Tag Archives: India

Motorcycle Diaries Page 1 – Nandi Hills, Bangalore


The first page in Motorcycle diaries is jotting down and I hope the readers will excuse the missing elements, which I feel essential for any basic road trip travelogues.

  • Photos – The snaps taken during this trip were minimal and do not include any route snaps. Being the first ride, I was more concentrating on reaching the destination, rather than capturing the frames along the way.
  • Review of routes – I am very new to Bangalore and also very new to road trips. Hence, I am no where to give any riders navigation tips. Maybe, after I have my intellectual ‘gray’.

Route : Bangalore – Nandi Hills –Bangalore

There was no fuzz about route as it was pretty straight forward and not much to think about. I was to straight head to the outer ring road, from there to Bangalore international airport and go past it on Mysore state highway.

Plan : My plan was to start at early day break to avoid the imminent Saturday traffic of Bangalore before hitting the National Highway. Initial plan included a pack of my friends riding together. But, the lazy Sunday got them and eventually, it was just me, a lone wolf drive.

The Ride

I will not be able to write a timeline based travelogue for this ride as I already mentioned, it was my first lone ride and I had all the timidness and anxiety of a virgin rider. it will be kind of storyline rather than a timeline based travelogue.

The actual journey started at 9 am. I was expecting a heavy traffic, but the outer ring and the approach road to airport was having normal traffic. Except for few signals near airport, the route was pretty normal till there. After the airport, I took the Mysore state highway and it was the first time, my bike ran on its final gear. The bike was solid and stern and I was cruising through the highway like ‘walk in the park’.

The total distance can be broken up into three to four landscapes. The first part, of course was the outer ring road in city traffic. The second was the cruising part, where the entire stretch of 30+ km was on state highway. The road was as smooth as it needed to be and so was the bike. Third part was the village road of almost 17 km. Though it’s a 40 ft road, it was an experience riding on it. The road condition was good. It was absolutely straight and lined with trees on both sides. On each km, we can see grape sellers on road side. But, I was not in a mood to relish the grapes, though I realize now that it is something worth stopping by.After this stretch, the final part was the high range, final lap with 40 hair pins(30 or 40, can’t remember now).

 

The top hill was the famous fortified lodge of one of the greatest kings of  central south IndiaTippu Sultan. There are also 2 temples and the notorious “Tippu Drop”. It is said that, Tippu used to sentence the prisoners, by having them thrown downhill from “Tippu’s Point”. But, as with any site of historical importance in India, the place is also not maintained considering its heritage value. The canons in the fortifications are missing, place is not well preserved and  the walls are graved with visitors ‘Love lines’ and names. As an Indian, its a shame for me too that we don’t even today understand the importance of preserving the historical heritage of our past.

Worth to mention here, I had an opportunity to visit the Rudkhan castle in Iran in 2012, which was home to the infamous but first professional killers in human history – “Hassasins”. Considering the seiges and mongol attacks that this castle withstood throughout its history, the Iranians had preserved this castle as such to conquer the time. And I, hundreds of generations ahead was able to see the castle in almost its same sturdiness as in its golden times.

Well, from the road trip point of view, I returned back in same route and was home by 3 PM.

I will be more considerate to keep notes and to snap in route snaps in next pages to make the diary more colorful.

Advertisements

My Motor Cycle Diaries


Royal Enfield UK: The Bullet is unique in bein...

Royal Enfield UK: The Bullet is unique in being a machine of the 1950%u2019s but made today with the benefit of modern technology and a full national dealer network. Over 100 modifications have been made to the Bullet in the past 5 years but, with the exception of the indicators, it still looks the same as it did 50 years ago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The interests of humans are far too complex than explainable. So, is the instance when it starts budding in the brain. For me, all along my life, the interests and hobbies used to vary, some stayed, few washed away, lucky ones kept on coming back.

In my early years, drawing used to amuse me, then in 2 years or so, I lost the skill to curve the lines. Then, the passion of reading started, which held on for quite a long period in my life, the one which still exists, constrained only by time limitations. Then, guitar, blogging, quizzing, travelling, so many such interests came and stayed with me on and off. And of course, today, I will be more interested in the hobby traveling as the blog topic suggests, about the intuitive branching it took.

My travel days started in 2006, after I got my job and started enjoying the freedom: both financially and on decision making. In those days, travel was just packing the backpack and to set to the road on bus or train. At least once in 3 months, I used to travel to a new place in the southern part of India. Then, after 2 years, ever since, I got my first car, and traveling made way to driving mode. The frequency of travel increased and I covered most parts of south India in a short span of 2 years.

