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"