Go Goa Goan!

There is a Goa for everyone here!

Where there’s no stop and Goa thought may wet your face, a breath arrest your stare.

-Nathaniel Tarn

It had been a long time that I visited a beach. Almost a year. So I was bored by the hills and mist and trees for a while now and wanted to take a relaxing vacation by the sea. Name of places started hurling my brain. Pondicherry, Varkala, Kanyakumari, Gokarna and so on. We landed on Goa. Reason being, never visited Goa in my life before and what could be more than best to bid farewell to the year with a road trip? Planning was on. Places to explore based on recommended timing plus avoid irritating tourist crowd, prepared to spend money on food and adventure and blah blah… One of the most awaited trips I was hooked onto. Finally we did it.

So, the journey started on 29th early morning at 4 AM. Trip was all planned this time. Like on hourly basis! The stops were pre-planned too. And guess what, it all happened exactly how it was written. We hit the road at exact 4.

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All set for the ride!

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Passing through the city streets engulfed in the darkness of night gives me a feel like something better is going to happen towards the dawn. Life moves on fast and as the sun rays start pouring in from the east, my eyes fill with joy and positivity. Yes this is too philosophical, but this is how I feel at the start of every trip. What else do we ride for? To be hopeful and positive about the next phase. To be happy. The pursuit of our lives. Me and my partner start our rides with earphones plugged in and listen to the songs specially dedicated to the highways. Hence with the beats in our ears, the first stop was Kamat Upachar on the Tumkur road, Nelamangala.

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Kamat Upachar

The map route covered during the journey as following: Capture

Few of the places that we covered, are marked in the map below. c

First stop at Kamat Upachar on NH4. Washrooms are not in a good condition but a coffee break here helps give a rest to your butt (If at all it pains… coz mine has become like one hardened marshmallow and after riding for so many trips it doesn’t even give me a hitch for at least initial 450 to 500 kilometres). Tough pillion huh ;p

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Customized 3M reflectors on my Vega Eclipse

Taking the route via NH4 we passed through Tumkur, Chitradurga, Davangere, Ranebennur, Dharwad, Yellapura, Ankola, Karwar, and finally Canacona.

Check out some snaps taken throughout the route:

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A distant view.

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Windmills of Chitradurga

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Passing through Chitrdurga windmills area….

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Just while entering Karwar, you could see the famous Warship Museum on the left. You can also relate it to the Highway On My Plate episode where in one season the chomping duo take a shot ON that ship!

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We stopped here to take a few pictures, and had freshly prepared mausambi juice. Losing out on a lot of time we decided to have this juice in some restaurant ahead. Turns out the juice in the restaurant was pathetic and lame. 😂 Imagine a juice without the fruit’s pulp. Lesson learnt: never rush when you get a juice freshly prepared in traditional way, that is with the machine and not the fake syrup.

The road taken from Bangalore to Goa was in a very good condition.

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Sunny open road.

We reached Canacona by 4:15 PM exactly 12 hours and 15 minutes from our start time. See it feels like an achievement to complete a distance in time less than what Google uncle tells! Anyway we checked in to the hotel room which was pre-booked at Pritam’s Cottages in Palolem. Nice small cozy setup where are the amenities like t.v., clean linen, and food are provided. The owner is pretty friendly so are the people.

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Night view from my room. At Pritam’s Cottages.

It all seemed like I have entered into a place where everyone is so chilled out and friendly and smiling just to welcome you. People roaming in clothing with least maintenance required.

I had already started feeling relaxed. After dropping off the luggage in the rooms, I went on to explore the much praised sands of the Palolem and Patnem beaches.

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Patnem Beach

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The sunset.

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‘THE’ King Fish. The tastiest I have eaten ever.

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Majestic white horse.

Sunset at the Agonda beach was captivating. No noisy and show-off crowd, no peace-intruding sellers, just the sand, water and a couple of foreigners. It all felt like every moment is a celebration. Had king fish and two beers there in a shack. After coming back to Palolem we started exploring local restaurants, that’s when we came across hotel Su-Maya.

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Mussels rava fried.

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Bangra fish rava fried.

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Prawns.

Homely and very cherishing experience of their hospitality made us love this southern part of Goa even more. Stating this because we had ordered two beers ( super cheap! 32 rupees!!), masala fried mussels, bangra rava fry, and prawns. The prawns did not taste that good,  and the moment we brought it to their notice, they immediately replaced it with another one and insisted on not paying for it. We asserted on paying the whole bill but they said that if you did not like the dish we will not take money for it. As demanded by the restaurant owner Dilkhush 🙂 we came out without paying for the prawns. But this experience will always leave us with an urge to keep coming back to them. Su Maya definitely won my heart. I would recommend this place for people who love genuine seafood and the prices won’t even ask your pocket any questions.

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Me at Su Maya.

After finishing with the dinner, I had a short stroll on the market road. By the time it was 8, all the people started closing down and went on to enjoy the waves at the beach.

Next day morning was planned for a short trip to Gokarna, but we were really tired from the last day’s journey hence chucked the Gokarna plan and we came up with a stunning breakfast. My all time favourite pancakes! There is this veryyyy small place by the name Little World. If you look up in TripAdvisor, positive reviews are flooding their page. When you enter it, there is a narrow gallery where a few tables and chairs are put up. Right at the centre you can find Lord Shiva’s image engraved on a stone with their all time famous Masala Chai kept as an offering in front. We ordered sweet pancake with banana fried stuffing and nutella, home-made peanut butter, vanilla ice cream, and strawberries served together. Another i had cheese omelette served with the ‘oh so soft’ pav. People running this place are extremely friendly and welcoming.

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Inside the Little World.

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Mouth watering strawberry pancakes. Yummmm

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With cheese omelette, pav and the kadak masala chai.

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Their sweet little menu.

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I got so hungry by the smell that my mouth was completely full. 😀

You can not miss it whenever you visit Palolem!

After this my partner wanted to refresh his old memories so we went on to visit Sernabatim Beach. We packed our luggages, check out from hotel and waved the cool owner a good bye. Some 45 kms away from Palolem, a sweet, curvy road takes us to Sernabatim via Margao.

On our way we had to get the rear tyre repaired at a puncture shop just at the crossroad.

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Puncture fixed.

Riding through Old Goa makes one feel relaxed and at home.

Lunch was an unexpectedly awesome local chicken curry topped with omelette plus the pav at a small place just over the beach when you enter it. Locally called as Ras (curry) omelette with pav, is so stomach filling. My partner and his friends used to come here during their college days. With their stories of college days I got zoned out for few moments. The heat was gearing up and we had perfect shade and lunch. Life is awesome.

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Ras omelette and Pav.

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Lonely sunny beach and hot lunch made the day. Next we moved on to explore Colva beach. While on our way towards Colva bike’s tyre got punctured. Fortunately we were close to the market area so we got it fixed. Colva was too hot so we decided to move on to Anjuna beach. I wanted to ride along with my partner so we rented an Activa on our way to Anjuna beach.

