Wednesday, September 03, 2008

To the mountains

Another day is over and wasted. Proving none of my worth at work, I escaped just on time from work and pressed the button on lift with downward arrow. TING!!! Lift opens its door to me and I see nobody inside except an old man with worn out tuxedo on him, unshaven face and non matching white P.T shoes. I greeted him but didn't get any positive response. He looked at the Diet Coke can in my hand and said something to me which I couldn't hear because of the latched earphones. I pulled right one out and ask,

Sir, did you say anything?
Yes, you know this is the second most popular thing in the world?
What thing?
The Coke..
Oh ok...
Did you know that? no...I didn't (I smiled at him)
Me_: So...what is the first most popular thing in this world then?
Old_Man: Jesus Christ...

Lift opens its gate,
Good night...
Good night.

Last weekend was long one...Labour day on monday and I had a nice trip to mountains all alone, all by myself.
Initially it was planned by me as motorcycle camping trip of 3 days. Doing camping at two sites in Maryland and West Virginia. There is another desi guy in my apartment complex who has got Yamaha V-Star 650cc and wanted to join me for the ride and also my bOngali room partner wanted to be pillion with me. So I was all excited about the trip as I thought this time I would'nt be doing it alone not because I am afraid of being alone (I prefer to ride alone on most of my rides) but sometimes you want to be with the company of human beings. But I forgot that Human Being is a vicious animal.
At the very last moment both of them backed out fearing that they cannot ride that long or whatever. I mean what the hey?? Get a bigger balls, pals!!!
I have seen 3 guys buying motorcycle here (2 of them got inspired by me) just for the very heck of it, they will put some nice pictures on orkut and lure few bitches. Later, all of them sold their bikes.

Ok, who cares? you backed out, alright!! I don't care....I have done it before I will do it again and I would be fine all by myself.
Man, People are crazy, not to be believed.
And then I remember my favorite line from one of very old my favorite T.V show FATICHAR,
"Yaar Fatichar, tu itna emotional kyu hain???"

Little depressed about the whole thing, I could only start at 10:00 am. I didn't buy the tent thinking I may need little experience before I do solo camping and tent pitching. Rode some 350 miles before I called it a day in Maryland moments after I crossed the Pennsylvania state. Most of the hotels were full but luckily I got one room in a hotel near the rocky mountains.

Next day I woke up early morning, did some rough map planning. I have a GPS too but map is a map ...nothing can beat it!!!
Early morning ride to the West Virginia George Washing Mountains (Route no: 129/93/33) covered with clouds was just amazing. The best thing about mother nature is that once you are into her embrace you do not think about any thing in his world, you feel so blessed!!

I took route 33 all the way to the Shenandoah National Park Skyline. You cannot drive faster than 35 mph and once you are stuck behind the cars, you are screwed. Seriously. No overtaking allowed but just for 30 miles stretch. After that I enjoyed twisties completely. Then opened up map and marked few off roads through the mountains, the roads less taken ;-) and followed it!

It was already 5 pm and I hjad plans to stay somewhere in Harrisburg, PA and then travel rest of it on Monday..that is Labour Day but then I thought why not ride it all today and rest whole of Monday since the Virginia highways I-78/I-81 are so very inviting. And just did that and rode 560 miles to home. On the way, as always saw many riders and exchanged greetings. Most of the riders do it and that's what I love about it... a Motorcycle brotherhood, it knows no boundary, its Universal. If you're struck somewhere on the road, they will stop and ask you if you are alright or need any help except those Har(D)ley guys with attitude. They don't bother, they have their own HD fraternity which is what all they care about. Most of them just ride one way and trail it on truck on return. Sometimes I have lot of fun, like whenever I see them on road passing by me, I just rip off the throttle in front of them and in seconds they are out of my rear view mirror's sight. My Gandalf is powerful, Even I don't use its power most of the time (Like speding 200kmph or wheeling etc etc which this cycle is capable of doing that and even more...)

I think the feeling of just possessing the power and not showing it off is just great!!! and as they say, It feels like god!!!

Managed to click few pictures here

Friday, August 22, 2008

Solo ride to Hampi-Badami

This is from one of my old trip logs and thought I'll log it here in my repository. Like my all other posts, this too doesn’t make much sense and has very bad English composition.

I also did a long trip from Bangalore to Goa in 2007 I guess which was quite an adventurous but never got any chance to write it down. I hope one day, I will.

