Thursday, December 31, 2009

The BOP Amritsar Aakramaks

Amritsar is my favorite travel destination specifically due to 2 reasons…A: Golden Temple & B: Gastronomy Reasons!!! And I just love going to the city of big-hearted people…before this ride had been to Amritsar 3 times and each visit has been memorable in it’s own unique way…and I never knew that this ride would also turn out to be one special ride in many ways than one…as it was the first time I was to ride with another RE Club named Bull Rodeos plus for the first time I was travelling to Amritsar on The Mighty One and that too in extreme cold conditions…Most importantly this ride was to be the last & final Bike Ride of 2009…and my 20th Bike Ride!!! Enough of statistics…

Read on to find what the BOP Amritsar Aaakraamaks were upto…

The BOP Amritsar Aaakraamaks were:
1. Vikas on his Modified Standard 350 CC
2. Ajit on his Blue TB
3. Che on The Mighty One


The Endless Wait…
Another unique thing about this ride was that after March 2008(my 1st Bike Ride to Bhangarh), we were just 2 bikes starting from the start point and the partner-in-rhyme was Ajit who was supposed to meet me at 8 AM at the Landfill Point and I kept on waiting for him endlessly; I was lucky that I was carrying 2 newspapers with me so I kept chiseling at the time and then Mr. Ajit arrived…finally at 10 AM…not the perfect start but for a change I didn’t abuse him much as I was desperate for the ride plus I was damn freaking hungry!!!

Hungry Motorcyclists…
2 Hungry Motorcyclists reaching Murthal…rest is History…need not write anything more…

Ek-Thikaana- THEKA!!!



A heavy breakfast, some 170 kms into the ride and a cold morning to boot…all this conspired together and forced me to stop at a Highway Theka for a much-deserved Beer Pit-Stop…and I don’t shy away from such conspiracies anyway…soon Ajit joined me and we enjoyed Chilled Beer under the friendly sun…beer never tasted better!!!

NH-1…The boring highway...



I have rode through NH-1 so many times that I just closed my eyes and rode through easily…well am just joking…didn’t even think of trying this stunt…but all said and done NH-1 is surely not the most enjoyable road for any motorcyclist…plain & drab…nothing to challenge…we kept trudging along…and it was more painful for me as due to a recent Piston Change in Ajit’s bike he had been advised not to go beyond 60 kmph and as we were just 2 of us I kept pace with him and rode slowly which is not my cup of tea but I had to manage somehow…some 20 kms before Chandigarh we stopped for a late lunch at 4 PM at a Highway Dhaba and the meal was delicious and brought me back on track…plus the fact that I was supposed to reach Chandigarh and more importantly I had the Sector-17 Market in my mind and this made the lunch even better!!!
Chandigarh - The City Beautiful & more…

The moment you hit Chandigarh, you start getting jittery as the Traffic Police here is painfully strict and one can be fined for any offence under the Sun and the loud sound of my Goldstar Silencer was one of the sunny things so I kept my bike on low vroom and reached Ajit’s cousin Rahul’s flat…Rahul works as a Software Developer in one of the IT Majors in Chandigarh and his roommates were on a vacation to their hometowns so the 3 of us had the entire flat to us…we removed our heavy riding gear and relaxed for a bit before receiving a call from our fellow BOPian Vikas Garg who was riding solo till Chandigarh, he could not join us as he had his daughter’s PTM to attend…hats off to Vikas’ spirit as this was his first BOP Ride and he had no qualms in riding solo on his modified beast…unfortunately his accelerator cable snapped the moment he entered Chandigarh but luckily he could find a RE Service Centre nearby, he knew the place where we were staying so we were not worried about his whereabouts…but the time kept ticking and he didn’t come so finally we 3 decided to join him and then go to the Sec-17 Market…but as always we could not locate him…and after visiting 2 RE Showrooms & 2 RE Service Centres we finally met and had a re-union of sorts!!! As we 3 were meeting after the Offisial Atyachaar Event…

Sector Sataarah…
The Sector-17 of Chandigarh is the most wanted markets of the country though personally I prefer the Delhi’s GK-1 M-Block Market more for more maturity in the beauty segment!!! We roamed around like free birds and covered entirely every inch of the market scouting for some beauties around…Red colour was omnipresent considering it was the Christmas-Eve…we had a ball and started the planning for the next POA!!!

