Kolkatta, the city where I’ve started my Professional life, the city that has been my stepping Stone for success. The which was India’s capital until 1912 during the British Raj & today holds many beautiful & marvelous architectural monuments. Now I guess that’s enough about the city, this write-up is not bout the city but about my experience during the All India Bandh called by the Left parties to protest against the growing inflation.

I’m not from Kolkatta but I’m from Mumbai. I frequently visit Kolkatta for Business purpose, Ive some client in Kolkatta who love me & to whom im very thankful. Monday I arrived in Kolkatta for a new prospect meeting, the plan was to stay here for the whole week. After reaching we were informed that on Tuesday the Left parties have called an All India Bandh & so we were trapped the on Tuesday in our Hotel rooms. On Monday night it had rained heavily for around 2 hrs but Tuesday morning was Hot as if we were in middle of a dessert, thx to the Samsung AC’s in my room the ball kept rolling. Kolkatta is a very unique city in India when it comes to Bandh, they follow it here as a religion. So on Tuesday morning everything was closed, No vehicles on road, Public transport shut down, everything closed. So Bandh can be defined as the only holiday where one can spend time with His/Her family as there is no other thing to do.

INOX, Kolkatta

INOX, Kolkatta

By evening everything was almost normal, some people were back on the streets & some vehicles & the Yellow cabs were to be seen & heard honking on the empty road. We decided to go down & get our self out of this prison where we were captive from monday night. My boss wanted to go to the Gurdwara, after some inquiry we got the address of Elgin Road Gurudwara, It was around 1.5 Km’s so we decided to walk to the destination rather than getting in to the big yellow cabs. I too wanted to walk for quite-sometime. There are two advantages of walking, its good for health & the second is you get to know your surrounding, you see the minute detail of the things in & around your. Kolkatta is a beautiful city & under the moonlight on an empty road the magic of the British Architecture are clearly visible on the Building partly eliminated by the street lamps. On Elgin Road among all these magnificent & beautiful building lies a sample of modern architecture, A mall housing INOX Multiplex & Shopper Stop. This Modern building just blends with its surroundings & instead of becoming the black sheep reflects the surroundings. I liked the concept. Soon we were at the steps of the Gurudwara, time to bow in front of the almighty.

We were yet not satisfied with the few hours of freedom we had won, so we decided to walk to the Rabindra Sarovar lake which was around 6.5 km’s away. If we get tired we would take a cab & reach the destination. Walking through empty streets is a very different experience specially when one is not worried about reaching the destination in time. The mind is at peace & gets time to wander around and make sence of the objects around it, feel them without touch. As we were new to Kolkatta to strolled around the  inner roads with the aid of my GPS Unit making our way to the Rabindra Sarovar lake. Not a single shop was open when we started from the hotel, but by now the situation was improving & there were some shoppers on road & some open shops. There was a lingering tension in the environment but I guess the localities have got used to this & have made the Bandhs a part/routine of their like. Just to have some more fun & the Underground Metro experience we jumped downstairs to the Metro Station @ Jatin Das Park, I earlier had a Metro experience last year which was not pleasant at all, so wanted to give it a try again. Sooo if uve been to the Delhi Metro, then dont expect the same here. But its was a modern marvel for India in the Old days, 1984. Metro was almost empty & we got down the next station Kalighat.

Rabindra Sarobar Lake

Rabindra Sarobar Lake

Kolkatta Metro - The first Coach being raised down to the tracks.

Kolkatta Metro - The first Coach being raised down to the tracks.

By the time we reached the lake, it was a dark & also windy. Wonderful place to walk wid ur loved one, very silent & peaceful. So after spending some time at the lake we decided to head back to the hotel. We walked back to the hotel again around 5-6 km, instead of getting a cab. By the time we reached hotel we had walked around 14 km’s in my formal shoes & my legs were paining & blistered. The day ended wid an hour under the shower & yummy dinner under the blankets.

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Day2 Nite:
Tired souls with drooping shoulders some standing some lying on bed. It seemed like we had done some 6000 odd kms but to my disappointment the trip meter displayed 600 km. No idea why everyone seemed to be so tired. So two rooms & two groups. One room for the bewdas & one for the nons. For a sec it was I thought should I start to drink to be with the bewdas all night, I fall in the non drinker category .

Aman desperately wanted to be on the beach for sunset. In the mountains for sunrise on the beach for sunset. He was stalking everyone to go to the beach, it seeemed like he was supposed to drag our a** to see some naked chick there. Had a bath, all the dust was gone but skin color definitely was different. Anup was under the shower for hours, the clock was jst tickin & tickin. The clock was tickin, the sun was settin & aman was un settin, it was a scene. So finally everyone was ready to hit the beach, Bagha Beach.

