Separation Part II : I wish...

I wish I could explain her how difficult it is for me to react when she reappears out of the blue... I wish I could explain her when she left there were many stones unturned... There are masks on each side and between us an opaque curtain... We still try to find eachother thru the masks and the curtain... and each of us depart with a sigh of losing the other. I sometimes try to take off my mask, shout and tell her that its me on the other side but the scare of not finding her the next time, even with the mask and curtain, is enough to stop me. I wish I could explain her all this...

Traitorous Love,
I had thought to know you
ere I grew tangled
in the paths of your dominion,
but you possess a roving eye
and a heart cooled
amidst the ashes
of ancient flame.

O for the wings of a dove,
that I might fly
from your slumberous embrace
into the valley of darkness,
into the arms of my
Morphean lover,

where nevermore might
mine own eye fault me,
mine own heart cool
and live again, a flame,
erring in its passion
for what would be wrong,
were love forbidden.


Sideways.... the vineyards, the relations

Can I ask you a personal question?


Why are you so into Pinot? It's like a thing with you.

I don't know. It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. It's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention and in fact can only grow in specific little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing growers can do it really, can tap into Pinot's most fragile, delicate qualities. Only when someone has taken the time to truly understand its potential can Pinot be coaxed into its fullest expression. And when that happens, its flavors are the most haunting and brilliant and subtle and thrilling and ancient on the planet.

I mean, Cabernets can be powerful and exalting, but they seem prosaic to me for some reason. By comparison. How about you?

What about me?

I don't know. Why are you into wine?

I suppose I got really into wine originally through my ex-husband. He had a big, kind of show-off cellar. But then I found out that I have a really sharp palate, and the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about.

Yeah? Like what?

Like what a fraud he was.

Miles laughs.

No, but I do like to think about the life of wine, how it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing, how the sun was shining that summer or if it rained... what the weather was like. I think about all those people who tended and picked the grapes, and if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I love how wine continues to evolve, how every time I open a bottle it's going to taste different than if I had opened it on any other day. Because a bottle of wine is actually alive -- it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks -- like your '61 -- and begins its steady, inevitable decline. And it tastes so fucking good.

Well... what has a bottle of wine to do with the human relationships... !!! Probably nothing.... wait.....until you watch the movie "Sideways...", in a way, even the movie doesnt try to signify the similarites... !!! Its a small budget movie with probably one of the least known hollywood starcast. The movie doesnt try to teach you a lesson. This is a story of two friends, their perspective. This is a movie about life, How it is.. and not how it should be.

Miles(Paul Giamatti), a failed writer, a divorce, who teaches at a Junior high school takes his old pal Jack(Thomas Haden Church) for a week-long road-trip through California's wine country. Miles and Paul both are good friends but exact opposite in nature. For Miles, the trip is about giving Jack a nice send-off before his marriage, as for Jack, It is just one of the escapades and flings. Miles wants to taste different wines and Jack wants to get laid as many times as possible during the trip. The two explore the beautiful vineyards while end up searching their own identities.

Miles meets his soulmate Maya(Virnigia Madsen) and thats when they discuss about wine, about life and about themselves.



Have never been able to understand the adrenalin rush whenever I am visiting Gujarat....

Till yesterday, I was "normal" and of course, the vacation was in my mind... but still it was not the way it is right now.... !!! May be it is my urge to visit Ahmedabad, Rajkot & Junagadh... May be its my lazy nature that stops me getting prepared for any tours.

Well anyways, I am leaving tomorrow by the Secunderabad-Rajkot express... and would reach Ahmedabad on Sunday... !!! Will meet Subbu, Akshat and Tejas. Usually it is the same fun-at-rworld, food-from-simran-farm, daroo-party-at-room, old-songs-by-akshat-subbu-n-rest, n finally mornning-tea-at-rituraj routine....!!! but man o man.... only I can tell ... how much fun is that.... !!!

On Monday... me and Tejas will leave for Rajkot.... will stay there for 4 days and then probably will go to Junagadh... it has been more than a year since I visited Junagadh.... !!!