Well, I had a plan for Kanyakumari on 26th Jan weekend and I was feeling lazy enough to plan the details. And, today, on 12th Jan 2007, two weeks before, in a meeting with my lousy managers, i came to know that coming monday is off (makarsakranti, i guess). I mumbled, “Hampi it is! “, it did’nt take a moment, it was spontaneous. And all said is done. I did not find enough time to plan the route and other details for this solo ride to Hampi and badami from Bangalore. I brought cramster bag from friend and packed my sack Friday evening. Well, surprisingly, I bought nano iPod that day. My dream of looong solo ride was about to come true. I was feeling happy and I don’t remember when I closed
my eyes.

Next morning, amazingly I woke up fresh, early in the morning and that too before my mobile could buzz me off. Got geared up and put the cramster on my machine.

In a moment, I was on NH 4, first ray of sunlight on my face, refreshed me as never before. The thump of my machine was charging me on and the roads were driving me good. I was feeling great, far away from the maddening crowd. And yes, how can I forget my new possession? My Nano iPod, aah! And the first song it played on shuffle mode was,

I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
That hold me inside
I want to reach out
And touch the flame

I want to feel sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear
Without a trace
I want to take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name

Aaah! So true and it all seems like a dream! I had no plans like where to stay, take lunch etc etc. So I drove till chitradurga at one shot with few pee breaks :) . Chitradurg is some 200km from Bangalore and Tumkur comes midway.

I kept riding till I felt hungry for lunch and then I found one road side sardarji’s dhaba. I took a smooth turn and parked my bull outside dhaba and ordered lunch and before that, I asked them if I could get a cup of tea. Sardar was friendly and going chatterbox. Asking like what are you doing, where you working? I said some private company and he suggested me to work for TATA company instead of working in private company may be he was refering TCS. Well, who cares, mein haan mein haan milata gaya aur itni deer mein mera lunch bhi aa gaya.
It was good. I belched, paid the bill and shook hand with sardar ji and started for Hospet, a place near hampi, where I was planning to stay. I reached hospet found a nice hotel to relieve myself for the day remaining. After I checked in, I remember that sardar told me that there is one dam in hospet which is worth visiting. I took bath and changed my dress and left for dam in the evening. With iPod spinning my head, night city lights and with blank mind, I was driving towards dam. I reached there and parked my bike. The dam was big one but entry on the road over dam was prohibited. So only thing to see was the fountain show behind dam. I went there took some pictures and came back. Then I realised that there is a road to hill top beside the Dam. It started itching me, wondering what could be there on top? i said “Lets see man”. It was already pitch black but I rode over the hill, through the ghat roads throught the mountain to the top and it was amazing!!!. When I reached on hill top, I found a VIP guest house and a watch tower. I took gurad’s permission to go to that watch tower, he agreed. And WOW! Everything I could see from watch tower was like a dream with city of lights, the dam and the river so big like an ocean and again I realized my iPod was playing,

“All around me, I see what weakness has made
Too much tomorrow, I think I’ll take all today
Am I a poison, am I a thorn in the side
Am I a picture perfect subject tonight

And I dont need nobody
And I dont need the weight of words
To find a way to crash on through
And I dont need nobody
And I just need to learn the depth
Or doubt of faith to fall into”

Next morning I woke up early in the morning as I wanted to catch first sunrays on monuments. It was 15 minute drive from Hospet to hampi. I parked my bike, roamed through the hampi and took some pix then took my breakfast and left for another part of hampi and returned back to hotel as I had to leave for badami, same day. Badami is some 150km from hospet. I took my lunch relieved some and started for Badami at 4 pm. Road was not in good shape for few kms, but later, to my surprise, road was in really good conditions and so the surroundings. I kept driving with sweet music humming in my ears.

Again I stopped at kushtagi for tea. kushtagi is 60km from hospet, you can take left turn from here to Badami but I lost that turn and moved ahead. So after driving few kms I took left turn for Gundulpet which leads to Badami. It was already dark by this time. And by dark I mean pitch black, and not a soul around. But again, the road was too good and I slowed down little bit to enjoy the drive with music till I reach Badami. I reached Badami at 9 in the night. And to my dismay, all hotels were running full. I struggled for 1 hour, checked every damn hotel in the city but no luck. Then I thought I may have to sleep outside but then, all of sudden I saw one guest house and I asked the guy standing on pourch for room, he said, saar all rooms are full. Then one guy came out like a saviour and said that he can arrange one bed for me.