Then, last year, my job took me to Iran for a year and it was my first international travel and I made most of the free time to wander and see the new country. I was so fascinated by the culture and beauty of the country that I almost covered 30% of the ‘best places to be seen’ in one year. But, even in those days, I never knew what was in the bag for me : The tryst with the Wind.

Once back in India, I somehow was driven my the old dream of owning a Royal Enfield Motorcycle and as the legend goes, I became the proud owner of Royal Enfield Classic 350 CC engine. And  thus started the frenzy of Motor cycle diaries or roadtrips.

The running in period of the bull kept me on bay (Still keeping me) and I started off with <100 one way rides. And last week, I made the first page of my diary with a day trip to Nandi Hills – a 85 KM drive from Bangalore city. With no biker pack in company and being lone wolf, my priority was to complete the ride than enjoying the spot. The first ride anxiety also, took me on for a while. Still, making the page 1 is the first step towards the start and I hope many more wonderful trips will add pages to my diary.

With the next post, I will start my photo travelogue and of course, the page 1 is “A drive to Nandi Hills”.

IPL Spot Fixing


For last one week, the front pages of all newspapers and prime time news of visual media is filled with the spot fixing updates  in the 2013 edition of IPL. Till today, I was following these news and was waiting for the finals and as not expected, the favorites lost to the more formidable team.

My opinion as expressed below is only righteous to my freedom of speech and is not intended to hurt anyone’s opinion or thinking.

When I was of age of 6-7, there was craze among us kids, to collect the stickers and name slips of WWF stars. Hulk Hogan, Rock, Kane, the list was big, but the craze was immense. We exchanged, bought, bartered with passion. As years passed, the stickers moved away for trump cards of WWF. Having a whole set to play on, was considered an asset. And, also, by that age, we used to watch the WWF matches on TV. Though, we watched and bet for stickers and cards for each match, we all were aware that the result of match is fixed and the entire fight and show-off are part of showbiz. The ultimate aim was entertainment for us, and money for the participants.

We never complained, the matches went on, and still today, WWF goes on with new faces and new formats. We all know, it is not do or die matches where the titans fight for flesh and blood to win the title. We still watch it with the same passion and awareness that, its ‘entertainment’.

That’s doesn’t mean that everything is the same with Sports. The ‘Showbiz’ and sports are two opposite lanes. They never mix together. When the sprinter forces his last breath of force to cover the final meters in Olympics 100m run, his heart fills with the image of that small gold medal waiting for him. The moment, he will be on that podium, the gold medal on his chest, his name written for eternity in the history of sports. It cannot be booked or bought with money. There, money has least place, because, its sports, its achievement.

Now coming back to cricket, The matches which alleged for ‘Spot Fixing‘ were not international matches, or International events, where teams represented their country. In those cases, they must arrested as they committed crime against the country. Also, the doping cases, in the international events, where athletes represent their country, get punished with Life Ban which is justifiable.

A ‘ShowBiz’ like IPL which is designed with money, run with money and is an investment for money by all stakeholders. It’s not about the fair play or sportsman spirit, it’s about ‘entertainment’ and ‘money’. So, the people who wish to see fair play matches, please watch the games or tournaments made for it. Let WWF and IPL run in its own design..

Adieus Tehran


Sometimes, words are very hard to find. All the emotions are more expressed on the facial muscles and the pain in the heart. These are times when your tongue gives you away altogether to your own discretion.

Tehran – An year back, it was last place in the world, I wanted to go. But now, it is the last place in the world, from where I want to leave. A city booming with its beauty, all beautiful citizens with their beauty not just on skin, but their hearts too.

It will be hard to believe, when I say, that I have more close friends and acquaintances in here, than  in my home town or anywhere else in India. The intimacy and bond of love, my friends gave me here, made me feel that, language or culture or race or country do not stop you from living a good life or respecting and loving each other. In the company of each of the Iranian and indian friends I have been, I never felt away from home.

I still remember how I left for Iran from India. Said, it’s my home country and my own, I travelled to airport alone, there was nothing with the news that I am leaving India, all was so normal. Even I thought, may be it is just leaving, there is nothing to be indifferent about it.

For all the farewell dinners, I had with my closest friends in here, each parting moments, I knew that neither Farsi or Hindi or any other languages both knew didn’t have enough words to say goodbye to your loved ones and to promise that we will see each other again. It has been a very emotional moments that I am passing through now.