So many things to be done... and so little time...


The Dream - Hyderabad to Bangalore

Prologue : The Trip

As this was our first looooong trip, had to plan in advance for the trip. Also had the list of things to be ready with.

Oct 7th, 2005 - Friday (Hyderabad to Kurnool : 210 KMs)
7:00 am - Wake up
8:00 am - Reach Rahul's place
8:15 am - Reach Office
12:00 - Leave office
12:45 pm - Reach service station and get the bike. (Which is some 15 kms from my office)
1:15 pm - Meet Rahul at Kondapur T point
2:00 pm - Hit the highway
4:00 pm - First break on road
6:30 pm - Reach at the APTDC's Punnami Resort at Kurnool

Oct 8th, 2005 - Saturday (Kurnool to Bangalore: 370 KMs)
5:00 am - Wake up
6:00 am - Get Ready
6:15 am - Hit the highway
9:15 am - First break ( After 150 kms)
9:45 am - Start again
11:45 am - Second break for lunch ( After 250 kms)
12:15 pm - Start
2:30 pm - Reach Bangalore

We decided to stay in Bangalore on Oct, 9th, 2005 (Sunday). The return plan was similar to this one. We will leave Bangalore on Monday morning at around 10 so that we can reach Kurnool at around 6:30 with the same breaks we had while going. And again will start Tuesday morning at 6:00am from Kurnool to Hyderabad so that we reach office by 11:30.

On my earlier trip to Warangal, I had decided/learnt that one cant go on a longer trip if you have to carry the luggage on your back. So saddlebag was necessary. I just bought a Saddlebag. before leaving for the trip from cramster.

Things to Carry

T shirts (2)
Jacket - MUST
socks (2 pairs)
underwear (2)
hankies (3)

hand towel
bath towel
hair oil
soap (small medimix bars if possible)

mineral water bottles (1 for each bike)
cold drink

Electrician Tape
Clutch Wire
Spark Plug
Bike Papers
Insurance papers
Driving license

Plastic Bags

Day 1 : 7th Oct, 2005.
Chapter 1 : Hit the highway soon, maan.

I woke up at 7 am (bang on time !!!) and was ready by 7:45. My bike was at the service station so had brought Rahul's bike the day before. After packing and all, started for Rahul's place. Reached there at 8:15 (15 min. late). Took a rickshaw to office and was in office by 9 am. We are working on a tight schedule. Kept working for 3 hours, in between also made calls to the service station.

At 12:00 noon, left office. The service station is more than 15 kms from the office. I had to take a rickshaw, which took some 50 min to reach there. It has started getting hot in Hyderabad and is almost like summer. The temperature was high and infact, I was feeling a bit tired cuz I had woken up early and after than I had nothing for breakfast or lunch and had straight away gone to the service station. We were already behind the schedule by some half an hour. I was getting worried cuz we had to touch the highway by 2 pm. None of us wanted to drive at night. Well, what more can you expect, the bike was not ready, many of the mechanics had not turned up the same day I was going for the damn tour. The owner told me that It would take some 20 min to get the bike ready. I told him to forget it and give me the bike. He advised me against it as I was going for some 1400 kms. I had no choice but to agree with him. It took him 40 min. to get the bike ready. I paid him and bought the additional clutch wire, throttle wire, headlamp, chain part and left for Madhapur where Rahul was waiting for me.

Eventually, reached Madhapur at 1:20. Fixed the saddlebag on my bike, fuelled and started our bikes. We were late, I was hungry. But Still had to cover 210 kms before 6:30. I dont know what kept me going. May be, this was my first long trip, may be I was going to realize my dream, may be something else...

We still hadnt figured out what way was NH07 (National Highway 7) but had a rough idea that it starts somewhere from Mehdipattanam. Kept asking every couple of kms someone about the highway. At Madhapur, we had set our mile-o-meter reading to 0. At exactly 25 we touched the NH07. The highway starts from Attapur. At 3:00 pm we touched the highway. Bangalore is 555 kms and Kurnool 196 kms. We are still 1 hour late. Hope everything goes fine from now...

