Frames from Sikkim || 2017

Sikkim has always been on my travel diary but somehow it eluded me for years.

Finally, during the month of June 2017, I finally could visit this amazing state. And what I saw literally blew me away. Sikkim is green, clean and all organic (the first & only state in this country!). It is so easy to fall in love with the place that one can’t help but marvel at the amazing natural beauty and the lush sub-tropical woodlands. Words will never be able to do justice to the place.

So, I present a few frames from Sikkim. I hope this gives you the motivation to pack your bags and leave. Sikkim is love. Sikkim is pure magic.

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I failed. Again!

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Tonight, I had slept early. Maybe I was tired or just wanted to rest, I am not sure. But, I fell asleep with the phone in my hand as is generally the case. If I am home, the phone is my friend and gives me constant company when I am not working. And then, an email notification suddenly woke me about 15 minutes back.

I failed tonight. Again. For the Nth time in my life, and each time I fail I lose a little bit of me. You see, a big project that I was working on and was absolutely sure I shall get to do, slipped through my hand tonight. Those 5 lines of email jolted me out of my peaceful sleep like an earthquake would! It’s not that such things haven’t happened in the past. Being in the creative industry, I have faced such failures time & again, but each time it happens, it feels like the first time. The result, essentially, is always the same – every time you fall short of achieving your goal, I fall back and go into deep self-critical role. And THEN, it becomes absolutely impossible and difficult to let go of all that negativity – the negative energy that I feel right at this moment about it all as I pen these words down (or rather, type this down).

As demotivated as I am right now, I think I need to boost my morale by building self-acceptance and through this blog post, I want to help everyone who has ever been through failure in their respective lives. I think, when we hold a negative perception of ourselves, Β it is not surprising to feel lost, defeated and like a huge failure in life. Each obstacle, mistake or failure can seem like proof of what we already know, that we won’t succeed and that it is not okay. What we need to do when we feel demotivated or depressed is we need to learn to give priority to ourselves and value ourselves We need to focus on valuing who we are and NOT what you do.

During all these years working as a creative professional, I’ve also come to realize that when we look to our accomplishments for validations of whether we are “worthy” or not, our sense of feeling good about ourselves depends completely on those achievements of life, which, frankly speaking, is a little too harsh.

Yes, I feel terribly upset tonight, yes, I feel dejected & like I’ve failed big time but I also know that with self-acceptance and identifying the issues, I will be fine. I would, at this point in time, love to brag about having truly supportive & compassionate friends but truth be told – they are more like ‘acquaintances’ than friends; I have absolutely NO true friends whom I can fully trust or be open with about my issues. It’s not that I don’t have “friends”. But, those who really care are only a few (less than the number of fingers I have on one hand!). πŸ™‚

At the end of the day, after some thought, self-pity and what not, I have come to realize that persistence is the key to anything in life, and each time I fail, I somehow motivate myself by different means after I am done feeling dejected. This time too, I need to do the same. I need to be persistent. With persistence, no matter what my goals are, I shall increase my chances of achieving them in life…

Royal Enfield Himalayan – 2 weeks of ownership

I would be pretty frank here; I am not that big a fan of the brand Royal Enfield. I’ve always thought about them as heavy & slow motorcycles which require a lot of maintenance, something which I do not quite understand. I am someone who needs his motorcycle to be ‘ready to ride’ whenever, wherever I’d want to.

So, when I got a call from Royal Enfield about riding the Himalayan and keeping her for a period of almost 4 weeks or 1 month, I was taken a little aback, but accepted the offer happily. You see, the Himalayan is unlike any other motorcycle that RE has ever created. It looks smashing, undoubtedly, and the 411cc engine as I discovered is really nice.

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It has now been 14 days (give or take a day or two) that I’ve been riding her, and in this period, I have ridden close to 550kms in city. I am yet to check her highway capabilities, but I think even on the highways, the bike should perform beautifully. On papers, 24.5bhp might not sound too much, especially given the fact that it has got a ‘big’ 400cc engine, but don’t let the figures fool you. The torque is fantastic, and it makes sure you can putter around town at 40km/hr. in 5th gear. On top of that, the commanding view that you get while on that super comfy saddle of the Himalayan is something that one needs to experience to be able to really appreciate. The front sports a big 19-inch wheel while the rear does with 17. But, the most important question which I’ve been getting all through these 2 weeks of riding from people all around me is, “kitna deti hai” (What is the fuel efficiency?). Well, I’ve been getting anywhere between 22 and 27km/litre depending on how I ride the Himalayan, which for me is more than satisfactory.

