About mrigankdubey

I am a wanderer who manage to read, write among other things to live.

Let’s Fly…..!

IMG_4638

This picture had been taken at village Tedagaon near Jim Corbett National Tiger Reserve, India while I was cycling there with a group of amateur cycling enthusiasts, the things on the branches are Not leaves but parakeets which are common in this region.

Advertisements

World on Two Wheels!

Do you look for inspiration or for excuses? Because you will find whatever you look for.

Life would have been deprived of stories and experiences for this couple who met me during their journey towards their Home, that is, New Zealand. I hope you would guys would like to meet this inspiration couple and fabulous human beings who goes by names Don Abbey and Robyn Abbey.

This story has drama, anxiety, exasperation, danger, bravery, uncertainty, compassion, kindness, dedication & love to say the least.This is a story of a couple in their golden years cycling across the continents from England to New Zealand via EU, Turkey, Iran, UAE, India, Thailand to name a few. Goodbye_New_Zealand

Their courage for taking this adventure is commendable and inspiration as the pictures they have share on their blog  which will guide you through their journey, a long one. In case you get a chance to talk to them, they will tell you their life stories as well which are really great.

 P1030155

These two pictures tell their stories in many ways I think if you care to observe. You can read more about them on their blog.

Thank you Robyn & Don for being wonderful people you are!

P.S. : Picture Courtesy Robyn & Don Abbey

Jungle, People, Escape & Tamasha 

You might be wondering what kind of title is that! Well, its some what as incoherent as my thoughts are but don’t worry I would try to make these edible for you but in case I fail to manage ( not that I passed in that earlier post!!) please  cut me some slack and read it anyway. So coming to the main theme….

I have spent last few weeks in Himalayan foothills, cycling in and around Jim Corbett National Tiger Reserve along with couple of hundred more people while helping them out with various knick knacks of mountain biking and jungle as and when required and was fortunate enough to have a direct or indirect conversation with some of these people.

IMG_4764

During these conversations interesting phenomena came out. Many were behaving totally differently then they do in their regular lives. Notable point here is almost all the people were practically strangers to each other or most of others in this gathering of wanna be off road cyclists and they had an opportunity to portray themselves whatever way they would like and no body would know in their regular lives about it.

Whatever happens in jungle stays in jungle

People tried to engage in conversations at their will and possibly argued/ talked in more free way then they would do compared to their regular settings.

They cracked jokes, exchanged pleasantries, ate, slept, cycled, laughed, cried , loved, be loved, roamed, practically Lived their lives more as they wanted to and less as they were supposed to.

It felt like they were living an alternate reality , an alternate life.

An Escapade!

Not very long back there was a hindi movie released on similar theme with the title Tamasha, featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone as lead pair. Just it was taken more towards a happy ending where patrogonist is sucrssfully able to breakfree from his life and covert his alternate reality into the main stream reality with the help of his lady love. Cherry on the cake was everybody ( family, friend and other not so insignificant people in his life) understood his actions snd approved in one way or another. What did you say?! Unimaginable in real life? Ofcourse why do you think its called reel life?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

However lets hope everybody is able to live their alternate reality daily at least in bits and pieces to keep their mind sane and heart from exploding!

P.S. : The observations and thoughts completely belong to the author and are completely made up and has no gaurantee of being real/ facts whatsoever. People in the mentioned gathering ……..oh one minute? Which gathering?

P.P.S : Picture Courtesy : Cycles : Nitin, Riders : Shanil, Rest : Mrigank

Me, Cycle & Tiger Reserve

It is interesting to see sometimes that how much difference is there in perception & reality. With each passing day and people a mole becomes a mountain and then wise people make a saying on that. We, as human race, seems to be self obsessed specie. Are n’t we?

So I have searched and read about Jim Corbett National Tiger Reserve many times ( in hope to just pick my bag and leave for the place ). I heard a lot about it from travellers, friends & traveller friends which led to some sort of imagery in my mind about the place. Indian film industry popularly known as Bollywood also fed some dramatics in my already hyper dramatic mind ( no, it is not my assumption but I have been informed by lovely people around me about the same, I just embraced it with fervour , coming back to main theme), so you get the picture, don’t you?

IMG_4703

The Jungle

This is what this jungle offers you when there nothing else to offer which include picturesque sights, Tiger, Leopard, Elephant Tuskers and other wild animal species & a lot of wait if you are just interested in Tiger as King is not easy to spot. In our case it was more interesting case as we wanted to spot Tiger before he spots us as we were riding our cycles in this jungles and just in case Tiger spot is first and make up his mind to have a quick snack, we did not stand any chance, in theory at least.

