My Realm

Meet me - know me - read my posts and try to figure me! Well I am someone who is always thirsty for adventure, someone who simply hates playing sheep(u know the types - follow the herd!). An enthusiastic trekker, who loves to travel and ever ready for one of those wierd new found sports- luv to make new friends and njoy being my family's pet :)!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dug up ride...

"Pune Municipal Corporation ki jay"... Dunno who so ever is ever going to say that. Its something part of a far fetched reality. Have faced the brunt on numerous occasions.

This one happened yesterday, was on my way to the Baner office Gym. The roads were pretty ridable till about near the Rajwada hotel , then starts the waltz (dhik tak tak ...dhik tak tak ..dhik tak tak .. dhik.. tika tika). The 2 ways trurn to one, the road transforms to a mud path. But still, atleast, looks ridable. A couple of confused cars and a huge confused truck were lost what to do where to go, an auto driver ahead kept a cool head and helped the helpless truck driver get on the left sideof the right road so that all the cunjested vehicles on the 2 sides of the right road get to move .. wow.. weird... and I thought rick. drivers only knew to keep a sour face!

Well, riding a bike has its own plus-es you see, a. You can sneak through any nook and corner b. You zip past crunchiest of situations and c. potholes or not ou can manage your wheels over them! JFYI, all the 3 points mean the same :P

Riding through the raising slush and the road getting ever narrow I happened to realize the rest of the cut-off road was actually laid with a cement block and pedestrians were having a ball walking causally aimlessly, one of the many advantages of putting 2 legs to the test.

Riding on came another hurdle, the road disappeared and it seemed to transform into a trekking trail as it took a right(!!!) towards the petrol pump. I was confused what to do, and found that following the rider ahead actually helped as we steered via the petrol pump and out to the trek track again. So effectively we crisscrossed the oncoming traffic.

Now I could vaguely see the twin towers of my Baner office, but the track made me gaze more onto the road/track/path (whatever). Then the front wheel goes thud into a trench (acually a dried up lorry tyre track) and then I race and get the wheel out and the back wheel followed suite, mind you I did not loose my cool neither did the rider behind me nor the maruti car guy coming onto me -probably he made calculations for his assault plan.

Suddenly the track ended and the road opened to a barricade. A trench was dug up perpendicuar to the road with barricades against it. The road was shut. My office was 10 meters ahead and the road was shut. The oncoming traffic was a huge single-file-stream as they came from the right corner of the road through a narrow pass over the trench -so could not take that route.

That's when I noticed the brave ninja riders. On any other given day, I would always tend equating them to "hassle and worry" of the road. Not today. This is what I saw,
The ninja behind got off her seat and whispered some secret mantra to the riding ninja and then they exchanged looks (play the huge GONG/CLANG that's heard before a martial bout). Slowly she purred her scooty to the right side of the trench where the barricade ended and poof she steered left and rode down into the trench! What the! I could still see her scarf moving along and her pillion scarf trodding behind her, then like a miracle they started to emerge from the left end of the trench on the other side. They exchanged glances some mantras looked backed at us and rode away to glory (play the huge GONG/CLANG that's heard after a martial bout).

Well soon me 'n other 2 wheelers followed suite. The entry to the trench was actually not a motorable pass at all, just a dug-out that led down and then there was a plank that bridged to the other side. In we went and out we came and there the road was slaughtered again. A small patch of road led to my office premises and the other was the suppositedly motorable concrete road (just looked like a long long block of concrete to me on which vehicles moved).

The guard was elated to see me (some guts a guy has to do all these idiocycs just to get to office on a weekend!), so I asked him since when and why was this done. He kept saying no one listens, they should not have closed the road etc etc... but he was damn happy to see me :).

So up I went and shed over 350cals at the treadmill and over 150 at the cycle and much much more at other equipments. Flushed and tired after over 2 hours and a cup of curd I was back at the parking lot ready to make my way back home.

Having faced the music on the way here, I had hardly any problems to face -just had to get over a some rubble and then back track a few times around office since they shut off the only road (thanks to my new sec. guard friend they opened the road for me). Well then riding along-over the potholes and via the petrol pump and eventually onto tarmac was a piece of cake. After all that, I needed to stretch my engine to its limits so got onto ITI road and eventually via Aund-Univ road hit a good 3digits and the same on S.B. road finally the silent gullies led me back home.