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Yes, there are certain niggles which I am not too happy about, like the gear-box is one of the worst ‘boxes I’ve ever come across. Shifting from 1st to 2nd is a pain, and I completely believe finding an oasis in the middle of a vast desert would be much easier than finding neutral on the Royal Enfield Himalayan. Also, it has started leaking oil, and that is something which disappoints me BIG time, especially because I’ve had her for hardly 500kms. When I picked up the bike from RE office, it had 2700kms on the odo. So, I don’t see any reason whatsoever for a brand new machine to start leaking oil. But then again, it’s an RE thing, I guess.

 

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Overall though, I cannot help but be satisfied with the overall experience till now. Yes, the niggles does irritate me at times, but when I look at the Himalayan as a package, it brings a smile on my face for sure. I am not sure I can suggest anyone the Himalayan with all my heart, but if you are looking for a motorcycle which is super-comfortable and does what it is pretty much meant to do, then, by all means go with the Himalayan.

I shall share a small vlog and more pictures as I spend more time with the white beauty…

Ladakh – A Romantic Saga ||Episode 1 || Delhi – Sonmarg (Kashmir)

Day-1 (Delhi – Sonmarg) route details: Delhi – Sonipat-Panipat-Karnal-Ambala-Ludhiana-Phagwara-Jalandhar-Mukerian-Pathankot-Sujanpur-Kathua-Ghagwal-Samba-Jammu-Pulwara-Sringar-Ganderbal-Kullan-Sonmarg.
Total distance: 990kms.

The plan was pretty simple, really, or atleast so it seemed. Start driving late night and drive as far as we possibly could so that the 2nd day could be a relatively easy drive to Leh from wherever we would be at the end of 1st day’s drive. And since we were four guys and we all know how to drive, it pretty much should turn out to be an easy affair or atleast that’s how we thought it should be.

Now, the vehicle of choice was a SUV since we pretty much knew the terrains we would encounter woudn’t really be what you call ‘smooth’ in real sense. Yes, there would ofcourse be stretches where we would find some awesome tarmac to go “crazy” on, but then there would also be roads (or the lack thereof!), where we would pretty much crawl, to put it mildly. The stuff that we had packed for this 6-day long expedition to #Ladakh were:

  1. Camera gear (first & foremost, and for ME, most important)
  2. Warm clothes, although it turned out to be pretty much not needed (more on that later)
  3. Engine oil & a 5 litre extra jerry-can filled with diesel for the vehicle since finding diesel might just be an issue enroute
  4. Cash and bank ATM cards
  5. Snacks & chocolate bars for instant energy
  6. Miscellaneous knick-knacks.

We met at the now famous Taj CCD around 1am from where we were supposed to begin this journey. Now, driving on the straight stretches of highway is pretty much something which anyone with a sense of judgement and a patient and cool mind can easily do all night. Getting out of the Capital at that time of the night was a no-brainer and we were cruising happily on the National Highway-1 (or rather AH-1, as it is now officially known) in about 30 minutes time after leaving Delhi. Now, I am what everyone calls, a very patient driver and somebody who would NEVER take a risk while on the road, and since it was well past midnight, I decided to take it real easy and we took a couple of breaks here and there to pick up some energy drinks and just generally relieve ourselves and stuff.

The night was pretty much uneventful and with a driver change in between somewhere passed Chandigarh, we were in the hills by dawn. Now, once you cross into Jammu & Kashmir (at the Lakhanpur border), the prepaid mobile connections seize to work and that is because of the security concerns. Out of the four guys, two (me & another friend) had prepaid connections while the other two had postpaid ones. So, essentially, once we entered J&K after paying the toll-tax at the Lakhanpur border, the prepaid mobile networks were gone, and I pretty much switched off my mobile phone and kept it inside my camera bag, both, to conserve the battery (as if I’d need it in the next 6 days, except, perhaps, to surf the internet & check for emails/ whatsapp/ Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter over hotel wifi at different locations) and also, I just wanted to feel light. I wanted to feel free.

You see, mobile phones are good; I am not against them. But, there are days when you wish you wouldn’t have them but you cannot help it. So, Ladakh presented me an opportunity to be without my cell-phone for a period of 6 days at a stretch and somewhere deep down, I was pretty satisfied with this.

