Friday, June 21, 2013

Salaam Bombay !

Day 8 : Odo reading 2250 Kms

We got up to see the smoked filled Horizon over the dusty land with all the chimneys protruding into the sky from the factories making Gujarat Vibrant indeed, We headed down south, our destination Mumbai, the economic capital and the powerhouse of India. We started out very early in the morning since we had to travel around 600 kms to reach Mumbai before nightfall.

This was infact the most treacherous part of the whole journey because of the trucks and cars zooming on it at breakneck speeds with no respect to road discipline, to top that Gowda had taken some pills for the common cold which made him really drowsy and wavy on the road. The temperature was hovering between 39 to 40' celsius and humidity was literally killing us, without being distracted by all this we hit the gas and started rolling and soon there was a roadblock, it seems that the corridor between Ahmedabad and Vadodara is not open for two wheelers so we had to stick to the single lane country roads which were brimmed with super heavy trucks (since they are also not allowed) we somehow managed to evade all the traffic to reach vadodara by early afternoon after that it was just miles and miles of empty road for us to play with.

During this part Mr Gowda somehow dozed off on his bike and kind of ended up under a truck, Gopi was awake enough to avert a disaster (Mr Gopi has in fact saved my life once on the same tone where I dozed off) after all this we thought it will be a very good time for a break hence we stopped at a fancy roadside restaurant to have our lunch, I won't comment on the food but the lassi was heavenly, I haven't had anything as such in my life till then or ever after that.

With our stomach's full and the bikes getting their share of petrol we were rolling again on this super big 6-lane road and crossed Narmada river to enter Vapi, as you come down south you will feel the humidity rising to signal the approaching sea. It was late in the evening when we crossed the border and one can see what the dry state does to the people living there, The Maharashtra side of the border is filled with liquor shops and bars to quench the thirst of Gujaratis who travel hundreds of miles just to drink.

As we rode thru, it was pretty late in the night so we  abandoned the plan to take refuge in Mumbai and instead stayed on the outskirts of it. This was the day we rode around 600 kms and cheated death, Time to celebrate (i.e to get the bottles out).

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Crossing of Cancer

Day 7: Odo Reading 2000 kms

And it was time to leave Rajasthan, we continued our southward journey after all the goodbyes and hugs (Setu and his friends) we started our engines to the sound of which we were so addicted to now and straddled ourselves on the seats to chase the clouds over the highway. This time we were on the  NH-8 which connects Delhi with Mumbai.

The road was carved out of the stone mountains that surround this area, weaving its way through the granite walls (or should I say Marble), We dropped a gear and disappeared into the horizon with sweeping landscapes and twisty highway which comes as a boon when compared to straight stretches of road elsewhere in this state.

On our way we encountered countless tollgates since this was 'pay and use' highway network but we were happy that they don't charge two wheelers ( I should praise Indian Government for this) we ended up saving quite a lot on this whole trip. Once we crossed the border there was a sense of relief from the heat (as though nature made all these boundaries), Finally our bikes needed a oil change since we had covered almost 2000 kms since we left Delhi hence we stopped at some roadside mechanic shop filled them up with sparkling new oil and started again.


Somewhere along this journey we crossed Tropic of Cancer, it is 'The line' which specifies IST (Indian Standard Time) but for us, time was simply a non existent entity ( In accordance with the biker oath, we did not wear watches) it was either day or night thats all the 'time' we knew. As we rolled along this magnificent highway the thoughts inside our brain ceased to exist, it was just the reality of the present situation that filled our mind with little or no regard to what is going to happen next or that happened in the past, This state of mind can only be achieved either thru meditation or hurtling yourself at 100 kmph down an empty stretch of highway, obviously we chose the later.

It was late in the noon by the time we reached Ahmedabad, too polluted a city I should say. We found a place on the outer ring road to stay, kept our bags and began roaming the streets. Ahmedabad is a peculiar place where one can find Paan shop as huge as a restaurant ( not kidding, and the expensive paan costs like 400 INR) we gently smiled at this custom and set out to buy us some booze, Gowda then exclaimed that it was Gujarat, the liquor free state, hearing this our hearts sank, But there was still hope to find some bootlegger, After scanning the streets and with no luck finding anything we retired to our hotel. What a Bummer !!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Uber Udaipur

Day 6 : Odo reading 1900 kms

By the time our bodies recovered from the thrashing of the roads it had endured it was late in the evening, Setu came up with another brilliant Idea, to go to Udaipur (and chill out) which was around 40 kms away, We started out pretty late in the evening and when we reached Udaipur, the darkness of the night had already taken over the clear bright skies.