Lounge Party to the Dance Arena…MOOD CHANGE…



We reached the flat after doing some heavy-duty shopping…snakes, beer & alcohol was duly stocked up for the BBB Session ahead…and then the night began…the crazy & unexpected night…the balcony was our Lounge Bar, it was dimly lit and had everything one needs for a long BBB Night. The Music was playing in the room next to us and Rahul’s collection is simply amazing, he has got almost every genre of Music I like…we kept enjoying the Bakchodi, Alcohol & the Music whole-heartedly before Ajit started to feel sleepy and went to the Music Room to sleep…he is an idiot for sure, how could he even remotely think that we would have let him sleep so easily!!!

And then I started dancing…and some of you have already seen me dance…its wild, crazy & never-ending…nothing was different this time as well…Rahul also joined in with his incoherent style of dance!!! we started pulling Ajit’s quilt and forcing him to join us and he kept on begging us to sleep but we never relented…finally he gave in and joined us…I was also the in-house DJ that night and my favourite quote was Mood-Change which was lapped up by Rahul as well!!! The music kept on changing continuously from Bhangra to Rock to Kishore Kumar to Euphoria to Jagjit Singh to what not…Vikas was the in-house videographer and shot some memorable videos…it was surely a crazy night and one which won’t be forgotten in some time to come!!! We finally slept when we were more than 100% high!!!

Child Weather…



The early-morning Chill on 25-Dec morning was bone-chilling and it was great fun riding through it and we kept riding through Chandigarh & Mohali before we hit the amazing Punjab highways brimming with innumerable Toll-Plazas…we stopped for breakfast and had amazing paranthas with hot tea…the perfect foil for a cold morning…

Inquilaab Zindaabaad…





I was riding freely on the open & wide Punjab Roads when suddenly on the left side of a the road in a completely non-descript village I read a Board “Shaheed-e-Aazam S Bhagat Singh Museum” and I screeched my bike to a halt…complete feeling of dé-jàvu as had never even heard about this museum inspite of my enough knowledge about Bhagat Singh and I felt ashamed & excited at the same time but to my bad luck it being Christmas the museum was closed, for some solace we clicked some pics and consoled our heart & brain that we would back here…very soon. The Guard told us that the ancestral home of Bhagat Singh was some 50 metres away and it might be open so all-excited and in anticipation we reached but sadly even it was closed, I was left heart-broken and completely shattered but I made a promise to myself that come what may within the next 6 months I would visit this place…

Dumping Time…
With a heavy heart we started our final leg of the journey towards Amritsar and the next break was as expected a dumping stop which is a routine in all my rides and brings me a quaint satisfaction which is simply out of this world!!! With an empty tummy we kept riding through the smooth roads of Punjab through Jallandhar and finally stopped for another late lunch some 40 kms. before Amritsar, the meal was average and the service below-average as nobody wanted to serve 3 rugged looking motorcyclists and by now we are quite used to it and ignore it completely…our destination was very close and that was the most exciting thing about a cold, sad & a dull day and we started again…

The Hotel Hunt…
We reached Amritsar at 4:30 PM and stopped our bikes very close to the Jallianwala Bagh and started looking for a decent place to stay but it being a long weekend the entire Punjab and literally all of North India was visible and jostling for space, luckily one Traffic Police Constable helped us as he saw us in some distress and helped us finding a decent, clean, cozy & an economical hotel named Hotel Novelty Inn where we booked 2 rooms for the 3 of us & 8 riders from Bull Rodeos, it was a relatively new property and was quite well constructed and the best part was that it was at just a 5 minutes walking distance from the Golden Temple.

