Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Bloodshed never seems to end...

It makes me feel so enraged in my heart, mind and soul to see innocent lives being lost in Ahmedabad today, Bangalore yesterday and in a Grenade Blast in Kashmir recently… these plans are hatched in the sinister minds of enemies of India whose main aim is to destroy the Communal Harmony in India & kill innocent Indians irrespective of their religion.

In the incident in Kashmir last week, a grenade was thrown at a group of Migrant labourers waiting for a bus at the Bus Stand and the irony was that the Muslim Separatists threw the grenade at a Muslim Labourer family and one hard-working man’s whole family was snuffed away within a second of terror, he lost his 4 kids and wife who were leaving for their hometown somewhere in Bihar, these labourers toil away day & night and ensure that the pace of Growth & Development catches up in Kashmir where nobody understands the word “Progress”… I recently saw so many groups of such people involved in building bridges, roads and other areas of Infrastructure Development and these terrorists just want no such development taking place in Kashmir and ensuring that Kashmir always stay in the dark alleys of Terror, Bloodshed and religious differences. I hope the development work doesn’t stop in Kashmir and all of India can witness the sheer beauty of the state known as “The Switzerland of India”, the way I have seen twice already and wish to see the magnum opus laid out by God every year !!!

Today’s 16 blasts in Ahmedabad are a clear indicator of Indian Intelligence Agencies’ common failure, as in spite of the fact that the entire India was on high alert after yesterday’s blasts in Bangalore and still such planned dastardly act of terror took place in one of the most communally sensitive states of the country, Gujarat…the fact that the Police Forces must have been involved in extensive combing of all the populous areas of the city is a fact known to probably a school going kid, but our intelligence & security agencies were just involved in cooling their heels in the offices and not actually involved in sweating it out on the streets…in Combing operations, putting up barricades and using their intelligence sources pulling out information of any terror activity being planned in the City.

The worst part of these blasts was that the assholes even detonated 2 bombs in the Trauma Centres of 2 biggest hospitals of the city, they clearly knew the time that would be taken in getting the injured to the hospitals and at that particular precise moments they triggered off the blasts using Time Detonators….once again Bicycles and Tiffin Carriers were used to carry out the blats…Its ridiculous to witness such repeat of the same methodology being used…cycles, tiffin carriers, crowded market areas…it sounds so similar…it has already happened in Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi and now in Bangalore & Ahmedabad…

I hope some action is taken on the lines of Israel and Russia where the Anti-Terrorism measures break the backs of anybody planning such terror attacks against the country…I sincerely hope that India would take some help of these 2 strategic partners with whom we had such long Military & Political relations…and the innocent blood of Indians is saved and we all can live a peaceful life without any terror forming a part of our daily lives…

And the fact that today is the 9th Anniversary of the victory in the Kargil War which we won against the same country who is behind all these terror attacks…amidst all this mayhem so many of us are not even sparing a thought for the hundreds of brave Indian Soldiers who gave their lives for us so that we all can live peacefully and happily…hats off to those brave soldiers and my heart goes out to the families of those soldiers who lost their brave sons in 1999…

“When you go back home, tell them that for your tomorrow, we gave our today" ( A Popular saying in Indian Army )

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Chailastic Riders...

I am sure that after reading this blog all of you would start thinking that this guy has gone crazy riding on his bike!!! But believe me its one helluva experience…I bought my bike on 6 March and within these 4 months I have completed almost 8000 kms already !!! Bhangarh, Rishikesh, Neemrana, Ladakh and the latest ride to Chail…all these in 4 months…Phew!!! and I am not gonna stop also…a Mcleodganj ride is planned for the 15th August Weekend…and our Gang “Bulls on Parade” has named it “The Independence Ride”…now lets get to the basics !!!
This Ride was done without much of planning and still we had 7 Bikes and 9 people in total…the bike riders were:
1. Diptinder Singh Chhabra aka Dips & Kenny
2. Manpreet Singh aka MP
3. Varun Doegar aka Lambu
4. Nilu Hazarika aka Sinha Sahab & Cena
5. Gyananath Moshahari aka Gyaan
6. Puneet Chauhan
7. Nishant Jha aka Che

