Tag Archives: Travel

I saw him cry…

Yes, I did witness him cry. Just now, moments back. He was looking at a framed family photograph when I was a kid, and just looking at that picture and speaking about when was this taken, his eyes went moist.

When you are young, you always feel your parents are absolutely invincible. For you, they are the “super-hero dads” and “wonder woman moms”. They can fix bruised knees, and any pain that you have with magical kisses. It’s like they make food appear out of nowhere and can turn the “evil monsters” lurking under the bed into whimsical fairy-dust. They are stronger than anything. They are invincible, immortal, untouchable. They just do not get hurt and their word is the law.

My dad has been an Army man and is physically fit even at the age of 70+. He is disciplined, organized, systematic, logical, energetic & sacrificing. I really have forever admired him for his intelligence & personality.

But after looking at his moist eyes, I wish I could just hug him. He started crying before even completing the sentence. My dad cried – the unbreakable, indomitable, rock-steady father that I envisioned to be a super-hero all my life had tears in his eyes. I felt it was more than just moist eyes – it was a painful release. I wished to support him, this time I wated to be the rock, the immortal, immovable, steadfast being. But looking at him, tears started to roll out of my eyes too inspite of all my efforts to control myself and support him.

I realized that my supr-hero dad is only human. An incredible, generous, loving, intelligent man. He has the same hopes & dreams, the same fears and drives and pains that anyone else has. He is a human, after all.

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Himalayas on a Triumph Street Triple

 

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Ever since I can remember, I have forever been in love with travelling. And it was but
natural that the bug bit even harder once I was introduced to motorcycling. This was
many years back. I have been riding motorcycles for more than a decade now and it’s
really hard to believe I’ve been doing anything that long; many other hobbies have
come and gone by but this is one passion which has remained ever since I was introduced to it. Why, you ask? I don’t really know. There’s a clairty in the entire
experience perhaps, a richness that accumulates.

So, you can imagine when travel & motorcycle came together, my happiness knew no
bounds. I have also been touring on motorcycles for half of my life now! And trust me,
there is nothing better than touring on 2-wheels. And when this winter I got an
opportunity to visit the Himalayas yet again and that too on one of the most amazing
motorcycles (read cult!) ever, I, ofcourse couldn’t have let this pass by.

 

 

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So, on an usual winter morning in the Capital which, for your reference is really cold
& foggy (or smog, whatever you want to refer it by), I along with my colleague
Krishnendu Kes (who was on a KTM Duke 390) started off for a beautiful destination
in the Himalayas, Chail. Now, before I move ahead with the travelogue, I would love to
let you know how much am I in love with the Himalayas. Probably, you are too if you
love travelling even half as much as I do. You see, Himalayas humble you. You almost
feel like a speck of dust in this vast expanse; the Himalayas make you feel the silence.
Like that is perhaps the ultimate truth. All else is pointless noise.

Anyhow, without getting into the philosophical side of things, let me continue. Well, it
as really cold and we kept riding at a decent pace because we wanted to reach our
destination (Chail) before nightfall as neither of us wanted to ride in the hills during
night. Not that we are inexperienced but because there’s no use torturing your body
because of the cold. And once the sun goes down, temperatures can drop pretty
drastically.

I was riding the Triumph Street Triple S and was having a gala time. That 765cc 3-
cylinder motor has all the power & torque that you could ever need. Overaking was a
breeze and maintaining three digit speeds almost became a joke. Also, the fact that the
seat was comfortable, the riding posture was not sporty (unlike litre class superbikes)
meant that I was pretty relaxed on the highway as we sped towards the hills which was
a couple of hundred kilometres away.

Eventually, we did hit the hilly section and realized that for a good few kilometres, the
roads weren’t ideal. There was construction work going on and also the fact that there
had been landslides earlier meant that many sections of the road was in pathetic
condition. I feared the worst simply because big bikes like the Street Triple S aren’t
really meant to handle bad roads efficiently. But boy, was I proven wrong and how!
The suspension took all the potholes and bad roads in its stride and this did take me
by surprise. I played with the torque curve on the hilly section keeping the motorcycle
on 3rd gear and playing with the curvaceous roads.

