Sunday, July 20, 2014

30,000 kms of riding. What next!!!

Riding away
Its been close to 4 years that I got this machine. And 30k kilometres doesn't sound that big. The longest distance that we covered in a day was about 370 kms in a day. And the other day, on my way back home. So, the longest trip was about 750 kms in 2 days, although we had a 3 day break in between. The plains, hills, the sun and the rains, made that ride, one to remember forever. I keep planning my next long trip all the time, but something or the other always comes up. Monsoon is here, and I really like riding in the rains. I have started liking the splashes of drain water from other vehicles somehow. I don't actually love them, but I don't care about them these days. Perhaps, they are a part of the package.

I am 31 and I am married. So are the friends. Everyone is busy. The bachelors of my batch have become extinct. Some of them still jump at the idea of going on a bike trip in the rainy seasons. But schedules keep clashing. And some of them have upgraded to 4 wheels. I still haven't yet. And they grin at the idea of a bike trip. For one reason, they wouldn't want to get wet or get sweat. The other understandable reason; they spent loads to be behind the wheel. Some of them wouldn't even mind sleeping in the car. A ride on 4 wheels is also equally enjoyable, its just that I am still young for that kind of comfort. To remind once again, I am 31 now.

On my 31st birthday, I wanted to buy myself a bicycle. Well, go on, laugh away on me. But I was serious. And still pondering on the idea. The only thing I am worried about is the crazy drivers of the city roads. But other than that, I think I should just go and buy one right now. Why am I not doing it then? Frankly, I have my doubts. To remind you again, I am 31, but I still feel young like a 25. OK, that was really funny. Go on, have a LOL moment. But I have a few examples to refer to. There were at least 2 of my friends who had bought bicycles in their early twenties. They were serious for about a month, but they gave up soon enough. So I am not sure if I would be using that motor less vehicle for long. But, nevertheless, I think I will take the risk. A part of the package again?

And now that I have blogged about this, Google will show me ads about buying a new bicycle and also buyers for my old bike. Are there any bicycles with odometers? I would really want to know how many kilometers I do in the first month. A speedometer is an added bonus. A phone charger looks like an indispensable add-on. And the most important of all, a good and secured locking system. At some point of time in the near future, if I still find myself into this bicycling stuff, I might be interested in buying a Go Pro for my trips, and a few safety gears for those rough terrain tracks. Looks like I need to do some research on all this.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Cant sleep. Lets write something.

Tried reading a book.

Its almost midnight. Have a mild cold, can't sleep because there's no waking up early tomorrow. TGIF.

I hate it when I get cold. It doesn't let me sleep easily. So, I am trying to induce sleep into me by writing something stupid. We all know we are very sleepy when we do some boring task. Like watching TV. I wonder how people get glued to their TV sets for prolonged number of hours. One example would be my wife.

I hate people when they don't question, I blindly do or believe things as they are told. But I hate it more when someone asks me a stupid question. Well, not the kind of a stupid stupid question, but like one that the stupidest stupid in this whole universe would never ask.

I look at the person for a full half-minute, and ask myself, "Does he really have such a brain?". And then smile. And then say, "Should I really answer that?"

That's of course rude. But I really can't help it however hard I try. I have tried many times, to stop me from staring, smiling and changing my answers. But its like a reflex action that my body has acquired forever now.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Country of Happiness and the Land of Thunder Dragon

Bhutan, is better known as the Country of Happiness. I never knew this fact before, but Bhutan is the 8th Happiest country in the world, and the most happiest country in Asia. And we could see it there, everywhere. All smiles, everyone seemed happy, even the driver of our bus after he was caught speeding. He happily gave away the fine of Nu 1750 (equivalent to INR 1750).

The trip was a kind of a tiny summer vacation for us, since it had been raining fire all over India those days (Last week of May). Once we boarded the flight to Paro (the international airport of Bhutan) from Kolkata, we never saw sweat for the next 5 days. Oh, Indians and Bhutanese don't need VISA to travel across the borders. Although they check your passports since the immigration authorities would still keep track of your movement, but Bhutan has very friendly relations with India. So much so, almost everyone understand and speaks Hindi quite fluently. The Paro airport is very different from all the other airports I have seen. Although it's a small one, there was something special about it. A slight drizzle welcomed us as we stepped out of the aircraft. And this is the first photo we clicked.

Paro International Airport, Bhutan
And there was a big billboard with a couple's photo. I tried to figure out what were they advertising, until a few days later, I came to know that the picture was of the King and the Queen of Bhutan.