There were 2 in an Alto as well…Manish Garg and Jawed Hazarika aka Maalu with Manish driving and Maalu taking turns for clicking snaps, being a passenger and also a bike rider !!! he surely is a multi-tasker !!!
The major high points of the ride were Dips’ Navigating skills, Doegar’s accident, My Taping skills (or the lack of it !!! ) , MP’s continuous blabbering, Maalu’s continuos search of his 2 kinds of maal (both used for intoxication)--- Girls and Gaanja, Lambu’s photography & SLR flaunting and also Puneet’s very very fast riding without his brakes functioning properly !!! I would discuss each one of them in detail in my blog…
The most important and the most disappointing was Dips’ bad bad navigation skills and also his Map reading abilities !!! he modified a 350 kms ride into a 520 kms ride and we na├»ve & trusting guys went by his route and suffered damage !!! and to top it off the roads he led us to were the worst roads to ride…full of dirt, slush and stones…though he would differ but I am sure the rest of us didn’t stop abusing him throughout the ride for his blunder… DIPS you have been FIRED !!! now stick to riding and leave the route planning to others…please for heaven sake don’t let the trust break again !!!
The ride started infront of the Leisure Valley Park in Gurgaon with me, Puneet, Dips and Manish starting towards Delhi where everybody else was supposed to meet…here also Dips chose the worst possible place to meet…infront of a Landfill Site…imagine standing at a road where all of Delhi`s rubbish is thrown…this one was Dips’ discovery !!! good he stuck to Software otherwise the world would have been a worse place to stay with Dips discoveries !!! then Maalu, Doegar, Sinha Sahab and MP joined us and we started for Panipat where we were supposed to stay overnight at Gyaan’s home…soon we were riding at top speeds on NH-1…it was a short distance of 100 kms which we covered in 1.5 hours and then reached the Indian Oil Refinery Township gate where we were abruptly stopped by the sleepy and ever-so-alert security guard who was zapped out of his senses by the thump of so many bikes !!! firstly he could not understand why we all were there…then Dips used his English Vocabulary skills and we found our way in (now don’t ask me what Dips told him, as it might be too tough for us poor & uneducated souls)…but still it worked !!! on the way we had picked our share of Beer and Whiskey…we got fresh and got busy with the main tasks of the night…eating, drinking and Bakchodi !!! that night the entire quota of Haryana’s chickens had found their way to gyaan’s kitchen for all of us hungry demons to devour them !!! believe me there was endless supply of Chilli Chicken for us…initially we managed to gobble up but then we could not match !!! it was like the Great Wall of China which never ends…Sinha Sahab was at his best…gulping away pegs like a hungry villager first getting access to clean drinking water…it was tough matching his pace for anybody…Dips tried as he always does but didn’t succeed (again as always !!!)…soon we were full till our necks and decided to call it a day as next day we had to get up early to start our journey towards Chail…but nobody knew what was in store…as Dips had some other plans…of leading us to an endless journey !!! on the smashing (yes literally spine smashing) roads of Haryana !!!
We started at 7:30 in the morning…stopped at a fly-infested road-side Dhaba for our breakfast with flies constantly giving us friendly company…they were in millions !!! Doegar opened his SLR and flaunted his camera to all of us…sadly nobody was giving him much attention but still he continued clicking snaps of all possible things…of the engine, tyre spokes and what not…then the mother of all journeys started with the worst potholes greeting us with unstoppable good mornings and our minds and hearts were abusing non-stop as well !!! we reached our first stop…the Gurudwara Paonta Saahib in the afternoon…did the Darshan and had our Langar…the heat was energy sapping with the Humidity making us wet (don’t think otherwise with the word “WET” !!!)