And today, the story was all the same :-), after burning another 400cals end up taking the return via Baner Pashan road (a new rugged one that leads to Sus road). Met Avik, Paromita 'n family at Chandani Chowk had a great 3 to 4 hours there before getting through another challenge, the weirdly concretized Kothrud and the ever crowded roads on the night of "Dhai-Handi"!

Who said you need to get out to the mountains for a dirt track ride, welcome to Pune!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Walk to Parvati..

The weekend went dead boring with me just siting it out at home doing nothing. Some appointments were canceled and my monsoon sickness made me tug in 3 sets of blankets.

I had to get out of home and take a walk.

Keeping the spirits up and with a temperature and few sneezes left home at about 6 in the evening and with an instinct took a right and decided to hit the Paravati hill top. Having watched Aamir and many other movies over the weekend , the verses kept playing in my ears....

"Aani Jaani Hai Kahani,
Bulbule Si Zindagani
Banthi Kabhi Bigadthi
Tez Hawa Se Ladthi Bidthi
Ha Reham Ha Reham Farmaaye Khuda(2)
Mefuz Har Kadam Karna Eh Khuda Eh Khuda(2)"

The weather was cool, but no traces of rain. The last couple of days were pretty dry. Walked down the small allies of lokmanaya nagar as I came on the road adjoining S.P. college grounds. The roads were crowded this time, soon crossed over at Neelayam chowk past Vikrant cables. Here I noticed a new book store "Pathfinder" next to Ashoka Hotel, so decided to pay it a visit on my way back incase I retraced my steps.

Parvati looked as good as ever. Parvati is a wonderful hill bang in the middle of the city, and I still dont understand why so few people know of it! Such a quaint and lovely place (err.. its been over 3 years since I myself paid it a visit :P). Walked past Neelayam theater which was all empty and it hosted a couple of movies, "Sing Is King" was one of them.

"Saanson Ki Sukhi Door Anooti Jal Jaayegi Jal Jaayegi
Bandh Jo Laaye the Haath Ki Mutti, Khul Jaayegi Khul Jaayegi

Kya Ghumar Karen Kayaa Yeh Ujali Mitti Mein Mil Jaayegi
Chaahe Jithni Shamayein Roshan Kar Le, Roop To Dhal Jaayegi Jaayegi
Ha Reham Ha Reham Farmaaye Khuda(2)
Mefuz Har Kadam Karna Eh Khuda Eh Khuda

I was pretty happy with my steady pace, maybe my walking habits are not that bad afterall. Climbed up the Bridge over the Water Canal and eventually waded my way past a few lazy cows as a couple of people took blessings from the creatures. The helpless policeman simply sat at the side chatting with his colleague :).

They have renovated Paravati- a new arched entrance and some more arches on the top. I was wondering if I can still go up in one shot, I mean its been a long time since I have trekked anyways. So took on the angled slabs of ~300 steps that curved its way to the temple premises atop. Noticed many old folks sitting on benches in the dimming light and some enthusiastic oldies climbing up at a constant pace zig-zagging over the steps so they get to walk more :). These people are true inspiration for the many loosers we have warming their butts in the cosy A/c infested interiors of various organizations. I mean one look at their enthusiasm with wrinkles and pooof you get all charged up to do the exercise(climb in this case) better. I did that ... my pace did not falter its stride, maintained the same speed I did since I left home.

Finally atop, post the final few killer steps (why do the last steps always kill you! ), I was at the temple premises unsurprisingly breathing heavily still not that tired. Stood there and took in the surrounding views - distant houses, rivers, green canopy of the city. The city is still green no two ways about it, but yes.. it is diminishing.