Anjuna Beach - Goa

Anjuna Beach

Sunset on the beach - Goa

Sunset on the beach

Daru On The Beach - Goa

Daru On The Beach

I didnt mention the roads leading to this beach. This is one patch ill always remember. One side you have coconut trees and on the other side of the road a small stream gushing past yout to meet the sea. A small toy bridge acrosss the river leading you to a patch of black tarmac surrounded by lush green fields and fenced by two parallel lines of coconut trees. The blue sky above you and the black tarmac below and you are cuttin the air and moving forward with the horses underneath you. Thtz Goa. Ullelilala ulleoooo ullelilala aeeeooooo  (Sorrry I dont knw how to spell it).

Back to the beach. As alwayz Goa’s white sand was there to welcome us. Unlike wht i had expected, the beach was an open restaurant by the sea. Was a bit disappointed by it. The sun had already set but the orange glow had engulfed the whole beach. Found a table by the sand and everyone was set for first ound of drinks, to drown in the cheaply available ocean of alcohol as the sun went down in the blue waters of the Arabian Sea. I took my sony and headed to the sea took some snaps of the beach. Back to the tables orders some soft drinks. Anup & Shiva had finished a bottle i guess till then. Ordered some chicken and starters. Meanwhile I got a call from my bro who stays in goa. He is sort of page 3 stufff in Goa. So casually as a good small bro I asked him to arrange some party sharty enteries for tonight. So in 10 mins we were on th LoungeFly guest list. Didnt knw where it is so asked a waiter at the beach for direction. He said it is close by but there is a big party tonight & entry only by invitation. So the night was all set and ANUP, SHIVA, AMAN & ME were all set to rock. Jst I had to pay a small price for this setting had to go for dinner with my brother. He was @ Mira Mar Beach, Panjim. So discussed with Anup all the plans. I was goin to miss the blast at the dinner. Took my bike and headed to Panjim. There is onething bout this city, here life begins after dusk. The lounges by the river, the casino, the big bridge ligthend by einstiens invention & the river water engulfed in moonlight. You feel special. Meet my brother @ Mira Mar CCD. Had a big long family chat there. Wre tooo a coool restraunt had some lobsters. There is one thing good to be with a big brother, U dont have to pay the bill & the best part is you dont have to even pretend to do so . (Anup / Aman pls post wht ulll did @ the dhaba)

On the floor - Goa

On the floor

In the club - Goa

In the club

The Gang - Goa

The Gang

Cornering on Yamaha R15 - Goa

Cornering on Yamaha R15

Sunset by the Road - Goa

Sunset by the Road

Power Nap - Goa

Power Nap

Anup gave a call to chk on me & told me tht they had their dinner & were now bozzin at some cafe near titos . It was around 9.30 i headed back to Bagha. Reached the cafe by 10.30. Saw Anup, Shiva & Aman sittin at a corner table. Parke th bike & joined them on the table. Ashish, Shiva &
Winzeee were tooo tired & prefered to sleeep (Ull missed the action big time). Anup had found the best cafe, the best corner,, the best table, the beast place on tht table & the best angle for babe watching in goa. As it was saturday night & Titos around we had a eye one every type, firangi, desi, latino, asian………………… (Thtz enough). I was starnin my eye to catch a glimse as i didnt have my glasses. Shiva was tooo tired even tooo open his eyes. Paid the billl were out of there by 11.30.

Lounge fly party was supposed to start at 11.30 so asumming that as in mumbai the action will start late we decided to reach there by 12.15. Went to the rooms, used some deos tht the bulls were carrin with them. THe tired trio was fast alseep. Checked ourselfs & vrooooooooooom to the club. To the ZMA & R15 instead of 4 bike, the reson behind this was Shiva was too tired & drunk to drive & i opted not to wear my broken glasses to the club. So I & Shiva were pillions. Found LoungeFly, parked the bike on the sand (thtz the parkin lot , cool). Some girls present there were gosssipin how could we get a entry wen they r not allowed to go in (We were tooo underdressed, Anup was wearin shorts ). Tht was enough for Anup to get charged “Ab tooo mujhe kuch bhi karke jaaan hain”. So as we were late & our assumtion of goa being like mumbai with all lazy ppl around was wrong, the dance floor was full & they were not abllowin nyone in. Called up my bro, anup did some talkin & they let us in. So the late thing cost us a phone call & RS 700 (who gave the idea to be late ). The party was rockin with Nikhi Chinnapa in the house & hot desi & firangi chics on the floor. The trio had some alcohol, showed some moves, stared at some girls & were out of the disc by 2.00pm. Had to get up early in the mornin to start riddin back home so we straing went to the room & offf to bed, batti band.