…after some time the mountains started and the weather cooled down a bit and we started to enjoy the roads finally !!! the Shivalik ranges are beautiful with loads of greenery around…there was a lot of Mist and Fog and we were riding with our headlights on…Chail was still some 100-150 kms away but our spirits were not down and we had to reach Chail for sure…we navigated the tricky & curvy roads and finally reached Chail at 8:30 PM in darkness with the town almost dead by then…our Hotel guy was waiting for us with baited breath as I am sure nobody would come to that hotel…it is called Hotel Pine View but mostly we got sights of Buses and Monkeys staring at us !!! we freshened up, changed and went to have dinner but sadly the entire town was dead sleep by then…we had to convince a restaurant owner to open up his kitchen for us and he happily obliged to us hungry mad riders’ delight !!! the food was amazing to say the least…once again chicken…the poor dal kept staring at us with open & misty eyes but nobody even touched it !!! we were happy gobbling up the chicken…then we went back to the hotel with the usual drunkards drinking away to glory and this time Maalu leading the way with his literal Bottom-Ups !!! there was a deafening noise with everybody talking at the same time and I am sure the entire town could have heard Sinha Saahib’s rendition of “LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUDAAAA”…it sounds so good…believe me it does... MP was happily munching away packets and packets of Kurkure without even thinking of sharing them with others…literally sitting on them !!! he must be made the next brand ambassador…but I am unsure about Juhi Chawla’s safety as he might just jump on her and try to munch her as well !!! that is what scares me but I am sure his love for Kurkure personifies Shahjahan’s love for his beloved Mumtaz !!! we all slept at 2 in the night with a long night ahead and no more riding after what Dips did to us !!! we all decided to relax the next day and visit the local places with the exception of Maalu who wanted to go to Kufri in search of his Gaanja but sadly nobody obliged and he was left lurking away in Chail only for his share of intoxication and believe me he had tones of dedication doing that with him talking to every imaginable shady looking person in the small town and checking for Gaanja !!! some of them actually talked to him and gave him a different story !!! but sadly he could not find the Maal and anyway not many people visit Chail so his search of the female maal was also left in the lurches !!!
The next morning we were all fresh and had our breakfast and went for a nature walk which soon turned out into a very long walk indeed !!! our destination was the World’s highest Cricket Ground @ 7500 feet and also the Sidhi Mandir…on the way we enjoyed the views with tall Deodhar & Pine Trees, Ladybirds making Love, and great weather making our poor walking abilities appear good !!! we reached the ground and wasted no time in getting ourselves clicked and then entered the ground…and what a sight it was…manicured grass…basketball courts…an ancient dead tree with a Machaan…and kids playing with gay abandon…Manish fulfilled his lifelong wish of climbing a rope with his bare hands and feet and succeeded !!! and felt damn good about it…Puneet also tried but didn’t each the heights which Manish reached…Maalu was gleefully viewing these sights without even remotely thinking of touching the ropes !!! then we moved out to have something to eat at the nearby canteen where MP tasted Maazaa from each bottle and almost finished each one of them !!! smart bugger he is…then we all reached the Sidhi Temple with the utmost unease !!! some of us went inside and some of us stayed outside aka Amitabh Bacchhan in the movie Deewaar !!! then we started our descent with almost empty stomachs and straightaway headed towards our restaurant to have another bout of Chicken and Rice !!! poor birds… but some of the guys decided to drink first and then eat !!! I mean crazy guys…having alcohol in the middle of the day…I am sure the great weather did them in !!! after satisfying our empty tummies we headed towards the Kaali Mandir which is built on the highest point of Chail atop a Mountain and the ride was superb fun…almost off-roading thru the way and once we reached it was a freaking memorable sight…the entire valley below was invisible due to the Fog flowing like wind !!! we all got the bikes lined up and started clicking pics…it was an amazing place…with Bhajans playing in the Mandir and the priest looking at us and thinking whether these guys would come up to the temple or just click snaps and go !!! his look was totally confused…me, Sinha Saahab and Manish obliged and went up to get our share of Prasaad and tikkas on our forehead !!!