On our way to Udaipur we encountered twisty roads as that of hilly parts in India, There was this temple where the travellers offered fruits and flowers to the the deities to keep them safe during the journey (this tradition is countrywide, I remember the same in Sathyamangalam Ghat). As we rode thru this road we could see the city lights of Udaipur from a distance.
Udaipur palace with Lake in the Foreground
We caught up with some local friends of Setu, Mr Mayank and Mr Abhi, Both were very kind to us and took us on a city tour (believe me, when you have local knowledge the city is very different) and introduced us to their friends, Before we knew it we were rolling with seven guys, who took us thru every nook and corner of the city.

Udaipur is and will remain one of the best cities I have been to, With its heritage permanently intact and preserved in literally everything you see. The udaipur lake has a road which encircles it ( we respected the Biker oath and raced around it), later we went this hookah bar on top of a three story building with open terrace, We had the best view in town and could see the whole of Udaipur lake.

After we finished this city tour, it was time to return to our hotel room in Rajsamand, this simple task became a gigantum one cause we were all drunk and it was almost early morning( we forgot that mercury drops rapidly during night and did not take any jackets ) so by the time we reached our room, we were all shivering hard with no words coming out of our mouth.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Operation 'Find Setu and kill him'

Day 6: Odo reading 1650 kms

We had planned that we will go straight to Rajsamand from Jaisalmer, since it was already 7 when we finished sight seeing around Jodhpur, I advised the boys that we will spend the night in Jodhpur to which they reluctantly agreed ( This was because Setu told us that Rajsamand was just 2 hrs away and we were on the verge of believing it).

We left Jodhpur early morning so that we could reach Rajsamand before 10, We caught the 'Abu Road' road (yes, the name of the place is Abu road) and kept on riding, Everything was smooth until google maps told us to take a right exit which was a village road( and potholes ridden) we put our trust in it and carried on. The road took us through the remote villages of Rajasthan but we were on track.

This journey was one of the most difficult part of the whole trip since the road was all broken and sun rays stung like hunter bees, We were all tired and came to know that it was not 2 hr ride from Jodhpur to Rajsamand but a nerve wracking 7 hrs trip, This was it, we decided to find and kill Setu once we laid our eyes upon him, If I had not objected to travel the previous night we would have been in deep S**t.

But we put all this behind and took on the road ahead, Thru the scenic Aravalli mountains of Rajasthan. Its one of the most picturesque part of the whole state with winding roads thru the hilltops suddenly we thought we were somewhere close to foothills of Himalayas with the temperature falling drastically.

The Kumbalgarh fort is hidden inside this forest, By the time we reached Rajsamand it was late afternoon, After the usual re union talks (involved beating Setu for his brilliant direction) we sat down for lunch in a roadside dhaba which Setu said was amazing and it did live upto the hype. Setu was officially forgiven because of the royal treatment he gave us (he booked a huge a** room, with LED lights and AC).

After the brilliant lunch it was time to take rest, We hung our jackets and threw our helmets only to fall dead on the soft mattresses.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Living Fortress

Day 5 : Odo reading 1350 kms

 We overslept in the tent, only to wake up at half past 10 and headed directly to Jaisalmer fort, There we found another guide(yes, we fell for it again) he took us around the fort and explained that the fort was 400 years old and people were still living inside it, We were spell bound  when we walked thru the front gates of the  fort ,which was on top of a small hill.
King's residence inside the Fort

The fort was built by Jaisal hence Jaisalmer, it had around 3000 people who call the fort their home, with 30 restaurants and a small temple. The lanes inside this fort was very narrow and mazy (very easy to get lost).
Jaisalmer Fort
As we made through this fort the guide mentioned that the King had around 200 wives (what a 'MAN'), and the present King lives somewhere else. The carvings on sandstone were breathtakingly similar to wood carvings, After roaming the lanes for few minutes we got into a temple inside which the carvings were even more alive.
Carving inside the temple

Ceiling inside the temple

After finishing this trip inside the fort, We geared up for the road with jackets,gloves and helmet proceeding to our next destination 'Jodhpur' which is around 300 kms away but we were on a tight schedule as we left Jaisalmer late afternoon.