Day 3, I woke up early in the morning again and went to museum and caves in Badami, took the pix and returned back to hotel and packed my cramster for return journey.
I was running out of time, I had to take the same route back home, it was already 12 in the noon and I had to ride 500 odd kms. So I started at 1 ‘O clock and took my lunch at the same sardarji’s dhaba and was back on road with final goodbye to sardarji.
While riding back, I was singing along:

mein hoon pyar ka musafir
dil khush hai aaj mera
jahan mile mohobatt
wahin mera basera
mujh ko mile safar mein
kuch dhoop kuch sawera
yeh arzoo hai paoun
kuch chaon kuch sawera
manzilein meri door hain kahi
lagta nahi dil mera yahan
mujhe janey do wahan…

I reached peacefully at home 11 pm in the night. Like always, this journey has changed something in me and the feeeling that can’t be expressed in any word in this world. I just feel good. That’s about it.

Pictures: here

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mar Adentro

Its about the day when I first watched the trailer of "No Country For Old Men" back in 2007 winters while chewing those fatty acid gums and killing my precious arse lying over sofa.

I was so moved by it and with this guy with weird hairdo (Javier Bardem), that I had to drag my lazy ass to watch this movie in theater. And wow! I was fucking bowled over by his performance. Even though it was so obvious that the movie's gonna be a joyride as its directed by Coen Brothers, this guy surprises you with his amazing screen presence and out of the world performance.

Okay, I am not trying to write any movie review here and fail miserably.

All I am trying to do is explain the reason I watched the Spanish award winning movie "Mar Adentro" (The Sea Inside).

Though this movie has won many awards, the real reason I took my precious time to watch this movie is because of this dashing Spaniard "Javier Bardem".

Mar Adentro is a true story about Ramon Sampedro (Javier Bardem), who's condemned to life as a quadriplegic. Its about the struggle (of almost 30 years) of this man's desire to die with dignity (euthanasia ).

Ramon' was an extraordinary man who also inspired his lawyer, Julia and a local woman to achieve something beyond their wildest dreams.

I loved this movie and again stunned by Javier's performance. Go watch it!!!

Now I can't wait to watch "Before Night Falls" which also led him to win many best actor awards.

Before Night Falls is powerful glimpse into the life of famed Cuban poet, homosexual and novelist Reinaldo Arenas (Javier Bardem). This moviespans several decades in his eventful life and also stars Johnny Depp and Sean Penn.

Now I am not forcing you to watch these movies... ..its your call..

...and as Chigurh's (Javier's character in No Country For Old Men) trademark phrase goes,

"Call it, friendo"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sweet Rendezvous

Speedy highways, monstrous trucks and nasty cars has always given me bad time on the highways and I actually had enough of it!!!
Also, I couldn’t wait any longer to meet my dream machine. Initially, I had plans to buy it after I get married or end of this year (of course whichever is earlier ;) ). But once the bug bites you, you can’t wait and so couldn’t I.

After a lot of research and being little lucky, I clinched a deal in Atlanta, GA. I was mostly looking for something in far away state so that I could get to ride it back( as always needed REASON to ride :-P ).
And Wow!! now I had to fly down there to Atlanta, finish the paper work and ride back…sounds awesome!

I had a choice to wait for 2 weeks and take 3 days to ride back 1010 miles (Monday was holiday) but the urge was so high, that I took chance to ride 1010 miles in 2 days and booked the ticket for the same weekend. Also booked a room in Super 8 Motel for Friday night.

I will see you tomorrow

Packed my stuff in a small bag. But one panga was, that how would I carry the riding gear and my helmet? Shall I wear it in the plane and impress the air hostesses? Not a good Idea. So kept everything in a bag which is to be checked in.
Took a subway from wall street and got the cab from queens for LAGUARDIA airport. Flight was 2 hours late and I reached Atlanta at 2 am. Somehow reached the motel and fell asleep.

Vinil, old buddy from college also lives in Atlanta and I thought its a good idea to meet him too. I called him up and he wanted to accompany me to that place I was visiting as he was little afraid of me going alone to that place.
He showed up early in the morning while I just had finished my morning chores. I took my riding gear along and drove to the place. Finished the paper work and now it was the time to meet my new love, Triumph Rocket III Classic a 2300cc/146BHP and 800 pounds beast.
Owner was little afraid and Vinil too that how would I ride this monster back home so far away? But I had the faith in my love ;) . I was suppose to finish the paper work by 10 am and start my journey back by 10:30 am or so as I had only two days time. But it was already 1 pm and also Vinil wanted me to visit his place and have lunch with him. We drove back to his place, met his buddies had lunch and few photo session with my motorcycle as everyone wanted a piece of that big daddy :).Bade goodbye to all and started my sweet journey back home.

