Who Feels Love?

Who Feels Love?
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Lakshadweep - Paradise on Earth

Lakshadweep, I was wanting to visit this place since ages I would say. Finally it was decided to be our 3rd marriage anniversary vacation spot.

I started searching for information on internet but was disappointed by the lack of it. Very few personal blogs and moreover the booking process also was not mentioned properly anywhere even on the SPORTS website http://www.lakshadweeptourism.com/
Started calling up the SPORTS office in Kochi but was not at all given correct information. Finally I decided to go via agent route. The agent also booked us 2 night stay at Kochi as he suggested us to keep buffer in case the ship arrival is delayed. There was various packages to opt for visiting Lakshadweep. I opted for Swaying Palms package that provides exclusive visit to Minicoy Island. The package included Kochi - Minicoy island - Kochi ship travel and 4 night stay at the Minicoy Island resort.

So on Friday 29th Nov, we departed from Pune by car as our friend was kind enough to drop us at Panvel Railway station. At 6 PM, we boarded the train from Panvel to Kochi. As the luck would have it, the train got delayed and we reached Kochi on 30th Nov at 7 PM. We were supposed to pick up the ship tickets and some complementary goodies (T shirts, caps and maps, etc) from SPORTS office at Willingdon Island, Kochi a day before departure. But as the train was late, the agent did that for us. We stayed at Hotel Greenland Residency near Ernakulam South station.

Day 1 (1st Dec ) :
The hotel was good but food was not. So next day, asked our cab driver to take us to a good place for lunch before heading to Willingdon Island to catch our ship. He took us to restaurant named Arya Bhavan near Ernakulam South station. We loved it, especially the sambar.. We were asked to report Willingdon island office at 1PM by our agent. First a quick visit to SPORTS office and collected the tickets and complementary goodies, then headed to the check in point. The ship mostly carries locals on the island and very few tourists. After luggage scan and all, a bus took us to the actual boarding point and that's where we saw our ship M.V. Lakshadweep. I had opted for Diamond class accommodation on the ship (costed a whopping 4500 per head) that provides double occupancy cabin along with complementary dinner and breakfast on board). The cabin was worth the money spent and a SPORTS representative was there all the time in case any help was required.



Day2 (2nd Dec) :
Woke up at 7 AM and saw through the cabin window that it was raining. My heart skipped the beat. I travelled half the way across India to witness spot clean sunny beaches that Lakshadweep was famous for. As it was rainy and windy, the ship halted long way before shore line and a small boat arrived us to take to the island. Another SPORTS person named Sidhek came along with us to drop us till the resort. We were the only tourists that were gonna stay in the resort. It was good as we had the beach all for ourselves. After arriving at beach, we were given customary coconut water. Immediately after freshening up, we headed to beach and did some Kayaking. The same guy Sidhek, helped us learn Kayaking and then took us for snorkelling as well. Snorkelling was one wonderful experience as we got to see many colourful corals. The lunch provided was good one with 2 veg and 2 non veg dishes (fish and chicken), roti, rice, dal, curd and fruits as dessert. The same menu was there for next 4 days with alterating veg dish and chicken dish. Although all of the dishes had the typical Kerala (coconut) tinge. Rest of the day was spent just lazing around the beach and resort.



Day3 (3rd Dec):
Again in the morning after some kayaking, we went for snorkelling in some deep water to view different types of corals. After playing in water for a long time, again after lunch for the rest of the day we just lazed around on the beach. In the evening, the resort had arranged for a trip to show around the island. First on the list was the famous Minicoy Lighthouse. Entire island can be viewed from top. Also the west side of island is visible (the non lagoon side). It does not have beach, mostly rocks along the coast and the sea gets deeper almost immediately. After that we went to the jetty wherein the big ships halt when whether is friendly. Then we were showcased the village system. There are 10 villages on island with each one having a village-head. We also visited a local house. On island, the culture is completely different. After marriage, the groom goes to the house of bride... forever. :)