Nonetheless, this – the first day’s drive was pretty much uneventful, and although we had to drive constantly for more than 18 hours, we finally reached Sonmarg (which is about 990kms from Delhi) by night; if I remember, it was around 9:30pm or so that we checked into a nice, small, cozy hotel and relaxed for the night.

Kashmir Valley

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As tired as we were, while eating our dinner and even after going to bed, I constantly kept thinking and visualizing about the kind of high-passes & the terrains that we would encounter the next day. I had been to Ladakh on earlier occasions but the sheer excitement just doesn’t abate, no matter how many times you visit that magical place. I had also pretty much visualized the kind of shots that I wanted – both for my still album and for the film that I was there to shoot.

With all that excitement and adrenaline flowing through my veins, even at 2 in the night, I couldn’t really fall asleep while everyone else was fast asleep. Finally, after calming my nerves down, I went to sleep, for the next day had some amazing stories which were to unfold…

 

…to be continued.

Ladakh, 2016 – Episode 1: Prologue

Ladakh is a dream destination for many, and as I start penning down the travelogue, I realize, there is so much to share, so much to write. And a barrage of emotions just batter me. Here is the first part (the prologue, really) Β – Ladakh – A Romantic Saga: Prologue that I’ve managed to pen down. A lot of story-telling to be done, a myriad of emotions and memories to share. Stay hooked! πŸ™‚

From the Land of Lama

I’ve been to Ladakh on a few occasions earlier, but somehow every-time I go there, I discover something new, something exciting, something which I’ve never discovered on my earlier trips. And generally, I prefer driving to Ladakh instead of just comfortably taking a flight and landing in Leh. Driving/ ridng to the place makes you see a myriad of things and makes you experience a lot. You get to see different places, you get to meet new people on your way (and hopefully make friends), and ofcourse, you get to do it all at your own leisure.

Well, this post isn’t really the travelogue so to speak, but more of a prologue to what is to come – a proper full-blown travelogue and photographs about Ladakh and ofcourse the short travel film about #Ladakh which I’m editing as I type this. That would take about 2 more weeks to complete; till then, I would like you all to look through these few pictures and a small video which I managed to film, and is dedicated to the friends that I’ve lost.

The following are just a few pictures which I wanted to share. The rest shall be shared with the travel-story, and also IN the film that I’m editing right now. πŸ™‚ Till then, please enjoy these.

View of Leh City from Leh Palace

The roads that have been cut through the barren landscapes

The gorgeous landscapes that adorn the entire region

The tributary of Zanskar river flows through...

I met a lot of motorcyclists traversing through the region during this trip. And I managed to photograph one such amazing group on their Triumph Tigers and BMW R1200s

The sun setting behind the beautiful Himalayas

We are just a speck in this huge Universe...

The Happy Monk - at Lamayuru Monastery, Ladakh

Leh City from Shanti Stupa

Torque of the town – Big Boy Toyz Gurgaon Showroom

Text & Photos: Bobby Roy

 

When it comes to luxury cars, supercars and the likes, we, the Indian public have got choices, many choices to choose from. If you have the moolah, the brands are here to offer you a super-luxury vehicle tailor-made to your specific requirements.

Now, Big Boy Toyz, a name synonymous with luxury car brands has launched India’s biggest exotic car showroom in Gurgaon recently, and we were there to cover the entire extravaganza, and what an absolute treat it was! This newest (and biggest, mind you!) showroom is a 4-storey one and is located in the Millennium City, Gurgaon. But, apart from the massive size of the showroom, what’s special is that this 36,000 sq-feet multi-storey showroom has a display capacity of well over a 100 luxury cars, with a dedicated Motor-Bar Express and a Work of the art luxury suite to cater to clients from all across the country.
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At the press-conference (From L to R): Ms.Neha Dhupia, Bollywood actress, Mr.Jatin Ahuja (President - BBT) & Mr.Nipun Miglani (Director-Sales, BBT)

At the press-conference (From L to R): Ms.Neha Dhupia (Bollywood actress), Mr.Jatin Ahuja (President – BBT) & Mr.Nipun Miglani (Director-Sales, BBT)

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Catching the BBT personnel in a light, candid moment!

Catching the BBT personnel in a light, candid moment!