IMG_4642

Tiger Pug Mark, Wrist Watch & Tyre Marks

I spent almost 15 days in the jungle and cycling in and around the region and it was meditation for me as I was doing two of my favourite things together that is being in jungle and cycling.

Every day was filled with anticipation of danger and thrill of spotting wildlife.

The moment when you are taking a leak in jungle and hoping that any wild life wont prefer this time to meet you in person.

Looking at pass by safari jeeps as they watch us in horrid expressions and extra open eyes riding out cycles.

Getting cycle puncture in the middle of jungle and fixing it on the spot anxiously.

Appreciating the life every moment as it can be your last moment any time.

Crossing water streams riding on cycle.

Eating at river bank and drinking fresh water after lunch.

Looking at Sun Rise & Sun Set from different angle every day.

Spotting flora and fauna and learning new things about them.

Camp Fire and fun at night.

I can keep writing like this and this post would never end.

Thank You Jim Corbett National Park for a wonderful time.

IMG_4477.JPG

Sunset

Sun Light

Bright sun light, treading on harsher side but if you manage to look away in another direction while this sun light is falling on your skin, it make you feel better specially in winters like this, ok, only in winters like this or colder.


Beaches are famous for taking sun in and in EU, Americas and Australia its necessesiry to take sun while southeast asia its not much in fashion owing to availabliyy of sun round the year

What exactly do you feel when you do that? Taking Sun.

Do you feel sun light reaching in your body by penetrating in your skin pours?

As in you want to travel the world reaching to every nook and corner, noting and nowhere should be left virgin.

Is it continuous process? Like taking time off forever and keep travelling like a nomad.

or it like batch process? Like taking vacation every year for few months and ticking off one, two or more countries.

There are some people who follow a rule for their travelling, go to same destination every year. Is it like tanning only one’s arse and leaving behind whole rest of body because you like tanning your arse most ( not that you have tried any other part)

Share Sun is what we do, not that we have a choice. Hope we share mother earth’s love similarly, without hurting her so much.

Cow Tourism?

This kind of scenarios are now becoming fewer day by day in India, where still majority population lives in villages and small towns. The beauty of country side has been changing with times and urbanisation has spread its wings wider then ever.

This beautiful scene used to be part of daily lives which I cant remember when I spotted it latest before. Hope people realise progress does mean to kill local inhabitant and traditional economy but to proper with inclusive growth.

Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi is trying to make the economy work and his right wing party and other associated groups are making bru-ha-ha over trivial issue including beef at the same time, cows are loosing their numbers to plastic, malnourishment and other related issues. Time will tell what actually happens though for now we can contributing in cow tourism.  We will be able to help them I hope.

This town, located in Rajasthan, has a lot to offer for a person who is willing to go places off the tourist map and willing to experience the life beyond. You can witness dravidian style temple without going to Southern India,  Can make cow dung cake yourself, Can feed a cow, Can be fed by cow milk, making huts in ancient Indian Style, making food in ancient Indian style are few of them, Let me know if you like to do.

Jyväskylä – A Quaint Little, Superb, Town

When you are thrown a question like what time do you like most in your lifetime?

Generally people remember moments and not the whole period because every period holds something special, when we go through our time we realise we have left our pug- marks every where. We as an individual might not be significant for world to know, we might not have long fan following or beat it, we might have really closed attitude towards our surrounding but, as usual this “but” always comes I guess, so but,

these lesser known individuals are what make this world what it is.

Ain’t they? Similarly this lesser known town of Finland where not every body goes but sometimes might pass by on their way to Northern Finland (for watching Northern Lights) carries a history, a geography and last but not least ( though surprisingly for a Finland country – side town) social science.

DSCN1083

History

Did you think I am going to tell you about the history of the city? oh c’mon certainly not, that job is very well done by the 4 museums and couple of art galleries those are prominent feature of city and can be reach by walking around the town, it is pleasure walking around the town marked with so many lakes, you cant count by going around as you never know when one started and other went by on your other side. If you are done with the museums then comes the Railways Station which looks like an old patriarch waiting for your to come and get blessings.