Riding along the sand dunes was an experience that will stay with me forever, I should also mention here that all along the way I was riding solo with Rakshith and Gopi on the other bike (Poor Gopi couldn't get his hands on any of the bike). We stopped at a roadside restaurant which served fried rice, pretty filling it was.
Mehnagarh Fort, Jodhpur 
It was late in the evening that we reached Jodhpur and could see the majestic Mehnagarh fort from a distance with the setting sun lighting up the west side of the fort. we went there only to find that it was closed for visitors, disheartened by this, we just took a glimpse of the "Blue City" from the hillside viewing spot and returned to the main city where we found some accommodation and went out to buy some liquor (when we were buying beer from a local wine shop, we saw three girls pick up Jack Daniel's....If only we had enough money!).

After all the travelling we had done it was time to sleep but excitement was in the air as we were to meet another friend of mine Mr Deepak Jain alias Setu tomorrow at Rajsamand. .  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Three Kings

Day 4 : Odo reading 1300 kms

As we rode into Jaisalmer we could see girls on their scooty with face and hands completely covered with cloth (not burqa), it was a norm in this part of the world, where the sun burns your skin down but we couldn't help comparing this with girls back home(Mysore and Bangalore) where the weather is pleasant, before we wandered deep into this subject we stopped and honored our biker oath (not to talk or comment about anything other than bikes) and kept on riding.

The city of jaisalmer was very welcoming, We met Mr Pathan who took us to a hotel nearby but when we reached the hotel he told us about desert camping, Our eyes widened with glimmer and we all agreed upon this 'desert camping' hoping it would be a night to remember.

We left the hotel and proceeded towards 'Sam' desert dunes which is 40 kms away from Jaisalmer, We reached there at around 4 in the evening, with the sun setting against the desert backdrop and sand dunes visible till the horizon, What a place to spend an evening!
Sam desert dunes
But the calmness of this exotic place was broken by small kids shouting "Beer chahiye bhaiya?", I think they were the kids of the nomads who live in this harsh environment, whom our government has totally ignored. Imagine a 8 year old selling beer! this was very saddening, even though we wanted to have a beer so badly after the ride, we restricted ourselves buying from them (which other tourists in the place did not).
Ship of the desert
I don't know who coined the term 'Ship of the desert' but ain't it true, This majestic animal feels right at home where we humans will die of thirst within a couple of days. Somehow we all wanted to go for a desert safari atop this animal hence we did, (It is not easy as it seems) as soon as it started moving Gopi started screaming  that his b**ls started hurting(ouchhh)  and the beasty animal started running for this (double whammy).



The sun sank slowly on this unforgiving land to reveal the true nature of it, by night this uninhabitable place turned into a melting pot of culture with traditional rajasthani music and dance, we picked up a couple of beers and retreated to our camp, me and Gowda sat outside the camp looking at the beautiful sky with stars shimmering to the tune of the music that was playing, Sipping on beer as the cold desert wind blew from Pakistan side ( it was just 50 kms away) which made us say that this day, this exact day, won't repeat itself in our lives again.

En route to Jaisalmer...

Day 4: Odo reading 910 kms

It was 5 in the morning and our alarm went off with a loud crank (Satisfaction by benny benassi) we got out of our room and there was no one in the hotel except for the receptionist, who was kind enough to prepare us tea. This kind gesture extended to our bill as we found out that it was only INR 300 for three guys overnight stay in a room that could accommodate four (Rajasthani's are very good hosts, something that karnataka should learn).

Now that we had almost done 1000 kms it was time to check how our babies were doing ( yes the bikes), We checked the engine oil level, sprayed some oil on chains and did some minor repair works (we carried a complete tool set, spare tube and clutch,accelerator wires) with all systems go, We started out at around 6 in the morning heading south for the first time, Destination 'Jaisalmer'.

We went out into the highway connecting both the cities, It was an enthralling morning with the young sun piercing thru mist which looked like golden smoke. We were fully geared up as it was cold and the wind was strong. The road ahead of us was nothing like we had ever seen, it was hypnotizingly straight. The closest thing it resembled was railway tracks. As for us, joy of joys, now we could throttle up and hit it as fast as we can, yes this was the time and we did not miss it. Clear skies,bright weather,cold morning and a road so flat and black that you could sleep on it, if there's a heaven for bikers I think this would be it...Nirvana !

