Posts Tagged ‘bike’

The Perpendicular Universe Dhauladhar range

I can’t seem to shake it off. That view! The dark greenish hue of the mountain that was so high and far that it would occasionally blend in with the whites of the clouds. Complementing it gorgeously was another colossal mountain covered in a brownish tint measuring it from a distance, which had almost disappeared, if it weren’t for our keen eyes that were successful in scaling its edges across the heaven.

The latter reminded me of the kite I would fly, back at home – when I would slacken it till it would disappear into the sky. My kite would then blend into the colours of the sea and would get lost. One minor distraction, and lo! It would be hard to tell what I was really holding on to. It would appear as if I was steering the whole sky. Reeling it to make it go further, and pulling sometimes to see if I could bring its blue enormity closer.

Every time I close my eyes, I see the capped freak staring at me from a distance. There were smudges on its body, probably glaciers running down, that seemed silent like a pond from my vantage. Occasionally clouds would cover the beast up, afraid it was showing too much skin. At times, its peak would peak from the blankets to see who the stranger was and why his eyes carried mad love. And why wouldn’t he stop staring?

As our car galloped onto the Kangra road, the mountain followed us. It was inquisitive, while I couldn’t stop myself from gawking. The world must be wondering- “How imprudent!”

About 12 hours earlier we were right there. If not at the top then probably somewhere around its bosom. Heading towards Dharamshala on a bike, we would occasionally take a pit-stop just to marvel at the scenic orgasmic vista the mountain manifested. Cameras would come out at once to capture our perspective in style so that we never forget the unforgettable. Our bike roared in pain as it lunged into the unknown roads. It was hard to tell if we could make it. But the beauty beckoned, and there was no turning back.

From a distance, the ridges looked as if they were drenched in dark. There were shadows over it while the whole world burned alight. It seemed to be sleeping. Quiet like a lifeless thing, which can never be awaken. It slept while its rivers wept. It was written in green. Trees stretched all across its body.

We crossed Dharamshala soon and headed towards McLeodganj. The ascent was punishing. The moment we got closer, it began raining. It struck me at once that the dark was owing to the clouds there. Within seconds we were drenched in the downpour. There was no place to hide, and then we thought, “Let’s do this!” We stormed off to the renowned Bhagsu water fall. The place offered one helluva panorama. My eyes captured it the moment I set them on it.

I was told the summit turns into an alp during the winter season. I just tried to imagine how badass it must look then. The green on the mountains metamorphosing into the white of the snow. As if they have called for a quilt to beat the cold.

When I came back to the same jaded life I live, suddenly I found myself surrounded by a relentless smoke of depression. I wanted to be there. Into the Mountains. Free. Adventurous. Marvelling at the invincible beauty. Taking in the serenity. Breathing in the phenomenal. Gawking at the lively ridges.

Alas! Now I am here. Everything is dead again.

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Cloudia The Perpendicular Universe

The city is crying. Tears of grief that clouds withheld for years are falling down in unison through a bazillion eyes. Their croon – voices of thunder, shrieks of acute pain that emanate because a reaper’s scythe has cracked them open with a lightning, go unheard, unnoticed like an inevitable backdrop. They have come with colossal rivers and they are going to pour till they run dry.

As I look up at the grey that clouds our judgement, the city appears to be sad. Roads are clogged with vehicles. Every brow has a frown. Engines purring non-stop. People dying to get to their destination. Vehicles looking at the clear lane with jealous eyes as some whoosh pass by. Bikes squeezing through the narrowest of paths, whilst cars blocking them deliberately to destroy their progress. Malice grinning behind the wheels. My city carries that din that constantly knells in your head till you find a quiet. There is a constant air of confusion, of endless commotion in every eye, in every heart, a restlessness to be somewhere, far away from the dead roads.

It took me an hour to get to my room. All that time I kept thinking if I had taken a different route, maybe a different street, I could have made it a little earlier. Albeit all those what-ifs, conundrums of possibilities and probabilities account to nothing once you are home, in the back of my head, I was well aware of another day that was to come with the eventuality of yet another jam. All those roads not taken are going to haunt me again with time. All those choices in my life, all those poor decisions that took me to a halt, all those bad cuts I took that stopped me at roadblocks are going to mash up in my face one day and say:

You didn’t live enough. You didn’t live right. They gave you time and you squandered it in us clogs.