DSCN1163

Character

When you land by air at Jyvaskyla airport, you would be lucky if you see more then 15 people including flight crew and airport staff. So if you are looking to spend a quite time away from any noise this place might only be beaten by “The Outer Space”. A twenty mins drive to city lends you in heart of the city and you can book or pre book any kind of stay which ranges from luxury hotel to hostels. People, if at all you spot them on roads, are reserved but friendly. You start to feel the character of the city right there, when its architecture which is more prominent than number of people, Finland’s majority population lives in the capital Helsinki and rest of the country is sparsely populated, red brick buildings which line the main market which is just big enough to make you feel this place is habitable and you are still not in tundra apart from catering to local social needs. Most public places and restaurant are decorated with bright colour to fend of gloomy feel which natives feel due to really long winters which last 7 – 9 months of a year.

DSCN1195

Feel 

After spending couple of days which is enough to make you feel quite, relaxed and peaceful, you start to get a grip on the city pulse which tells you ain’t ready yet, as you need to go around the city, spend some time by lakes or may be any art gallery, eat your heart out, specially if you are fish lover as the city is home to numerous fresh water lakes those are home to number of fishes, big or small. If you are lucky you might get a invite to a local party where youngster throng the place, new relations blossoms and some get new meanings. This will be a golden chance to make local friends and feel the city pulse more alive.

DSCN1271

Rhythm  

Jyvaskyla, makes you fall in love with her, not instantly but this is the love which matures with days you spend there and reach its peak when you are about to leave. Having experienced this city, you feel the rhythm of yourself as you are most near to yourself, your own thoughts, your own soul. City gives you enough space to live and never burdens your senses with anything which you have sensed in any other big cities. It does not need a reason to go to Jyvaskyla as you would never have one beside just being. So just be….

DSCN1172

Triund – Which was not to be just Triund!!

I found myself, when I got lost!!

IMG_6698

Yes, thats how it works for me. As usual I heard a lot about this hill top a lot and was inform it is an easy trek for a person with okayish fitness. I did not read much about this place, just started from my place out of no plan whatsoever. There has been a nagging thought of feeling guilty of not doing it despite of having the place so near by from Delhi. Little did I know, what was waiting for me there, in woods, few kilometres away from main/standard route for trek.

This post has been published & featured by

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 8.01.15 PM

I started off like without any mind to go Triund, I have this habit of choosing the place after I reach ISBT, Kashmere Gate, Delhi. I did the same this time too, earlier I have done this many times and have written about it one of them so far here. It happened to be one of the most amazing experience till then. I digress.

Coming back to this journey which later on turned out to be “not to Triund” but a different place and Triund became the side kick, I guess. The moment We ( Yes, this trip was done with one more friend ) started for the trek in morning, we met a shady fellow, right infront of the HRTC office in Mcloedgunj, We had time our side and wanted to see, what kind “great” deal he was giving us. He identified himself as John and promised to cover the trek in 2500bucks which included coming and going. All the expenses on the way were to be made by me. Well, I laughed with guy and promised to come back in some time after taking a breakfast which was not to be.

I had been informed by a friend about an alternate trail to hilltop which meet the standard trail half way but promised to be better in term scenic, difficulty level and overall experience. I took this advice and shot off to Upper Bhagsu where I was supposed to meet a local uncle who turned out to be nice experience again, but more on that later. I reached upper Bhagsu and met Uncle who indicated with his index fingure towards some huts and some poles in jungle, while identifying the trail. I started from there around 9:30am. I was about have one of the greatest experience of my life and I did not even know it.

I climbed up few stairs going into the jungle and looked for the “Said” trail and Voila! I found one. We started trekking in the mountain jungle enjoying every bit of it and hoping to find the main/standard trail to Triund in an hour and half at maximum. There were many time when there was no trail and we had to make diliberate attempt to find one. None the less we kept ont he mission and with 15 mins in hands, realisation dawned on me, we were still far from the mile stone ( sort of ), actually farther then we started and there was no way going in correct direction, no map, no network, little food & some water and one amateur first time trekker who was already getting tired & irritated, eventually soon going to hopefull ( if at all she knew, what was happening) , I was being reminded that about her being first time trekker already ( ahh, clear sign of fatigue and growing impatience )

I felt nice, rejuvenating and little unsure of what next I should do. Don’t get me wrong, nice and rejuvenating because of the excursion and sense that I was heading towards a place nobody goes ( whoaa), unsure for the company I had with me. I decided to go further on the current trail and what were we upto as we had plenty of time in hand ( it was only 1200 noon), I later realised we were continuously trekking a medium trek for 2 and half hour and thats good a new comer. It had to be. We continued, now after some time fellow trekker suspected me to be upto something as she too knew we should have reached the main trail by now.

She put her foot down and asked, I said the truth.

