Tag Archives: Travel

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”.


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.

Stepping on to the lane

A road trip through the countryside had been always the best refreshing weekends for me. And last week end was something of its kind. A long drive with a new friend who shares the same passion of me in knowing the history and past of the places, I visit. Some one who is very close to my interests and passion.

It all started as a road trip plan to north of Iran. I wasn’t even sure of the destination. All I wanted from the ‘Travel Agency who processed my travel plan was a two day retreat, one night of peaceful sleep away from work and a guide, not a driver who knows English and know ‘where we are going’. I seldom knew that these requirements is going to start a lifetime friendship.

So, as chartered by my travel company, my itinerary included a two day trip from Tehran to Anzali, Roodkhan Castle and the Masouleh Village. Since, I didn’t do any homework to research on these places, I started out blindly.

In the lands of Persian dreams

The last breath of hope, it’s never the last. Things always stop and back in life with old glory and compassion.
I feel the same when I am scribbling these words for my beloved blog.
Things have changed in many ways ever since , I posted by last blog. I am no longer in India. My work has taken me to the beautiful land of persian culture, where people sees hearts in faces than pre assumption. I have lived in multiple places in India, but here I feel a difference, which I cannot express in words.
The beauty of the serene city Tehran is absolutely mind blowing. You can never get a picture of this outlook of Tehran without being actually here. The soft conversations I have with my colleagues, so true and clear like a image in the mirror which makes me feel so home in the company of like minded ness. More and more I experience the cultural enrichment in the life of persians and the value they give to the change of time is much appreciated compared to the complaints I have seen and do see around in the democratic freedom of India.
Few things I learnt from my short 90 plus days in Tehran are quite eye opening to the attitude I had as an Indian. Nationality is a feeling that comes from the pride of being the national. It’s more of feeling light in the achievement of the country than complaining about the lacking.
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. The very true statement from the time eternity which is true to tehran. City well maintained, glowing in the night in twinkling city lights, with no tall buildings omitted. Each bridge, high walls painted with images that reflect the Persian glory. Streets where people has the courtesy to not throw the trash around, but use the garbage tins. The government who has commitment to clean up nook and corner of the city everyday morning. It’s quite more than the expected when compared to India.
How much I smiled at strangers in India? How many times I have said wishes to a stranger passing by on road? By now, for it’s nothing but a part of my life. As I said in the beginning, in here, I see the people’s heart in their eyes. I would rather say that the life of the Islamic republic of Iran is not achievements of today, but the heritage of the rich Persian culture in their veins.

Unforgettable Train Journey

Travelling in train now is as common as riding a bicycle., specially in India where train is the most convenient mode of transport offering comfortable and cheap Journey. Matter of fact: India has the fourth largest railway network in the world

I would say that the train journey in India  is part of the culture as well. Right from the bye byes and tears, with the farewell said to the friends and families to the ‘Samosa’ vendors strolling through the Train. How can an Indian train journey could be complete without hearing the ‘Chai,Chai’ humming at least once?

As a kid, I was also very much fascinated by these massive big machines that run on rails. While waiting at level cross for train to pass, I wondered about the time, when I will be travelling in this gigantic vehicle. And when I was 10 years old, I had the first taste what it feels like travelling in train. I still can remember the shine in my eyes and the fascination with which I glared at the platform, when the train started moving slowly.

I was travelling with my Father and Mother, and my little brother who was then 4 year old. We were in first class compartment, which was indeed a luxury for us in those times, but attainable because of the fact that my father was a army man then. It was a locked room compartment us, just for us. We enjoyed the little family privacy for the 3 days and 2 nights of journey.

But the real dream got fulfilled even after one year. The time when my father’s regiment moved to another state. The entire unit was packed into a single private train was we moved out as a chartered train. It was a fun filled journey lasted for 7 days. Since it was a kind of chartered train, the other trains had the priority and we moved on when the track was free. Though the actual distance was just for a 3 days journey, I would never complain those days spend in the train. I still could remember the early morning when the slowly crossed the bridge over the Krishna river and entered the ‘Vijayawada station. The station is situated between 3 mountains and the river flows through the mountains. The misty morning in that station is an unforgettable experience ever in my life.

Still I didn’t mention about the dream that got fulfilled in this long journey. During this epic train travel in my life, I got to be in engines of both electric and diesel trains. It was a rare opportunity to have while the train is running. May be a once in a life time opportunity that just got consumed in that early age of mine. But the memories as I always cherish stay on and on with me.

Coming to present, I don’t have the same excitement to travel in train as I used to have in that age. Now, I travel in train occasionally to travel to my home town and back. If the budget allows me, I would prefer to travel in bus than train as I feel a night bus to my home city is less time consuming and comfortable than those extra hours in the train.

Still memories linger around me with each train journey reminding me of those days when I watched the train with excitement and then screaming out loud when I was speeding away in that engine compartment. Quite a memorable memory.

Three countries I’d like to visit

Travel is always my passion. And I always go around, to all the reachable destinations around the place I stay. Sometimes, even more. And travelling beyond the country, is still my dream. A living dream of my travel fantasies. So, to list the three countries I would love to visit most is not a difficult task.

US – The topper of my chart is mostly because of my career interests. Being in the Software Services for long makes US a natural destination. The largest IT hub of the world, the base of all the IT giants around the world. Moreover, I personally like to visit New York, Chicago, san Francisco, the speed test arena of Utah, Disney Land and many more.

Czechoslovakia – I don’t know why exactly I want to go to this country, But wife really wants to go. Should ask her for the reason.

Mauritius – A beautiful island. Paradise on earth. If I ever want to be on an island, it would be this.

Driving through the Highway

A car of my own was my dream. And today, I am living in that dream.So, with wheels with hands, I would love an opportunity to turn it and yesterday it was indeed an opportunity. I had to do a transporter job, oh well,not a Jason Stathom kind of, but a cross state cruise for my wife to attend her friend’s marriage. For me, it was an excuse to pedal the accelerator.

To my inner soul, I enjoyed this drive. The previous time, I went through the same route, I was accompanied by my cousin brother, who was a very good driver. At that time, I was new to my car and very scared  or doubtful at each corner. But today was different. I enjoyed flowing through the traffic, smoking the engine at empty straight stretches and chattering with my wife, who can chit chat for hours non stop.