Bikaner-Jaisalmer highway
The Road

We pushed ourselves and our bikes to limits on this stretch of motoring perfection (the German Autobahn were not even close) and before we knew it we had covered a lot of  it and reached a place (to our astonishment) called "POKHRAN" yes, the place where our nuclear bombs were tested. The jury is out whether India should have done this but I believe that the so called 'world' stood up and started noticing us because of this, When you have power, it shows !
Gowda and me

Before we could think of nuclear radiation someone mentioned that we could have a break and finish our lunch. So we pulled over at the nearest highway dhaba and had a great lunch but I should tell you that the curd here was really really thick ( Eureka ! the cows are irradiated with gamma rays). We finished our nuclear powered lunch and set out to tackle the road again.
Atomic lunch

By now the temperature was hitting the roof and we thought riding faster would cool us down ( typical biker reasoning) but with this we had completely forgotten that our machines were under great pressure as we were constantly doing 100km h (and not to mention the 50' celsius)  hence we decided to give ourselves and our machines a small break every 50 or so kilometers during one of these breaks we saw this arsenal of tanks being moved by our army.
We felt a joy witnessing this and thought about how hard our army was working to keep us safe, In this desert, where nothing grows, we found Army Soldiers in thousands, the true patriots protecting our country from the enemies, Both foreign and domestic. Hats off !!

As we approached the city we were sad that this exhilarating ride had come to an end but I guess our bikes were thinking otherwise, We were taken back by these wonderful machines which had carried us at a breakneck speed in one of the most inhospitable regions of the world. We were falling in love with our bikes, far greater when compared to the humanly expression of this emotion which diminishes with time !

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Sweets of Bikaner..

Day 3: Odo reading 550 kms

Another sunrise in Jaipur, checked out from our hotel room and had to smuggle the empty beer bottles out without the owner noticing(the three beer bottle caps that I forgot to throw away are collectors item now, as those were the only things that I bought back home after this perilous journey)  and we headed west towards Pakistan Border, Destination 'Bikaner'. Started out as early as possible since we knew it was a tedious journey thru the desert, but some 50 kms into the journey we were all hungry as a cow hence we pulled over at a roadside dhaba (as usual) and gobbled some paneer paratha with curd (the curd was thick as jelly) which I really liked and we ploughed on.

On our way we were greeted by Camels both wild and domesticated ones, there were also some dead cows on the road and bone's(cow) scattered around, this is not unusual when you are in middle of a desert where temperatures hit 50' celsius with ease and we were feeling this heat. All of us were even afraid to take a leak as there was a burning sensation (you know where) and I don't want to mention what our a** was going thru. A case in study would be this: We bought a bottle of cold water or should I say ice as it was completely frozen so we thought we ll keep it inside the bag and drink it later, After 30 mins or so we stopped to check whether it had turned into water,well it had, not just water it was warm also.
Thar Desert
We somehow managed to cover half of the total 360 kms from Jaipur to Bikaner when we pulled over for lunch in some small town( I don't remember the name) lunch was nice with same menu as mentioned before but we met these national highway engineers who were working on some project nearby (I should add that Rajasthan Government has done a very good job when it comes to roads, beautifully laid out and without a single pothole) they were really friendly and were amazed to hear what we had set out to achieve(they should have thought that we were bonkers).

After this satisfying lunch we left for Bikaner but by now the wind had picked up and a desert storm was inevitable, As we rode along the highway we were all sandblasted and I could hear the sand hitting my helmet(my hand took a beating as I was wearing a knuckle glove) this is what desert life is like,we thought and moved on to reach Bikaner early evening.

We directly went to the city information center and asked where we could get some cheap accommodation, he suggested us that we go near the railway station after roaming the streets searching for the railway station we were approached by a gentleman who thought we were here to race in a rally but after we explained he led us to the railway station where we found our crib.

The city official also told us that the temperature there would go above 55' celsius but the government does not publish it(I really doubt this). We put all our things in the room and set out to explore the city.It was late evening so the heat had died down to reveal the true magic of this place.

The city is an oasis sitting right in the middle of a desert with its beautiful palace and lake with soft cold wind blowing from the west,carrying the sweet smell of sand along. This was as charming to the eyes as Penelope cruz. We went out on a eating spree as Bikaner is known for its sweets and bhujia (I can say till now I have never tasted anything like what we had there, Heavenly) 
Bikaner Fort
Finally we were back in our hotel trying to sleep but the heat was killing us with no AC in the room. After a bit of struggling we could lay our eyes to rest of course with  little help from Dr Vijay Mallya.