Day4 (4th Dec):
On this day, the tourists from Samudram package arrived on Minicoy island. Samudram package consists of visit to any 3 islands in Lakshadweep where in you spend nights on ship and during day time you spend time on the islands. Almost 130 tourists had arrived that day, so the look on the beach was completely different. Kids played along and there was hustle and bustle as compared to other days when only both of us were on the beach :) . Yes, we were the only tourists in the resort that were staying overnight although this was peak season. (Lak. is highly under-rated). Personally I wanted this to be a more lazy trip and hence did not opt for Samudram package. That day again some kayaking and lazing around the beach (my favourite part of the trip).




Day5 (5th Dec):
This was the penultimate day of our stay and so we decided to do Scuba diving finally. The cost was 1500/- per head for some 20-25 mins underwater wherein all the gear was provided by the resort. They even took our photographs and videos underwater. In the evening, as it was our last night stay, the resort has arranged for candle light dinner on the beach side. As there was no one else on the beach, it became and exclusive dinner for us and that was one of the best experience we had in the trip.

Day6 (6th Dec):
This was the final day of the trip. We were supposed to leave the resort at 2:30 PM in order to board the small boat that was gonna take us to our main ship MV Minicoy. The whole day we just took photographs of whatever we thought we hadn't captured till that time.. At 4:15 PM, we were aboard MV Minicoy that had started its journey towards Kochi. Now this was a pretty small ship having capacity of 150 passengers. No option for bunks/beds, only push back chairs. As this ship was much smaller, it was swaying much more than MV Lakshadweep that caused my wife to have motion sickness. So we spent our entire evening on a bench on the deck feeling the open sea-wind. If you are prone to motion-sickness, then avoid travelling on this ship. Also the temperature in AC hall was close to freezing point. We somehow managed to pass the night is a single shawl we had thankfully carried with us.



Day7 (7th Dec):
We reached Kochi at 11 AM. Reached hotel and as we had nothing else to do, decided to visit Lulu Mall.

The next day boarded train from Kochi to Panvel and then came back to Pune by car.

Some highlights-
1. Booking has to be done via agent to avoid hassles. The SPORTS department in Kochi is very non-cooperative if we try to contact them directly.
2. Food is good but with a tinge of coconut in everything, so if planning to stay for more than 2 days, the food might get monotonous and its a good idea to carry some of your favourite snacks with you, especiallyif you are having kids with you.
3. Try to book the ships having sleeping facility. If possible by MV Lakshadweep and MV Kavaratti  -these two are big ships and 2/4 bedded cabins are good.
4. Even in December the temperature was about 25 Degrees, so no need to stuff your luggage with winter wears.
5. You will get severe sun-tan, so do carry your sunscreens with max. SPF.
6. There is only BSNL network present, so do get your roaming activated before moving out of mainland.
7. In Minicoy island, there are SBI and Syndicate bank ATMs in case of emergencies. But I would suggest you carry your own cash along with surplus.
8. The resort is good and the housekeeping, other staff are extremely courteous and we never felt out of place.

The trip was indeed one of the best I have ever done and no other beach in India showcased such a beauty. I would say this is a must go trip in one's lifetime.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ride to Bhimashankar

Date: - 7th July 2012
Route: - Pune - Manchar - Bhimashankar - Pune
Time: - 0630 to 1700
Distance: - 236 kms

June had already passed, but monsoon was still eluding Pune city. So we, Bladerunnerzzz decided to give a visit to Rain Gods simultaneously visiting the Holy Shrine of Lord Shiva at Bhimashankar.

On 7th July at morning 6:00 am, all the BRZZZ met at Bremen Circle. I was surprised to see the number of bikes that had turned up for the rides (19 in total with 2 new joinees). A couple of days back we had heard about a certain Mandhardevi temple, the route to which passes through some scenic ghat. So a poll was arranged whether to carry on with our plan for Bhimashankar or explore this new destination. As majority of people had not been to Bhimashankar, the former was chosen.