Goa – The Dream Destination (Part 1)

Goa – The Dream Destination (Part 2)

Goa – The Dream Destination (Part 3)

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Day 2

After riding on Kashedi ghats we took a break ahead of a bridge. The motains were tooo foggy & the mist around us was troublesome. The visors & the glasses were foggin, so couldnt see through it. Took a break to clean those. The dark night was slowly vanishin into the light & the sun was ready to say goood morning. Ther sunlight trying to penetrate the fog was an awesome sight. Then as always we had an XBHP Dog headin towards us (No ride is complete without a dog). He stared at us posed for some snaps & was back on his way .
Discussion by the road

Discussion by the road

Above the sky

Above the sky

Had some red bull + water & back on the horses. Then from somewhere the Cow Killer emerged. Im not witness to the incident as me & nikil had taken a photo break. As Anup recounts the events, there was beautiful curve and anup & shiva were crussin around 70+. Anup entered the corner saw some cowz & bullz on the road, luckily everyone was eatin grass on the road sides or yawnin on the other lane. Anup dodged them on the ambition and crusised ahead. He was so sure tht somethin was goin to happen tht he breaked some 100mts from the curve. So ShivaZMA follows anup on the curve, till the time shiva entered the corner the cow yawnin on the other lane had strted crosssin the road. Seein this shiva pressed the break lever, the ZMA strated to skid on the tarmat thx to the zappers (There are some heavy discounts on zappers i guesss. All bikes have them.) So using some brain & keepin some trust in God, shiva opened the breaks & BANG, straight into the cowz stomach. Now heres the interesting part Shiva was standing & balancing his ZMA & the cow fell . (Thz ZMA power, thtz why itz the most reliable & best tourer avaiable in India. HH waitin for the FI version). There is a big list of wht brok in the ZMA, nothin visual. Anup was waitin ahead and watchin the whole drama. According to a cospirasy theory thts goin on in my mind. Anup was felling sleepy, so for some action in life he pushed the cow in the other lane went ahead and waited for the stunt .
The Wild Flower
The Wild Flower
Anup The Celeb

Anup The Celeb

Parked in shade

Parked in shade

Every one took a break after this. Anup was laughin & narrating wht jst happened. As the cow fell & Shiva was standing we changed ShivaZMA to Shiva- The Cow Killer. Took some photos. Ashish & Shiva were busy acessing the damage . Shiva also had a problem with his clutch, he was not able to rip the ZMA at alll. So we strated our journey again. We were supposed to reached Goa by 12 but we had not even reached Ratnagiri & the clock said 7.00.
10-15 km off Ganpatipule Anup stopped. He was feelin sleepy. Found some shade & grass went to sleep. Till we reached there he was fast asleep. After his Bhutan trip he is famous for sleepin nywhere. We too followed him on the grasss. I was sleepin while ridddin. The bike was jst drifitin to the side. The Banglore-Kolkatta-Mumbai was showin itz effects (Aboard a Flight). Whenever i used to drift ashish & nikil used to horn loudly, back on track. I was almost about to hit a man after fallin asleep. Soo I tooo hit the grasss. Slept for 1hr got up at 9.00. Ashish & Shiva were not sleeping but fixin the ZMA. Removed the spedo as it was shakin tooo much & put it the saddle bags & zooom we were back on the highway. A bit freash this time.
The Fog

The Fog

The Coconut Trees

The Coconut Trees

The fog now has started to become a bit anooying. You love it for 20-30 mins but for 3-4 hrs itz jst pain. The climate was jst awesome. Atop the mountain we could see the whole ground coverd by the fog. It felt like ur above the clouds. Then as u start the decent ur enter the dense fog & the only thing u can see is tail lights. Waited somewhere after ratnagiri the ambition needed some petrol. Took a small break. I took the oppoprtunity, grabed my sony & clicked some snaps. This was my worst trip considering photos. Was not patient enough to click snaps, clicked everythin in a bit hurry. Will surely improve nxt time. Had some snaks near the petrol pump & headed toward Goa. We were late, it was 12.00 & 200kms more to cover. So were started crusin, it was fun. Ridding non stop, cooly & calmly feeling & enjoin every bit of the ride. We lost Aman, Ashish & Nikhil after kankavli. Realised tht after 30kms. Waited for them to catch up near Kudal (150 kms frm goa). The R15 needed some petrol so they had stopped to refuel. Buckled up after a small break & rode non stop tilll Goa.
Finally around 3.00pm we had crossed Goa border. Waited near a Indian Oil petrol pump. My uni was thirsty. The petrol was 4rs cheaper than mumbai. Took a small b reak had some snaks & headed towards Anjuna Beach. Around 4.30pm we were at anjuna beach but to out dissapointment there were no rooms avaiable there. So we headed towards Baga beach. Got 2 rooms for 800 RS. Parked the bikes, took bath & crashed in the rooms.

Title: Goa – The Dream Destination
Destination: Goa, Maharashtra, India
Date: 28 Oct, 2008

Day 1
Finally after week long discussions and switchin between dozens of destination and almost canceling the trip we finally zeroed in on Goa, a weekend dream destination. Even after final plans were drafted i was a bit skeptical bout the ride (ppl have too many personal commitmentz these dayz ). As per planz I was to fly frm kolkatta to mumbai & meet Anup Shiva & Aman at Paavel mac @ 12 am . Reached mumbai @ 8.30 but cause the f**kin traffic reached home by 11.00 . Packed up got freash arranged cash & left home around 11.45. Reached panvel around 1.20 am (only 1.20 mins late, didnt break ny records).