There are many lessons that I am taking back from Tehran. The most important of them is that, it is not the differences, but the empathy to understand each other with all the differences and to know that we are all one by blood and bone makes strong relations.

In a country with such a long history and cultural heritage, I enjoyed each and every place, I have been, more with the company of my dear friend ‘Afshin’. Without him, I would not have learnt so much about the history of places I visited, the tales of kings and the architectural advancement of Persians. Each building, each gateway, each sculpture had a tale to tell and without my expert friend  in Iranian and world history, I would have known less about Persian culture Andy Iran. A also the Sohan from Qom and rose water from Kashan and much more.

The beautiful Caspian, the port cities Ramsar, Anzali and the desert city of Kashan, the snow jewels Dizin and Touchal, the priceless diamonds in National treasure, each of them gifted me memories which will never ever fade away. Walking through the busiest Berlin Street, Firdouse street and the parks helped me understand the life of the people and felt the same as if walking in the busiest streets of India.

There are many more good people who helped me and my family in many situations, where no famiky of friends could have made it. The family of Golnoush, Pardis, Devu, Pradeep,Baiju,Prajod,Ashokan, Sajeev, casanavi, Afshin, Murali,Krishnan and many more made my good moments in Tehran as get togethers, parties and the travels and the each and every moments spend in company and helping each other. These people taught me a lot more to the life which I will carry forth. Thanking them for these moments will be the an injustice to the bond between us. So, the toast will be ‘To Life’.

There is lot more to say than said. And it will never be expressed in words and phrases of any languages we shared, but each of these moments will be played on and on in the scriptless, stageless replay of my memories, where I will always, remember you in each rewinds.

Also, the earth is round and life is a journey. So, will always see you in some cross roads ahead.

The First Fall


A wonderful morning and an encouraging words from a good friend is much an inspiration to continue writing with more positiveness than ever before.  And thanks friend for being so compassionate and willing to go through my posts and give your valuable comments. In this beautiful land, where you have been so long, I have just started my journey across seasons and now, I am at the verge of experiencing my “First Fall

People who know me will also be aware that I come from the tropical, calm and monsoon oriented climate of southern shores of India. A beautiful place where change in climate is not so scientifically defined and rain and sun comes around in a rough 3 months interval. No snow, no fall, no one can say when summer starts or what exactly winter is.

Though heavenly with climate of my homeland, I always longed to experience the bitterness of nature. The extreme, which I never had in my life time. Because, with bitterness always comes the beauty of sweetness. With the dryness that cracks your skin, comes the magical “Fall” of colours all around, with the chilling cold wind, comes the ethereal beauty of snow, and much more, which I really need to know myself. At least in this case, I don’t want to keep me forecasted much about what happens next with Google 🙂

Here, the weather has fixed timelines. On a fine pre defined morning, the summer started (though the summer for me here was a pleasure ), and then the intensity of heat started decreasing and with fine and intermittent rains, the temperature started falling. And then it all started. As if the nature triggered the alarm, all trees around understood that it should save the moisture and the water for the harsh time ahead. The result was, all moisture in leaves was sucked into the water reserve within the truck and the magic began.

It was a ballet of colours; green, yellow, orange, golden-yellow, the blend was so amazing.

Maybe the lack of words or the wait for more magic restricting me to end here. Maybe I must bring in the skill of composing the feel of my heart to words, but it aint easy.

Have a good day friends..

Is Mumbai really safe for IT Professionals?


With bombs blasting the streets of Mumbai like crackers, the justification of the prime metro being most insecure city in the country is rising. People started looking the Bombing charts for anniversaries, Day 13 or annual celebration of any terrorist groups before visiting Mumbai. Because, each of these events just another reason for a detonation.

I read a report on hoe insecure Mumbai has become for common people. Also, the fact that the Terrorist like ‘Kasab‘ still alive on Indian soil eating the bites from hard earned tax payers cash for his security and trial, which is going on for years. Why cant the govt shoot the balls out of his brains for the atrocity and murders he has caused in Mumbai and to the common Indian people. Fact is I don’t have the guts to take an offer from any of the firms from Mumbai just because of sheer fear. I wont even choose to visit Mumbai as a tourist unless government has some effective plans to bring Mumbai under control.

My opinion about Mumbai is that in this city, terror and crime has deep roots with the society. Here, crime arises out of poverty and living conditions and the fittest takes the limelight of Ibrahims and Shakeel’s. But, even more than them, the religious terrorism from the backhouse of Pakistan training rooms are the most threatening to India. I am just a citizen who can opinion about. But as long as the power house of Indian administration close eyes to the barbarism that occurs right in front of them, Mumbai is not a safe land of anyone, atleast I believe so.