This time we tried a new technique to ride in formation (and it worked very well). The whole bunch of 19 bikes were divided in three groups with a lead and sweep for each sub group. Ayush, myself and Rachit were the leads while Sarthak, Sharath and Alok were the sweeps for sub groups 1,2 and 3 respectively. Each and every rider was given a number and it was decided that everyone will follow the sequence. We left Bremen Circle at some 6:30 am. Riding in such a huge formation of 19 bikes did command attention for each and every passer-by we crossed. I wont deny that it felt good :) . Initially being slow, we picked up our speeds after crossing Bhosari, although we never went above 80s as that would have disturbed the formation. Within an hour or so we reached Hotel Purohit for the breakfast stop. the 2 newbies Kinshuk and Sayan introduced themselves and vice versa received the intro of our good ol' BRZZZ.

At 8:30 we left Purohit and diverted off the NH-50 from Manchar to take the state highway. We were expecting rough roads, but thankfully the surface seemed to have been tarred recently, so it was almost pothole free road except a few bad patches that went unnoticable. The surroundings were not very enchanting untill we started ascending the ghat on the way after a small town village Mapoli. We were greeted with the familiar sights of monsoon in Sahyadris with hazy grey clouds kissing the mountain tops. Intermittent drizzles were accompanying all the time. Some 60kms and 1.5 hrs after Purohit, we took the first break to relax and had the regular group photo session. The weather had turned cloudy and everyone had gotten into the enjoyment mode. Cracking jokes, lying on the roads, blah blah.....We started and after some time just when Bhimashankar was some 7-8 kms ahead, took one more break as the visibility has reduced to a few meters. Time for another photoshoot. We could see only for 3-4 m ahead of us. Reached Bhimashankar and were stopped by a check post (not police) for entry fees. Each bike was charged 5 bucks.

Once we reached temple, the visibility reduced further to hardly 1-2 meters. Everyone was enjoying the foggy atmosphere to the core as it was welcome respite from the sunny days in Pune. A descend of few foot steps and we approached the entrance of temple. It was 10:30 am and crowd was growing. We had to wait for some 20 mins in queue for the revered Bhagwan ke Darshan. Once done, we climbed back to parking and there was no point in wandering here n there because of low visibility. Anyways trekking to Gupt Bhimashankar would have taken lots of efforts and its not very comforable to trek carrying the heavy riding gear.

So we started back to Pune. Time for photo shoot of the guys with their rides. We chose a spot where road was passing through middle of the jungle for the photo shoot. I bet whenever anyone passed by us ( be it a car or a bike or a bus),  he/she must have been hell scared of seeing group of 19 guys on their bikes almost blocking the way ahead of them. Although that was not our intention. We just wanted to have a good snap for our next month's calendar page.

As soon as we started back, it started raining and this time it was heavy .... damn heavy. We got completely drenched in a matter of few mins. But doning ourselves with riding jacket, helmets, knee gaurds and gloves, we hardly felt any rain beating us. We cruised along cautiously at speeds of 30s-40s. It was an unbelievable experience. This was not th first time I had ridden in such a torrential rain. But everytime I do, it gives a sense of enormous satisfaction. We kept of riding for next whole 1.5 hrs in this rain and managed to cover 40kms only. Once we descended the ghat and crossed the village Mapoli, the rains subsided, but I bet it was still raining up beyond the ghat. We stopped for a small petrol break and decided to take a somewhat different routeback home. Instead of going straight to Manchar, we took a right to directly catch NH50 at Peth. No one knew the condition of the road and everyone was a bit thrilled to take this route. After taking the detour, hardly after a couple of kms, the road ended and we ended up on the gravel track. Asking a few construction workers on the way, they told that the road is good ahead of this small patch. A small ghat was staring ahead of us. But the torrential rains had taken toll on one of the R15s chain. It literally came off and it had to be fixed like the one we do for a cycle. It kept of slipping off the sprocket and we had no other alternative that to carry on like that untill we find some mechanic on the way. Once ghat was over, the chain behaved properly and we were able to reach Peth very soon. Just before Peth, we found a mechanic. Abhishek(R15 rider) was fixing the chain with mechanic and suddenly looking at the Vada pav kiosk opposite to the mechnic shop, everyone's hunger pangs increased the intensity a hundred times. We had not eaten since the breakfast in morning at 8:30 and now it was almost 3 pm. we ordered that guy some 20 vada pavs, and 20 bread pattice. He had to fetch some essentials from nearby shops so as to cater to us. In short, uski Lottery lag gayi. The mechanic was unable to repair the chain and there was no other alternative than to carry on till Pune and show the bike to Yamaha ASC. So Abhishek and
Sourabh started ahead slowly approacing Pune. Meanwhile, we discovered that we had eaten more than 35 vada pavs and 15 bread pattices. Typical BRZZZ again. With our tummies satisfied, we made our final dash to Pune kindoff impatiently. Reached Nashik Phata by 5 PM and bade goodbye to each other leaving behind the memorable moments we had.

