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.

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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

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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

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?

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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.

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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.

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Sunset

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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….

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When I thought of being with Colour Yellow! -2

You read so far …. I had started from my base from an unknown journey which later became journey to Amritsar, India.

To know how did it happened..Click here

I felt at ease with that noise, wheels rolled on the road of New Delhi leading bus towards outskirts of the city and started to look out to get be busy in not looking unpleasant interiors of the bus. Alas! there was nothing but a lot more unpleasant looking automobile. I tried to find if fellow passenger was interested in killing that time by a conversation and found he indeed was.

This fellow was a sales person with one of leading tyre manufacturer in India and was rather sure about tough life and sales people and sarcastic about easy life of all others. He also proved about India is highly political country and women does not has any right to do anything as they would like to apart from choose which brand of the spice should be used in food they are cooking. Period.

Training my mind in isolation and I started thinking to my self about what would be the morning like. I did not do any so-called home work for Amritsar and just knew couple of name to visit. Apart from the Golden Temple itself. I decided to leave it to morning and doze off my self.

Voice of auto rickshaw drivers, news paper hawkers wake me up in morning to beauty of the City of Golden Temple. Vary of auto drivers, I checked with fellow passenger about distance between Bus Stop and the temple which turned out to be  half of a kilo meter which is walkable for me. I rejoiced in mind for saving money on local transport. I picked up my duffel bag and de-boarded. Walking towards the temple I begin to feel what it is to be in Amritsar.

The atmosphere feel little different here, a lot of turban adorning men & women all around you announce the city culture and its majority population both. I had heard about the Punjabi City a lot along with Punjabi antics like size of the glass in which you get served beverages like lassi etc. and wanted to see by myself. Looking around my eyes were searching for famous food joints ( I am a foodie and can eat at any hour of the day & night) but being early morning every body was minding their own business and being ready for the day to come. Wandering like this I reached to the Golden Temple.

To know what happened next, keep reading!

When I thought of being with Colour Yellow!

It happened that night.

when I decide to go to Maharana Pratap Inter State Bus Terminal, Kashmiri Gate, New Delhi (ISBT) and head to somewhere, not sure of where it will lead me.It is therapeutic to do it this way. Started from my base in outskirts of Delhi – NCT ( National Capital Territory) which took me handsome one and half hour to reach bus terminal by 10 I think. Travelling by Delhi Metro gives you ample time to be by your self especially in those hours when there is not much rush and still you can’t hear the PA announcement which goes on and on and on……in Metro.

All this time I should have been anxious according to normal people’s reaction and feedbacks however I dont know whats that in that duration. Not knowing becomes my solace. Can it not be?

I reach ISBT and see debris, sand and what nots of construction work and be notified of renovation of the Terminus. I make mental note to tell my self to get used to it, this country is developing country and in your life you won’t see a phase when you can’t spot any construction work around you in miles of distance. I find my way toward heard men, groups of women and fleet of bus of all sorts. A look at this scenario and you realise even automobile have caste, creed and associated hypocrisy as a Volvo multi-axle and normal TATA buses are parked side by side or may be its just my mind. Buses are covered with vomit, dirt, spit and similar ingredient which is making a new smell to engulf busses in it.

I walk towards these busses in hope of getting a bus which does not make my sense go haywire ( foolish me), I look around and read Amritsar on a yellow board. I can’t make out if this board had been yellow by birth of my habit ( of people, of course ). There a man surrounded by a group of people who are asking for the route of bus he is conducting. I approach to find a gap to get a ticket. I have decided to go Amritsar- City of Golden Temple.

I nudge a man who happens to be Sardar and request to make some room for me. I ask the conductor for a seat. He shrugged and replied there are many, no worries. I step back to wait for him to be free to buy a ticket from him which cost me few hundreds rupees. I am in no worry or hurry anymore, I enter the bus, although bus has announced its atmosphere even before I entered but one just can’t get all of it by just smelling a wine. The many type of smells thrust themselves in my head which I unsuccessfully try to fight. Few minutes in that ambiance and mind mind create its barriers and I start to relax by looking at the infra of bus. Engines give me a successful distraction normally. I make some mental note about condition of the bus the body language of the driver and conductor to assess how long is there to roll on the wheels. I am too lazy to ask them now.

In some time driver get into his place and engine gives me assurance its fine with its voice and. …..

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P.S. This is part one of this story, if you wish to read further keep watching this place.