April 25, 2004

Whirlwind of a weekend

What a weekend !! After the trip to Coorg I was thinking that we would not be on the road for a couple of weeks ... but a last minute change of plans at 1:30 in the night on Friday had us riding our merry way with the gang to Pondicherry where we met the Madras Bulls and attended their second anniversary .. the meeting was more poignant since we were kind of remembering Varun and missing him sorely but I was glad that we were missing him together and it was a good get together and a great ride.... Am zonked out totally.. Reached home at 1:00 in the night since two bikes were running in and we had to come slow... and well lots of adventure on the way which I am dying to blog but it has to wait... Got to get the snaps too... and will put it up in a day or two.. Meanwhile today is a significant day for me since its my last day at this organisation and I am moving to a new job... so got to finish lots of formalities... Feeling aprehensive,sad, jubilant, tired, mellow, all at the same time... 3 years here and lots of good memories.. but one moves on.. hopefully the pastures where I am moving on to will be greener.... Watched Murder last week.. it SUCKS majorly.. please do not bother .. !!! And thus my Monday begins... with and end and with a beginning to a new life... Be back with my post.. and snaps..

April 22, 2004

Walking among clouds... and coming back to reality

Day 3 This was our last day in Coorg and we decided to make most of it. Harini would be coming with us as a guide today and then we would head to Bangalore. That day we planned to visit Talacauvery and then Madekeri and then head back to Bangalore. We wanted to start early but we got slightly delayed since it took some time for Anjali and Mini to reach Harini?s estate. Harini again took them to Orange county for a brief visit since they missed it the first evening. After saying our goodbyes, made our way from Siddapur where we picked up some coffee for friends and family. After that we drove on to Talacauvery. The drive to this place is also very scenic through the winding roads of the ghats. The jeep ambled along pretty sturdily without giving us any hassles. Our ears started popping as we climbed higher and higher and finally we reached the place. We took a brief stop at Bhagamandala where the three rivers Kanike, Kauvery and Sujyothi met and carried on to Talacauvery. This is the place where the Cauvery river originated. We went higher up climbing some 360 steps to the top of the mountain where the actual source of the river was. Imagine having the source of the river at the source of the mountain. Harini told me that no one knew what path it took to reach the tank where the water actually bubbled up. 17th October is an auspicious day when the Cauvery river bubbles up at this place. The top of the mountain is left bare and nothing has been constructed since they were afraid to disrupt the flow of the water which was quite mysterious. The steps that led to the mountain was also very carefully constructed so as to not disturb the flow of water in any way. According to a myth the little pool of water at the top of the mountain should not overflow or else the river would dry up so whenever there was excessive rain? and there was overflowing of water, the people would be going there and lessen the water flow by taking out the excess water by buckets? The top of the mountain is beautiful viewpoint and on a clear day one can see the Arabian sea on the other side of the mountain range. When we went it was somewhat cold and there was a little mist but as a whole we had good weather. The clouds were floating by and we felt like we were in movie... where there is a song and dance is going and there is smoke around the actors... he he !! jokes apart it was nice to be standing there and just observing. As we came down the ghats, we stopped to buy honey. It is advisable to buy your honey from these little shops which are located in strategic points as you come down the ghats. If you know Kannada you can also bargain to give you a good price. You will get processed and non processed honey. Processed honey will be bottled by Honey Society while the non processed ones will be in normal bottles. After you come down the ghats you will get flat land where you will see some guys selling some cucumbers. Harini made us stop and have those cucumbers which were really out of this world. They were fresh and succulent and if you are a cucumber freak do not forget to stop by and check it out. Well we were quite hungry by that time given the amount of climbing up and down we had to do and we were keen on having Pandi Curry (Coorgi pork curry) and