We then boarded our tour bus, and set off for our hotel in Thimpu, the capital city of Bhutan, which was our base station for the next 3 days.

The main cities of Bhutan are Thimpu, Punakha and Paro. Punakha was Bhutan's old capital till 1955. Bhutan is very sparsely populated, and the approximate population of the country is about 7.5 lakhs. The eastern part of the country is where most of the development has happened.

Bhutan's currency is ngultrum which is fixed to the value of Indian rupee. So, you would not need to carry any local currency. The INR notes are accepted everywhere, and they have exactly the same value.

In a span of few days, we visited dozens of places. Mostly cultural and religious sites, since the ethnic culture has remained intact and untouched by the westerners because of it's isolation from the rest of the world till 1960s. Rightly so, Bhutan has been named as the The Last Shangri-La.

Travelling to a new country, and not trying out their traditional dress!!! That's just not possible, especially when your wife is so adamant to getting clicked in the foreign attire. There you go. The dress for the men is called "gho" and for women, it's called "kira".

That's not a real bull.
We visited a lot of Dzongs (Fortresses, now converted to administrative buildings), and Monasteries, and other places of importance.

Buddha Doderma Statue, Thimpu

Paro international Airport, Bhutan

A random click from the streets
I excelled at their National Sports. My second arrow hit the bull's eye. The wife did terribly bad, and almost missed a live human. 

If you are interested in looking at more photos, we have shared an album with a few hundreds photos. Do check them out. Some of them are really beautiful.

When the 5 days were over, and we were as happy as all the people in Bhutan, we had to sadly depart from Paro. As soon as we landed in Kolkata, we were already thinking about the rising temperatures, office, traffic and such things. That was a well deserved break from our busy life, but a very short one. I hope there would be many more stories and trips soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Beating the heat

The temperatures are rising worldwide. And it will continue to rise. As much as I hate it, I have started to like sweating. Most of the times I can't do anything to beat the heat. But, my sweat can. Its like our own body making our personal clouds and eventually precipitating them on itself. Quite a novel idea, isn't it?

Sweat is only one part though. If you are fortunate enough to sweat, that is, you are fortunate enough to be in a humid city like Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Chennai etc, you already have your own personal body temperature controller. But then, not everyone can be lucky, can they? I have had the opportunity to experience both the extremes, and so I am qualified enough to write and preach about my experiences. As you must have already realized, that I have lived through those almost-fatal summers in all kinds of cities.

OK. Coming to my tips...

1. Sleep a lot. Sleep is the number 1 enemy of the heat. But practicing this takes a lot of willpower and determination. Its definitely not a child's play. You have to be a ninja-sleeper to  beat the heat.

2. Run and walk a lot. This doesn't really fight the heat directly, but it tricks your brain and body to produce the required nano-clouds that leave behind their cooling effect.

3. Lots of ice-creams. In places where the sun dries up your sweat too quickly for your body to be able to sweat, you need alternate manmade techniques to battle the heat. The best and the quickest way is to eat lots and lots of ice-creams. It might take a tad longer but you can now make your body sweat internally, and thus bring on the cooling effect.

4. Take bath 4 times a day. That would not only cool you down, but also remove the sweaty layer on your skin, making it ready again for the next few hours.

5. Go for long rides alone. You will not feel the extra heat from your bosses, wives and your irritating friends. Use up all your sick leaves to run away from office. Use imaginative excuses to run away from home/wife. Hit the road, turn on the AC, turn up the volume, and race right through the heat.
All of these have been tried and tested by me. And I have substantial proof of the results. If you try any of these, do come back and let me know how you did.

Chill throughout the summers, Winter is coming...

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

The dialogs of Sidhu

The IPL 7 finals. Apart from the two teams, the third thing to follow on TV today is Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu's hindi commentary.

1. Preity Zinta ki jhappi or Shahrukh Khan ki pappi.
2. Bhavnaheen aadmi thande lava ki tarah hota hai.

    Grrr.. The wife changed the channel.

3. Baal ki khaal utaar dete hain ye slow motion replays.
4. Dhaansoo chakka
5. Taabartod cricket khelni padegi
6. Taamba hara, neela, peela ho sakta hai par sona apna rang badal nahi sakta.
7. Jhujhadoopan dikhate hue (what's that!!!)
"Didn't know he is an astrologer too."
8. Guggu bolega khatre ka
9. Aur pahunch gayi gaadi ambala cantt.
10. Bhookanph aagaya hai ground me.
11. IPL re IPL, tera rang kaisa?

And now he takes a break. Thanks.
KKR is going down. :(

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