Back to Basics…







We called up the Bull Rodeos’ Riders and found out that due to continuous breakdowns they would get late and would reach only by 11 PM so we decided to visit atleast the nearby attractions. Went to the Jallianwala Bagh where Vikas clicked some amazing pics, it was my 4th trip to Amritsar and each time I come here I am excited as if I am coming for the first time, this city never fails to excite me and this is my favourite city by far…post that we had some pet-pooja and enjoyed some hot tikkis and then went to a Theka to get the booze for the night, after which we went back to our hotel and emptied ourselves of all kind of intoxicants and went to visit the most divine place on this Earth…The Golden Temple…

Satnam Waahe Guru…



I just cannot describe my state of mind when I enter this sacred place and I transform into a different human being, taken over by the almighty divinity…after gaining back my senses got myself clicked…the regular Golden Temple Pics though didn’t go inside the main complex as we wanted to come the next day with the entire group.

The Bull Rodeos arrive…



Finally at 11:30 the group of 7 bikes & 8 riders arrived after going through a harrowing time of endless breakdowns and making the journey of 480 odd kms in some 15 hours, I hit out with the group just instantly and soon the expletives were flowing in the air and these guys got ready for the main attraction of the evening, the Daaru Party, we brought out the Antiquity Blue Whiskey for them which we had bought specially for them from Chandigarh at a mind-boggling price of 425 bucks…yes that cheap!!! Chandigarh is not just the city beautiful for its landscaping & hot girls but also for cheap liquor!!!some of the guys started to sleep through the Bakchodi session and some of us remaining-the brave ones decided to head out for a very very late dinner at 2 AM in the night!!! Luckily we found a very helpful tempo driver who took us to the Bus Stand where there was a solitary Parantha Vendor whose life was soon to become a never-ending nightmare of making paranths for a hungry…very hungry group of motorcyclists who were very drunk as well…we ate countless number of Paranthas with delicious chhole and literally emptied his stock…all for a paltry sum of 280 bucks…man Amritsar is the city divine, it can surely fill empty stomachs of one & all!! !at 3 AM we finally called it a day and then the snoring session started…9 tired guys making the weirdest of the noises, I could not handle it anymore and stuffed my ears with some much-needed cotton wool and then only could finally sleep…for a change this musical symphony was simply unbearable!!!

What a day…what a start…





We all got ready by 9 AM and went to The Golden Temple to take a dip in the very chilled waters of the Holy Sarovar and it was simply out-of-this-world, other fellow pilgrims were shocked to see us take a dip in such chilly weather but we thoroughly enjoyed it and believe me the water was not actually that cold…then we stood in the line and after some 20 odd minutes of wait entered the holy sanctorum of the Darbaar Saahib, the crowds are so well managed at this place that we must take a bow just to the management of the temple…see I am not a very religious person but whenever I am at this place and as I have already written I transform and its actually unbelievable but I don’t mind it all and just love getting soaked in this divine place…after the Darshan the next POA was some heavy-duty breakfast which was extremely well-deserved & much needed at the same time…

When Motorcyclists are hungry…anything can happen…



We went to the famous Kulwantiyan de Naan Restaurant to enjoy the famous Amritsari Naan but due to the crowds no seats were available and we decided to sit on the footpath and start eating without waiting for the seats to get vacant and it was a decision worth making as it was one crazy time we all had…all together the 11 of us had 38 Naans in total and believe me one naan is very heavy and I am sure the people who already have eaten them would surely agree with me!!! We tried every category…Aloo, Paneer, Pithi, Gobhi & Mix…nothing was spared!!!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!!!



We went back to our hotel physically, emotionally and spiritually satisfied and then got ready to go to the Wagah Border which is one place which no Indian worth his/her salt should miss in their lifetime…and the ride was great fun…10 bikes riding in formation and finally when we reached we created quite a ruckus with our Bullet Engines roaring like monsters in a quite synchronized fashion!!!, the whole place became standstill for a while and it was simply crazy…The place was the most crowded I had ever seen in my 4 trips and we were about to see the kind of crowds which we had never ever seen, it was like a mini country in itself, we barely found some place to stand…well actually it was not actually standing as all of us were barely stable on our feet!!! it was that crowded but the scenes were quite regular…people dancing, shouting slogans and the regular India rhetoric which I found at times absurd…people love chanting “Hindustaan Zindaabaad” but in reality how many of us actually fulfill our duties of being a true Indian, things like keeping our country clean which I feel is one thing which we completely give a miss, there are millions of other duties which we don’t perform to make our country the best in the world but thousands of people there were at their loudest best in shouting the slogans!!! Quite weird for me atleast…I don’t know how many of you would agree to my viewpoint but I believe in this 1000%...