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It is important to note that BBT does not deal in cars older than 2012 and done not more than 25,000kms., strictly non-accidental, non-refurbished cars and non-meter tempered cars. Also, it is good to know that each car that they sell has to go through 151 quality control checks which is really comprehensive & stringent pre-procurement checklist. If you are worried about the warranty that these cars offer, well, you can relax as these come with a 15,000kms. warranty and 1-year buy-back agreement. Now, that is a deal which hardly any other so called ‘re-seller’ would provide you with!

Now, if I can be liberal enough to talk about the party that happened; it wasn’t your usual run of the mill affair. With dignitaries & celebrities like Indian Hockey team captain, Mr. Sardar Singh, Mr.Rahul Mahajan, Ms.Neha Dhupia, Mr.Karan Kundra, VJ Anusha, VJ Gaelyn, Deep Money, music director, Harris Jayraj and many more gracing the event, it was an evening to remember. And thanks to Mr.Rohit Nagpal, head, brand & marketing at BBT for inviting me, I was one of the few lucky ones to have been present on this happening evening. I think, I must let these pictures do all the talking.

An evening to remember!

An evening to remember!

A beautiful, bright red Audi R8 V8 at BBT, Gurgaon

A beautiful, bright red Audi R8 V8 at BBT, Gurgaon

The huge crowd that gathered outside the BBT showroom, Gurgaon

The huge crowd that gathered outside the BBT showroom, Gurgaon

Krishnendu Kes, senior journalist & photographer

Krishnendu Kes, senior journalist & photographer

Mr.Rohit Nagpal, head brand & marketing, BBT, with Mr.Harris-Jayraj, music director

Mr.Rohit Nagpal, head brand & marketing, BBT, with music director, Mr.Harris-Jayraj.

An amazing performance & a beautiful evening at BBT

An amazing performance & a beautiful evening at BBT

An amazing performance & a beautiful evening at BBT

An amazing performance & a beautiful evening at BBT

Big Boy Toyz Gurgaon showroom

Big Boy Toyz Gurgaon showroom

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Essentially, with the launch of this showroom, which, undoubtedly is the largest showroom of luxury cars this country has ever seen, Big Boy Toyz is the ultimate haven for automotive enthusiasts looking for performance, style, luxury & beauty. And one just needs to be there at the showroom to actually believe these words!

Sigri Travel diaries || Uttarakhand, India

Sigri is a small, quiet, beautiful village situated in Uttarakhand. Three of us, in the month of May 2016 travelled there just to find solace, and beat the Delhi heat for a couple of days. And what we discovered was amazing. In a place like Sigri, you can literally hear silence…

Route taken: Delhi – Ghaziabad – Gajraula – Rampur – Moradabad – Kala Dhungi – Haldwani – Nainital (Bypass) – Pangot – Sigri

Total distance (Delhi – Sigri) – 320kms.
Time taken: Approximately 8-9 hours, depending on the traffic & breaks taken enroute.

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Royalty free music
Music courtesy – YouTube Audio library (https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/…)
Track courtesy – Daisy Dukes (YouTube Audio Library)

Please ‘Like’ & ‘Subscribe’ to my channel for weekly (Monday) updates about travel, automotive & photography. Oh, and I vlog too, from time to time! πŸ™‚

Leave a ‘Thumbs Up’ if you like this video. πŸ˜‰

Kashmir – the first date

Kashmir – the first date is an account of a young & beautiful girl from an urban town who visits Kashmir for the first time & falls in love with the entire valley. I hope you guys enjoy watching this as much as I enjoyed filming it. smile emoticon

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Volvo S60 Cross Country Featutre

This short Volvo S60 Cross Country feature showcases the beautiful vehicle that the Cross Country is. It is a handsome looking vehicle that is equally powerful. Powered by a 2.4 litre 5-cylinder diesel engine that produces 190bhp and 420Nm of torque, the S60 Cross Country is no slouch. However, what’s prominent on the Cross Country is it’s massive 201mm ground clearance, a full 65mm more than the standard S60 from Volvo. If you look at it with an open mind, quite contrary to the typical convention, Volvo’s attempt with the S60 Cross Country makes for very pleasing proposition.

In a ‘jungle’ populated by the likes of Mercedes Benz C-class, BMW’s 3-series, Audi’s very own A4 and now even the XE from Jaguar, the S60 Cross Country almost comes as a breath of fresh air which also offers something unique and really practical as well.

Please ‘Like’, ‘Share’ & ‘Subscribe’ to this channel for weekly (Monday) updates on travel, automotive & photography. You can find more about me here:
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