Symbol of laav...Taj Mahal

Day 2: Odo reading 50 kms.

We started out from Jaipur early in the morning as our destination was around 250 kms away, Taj Mahal. I don't know why it captures the attention from people around the world but I think there are better heritage structures in India than this piece of mughal S**t, like for example the Tanjore temple or Mahabalipuram caves even Belur and halebid for that sake the list is never ending, Of all these heritage sites we chose Taj Mahal to be the world wonder.
Taj Mahal
The road was great as it was a newly built National Highway connecting Jaipur with Agra, It was a long and tiresome journey but on the way we found a lot of friendly daba's which served tasty aloo parathas, We rode on and reached Agra by afternoon and went straight to see Taj Mahal (which was over hyped) and was bored within 20 minutes when Gowda came up with a brilliant idea to go to Mcdonalds for which we all agreed.

Way back was bit of a daunting task as we stopped to see fatehpur sikri (another Mughal s**t) which we did not enter (we saw this from the highway) and started our journey back to Jaipur with the night setting in we were blasted with insects and some even managed to get into my mouth(yuck). We stopped at some checkpost on the way back and had Omelette and tea which was very filling for our tired bodies.

We reached Jaipur late in the night with Karizma refusing to start once on the way back(couldn't figure out why) but finally it did start and we made our way back to our hotel room, we had done 500 kms in a single day including some sightseeing and  were dead as zombies and went straight to bed with (as usual) a KF in hand.

Jai ho...Jaipur

We boarded the early morning train to Jaipur from Delhi which left at around six, It was a 2hr journey in a comfy AC chair car which was very pleasant, We reached Jaipur late in the morning and went straight to retrieve our bikes which were lying there for quite a while now but we were astonished to hear that we had to pay around INR 50 for every hour that it was there in their shed, After all the dilly dallying  we had to cough up 2000 bucks just to get our bikes out of the station and it was no easy thing as Jaipur was dusty and the sweltering heat was killing us with mercury hovering around 45' celsius.

Day 1: odo reading zero.

We had our beloved bikes and just as we thought we'll go out for a spin, Gowda's bike got cornered by the traffic police but thankfully we had all the papers in hand and the guy let us go(thank god he did not catch me as I din't have any) now we had to find a place to stay in Jaipur so roamed about to find a cheap a** place without blowing our budget and zeroed in on this place quite close to the railway station which was pretty good except for the part that one cannot take any alcoholic beverages inside as he pointed out that it was next to a temple(what a bummer).

We put all our bags inside and set out to explore Jaipur, What a city it was! with pink colored walls and shops, which was painted this way to welcome some British bloke during the colonization, we made our way through the crowded streets to reach 'Hawa Mahal' which had like a zillion windows and they said that it helped to cool the palace during summer.
Hawa Mahal
From there we went to see the Jaipur fort which is like 10 kms outside the main city, the roads were weaving through the small hills that surrounded the city and the biking gene inside us came rushing with the twist of the wrist,accelerating down the road with wind gushing through our helmets to soothe our quest for speed, but the party did not last long as we reached our destination.
Jaipur Fort
The fort was accessible only by foot or on the elephants, We obviously chose to walk but got haggled by this so called "guide" and we fell for it.He explained that the king had dozens of wives and would sleep with the one who made the tastiest paan (What a sorting algorithm!) after this he went on to explain about Human sacrifice which took place there (and we were not interested in this, After the paan story) so we gave him 100 bucks as promised and took off on our bikes.

Coming back from the fort we found a road which lead to some hilltop nearby, as brave explorers we wandered into this unknown territory and were fazed by a group of girls driving a car up the same hill. So next episode is kind of a cliche as we raced them to the hilltop(trying to impress them but god knows why), When we reached the hilltop we could see the whole city of Jaipur(it was twilight and the city glimmered with lights, beautiful).

Returning from this awesome place we stumbled upon a lake palace which was not used for a long time and some said that it was abandoned.
Jaipur Lake Palace
After all this we retired for the day and picked up few bottles of KF strong and headed back to our hotel, but as it was banned there we had to sneak it in, Gopi and Gowda were master's of this art and somehow managed to get all the bottles inside. Jaipur was fascinating !

Yeh Dilli hey mere yaaar...