Chapter 2 : of Rahul's prayers , Rain-gods and the Sun

To our surprise, there is a 6-lane road. The highway looks good. We are driving at 60. Dont want to push the bike for initial 50 odd kms. We pass a couple of villages. We know that we are late by an hour and may have to travel half an hour in the night.

Suddenly, out of the blue, it starts raining. Its not so heavy so we continue to drive slowly at 40 towards kurnool. After 5 min, suddenly there is this storm. It starts raining cats and dogs. Its a storm and havent seen the force at which its raining, often in my life. We were not wet cuz of the rain for the last 10 min cuz both of us had jackets. But the 10 second of storm was enough for both of us to get completely wet. The traffic has come to a complete halt, even the cars are stopping at the road-side dhabas. We take a shelter at a small chay shop. Still some 145 kms are to be covered we have lost some 15 min more. It's around 3:45. For the first time, we really doubt whether we can really go ahead now or shall we postpone the trip. Had it rained half an hour ago. We definitely would have postponed the plans. To our relief, the rains recede and, we start our journey again. It's still drizzling a bit. We are going at the speed of around 50. Adding to our frustration, it again starts pouring... and we are again forced to stop at a Dhaba. The only thing in our mind is that we might have to drive at night. We decide that if at all, it stops raining, we'll drive till 6 and then stop for dinner (remember ??? I have not had my lunch) and then the last 70 kms will have to be driven at night. So we decide that, its better to keep driving after a truck, which is going at the speed not more than 60. One more thing we find discomforting is that after 25 kms, its a 2 lane road. Quite surprising for a national highway, forget about the dividers, It should at least be a 4 lane road.

Rahul prays for a completely reverse weather. Of a bright and sunny day. Its already 4:15 so we laugh at the thought/prayer. The intensity of the showers gets less so we start our journey again. There is a sizeable crowd in the Dhaba due to the rains and I see most of them looking at my bike. They know that we have started for a long ride cuz of the saddlebags laden bike. I feel proud and hope to reach Bangalore. We keep driving at the pace of 60 as its only drizzling by that time. We would only have gone 10 kms far and ... and ... and what do we see ? The skies have opened up and not only that It is bright and sunny. We thank all the gods and step on the accelerator. I am driving at around 80 and Rahul at around 90. The road is empty. We already have lost some 40 min cuz of the rains and have an hour before it starts getting dark. Kurnool is only 125 kms away.

At 6:15, we see the milestone, which shows us that Kurnool is 45 kms away. We have traveled quite a lot and more than that, I am feeling hungry as I only had a couple of biscuits and a dairy milk since y'day night's dinner. We stop by a roadside dhaba and order a Dalfry and Rotis. It has started getting dark. We could have gone some 15 kms ahead before it is night but decide to take rest instead.

We face our first challenge of the trip. At 7:00, Its completely dark and we are yet to cover some 45 kms. We are behind a truck. We find that the truck is driving too slowly so we overtake it and find another truck. Which is going even slower. One more overtake and finally we get our "dream truck", which is going at around 55. After 10 min.s the truck driver decides to increase the speed. We follow the same and are heading towards Kurnool at 75.

At 8:00 pm we finally reach our first milestone of the trip. Find out the Punnami Resort after the usual inquiries to localites. It has been a long day and both of us are quite tired, and thats when you find a hot shower like heaven. I enjoy being in heaven for 10 mins. The good thing about the government run resorts is that they are quite big with lots of open space. You will definitely find them not as clean as compared to the private-run resorts/hotels but still they are okay. We have our dinner and then head towards our room. Rahul is watching TV and I continue with my book "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time". We are tired has hell but having driven for 5 hours, it is difficult to sleep. Especially when you are in a mode of being utmost careful and always have a thought of a truck coming from the opposite side.

The alarm is set for 5am the next morning and we are finally able to sleep at 11:30.