Disappointment hovered over her face but we agreed to go further and see if there is any chance of meeting main trail on this route, which we both knew had very thin probability. Not surrendering to this not to nice feeling of mutual disappointment, I focused in getting further in the trail and by 1:30pm, I knew why I was coming all the way here, to this place, where no body goes. We found a great cliff which had kind of pyramid made there by hundreds of stones. This cliff was directly overlooking the BHAGSU water fall, I shouted and called my friend to come there but she in her momentum had gone further on the trail. I thrown my backpack weighing 25kgs to gain speed and rain towards her. I got to her with in few minutes and lead her back to place I had found. Great!!

IMG_3681We sat there and had some thing to drink and eat enjoyed the view as much as we can. Out of the blues, I thought of checking the map on mobile phone and to my surprise I saw network, which In turned show us a arbitrary path to the hill top. We started again and went further for 20 mins more and I realised weather was changing its colors now, it was become shady, shadowy, misty and with mood of the my friend also following same trajectory, we decided to return for the day, to my own dismissal of self enthusiasm. Hence we start to descend toward to origin, with in an hour we reached the starting point though returning route was far more difficult and covered with dense bushes and a dead snake.

Version 2We decided to start again next day and stay with the local uncle who was as surprised to know we got lost as I was relieved to know the same. We spent the night with our host uncle who shown us great hospitality and we truly thankful for that gesture. It was great night as we slept like dead and woke up fresh like dew. We met few wonderful other member of uncle’s family and had sumptuous breakfast with them which ended with a photo session.

Today, we had to reach Triund and there was no scope for getting lost, I knew somehow we will be there tonight.

We started with same point with a slight different strategy, my friend was entrusted with job of seeker. She was supposed to find the trial, she resisted it little bit but I had decided in my mind. We choose different trail to begin with and I kept following her for next an hour or so which again led me to denser mountain forest then we saw yesterday but I had gut feeling we were heading to right way. This trail was far more arduous and steep but we had our spirits high like we knew we were on right path.

In further few more minutes, we were almost hanging by a mountain wall with the help of grass, yes you heard it right, grass. My friend started loosing hopes second time in this trek, now by this time, I took the lead and asked here stay put where we were. I went further to find a hut and asked her to come along. I went into the hut and met a a monk to my pleasant surprise. I wanted to know if we had come wrong but I wanted to hear we had come right way. I wished the young old man and explain what I was looking for, he assured me about the path and told me it was most steep trial toward main trail there were others too, which we could see on the adjacent mountains where clear view of stares chided our faces.

The monk lead the path now, to guide us as he was sure we could not find due to high grass density in that area, my friend was already scared to her wits, I asked her to be in between me and the monk which she refused, as monk was climbing at a speed which was unmatchable for her. I asked to to follow as close as she could and I followed the monk in next 15 minutes we reach a point where monk shown me cement poles and barbed wires and way to go to them. We were hanging with a wall inclined at almost 60 – 70 degrees, and my friend literally sticking herself like a lizard to the wall.I could not stop laughing.

I thanked the monk several times as without his help we could loose our will, patience & resolve to reach. We could have lost this war but it was not to be. I asked my friend to follow the trail to barbed wire which she refused at once as in her opinion, there was no barbed wires and no trail and I was hallucinating. Aha!! that moment.

Not to have a choice, I again took a lead and reach to the main trail, I felt I reached Triund. These last few meters proven to be most exciting during the whole journey.

We thrown our backpacks first time in that day and lied down on the main trial where many passer by looked at us ( lesser ones, as we were already almost done for the day). After resting for awhile and getting our dose for liquids and solids, we started to walks towards Triund, which was feeling to be a walk on nice paved roads now. We met an elderly Israel couple who has sailed half the world and exchanged notes with them wished them good luck. On the main trek trial, last couple kilometres are most arduous. We did them at leisurely pace as we were camping at Triund that night and hill top was already foggy. We hired a tent and after strolling around for some time and having the dinner. The view was breath taking again and it was spiritual experience to be there and breath in all the stars and cosmos.

Next morning was rather spectacular, as we waited for sunrise, taking pictures, looking all the colors around us and looking at the people around us. We started descending after some time and reached Mcloedgunj by early morning and bought our tickets  back to Delhi. Needless to say, we were hungry, We chose a restaurant at random and it was treat to go in and have breakfast there. Food was beyond delicious, chef herself came to us and asked if we wanted to say something or suggest. It was delightful moment.