Every thin was fine till the helmet was on. Broke my glasses wen tried to remove the helmet (A stupid action ). So with no spare lenses in the bag and almost no hopes for fixing the glasses the ride was almost over for me. Was depressed, ambaresed wen Sumit gave me some hopes as power of his glasses was close to mine. From nowhere Razor jumped in and bandaged those glasses (This ride wouldnt be possible without his support. I owe u Gopi).

Dumb ppl riding on NH17. Destination Goa

Dumb ppl riding on NH17. Destination Goa

If u can spot it the sun tooo comes for a small tea party with the mooon to laugh on us.

If u can spot it the sun tooo comes for a small tea party with the mooon to laugh on us.

XBHP stuff

XBHP stuff

Around 1.40, with darkness as the companion and broken glasses on 7 riders were ready to burn petrol on NH17 frm Dusk to Dawn .

40 KM’s from panvel had a halt for petrol, Ambition was a bit thirsty. Suddenly after panvel the temp as dropped an the air was chilllin. We could see the cold weather effects on Aman as he was riddin without gloves and the wind was cutting though his jacket. We had spare gloves with us, Shiva wore those cramsters & gave his gloves to Aman. It helped a lot. So back on the road crusin on the highway in a formation. Took a break again around 20 KMs away @ a tea stall. Anup was feelin tooo cold (Everyone else was also frozen). Had a glass of tea (No cups) and moved on. Tea breaks help a lot.

Round bout 3.30 we reached Mahabaleshwar Turn, Polhadpur. Had a small break rather a Warning Break 2 kms off Polhadpur. Anup warned everyone of the dangerous Kashedi ghats ahead. Ive been on this road all my life & I knew wht he was talkin bout. The ghats are awesome during day but deadly during night. 7 – 8 km long ghatz were awesome.

Dhak dhal go..........

Yamaha

Yamaha

High Above the Clouds (Itz Fog)

High Above the Clouds (Itz Fog)

The Sun, The Fog, The Road

The Sun, The Fog, The Road

The roadz were goood most of the time but suddenly wen ur cornering or cruising on a slope the road abruptly ended and the signature red dust of the konkan region replaced the black tarmat. Was scary. The gravel on the curves slowed us down & I guess this is wht prevented us frm accidents. Anup and shiva were cruising ahead and pushing the ZMA & Ambition.

Goa – The Dream Destination (Part 1)

Goa – The Dream Destination (Part 2)

Goa – The Dream Destination (Part 3)

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A Saturday & A Ride

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Touring
Tags: , , , ,

Date – August 2009

Yaaaa A Saturday & A Ride. A big week & a bigger weekend. Not a big but rather a very eventful weekend. Last month I got a good riding jacket for myself which I had promised my body for a long time but didnt get much time to test it. As per the actual plan this weekend we were to be in Amboli. I was planning to do this as a solo ride, was very excited bout it but due to some unforeseen circumstances couldnt not make it to the ghats. I lost my mobile on wednesday which forced me to cancel my weekend plans. A good news on thursday, A driver found the phone & returned it. A bad news I had already commited my self for some other stuff on the weekend on wednesday so Amboli was out of reach for sometime.

Swine flu Swine flu everywhere. The news & the media has really got everyone, tht includes me. Ive got so scared of the flu tht I refuse to use the public transport to reach office, even though I knw tht im just being paranoid. For the last whole week Ive let go the comforts of the Lush & comfortable AC bus & back to the hard saddle of my unicorn. Travelling daily on a bike form one end of the Mumbai to the other end is really tiring but Swine Flu Swine Flu. With no rides on the horizon & not so bright future. Ive not strted using the jacket on my daily commute. Yaaaa itz hot but I want to show offf my new purchase, wht to do no one to appreciate it.

Friday evening, all work over at 5.30 while waiting for the Home Run bell to ring @ 6.00 a though stuck me. Wht now, I mean for a change ill reach home early? Wht then? Wht should I do? Wwht work do I have? Whtz there on TV? Suddenly Im free & dont like to be freee. The only thing I do wen Im free is I sleep or thing of wht to do not to be free. As all girls my Girl too hates me for this non romantic habit of mine of being loaded with work every time but then can someone help me with the definition of work! Isnt spending time wid her work. Ive had friends @ office who have “Meet wid Sita today & have coffee wid little sugar” as items o n their To-Do list. Definitely im sorry for poor Sita but my point its work is nything In which u spend some time to get something worthfull in return. If I spend some quality time wid my girl I get a beautifull gorgeous lady blushing wid the cutest smile. If u work had u need someone to appreciate your work, “Great Work…” as a statement from the manger would bring a bigger smile on ur subordinates face than  a statement starting wid “Good Work…”. Finally getting back to the topic tht friday I waited in office for longer than ever widout ny work to do. Trying to read some posts of tech websites, finding myself in the facebook chatter, trying to TWIT something that made sence but I was lost. I decided I was goin on a solo ride on satuday exploring the the small 10ft wide roads around the highway.