Day 2 : 8th Oct, 2005.
Chapter 3 : Finally after 590 kms and 12 Hours

Well, both of us knew that it would not be possible to be ready by 6am. We felt that we hardly slept when the alarm started ringing. One more alarm was put in place for 5:30am. and We really slept for this half an hour.
We hit the highway at 7:40 and again are late by 1:30 hours. Bangalore is 370 kms away. If you are going for a long trip on a bike, the best way to cover the distance is to drive for as many hours as possible in the morning. For a single engine bikes like Bullets and CBZs ( I dont think in India, we have many V-twin engine bikes) the distance you should cover at a stretch should be 50 to 150 kms. It is good to stop the bike after 100 odd kms and take a 5 min break. If you go beyond 150 kms, there are chances of breaking down or stretching the engine too much. We decide to take our first break at 150 by which we will need to fuel ourselves as well as the bike. Both the bikes are giving pretty good average of more than 35.
The road is again almost empty, only some odd trucks coming and going. We are driving at a healthy speed of 70. At around 10:30 we take our first break after fuelling the bike. There is a good hotel and we have decided to have our lunch early. Instead of a half an hour break, it takes us 1:30 hours as we are the only customers and they are just not ready for us. It takes one hour and ten min.s for the food to get prepared and 20 mins more for us to get it finished. Its still okay as we still have enough time. If everything goes right we may reach Bangalore at 4:30. Two hours late than the scheduled time.
We'll take our next break when Bangalore is 120 kms away. One more thing to take care is that even if you drive at 80, your average speed will only be 50. There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, its a two-lane road thru out. The road is also one of the busiest unless you travel in the morning. There are a number of villages you will pass by every 30 kms or so. Anyway, we are going at a good speed. and after a couple of hours of driving, Bangalore is 120 kms we decide to take rest at a Dhaba. We reach the Karnataka - AP border point where there are small Tea stalls. Bangalore is only 104 kms and we have driven the last 120 kms in only 110 mins. which has given us a lot to cheer about. Thru out the trip we have decided not take any risks. We seldom drive above 75. After having a cup of tea, we enter Karnataka.

Its 2:00pm and we are around 75 kms from Bangalore. I had called nimish that we'll be reaching Bangalore at 4:30. Looks as if we'll reach half an hour early. Nimish lives at Bellari Road, which is nearby the NH07. So we have decided to stay there.
We got surprised by seeing the Nandi Hills board 30 kms before Bangalore. Nandi Hills was my reason to start the trip in the first place. One thought of immediately going to Nandi Hills came to my mind. Which is some 22 kms inside so will just cost me 3 hours today instead of 5 hours tomorrow. But I decide to go with Nimish instead and we keep heading towards Bangalore.

At 3:30 we reach at Nimish's place. Only one and a half hours late from the original schedule. Both of us are happy and tired. Both of us have lied to our parents and havent told them that we are going to Bangalore by bike. We would probably go back and then tell them the truth. After 12 hours or driving we are in Bangalore. Call up nimish. He immediately picks me up from the CBI circle. Rahul decides to leave immediately for his friend's place.
I take a hot shower, have supper at 5:30. I am so tired that I can sleep straight away but as it will affect my schedule tomorrow, we decide to go to MG Road and have a couple of drinks in a pub.

After coming back, I go to sleep immediately. Tomorrow, me and nimish will go to Nandi Hills. Till then, adios. !!!

Day 3 : 9th Oct, 2005.
Chapter 4 : The Nandi Hills.

Nandi Hills is some 50 kms from Bangalore. Some 14 months back I had gone there with Jayesh-Purvi, Rankit and Prashant by a car. Its a beautiful place. Back then, I had decided to go there again on my bike. and here I am, on my brand new Thunderbird. While coming to Bangalore I had a look at the road so I knew It would take around 5 hours round trip to visit it.