rice. It was almost 3:00 and we were running late. Harini guided us to Madekeri and then to Hotel East End which was famous for Pandi Curry. Unfortunately, it was late and we were informed that they no longer made that and suggested that we try Hotel West End. By now we were all famished but we thought that it would be an insult to leave Coorg and not have Pandi Curry. We were quite hungry and decided we would go anywhere to taste the food which coorg was famous for. So we drove down to West End Bar and Restaurant and had a late lunch there along with pork fry, pandi curry rice and vegetarians had some roti and alu mutter. We also sipped a few beers to go with the delicious lunch. Well friends, as far as this place goes, it was ok but I would not advise you to try this if you are a bunch of girls or if you are with family. If you are a sizeable group who is not fussy about the ambience you can try this place. Despite its shabby look and feel, the food served to us was good. Hotel East End is a decent hotel to try in Madekeri and they also provide lodging along with good food. That day was a Sunday and another thing to remember when you are driving around Coorg on a Sunday is to drive carefully since Sunday is shandy day, a day when most of the estate workers after getting their come out to town to make merry with lots of liquor and they walk all over the road . So small town or big Sunday is a day when you have to drive carefully to avoid hitting any drunken person going about his way. The crowd is aggressive and in a mood to party and be wild. On finishing a sumptuous lunch we started our drive to Bangalore. It was 4:45 pm. We took a different route via Kushalnagar, Hunsur, Yelave ( take a left there) to Srirangapatna and then Bangalore, thereby avoiding Bangalore. It was a scenic route where the roads were flanked by banyan and eucalyptus trees. The road was good with and we did a good speed. After taking a break at Shivali Restaurant somewhere in the highway to Bangalore, Harini decided to ride pillion on the bullet too and before we could say anything, Ambar was off assuming that we were behind them as usual. Just at Hunsur junction, we took a ride and as we were chit chatting, I realized that the bike was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly we doubted that the bike went some other way and we would be lost? because our guide Harini knew the way and we resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be going via Mysore. Just when we thought that the drive was going so well, we all fell silent hoping that we would meet up with Ambar and Harini. We were supposed to take a deviation at Yelave junction to Srirangapatna? iI was praying hard that we see them because one, it was dark and two Harini did not have a helmet. And surprise of surprise we were on the right road and they were waiting for us. Seems that they speeded down the smooth road at more than 100kmph with Harini praying for her life but not getting scared at all (thats what she says). Anyway we all heaved a sigh of relief as we met them and continued on our way. And the conversation was back at full speed... ha ha !! Lesson learnt : If driving in a group please wait at all the major turns for the rest of the drivers/riders. We thought we missed our group since we did not see them turn at the junction and that almost made the end of the trip somewhat uncomfortable. But I guess lady luck with us that day. From the cool mountains, we were back to the familiar highway and we all were very exhausted cutlets by and wanted to just crash off.. Reached Bangalore by 10:00 and then after dropping everybody off (which included Mini not being to find her home at night and us driving round and round and then losing the bullets .. but now we were in familar ground so we did not bother much and decided to meet the bike at a common point) we reached home at 12:00pm and crashed off taking with us very fun memories of this beautiful place filled with nature and very kind people. We could not thank Harini enough for being such a lovely and informative guide about her place and also Anjali, Mini, Gokul, Ambar for being such a great and cool company. They kept the group entertained and made the trip a memorable trip. Learnt a lot from the travellers and on the whole it was a very interesting trip. Tip: Its good if you are travelling with native friends but if you are a first timer... you could go though Travel Coorg You can book your lodging through this site which is very efficient Karnataka Tourism And if you google you will find lots of links to Coorg. Now it is back to banging on the keyboard and going nuts !!! he he !!

April 20, 2004

Us all "Enthu Cutlets"