"Sone Chamak Mein, Sikko Kanak Mein Miltha Nahin, Miltha Nahin
Dhool Ke Zaroon Mein, Dhunde Koi Tu Miltha Wahin Miltha Wahin

Kya Majaal Teri Marzi Ke Aage, Bandhon Ki Chal Jaayegi

Taane Ugli Jo Tu Katputhli Ki Chaal Badal Jaayegi Jaayegi
Ha Reham Ha Reham Farmaaye Khuda
Mefuz Har Kadam Karna Eh Khuda Eh Khuda(2)"

Soon made my way through the premises to the backyard of the temple. Unfortunately there is a door now and it was locked. Maybe it was to keep miscreants away from the temple. Who knows. So just stood there took a bit of what I could see around before retracing my steps. The cell network is jammed up here.

The way down was pretty quick and steady. Back down tried to contact Andya, unfortunately his mobile was out of coverage. Retraced my steps via Neelayam and payed the bookstore a visit. The store is like a mini version of Landmark/Crosswords. The walk back was nothing different and was home in no time.

Mom was surprised I was back after climbing Paravati so soon. Hmm.. maybe I am not all that flab after all :)

"Ha Reham Ha Reham… Ha Reham Ha Reham….Ha Reham Ha Reham… (3)"


Friday, August 15, 2008

4 to 8

15th August.. today was independence day... gave it a slow start at about 12 in the afternoon. Hardly could sleep the previous night, no reason why. Anyways the day was all dull with dark clouds and too many missed signs of heavy downpour. Also being 'VaraLaxmi Nombu' a religious ceremony, mom had prepared some delicacies that kept me full.

The missed calls and independence messages kept me busy as I learnt Addy bought a cycle today ...AgggGHHH oh.. the frustration!!. Got all fresh and ready leave for a casual walk as the dark clouds separated at intervals to show blue.

It was 4.

Off I went, as I decided my usual path down Aalka via Deccan and then return via FC road before stopping by Sharwari for tea. But then I thought of adding in some extra miles. So started walking down the empty roads( the newspapers did predict -Pune roads would be empty this weekend for too many bookings were reported by MTDC at various green destinations on the long weekend). Past Alaka and down Deccan ,decided on checking out Shoppers Stop at Wakedewadi as they had an on-going Sale.

Walked under the Garware bridge past the Deccan bus stop, as I helped some lost riders find Laxmi Road, furthur down the Stretch of JM road alongside Shambaji Park post which I crossed over to Ghole road. Here I planned to take the route till NewEnglish school then past the parking lot area to Shimla office.

As I passed Modern School, there was a lot of chaos from the premises as kids participated in various organized sports events. Walking past the Recreation center, I cherished memories of the days I used to play badminton. Soon crossed over to the Parking lot as I walked down the quiet neighborhood and eventually came out the main road at Simla office then walked over the Sanchati bridge and eventually past Patil-estate. At last walked by the complex that held @HOME and Shoppers Stop.

The place was crowded. Cars were parked on the roads 2 wheelers were stuffed in the parking lot. Took the steps to the shop as I wiped the perspiration off my face. I was quick to jog up to the second floor to the casuals section and just as immediately started scanning for green 6-pocket cargos. My current cargo was showing traces of fatigue (if you know what I mean). So scanning up and down the various piles of discounted clothes I eventually gave up and started scanning for a pair of jeans (my current sets share a bad fairy tale). I wanted black so scanned all of the 34" blacks and tried one but hated it it for some weird textures.

Off I went to the far end section of "Branded" (as in costlier) clothes and scanned through their discounts, here I finally tried and picked myself a 36" black jeans branded "MUFTI" at 30% discount. The place was full of clothes and sale. I mean the cashier too was trying to make me buy an ad-on shoppers stop card for 100/- and on my denial he said he would give me some free mp3 CD that pictured the grey bearded BigB. I insisted I pay only for the clothes and no plastic cards :).

Here I asked the cashier to pack the clothes in 2 sets of covers since I'd be walking and chances of getting the clothes wet in rain were high. Dunno what the guy thought, he said "ok sir, I will place in another cover and then you can cover it when it rains, you can also exchange the clothes in 15 days".. did he think I was one of those asking for 2 covers!!! Well I nodded neither yes or no.. I just let a tremor visible on my head :P.