Had a peg of brandy y'day night and slept at 1. Woke up at 11 had breakfast and got ready. We started at around 1 for Nandi Hills. Bikes condition is still good. Still have a feeling that the clutch wire might break down in the way going back. Nimish asks me to let him drive as I might be feeling tired cuz of 2 days of hard driving. Maan, Can I feel tired ? This is what I have come for... I decide to give him the bike while returning. Reach at around 3 and talk about a lot of things. He has almost settled down and is waiting for the next step of his life. His marriage.... !!!

We come back at 6. Rahul was at his friend's place from y'day. We are going to meet him at the Forum mall. He'll be staying with us and then tomorrow we'll start for Hyderabad. The good thing about Nimish's room is that its only 1 km from the national highway which probably will save us an hour or so.

Meet Rahul at 8.. We have a dinner and reach Nimish's place at 10. The original plan was to reach Kurnool by 6:30 so that we dont have to spend much time in Kurnool. While discussing the plan at night, we change our plan (which would have proved costly). We plan to start by 8 so that if at all we reach Kurnool by 4. We will run the entire distance in one day. If at all, everything goes smoothly...

Good night !!!

Day 4 : 10th Oct, 2005.
Chapter 5 : The dream ends... Back to the real world.

Dont know how can one get up so early when he is traveling. Rahul and me are ready by 7:30 and leave Bangalore.

Rahul is fasting today as its Monday. We buy a couple of mineral water bottles, fruits for Rahul, a couple of canned juices and biscuits. After fuelling Rahul's bike we start for the final and the longest stretch of our journey. We are going to ride for 590 kms (12 hours) today. Have been lying to my dad about the trip. I hope we reach there safely so that can call him up and tell the truth.

The NH07 starting from Bangalore is a very boring road. It's a 6 lane road for the first 25 kms or so. But still is in the phase of being built. You have to keep on changing the lane and drive in only one of the 3 lanes. So effectively, you have to face the vehicles coming from the opposite direction. There are at least 5 railway lines crossing the road where bridges are being built. The first village is Devanhalli. After which again the same story of a 2 lane national highway. It takes around 75 mins to drive the first 50 kms after then the road is fairly okay with less traffic. I accelerate the bike this time. Cross the 90 kmph barrier for the first time. There are many scenic places along with the road. We have decided to stop at the same places we stopped when he came here. The first being the AP-Karnataka border which is 120 kms. At around 9:45 we are at the border. Have a cup of tea. Both the bikes are in a fairly good condition.

We start again after a 15 min break. The next stop is the A1 Plaza hotel, which is 10 kms after Anantapur. This stretch will be of around 130 kms. A1 Plaza is a chain of highway motels run by Reliance Petrolium on NH07. You wont find the other hotels as clean as these ones. and this is what I find a bit strange about Andhra Pradesh. If you are traveling in Gujarat you will find good hotels and Dhabas every 10 kms. Here you may have to travel 100kms sometimes and still there are chances that you end up having food at a mediocre place. We are driving at a good speed and it looks as if we would be able to reach Hyderabad by 7:30 which will make us drive at night only for an hour out of which you can discard 25 kms of city driving and 25 kms of the 6-lane driving which means roughly a 20 kms drive at night. Sounds okay !!!

We reach A1 plaza at 1:15 and order lunch for me. It starts raining. We are not worrying as we already have a contingency plan. If at all we lose a couple of hours, we can stay at the APTDC Punnami Resort at Kurnool. We fuel the bikes and start off... Its raining but not heavily. We slow down a bit and are driving at 50. Well, this was the last pair of jeans I had. I am completely wet. My bum has started paining cuz of the 300 kms drive. We are still to drive for another 5 hours. We will stop at Kurnool and then decide whether to go ahead or to stay there.