Half of my life I have been stuck up in inexorable circumstances, doing things that wouldn’t probably matter in any possible dimension. Immobile. Just hanging there, doing nothing! If I reckon every single moment I wasted, just breathing in a swarm that doesn’t go anywhere, or following orders that don’t take me to a destination, just lying in my bed staring at the fan, or doing something pointless to kill time, I would end up, to be precise, with my entire life. Sadly I have wasted every bit of it. Not just me. Everyone on this planet has. Unaware about our true purpose, and leaving things to destiny, we have basically done nothing. We are too lazy to do anything. Too stupid to fathom our real purpose. We are just passing time, waiting for the inadvertent to happen to us, and someone or something to approve of us. We are just going with the flow, slaying time so that one day we age to death.

It weeps for days here. A downpour like that, seems like nature has simply given up on us. Weather’s been changing abruptly. There were earthquakes a couple of days ago. Tsunamis with forks that plan on eating a big chunk of our land.

Is that why nature’s angry? That we haven’t figured it out yet? Is it time for nature to swallow us up and start a new project? Are we failures too just like dinosaurs, our ancestral relatives? Is it time for a better-brained evolution to succeed us?

If that were the case these tears are justified. Just wish we could do something to ease the pain!

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So we witnessed heaven on Earth. Yes we did. All twelve of us.

We stormed to Coorg, also popularly known as Kodagu district, located in Karnataka. The place they call the Scotland of India. Why do they do that? Who does that?

One of the best things about bike riding is that you have your say, not to mention your will and your way. You can stop anywhere. You can drive crazy. You can test your partner’s guts. You can test ‘your’ guts. You can leave the everlasting roads behind you. You can run ’em over. You can pee fire. No wait that is over-exaggeration.

We sped off in the wee hours and drove incessantly for 5 hours to reach Coorg and by incessantly, I mean with a lot of pit stops. You can’t expect a bike rider to drive non-stop. You can’t overlook loo, now can you? 😛

Roads were empty while we made sure to fill them with our swiftness. All twelve of us sped into the blue, unacquainted with the roads, yet with a thing for destiny. We rode like Ghost-riders only with lesser flames and more flesh.

I defied ‘time’ a couple of times when I decided to test the upper limits of my ride’s speedometer. I went into a trance I was unaware of. For the first time in my life, my eyes literally cried tears of joy and the wind bears testimony to the fact.

We stopped for a refuel, not that our bikes needed it, for we took care of the issue right at the inception, but for our bodies, that became instantly parched when we saw a drinks bar on the way.

We resumed our sojourn once our tanker was 25% full. Roads were bountiful except for 2-3 places where we were forced to defy a sloth. During the later part of our journey we realized we were sort of riding on a mountain, though the exhilaration got the better of us and we reached in no time. We were hungry like hell and exhausted like heaven(….Whaaaaaaaat?) So we feasted or rather hogged on food in a restaurant I am willing to forget.

For newbies, if you happen to accidentally drop by to the Indian Scotland, I’d recommend a couple of places. I am listing them down so you remember yourself eventually.

  • Iruppu Falls
  • Igguthappa Temple
  • Cauvery river
  • Dubare Elephant Camp
  • Abbey Falls
  • Unchalli Falls
  • Brahmagiri Hill
  • Raja’s Seat
  • Omkareshwara Temple
  • Shri Shringeri Shankar Math
  • Golden Temple

The first place that we crashed was Abbey Falls, Madikeri. So what we felt duped when we realized those falls looked puny in front of some other falls on this planet. Yet it was something natural, and I love nature. I can’t criticize its creation. Besides the place added up to a couple of great shots that we are going to cherish forever.

Exhausted we were after 150 kms of journey, we looked for a place to crash. The night was young. We celebrated Coorg with Blender’s Pride in our throats. The same night I realized I had never laughed that much with Scotch in my veins. The temperature in Coorg is said to fall below 4 and so we snuggled up in our beds after gorging up on a beastly dinner. Yep in the morning we realized the legends were true as the biting cold bit us blatantly.