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Walk at the beach.

Parked our bikes and entered the beach area soon. I saw a bunch of Indian crowd but it was not too crowded. Strolled and got smeared in water, we then left to see the Chapora Fort on request of my partner. It was late in the evening hence too darkness took advantage and then taking a smart alternative route had us missed the sunset at the Fort. Happens every time I try to play smart with the Google maps.

Anyway, so one last beach was left for the day. The Bagha beach. The most happening and preferred of all, this beach is totally crazy at all times of the day. We went there at around 8 or 8:30. Parking was full, famous Tito’s lane was hoarded with beautiful ladies and men walking down and having drinks. Bars played loudest music possible. I even got a glimpse of how desperate men are to just have a woman’s company.

This doesn’t end here. The reason why i am aggressive about it adds on further. We wanted to have our dinner here itself so just got one of the few seats left vacant. Waited for about half an hour since the super busy waiter gave us the printed menu. After reaching a certain level of annoyment we planned to leave the place after 10 seconds, but here he comes again. We asked him politely about the menu and other things, but our ‘sire’ had a different level of attitude! He answered back very rudely and came back with our order and placed it without a hint of hospitality. I got so much annoyed by the people, the noise and the place. But dinner was really good. We had ordered chicken kebabs.

So funny first we were not able to find the exit towards the parking. A memorable incident happened in this parking where my partner had parked his bike. The ticket collector boy came to ask him about his bike and praised it. I wonder they must have seen this bike rarely parked there, because maximum of the people take gear-less Activas and other scooters. We feel good at times when people acknowledge and appreciate our ride and the way we reach places.

Shashank explained me the whole idea of visiting these places. He wanted to show me all kinds of Goa. I noticed the difference among all of them. To be general South Goa is much more laid back and cooler than North Goa where people are more money centric rather than being nice to people and provide good hospitality. Definitely Goa today is not what it used to be long time ago, I am sure time and people’s attitude take it’s toll. But whatever I had experienced will be remembered forever.

Entering Panjim through the bridge is fascinating and beautiful during night. You see the night-life here. Casino cruises, street food, nice cars and bikes.

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Casino cruises in the background.

Moving on towards the night we visited the area near Miramar beach in Panjim in the search of famous shawarma. But heck we had passed a lot of time and the shawarma stall was not there. At the same time IFFI (International Film Festival of India) had just got over by then and the footpath opposite to it was laden with numerous varieties of street food.

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The entrance of IFFI.

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Crisp chicken roll.

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You ask Punjabi, Marathi, South Indian, North India or anything else, it was there! We gulped chicken rolls, egg-chicken parathas, and kulfi. Edward’s Yard, a raised platform slightly standing out over the Mandovi river, was our next stop. Here we tasted chicken wings which were not up to mark since they were closing down. While all this time we had parked our bike near the Miramar beach point and till the time we returned back our ZMR was standing there all alone. We hurried in order to check if something’s missing or not. To my surprise it was spick n span, right how we left it. The second day got over happily with a glimpse of one of the famous Immaculate Conception Church.

Day 3 was not that fruitful initially. I had some tension over taking an unplanned leave from office. And also visited Sri Chandreshwar Bhootnath temple on the road to Quepem 14 kms from Margao. It was nice being there until the pujari talked to us. He misbehaved with us on asking about the process of puja. Well the ride up and down the Chandranath Hill was satisfying. Green cover and fresh air abundant in oxygen.

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Entrance gate.

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Shri Chandreshwar Bhootnath Temple.

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Prawn patties at Monginis bakery store!

After coming down we had a quick break at Monginis Bakery to have some patties and cakes.

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Mini pizza.

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Cream bun & chicken puff.

Hereafter we went on to visit Sernabatim again for lunch. From there headed for Colva beach during the hottest hour of the day. My bad decision. But its okay, we make mistakes every now and then and that is what makes us human cause we learn from our mistakes. 🙂 Saw the incomplete model of the air bus.

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At Colva beach I got a para sailing trip booked for us. For a change I was relieved by the tension from the morning. We had a good time going to the middle of the ocean, away from the land and getting that adrenalin rush in the thin air. Post para sailing session we had an ice cream to soothe our senses from the heat.

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Para sailing experience high above the ocean.

My partner told me the story of Dona and Paula, the two lovers on whose names this place in Goa got its’ name. Again navigation went wrong and again we missed the sunset at Dona Paula. Finally battling the huge traffic we reached home and arranged to return the rented scooter. Awesome dinner invited us to Ritz restaurant in Panjim. We ordered a lot of things, I do not even remember, but IT WAS DELICIOUS!

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Squid.

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Rava fried prawns. Tastiest of all.

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Prawn tails

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The lavish omelette.

Talking of bikes I had  chance to see this marvel while having dinner at The Ritz.

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Triumph Tiger.

Day 4 was straight run down to Bangalore. We had packed our bags the previous night and got up at 6:30 in the morning. Left at 8 ‘O clock from the hotel. On the way towards NH4 while we were still in the city limits, we stopped by at a small shop and broke our fast with samosas and tea and oh so soft pav.

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Breakfast story: samosa, chai and pav.

The owner was really sweet. Loaded our bike for the highway and pointed our next stop at the famous ancient Basilica of Bom Jesus church. We visited the ruins of this Church.

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Rruins. Basilica of Bom Jesus.

Quickly we hydrated ourself with water and Tang and moved on to cover up the highway till Bangalore. We took the Road through Londa, Ponda, Dharwad-Hubli bypass, Haveri, Davangere, Chitradurga, Sira, Tumkur and finally Bangalore.

While crossing the Mollem National Park the road was smooth like butter. In the middle of nowhere I saw this coconut water stall. It was good! When being asked about the road condition further, one of the men indicates by their hands kept till knee level and sarcastically told that the pits are this deep beyond this point. 😀

Crunching kilometres with and average speed of 80 to 90 kmph, we stopped at Jagadish Da Dhaba at around 2:30 pm.

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Jagadish Da Dhaba on the highway. Awesome food. Must visit.

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Chicken curry and butter naan.

The place is surprisingly huge and clean. Seating area is big enough to hold 5-7 families at a time. The food is bumper yummy. The staff was really helping when they looked at our bike and gears. Next our stop was at Genesis Retreat Resort at Davangere for loo. I swear I needed this stop the most. The constant pressure of the wind due to high speed was forcing my head backwards. I had to hold the strap of my helmet forward to keep it in position.

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Somewhere near Davangere. NH4.

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Chitradurga returns.

My partner’s riding skills became even more tough when he re-visited that exact spot at Sira where he met with an accident by a truck back in August 2014.

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Sad accident spot with the remnant of someone else’s accident marks.

Resulting in our arrival time of 9 ‘O Clock in Bengaluru.

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Coffee stop at Kamat.

Definitely I will remember each one of these good and bad, happy and sad experiences. Ultimately your life is just a bank of experiences!

Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul. ~Author Unknown

Dedicated to ZMR and its’ rider. Stay put for another batch of experience… 

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Wayanad Coffee County – A retreat.

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“When Maveli, our King, ruled the land,
All the people had equality.
And people were joyful and merry;
They were all free from harm.
There was neither anxiety nor sickness,
Death of the children was never even heard of,
There were no lies,
There was neither theft nor deceit,
And no one was false in speech either.
Measures and weights were right;
No one cheated or wronged his neighbor.
When Maveli, our King, ruled the land,
All the people formed one casteless race.”
(Translation of popular quote: “Maaveli naadu vaanidum kalam.”)

“We celebrate Onam to commemorate a glorious past. All of us yearn for a time like that of King Mahabali, a time when prosperity, joy and love blended. But in order to realize this dream we need to put forward creative and sustained effort.”

-Anonymous


This one has to be delivered to you all steaming hot. I believe this trip was a near to perfect one, though we didn’t have our bike but a car. It was me and my partner and this time we were going to Wayanad once again! Kerala … God’s own country. This phrase is true to every bit. Kerala never ceases to amaze me. We were invited to visit Wayanad Coffee County in Chundale, Wayanad, for a 2 day 1 night stay during September to celebrate Onam festival. It all happened one day while returning from a colleague’s wedding. That story will also be up soon. We accidentally discovered this small heaven. So the owners Mr. Rajagopala Menon and Mrs. Ranjini Menon invited us for a stay at Wayanad Coffee County with them after reading my review of TripAdvisor.com about the same place. We had decided long back to leave on a late Saturday morning of 6th and 7th September on bike, but an unfortunate accident happened due to which bike went out of the scene. Finally after a week long discussion and a series of yes and no’s, we booked a cab through bookcab.in.

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This was the most exciting trips of all. Though not that adventurous as we feel on a bike, but yes relaxing. Plan was to visit Thirunelli temple and then head up towards Wayanad. So we started in the morning at 6 because driver bata was charged extra after 10 in the night and before 6 in the morning. So cleverly we had called for the cab at 6. Thus we started at 6:30 in the morning. I thought of calling my friend Ann, while passing by her area, just to tease her to get up early in the morning. During college I was the kind of a person who used to trouble and wake everyone up early in morning because of which there were times when i got to hear nice words from their mouth. Turned out that she too had to go to Mysore. So i directed her to get ready withing 10 minutes. Though true story was that she took 20 minutes to get in the car. But then i was really happy that she came with us.

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We took the NECE expressway. On our way we decided to have thatte idli from Bidadi, a small town on left side of the expressway. The thatte idli from this place is pretty famous in Karnataka. So we had them for breakfast. These are ground rice steamed round shaped fluffy idlis but different than the regular ones as thatte idli is way more flatter and oooh so soft!!!

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Finally reached Mysore and dropped Ann. Forgot to mention one thing. In Wayanad, we were going for Onam celebration and i was required to wear traditional Kerala saree. The one in creamish beige color and bordered with golden zari. It is locally known as Kasavu saree and every Malayali women possesses at least one for Onam celebrations. By the way i did not know this fact, that Onam is celebrated by all Malayalis say Christians, or Hindus, or Muslims irrespective of their religion. So all this story because i had to buy an underskirt and a readymade blouse for ‘that’ saree. Ranjini ma’am had already bought one for me! After a little toil we bought the clothes and again started on from Mysore.

Our next destination was Thirunelli Mahavishnu Temple. Passing through dense green trees covered forests of Bandipur National Park and Nagarhole Tiger Reserve we took a diverted route to reach the temple.

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Suddenly the climate changed very dramatically. If you check this place out in Google maps with terrain mode on, you will see all green and a high altitude area. So sudden rain every 5 minutes was all gift of the mountains surrounding this temple. The temple was closed by the time we reached there. Timings were as: 5:30 A.M. to 12 noon and 5:30 P.M. to 8 P.M. in the evening.

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So there i saw lots of pointers of historic times. For example blackened wooden walls of the inner main temple, Olden carving on stones, also the aqueduct coming all the way from the hill behind.

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There is a story on this part i learnt from Mrs. Ranjini that the aqueduct, which ensures continuous supply of water into the temple from the stream, is believed to have been constructed as per the instructions of a North Malabar princess. They say that she came to visit the temple, felt thirsty after the long journey, but there was no water available. Out of sympathy and pain the priests who have to travel all the distance to get water from the mountain she immediately ordered the construction of a water supply system. At first the construction was done temporarily with bamboo and later the princess sent masons to reconstruct the aqueduct with granite which is still present there when we visited the temple. Water is transported from a perennial mountain stream deep in the valley by this amazing stone aqueducts right into the priests’ room.

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After playing the rain game, which is strange as whenever we wanted to cross through the back area of the temple, it used to start raining out of nowhere and the moment we crossed it, rain stopped. May be it was just something we made up due to being in a very old place playing an important role in history or it it was simply the play ground of fog, trees and mountains. 😛

So again we were back on our way towards Wayanad Coffee County. We reached Wayanad town at around 4:30 p.m. Our driver was a vegetarian so we had to take care of his eating preferences. O by the way! this place where we had lunch is called Mariya’s Restaurant. Special thing about this place is that this was our third time here and we discovered this place first when we came here. Prawn fry is so cheap as if they are giving us potato fry.  125 rupees for a full plate! My friend exclaims “Is this really prawn that they are serving us for 125 bucks?” He couldn’t believe that. Now isn’t this good? Our driver Ravi ordered parotta and veg korma (curry) and we ordered parotta and butter chicken. I must say after the butter chicken from my native, this was one unique variation of butter chicken i had. Dish was same but the technique to make it looked different. Trust me it is damn delicious, you will eat off your fingers in the illusion of it’s taste!

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After this we wanted to visit Vythiri viewpoint as it was just about sunset time and the driver had never seen this place, so we thought let’s show him the beauty.

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Finally we arrived at Wayanad Coffee County almost 4 hours late.

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I felt really bad because they had called me one day in advance to know our plan and when would we arrive there. We were supposed to reach there by 2 but as we took a side trip to the temple and stopped at Wayanad town for lunch plus visited Vythiri viewpoint, we reached Chundale at 5:30. As a result of waiting late till 3 for us, they had their lunch.

So Mr. and Mrs. Menon welcomed us. We freshened up and had a little chit chat with them as a part of get-to-know-each-other. We also met three other friends here namely N. A. Naseer, Anaz Nazar and Kamar Niza. Interesting people about whom i will describe soon. Dinner was served by Muthu, their humble servant who works there. But he and his family are treated like a part of their own family.

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I can not remember all the names of the food items they served on my banana leaf, but i definitely remember their taste.

Next day morning was Onam celebration. I went on a morning walk and strolled in the tea gardens for an hour.

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We took some really beautiful shots. After coming back we had a cup of coffee with everyone. We had to get ready for the Onam celebration.

