Ladakh 2

Day 2
I woke up at 6:30 am to the sound of massive drops of rain falling. It was pouring! I looked around saw everyone else was sleeping. I dozed off hoping to get up at 7 and get these guys to pack up. Next thing I know it’s 7:30 am. I get up and knock on Vilas’ room. He looks stunned! Everyone gets up and starts taking showers and slowly packing up. Everyone is unsure how we will tie the luggage while it’s raining as the bikes were parked in the open. By the time we packed the rain had subsided but it was also 9 am now. We all tied the luggage and wore the rain suits. Now the Rain suits are notorious.
Here is the order in which you wear your accessories before you sit on the bike. First you wear the shoe covers and zip them up. Then you wear the rain pants. Then you wear the rain top which was luckily for us almost a poncho like thing that you had to just swim through to pop your head out. But the tricky part was the knee and elbow guards. If you didn’t wear them before putting on the rain suits, it meant you’d have to strip it all down and then wear them all back up. And for someone like me with the shoe size of 12 I had to remove my shoe anytime I had anything to do with my pants of the knee guard and that was frustrating!
We finally pushed off at 9am. We hit rains and dry patches both but we were pretty slow in our pace. Prakash was with Vilas on the pillion and the rest of us in individual bikes. Vilas had a muscle pull somewhere in between so the rest of us took a tiny lead and stopped at a dhaba so Vilas could come up behind us and rest a little. That would be around 11am-12pm. We then had food and continued. This time Vilas took Bala and declared that he’ll meet us at Bhunter, a major junction beyond Mandi. We had planned to hit Bhunter by 3 pm. I was riding with Prakash and Shiva. We were slow, very slow. We breaked a few times and soon I realized we were almost an hour behind Vilas. That transition was quick though coz initially we were at a good pace and thanks to this awesome bluetooth device Vilas had purchased that was fixed to my helmet he could call me on my phone and I could talk handsfree. We were just about 10-15 min behind them when I last spoke to Vilas. Soon as we crossed Bhunter we were pretty damn slow and we had lost Prakash. We met Vilas and Bala at around 4:30pm and we waited for a bit before continuing further to Manali.
Everyone except Prakash reached Manali and we stopped at the first petro pump we found so we could wait for Prakash. We realized he had taken a different route than us and was at a different petrol pump. He finally found us and came down.
It was almost 5:30 now and we had just entered Manali. Rohtang was still 40km away and Keylong.. well it was still 115 km far.
We finally pushed off at around 545 after refuelling and hit Kothi around 6:15 pm. This is where it started getting foggy and then there were steep climbs up the mountain to Gulaba which is where the permit is stamped for you to proceed to Rohtang. The drive from Kothi to Gulaba was scary and pretty both. There was dense fog and the roads were loopy and I saw wild horses grazing for the first time ever in my life in India. It was surreal!
We reached Gulaba by 7 pm. We parked our vehicles next to a Metal bunker like structure. That was a mistake that would cost us dear.
We got off and walked up to the post and showed our permits. The guards said the officer in-charge for stamping had left and that we wouldn’t be allowed to continue further without the stamp. We pleaded but to no heed. I called up Prakhar using Bala’s phone. He spoke to the officials claiming he had crossed at much later times in the evening like 8 and 9pm and that it is a national highway, so anyone with permit must be allowed and cannot be stopped. They refused bluntly.
The mistake was we parked at the building and walked to the booth. An experienced guy would drive up to the booth pull up the permit and ask to be allowed to go further. Our stopping at the building was a dead giveaway that we were ametuers in this region and the policemen’s argument that it was far too foggy to let us pass found ground.
We were denied permission to proceed. It was 7:30 pm. We were late again!
I was massively disappointed. I knew Vilas was heartbroken as he had made all the efforts to drive fast and make up for the delay that we were in, yet coz of our slow speed he had to suffer alongside.
We drove back to Kothi to find a place for the night. Bala’s lights had gone bust . The bulb had fused thanks to rain water entering the mesh. This is after Vilas had noticed that possibility and told the bike rental guy to change the casing. He refused and we were left with no headlight on a bike with heavy fog.
Bala rode in the middle with all our headlights shining solidly and us honking on each loop like we were a carnival rolling down the hill.
We settled in Kothi for the night but not before a shocker from Prakhar.
When I called Prakhar to decide the plan ahead he said “Drop Leh!”. That hit me like a boulder. He said we were far too slow to hit Leh and be able to make any sense of our trip. It’ll literally be touch n go for us. We’ll touch Leh and we’ll be ready to pack up to head back at this pace.
I conveyed it to the group. Vilas lost it on all of us. Bala was the only one who was able to keep pace with Vilas. All 3 of us were trailing. Prakhar asked to be put on speaker and he gave us a pep talk too. After that it was all Vilas.
We were all hit by a boulder and we knew Vilas was right in all his claims of us riding too slow and not matching up to his speed. It hit a nerve in all of us. We went to sleep late again this time, around 3 am.


Ladakh 1

So a bunch of odd friends decided to make a trip to Ladakh. The ‘untouched’ beautiful mountains of India. The place that so many people keep wanting to visit. Enchanted almost.

Day 1
5 guys Prakash, Balaji (college friends), Vilas (brother of a college friend and a dear friend of mine) and Shiva (Vilas’ cousin) set out on the morning of 3rd Aug from Delhi on 3 Royal Enfields and 1 Bajaj Avenger at 7:30 am.
Running late by 3 hours we headed out of Delhi and on the highway to Ambala where we had planned to meet a recent acquaintance Prakhar who was giving us detailed inputs on the road conditions, weather and almost literally planning our way to Leh day by day.
That was my first realization of how unplanned we were, and how less I personally knew about this whole trip. I had done minimal to no research on the route, terrain, difficulties, weather forecast etc for this trip. My idea of a trip is usually to know more but see less about a place so I can have the wow factor when I visit the place. I’d rather not see Taj Mahal 20 times in pictures or videos and instead go stand in front of it directly for the first time and then be awestruck by it’s grandeur and beauty. But this was a different case. It involved long hours of riding a Royal Enfield. It’s a heavy bike and with all the luggage tied on the sides which is essentially dead weight turning the bike when you’re at 70-80kmph on the hills is a task.