This is only the second ride this monsoon and we are already are drowned in the intoxication of riding. Hoping so that many more are coming........

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ride to Jog Falls & Murudeshwar

Dates: - 21-23 August
Route: - Pune - Dharwad - Yellapur - Sirsi - Jog Falls - Murudeshwar - Sawantwadi - Amboli - Kolhapur - Pune
Distance: - 1400 kms

Day 1 : Saturday 21st August
0530 : I am ready. The bags are packed and hauled onto the Red Stallion. I am a bit nervous like I am before every long ride. But this time its gonna be 1000km+ adrenaline gushing ride through mountains, jungles and beaches. I just cant wait to start. My mother is in the parking to wish me a happy journey. She is as usual cynic about why I am going for such a long ride again. I don’t have an option to kick start (it feels so good to kick start a bike) so have to push the start button to bring the RS to life. Start from my home at 0540 to meet the rest of fellow bikers at Chandni Chowk. When I reach there, I find only Faiz along with his yellow FZ-S. Ayush comes after a few mins on his black Thunderbird. Sagar astride his black P150 is waiting for us near Sinhgad bypass.
0545 : Rest of the team is going to be late so we three decide to start the journey and head towards Satara leniently so that others will catch up soon. Sagar starts on his own.
0730 : We reach Satara without any break leisurely cruising on dear NH4. (NH4 has went on to acquire highly sentimental value among bikers in Pune. Such is the beauty of this road). Sagar joins us too. Come to know that Bharat is not gonna make it to the trip because of his tooth surgery and Royd will be catching us up on his Red Fazer very soon. Ankur and Arti join us on his black CBZ.0800 : 5 bikes start from Satara. Hardly after 40 kms I notice Faiz’s rear tyre is low on air. We stop to check and find that the rear tyre is almost flat. Sagar goes ahead to find a puncture-wala. The guy says he will not be able to mend tubeless tyre. So its decided that Faiz will walk back some kms and mend the puncture in that village. Meanwhile Royd joins. Enthusiasm somewhat subsides because of this event but still we decide to move on.
0900 : Faizs heads back and we move on. Decide to stop at Sai International before Kolhapur for breakfast and reach there by 1000 something.
1130 : After a good and heavy breakfast, we target Hubli straightaway 230kms ahead. Top up the fuel tanks and start the ripping. The NH4 stretch after Kolhapur till Belgaum is heaven. Sparse traffic. Excellent roads. Even speeds of 100+ feel like its nothing. Stop in between for some photoshoot while crossing some random lake on highway.