 

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Also, the fact that the Street Triple S has two ‘riding modes’ meant that I could actually
put it on the two different modes and feel the difference outrightly. So, to name them,
the modes are ‘Road’ and ‘Rain’. Now, as the name suggests, the ‘Road’ mode is meant
for the road and gives you full 112bhp of power on tap. But the interesting bit here is
that the ‘Rain’ mode doesn’t really cut power in any way but rather dials down the
response of the throttle so as to prevent wheel-spins. However, with ABS and
traction-control, I was really confident riding the motorcycle on the hilly roads and on
extremely bad patches of roads that we encountered in between.

Finally, after more than 8 hours of constant riding, taking breaks in between for
pictures and ofcourse to fuel up the motorcycles and our respective tummies, we
reached Chail just after sunset, the total distance covered being a shade over 400kms.

I wasn’t really exhausted. Tired yes, but not exhausted. Maybe it was the motorcycle
which helped me relax in way of the sitting posture or the overall experience which
took care of me.

Now, Chail is an amazing destination in itself. And since we were at such a quaint
little town up in the Himalayas, we wanted to stay at the best possible property that the
place had to offer – the Palace, Chail. And we got lucky as we got great prices and
discounts because the ‘season’ hadn’t started yet. Happy, we checked into our comfy
log-hut and after having a sumptous dinner crashed for the night.

The next day was pretty uneventful as we explored the surroundings and I mostly kept
taking photographs of the Street Triple S. She’s such a looker, I tell you. No matter what
angle you look at her from, you cannot get enough of her. Whether it be that small
bikini fairing or those thick Showa 41mm front USD forks, everything is just so
beautiful and high-quality. This particular Street Triple S that I was riding had a few
extra bits added to it, namely, a Triumph branded rear seat cowl which I thought made
the entire motorcycle look even sexier, an Arrow after-market exhaust which ofcourse
meant the motorcycle sounded out of this world, and a quick-shifter. Now, this quick-
shifter works during upshifts, so, no auto-blipping down-shifting shenanigans here!
But, I didn’t really miss the auto-downshifts as I was too busy in enjoying the
motorcycle and the ride, overall.

After spending two quiet days in the lap of the Himalayas, the 3rd day came when we
had to ride more than 400kms. back home to the Capital. You see, when you enjoy
something in life, it becomes really tough to let go of it. You get attached to it
emotionally and in ways that you cannot really describe. That is exactly what had
happened to me. I got attached with the Street Triple So. So much so that while riding
back to Delhi, I could not help but feel a sense of sadness because I knew once I was
home, she shall go back to Triumph India. That, really made my heart break.

Eventually though, we rode back to Delhi. The ride back was non-stop. We were tired
but the motorcycles did not even budge. It was as if the machines could go on forever.

I have been in love a few times now and I can safely say, what I felt for the Triple S was
nothing short of pure, unabashed love. I sure hope she and I would be able to get back
together for one more adventure, very soon. Till then, the memories shall suffice…

Motorcycle: Triumph Street Triple S
Total distance covered: 900kms.
Fuel efficiency: 23km/litre (highway run mostly)

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…

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

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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Track courtesy – Daisy Dukes (YouTube Audio Library)

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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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A Houseboat in Kashmir

I was in Kashmir a week or so back for a travel assignment. And I got to stay at an amazing house-boat there. Here is a short walk-through of that houseboat where I show the houseboat from the outside, and also show you the different rooms as well as the gorgeous Nagin lake just outside the boat. Do like, share & subscribe to my channel if you’d like to see regular weekly updates.

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24 Hours in the City of Joy – Kolkata

Today is Monday, and I just realized that this Kolkata video does not exist on my channel! Hence, I am re-sharing this 2 minute travel video on Kolkata, but this time it is up on my β€ͺ#β€ŽYouTube‬ channel. Please do Like, Share & Subscribe to my channel for interesting weekly (Monday) updates. smile emoticon Some awesome videos coming up in the coming weeks!

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