Finally give Crosswords a ritual checkout before zipping down the stairs for my walk back home. The weather was cool with dark clouds. So back I headed past the Wakedewadi underway past Agricultural college and finally onto FC road. Here I followed one of my next rituals of spending some time at Sharvari over a cup of tea. Unfortunately I had to sit inside and not in the balcony since they were expecting rains .. yeah right!! So there I sat sipping my tea as I overheard some aunties behind me gossiping about their daughters and in-laws in the states in "hi-fandu' English ...

Tea came .. gulped down the brew as the 2 of the 3 girls in front of me ordered pav bhaji and the 3rd one (all makeup and lipstick) possibly nodded in denial but insisted she was hungry (what did she want.. pav bhaji with no butter 'n bhaji !?.. maybe some slices of cucumber and lemon juice.. who knows.. ). Their final order was long as I plonk-ed two 5Rupee coins onto the waiters hand before leaving.

So I continued my walk and finally took the Good Luck Cafe gully and past Deccan Gymkhana and eventually walked via ASC(now Cox and Kings). Cherished fond memories of my first office. I just stood there for a minute and could visualize- me dressed in formal black and white on my first interview as I walked off the ASC gate to my parked Kinetic. Walking down these roads with many new made friend and of course the very favourite hangout from college days as well- Rutuja. Gave a smile and smirked as I walked on.

Took the gully that leads bang on to the Garware Gate, here I decided to take the road towards Null stop rather than the usual Garware college bridge road. I had heard a lot about Surendar cycles from the bikeszone community, wanted to give it a 'dheko'. I knew I would not buy anything now, but I just wanted to see this shop. So on I went down the length of Karve road. Just before the Ranka signal, came the Hercules Cycles Surendar cycles shop. This shop looked good and well maintained. I could spot numerous Hercules and LAS models, also noticed a Trek 4300 hung off the wall inside. Well just walked past it, day-dreaming of me paying an amount for a wonderful ride, and took the gully at the signal as I walked down past the hospital and finaly onto Garware Causeway bridge.

Here, I hardly noticed any couples .. which was weird. All I saw were pairs of guyz everywhere. As I walked past all I overheard was various narrations of "I like this girl... he said he likes her... she said no.. she is too modern rao.." Man!!! Looks like the girls gifted themselves a leave today:).

Mom asked me to pickup an insect killer spray so I walked down Vaikuntroad and off Date Studio and into Food World as I picked myself a Mortein spray and a loaf of Plum Cake.

Back home. The clock struck 8. The TV played a tamil movie where Shriya and Dhanush danced around trees.


Monday, August 04, 2008

A fascinating gift...

I always wanted to have one of these bags with a tube jutting off it (Hydration bags). The first time I ever got to see (and sip from) one of these was during my paragliding courses. No sooner did Avi (my instructor) show his hydration pack did we jump like thirsty monsters and almost finished off the whole reserve :). It was a "camelback" hydra-pack I guess.

The concept is really cool. A simply backpack with a 1-2 liter plastic bag that holds the fluid (water/hydration supplements err.. err...) and a tube that comes off it with a rubber stopper like thing at the other end from which you suck the liquid. Its really a handsfree water bottle for that matter.

So ok it looks fascinating, how was it supposed to practically help me other than looking like a showoff item? This backpack can come handy in almost any situation you demand (so long as you don’t feel weird wearing and sucking water off the tube). Practically accepted of course in any adventure/outdoor activity you demand - trekking / bicycling / paragliding / snowboarding / jogging / motor-biking etc etc. I mean if you get too geeky you could sit with one in your office cubicle as you type away... but that’s the reason mentioned the previous list under 'Practically accepted" else you would end up in the wild with hoards of people sucking water in a ration queue or at the bus stop... aggh... my thoughts running wild.

I was meeting Sriram (my cousin) after a long long time. We chatted a lot and he gifted me this backpack and said "you can fill water in this...", I said "oh wow ... its a hydration bag...", he said "yes... here you go". Wow.. I was really happy and am, really, still admiring the bag. It’s a blue "High Sierra" 2 liter Hydration bag. Its amazing - its a very good-go for a small hike (single day) also has a provision to hold you helmet (cycling) and a hook to hang all sorts of things. Really really cool.

Just another reason to get my bums on the saddle again! :)

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