After one and a half hours we have crossed Kurnool and are only 200 kms away from Hyderabad. Its 3:45. Our back is aching and so are our butts. We keep on driving for a couple of hours. We need to go as far as possible before 6:30. We take one short break of 5 mins and again start off. Its getting darker. And for the first time we feel that this is much more than what we should be traveling. Ideally you should not travel 400 kms in a day. You can stretch till 500. The last 50 kms have been tough on us and its only our rebellion more than anything which has kept us going. We stop at the Mamaji's Dhaba. Hyderabad is still 50 kms. We havent seen the 6-lane road yet. ( This was our miscalculation.... we end up touching the 6-lane road after 25 kms). The traffic gets heavier at night. As most of the buses which run from Hyd to Bang run at nights. and they are driving very rash. We have continued with our strategy to go behind a truck. Still have a feeling of committed a mistake by our decision to drive the entire stretch at one go. (Rahul's bike skidded when it was raining an hour ago. Thank god, we were passing thru a village and he was driving at a mere 20 when he fell down to save a woman who was crossing the road without looking at it)

at 8:00 we enter Hyderabad. Finally the dream is over.... I just cant feel any part of my body. Am completely tired. Reach home at 8:20. Call dad immediately and tell him about my lie. He doesnt sound too happy but always knew that I would go. I tell him that I will not take any risks from now onwards. Well, will I ?

Both the bikes are okay. My bike needs servicing. Nothing has gone wrong. Apart from the last 75 kms or so the journey was just fabulous. I hope I can travel more... I have read somewhere that people who go on long rides are usually escapists. Be it that way, I want to get tired, and I want to run away as long as the princess allows me... !!!

Long live bulleteers !!! Long live princess !!!


It all started with my dream... My dream of owning a bullet.. having someone with me... and going to Nandi Hills. So what if only half of it came true. So what if it took more than a year to come true. A dream is a dream.

Kabhi Jo Khwab Tha Woh Paa Liya Hai
Magar Jo Kho Gayee Woh Cheez Kya Thi

This was the first trip and will always remain a memorable one. It took me 1357 kms and 28 hours of driving to live my dream. Our planning was really good. We had a very comprehensive list with us. I wish I had a pair of biking gloves. Which I probably will have in the next trip, if at all I am allowed to go. It was really fun to go there with Rahul. We complemented each other very well in driving. It might not sound very important but believe me, it really is. When you are driving on the national highway, you have to be utmost alert. Cuz the vehicles are driving on the same road from both the directions. We kept on driving at a distance of 500 meters to 1 km. and alternatively one of us was ahead. And at all the times we kept on signaling each other of the coming vehicles from the opposite direction.

There were some friends who knew about the trip. I had kept on calling Alka and Soumya every couple of hours. These bike-trips are the other things they are against apart from my growing long hair. Called Jayesh-Purvi, Ketan-Priti, Nikhil-Vishruti who all were worried about me and Rahul.

We are back here... and busy with the office work. Planning for our next trip. Which can not happen before December.

Till then.... happy riding !!!!


The princess in the city of the 1000 pillar temple

Well... I had to go somewhere on this 2nd Sep... Initially, the plan was to go to Bangalore... but that is now postponed till 17th of Sep. It has been more than 2 months since I got my T'Bird and still it has not run for a longer distance. Bangalore was not possible for numerous reasons. The bike has not completed the run-in period of 3000 kms, and hence the bike has not opened up, the top speed i had driven up was only 65. Rahul also wants come for the Bangalore trip and he was also not ready to drive till Bangalore as he is short of leaves. and Finally, I was also not feeling 100% as I am also having throat infection. But anyway, I was longing for a trip on my bike. So considering the weather (its monsoon ;-)), the condition of the bike and the risk, Bang-trip was postponed.

So, finally we decided to go on a relatively shorter trip. The first idea is always Nagarjunasagar but as we have already been to NS a month back, It didnt tempt us too much. So Warangal was decided as the spot. Which is some 150 kms from Hyderabad. Again, as can be expected, we ran into troubles because of the route and the weather. Warangal, and particularly the route to Warangal is a naxalite affected area... and is considered to be risky. We almost finalized the trip and on Friday, it started raining heavily. It looked as if the skies wont open up the next day, so till the last moment we were in a dilemma about the trip.