It was already 4:30 pm by now and I knew that no way I can make it to the half point by today. So I decided to ride as long as I feel comfortable and avoid the night driving and may be stay in Charlotte, North Carolina which was 300+ miles away.

I made it to the NC, found a motel to sleep for the night. I could have ridden little more in the night as the motorcycle is such a darling to ride to. Its fast, its heavy but stable and just don’t want anyone on its back, just want to runaway…quite like me huh? ;). So stopped early as I wanted to have a good sleep for tomorrow’s loooooong ride some 650+ miles.

Tonight, I shall sleep at home

Got up early in the morning and was ready in few minutes as I knew I had a long way to go today.

Fresh air from the green mountains of Charlotte was magical and I always love the early morning rides. Back on highway and crossed North Carolina in 2 hours. Then I entered the lovely Virginia, lovely scenic highways with no heavy traffic around. I stopped at McDonald for quick bite and top up the tank. As I stopped, nearby I read a board saying ”Virginia is for Lovers” but I read it as ” Virginia is for lovers, what the heck are you doin’ here?”

As I got my burger and drinks and was looking for the place to sit, I saw this old man waving at me I guess asking me to join him. I took the seat next to him at the table. He just wanted to talk to me and I do not know why may be he just saw my motorcycle outside. As he started talking to me about the things, I noticed his deep blue old wrinkled eyes. He was Vietnam veteran and had his own truck business few of which he used to drive all around the country over the years. But now he is old and taken over by his sons. We shared few thoughts about traveling, wanderings and human values and pseudo philosophical shit. I shook his weary and cold hands and bid goodbye. I was happy to put smile on old man’s face.

Outside, it started to rain a little but it felt good after a hot and humid day of ride. I pressed the power ON and was on the highway again.

Crossed beautiful Virginia, entered Washington D.C. This place is damn crowdy and heavy traffic. Later I got struck in the traffic congestion. I was so tired after 4 hours of continuous congestion from D.C to Maryland, Delaware and Jersey. Only the music saved me :) .

Way behind the time and it was around 11:30 pm when I entered Jersey. I again stopped for some time at the rest area and yeah how can I forget, it was bloody raining too. So wasn’t just tired, I was wet and tired and that really sucks. I was shivering like a poor puppy in the rain and it reminded me of the road side dhaba tea that we use to have during the rides back home …ah I miss it! but I had to be content with angrezi coffee.

Midnight 12:30 am now and I am still on the wet and dark roads chasing the trucks and cars, and sky and moon and stars. Finally, reached Jersey City and was on the toll tax booth to pay the toll and this lady from inside the booth, saw my ticket (you get the ticket from where you get on to highway and have to return when you exit based on that they count tax) and was awestruck to see the ticket which says entry point virginia and asked ”You are riding all the way from Virginia??” I said “yes” . “You must be crazy to do that…are you crazy?” I smiled and she again yelled ”Are you crazy?”. But one thing that she didn’t know was that I was riding all the way from Atlanta hehe… anyway I was dead tired after 17 hours of continuous riding 650+ miles in rain and traffic.

Reached home and parked her outside the Garage. I changed the clothes and fell on the bed as a lifeless body.

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head,
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
For then my thoughts, from far where I abide,
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee and for myself no quiet find…


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


First time when I heard it, I knew I am in love with it and I had to get one. So last Sunday I browsed through different music shops on 48th Street but this damn little instrument is rare to find. After I got home, I did some research and found one place in Brooklyn where I can get this.

So today after work, I took the subway to Brooklyn. I got off the subway to the streets of Brooklyn and pulled my blackberry to find the directions while (as usual) music was humming in my ears. I am totally in love with this city! I love to walk the Broadway for miles without caring for anything in this world.

Brooklyn is a little downtown type area crowded with Hispanics, Blacks and Italians. But still its New York ;) and the aura of the place is so great to feel. This music shop where I was heading to, looks like to be in some secluded place. Anyway, after some time, I took left turn to the 5th Avenue and suddenly I felt like someone is following me. I turn a little and see few black teenagers giggling and may be following me. I just ignored them and kept walking. Just few secs after that, someone grabs my neck from behind and brought me down. Before I could realize what is going on, I got some sharp hit on my head. And I was attacked by three teenagers. I punched this guy who was grabbing my neck but someone hit me again on the head from other side. One of them said "Gimme your phone" I said "No way..."