1300 : Reach Belgaum and rains start. They start as if there is no tomorrow. We keep on continuing but speeds drop a little.
1415 : We are in between Dharwad and Hubli where we find a turn straightaway going to Yellapur by passing Hubli. 15 mins gone but Ankur fails to turn up. Ayush goes back and both the bikes re-appear after few mins. Ankur’s bike is not picking up speed. Try a lots of stuff. Also my bike shows low battery. I ignore it. A couple of good hearted villagers come and help out by cleaning the spark plug. But still that doesn’t help. To worsen the matters, rain starts again. We take a shelter under a bridge as Ankur shows the bike to a mechanic we find luckily. He is unable to help and tells us to go to Dharwad to mend it. After half an hour of rains, we start towards Dharwad towing Ankur’s bike (actually pushing it with our legs). I go ahead to find a mechanic. Luckily find one just 2-3 kms ahead. Tell him the problem. He goes back on his scooter and somehow manages to bring bike to his shop. When he opens spark plug, he smiles and just resets the distance between two point at head of spark plug and voila!!! The bike is up again. Then it strikes that we are hungry and have skipped lunch. So munch on bananas at the shop besides the mechanic. Now its my bike’s turn as it refuses to start. The mechanic suggests a battery shop 2 blocks ahead. He says starter relay is gone and needs to be fetched from a Bajaj shop on other side of town. Royd takes the guy as we are new to the city and I sit at his shop to man the counter (Yeah!!! This is what he requests me to..). After almost 25-30 mins, he turns up and fixes the new relay. The bike is working again. Look at watch and its 1730. Our plans to reach Jog Falls that day itself falter. We decide to target Sirsi.
1730 : We start for Yellapur. The state highways are in a pretty bad shape and somehow we reach Yellapur and fuel up the tanks again.
1845 : Catch the road to Sirsi. Now this road seems to be a single lane without street lamps and completely submersed in a jungle. We decide to ride in formation. 1. Royd. 2. Sagar. 3. Ayush . 4. Ankur .5. Me. The ride through jungle starts. Its pitch dark and nothing else except 4 sets of tail-lights before me and sinister night behind me. Some occasional vehicles pass by. Otherwise its just dark. After almost 60 kms, and more than an hour we reach Sirsi. Decide to take a halt and find a suitable hotel. Find it very soon.
2030 : The owner says dinner will close by 2130, so quickly change and come for dinner only to find that the menu consists of Rice Plate and nothing else. Being grateful that at least some food is there and we pounce upon rice plate like anything. After super heavy meal, just head to the rooms and crash on beds. Even before I hear something its already bright outside window.
Route: Pune – Dharwad – Yellapur – Sirsi.
Distance: 560 kms




Day 2 : Sunday 22nd August

0800 : Packing up we decide to head to Jog Falls straightaway as breakfast will eat up most of the time in Sirsi. Nitin + Gita are gonna catch us at Murudeshwar from Pune astride Red P150 .
0900 : Leave for Jog Falls from Sirsi. Some directions from locals and we are on way to Jog Falls. And that is where I find the shit-iest road I have ever rode upon. For every 50m, I could find loads of dung cakes happily lying on road waiting to be cut across by not so fortunate wheels of the tourist vehicles. I am finding it pretty hard to avoid cutting these (dung) cakes as I don’t want any part of those things upon my riding gear or my bike. At last reach Mavingundi on the SH towards Jog Falls. Reach there by 1030 something.
1045 : Security guards tell us that we cant go to the base of falls during monsoon and also they cant keep a vigil on to the bags we have put up on our bikes using bungee cords and all. Again a super heavy breakfast. The bill amounts to some 600 for 6 guys and what we east is only idli-wada, dosa and omlettes. Roam around Jog Falls. The water level in falls is at normal level so do not find the views as breathtaking as we saw on internet. But still the view is amazing. We laze around for quite some time.
1500 : Start towards Murudeshwar. The roads are straight i.e. no diversions but there are lots of twists and turns and we all enjoy them to the core. Encounter ghats and fog reduces visibility. Stopover for a photo-session.
1545 : Start again and fog disappears very soon. The twists and turns are too good to resist and our speeds increase. But the roads are not so good and we really cant rip off. One scary incident when I almost go offroad on the wrong side while negotiating a left turn. I come back to my senses and reduce my speed.
1600 : A similar S turn ahead and I take it easy this time. After the turn watch the RVM and don’t find Ankur. My heart skips a beat. I turn back nevertheless and as I approach the S turn find 2-3 people around Ankur and Arti. He has hurt his knee but thankfully she is fine apart from a sprain in ankle. But the bike has lost a lot. The visor, headlight dome and RVM are gone. To top it off my battery again is low and I find out that the battery is about to go.
1630 : Reach Honawar and make some amendments to Ankur’s bike. My battery is gone and it requires push start every time (courtesy – no kick). Start for Murudeshwar and reach there by 1730. Get to hear from Nitin that Gita is not feeling well, so they halt at Yellapur itself.
1800 : Check in RMS residency at Murudeshwar. A beautiful resort overlooking beach on one side and Arabian Sea on other side. Feels really peaceful. After a walk on the main road, decide to have dinner at Naveen beach resort. It is for those tourists staying in RNS residency who wanna booze and have non-veg. Both these things are not allowed in RNS as it is adjoining the Murudeshwar temple and also a gigantic statue of Lord Shiva resides in RNS as well. Funny indeed!!