Again moment of embarrassment for me. Everybody was ready (as in taken bath already to be able to attend the pooja), i was still in the bathroom and could clearly hear the voices of conch shell marking the start of pooja. Again i was late. I asked my friend Niza to help me tie the sari for me. But wow! i was looking beautiful in that sari.

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We wished each other the best for Onam and then had breakfast together on the extended platform over the beautiful valley. I had puttu and chickpea curry with other side dishes as breakfast. This was one of the best dishes. I am in love with puttu. 😀

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Lunch was the best part of this whole trip. For which i had been imagining the whole time, how kerala food would be like. I always wanted to have this feast with the local people and i am glad that now it is done.

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One of our friend there Naseer taught us a few steps of Tai Chi. To my surprise i also learnt from Niza that Naseer is a famous wildlife photographer, he has learnt Tai Chi, Meditation and Judo for almost 35 years. On the other hand the other friend Anaz is an aspiring photographer and he has this thought about learning photographing nature is that first he wants to live it and feel it, then only he will start learning technical aspects to capture it. Niza herself is a teacher and has a speciality in Literature. Being a sweet person she also writes poems. I got such a chance of meeting these talented people and learn from them. My partner was busy taking these shots during the daytime, so here is a small gallery for a better feel.

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It was time for us to leave for our homes now. Visited Pookkot Lake for 10 minutes and then returned back.

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We greeted back our hosts with a wooden wall hanger with elephant trunks carved on it as a memorable gift. One special thing to mention, while leaving in the car when we were bidding them good bye, and thanking them for their hospitality. It was then they told us that they are from the royal family of Zamorins of India being the first hosts who welcomed Vasco da Gama. Thus displaying their great hospitality skills. I was in a slight shock after listening to this. Being with such great people during this time, enlightened me from withing and changed few portions of my personality too. I hope that trips like these keep happening and amaze me in different ways.

Taking back all these cherishing memories in our minds, we started return trip for Bangalore. Picked up my friend Ann from Mysore and had idli, gobhi fry, dosa, badam shake at chat street which has a mention in Highway On My Plate’s list too. Dropped Ann to her P.G. and reached HOME. One more thing i noticed that, our driver had nice driving skills as i was expecting. He was not like other cab drivers who drove rashly in the city or on highway. To sum up all, i had a very nice weekend in the abode of Kerala’s best hosts, traveled in a car for a change which was not even a bit boring, got my friend with me on this journey though for less time. All the credit goes to my partner’s brilliant planning.

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 “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

 – Terry Pratchett; A Hat Full of Sky.

TILL THEN, NEVER STOP YOUR INNER KID FROM EXPLORING THE WORLD…

Bangalore-Varkala-Kanyakumari-Bangalore.

What draws me in is that a trip is a leap in the dark. It’s like a metaphor for life. You set off from home, and in the classic travel book, you go to an unknown place. You discover a different world, and you discover yourself.

– Paul Theroux


The year came to an end, 2013. And it was meant to be treated wisely while bidding a goodbye. So here was another rewarding trip. Plan: 1. Start from Bangalore, 2. visit Varkala, … 3. decide where to go.. 😉 The journey was all planned till Varkala.

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Google map helps us getting the route correct.

Maps, printouts, chargers, packing, bike servicing and all beach ready! The start time was 4 O’ clock in the morning. We were 4 people and two bikes. As decided, we reached the meeting point at around 5:30 on elevated highway. While moving froward, ZMR started blinking an orange light  just above the speedometer. It was a signal that bike was having some problem due to which it could be risky moving ahead. So we had to turn back towards Bangalore, and by the time we all were guessing that the trip was over before even getting started, a service station popped up on the Hosur road (towards Silk board). Got the bike checked and found out that a wiring was loose. Thank god it got solved.

So it was nearly decided that we are going back to our homes and probably spending the weekend at home doing nothing special. I was asked about what should we do? Thoughts started coming to my mind, how we were planning about the trip the whole past week, that happiness after filling the tank till the brim, imagining about a peaceful beach where i could walk freely in shorts. So I let out my thoughts. I told them, we did not do all these arrangements and planning in just wain. When we have set out, we should be going on the road until we finish it. What I want to do? I still wanted to go on this journey, though a lot of time was wasted, nearly 5 hours. When will your patience and spirit be tested? It was that exact moment. Whether to go back home, or to head forward on the unknown road. Whether let the situation win over you or you take over the situation and free your soul to travel. Finally withing 15 minutes, we changed our routes. To Varkala!

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After riding for exactly 50 kms and crossing Hosur, we stopped at a coconut water stall for refreshment. Its very important to stay hydrated and keep your body in a good condition when you have to travel for more than 10 hours.

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Those Ghee roast dosas made my day. High five to Sarvana – High class veg. restaurant! 😉

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Conical ghee roast dosa.

We took the Salem-Madurai route. So we crossed Dharmapuri, Salem and Madurai by the time it was 5 in the evening. The real adventure started when we had to find our way through Tenkasi. It was getting late and our phone batteries were at the lowest point. That time i did not have portable charger with me so was wondering i should have bought one beforehand. Somehow we got access to 3G on Samsung tab and noted down important places and highway numbers that we had to cover. This time i was travelling while following the State Highway and National Highway numbers. In the night we faced a little problem in finding the right road, but SH and NH boards helped a lot in determining the route. Everyone was all pissed due to clueless night riding, hunger, no network access. So we stopped somewhere before Tenkasi. I do not remember clearly but it was a small town where we stopped mainly to charge our phones and get the correct route. There was this small idly shop with 2 tables and benches. I figured out there was charging point inside so we decided to stop there and get our phone charged while we have awesome local Kerala dinner. That time i had Lumia 520. Because of this phone only we all managed to reach Varkala or else God would have known how we got there. So i noted down the next checkpoints and number of turns after how many kilometers until the network lasted.

We finished dinner, and headed towards Shenkottai. Due to fatigue and misdirection (actually the map loaded late so i told them to take a wrong left instead of the one from the crossroads) we succeeded in finding a weird road. Trust me, at that moment in the night, the whole locality was looking so haunted and unwanted. Out of fear, i asked a man walking on the side of the road and inquired about the road to Shenkottai. He started walking towards us while giving directions for a left turn. His wobbly body structure and loose dull clothing made us all got so freaking scared that rushing away was the only way we found out.

Following the directions that i had written on a small piece of paper (debit card swipe receipt), Shenkottai was here with forest and curvy roads. Ahead us was a 2 kilometer long truck jam which is common on that road. That day I realized the advantages of travelling on a 2 wheeler. We crossed the whole jam in no time. Some of us got even more irritated because we were 4 to 5 hours behind our schedule. We should have reached Varkala by 10 or 11 in night. But at 10 we were roaming in the hills. One more thing, because of night we missed few good views and i noticed this when i was going through a zoomed out view of map.

After crossing the hill, next point was Ayoor. The locals helped us in giving directions and finally after missing and finding again, we got on Ayoor road. It was a single lane  highway. At night there were trucks and curvy roads and another thing that we were riding half sleepy.