Saturday morining, no way I could wake up early in the morning but I was up by 10.15. Some 5 missed call from winzee & it was obvious that WINZEE’S pulsar was in mood polute the environment. Decided to go on a ride to Manor. Winzee was waiting for me on the highway around 12.30. We were supposed to reach Manor & be back home by late evening but. Instead of Manor I decide to do a 100 Km straight ride along NH8. Reach Gujrat border & come back. Jst I wanted to do the 100 Km non stop in 60 mins or a 10 min buffer. Not a big deal for many ppl but I wanted to try it myself. Discussed it with Winzeee & he was happy than ridin to Manor. As ive explained earlier bout the work thing, let me finish it here. Ive a problem, a disorder u may say. I fell sleepy not only due to over work but even if ive nothin to do. Normally itz nothing big. U sit on the couch & if uve nothin to do u go to sleep. But my brain is i guess incapable of differentiating between the crouch & the bike. I feel sleepy while ridding. Again not a big thing, many drivers & riders fell sleepy, but the diffrence is I feel sleepy even on a 20 Km ride. Yaa I sleep on my bike to office. I met wid an accident some months back & ruined a friends bike & started taking this problem seriously. After long discussion wid my dad who is a certified Doctor & a Psychiatrist & heated discussions bout keeping me away from the road we came to a conclusion tht I needed to keep the brain active & doin somethin in background while I was riding. Started wid counting cars on road while riding, which failed misserably, then to music we finally found a solution in Podcast. My stupid brain was interested in the stupid tech talks found in podcasts than the adventurous riding. From podcast ive now switched to Audio version of Books & today i was goin to test wid one of the most boring book DNA – The Secret Of Life by James Watson, a Nobel Price winner & the father of DNA Structure. Lets see how the brain reacts to topics itz not quite interested in.

We started at 1.00 pm & the aim was to complete 100Km by 2.00pm. Didnt knw the road conditions so I was a bit doubtfull bout complteing the objective but then tooo we were goin to try. 100Km in 60 mins on two 150cc bikes.

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Title: Rajmachi – Ultimate Offroading
Destination: Rajmach, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India
Trip Meter: 100 Km
Date: 28 Jun, 2009
Rajmachi Route Map

Rajmachi Route Map

Route details captured by Nokia Sports Tracker GPS.

Saturday, best thing to do watch movies or series. Thts what I was doin, finished Boston Legal Season , good series for ppl wanting to be intellectual. I mean what a boring weekend. Last week Bhandardara was an awesome ride, memorable one. But this weekend I was rather planning to rest & catch up on Terminator Salvation, big weekend for Hollywood. I resigned from my position at my current office this friday & was pretty much confused in which direction to move forward. Im the evening me & Sweta were supposed to meet & discuss that but then you never know which way the wind will blow. Instead was wathcing the action packed Terminator, I decided to go for a ride wid Sweta. Knew a bit bout the Rajmachi ride organized by Pune, but didnt knw nyone joinin them from Mumbai. Called Bibek late in the evening & got the whole plan from him.
Had to convince Sweta lil bit for the ride, as she didnt knw nyone. Bibek had told me there was a some offroadin on the way to the fort. Rajmachi is around 25 – 30 km from Lonavala. There are two forts on top side by side. The route is famous in the trekking circles, we were soon to find out if our horses would like it. Sunday mornimg 4.30, moms sleepin so yet so definitely the alarm on my N95 was disturbing my sleep. It was not more than 3 hrs tht i fell asleep. Sweta was already ready to leave from her place & here I was jst opening my eyes. I picked her up from the station at 5.30 sharp, it was raining so we both were tucked under plastic sheets called raincoats. Headed to the nearest petrol pump, my Honda wanted itz morning breakfast. It was 6.00 am & we were already late, called up bibek to inform him of the status & hit the road in nxt 5 mins, he was wating for us at Panvel. The road was wet & i was ride a lil carefully rather I would say wid all the caution I can take. We took the Airoli route via Thane to reach Panvel, it took us 60 – 75 min to cover 50 km. As we were late no one was present at the McD, Bibek was waiting somewhere ahead near a petrol pump. I was supposed to be me, Bibek & Rohit riddin to Lonavala & meeting the Pune guys. Saw Bibek waitin for me near a BP pump. As we came close by saw A Red R15 a a lil figure on it, undoubtedly it was DarkKinght & to surprise there were more than 10 ppl waiting for us & swearing at me for the delay. Had a gut feelin tht this one is gonna be a biggggg ride.
The tarmac was wet & we were riding very slowly. DarkKnight aka Nitin was leading, he is a good person on his R15, responsible knws wen to pull the throttle & we to cool down. For a change calvin was not tailing, itz odd. We had an Honda Aviator wid us, a scooter is seriously one comfortable ride jst u feel the lack of power. Ive taken my friends Activa to Malshej one evening, itz so comfortable tht you jst dont feel like ripping but wen u want to there is nothin much to rip there. Sweta was very excited to be with such a big group, this was her first time with all my friends. We reached Khopoli in no time, then the ghats & fighting the traffic on expressway we were finally in Lonavla in not more than 1 hour.
DK Bhau wid his spanking JoeRocke