Us all "Enthu Cutlets" exploring the diversity of nature that is Coorg and Kerela Day 2 The term enthu cutlets was coined by Anjali who along with Mini and Harini who kept us all entertained with their witty and humorous chatter. And I thought that this term defined us to the T and had a good ring to it and thus added it to the title... Day 2 started very early since we had plans to visit a lot of places which included a forest Safari at Wayanad Forest, Irppu falls, Dubare Elephant training camp and Valnoor Fishing camp. We were originally planning for Nagerhole but we were informed that Nagerhole recently fell prey to a forest fire and the forest was closed to outsiders. But their was hope since we were told that we could visit The Wayanad forest in Kerela. The drive to Wayanad was amazing through the winding roads and lots and lots of coffee plantation and lots of colourful flowers. Wayanad forest was a 20 kms stretch and it was part of the same forest but the name and the state was different. We started at 6:30 and met Ambar and Gokul on their bikes. We rode on through Gonnikoppai, Ponnampet, Hudekeri, and then reached High Falls Holiday Homes where Anjali and Mini had made reservations. This place is a beautiful place to stay. A night there costs about 800 for three beds and food is extra, veg plate is 70/- while non veg plates are 125/- each. Irppu falls is very near to this place and you can do a short trek there from this guest house. It?s a home stay again which is typical of Coorg and you will get home cooked food and home treatment too. The people are generally very friendly. If you are interested you could be taken around a tour of the estate. They also have a basketball court where you can amuse yourself with when you are not trekking around that area. Wayanad forest is just ten odd minutes from here and once you reach the forest, you have the option of taking your own jeep along with a guide which is economical and cost you some 150/- bucks or go in a rented jeep which will cost you 450/-. Mini took up this opportunity to ride on the bullet. We wanted to let the girls feel what it was like riding through natural beauty... its addictive.. Bikes are not allowed inside the forest so we took Ambar and Gokul along with the guide and as we drove deep in to the forest we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the wild. Everytime we would comment on something or the other, the guide would shhh.. at us and suddenly we would stop and he would show us the animals . It is a definite advantage if you know Malayalam. Gokul was a Malayali and he would translate what we would be informed by the guide. Anjali had this dream of meeting with her favourite reptile, the crocodile and the whole time she was hoping against hope that we would come across this ?beautiful creature? and when she was informed that there were no crocs anywhere she was very disappointed but that did not stop her from craving for a crocodile. Everybody whom we came across knew about her fascination for crocodiles and did not hesitate to tease her but she was vehemently for crocs and I was having thought bubbles with the pic of Anjali spending the rest of her life with her fav crocs and that was not a pretty picture though that Australian guy makes crocs look so sweet. BRRRRR again.. I personally have no dislike against this reptile but I certainly have a heavy dose of respect for creatures-who-can-snap-your-bone-just-like-that-however-friendly-you-are, no matter what... but as I believe opinions and likes differ from person to person and I respect that too.... The guide told us some stories about how an elephant almost destroyed one jeep and how there was one jeep full of Python babies and showed us a dead bison which the tiger had killed but could not drag it due to its size. As we went deeper and deeper into the forest about 17 kms into the forest we saw a broken down Aiyappan Temple and I was wondering to myself who would take the trouble of coming so deep into the forest and build a temple where it was fraught with danger from wild animals? We stopped at a watering hole took some pics and then continued on round the forest and came out to the main road. The whole drive was an experience but if you really want to see wild animals you have to reach there really early in the morning like say 6:00 am or stay there till dusk when the tigers come out. The guide told us that spotting wild animals is better on weekdays since there are few jeeps moving around and weekends are not a good idea since there are lots of people coming in and going out and the animals stay in their own safe place and do not venture out much because of so much noise. My advice is to stay somewhere near by for a night do the safari and then carry on to other parts of Coorg. You can book yourself into Nagerhole Resort if you wish or a High Falls Holiday Homes where you can get a cab arranged for yourself to take you to the forest. As we came back from Wayanad, we stopped at Irrupu Falls which was flanked on both sides by the Brahmagiri range in the Western Ghats. One can also go for an hour trek to this range if one is interested in trekking. The falls is a nice one but when we went the water was moderate but yet there was a good amount of crowd flowing in to take bath at the base of the falls. That motivated our specially Anjali and Ambar to go and stand and take a shower despite the fact that they would be dripping wet. Though Rocky was dying to dive in, he was cooly enjoying the view as he forgot his get-wet-in-the-falls shorts... as for me ... i was content splashing around in the cool water at a much more sedate part of the falls... Mini struck a conversation with a toddler as we were leaving as to what was that thing floating near on