:p

Thus came in scene my Lumia. From Ayoor it’s HereMaps (no matter how much people curse Lumia and this app, still i am going to tell this story where it saved our lives :D) guided us reach Varkala safe and in one piece! The moment we entered the town, my friend called the Pulari Gardens resort owner that we had booked online. We had already informed him that we could arrive by 2 or 3 in the morning. So entering was not a big problem.

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At Pulari Gardens.

 

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We left our bags in the rooms and went to check out the cliff area. First time in my life i visited a sea during night. I might not be able to describe it aptly but the sound of the waves was so loud , strong and massive. It felt this close, that when i was standing at the cliff and my friends started pulling me towards the edge to see the waves, i got scared of that roaring sound and few tears dropped off my eyes. I had never felt that something could be so massive and gigantic which in contrast to talking about looks so casual. Experiencing the waves at night was earth shaking for me!

Now we took some rest at 4 and got up next day at around 8:30. Got beach ready and headed to have some breakfast. A small shop served us parotta and some chicken curry on the temple road which was tasty. Beach was calling us and i let myself drown in the sea water for the first time (not literally drowned!). We played in the water and took photographs.

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View from the Rock n Roll Cafe at the cliff.

Brunch came with i don’t remember how many 3 or 5 plates of super soft fish pakodas and beer. Felt so relaxed. This place made me forget the facts of life for some hours that i had a job, i had to work to earn money… heheh,
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Went back and rested for some more time. In the evening, we tried to explore the Big Apple Cafe. It was calm, peaceful and soothing place.

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Late night dinner

Awesome tasty food, plus the ambiance, and to top that were few Romanian music artists who made the environment all smoky with their beautiful music. We even went on exploring a series of cocktails. Tendulkar’s Sixer was a surprise on the table and the person serving us was really sweet.

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Tendulkar’s Sixer.

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Vintage beer mug.

There was no hurry for the order. We were enjoying starters slowly and main course was arriving one by one. Late till 10:30 we had dinner and enjoyed beautiful music accompanied by the sound of the waves hitting rocks. Best evening ever.

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Day 3. Leaving Kerala.

Next day we had to plan either get back home or cover the southernmost end of India, Kanyakumari. I had already decided to apply leave for the next working day. To get to Kanyakumari, we had to cross Trivandrum. There we were supposed to have food in the historic Indian Coffee House. But my other two friends got lost at a junction. The board was showing left for Kanyakumari from there. But the GPS told us to go straight. We waited just after the signal to lead them with the correct road but they missed us in the traffic and went on the left route. We went running after them but could not find them so decided to reach Trivandrum first and call them at the Railway Station. Anybody would get pissed by such happening.

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The menu card without rates.

 

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Circular building of Indian Coffee House.

 

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The circular elevated seating structure.

On our way i saw a group of procession where these men were dressed in traditional attire representing mythological characters. This dance form, i am not sure of, but looked similar to the Theyyam dancers.

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I might be wrong, but it was looking very pretty and i was pretty much zoned out during those 2 minutes that my partner had to shout to get my attention back. On our way a small road was going right and i could see the water and beach so i asked them to take this turn.

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What we saw was Poovar beach where water starts with steep sand level. It was so deep that the color of the water was dark greenish. Just near left was a small backwater formation and a few tourist boats. But it was getting late so we had to go on. We started moving forward, though we had less money left. As we got closer to the end of the country, land started diminishing from our sides and reflection of water pulled us more. I was truly surprised by the nature.

The last ferry for Vivekananda Memorial Rock leaves at at 5 pm in the evening. But as we had long stoppages on our way and also faced difficulty in finding affordable rooms for the four of us, we missed the sunset.Spent the evening near the tip and had the awesomest vadas in a stall right near the water.

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Memorial Rock during night. Brilliant light work.

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Reddish brown sand of Kanyakumari.

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Lighthouse.

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🙂

Keeping positivity alive, we decided to visit Vivekananda Memorial Rock next day after appearing for the sunrise at 5 in the morning.

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The magical sunrise in Kanyakumari. Looks like a magician is stirring his wand from above the sky.

That early morning what i saw was just jaw dropping for me. I never thought that a South Indian state could have so many people from all over the country. Then i was enlightened by my friends that this is the only country in the world where two sea and one ocean meets together at a point and sunrise and sunset is visible too. This place also has a spiritual significance for Hindus. It is considered as a very pious place. Feels great to have been a part of such an occasion. I was not that happy with the crowd, but the place and the view was mesmerizing so it bothered less to me. I informed my parents about this, and they were very happy.

Another unwanted adventure was that my other two friends did not bring their phones in a hurry to see the sunrise. Result: all of our belongings plus their phones was in one room and the keys were with me! Because of which following happened:

  • We could not meet them during the sunrise.
  • No proper breakfast plan in hustle of finding each other in that small but crowded area.
  • Mis-communication and network problem occurred when they called up from some local telephone booth.

Till the afternoon we could not find each other, nonetheless two of us managed to get to the Memorial Rock and clicked a few pictures. While my friend was in the line to book tickets for the ferry, i was roaming around on the roads to find other two people. I even memorized the whole area, and still remember it. I found their bike parked in the parking area, but nobody was there. I stayed there for 15 minutes and then had to go back to board the ferry.

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Ferries.

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Water looks very sweet from up here but you get to see the actual game that goes on underneath when you are inside that ferry. Mind blowing terrific.

I was missing my friends out there. The wind there flows at such a high speed that i had to look out for pillars and corners lest i should fly off with the wind. 😛

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Vivekananda Memorial front view.

I wanted to go to some less crowded beach, so just a few meters from the main area, here i was midst the rocks, salt water, sun and sand. Beautifully peaceful!!

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Giant rocks.

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Violet waves hitting rocks.

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Sunny beach.

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Sand and boats.

Somehow we reunited and left for Bangalore at 1 after noon.We took the Kanyakumari-Bangalore highway to reach home faster and safely and also to mention leaving behind the whole traffic. In the Nagercoil area we happened to see sooooooo many windmills.

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The blades make swooshing sound. When one goes over your head, feels like it will touch.

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Never thought it was this huge.

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Chilling out under the windmill.

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Clicking pictures.

The speed of wind was good enough to topple a bike off the road.

We stopped at a bakery shop to have tea.

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Stop at the bakery. Somewhere in Tamil Nadu.

I got all energized with it’s menu. They had horlicks! Another interesting one was Chuckoo coffee (ginger coffee). The whole setup was amazing!

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Milk and water setup altogether conserving energy.

In the night at around 9 or 10 i started falling sleepy and my helmet hit a few times the rider’s. So we exchanged our bikes and the riders had to pull breaks little hard in order to wake us up. 🙂 Finally reached the Electronic City flyover thus entering Bangalore.

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Speedometer reading marking trip end.

I learnt a lot of important lessons from this trip. But the most important one is…

STAY CLOSE!! NO MATTER WHAT.

Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund or better known as ‘Ooty’

Bangalore had become a pleasant place for me by 2013 start. Came out of a tiring relationship. Cleansed my mind, and regained the personality which i  should have been for past 3 years lost. I started meeting new people. Going out, travelling alone through the city, and meeting friends regularly. Friends are a vital part of my life. I can never upset a friend. Always looking out to make someone happy and smile with my witty and humorous topics or even by visiting them. 🙂


So Flipkart it was. I had spent more than a year there. There was this guy always sitting working on his system alone. He used to look as if he had just come out of his bed and does not give a heck about office, code, conduct, or any related shit. Just him and his tab. I noticed him and started talking. We used to talk and make fun about silly people and their acts in office. Shared hilarious jokes. So he had bought his bike black Karizma ZMR and brought to the office one day. He offered me a ride and drop me home. And this bike became my favourite since then.

I met new friends, which was too cool. They have fun, eat, drink, move out whenever they like either day or night. It was a time for celebration for all of us. And it must be celebrated with a trip! Destination was Ooty. We were really excited about this.

Started from Bangalore, at 4 in the morning. Stopped at Cafe Coffee Day that comes on the Bangalore-Mysore highway. I had never seen a mountain before. So this was very special for me. We rode with 5-6 tea breaks to straighten our bodies. Riding for almost 270 kms, we finally reached Ooty. When the whole stretch from Bangalore through Mysore was smoking up in heat, the foothills were so cold that wearing a jacket proved to be a good decision. Being the first ride, we did not pay much attention towards protection. There were no helmets for the girls. Normal jackets and shoes. No attention towards plan B if it starts raining. All we had was the positive energy to travel on our own and explore the beauty of nature.

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The three musketeers

On our way we stopped at our favourite spot which was a tree on a single lane road just before Nanjangud town. We made sure that our bodies are hydrated at all times and carried 2 litres of water on each bike.

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Hanging onto the arms of our tree.

 

This tree has a special place in our trip. Whenever we pass by this road, we always stop at this spot. Check on bike’s condition, luggage, and most important urination. 😛 There are a lot of bushes here to use.

In this trip i have not captured food anywhere. That time i did not know that i will be writing about my rides anytime in future. But will definitely describe the captivating taste of locale.

Just before entering Bandipur Tiger Reserve, we thought of having some lunch, as Ooty was almost 50 km that is 1.5 hours ride including 36 hairpin bends from there. So we wanted to have something where the food was good and less expensive. There was this restaurant called Hotel Bandipur Plaza. As i had mentioned earlier that i was liking Bangalore much, so was with the south Indian food here. I am deeply in love with dosa, idi, vada, coconut chutney, dal sambhar, kuthu parotta, kerala parotta and numerous other dishes. So we ordered some ghee roast dosa, and idli-vada and kerala parotta. I still remember the ultimate satisfactory feeling running through my brain and tongue. 😉 Funny, we kept on ordering until the waiter asked himself, “Aur kya chahiye sir?” (Translation: What else do you need sir?) Some of us got embarrassed but some including me were smiling at him and dared to order some more. Finally ended the lunch session with tea and coffee.

Started heading towards the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and were warmly welcomed by the Nature. A few snaps:

 

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Deer antler fight

 

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Dude! humans are watching us. Stop fighting!

While passing through the national reserve, we had to limit our vehicle’s speed below 40, for wild animal’s safety.  Here is another picture of a beautiful peacock. All photograph credits go to Shashank with his Nikon D7000.

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The majestic blue bird

This tree here took my attention as the top part resembles to a bird taking off. Trust me whenever i have been to Bandipur, this tree has always been the same.

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Bird tree

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Lines go curvy

Every view and every road was breathtaking for me. I had seen these kind of sights only in pictures. Watching and experiencing them was an expression that took my eyes drown in tears for a second. And there was the Nilgiris peeking from behind the forest. The hairpin bends were new for all of us. Everybody was tired but adrenalin was so high that did not let us feel that. We headed to the chocolate shops. They make chocolates on daily basis and have a huge variety. Chocolate with nuts, roasted nuts, a hint of rum, white, dark, bitter. Imagine whatever you can!

We had dinner in Hyderabadi House with butter naan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naan), some semi gravy spicy chicken, and biryani (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biryani). Though their items were not pocket friendly, food was good. I had booked rooms in Rainbow Cottage by the help of my friend Arpa and Hemant. Thus we had no hassle to find rooms for the night. After having a night’s sleep, we woke up to a view of hill and even the balcony covered in fog at 6 in the morning. Decided to leave early and visit a few places that included Dolphin’s nose, Emerald lake, Avalanche (yes it is actually name of a place in Ooty, even i was surprised by the name that i asked them 5 times!). We did not want to miss the sunrise, so whoever was ready to join, came in.

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Enjoying

On our way we stopped at a place for tea and egg bonda (a preparation of gram flour and boiled eggs deep fried). We happened to see a small factory setup where fresh cut carrots were being packed for sale in the market. The scenery was amazing.

Riding through the curvy roads, tea gardens, and old British styled houses, we finally reached the Dolphin’s Nose viewpoint in half an hour.

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Green tea gardens from Dolphin’s Nose. The air 100% oxygen that makes you hate the city life and compels you to leave everything behind and stay here forever.

Sun had no-show that day. Which made the place even more lovely.

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I can still feel that fresh cold air caressing my lungs.

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ZMR and Avenger

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Sujit and Shashank (from left) along with their velocipedes.

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Happy… 🙂

 

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Remember Amir Khan’s song .. where he jumps onto the tea bushes?

We were lucky that day because we had arrived there a little late, and fortunately there was no sign of ‘tourists’. So it was just us and the scenic beauty. We had hot rose tea at a small stall as it was getting colder in the evening.

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Group selfie.

By 6 the sky started getting gloomy so we packed to go back to our hotel. The road and trees gave me a scary show of light and shadow. On our way back, we encountered with a mini traveller van. We did not intend to race with him or agitate him in any way. Due to the time we had to reach Ooty faster so we overtook that van from right. He got irritated by this act and as we know van and tempo treveller drivers in our country are very rash while driving, this guy tried to overtake us too. He got succeeded once and then slowed down in front of us as a reply. We overtook again and this time when he was trying to come after us, a state bus came right from the other side which made him brake hard and go back to his lane. He started chasing us to hit. There was an instance when the driver was about to hit us with the corner most part of that van intentionally. It could have crushed us against the rocky wall and caused serious accident. That day could have been my last day on bike. But i did not loose my patience and strength. I sat close to Shashank (who was riding the bike) and helped him maintain the balance.  While he was chasing us, our other friend was following right behind us to help. Finally after those frightening 10 minutes of my life, we saw a steep downward road on left and escaped. We met each other there and thanked God that we all were safe.

My eyes turned wet with tears. I also learnt a very important lesson, whatever happens never loose trust on your rider. A pillion has to be a part of the ride too by supporting in balancing and swinging along with the bike and the rider. The night was made light by Sujit’s headless and tale-less jokes.