2000 : A nice dinner at Naveen beach resort. Come back to rooms and celebrate Ankur’s birthday as well.
2300 : Sleep off after another eventful but satisfying day.

Route: Sirsi – Jog Falls – Murudeshwar
Distance: 160kms

Day 3 : Monday 23rd August
0600 : I wake up and start packing my bags. I am gonna head back to Pune alone as I need to be home for Rakshabandhan the next day. The other guys gonna head to Goa for a day and then to Pune the next day. Royd has to attend an important call at 1300 and he decides to accompany me till Goa so that he can reach his uncle’s house before the call.
0700 : Push start the bike (I keep on doing it till end of trip) and head towards Goa. The roads are bad from Murudeshwar till Honawar (30kms). After that the good stretch starts and we keep up the good speed. I call up Nitin asking should I come to Yellapur in case he needs any help as Gita’s health is still not so good. She has high fever running. We decide that they can take rest that day and head off to Kolhapur / Pune next day depending on her health. Push start…
1030 : Reach South Goa border and take a break to tank up as Royd’s Fazer has hit reserve. We continue together till Panaji.
1130 : Reach Panaji and Royd bids good bye. I continue towards Sawantwadi. As soon as I hit Maharashtra border, bad roads start and continue till Sawantwadi. A right turn and I head towards Amboli ghat. Once again rains decide to accompany my lonely soul. Even if I need to take a break to drink water, I search for a slope so that push start will be easier.
1230 : Start ascending Amboli ghat. Rain is pounding. I feel thirsty so I just open up my visor and taste the sweet rain. The water is sweet indeed. But decide to stop nevertheless as quenching thirst through raindrops means I will require rain all the way till Pune. Just before Amboli waterfall, witness a part of road battered by a landslide. It scares the shit out of me. Its like I am travelling on a road climbing a ghat and suddenly there is no road. On your right is a huge mountain, a muddy stretch of 100m in front of you about 3-4 meters wide and a plunging valley on the left without any barricade. I just halt there although I know that is the way I have to go.  I see a vehicle coming after some time and entering this patch from other side. So I start again and make it to the falls and decide to have hot bhajji- wadapav, etc. The stall owner explain me regarding the landslide and how I wont encounter rain after crossing Amboli. Push start…
1330 : Start from Amboli towards NH4 near Nipani. The roads are boring, bad, monotonous, etc. Moreover I am completely drenched. So open up my jacket a bit to let some fresh air in. I take a bad decision for the route ahead. Instead of heading towards Sankeshwar via Gadhinglaj, I take the internal route to Nipani to save a few kms. Road quality worsens intermittently. I cross into Karnataka and I loose track of route as all sign boards are in Kannada. So I use Indian GPS i.e. locals at every next village to ask directions.
1445 : At last I hit NH4 and I feel relieved as if I have reached home which although is almost 300 kms ahead. Deciding not to waste time I hit the accelerator and reach Kolhapur.
1530 : A stop at McDonalds for lunch. I want a dal-roti kinda thing but settle over here as I need to move quickly. Fast food literally. Push start…
1630 : The battery is almost discharged and my horn is working infrequently. Indicators are dull . I fear for headlight. So I forget everything and make a point to reach Pune before daybreak. Practically impossible. But still I can try. Again fuel up the tank and I am off to Pune. Push start…
1715 : Reach Karad. Make mental calculation that I covered 83 kms in last one hour. Its amazing as the bike has been seriously battered in last 2 days and still its running this good. But however I try its not hitting top speed in excess of 100. So I cruise along at 90-100.
1800 : Reach Satara. Lubricate chain as its making some noise. The mechanic gives me a stare looking at my bike, me, my attire, my body language. I am hopelessly tired and ignore him. Push start…
1900 : Reach outskirts of Pune and cross Katraj tunnel. Traffic starts.
1930 : I reach home. Notice that I did Kolhapur-Pune in just 3 hours including a couple of breaks.My fiancé is dead worried for me so she comes home to visit me. As usual mother is happy to see me. Manage to change and take a bath. Have dinner.
2100 : I am dead asleep.
Route: - Murudeshwar - Panaji - Sawantwadi - Kolhapur - Pune
Distance: - 680 kms
Total Distance :- 1400kms (Approximate as trip-meter got reset during the battery fiasco..)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hyderabad to Pune Ride