We were in the Indian Capital, home to around 12 million people, well thats more than the population of most of the countries in Europe! reached Gowda's place in New Rajendra nagar and there was no time to waste as we had to leave for Jaipur the following morning, so we took a fast track shower and got out of the house to explore Delhi, it was a very hot day reaching upwards of 40' celsius we took the metro to one place which I really did not want to miss "Qutub Minar" and I have to add that Delhi Metro was one of the finest in the world (after seeing quite a few in Europe).
Qutub Minar, Delhi

We finished our rounds around the place and took a metro to the central Secretariat, The nerve center of the Indian Corruption err Politics.
The Secretariat
It was a beautiful evening with sun setting in the clear skies with the secretariat in the foreground, Neither of which we could enjoy as we were totally exhausted by now but Gowda insisted that we walk down the road to see India Gate, we reached and it was breathtaking to see this monument in real life and that too illuminated in golden brown lights, 'Magical' is an understatement.
The majestic gate

We took the metro back home and god ! were we exhausted until someone came up with an idea of 'Beer' this recharged our senses and we bought a couple of cans( its cheaper in Delhi), sat on the sidewalk and started drinking to glory. I was a bit afraid as we were doing this in a busy area filled with cops but Gowda Reiterated that it was a common practice in Delhi and that nobody cares.

After all this,we went back to his apartment and booked ourselves a cab to pick us up at 5 in the morning ( we had to catch a train to Jaipur at 6 in the morning). A day in Delhi ended with a buzz in my brain !!

The Great Indian Train Journey

I had heard about Rajdhani Express, all good things on how fast it was and that the whole train was air conditioned but none of these would to help me when I first stepped into this so called symbol of Indian Railways( But I have heard lately that they have changed this train and now it is state of the art) the toilets were so out of order with stench seeping into the bogies and unluckily we had got our seats booked in two different coaches but they were next to each other.

The train journey had begun and I, after eating some s**t which they gave us went to sleep in my upper berth ( obviously popping some cold tablets which would put me to sleep). Next morning I woke up to this horror called train, There was fart smell floating through the air with babies crying out loud and the old people chattering to glory. It was a very different story than what I had heard about Rajdhani Express, the pride of India, To make matters even worse the lady sitting below me had a baby and she occupied the whole seat( During day we should sit in these seats) and was not even humble enough to ask me, I did not make a big fuss out of it as I knew Indians were Indians.

So me and Gopi spent a lot of time together, sitting on the footboard while the door was open with the train bolting down the electric lines at over 120 km h, This was way better than sitting inside the coach with that god forsaken AC, Later we would go inside and I would pop a tab and sleep( and no, it was not sleeping tabs) so I spent most of the time sleeping than awake.

In between all this Tamasha,  an unfortunate guy got run over by our train in Madhya Pradesh I believe (couldn't make out where we were exactly) We don't know whether this was a suicide or an accident but one thing for sure we couldn't move for almost 3 hrs. Finally Railway Police cleared out the body and we were given the green signal.

The toilets were so dirty that I restrained myself from using them for the entire trip, God save my stomach.
Finally after 34 hours of this ordeal we got down at Hazrat Nizamuddin station with the sun shining brightly and sweat leaking thru our shirts, made our way out of the railway station and took a rickshaw(tuk tuk) to Gowda's place which was around 10 kms away, went home relaxed and unloaded the precious cargo which was stocked in my stomach for 3 days......What a relief !!

A journey of thousand miles starts with a single step

The two bikes are serviced and ready for the challenge and so were we, one week before our departure it was time to send our bikes to New Delhi so me and Mr Vivian alias Yesu took both the bikes to Mysore city railway station to ship the bikes but found out that they had stopped parcel service to New Delhi as Commonwealth games were going on and it was some security risk ( I still don't know what this security risk meant, I still believe it was security threat to them making money, corrupt bastards) now it was change of plans, We shipped our bike to next nearest destination i.e Jaipur which is around 200 kms from Delhi so now we had to go to Delhi take a train from there to Jaipur and return to Delhi, But all is well and we had it all resolved.

Now was the D-day, We had to catch Rajdhani express from Bangalore which departs at 8 in the evening, So me and Gopi started early from Nanjangud( A town 24 kms south of Mysore) as it was Mysore Dasara and we expected the public transportation system to be clogged. As a Chinese proverb goes "a journey of thousand miles starts with a single step" hence we took that first step and  traveled  standing in a crowded train from Nanjangud to Mysore with all our luggage and helmets( It was a pain in the a**) as you could imagine a train filled to the brim and we hardly had place to move our heads.