The next day we all woke up a little late. Planned was to visit Avalanche first and then Emerald lake. Total distance was about 3 kms. On our way the weather became a little foggy and it suddenly started drizzling. As we moved on, i was keeping an eye on the ones coming behind our bike at regular intervals. Once as i turned back, i saw Avenger turning down flat on the downward sloping road and both the people fell down. The road was very slippery that is why we were moving slowly to avoid slippage. So when they fell, it looked like it happened due to the slippery road. But a few seconds later when we rushed to check them out, Josna went unconscious and her eyes started rolling back. She was struck with a fit. Her palms were closing in and turning cold. Some local residents came to help us. While we tried to keep her mouth open, her teeth were trying to close against jaws. In this process Sujit’s fingers got bruised too. A man came running with an iron rod about 6 inches in height and placed it in one of her hands. I guess he knew the severity of this situation. I was out of any idea what was happening, but did not loose my calm and stood steady to help her out of the situation. Finally after the hard toil she came back to consciousness and puked everything out. We had to take her to a nearby government hospital and the doctor gave her anti-vomit pills and some fluids.

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Hospital

During that time i strolled up to take a nice view of the area. It feels amazing walking alone on green grasslands. The local residents are so warm, they always greet with a smile on face.

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And that’s me.

We decided to leave for Bangalore after her consent if she was okay for the ride. Went back to the hotel and packed everything. The morning was not so good, but the later ride to Bangalore was a roller coaster game for sure. The boys were leaving behind every other vehicle as if i was in some bike racing game. The Bangalore-Mysore highway was the best part. Where the bikes were at a constant speed of 90-100 kmph. I try not to sleep on bike during a ride but this time it was so tiring that, our bums were hurting badly and especially i was sleeping on the rider’s shoulder at that speed. For 5 seconds i dreamt as if i was sliding down the bike’s seat and jumping onto the bed laid on road. Woah! that was trippy!! But nothing that sort happened. Not all dreams should come true ;P.

Finally we reached elevated highway near Electronic city at around 2 and waved each other sweet good bye for the night.

I kept crying for next 2 weeks, as i lost my Aldo sunglasses there. Anyways, things are still fresh in my mind as if it happened just 2 days ago. Will update my other memorable trips and adventurous incidents in upcoming posts.

Till then, KEEP RIDING AND WRITING!!!

It all started here… one hell of a night!

Before starting this post, i would take a moment to remember Gaurav. He was one of the best people i ever met. We spent 4 years together like dudes. 🙂 He is now with Him. Hope he must be happy wherever he is. God bless.

 

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Gathering outside the hostel. Divider on road. Before trip planning.

 

Whenever i remember that night, a 180 degree plain line on my face automatically turns into a 250 degrees smile that could even burst into a laugh with a chance of tears.

🙂

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At the college construction site, Mithapur. (From left: Renuka, Shreyasi, Arnab, Kislay, Gaurav, myself)

 

My first local bike ride in a group started during college one sudden night. College days were coming to an end. For over 3 and a half years we all were merry-making and hating and loving each other, without even believing this fact that parting time could be so difficult. Finally we started feeling it within us. We will not be able to see each other this often.

It used to be like we were only sleeping in our own beds, except that, we were never apart. Having pathetic lunch in college and hostel, singing the latest songs of the new releases as well as old hits. Sharing laziness while sitting on our chairs and legs held up on the tables. Endless chats about total number of couples in college or the hottest guy and the girl. Deciding upon the best name for that teacher nobody used to like. Exchanging frozen zombie looks with each other under Sanjay sir’s nose, during his loudest ever shout!

We were all in a class, but to say this does not mean that we were united as one too. There was a sort of division among our unity. Some were the proud noses, few were day-dreamers, we had stylistas, very few were the hard working bees, and many were the copy cats. Among these i chose the ones with whom my abnormality was so normal.

I am writing out names of all those souls, who all together inspired and kindled this fire within me to ride and always have fun no matter what. Gaurav V. Rai (one of my true bestie), Shreyasi Singh, Suruchi Tiwari, Shreyasi Khandwe, Gunjan Kumar, Kislay Kumar (our beloved junior), Arnab Mukhopadhyay and Renuka Rathore (the buzzy and cute couple of our class).

We were getting bored. The boys then did not stay at the hostel. We all were talking about why not go somewhere together. So we decided to go visit our new campus which was under construction. It was a Sunday or Saturday i guess. It takes almost 30 minutes to reach Mithapur from Kurji. So i agreed on this. I was a little scared to inform my (ex) bf about any unknown and unplanned trip at 11 in the night, as he would never had allow me to do such an insane thing also, i would have got harsh scolding from him too. If not that, he could have ignored me for like half a month in the college to punish me. Everyone around me agreed but i was still in doubt whether to go or ditch them.

Anyways..!! My friends yelled at me for being such a pativrata jerk and finally when i could not restrain to their requests, i said yes for it. Thus we started.

Oh! there was one more problem. WARDEN! Now how will 5 girls tie the bell around this cat’s neck?

Actually we started talking about this from 10:00 p.m. onward. So we all clever minded girls decided to move out one by one. Shreyasi was already out there. Suruchi left telling the guard that she was going to buy something from the shop nearby. Then it was Renuka’s turn. Finally Khandwe (Shreyasi Khandwe) and i slipped with the excuse of phone recharge. That was the first day i had ever slipped out of the hostel. Without wasting any more time and slipping out of the eyes of guards and warden, we all were set for the adventure. Arnab had managed a bike from Sandeep bhaiya, Gaurav and Gunjan got their own Pulsar 180 dtsi and yellow Stunner respectively. And our junior Kislay brought his Apache. That was a time, i started knowing and learning about bikes, their names, riding skills, speed, gears, and things. It was almost 10:30 while we all were chatting and discussing about college time and how sad it felt to believe that we will leave the college in some time. In the meantime Shreyasi and i asked one of them to help her ride the bike so they did. It felt so good.

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Outside the gates of future college

 

So it was all set, all 4 bikes started from Kurji. We all stopped at the construction site of ‘should have been made earlier our so called college campus in which we will never be able to enter while studying’ campus. Heheh. There was no guard or security person hence we entered the gate. We all were deep into the thoughts of the pictures of future campus and started imagining there itself. Somebody describing, “There would be our classes, and there that side will be the administrative block”, “And the hostel will be behind it”.

 

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Shreyasi Khandwe, Shreyasi Singh, Renuka

 

Incident # 1: The girls felt peeing badly. But there was no washroom any way closer. They thought of doing it by hiding in the big pits dug in the ground or behind the dumper machine. They all did except me. I was somewhat skeptic of the idea of pissing somewhere in open while the boys are around. Something told me not to do it there. After all the girls were done, suddenly a dumper machine starts with the engine sound and the lights were on. We all had that ‘i got fooled” look on our faces and hurried up to leave.