Date: - 3rd July 2009
Route: - NH9
Time: - 1030 to 2045 [10 hrs 15 mins]
Distance: - 547 kms

So finally I came back to Pune after a year in Hyderabad. I was on so-called riding hiatus more because of non-availability of good riding destinations nearby. I came back on a Wednesday leaving Red Stallion in Hyderabad. Joined the office in Pune and again on Saturday took a bus back to Hyd so that I can ride back all the way to Pune.

Sometimes people do make a mistake of over-estimating themselves. This time I was one of them. I was so sure that I can leave Hyd by 1000 and reach Pune by 1900. I was wrong indeed. After confirming with the mechanic that bike was in a good shape to make this trip as silencer was making some noises, I headed towards Lingampally from Madhapur at exactly 1030 hours. Not even out of Hyd and heard some weird noise from somewhere. Again a stop at mechanic and did some cleaning of disc brake. Started off again but noise still persisted. I decided to carry on. The bike was loaded with almost 20kg of load in form of saddle bags and a backpack fastened on the back seat. So I started real slow occasionally touching 90s. I had to watch the Germany-Argentina encounter in the evening that was about to start at 1930. So I planned accordingly. That means only body-respite breaks and nothing else.

But this trip turned out to be a lot different than other trips. As I left Hyderabad city and entered countryside, I really didnt cared about time and speed and just watched the cities, villages, pastures, people I passed by. Initially I was about to take break after every 2 hrs, but soon I didnt mind the time intervals between breaks.Sometimes, it was 2 hrs, sometimes 30 mins. Was calling up my fiancée/mother alternatively updating my status (read "Read I was OK or not?"). I crossed AP without hassles.
Even about 50-70kms stretch of Karnataka was eventless. Then I entered Maharashtra and a homely feeling crept into me. I was sure now that even if something happens, at least I can communicate with people around me. And then eventually came the rains I never had ridden in such torrential rains. So this was a complete new experience. I just loved every part of its.. I loved the way nature changed its colours around me from time to time. At a time it was pitch dark and cloudy, then it started raining. No sooner than few kms and I could see sun some out and shine upon fresh greenery all around in a perfect magnificence. I loved every part of it. I didnt even notice when did my speeds dropped to meagre 60-70 as I was absorbed enjoying the beauty around me. And just when I was appreciating and thanking rain gods for showing me such a wonderful view, came another spell of rain. I didnt even notice the clouds gathering and all I saw was that people running helter-skelter in the next village I saw. The rains caught me unaware and I was drenched to the core. The visibility was very low and I was moving at 40s. Now being drenched back to reality I remembered the football QF in the evening and suddenly wanted to reach home early. Guess I was too late. I reached Solapur @280 kms in by 1600. Quite unlike me. On some other day I would have been there by 1400 itself.
Took a long break for body to get some respite. Already came to know that I gonna miss the match. But still tried to give it a go to reach Pune by 2000 at most. But the traffic increased and the road conditions degraded exponentially after Solapur because of 4 laning process of the highway. It was becoming pretty difficult to maintain the constant speeds. Moreover single lane bad NH was not helping either. As usual the ST buses never give a damn to bikers along with the innovas and scorpios. Wet roads worsened the situation. But finally found an able ally in a Sumo that was overtaking the slow moving trucks in all the fury. Got hold of that one and rode non stop was almost 2 hrs again untill my bum gave up and I had to take a halt. The roads were bad for almost 150kms from Solapur and by the time I hit good roads at 1900, it was already dark and as I am not that a good rider in dark had to follow a ST bus to avoid oncoming uppers. So finally reached Hadapsar at 2015 I guess. The last 15-20 kms inside city felt like the previous 500kms. But nonetheless reached home by 2045 and guess what saw that Germany was 3-0 up on Argentina. Quite unbelievable!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A turn in life