On our way back…the group divided into two with half stopping en-route to click more snaps & they went to the Palace in Chail , some of us backed out coz the entry charges were 100 bucks for each !!! and me, MP,Lambu and Puneet went to the Elite 5 Star Tarika Jungle Retreat…we really had to convince the Security Guard to get our way in…the rates at the resort were atrocious…the minimum being 6000 bucks for a night…and it was superbly built but still I thought too expensive for a place like Chail…Puneet thought otherwise and decided to come with his wife in the future… the die-hard Maal Fanatic…Maalu stayed back looking for somebody to sell him Maal so that he could sleep peacefully and also reach Delhi with satisfaction in his mind…but cruel God didn’t hear his pleas and he had to wait there aimlessly…we all returned back and started a Bakar Session again in my Room with Maalu gulping his grief away with Blenders Pride and Old Monk in tow !!! we all had our dinner after that but the poor guy Maalu again vanished from the scene and after a frantic search session was found drinking in a shady restaurant with an Old Monk Quarter…he told us that he would safely reach the Hotel and we all must not worry…the look in his eyes was of a lust-lorn lover who could not find his quota of lust in a town full of hot girls !!! but he didn’t know that the next morning had a full town of girls coming his way…well almost !!! we all bid good night wishes to each other and slept early as the next morning we had to start our ride back home…
The Morning was as always extremely beautiful and peaceful…with birds hustling and Monkeys bustling…the buses getting washed and the entire sleepy town waking up to another quiet day… we started at sharp 7 AM and reached the Solan Crossing by 8:30 and then Maalu made his most important discovery !!! a bush of Gaanja Plant where he plucked the leaves like a hungry maniac and tucking it away in a packet he was carrying…the llok and shine in his eyes was visible till Shimla which was 30 kms away…I am sure the locals there must be thinking of hitting him as he was gleefully destroying the greenery around !!! after this amazingly happy tryst we started the best ride of our trip…the excellent roads from there till Parwaanoo…amazing turns and curves on the roads with the bikes zipping to 80 kmph easily…the mild traffic helped us though !!!
Then the first and the last Tragedy struck us !!! My bike`s battery cable snapped and the bike just stopped dead !!! I tried my best but could figure out the fault so decided to take the bike till Parwaanoo taking advantage of the slopes on the roads…with MP helping me with his not-so-strong legs from behind pushing me…he made a mistake of calling out to Lambu to go in my front and honk to warn the incoming traffic…imagine my bike not throttling and inspite that at 30 kmph and Lambu`s bike working perfectly and riding at 20 kmph…and then he came in the front for reasons best known to him…I overtook him and he could not control his bike and fell !!! rolled for some 50-60 metres and then stopped…amidst all this mayhem MP came from behind and hit him !!! Poor Lambu…I am sure after this mishap he won’t help anybody !!! but the scene was crazy…he had minor injury to his knees…I pulled out my First-Aid Kit and used Savlon, Cotton , Betadine & Gauze for the first time and really felt happy to put it to some use after the kit had witnessed 4 rides without getting used even once !!! Thanks Lambu !!! we soon reached Kalka taking perfect advantage of the slopes and found our way to the Mechanic where he gave me a big shock…I taped 2 wire joints and left one of them untouched and voila…the third one had snapped !!! I thought myself to be a nerd…riding 12 kms on the slopes with my bike dead and sweating like an elephant and thinking how could I make that mistake…but I guess that’s the way I would learn !!!
After my bike was up and running again I started blasting my way again on NH-1 reaching the maximum speed on “The Mighty One”…120 kmph !!! what exhilaration it was…crazy fun…then I sanity prevailed & I slowed down considerably and never went beyond 90 kmph…we reached Haveli near Karnal at 1 and had a sumptuous lunch…Vegetarian this time !!! after hitting the roads again, mild drizzling started which soon became pretty heavy but we didn’t stop and kept rolling till we reached Delhi Border…we were all drenched but enjoyed the great weather with cool breeze hitting our wet riding cargos !!!
We all bid goodbyes with a promise that the rides would continue and the fun times would never end…MP won’t be accompanying us for any further rides as he is leaving for Canada in August for his MBA…Lambu and Gyaan would be soon off for the Nirvana Ride to Ladakh…and our Bulls on Parade Gang has planned a ride to Mcleodganj in August so the roads would be conquered again and more fuel would be burnt !!!
My promise stays the same…
Che Guevara would be back on the road with more pics and travel blogs…
Till then Ride Safe and enjoy life…

You can view the pics at the following links :





And the Videos at :