NATIONAL FIRE SERVICE DAY – 14th APRIL


Every Year 14th April is observed as Fire Service Day in India as a part to pay homage to those brave Fire Fighters, who sacrificed their live in line to their duty on 14th April, 1944. Industries observe this day / week as Fire Service day / Week and conducts Training, Drills and Rehearsals to demonstrate the Preparedness to combat emergencies.

The Ship in which accident took place named S S Fort Stikline having capacity of 7000 Tons belonged to Ministry of War and Transport. The ship left Birkinhead – UK on 24th February, 1944. Convey of 20 other ships with cargo for Karachi and Bombay was loaded. The Karachi Cargo Contained RAF Planes, General Stores, Explosives and Ammunitions. Bombay Cargo was 1395 Tons of Explosives and Ammunitions and Service Stores. The ship reached Karachi on 30th March, 1944 where a part of Cargo was discharged, leaving void 2, 86,000 cu. Feet in her hold. The new Cargo loaded was cotton, timber, lubricating oil, resin, sulphur and other combustible material. The ship then left Karachi on 9th April, 1944 and reached Bombay on 9th April, 1944. No explosives or ammunition were off loaded until the ship has been alongside for 24 hours.

ACCORDING TO THE  BYE LAWS OF B.P.T [ Bombay Port Trust]

  • A Ship carrying explosives is not allowed into docks, but under Rule 88 of the Defense of India Rules, this Bye-Law is suspended in case where Military Officer has given a Certificate of “GRAVE EMERGENCY”. Such a certificate was issued for S S Stiklite

The ship was anchored at Victoria Dock Bombay and the Memorable Day, throughout the morning, she was active as cargo hooks swayed a load of commodities from the S S Fort Stikline. Firemen were at Fire Stations as usual shining their brass to keep their fire engines shining.

On 14th April, 1944, at 1400 hrs

A Whiff of smoke noticed from No.: II hold of the ship. Frantic series of short blast of whistles were heard warning of fire board. The ship crew started pouring musky water in the ship hold. Fire Engines from Alexandra Dock and Air Force Squad arrived immediately and started hose streams in smoking hold to control fire spread. The firemen though aware of the dangerous situation, there was no panic. The prompt arrival of the Fire Engines seemed no reason to think that the fire could not be controlled. Soon it became apparent that the firemen were loosing ground. A call was put through to Mumbai Fire Brigade control for Additional appliances. At 14.30 hrs, a large part of Fire Service was on pliers. Total 32 Water Jets came into action pouring gallons of water into ship hold to quench the fire. The Fire was still gained. There was something preventing the water from reaching the seat of fire. The deck head under the firemen’s feet grew hotter and hotter. The water stream played over the deck head turned into steam. It was now clear that the fire was out of control. Slides and Deck became CHERRY RED, blenching thick black and brown smoke. Flames shot mast high but sound never reached firemen’s ear.

1605 Hrs. ~ Ground Rumbled and EXPLOSION,

S S Fort Stikline Blew Up with its gallant firemen and fire engines disappeared from the face of earth. No. of ships destroyed nearby. At one stroke, the key port of Bombay was taken out of war.

1636 Hrs. ~ SECOND EXPLOSION,

Explosion was heard miles away. Entire Dock upto few kms was in flames. 14 other ships standing aside destroyed. 336 people burned. All nearby/around people and animals died. Many Fire Fighters died or disabled. The Number of persons who died in the Explosion will never be known and figures are conflicting. NFPA Handbook listed 731 dead whereas other sources said 1500 Died/Missing and more than 3000 Injured.

Couple of months after the Disaster, 3083 people had requested claims for damage by Fire or Explosion to their property. 11735 had put up Claim for uninsured properties. 466 Uninsured people claimed as compensation for personal injuries.

The Compensation paid out 850 Lakhs as damage by fire/explosion. Marine Insurance was 150 Lakhs. Paid for uninsured properties was 300 lakhs and personal injuries was 13 lakhs with miscellaneous policies of 4.5 lakhs.

Government of India declared this day of 14th April every year to be observed as Fire Service Day in recognition of the valor and sacrifice of the courageous FIRE FIGHTERS who laid down their lives in Line of their Duty.

Industries conduct Fire Fighting Training Mock Drills, Fire Drills or Emergency Drills every year on this day to pay homage and create awareness and knowledge about handling emergencies in their fellow workers.