But from Mysore to Bangalore it was a walk in the park as we took Shatabdi express which had all the creature comfort necessary for an average human being like me and I was even amazed to find a vacuum controlled commode in the toilet, I praised Indian Railways (which I would later withdraw) and got down in Bangalore or should I say Bengalooru.

As soon as we got down, I had this million dollar idea of going to KFC, which was right next door and we were both tired and hungry as hell. We finished eating and came back to railway station to board our train to New Delhi.We sat there waiting on Platform 8 for the doors of the train to open........

Getting ourselves and our Motorcycles Ready

Our train tickets are now booked and we are two months away from departure, so now was the time to get ready for the journey we had to keep ourselves fit for this momentous trip, we knew that it ain't gonna be easy riding our bikes (300~400 kms a day) for 12 days straight hence we decided to jog and workout (of course with a bit of starting trouble unlike our bikes) we did manage to exercise and improve our stamina so that we won't faint during the trip.

One month before the D-day, we thought it was time to service our bikes and fix them ( we did not want to spend time during the trip on repairing something which we could have fixed beforehand). I chose my beloved Bajaj Pulsar 150 DTSI (which Gowda thought was a bad idea and later you will find out how it became a saviour) the bike which I truly trusted and knew that she could make the trip without any hiccups and took it to my family mechanic, yes family mechanic as he services all the bikes of my family, Mr Ajaz a friendly mechanic who does not blow your pockets and makes sure that only parts which really need to be replaced gets replaced unlike most of the mechanics who trick you into changing parts for their own benefit.

When my bike was being serviced, I got a call from Gowda that his bike also needs some surgery (his bike was still  in Mysore so it was my duty to take it to Delhi) this was a very difficult task as his bike was at his parents place and he did not tell them about this whole journey, So we hatched a plan (which involves lying as usual) saying that Roopak (our classmate and a very good friend) needs the bike as his bike is not usable.
This plan worked and we had Gowda's bike Hero Honda Karizma in our hands.

As we were riding back home(from Mysore to my town Nanjangud) a drunken guy on the steering wheel of a Maruti Esteem tried to dodge us, this was unacceptable and we tried to stop him to which he did not respond, The guy who was riding with me Mr Mohan alias chingy took out a chain and smashed his windscreen which stopped him on his tracks and the man driving the car realised what was happening and tried to stop us (now we wouldn't stop, would we).

After this eventful ride we finally reached Mr Ajaz's garage and gave the bike for service, Two days later both our bikes were in perfect condition and ready to take on the challenge, As for us we were still jogging and readying ourselves thinking  if only we could repair our body like these machines.

Start of the journey...

Like I always say 'No plan is the best plan' it all started one afternoon late summer of 2010, we had just finished our engineering(Did not get placed so was wondering what to do) when I got a call from my friend(Rakshith alias Gowdru ) who was studying in New Delhi as we were some 10 minutes into the conversation, he said that he was planning to come back during october to Mysore and he jokingly mentioned that we could ride back from Delhi if I could make it, after giving it a few moments it dawned on us that we could actually make it i.e ride our motorcycles all the way from Delhi to Mysore and not just catch the highway and keep riding kind of stuff but detour and explore the area thingy(which accounted to 5000 kms we travelled), this was the day when we decided to take our beloved bikes from Mysore to Delhi on a train and start the journey from there.

So the planning was all done and now we wanted to know how many of our friends would join us on this once in a lifetime journey, so we passed the message around and shockingly nobody gave a s**t and told us either they were not ready or that they thought this was simply not possible, If only they had seen the Adidas ad 'Impossible is nothing' (lol) so finally my dear friend Gopinath alias Ct Gopinath alias Gopi gave the green signal without any pressure from me, which came as a pleasant surprise and interesting as Gopi did not know Gowda.

Ultimately it was three guys on a 8000 kms trip across India obviously this including 3000 kms we travelled on train, we booked our tickets in Rajdhani Express (which we thought was epitome of Indian Railways, and i'll tell you in later posts on how it f**ked us up) the stage was set to what would become the most torturing 12 days of our lives with little or no regard to cleanliness or hygiene. This was how it all began !

P.S: I created this blog to share my experience and obviously the story will continue and culminate in us riding back to Mysore,
Keerthi, Rakshith, Gopinath (left to right)