The Bullet Magic…



The ceremony ended and we were soon up & running through an endless stream of cars, trucks, jeeps & what not but as always being on bikes helped and we were soon out of the mad traffic and were ruling the roads once again and when we reached the main city, I started sounding my horn in a musical way and soon all 10 bikes joined in the fun and we made quite a statement (some of the BOPians would relate to this especially The Jalori Juggernauts)!!! I am sure Amritsar has thousands of Royal Enfields but none of the residents had seen these kinds of scenes!!!

The Robbie Show…



Robin aka Robbie from The Bull Rodeos was on his first bike ride and he wanted to make this the most special trip of his life and I could completely relate to his emotions as some 2 years back I also went through the same…we stopped at a spot where there was ample space to park our 10 bikes and click some pics of the Bikes-in-Formation and boy-oh-boy Robbie came alive…he ensured that all the bikes were parked perfectly and came up with some of the most brilliant ideas for the ever happy photographer duo-Ajit & Vikas who are just like Vodafone---Happy to CLICK!!! all of us were really getting hungry and what was waiting for us was out of this world…

The Art of Gastronomy…





Only a few restaurants in our country perfect the art of Gastronomy and The Surjit Food Plaza situated in The Nehru Complex on the Lawrence Road of Amritsar is one of those few places, believe me no other place as per me serves better non-vegetarian food than Surjit and it has to be eaten to be believed…so go there and enjoy…no words can explain the gastronomical magic of this place…we kept on eating & eating before our helpless tummies surrendered to the delights…fish, mutton, chicken…nothing was spared…so guys the next time you are even remotely close to Amritsar or in there don’t even think of giving this place a miss…

Motorcyclists and the sweet tooth…





Next in our POA was the famous Pista Milk & Fruit Cream at Novelty and the hot jalebis & gulaab-jaamuns at Sharma Sweets Shop…we kept on hogging as if there was no tomorrow and the dooms day was minutes away…our tummies were begging for some mercy but we were not in any benevolent mood!!! Now you surely why Amritsar is my favourite place!!! No doubts left…right?

The worst part of a ride…



As all motorcyclists would agree, the saddest part of any bike ride is the last night where one has to start the return ride the next morning, nobody wants to sleep or go back home but you can’t help it…and we had to ride for some 500 odd kms the next day and nobody even faintly knew how the next day would shape up…things were about to get very interesting & gloomy!!!

A new challenge…





Every ride throws up a new challenge at me of a totally different kind and this time it was riding through dense fog & almost zero visibility…we started at 7 AM from Amritsar and the exit from the city was quite smooth and the moment we reached the open highway things got very scary and foggy…as expected I was leading the group and could not see a thing infront of me & this was the first time for me when I was riding in Fog…I took it up as a challenge and kept fighting the elements like a fighter!!! after some tough moments and very chilly moments they were we finally stopped at a Dhaba which was only some metres away from the road but was barely visible through the fog…all we wanted was some hot tea and for our 3 friends to join us as they started late after visiting another Gurudwara in Amritsar, I was very worried for them as we were riding in a bigger group and things were relatively easier for us due to that but them being just 3 was worrisome for me…finally we heard the legendary thump and heaved a sigh of relief…in that weather tea never tasted better!!! That’s quite a rhyming sentence I just came up with…thanks for the compliments…we waited for the fog to clear but to no avail, we were only some 70 kms into the ride and already we had spent some 3.5 hours so we all decided to start again and wait for the fog to clear up as we rode forward…and this was quite a wise decision as the weather cleared in another 15 odd minutes and we were riding through clear weather and no fog whatsoever!!! It was hard to believe and very satisfying!!! Riding through fog in a very chilly morning is not much fun believe me…though it is challenging but is very risky at the same time…