At that moment I thought I love my blackberry more than my life and I got another hit in my head. One of them was holding this steel ball tied with a rope with which he was hitting me. I knocked one guy down and try to run to the other side of the street, but I see that the other side of street is scary area to run to with no one around to see and I thought okay, may be life is more precious. I stopped and they again caught me and snatched my BlackBerry. And before I could realize, the blood was all over my head, shirt and face. There was a black lady and one white lady came running to me for help. I sat on the stairs of the nearby house, holding my head with hand to stop the bleeding. This other black lady was calling 911 and explaining the situation to them. And white lady kept asking me "Oh my god, are you okay?"
"Are you losing consciousness?", "do you feel any dizziness or drowsiness?".

she gave me her old tee to hold my head with. I thanked her. I wasn't feeling much pain though there was lot of bleeding. And moments later NYPD car came in and cops started taking my statement and asking for definition before the ambulance could come.
As I was still sitting on one of the stair case, I heard the ambulance coming and one medic comes out of the van and took the readings (BP etc etc.) I wiped my head with towel that this white lady gave me. I thanked her and black lady who called cops before ambulance took me to the Hospital. I was taken to the doctor and before doctor could treat me, detective squad came in and started bothering with those stupid questions.

I got few shots and six staples on my head. I left the hospital for home but on the way I thought "I came all the way here and suffered all that and I am not going back without getting what I have came here for" So I went up to the shop, bought it and walked to 14th street to catch my train back home. On the way I saw a DVD shop. I was looking for this movie called "Into The Wild" for long time but could'nt find it. So I asked the salesman to find this movie for me. He searched all over and could not find it. Before leaving, I thought let me have one look at the shelves may be I'll find it somewhere in the corner and voila! I found it. And salesman said " Sir, today is your LUCKY day." I said "Well, yes!"

And here I am back into my hole, playing C minor and G major on my Ukulele...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

In this country, there are 999 reasons to not to buy Motorcycle and there is only ONE reason to buy. I think that ONE reason makes more sense to me than all other.

I always loved the feeling of saddling up my steed, forgetting about the world-ly things and leaving for nowhere...

Anyways, there is lot been happening over the time LIKE I fucked up my website, completed three decades on this planet, added more trash into my room and many other countless shit...and I couldn’t find enough time to engage with you, Dear Blog.

So here we go with the details...First of all I was wondering why the hell I fucked up my so called happy Life and left my country?? why? well...I think may be my drifter soul can't stay at one place for long enough...reason being, may be I create so much of negative energy around me that I cannot carry it over. Whatever it is, I had to drift, I had to get lost; which is what I am best doing at and I did it. Later, I realized that happiness or what we call PEACE is not relative to the dimensions or space. Or I can say PEACE is nothing but the AURA that we create around us.

I couldn’t resist drifting and finally after much thought, I bought my ride. It took me sometime to connect with it before I could start enjoying its company. It’s exactly like developing an association and relation with someone before you enjoy each others company. It was really hard to go out and ride. People who ride in this country or specially in the east coast, generally don't ride in winters (Nov-March). I bought some warm liners and kept riding in winters even when the Mercury went down to -16 C.
Whoever use to see me on the road from inside their heated Cars, gives me that pathetic look like they were saying " What a NUTCASE?? " . Well, I don't give a DAMN about it.

The Interstate highways here are as fast as we can imagine and are like death tracks, one small mistake on these highways and you are gone. In a way, I think, lately, I am just being risking my life but then that’s the LIFE over the EDGE...I think it gives you that HIGH you need outta life. It reminds me of my Himalayan ride days when I rode all over the gigantic mountains, deserts and through glaciers for continuous days with no extra gears/help, without any company; where the roads were not proper to ride and live landslides... one wrong move could take your life. And that’s what the REAL fun is... that’s what makes you feel you are alive and makes you realize the worth of life and time.

Every time when I am about to reach home from my ride, My emotional quotient is so HIGH and I make it a point to log this ride and the experience. But all this energy goes neutral the moment I enter into the NEZ* .

Anyways, few days 've been real good fun when I was on the wheels. Summers coming up soon and I am hoping to do it more...make new friends...see more places...kill more time...

I think if I write more, I'll just heap up more SHIT...

Try to get lost...

* Negative Energy Zone

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ulysses: What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy?
Tommy: Well, he taught me to play this guitar real good.
Delmar: Oh son, for that you sold your everlastin' soul?
Tommy: Well, I wasn't usin' it

- O Brother Where Art Thou

Tuesday, January 29, 2008