 

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Running…

 

So well, that was bad.. but by then we all were going back to the hostel. Suruchi was secretly high on whiskey which was mixed in coke bottle with it. I came to know this later when she sounded trippy. She came up with the idea of moving on a second trip to Rajgir. Rajgir is a small area in Nalanda known for its hot water spring, Brahmkund and Vishwa Shanti Stupa. I was against this plan to the top. Because it takes almost 3 hours to reach there and it would be morning till the time we returned. I was calculating the certainty of my ex calling at around 6. If he would have heard the sound of bikes and all, he would freak out at me.

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Merry making

 

But it was looking like all of them were almost ready to leave for Rajgir. I stepped off the bike and told everyone that i would not go any further. I never agreed for this. I will go back myself, no problem! But nobody wanted to go back soon. They had this hunger of riding on road in the night. So i had no option but to go along with them. My mood got better when we hit the highway. I never knew how it feels to ride on a highway. Just the bikes and the trucks following past. Fatuha was the next diversion from where we had to take the road going right. All were happy and playing the speeding up game throughout the road.

Incident #2: Gunjan was riding his bike with 2 pillion, me and Khandwe. As we crossed Fatuha diversion, few kilometers later our bike’s clutch wire failed to work. The bike stopped and we were behind all of them. Network was close to nil. Lonely road with a scary single building of a house on one side and bushy forest like darkness on the other. All of them were crazily racing up to reach first and were not even picking up their phones. After 20 minutes Gaurav answered and got back all of them to help us. The clutch wire was broken due to heavy pressure.

Now how can someone pull a bike? Obviously thick cable or jute/nylon rope. But in our case, we were unprepared for any troubles. We never even thought of something like this would happen the very day we stepped out on adventure! Well we did a quick scan on what rope-like things we had, and found two stoles. Yes stoles.. And tied the two bikes together. While going back on our way, we happened to see many puncture and bike repair shops, but none was open. We tried waking up one guy who was sleeping just outside his shop, but guess he had done a lot of toil throughout the day and that is why did not give any heed about the silly broken clutch wire.

Finally we arrived at a petrol filling station. The boys were to make a deal with the people in-charge over there. But they did not get any success. One talented boy saw an old scooter kept in a corner. They got an idea of using it’s clutch wire in stead. So this task was well done, while the girls were helping out trippy Suruchi not to cry or create a scene there, and enjoying the local radio songs playing.

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Gaurav tired at the same time laughing on the situation. Like he used to be always.

After we left from there we had to cross the Fatuha diversion, but unfortunately the police saw us and started running after us. I did not understand why was he trying to stop us? We had not done any wrong thing.

Incident # 3: The police chased us with a wooden staff to hit. Mine was the last bike of all as Gunjan had to drive slower lest the clutch wire breaks by any chance. (I do not expect that you will imagine this in a way i witnessed but try to do once, coz this one is hilarious). The police was running behind us, coming closer to hit. I was watching him, while screaming “Run, faster, run!!!” Eyes full of tears. And Khandwe getting squeezed between me and Gunjan (as i was trying to hold him tightly so that the police man does not hit me). If i had a chance to jump and sit on Gunjan’s head, i would have done that to save myself from the cop’s danda. Finally he speed up, and escaped. After crossing around some 6 kilometers, we slowed down thinking that the policemen would have given up. Suddenly a truck driver comes from behind and indicates us to run faster as the police jeep was trying to catch us, with their lights and siren off. Again we had to run as if there was a bull after us. This time we left everything behind.. and i mean literally! We crossed the city border. Lol.

Finally called everyone up and decided to meet at the railway station. At 4:45 am, we had tea and biscuits at a stall. Came back to the hostel and prepared to drop Ann at the station. She was leaving that day for Kerala, forever.

That time was a time, when i realized that nothing is certain, anything can happen anytime, anywhere. Riding a bike is not just a game that soothes your sense for some time. It gives you a new learning experience. Road, dust and wind is also a life that many people live and worship.

We just ride… Dedicated to Gaurav. 🙂

A bird is born

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!”

~Hunter S. Thompson


Namaskar everyone!!!

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Wrapping paper self-made cutwork lamp.

Travelling and food. Two pleasures of my life i have always looked upon with a high head and spirit. For those who do not know me. I am a girl from the capital city Lucknow of  Uttar Pradesh, India.

(I know after listening to this name, 99% people think of “nawabs”, “kababs” and “pehle aaps” … anyways back to the topic.)

Elder daughter to my parents and friend-more-than-a-sister to my brother. I come from a middle class family employed in government services. I was born and brought up in the same city. To say in a way it is my birth place and one should be well versed with it. But in my case it has been a little different. School had always been a compulsory priority thing in my life. So i did not get much time to explore the roads. School-home-coaching-home. No roaming around, no hanging out with friends. Oh well! i didn’t even have many friends too ;P. To count there were only two or three of them whom i just used to meet up with.

So! that was a bit boring start but do not be hasty, because this is going to be a journey very fruitful of the hardships.

I always used to think when will i get out of this school? When will i start having fun? When will i have full control on whatever i do or want to do? I always wanted to be like a free bird. I wanted to roam around, explore new places, meet new strange people, get to know them. Gain more experiences in life about anything and everything. I never lost hope. So 2008 was the life changing year, that turned out new qualities from me. I got enrolled in a Fashion college NIFT. Couldn’t manage a very good rank, but whatever i had, that gave me an option from 3 branches all over India. One was Shillong, other was Bangalore, and the third one was Patna. Shillong was seen as a frequent maoist attack prone place, so my parents dropped the idea of sending me there. Bangalore was the best of them but fate!!! Fate it was that i thought Fashion Design was above all. Didn’t know that Fashion Communication course offered by college is the one i was made for. So dropped Bangalore too due to FD batch being full there. Finally Patna was it, as 1. i was closer to home, 2. North India. But i think that decision was not bad actually. People say about Bihar and Patna that it is a dirty bad city, they accuse it’s natives being a “Bihari” which is so racist! Imagine if you were addressed with a name that was meant to symbolize the bad qualities of your place? If it had not been Patna. I would not have chances of other events that took place later.

College was some dreamy world for me. I used to enjoy with friends, hostel-life. Learnt cooking. Discovered my creativity levels. Did crazy things with friends, danced, sang, celebrated, worked, and started having a life! I became a recognizable and a cool person among friends. (Which was completely opposite in my school days).

From those 4- years i got MY friends Gaurav V. Rai, Shreyasi Singh, Ann Mary Joyichan, Samvedita I. Jha, Ashish Kispotta, Ritu Brahm, Rahul K. Singh. These are the few people with whom i am myself and share my happiness.

College, hostel, friends, fun, everything got over after 4 years of course. In 2012 it was decision time for all of us. Where to go? What to do? How to start our careers? So during the second round of placements in Mumbai center, i got selected for Flipkart.com by Mr. Abhijit Sojwal for the position of stylist. Currently working in the same company for around 2 years since then. This company has seen remarkable new heights of success in India and also got a place in world news. Really proud to be a part of this story.

So this is my story till the present day. The interesting part starts next… 🙂