Clarity of Weather & Body!!!
The clear weather forced my body to clear itself again and that too out in the open…yes you got it right…the next stop was a dumping stop and it was extremely satisfying and I loved it to bits…

The Mystery solved…finally…



All through the ride on the NH-1, I had seen roadside-sellers with a heap of some orange Citrus Fruit on the road selling it’s juice and all this while I thought the fruit to be Malta-the one from which the famous Country Liquor or Desi Daru is made but when I actually stopped to have some juice I found out it was actually Kinnoo and it was extremely delicious, I had 2 glasses of it and got 2 glasses packed for the ride ahead…

I am loving it…



Rarely do we stop at the luxurious places to eat during a ride like McDonalds but this time it was different as all of us had decided to meet at this point only because we were not riding in a formation…I enjoyed a really heavy meal as just before stopping I had made another Dump-Stop and Ajit was simply numbed & he was shocked to see somebody’s Digestive System being so active & responsive!!! I had 2 Filet Fish Burgers, 2 Chicken McGrill Burgers and one Cold Coffee to gulp them down!!! all because I was really hungry and was eating at McDonalds after a very long time…STATUTORY WARNING…Please don’t get surprised at the relationship between my physique & heavy diet…it is a long story, would tell you whenever we meet!!!

Another NH-1 BBB Break…



The moronic NHAI had stopped one part of the road for its construction…how idiotic is that…on a Sunday when half of Delhi was returning back from the Christmas Break they made used of their non-existent brains to block one part of the Highway!!! Being on our bikes helped our cause immensely and we were not frustrated like the thousands of car drivers stuck on that road… Me & Ajit after coming through these Jams reached Karnal and stopped for a beer break with some hot Chicken Fry which was thoroughly enjoyed by both of us…the weather was getting colder and the taste of the fresh chicken was becoming delicious by the minute…

The Aakraamaks get back…



We reached the Landfill Site at 10 PM and it was painfully chilly…much colder than Amritsar and I was all excited for the ride till Gurgaon back home…luckily no breakdowns on the way and all of reached back safe, hale & hearty…and the best part was that I zipped through the 480 kms throughout…this tiem Ajit was not as slow as he was while reaching Amritsar and I made the most of it. I roared till 120 kmph speeds and thoroughly enjoyed!!!

The Bull Rodeos…

Now some special words for a special motorcycling Club…all of the 8 people were simply amazing and it was a pleasure riding with each one of them…

Rajwardhan Purohit aka Raj Sir: He works at a Leadership Position at a Leading IT Services Orgn at Noida and is one amazing person, talks very less but whenever speaks he makes perfect sense, our riding camaraderie on the Amritsar-Wagah road was tremendous and at the end of that leg his words were quite appropriate!!! He told me – “You ride really fast!!!”

Tajinder Singh Matharu aka TJ: Another great person and a I hit off with him very well…he wants to ride much more than he has been able to due to his professional & personal commitments but he makes the most of it everytime, he even started a Motorcycling Club at his Orgn!!!

Harman Singh aka Harry: Another person who speaks less but was nonetheless good at heart, I had minimal interaction with him but surely enjoyed with him.

Himesh aka Jignes: For the first time I rode along with a Gujarati and had a ball with him, he speaks at the same rate like me and was great fun in the unending Bakchodi sessions with him!!! And he hates being a Gujarati!!!

Rahul Manchanda: Decent, Sober, Calm & Collected…as per me these 4 words describe him perfectly…The handwritten note on his bike made perfect sense: “There are 2 types of riders: one who ride to impress their Girlfriends and second who ride for themselves…Q- Which one are you???”

Tushar aka The Perpetual Sleeper: Didn’t quite gel with him as he was always sleeping though a good guy nonetheless…

Faiz Bhai: A very good human being and an equally great motorcyclist, he is the backbone of BR and he plays that role with 100% zeal & passion just like me…loved riding along with him…the discussions I had with him were very meaningful & fun…

Robin Singh aka Robbie: He personifies what a true Sardaar is for me…unbashed, fun-loving and good-spirited, this was his first ride and he wanted to enjoy literally every second of it, he came up with some brilliant photography ideas about which I have already mentioned and I would surely soon meet him for a longish Beer Session!!!