of the stones in the water where we were all enjoying the cool stream of water passing over our feet. Mini very maturely pondered that it could be a spider but then pat came the answer from the toddler that according to the books spiders have 8 legs and this creature had 6 legs... and that set Mini thinking on what could the creature be..... maybe some alien or maybe a spider who lost two legs ... LOLOL.. While returning from the falls, Anjali decided to bike it out with Ambar. Both of them were wet and they thought that the open air would dry them up. We decided to go to Kutta to have lunch since that was the nearest town on the way back from Nagarhole and Wayanad. While coming down from Kutta, we bought a quarter bottle of gin and mixed it with half a litre of mountain dew and six of us freaked out with that for the heck of it by the side of the forest. We dropped the girls at their guest houses and I am sure they enjoyed their rides through the cool route. As for Ambar he was one content man for reasons only a man-who-got-the-chance-to-give-a-ride-to-babe(s) knows. LOLOL. ( Our biker friends were very envious of Ambar when they got to know about this ha hah a !! ) Anyways, the gals decided to stay back since the guest house was out of the way from where we were going. We carried on to Dubare Elephant Training Camp. We had to cross the river by the boat to reach the camp. From afar as we were softly being rowed across the river, I saw elephants enjoying their bath in the river with the mahouts scrubbing them to glory... what bliss... one wonders !!! I was tremendously thrilled to see that we could enjoy elephant rides after all and guess what !! we were just in time for the ride. It was going to be my first ride and I was very excited. The last riding session lasted from 4:00 to 5:00pm and when we reached it was exactly 4:00 pm. We met Dr Shivaram ( member of the Coorg Wildlife Society), the manager of this camp, who explained to us a few facts about elephants as I enquired about this and that. He was kind enough to talk to us and we got to know that this place was the oldest training camp and now they had some 6 elephants along with two baby elephants that they were training. The life span of the elephants in captivity is longer and lasts to 80 years rather than the life span of the wild elephants who lived approximately to 60 years. An elephant?s molars are very important in contributing to its life span. As soon as the molars break, the life span of the animal comes down since it cannot eat much. If you are there in the morning by 8:45 for the ride, you will get a detailed information about elephants from this knowledgable man. Its a part of the morning ride. It was time for our ride and we paid 50/- for the tickets and sat on Vijaya who would be taking us around. In Dubare, there was this guest house which was 107 years old and it is now rented out to visitors. You need to bring your own food if you want to stay at Dubare but the whole ambience of staying in such an old cottage must be cool. As we ambled along with Vijaya we were lead by a baby elephant who was 6 years old and very frisky. His name was Ganesha. Ganesha, a cute little thing, was more interested in grazing and playing with the other big elephants but he had a job to learn and came with us reluctantly leading Vijaya. He was also being trained to give visitors a ride you see. The elephant ride was the highlight of my trip. They are such gentle animals and so mistreated sometimes. Dr Shivaraman told us that it was difficult to capture elephants nowadays and they would capture it only to leave them in the wild. It was too much of an effort to train them and I got to know from Harini that elephants roamed that area of Coorg quite liberally not being scared of humans. Harini?s estate was also raided by elephants and they are attracted highly by jackfruits so the estate owners do away with this tree if there is a risk of visiting elephants. Anyway as we finished our ride, we got introduced to this elephant who was taking her bath when we came in. She was all clean and was going back to her place. As she came up the river bank, DR Shivaraman stopped her and told us to take a photograph with her. Her name was Durgaparmeshwari. She was a 55 years old and in advanced state of pregnancy. She was very friendly and raised her trunk when the camera went CLICK? We also met Mr Geoffrey Muthanna who was a member of the Coorg Wildlife Society and he oversaw the Valnoor Fishing Camp. We had anyway planned to go there and it was good to meet the manager in person. He was again a friendly man who invited us to his house. We crossed the river with the help of the old boatman who rowed the boat with a long stick and made our way to Valnoor.But not before taking some nice pics as we watched the sun making its descent down the horizon. Valnoor is very near Dubare. Ideal fishing time is from morning to 11am. You must get your own fishing gear but Mr Muthanna provides you with a pair of fishing equipments if you have not gone prepared. We met him and his family who were very hospitable. They arranged for a guy to take us to the river where we saw a family angling and trying to get a fresh catch. It seems they were fishing for the whole day without much luck. We watched the sunset from Valnoor over the Kaveri river and headed back to Siddapur where we crashed off early after having dinner at Harini?s house. One more day to go and I was dreaming of Talacauvery and Madekeri and Pandi Curry... yum yum yum... SNOREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ...... Us "enthu cutlets" were conserving energy for day 3 which we were hoping would be fun... For more Photos you can click here. Have updated my photo blog with a couple of the snaps.

