Kumta to visit a client and propose him some changes in the design we’ve given him already. We 4 people started on two bikes; here comes the best part of my trip. We crossed Kumta, then Hegde, and there came a scenic place where I was excited to see what lay ahead of me.

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A very replica of Konaseema in Andhra Pradesh (the delta area formed by the Godavari at the mouth of the sea) lay right in front of me, the river Aghanashini cutting its way through the mountains and running towards the sea, forming many islands and delta with thick forests. The best way to experience it is to see it with one’s own eyes.

We had to cross the river to reach the other side, there lay boats that could transit both people and bikes. Sufficient to transport 4 to 5 bikes and around 10 people, these boats connect two sides of the river.

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Travel on boats to cross the river was a first time experience to me, and the scenic beauty this area possessed was amazing. Small fishing yachts that moved along the river, small canoes local fishermen used to catch fish and transit, long boats being rowed only by women, islands formed by the river, one has to experience it.

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On the way to Ankola, we had to travel across the Ghats to reach the other side, crossed the Gangavali river on a bridge that finds its way through the gorges and then to the sea.

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Ankola was very similar to Kumta. We reached a one Shetty’s house, our client who has agreed to install a solar light system for his new shopping complex that is under construction. Again for a couple of hours, I felt myself to be alien as the conversation went in Kannada. All I had to do is to wait for a few English words and try to make up what they were speaking (though Harsha later briefed me up about everything that they spoke). We had our lunch and found our way back to Kumta by 4:00PM.

Another best part of the trip was the SELCO people who were very friendly and happy to help kind. Santosh Naik anna – the Sales Executive, “Buttru” Ramachandra Butt – the Branch Manager, Ravi anna – the Office Assistant, and many more unnamed people who were around me.

We then boarded a bus around 5:00PM to Shimoga, only to miss the scenic Western Ghats beauty since we had to travel during the night across the Ghats…

Contd…. (day 2)

 

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