When the dawn broke we hied on our bikes to visit several other spots we had heard much about. The first one was Raja’s Seat. The spot allowed us to look down the vale. The beauty of the dale was unmatched. We kept marveling at the scenic beauty for a while. When there are twelve guys together, you just can’t stop fun from happening. Raja’s Seat called for some excellent and funny moments and we made sure that our cameras remembered them.

Next thing on our map was Dubare Elephant Camp, where we river rafted. We wore life belts to ensure life. Out of the blue, someone played a prank and pulled one down into the water. The next thing we knew, all of us were floating in the water like frogs. Except two or three, nobody knew how to swim. We spent hours in water at the mercy of our life belts.

Boy we were happy! Hadn’t we stepped (rather hurled) into the water, we would have never really enjoyed the place. While our experts taught us how to swim, some of the guys like me, thought they had mastered it for a while. We kept saying that jumping into the water made our day. Our life belts made sure that we saw another. We were pulled back into the raft by our disgruntled oarsman. While we were returning we saw Elephants (that explained the name) dropping deuces and bathing (earlier ignored because of the fun we were having). Our oarsman played a prank when we were about to reach our extraction point. He pretended to hit an imaginary snake in our raft. Boy everyone jumped into the knee-deep water without caring for their lives (er….I mean they cared, that’s why they jumped in the first place) injuring themselves like anything, while I understood the prank and took the oarsman’s side and laughed at my friends. Soon I was punished, when I stepped into the water as something pierced my feet. Bearing injuries has become my hobby now. I bled in pain with the incision. Still I stood up, dusted off, and picked up my ride to satiate the adventure in me.

Next thing in our carte was a temple. We rode like ghost-riders once again when we realized we needed to wrap up the adventure quickly. We reached ‘The Golden Temple’ at around half past noon. It was a Buddhist temple. Smitten, we swayed into the serenity, while three Lords stared down at us in surprise. Three huge golden Buddhas wondered what we were doing in Coorg, while we marveled at all their gold. Their effigies looked beautiful. What surprised me more was the tranquility the place offered. Walls were painted with stories of Buddhism. They told a story we weren’t interested in. However the pictures of various descendants and Lords of the religion beatified us beyond limit.

We had to wrap up quickly as we were running short on time. So we had our lunch right after we came out of the temple. Our eyes, which had turned all golden by now, adjusted themselves to the gold that sun offered.

We took out our beasts and decided to make a retreat. Now this was the best part of the journey. We knew the roads were going down. We knew that we were on a mountain. We switched off our engines at once, when we reached the inception point of the steep. It felt so exhilarating and so beautiful, my words fail to describe it. Roads would always turn left or right. All we had to do was follow it. All six bikes moved silently. I reminded my friends of the part in Tokyo Drift, where 5-6 cars go drifting on roads on a mountain. The only difference was we weren’t drifting and of course we weren’t driving cars. Then again we couldn’t have possibly felt heaven breezing through our skins.

We knelt down at every turn. It felt like we were playing MotoGP. The speedometer crossed 80 at times, and the engines never buzzed. We overtook many cars and buses involuntarily. We were in a trance. All we needed to do was tilt the handle and of course be careful at the turnings. For almost around 20 kms our engines never purred because of the slope. Boy we saved a lot of fuel!

Eventually we reached our destination. It was as if someone had switched off the light. We were back and yet we were there. We had witnessed paradise on earth. We kept talking about how good our experience was. We kept reckoning, had we taken a cab or a van to the place we wouldn’t have really enjoyed it all.

The scorching sun made sure we got our tans. I got mine, a distinctive one. People laughed at me for days and called me a freak. (Well that’s over-exaggeration having its toll again)

Sometimes I wish to be on those roads again. I relive those moments of eternity every now and then. I wish that trance to succumb me at times. The experience brought me into tears, just like that Avril Lavigne’s lyrics, ‘It’s so beautiful that it makes me wanna cry’.

We wished we had more time on our hands. We would have explored more of Coorg. We left out a couple of great places we had written in our menu. Hope that future brings me to this place again and I get to cover it all. Yet somewhere deep down I know, it wouldn’t match the fun and joy, all twelve of us had while riding our bikes and scaling unacquainted, unknown yet magical parts of Coorg.