April 18, 2004

Among Coffee beans and The Western Ghats

Day 1 A long weekend and it was time to plan another trip. This time we had a choice between riding to our destination or driving there. We opted for driving. This would be our first driving trip. We were more familiar with riding across the country. I wanted to visit Kodagu better known as Coorg since I had heard so much about this place and I was dying to see this place famous for beautiful people and coffee estates. I read up Outlook traveler journals and did a lot of research on the net and finally decided that we would do Coorg no matter what. Luckily we had my husband?s colleagues coming along with us, one of whom belonged to this beautiful place. We had two guys on a Machismo. They decided to ride with us all the way. So we were seven of us , Myself , Rakesh (my hubby), Ambar, Gokul, Anjali , Mrinalini a.k.a Mini and Harini. Harini was a native from Siddapur and she was also coming along for the weekend to visit her place and she very kindly invited us to stay with her. We were glad to have her with us since it would be easier traveling around this place with her guiding us around some part of the trip. We started at 7:00 from Bangalore and went via Chanrayapatna, Hassan and then took a deviation from Gorur to Kushalnagar. This route is easy to follow but you must look out for the Gorur sign board towards your left to take the deviation. We almost missed it but we were back on track as soon as we realized that. There are a couple of junctions which might confuse you while you are driving but its easy if you ask the native people the way to Kushalnagar. While driving through Gorur, we passed by the Gorur Dam which also boasted of a lake blue as the sky. It was a scenic drive as soon as we entered Kushalnagar. The temperature was quite warm and Harini told us that Kushalnagar can get very hot since it was near Mysore. Anyways, driving past Kushalnagar, we came upon Bylekuppe where we went to visit the Namdroling monastery. It was noon by this time. This place was famous for Tibetian settlements and all you could see were monks dressed in their maroon and yellow garbs going about their daily business as usual. The monastery is an experience by itself. The whole of the place was a kaleidescope of bright colours, warm and welcoming. It is very peaceful and I felt like sitting there and just contemplating. There were three Buddha statues made of Copper plated with gold. Inside the statues there were some holy inscriptions and other religious things pertaining to Buddhism. The main statue of Buddha was about 50ft and it was flanked by two other statues 48 ft of gurus who attained Buddhahood. It was pretty crowded with visitors mostly from Bangalore that day since many were off on a holiday trip to Coorg. There was a new monastery being built in the compound and whole monastery was surrounded by the hostels for young monks. It was a pleasure seeing young kids in their monk's garbs running around. The whole place was full of colourful paintings which talked about their culture and their way of life. We would have liked it better if there was someone to explain to us the meaning of the paintings. It would have given the visitors a better insight to their culture but I guess they were a closed community and were not interested in spreading the good word unless you were a Tibetian. Anyway as we came out of the monastery we realized that we were very hungry and I was keen on having Tibetian food specially momo. We looked around and spied a small lazy restaurant known as Dhege Restaurant run by Tsiring ( meaning long life) . The day was hot and the place was not that hygenic... we literally had to wake the owner up to cook us food... LOLOL... . She was good enough to cook us some delicious beef curry and rice and momos. For the vegetarian she had some nice noodles for them. In this pic you see a group full of a good meal LOLOL. Sitting there having our food, one could not help admire the scenery outside... Not satisfied with the food, Anjali decided to buy some chocolates and gorge on them .. she was obviously a chocoholic and the three girls went ga ga and chomp chomp on the chocs.. After having our fill we made our way to Nisargadhama where we crossed the hanging bridge and explored the forest area. This place is not very well maintained but it's a nice place for picnic . You have the option