An Evening

This was a hot but lovely evening and I happened to be at India Gate, New Delhi. India Gate happens to be surrounded by lawns and people come there and look at the majestic figure of war, struggle, freedom,  sacrifice which India of course is.

On this evening, I did the same and instagramed about it as well earlier

Running hawkers

I saw some hawkers running with their material while looking behind occasionally as if somebody was following them. Some of them even entered into the water body and hid their wares in water. Looking at them, it certainly became a matter of amusement and I could not help it but ask.

It turned out local municipal corporation people were confiscating their stuff so that they could not sell it there as they were not allowed to use the site for the purpose. These were the people who made their living by doing these odd jobs and selling food, snacks & knick knack at this kind of busy places.

Indeed they were doing it illegally but authorities were not giving a solution but mere a scare. One of hawker shared,”looks like their salaries are delayed and they want some money, as usual”

Life just took a deep sigh and moved on.

taken : 55fiction

55 Fiction. One example of drabble is 55 Fiction, which is a form of micro-fiction that refers to the works of fiction that are either limited to a maximum of 55 words or have a requirement of exactly 55 words.

Their eyes met.

He almost murmured hesitantly,”is this seat taken?”

“I hope not” She replied smiling . To start a conversation which went on …

 

Bus Memoire – Inception

This is series I am starting to write about my travel by bus which I thought for a many times why not “bas” ( “bas” in hindi mean, enough)

Travelling with one compulsion that is mode of transport i.e. Flight, Train, Bus, Car, Motorbike, Cycle and variants of these. Today, we have technology to support ( or break?) us in almost every possible realm of life and travel is of course not one untouched by it. We have different modes of transport at different stages of travel and it is pretty convenient in most of situation compared to, say, 50years back.

Do you like it? Of course you would probably like the part where because of these fasters, convenient and comfortable transport people are able to travel so much ( allegedly Mrs. Hilary Clinton flew so much) and then somebody else broke her record too  ( obviously John Kerry had to do it ), by the way do you notice then both have lost their bid for presidency ? coincidence , eh? Anyway!

What I meant was, do you like these mode of transport or given a chance to undo all this and bring back those chariots and horses , you would press the button? Do you like that feeling of travelling for days and nights together and more to reach somewhere and again days and nights together for next leg of your journey, like good old fashioned ways or you want it to be jet set age? Where journey is reduced to ordeal of booking a tickets after long research and deliberations, airport checkins, drinking, sleeping & watching some movie which have possibly already watch!

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Travel, Do we need more speed?!

Coming to the title, bus journey feels like most widely available & used mode of transport, however I don’t like them as such for various reasons those are mostly related to being 186 cms tall, sense of smells  and living in a developing country. The ordeal of sitting in the uncomfortably designed seat just for me has not been really inviting you know, specially if the journey is for more then 12 hours.

Not with stating my reservations or rather forced to, I travelled a lot in buses. I, now hear  about exotic bus routes around the world and some of them are inviting, some others reminds me of my own journeys back then.

Some of the famous bus rides wraps around cities like London, Paris, NewYork City, Buenos Aires, Edinburg, Dubai, Bangkok, Rome, Sydney, Barcelona covering these respective country’s landscape and there are some city tours like Beijing, Moscow. Tallinn, Stockholm, Budapest etc. which tells more about the cities, architeture  and local culture. Hope to feel elated one day on a bus journey, that it.

Pizza & Backpackers!

How scared are you of being penniless?  how important is money for you as a traveller? Now a days web is ripe with stories of people who claim that “money is not necessary for travelling but the will power to do so” Do you think so? If one travels without money, how do you pay your meals? ( forget about flights) Don’t you have to think twice or hundred times to how would you go from point A to point B because only comfortable and convenient way is expensive? or is it okay to be dependent of mercy of people? What would you think of somebody doing the same? beggar? That’s not so nice I guess!!

In conversation with another backpacker it came out that he was being served a free pizza by known cafe of us and for some reason and he was damn happy about it. He could not stop grinning and I asked, him being a european, it was just a pizza! what’s the big deal man? And he came out emotionally, “You don’t know value of a free pizza for a backpacker of 1.5years”.

Intrigued, I was all ears and he obliged telling me, it is not as it looks like for every person from EU, in fact in many ways this is good time to be in South East Asia at large and India in particular. Cost of living, ratio of quality of life to cost of living, quality of people, society, food. Top of that who does not like a free pizza. 🙂 He kept going on and on for some time. We moved on after that ….