DK Bhau wid his spanking JoeRocket

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

The bullets shaking Rajmachi

The bullets shaking Rajmachi

The tarmac was wet & we were riding very slowly. DarkKnight aka Nitin was leading, he is a good person on his R15, responsible knws wen to pull the throttle & we to cool down. For a change calvin was not tailing, itz odd. We had an Honda Aviator wid us, a scooter is seriously one comfortable ride jst u feel the lack of power. Ive taken my friends Activa to Malshej one evening, itz so comfortable tht you jst dont feel like ripping but wen u want to there is nothin much to rip there. Sweta was very excited to be with such a big group, this was her first time with all my friends. We reached Khopoli in no time, then the ghats & fighting the traffic on expressway we were finally in Lonavla in not more than 1 hour.

Nitin knew the road so we were following him. A left from a the main road & we landed on a small bylane leadin somewhere. The tarmac was fully eroded but it looked tempting. A little more downhill n we got rid of the tarmac & landed on gravel & dust. I was excited but was worried but the MRF Zappers & their poor performance. There was gravel everywhere & the road, it doesnot qualify for offfroad at all. But then tooo nythin excites me than tarmac, doesnot allow me to sleep while ridddin. Sweta was a little bit excited but also was a bit nervous, we had gone for many ride earlier but no off-roads yet. Every 100 mts the road was gettin worst & terrain tougher. As everyone else I was more eager to know how the R15’s perform here. The stunting team was all present to do wheelies & stoppies. At some distance we could see 2 ZMA parked , the Castrol ZMA & a Red one. So MG & Inder were waiting for us, finally we reached the destination. Mmmm no Inders bike had some problem so Inder decided not to go ahead & MG waited to accompany him. That was sad, no punewalla’s wid us for the ride. Took some quick snaps & after failed attempts to convince MG to join us we decided to move ahead.

The Aviator guy tooo was a bit reluctant to punish his ride & he didnot want the air filters on his ride to get wet in muck so he too decided to stay back. Now the real Rajmachi came into picture, the gravel suddenly disappeared & was replaced by brown earth & big rocks. The fun had jst started, offroadin. The first test, there was steep slope & the road was bit slippery & wet here. Ride to the top wid the pillion, mmm “Lets try atleast, im not gettin down” Sweta said, struggin for grip & openin the throttle lil by lil we were on top. This was the start. everyone was watin there wen a group of Bullets passed us, zooom they went. Road Shakers, a group of bikers from pune riddin the bullet’s wherever they desire. Sweta started to click some pics, yaaa this time she had the shutter wid her & I was a mere spectator. Nitin had someone in the group whom he knew so he was a lil busy chattin wid a Road Shaker while we were busy lookin a the lush green valley. Nxt 5 min we were back on the dirt, soon it was only Nitin, Ashish, Bibek, Buroiest & Me. No one else was to be seen on the RVM. Ashish had got his Enticer instead of the R15 & he had come along wid his brother Anup. So the Enticer & the Unicorn had pillions.

Rishab & His Raw R15
Rishab & His Raw R15
The Enticer
The Enticer
The Bullets struggling up the slope
The Bullets struggling up the slope

I was becommin a lil bit nervous wid Sweta around but she was as comfortable as she is on the couch, girls are weird. Finally a road pointed to Rajmachi, Nitin said that 4-5 Km now, he was sayin this for the sometime. The terrain was really touch & I had realized that my Adidas Trekkers had a better grip than the MRF Zapper tyres on the bikes & was using the shoes to keep the balance. My dad always says me that learn to control the bike using gears & not breaks, I realise today why. In such a terrain breakin is very risky & useless wid the zappers around & the gear this surely gives a bit control. Bibek a small slip & the pulsar was on ground, some one from the Road Shakers group came runnin to help us, they had parked the bullets & were waitin for someone. The bike looked great but had turned from black to brown. Now it was lokkin like a offroader, the Pulsar 200. Had some discussion bout how we were daring to cover wid this terrain wid our plastic bikes & stock tyres wid Road Shaker members. It feels good to hear that from such experienced ppl. We moved on, the R15 & the Red Pulsar were parked at the top a dangerous incline & Nitin & Burouist were havin tea at one small shop. Opened the throtle & vrooom we went to the top, right behind Ashish’s bike, goood move to impress girls who r wid u as pillions. I really cannot forget the look on Ashish’s face, he was starrin at me Sweta. So the Unicorn had proved itself to me n my confidence level was a bit up from wen we had started riddin on this trail. We had crossed a dry river bed to get to the top, 1 month later there would be water gushing through & it would not be possible to cross it on the bike. I took the cam & took some pics of the trail & the bullets struggling to reach the top. Wen we had confirmed that we were the only 5 ppl to come this far & to continue further we heard the K&N from the R15, 3 R15’s & an RTR were back in action. Rishab on the R15 wid the pillion, R15 had proved itself.