It was leisure time and we went to the same restaurant where we had great dinner first time in Mcloedgunj. We got our dinner packed from there and barded the HIMSUTA bus thereafter to reach Delhi next morning.

IMG_6892It was an experience where I made a easy trek into a difficult one and God! I loved it.

This post was originally published by me on Tripoto.

When I thought of being with colour Yellow – 3

I have been little, okay damn lazy for updating this pace, however there you go with third and last installation of my date with Amritsar.

I felt “hypnotisingly” happy, if Queen allow this word, the moment I set my eyes on the dome of the temple. It’s colour, Golden, mesmerised me and I sat down at a spot to just watch it for some time. It was peaceful. After marvelling on beauty of the place for some time which I did not realised became 2 hours or so. I decided to go and have a talk with the holy seat.

Taking a bath right before the teté a teté with the Primal Seat in the Gurudwara Sarovar was great experience which made me awakened me from a trance. I went right in front of Sahib and spent some time.

When I came to my senses, Sun was already on its way to glory and my stomach started asking for the day’s installament. I headed out towards lane of the eatery right outside the gurudwara and quenched my need with a Patiala style glass of Lassi which is great Indian yogurt based sweet drink.

During the Lassi time, It was a great conversation time with the guy who managed that place. I came to know how much this place was inportant for local economy as well. Tourist viait thia place from every part od the globe and they some try his Lassi. His generations had been doing it and how it was honour to be in vicinity of the Holy Seat.

I took leave from him and went to Jallianwala Bagh which has a tragic history. Spent some time there breathing in the history,one can watch informative movie administration showcase there and get to know details of the place and event took place there.

Then on it was time for some dramatics filled with Nationalism, Yes, I am talking about the daily ritual at Vagha Border Post, where one of the most thrilling event happens as closing ceremony of the Border Gates between India & Pakistan.

I reached there oblivious to the fact that the place get full of people in no time and its difficult to get a good seat if you are little early for the ceremony. Nonetheless I knew how to make my way in that crowd as usual and I got to watch whole ceremony with a weird feel good sense.

The whole ceremony portrayed many aspect of both of the sides including rivalry, common history, recent conflicts etc. Both the sides want to outmatch each other in the way they perform the ceremony.

IMG00066

Ceremony @ Vagha Border

Ceremony @ Vagha Border

It took me few good ten minutes to recover from the euphoria I was engulfed in by the whole ceremony and to realise my date with Amritsar was coming to an end and I needed to head back to Delhi. I took same PunBus state service which safely transported me back to daily life from an usual day filled with spiritualism, nationalism, history, cuisines and what not. Memory worth archived. Thank you Amritsar.

A City of Smells – Kolkata

Yes, you read it right but there is nothing to be judgemental about it trust me on that, every city has fair share of smells but so far in my wandering tales, Kolkata triumphs them all. I have been to few cities by now and one of them, Mumbai tops the TNT magazine list of smelliest city and ranks seventh in GQ list of smelliest city though I would think these guys probably missed Kolkata in their search.

Being smelly is one thing but is it for good or bad that arguable topic among masses. I would rather not get there but let see how Kolkata become stinky city for me. What, do I have a story, well I have many stories but here I would put a summary which won’t take long of your time.

The moment you are entering Kolkata by any means that Jal ( Water), Thal ( Earth) or Nabh ( Air) you smell it off ( Ok, technically little later when entering by Air ) a distinct smell of crap welcomes you ( however it is true for many other big cities in India) but dont be afraid this is just the starting. You get down by bus/ train station platforms are decked with fruits stalls, eatable and you catch whiff of all the delicacies you possibly won’t indulge in due to hygiene issues.

All the picture is not dark though try entering any eatery and aroma of food served on other table will catch your imagination. There are many gardens in the city which will be good visit and of course will serve the purpose of nice fragrance.

Local Vegetable Market!

After getting this grand welcome you have already planned to roamed around all over the cities and probably suburbs as well. If you are a budget traveller and decide to take local trains to commute with in the city you are in for battle of smells. Every station ( well, I have not checked all of them but most of them I have been personally ) has fish/chicken market right before the entrance. Every body knows how fish smells, enter the train and due to being a humid city all the people including your self will be shedding gallons of sweat. Ah again, smell.

Whatever kind of smell you encounter during your stay, pleasant or unpelasant, at the end of the day it won’t matter, as you would breathing in Kolkata  and exhaling it out too. This smell of being Kolkata is amazing and unforgettable which you make a joyous and in the city of joy. You would certainly think of coming back to Kolkata.