But the thought stuck to my mind and I come out here to ask you, what do you think?!

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Delicious Pie I had at friends place in Finland, awesome people made a cheese pie along manny other for me!!

#Me & #Manali – 2

Transit is way of life – a permanent one

Last time I wrote about Manali it actually wanted to write about Laddakh & Leh. Thinking about Manali makes me emotional I guess. Last time I went to Manali was for Cycling with in Manali and Manali was the base camp, however this time it was just transit, I had to reach Leh for another cycling expedition and I stayed in Manali for less then 24 hours.

The time one spends on #the #MALLROAD can give you an experience in itself and lessons as well. Talking about Mall Road, it has become fashionable name as most famous hill station has a Mall Road of their own. The trend originally started in Shimla and due to popularity of the road other towns in Himalayan region got one main road with same name.

During those hours, by the way hawkers approached tourist, I realised few things like:

Indian Men need “Shilajit” or Desi version of viagra

Indian Men definitely need this thing if they are with a girl roaming about Mall Road

Everybody must eat & shop

Consistent pestering of hawkers can be as irritating & tiring as dogs are for monkeys.

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Mall Road on a Rainy Day|Picture Courtesy: TripAdvisor

Passing time and observing around I happen to encounter couple of people playing musical instruments on road (which is not allow anymore for reasons best understood by Manali Police). Music was amazing and I stood there listening to them and in some time crowd gathered for the same. They kept playing & people kept listening peacefully. That was one of most peaceful road concert I have ever been part of.

I had made a mistake however which was to eat a sumptuous dinner and I was unaware to how was it a mistake till I boarded the mini bus that night round 2am for Leh. I threw each and every drop/morsel of fluid I might have had in my stomach in next few hours.

This visit made me see Manali I did not see last time, The one which tourist see as introduction, the one which makes you eat “softy” & buy “Shilajeet”. The one which is like  a mini carnival with all the colors scattered around. The one which is selling itself to survive that season. The one which sees much more Indian crowd then otherwise.

I bade my good bye for this one that night…. and boarded the bus for Leh.

Visual Delight

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#Brigde #rustic #himalayas #mountain #cycling #light #love #life #BRO #Laddakh #India #GoExtraordinary! @royalcaribbeanuk

#Me & #Manali – Inception

This post started as “#ME & #Laddakh” but developed itself rather like “#ME & #Manali” and I had to change the title as well

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It can never have a perfect start or end or enough of words when I write of #Laddakh because everything fall short for the #Laddakh. I run out of all tangible thing as I am flooded with………..this post would continue later…for now please keep on reading about #Manali

It started long back when I visited first ever time to Manali and when you are in #Manali you see every day some of groups leaving for Leh and some of them coming back. People talking about which mountain pass is open or not. There are road signs indicating just that. Whole atmosphere is like a transit camp, which is full of life and anticipation. Like any other transit camps, there are  unofficially defined zones for everything. Everything one might want to do to have fun and enjoyment, cafes, hostels, smoke zones, #hash-zones , grass/weed zones, some might like to argue that whole Manali is that only however it is largely divided in terms of type of people populating and hanging about that place e.g. Old Manali is den of foreign nationals and famously second home to Israeli people who come after their military service.

But I did not see any of it.

When I first visited #Manali, it was through the eyes of a cycling expedition and my exposure to real #Manali was as limited as it could be, however, I felt I needed to come back. As Soon As Possible.

First time ever, I was cycling in #Manali and visited all the places one supposed to be visited like #Hidimba Temple, #Manu Temple, #Vashishth #HotSpring, #Naggar Castle etc. and the highlight of whole time was not these place but the routes to go there which we covered by cycling.

Every day was marked with scenic beauty of #pine and air filled with fragrance of mountain flora and fauna. Body filled with strain of #cycling and #heart filled with #joy. It was a different experience and I did not know about it. I did not know I was not looking at Manali with a tourist point of view but a cyclist view.

In later years, I went Manali for different purposes and got chance explore the place from different angles and god it was fun every way I tried but most of all it was a relief from summer heat of northern Indian plains in lap of #Himalayas. While one can feel the transit every day. Transit because #Leh felt like home later and by road Manali to Leh highway is the one of three way to reach Leh.

Manali became and hopefully be my favourite transit camp. More about Manali some other day!

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.

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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?

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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