to stay at the cottages in this place too but I guess you have to book in advance. We tried our luck but could not find anything available. You can go boating too through the meandering river. The forest was full of bamboo groves and it was a pleasure walking through them. We suddenly spotted a tree house and all seven of us decided to climb on it and it was nice to sit there and have a looky at what was going on below. I was not comfortable with the swaying house and was relieved to have come down to rest my feet at solid ground. Getting up was easy but coming down the steps was pretty scary and scared the shit out of me.. I just had to bite and smile as if I was doing the most natural thing climbing down stairs with gaping holes from so many feet above ground level.. BRRRRRR.. Then I saw kids and families alike taking elephant rides which costed some 10/- but we saw that it was a very short ride and though I was very keen on riding the elephant, I was not encouraged by Rocks and we were running out of time too. I made my way with a long face and on we continued to Siddapur passing through Harangi Reservoir and Veerabhoomi village. If you are in that area you must stay there for a night to experience the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka. We decided to try this the next time we visit this place. Harangi reservoir also is a beautiful place to visit when there is enough water. As we were traveling to Siddapur, we were passing by the river Cauvery every now and then and the river appeared to be flowing well but the water level was low inspite of daily rains in that area. Two of our travel mates had made reservations in High Falls Holiday Home near Irupu Falls and we had to put them in a cab. Siddapur being a small town, Harini and her family was well known. At Siddapur she found a known cabbie and we bid our friends Anjali and Mini goodbye promising to meet them up the next day. Meanwhile we went back to Harini's house where we got to know her family and refreshed ourselves. It was 5:00 in the evening and there was still light. Harini wanted to take us to Orange County which was just two minutes away from her estate. Harini knew the estate managers well since one couple were staying in their house. One of them was the General Manager and the lady was the Accounts Manager. They welcomed us with their kind hospitality greeting. The resort was 100 percent booked for Easter. We were really impressed with the resort. The place was very well maintained. We enjoyed the green surrounding us and the Tudor styled cottages were out of the world. We visited the Antharium garden where they had the largest number of Anthariums growing there in that green house. Anthariums had export value and it was doing great business there. Just as we came out of the garden we came face to face with a flock of white geese who loved all the great attention given to them by the guests. A few distances away we saw a preening turkey. Well I do not know what else to call the proud turkey spreading its wings and standing there as if it was the king of the world. The whole place was a coffee estate shared by seven brothers from Kerela. The Ramapuram Holiday Resorts Ltd, are traditional estate owners, who are originally from a small town called Palai in Kottayam district of Kerala. The Ramapuram family, after establishing itself in plantations, has now diversified into leisure services. The whole estate was made into a resort. Most of the coffee stems and buds which were uprooted to make way for building the layout of Orange County was used for furniture inside the cottages. That way they have utilized their crop in a very economic way. We also visited the Ayurveda Village inside the County where the staff showed us around the different methods of workings of the Vaidyashala. The entrance was very grand and influence of Kerela Architecture. I guess its worth all the money that people pay for to spend time at this place. It?s a good place to distress yourself the expensive way. A night there in the cottages would cost you from 6500/- and above. Made friends with the dogs which was there in Harini's home and it was a pleasure connecting with them. Knowing myself I could have spent hours and hours with Ricky and Sonu. Had a nice homely dinner which Harini's mom so kindly prepared and crashed off. Day 1 ended with dreams of Buddha and the beautiful monastery.