After a lot of resistance and lots of discussion, finally I permitted my mom to start looking for a perfect life partner for me. She was so confident that I would require at least a year or maybe more to zero out on the right choice. Even I wasn't ready to give up my freedom so early (I guess there is no lower limit for this so called "Early").
But how wrong my mom was and I stumbled upon my better half in flat one month. Now not that they forced me to accept her. It was a mutual agreement and now I am very glad that she is by my side today and forever from now on..

So today I broke up this news to all of my friends. So as expected received a lots of heartfelt comments and since morning I was busy attending calls. Tried completing some work between calls too.
But I noticed one disturbing trend. Most of my friends told me "Pushkar! Man now you will never be same again!!". Such is the impact of this society upon us that even I acknowledged them without even thinking about what I was accepting. Then after all calls were over, I just contemplated that why most of them said this same thing to me.

Why is it expected that a guy(girl) will stop meeting his(her) friends after marriage?
Why I wont be able to go out whenever I feel I want to?
Why I wont be able to work late in nights if the project schedule gets heavy?
Why I wont be able to attend the late night beer parties by my friends?
Why I wont be able to attend a rock show by Iron Maiden when they next time play in Bangalore or Mumbai?
Why I wont be able to take out my bike and head into some unknown road just because I feel like doing it?

I know she would also have the same question as me.

So many whys... Why everyone expects that once a guy marries, then his social life is over. His wife will take over all of his time so that he will never be able even think about something else (forget about someone else..) What I found was that I never even thought in my dreams that I would change. But its the change, whoever or whatsoever has initiated it, engulfs everyone and makes them bend to their knees and follow it. A person never changes. The society makes him change. Maybe I wont call up my friends as frequently as I used to do before, but they will stop calling me completely. I might have to hang out with them once in a while but they might be apprehensive in talking to me..

I know after marriage I will have to look after one more person in my life apart from me. It will never be for ME but it would be for US. That that doesn't mean that I should forget ME. It is ME who is sitting right now typing this crap on some dumb monitor.

I know sitting and typing all this bullshit is one thing and following it for all the rest of my life is another. But at least I am trying to resist this change.

It is said that after the so-called honeymoon period of marriage is over, the real life starts. It is because one gets carried to much into the newly found sensuousness, romance and affinity in this period and hence forgets what he was before marriage. But instead of using all this newly found bliss in my life in a single shot, I would like to use it in installments for the rest of my life. So that I will keep on feeling blessed forever.

Neither am I stoned nor drunk while writing this!! Guess today I didnt have much work, so I ended up writing this. Need to get something before I start acting like crazy!!