So getting back to 3rd Aug, after meeting Prakhar “The Guru” we headed up to the Royal Enfield showroom to get our bikes serviced. We were unsure what happened but Vilas and I were hit by a massive feeling of exhaution. I was finding it hard to speak. In retrospect we were quite dehydrated and since he was leading and I was tailing we both were pretty spent on our energy in trying to keep a track of everyone. He had to make sure he wasn’t getting to ahead of the rest of us and had to cut through the traffic such that at least one of the riders was able to cut through with him. That would leave me managing only one rider and we could catch up in time.
We got off and had some water while me and Shiva walked up to a sweet shop and had a little bit of snacks. We got back to find the bikes ready to be taken out. We headed to the petrol pump to fuel up only to find Prakash’s bike had a puncture. Vilas was carrying Bala on the pillion and Shiva had his own bike.
We fuelled up the 3 bikes we had while Prakash was getting his repaired, then we finally set out towards Manali by around 4:45 pm.
We were LATE! Our original plan was to reach Ambala by 7:30am and meet Prakhar for 10 min and head further up. We were almost 8 hrs late. Even by the new schedule we were late by 4-6 hrs. We really had to hurry up. Our bums were on fire riding through the morning sun to Ambala, but we had to bear the pain and try and get as far as possible.
We planned to hit Mandi that night. We stopped at Bilaspur at 10:30 pm. That was slow progress still!
Me and Bala headed out to get dinner while these guys unpacked all the luggage. Oh another thing that delayed us was the luggage falling over every few km. I had to stop and re-tie luggages one after another as and when each one was slipping down. We finally hit the bed at around 2 am hoping to get up at 7 am and push off… We were hoping for a good progress the next day and hoping to hit Keylong which was about 300 km from BIlaspur.

Hello World

Do you sometimes wake up in the morning walk out to your porch / balcony and look straight and ask.. “How are you world?” :”D
I do it now and then.. It’s important man.. World needs love, someone who cares, someone who cares if it burned the house down or if all is well.. I am one of them.
But then it also makes you feel like this


The Faux Pranab

Okay so I put out the idea of a Benglish podcast a couple of weeks back and I received an overwhelming response from all your guys. My mailbox is full! (forced applause).. I’m overwhelmed (teary eyed) (“Yeah *was overwhelming* and *I’m overwhelmed* are the same thing dumbass!! Real estate!! Real estate!!” says the pirate sitting on my left shoulder who is responsible for running a spell-check on my writing style)

Too much output to process” says my coding pirate.
You don’t need double quotes for everything – spell-check pirate

Enough! Back to me…. Read the below post. This man inspires me every day every hour.. of my benglish life.

The headline sums it up. I’m certainly happy he’s alive, but I’m worried his phones and emails are being monitored since this date by Mossad.
And now so are mine. I took their name on a public post.
Aaaaanyway.. They’ll stop the trail once they realize I went from Bihar to Buffalo and then to Kansas. My bovine life! Yes the pun is intended! Ain’t no puns goin’ waste here mate.

So what are most concerned about this week? Let’s be honest. It is the new species of frog that was discovered in the Western Ghats in India. Half of you don’t even know what the fuck that means but for the other half this is most earth shattering discovery of all times. Like the dude was in our backyard all these years man.. and we didn’t even know about it. Imagine the snail that was on that drumstick tree in your backyard through the hellish summers where even your bladder would scream “Lemme retain some liquid here will you!!! You bloody heat of a nut job!” (Btw Blogo just auto-corrected *nutjob* to *nut job*.. Awww! (insert heart smiley till I figure this shit))
Comeing out of that shell.. And then the snail also survived the clattering thunders and blinding lightenings and torrential downpour of rains and then.. Winter is coming happened.. It survived that too.. The drumstick tree shed it’s leaves so It decided to walk to the Guava tree next to it coz it was beginning to look nice and green. But darn it! It was back to summer when it reached. Whatte life of streggle!

Coming back out of this shell too… Imagine that little thing was there all your life and you bloody didn’t know anything about it. It was continuously shuttling between drumstick and guava.. one long and dry other round and juicy. That was it’s life.. every time saying tree is greener on the other side and never getting there..

Shit! Wrecking ball of a thought.. OMG… This is my life… Bovine… Snail like… Grass, tree, fruits everything always greener and more ripe on the other side.. Okay sometimes Red-er since i’m color blind.. But seriously!!! Holy fuck this is..

Coming out of that shell..
Pranab Da inspires me… because he’s like the old snail.. walks slowly, talks slowly, cares not a goats goatie worth of shit about what famous people like me or infamous people like the rest of you say.. smiles always, clean shaven, suited up like that-guy-from-how-i-met-your-mother.
That’s why when he slowly read Hummus his mind broke the word down Hum – hindi wala we? Ham?
mus – mass christian wala mass.

Ham mass.. We love Hamas…..

Next morning… ohho! So what man.. so big deal they are making.. ayee Rotu da.. cophee ta niyesho!


Small bucket list

This is the smaller bucket list that grows every few days.
This isn’t about “Ooohhh Backpack through Europe” and shit like that. This is smaller things in life.

  • Bake an original cake – original recipe
  • Learn a  good card trick
  • Learn juggling
  • Get an article published in the news paper
  • Upload a YouTube video