Important Details of the Ride:
Dates of the Ride: 24-25-26-27 December 2009
Total Distance Covered: 1080 kms
Gurgaon to Amritsar Route: Gurgaon – Murthal – Chandigarh – Banga – Jallandhar – Amritsar
Amritsar to Gurgaon Route: Amritsar – Jallandhar – Rajpura - Karnal – Gurgaon
Name of the Hotel: Novelty Inn, Near Jallianwala Bagh
The List of Travel Maps I have compiled: http://www.4shared.com/dir/18393763/2c1e01e0/Travel_Maps.html

Pics & Videos of the Ride:

Vikas: http://picasaweb.google.com/gvikiv/AmritsarAaakramaks
Che: http://picasaweb.google.com/jha.nishant/TheBOPAmritsarAakraamaks?feat=directlink
Harman: http://picasaweb.google.com/harmanpreets/Amritsar09?authkey=Gv1sRgCKLCu-LVtICHTw&feat=directlink
TJ: http://picasaweb.google.co.in/matharu.jasminder/AMRISARRIDEDEC2009?feat=directlink&fgl=true&pli=1# - TJ
Video 1:http://www.4shared.com/file/184088105/60587663/20091225_4468.html
Video 2: http://www.4shared.com/file/184070624/67c28dcc/20091225_4478.htm
Statutory Warning::: Please don't try copying the dance moves & vocals in these videos...I hold the patents!!!

I know this blog post has been really lengthy but as always it has come straight out of my heart…no artificial words…no hidden feelings…and this was the last ride of 2010 and I enjoyed every bit of it…

2010 won’t be as hectic wrt motorcycling as was 2009 but am sure I would be ruling the roads as always!!!

Che would be back on the road again…

Till then ride safe & have safe sex…

Hasta la Victoria Siempre…

10 comments:

Attitude Speaks !! said...

I think, the uniqueness of ur blog is the visual treat along with ur unabashed description of the journey! I loved the pic of Golden Temple... purity! Totally enjoyable and a vivid write up :)

Sanket Tomar said...

It was like living every moment of ride with it....i surely missed the singing/dancing/waking people up session in chandigarh with the ride, but looking forward to next ride to make up...grt work pajhi, as always :)

sarika jha said...

LOVELY PICS NISHANT AND U GUYS EAT SO MUCH PUKKHAYO TUHADAPET NAHI FATDA. LOVELY ARTICLE I ALWAYS WISH I CUD B DOING ALL THIS TOO.HAVE MANY MORE HAPPY AND SAFE RIDES.CARRY ON CHE...............

rahulmanchanda said...

I agree with the first comment completely.. ur blogs are visual delight along with having minute details... awesome...

Ken Slayer said...

A ride that i missed. Or did i? the blog makes up for it in some way. Would love to ride with Bull Rodeos as soon as my hibernation is over.
"in that weather tea never tasted better"
WAAAH WAAAH WAAH WAAAH.
i also went to Golden Temple and Surjeet's the following weekend with parents.

prashant said...

Loved the golden temple pic... it is glittering with aura.....
satnam sri wahe guru

weekendblogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
weekendblogger said...

Dost too likhta bahoot achhaa hai yaar. It is inspiring and reading is like riding here.

Fenil Seta said...

Excellent write-up Nishant Bhai yet again! Dont worry about the length of the post...just pour your heart out! It's always a treat to read your travelogues!

Chandigarh and Amritsar...has been on the top of my 'cities to visit' list. And really nice to know Amritsar has some awesome food options!

And really nice to know you care so much for cleanliness. And need to meet this guy Jignes...he's exactly like me!

Great work...keep rocking!

FENIL

rahul said...

Truly its straight from ur heart.
Every single line is so well written that d whole episode comes alive. although i missed d ride but still that crazy dancing night will always be in my head.Im looking forward to next ride n next blog n next crazy thing to do ;)