None of us knew what at horrific road was ahead. The 5 of us decided to go ahead while the rest wanted to wait & take a break. The road ahead was pathetic, the bike was jst slippin everywhere, no solid ground to be seen nywhere around. It was all mucky & puddles & everthin on the bike & my shoes was brown. But it was a rleally exciting & wonderfull experience. Sweta was helpin me to find a safe passage & pushing me hard to go though the terrain widout telling her to get down, she was doin a great job. There was a slope downhilll & there was no was I could do it wid a pillion. There was no grip & the bike was jst slidin down hill even wid tyres locked, but we made it. This was really bad & I knew while commin back it was goin to worst on this slope as ther was no grip. Ahead there was a traffic jam, all the bullets & our bikes were stuck on a uphill steep climb, everyone was pushing all the bikes & all the treckers on foot were now overtaking us. I went 75% uphill but then touch down, the Unicorn fell. Anup, Ashish’s brother rushed towards me to help & after some struggle the bike was at the top. Sweta had clicked all this struggle of the Bullets & the Plastic bikes in the Sony. Never been so tired & breathless riddin a bike, this was jst great. Soon we could see a Scorpio SUV attempting the climb, it came half was up & the wid the tyres locked jst slid down as if the tyres had no traction at all.
Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoding

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

Rajmachi - Ultimate Offraoading

In the next 15 mins we were @ Rajmachi village & it had started raining. Regrouped wid the Pune team & all the Road Shakers. Rajmachi is a very small village wid a small school & they have a small solar power plant tooo for electricity. It is a very remote village & inaccessible during the rainy season by any vehicle. There are two forts here, Shrivardhan & Manranjan, ppl say the view from the top is excellent. We didnt visit the forts as we were too late. Me & Sweta were trekking around to get try some macro & then wid everyone from the jungle to a small pond nearby. Had a much awaited posing session there but we were back before the rains. I was a bit worried bout the camera as it was now too much clouds. One problem in foood, there is no non veg available here i.e no chicken, but egg’s were available. It took around an hour for the food to get ready, so plz order first n go for the hike to the forts. It had started to rain while we were havin foood & the I was a bit worried bout the decent now. We left from Rajmachi around 3.30pm. Soon it had started raining heavily & it was very difficult to control the bikes. The bikes were falling after every 100mt now. After some km’s the rain stopped but was replaced by dense fog & drizzling. The visibility was very low but in an hour & half we managed to reach Lonavala. MG was waitin for near a chai stall to welcome & congratulate us.

We had finally conquered Rajmachi on our Plastic Bikes……….

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Bhandardara (Orignal by ShadowBoy)

Bhandardara (Orignal by ShadowBoy)

Title: Bhandardara – First Rains of 2009
Location: Bhandardara, Maharashtra, India
Date: 21 June, 2009

This seems to be a suitable title for this ride log. I dont want to get into how the summer was killing me & I wanted dark clouds to arrive ASAP, but yaaa this is true. I might have send soo many mails to GOD@gmail.com, GOD@yahoo.com requesting for rain (wen i was fast asleep). Until last year the only picture of rainy season in my mind was, flooded streets of Mumbai, mucky by lanes of the local market, getting drenched on the way to office. I hated rains! But last year the Sahyadri’s (mountain range) opened my eyes to the magic of rainy season, it was so green out there that anyone falls in love with it preciously.

Bhandardara, this was one place on my wish list for the last 6 months, since I had seen my friends Anup & Razor’s pics of off roadin there. My last ride was Mnt Abu that was some odd 60 days back & the Bike & me were desperate to hit the roads. Many people ask me wht is this place wid such a weird name. Bhandardara is a small isolated hill station, isolated from modern world lying amidst the Kalsubai mountain range. Even in summer this place tend to be cool, but don’t expect a cozy cozy weekend here. This is wonderful place for people who want be close to nature & love water. Places to visit, Bhandardara Dam itz an hydro electricity producing dam, u can get wet here even in summer. Wilson dam, a century old dam build by Britishers & Randha waterfall. There is an MTDC resort wid a lake facing view, jst for the perfect weekend, one can find a place to stay for 500 – 2500 a night. Best time to visit this place, Monsooon, the mountains talk to you in rains. Bhandardara is around 150km from Thane & 180km from mumbai. One need to take the Mumbai – Nashik highway from Thane & follow it till Igatpuri. Take a right around 20-30 km from Igatpuri, one can ask the locals the road ahead. The ride was scheduled on Sunday 21st June but due to some reason it was prepone to 20th. This was my first ride will all the new people in the group, due to some or the other reason I was not able to go on any small rides recently, so I was a bit uncomfortable & also excited to be wid new people. Eternity mall was the meeting point, sharp 6.30 am. After the Mnt Abu ride the bike had not been to the garage for a long time, the Friday evening was spent wid the mechanic. The bike was already fueled up & ready to ride.

