Tag Archives: Writer

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)

Life & its Existence

 

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Life is hard. It includes physical pain, mental pain, hatred, anxiety, disappointment. Life’s problems are so significant that we all try to just avoid them. But just these words cannot convey the pure depth & intensity of what I want to say.

Of course the above does not describe all of human life. There is love, friendship, honor, knowledge, play, beauty, pleasure, creative work, and a thousand other things that make life, at least sometimes, worthwhile, and at other times pure bliss.
We seek health and vitality, friends and mates, pleasure and happiness. Our desires appear unlimited. And presuming that we fulfill these desires, we still face philosophical concerns: What is real? What can we know? What should we do? What can we hope for? And, most importantly, what is the meaning of life in a world that contains so much suffering? This is the central philosophical question of human life. Fortune may shine upon us but we ultimately suffer and perish, raising the question of the point of it all. If all our hopes, plans, longings, and love ultimately vanish, then what does it all mean? And this question penetrates to the core of the human existence…

 

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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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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2016 Kawasaki Njnja ZX-10R || Superbike Feature

This week’s video is a short 2-minute feature of one of the most iconic motorcycles to have graced this planet, the Kawasaki ‪#‎Ninja‬ 10R, and in it’s 2016 avatar, it is more powerful and agile than ever. Thanks to the awesome ‪ Shiv Raj Singh‬ that I got to film this short 2-minute feature on him and about his new green devil.

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‪#‎Youtube‬ ‪#‎Kawasaki‬ ‪#‎10R‬ ‪#‎feature‬ ‪#‎Delhidiaries‬

 

 

 

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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 ‪#‎YouTube‬ 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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Mukteshwar, Nainital – a short Himalayan travel video story

It’s been a week that I have started a new YouTube channel where I would be sharing weekly videos about travel, photography, automotive, and even a little bit of my daily life in the form of vlogs.

This week, I am sharing a small 3 minute video from a beautiful place in the Himalayas that I travelled to – Mukteshwar. I hope you guys like the video, and please do Subscribe to the YouTube channel to get regular updates regarding the same.

 

24 hours in Kolkata…

Kolkata is an amazing city. It is a city filled with a rich culture, and such rich history that it is almost impossible to experience the city in its entirety in just 24 odd hours.

Well, I was in Kolkata recently for a photo-assignment, and took some time out to film this. I hope you all enjoy looking at this 2-minute tribute to this ‘City of Joy’.

 

Travel As Much As You Can

I have been travelling since I could basically remember. My first ever trip started when my father moved his base from the place I was born. Since he had a transferrable service (defense forces), we all had to keep moving from one city to another every 2 to 3 years. My parents never were avid travellers so to speak, but I feel privileged that it is because of them that I got the opportunity to travel so much, and it is only because of them that this bug bit me. And bit me so hard!

I totally believe that there are so many important aspects to travelling. I can understand that you might not be able to travel so far and so frequently as I do, given the regular jobs that most people have. But, whenever you get this chance, please embrace it with both arms. I’ve, over the last many years, felt that travelling impacts how a person’s entire character is developed. You are basically not enclosed inside that bubble of yours; rather, you get outside your comfort zone. Travelling is something you cannot learn about reading in a book.

When you travel, you discover. You discover new, beautiful, interesting places that make you want to come back and experience different cultures that you weren’t even aware of. I think it has always been a part of me, and I am absolutely determined to keep on travelling for the rest of my life. There is just so much to see. So much to explore; but so little time.

Travel as much as you can throughout your entire life, for travelling will broaden your horizon, it will make you realize a lot of things in life. And remember, it does not need to be an expensive out of the country trip. A simple road-trip will be just as liberating, trust me. After all, you only live once.

P.S: I am off to another travel adventure day-after, and this time I’m exploring the South India. Starting from Bangalore, I’ll be renting a self-driven car, and exploring some wonderful places like Ooty, Munnar, Valparai and the likes and shall bring back a lot of memories in the shape of photographs and ofcourse these travel blog entries. 🙂 So excited! Cannot wait for the trip to start.

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