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July 23, 2017

Planning Ladakh Road Trip: Begin your practice here

Anyone who has been reading the blog does know about my passion for biking. Happen to take a long tour and then short ones to pump up myself.

Like any bike rider, the ultimate road trip challenge is to do a Leh Ladakh road trip. To be able to conquer it is nothing short of an accomplishment that stays with one for a lifetime.

I am no different and I have been thinking, making plans about it for two years now. I almost came to pull off the trip this time but had to forgo because of other commitments. Next year, its surely on the cards.

However, if you are like me feeling that you are missing out in the action. Worry not, we have alternative that will give you the same experience of a Ladakh ride minus the high altitude and beautiful scenery.

One does not have to go anywhere far. Wait for the rains to come in and one can see Bombay turn up into a practice ground for your trip to Ladakh.

You will see potholes that will test you to the tee in the traffic. Water through which you will have to make your way through as you move ahead. Except that its not fresh water but includes rain water with the mix of drainage water.

Traveling through the Bombay roads during these rains will surely make realize what you will need in the tough terrain.

I stopped taking out my bike in the rains this year given parking issues. However when I did the roads did not disappoint.

If you are like me missed on going to the highest altitude region this year, make do with the roads of Bombay which probably can off far more challenges than Ladakh can in the rains.

Here is a glimpse below.


July 8, 2017

Old People


I am reminded of an image of me running away from my grandmother. My grandmother was not keeping well and mom had brought her home to take care of her. Within a few days she had passed away.

She was the last one of my family that I recollect was the oldest among our family. Post that I have met old people among my relatives but hardly any time spent with them.

However a year back, all this changed as I interacted with more of people from older generations, some who were born before India had got its Independence.

I have met almost all kind of people, some who would be open to you, some cranky and then there are people who would like to create a fuss every time so that one pays attention to them.

Its not wrong to say that old age is another form of childhood in itself. I have seen that happen. One thing they like to do is either talk a lot or keep quiet. The one who keeps talking reflects the loneliness that has come up on them. With them, time could just pass by.

There are people who take stock of the situation and handle it pretty well like an adult. Then there are some who are just waiting for their time to come.

I never had grandparents or older people to talk to. When I interact with them, its quite a learning and yes good too as they have the experience that you and I don't. Sometimes I would fail to understand why people would like their parents to live alone on their own while they live with their own family abroad. Old age is an age when a child needs to take care of their parents like they did when we were child. Not everyone does that.

I hope everyone of us is able to take the time out to interact with them, make them feel alive as one knows the clock is ticking. One will never know when you lost your chance. Time is precious.

As a old lady gave a parting shot to me. I was born in Karachi, because of which my family calls me a terrorist. :)

June 26, 2017

Daman


Every time an outing is planned with friends, it somewhat goes like it happens in the above video. I can vouch that at some point of time each of us might have experienced it at least once or more.

It so happened that I was talking to my friend on the phone and that we need to go out for a outing. My friend spontaneously came up on the idea of going to Lonavala. He called up another friend, hooked him up on concall. He also said yes. Now we needed a driver for the car so called up another friend and he too agreed. 

The energy for the trip got build up as we were going on the same weekend. I was excited that in such a short moment we ended up planning an outing that was crazy.

The D-day came and I was all set to go. When I called up my friend for the meeting point, he said the plan is cancelled as he was down with dysentery. Nothing got me more mad than this as we were taking his car and without him the trip had to be cancelled.

We ended up making another plan which again got delayed by two months and then we ended up in Daman instead of Lonavala. Why, you ask. Well, we never had been there before.

The irony of this trip was that it also almost got cancelled. My friend kept pushing the dates and we never did any booking of our transport or hotels. When the D-day came near, we ended up booking our train tickets and hotel booking just one day prior our departure. 

We were supposed to reach Vapi at around 1:30am in the midnight but ended up reaching at around 3am thanks to the heavy downpour of rains. We hailed a Ambassador car taxi that dropped us at our hotel.

I thought I would catch up on my sleep but my friends wont let me. After all they were out of Bombay and now they can do what they do best and that was drink. 

Later on we ended up going to the beach on the early morning. Since our hotel was beside the Devka beach, we went over there but soon realized that it was not that clean kind of beach like in Goa. We decided to embrark towards Jampore beach by taking an auto rickshaw.

When we reached the beach, the water was nowhere to be seen. It was drizzling and being alone in the beach on an early morning had just made our day. 

We ended up walking quite a distance to find water so that we can drown ourselves but it certainly took a beating out of us. We also had a group of dogs that followed us. Finally when we could see the water, it was all muddy and yellow. Not the kind of water I would like to get myself dirty with. On our way back, we made halt at a shack for our morning breakfast.

There were no auto rickshaw and we decided to walk a little. With the little walk, we ended up walking at least half the distance to our hotel as there were no buses & auto rickshaw to take us back to our hotel. We also had a doggy who joined us in our dandi march.

We finally managed to get an auto rickshaw and had to bid goodbye to the dog which came along with us from the beach. Back at the hotel we had a proper breakfast and then went on to catch up on our sleep.

In the evening we visited the Moti Daman fort and the beach alongside it which was better than the Devka beach least to say. The Motil Daman holds all the government offices inside it. We also saw Cathedral of Bome Jesu. We then decided to retire for the day.

The next day we went to Nani Daman fort and then to the jetty wherein we tried to capture the beauty of this place. We then headed back to Vapi to get on our train to Bombay.

I was little disappointed by Daman from what I had heard about it. Especially the beaches, they are not that clean. What the point of living near a beach if you cannot go in the waters of it. All and all the tourist places can easily be covered within a day. It can be said that its a paradise for those who love their drinks, wont even call it a mini goa.

We did though had our fun and ended up checking off this place from our list.