The Bhandardara gang

The Bhandardara gang

Itz a Dam

Itz a Dam

Strugling the take the bike on road.

Strugling the take the bike on road.

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

I was & eternity mall sharp at 6.20, yaaa before time, quite unusual for me but yaaa all these changes are the part of the restructuring program ive planned for my mind & body. Some old folks & new buddies were waiting wid their bikes. Had a cup of tea, quickly had the introduction session & then waited infinitely for the rest of the lot to join us. Everyone was assembled & all geared up for the ride by 7.15. The bike were on NH3 by 7.30, the weather was overcast and it had started drizzling. For jst in case reason I also had a proper raincoat wid me. Didnt want my Sony SLR to get wet. We crossed Kalyan phata in no-time, the roads ahead were a combination of 2 lane & 4 lane. The 4 lane work on the NH3 is goin on so there are many diversions, not a place one would like to be on a bike or a car. The ride so far was pretty smooth, everyone was ridding in their own comfort zones & at safe speeds. I was tailing, Bibek & Deepak were on ahead of me.

Suddenly, a cling sound as if some metal part had broken form the unicorn. To my surprise the rear break pedal had broken in 2 half’s, disaster. Parked the bike & got the second half which was lying on the road. Bibek was waiting for me some 200mt ahead. On the highway you don’t generally need rear breaks but it acts as an emotional support for jst in case situation & also it was required in Bhandardara. So the mission now was to find a welder, or a mechanic. Both of these species were no where to be seen, was praying they have not become extinct in this part of the world. Me, Mastermind & Bibek were riddding together. I completed the dangerous Kasara ghats with one the front disc. We found a welder & wid the help of Mastermind’s vast experience we were able to fix my bike. Had a nice do it yourself experience, the welder had only electric welding for which we needed to remove the petrol tank. Mastermind did everything for me, thank you Sir this ride would not be possible without you help & all tht experience. Total repair cost Rs20 only. The rest of the group was waitin for us near Ghoti.

Bhandardara Dam

Bhandardara Dam

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

The approach road to Bhandardara from Ghoti is a small single lane road, all patchy. There is small toll booth on the road, dont knw the reason but they charge cars some Rs 30. The roads were not so good but the place was very scenic. The roads jst become worst as you come close to bhandadara, need to be very careful on these roads. In the next 1/2 hour we had reached bhandardara. Luckily there was power generation goin on at the Dam so we could the waterfall. Had some nice photo session on the road leading to the dam & nxt stop MTDC resort for food. As always we took the wrong road & were on top of the dam near the lake. Again photo shoot time, some of my friends had climbed on the dam doors, the doors were 30-35 feet tall until someone came & shooed them off. Asked some locals bout the route to MTDC resort & we were there in 15mins. The resort has a very nice location, facing the mountains & the lake. A guide there suggested that we have our lunch at a local restaurant, so we did soo & yaa we didnt regret our decision. The chicken was so delicious & i was trying to eat more roti’s even wen my stomach was full. When we reached bhandradara the climate was sunny & no sign of rains but in the next 1 hr from somewhere the dark clouds had some , GOD had finally replied to all my mails & finally it was raining. I was really very happy & was tryin to get wet, yaaa jst tryin.

The Stunt team on dam gates.

The Stunt team on dam gates.

Bhandardara

Bhandardara

Bahndardara

Bahndardara

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

It was 4.00 pm wen we finished food. The guide took us to the dam. There is a small garden that leads to the dam’s water outlet. The water around us was so clean & the force was jst too much, so if u ever go to bhandardara dont enter in water. We were very close to the water outlet & were getting wen by the small small water droplets. Everyone wid camera’s was busy taking photos and all the rest were busy possin for one. It was a lil bit hard to protect the lens from the water droplets. It was around 5.30 & we decided to leave back for mumbai, enough for the day.

A hut & A mountain

A hut & A mountain

For more photos from this Road trip visit my photo album.
http://bit.ly/bhandardar_album (Zoomin.com)

On our way back, it sky was gettin ready for rains. It was thundering  & the combination of clouds over the mountains was really looking very goood. It had started raining heavily from Ghoti. Once we hit the highway I wore my backup raincoat & rode non stop around 60-70 until there was enough light. Rishab, Me, Shadowboy & Mastermind were together. At night even wid the best light you cannot see anything, so were preferred to ride a bit slow. We were back in Mumbai by 9.30.

First rain of 2009……………….

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