April 08, 2004

Bonding with Nature

Am thrilled about this weekend trip to Coorg. Always wanted to visit this place. Planning to do Bylakuppe, Nisargadhama and Nagerhole besides the usual tourist spots but I want to also do some angling at Valanoor.. and visit Dubare the elephant capturing camp... Of so many things to do and so little time.. I am hoping that this trip will be full of green memories.. Thought of biking it out but well decided to start our Silverline in its maiden venture.. hopefully will have lots to write about.. I still have to put up my Shillong trip... ahh pallavi thy middle name is procrastination... SIGH !! But will do it very soon !! So all my friends and tolerant readers... will meet you here same time same place by MOnday and have a very nice weekend.. he he he and if i dont see you ,, good morning, good afternoon and good night ... could not help stealing that from "The Truman's Show" LOLOLOL...

April 07, 2004


TOI First thing i noticed in the Times of India when I was browsing through the headlines.. Carmen ( god knows who) interested in a threesome.. which elaborated later what she would be exactly interested in and with whom....that rudely awakened me from my sleep. Imagine students who are encouraged to read the newspapers and finding out crap material like this ... Its not that kids nowadays are naive but one does not have to rub it in and that too through the medium of press.. what is happening to the freedom of press ? did we visualise this type of freedom ? Thought of putting a screen shot of the epaper.. which times of india so proudly displays in the net but this article was carefuly removed and some stuff about Bob Dylan put in.. and that too crap news item. That was pretty clever of them wasnt it or was it a deliberately mis managed... The TOI is going to the dogs !!!

April 04, 2004

Of Kissing Cops

Well I could not find another title here. This weekend as we were driving by MG Road and at one of the signals we saw an old hindi song version of two heads coming together. I was like GASP with my mouth open and could see two big flowers coming up in front of my crazy vision like in the old hindi movies whenever the action of kissing occured between the hero and the heroine. Only in this sequence it was of a Bangalore cop and the public. And I was thinking that the cop must be mad going on kissing every one ... and then Rocks was muttering to himself about stupid cops doing stupid thigs and wasnt he glad that time because he was not on the bike... I was transfixed at the display of course.. there were many who were surprised but gae in... there were some who tried to escape but it was too late... The cops were doing nothing but sniffing each biker's mouth for alcohol and fining them. Not far away two fat cops were sadistically enjoying the junior's predicament of smelling every mouth of a human. In this era of breath analyzers, why would they go nasal on this god knows, except for the fact that they wanted to punish the junior cop of some unexplainable error on his part. Poor guys who had their mouth to mouth encounters in the signal and poorer cop who had to go on sniffing mouths... I am sure he must have lost his sense of smell or something I am sure Bangalore is more classy than this.. what a crude and embarassing method to test for alcohol !!!

April 01, 2004

An Obituary ....dear Varun

An Obituary ....dear Varun...Come and gone like the wind.... He was the one of the youngest bikers in the group.. He belonged to Madras Bulls but he rode with us a couple of times. He was the youngest biker to do Leh and Kargil. He did it at the age of 18. I met him first at Yelagiri where he regaled me with his stories of how he went to Leh inspiring me to dream about biking there. He was the little one, typically young and would sit next to me and tell me helluva stories and jokes with a beer in his hand making me wonder what a damn young guy is doing with this group. He made me respect his knowledge of bikes and his flair for riding.. He was what... just in his early twenties.. He was the one who encouraged me to have a tatoo in Goa.. and took the trouble of finding the Tatoo guy and explaining to him what I wanted... He was the one who always struck an intelligent conversation with me... when I was kind of getting bored with the bike talk.. He was tiny bull of the group.. with lot of verve and a great sense of humor. He joined the Bullet group that would go to Pakistan for a peace ride. The bikes would be kept at the border and they would carry on forward in the bus.. He was one of the lucky ones to have watched the India Pakistan match. He lived to ride and was a creative genius doing his own thing for sometime and riding the rest of the time. A friendly soul who left an impression on everyone, including me. Yesterday in the morning we heard that he was no more ... seems that he lost his life on the way back from Surat on his bike... His body reached Chennai yesterday and friends cannot get over the shock that this young friend is no more. I would so sorely miss this guy who somehow created a soft corner in my heart. A member of the brotherhood is gone and oh what a loss .... of a young soul but I am sure that he would have achieved everything that he wanted .. such a bike freak he was... riding all over the country.. I would say that he was the most experienced among us bikers... VARUN !! May you rest in peace ..... Will always be missing you and your company... and your riding stories.. you needed to see more of life but I guess what you had was more than enough.. and one could say that you had one of the best deaths.... while riding. And we hope it was a quick and a painless one. May your soul soar the skies where you would find eternal peace. Amen "It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end." -Ursula K. LeGuin