Anyways, I had loads n loads of work on Friday so went home at midnight and was tired as hell... and even forgot that we decided to get up at 5:45 am.

5:37 am: Rahul calls up... He is bloody awake so early. I am fuckin irritated and ofcourse sleepy
5:55 am: We decide to go for Chilkur Balaji, a temple which is 30 kms from Hyd
6:30 am: Now, out of the blue, Prash calls up and the trip is on, not only that we decide to meet up at 7:30
7:00 am: I get up have a quick shower, pack up my bag and am ready to roar at 7:30
7:40 am: I am waiting at the Hyderabad House, Road No. 2... Nobody turns up... Is the trip still on ????
7:45 am: Finally, Prash and Rahul reach there and we start off after fuelling the tank...

First things first... What about the directions.... I had casually asked a fellow biker about the way... and He had told me that the highway starts from Uppal. Uppal is near Tarnaka, where Prash has some of his relatives... So we are heading towards Tarnaka.... We keep on asking the way every 5 min as none of us has gone that way. Finally at 8:15 we hit the highway. One interesting thing I found was that none of the boards were showing Warangal, instead each of the boards were showing Hanamkonda which was enough for us to get more confused. Thank god, we were on the right track. Hanamkonda is the city where the 1000 pillar temple was constructed, Hanamkonda and Warangal are twin-cities.

Unlike Gujarat, if you are travelling in Andhra Pradesh, you wont find good motels or eateries on highways. We were hungry but decided to sacrifice on food as the weather was good and there was every chance that it might rain, we didnt want to take any risk !!! (And in any case, It was tougher on Prashant's part more than any of us )

I am not pushing the bike too hard and am driving on 60-70 as its the maiden trip on my Princess. Me and Prash are on my Princess (thats what I call my beast, quite unusual a name for T'Bird.. .but that is what I'll call her until I come up with a better one ) and Rahul is on his CBZ. Rahul is driving faster than me at around 80 but I continue to drive on 60-70. Its a good idea not to keep the bike on a steady speed for a longer time, I keep on varying the speed. I also learn some lessons the hard way. First one, It is very tough on the driver as well as the pillion if there are two people on the bike. Secondly, It is better to have Saddle bags ( Anyways, I am going for it before the Bang. trip... )

The road is good, the traffic is less. You will find the odd trucks coming your way... and thats it... There are patches of lush green fields alongwith the road. To our surprise, not only the skies have opened up, but even the weather is perfect for driving. Its somewhat cloudy and bright day. We decide to stop after completing 100 kms.

After 60 kms, Prash Asks, "My butts are paining big time, Can we take a break ?"... "Butt Naturally" I reply and we take our first 10 minute break.

We all meet up at Hotel Sudha in Jangaon which is some 100 kms from Uppal. Order by Idlis, Dosas, Cold Drink.... and before leaving, a cup of tea...

The last 50 kms are very cool... with empty roads and lush green fields.... We reach Hanamkonda at 11:45... We havent booked any hotels so start searching for hotels.... Basically, Hanamkonda-Kazipet-Warangal are group of 3 cities. The first one we find out is, APTDC (Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation)'s Punnami Resort... we ignore and go ahead. We are advised to stay in Hotel Ratna which is nearby the Warangal Railway Station. We face the first scare after reaching there. None of the AC rooms are available and the climate there is too hot. We rush to another Hotel, Ashoka.. again all the rooms are booked. We suddenly remember that there was one Punnami Resort. We step on the accelerator and rush to Punnami.... There are rooms available and we get a good AC room costing some 800 for 3 of us.
My back is aching.... and thats when you find the hot water shower like heaven.... We inquire about the places to go and have lunch. There are basically 3 places... The Warangal fort (or whatever is remained of it), The 1000 Pillar temple in Hanamkonda and then there is one more temple.

Again the bikes are ready to roar... and we are again having a hard time inquiring about the fort.... finally we reach there after an hour.... Have a usual photo session. We decide to go to the 1000 pillar temple the next day morning and so there is only one place left... The Kali temple... Rahul goes inside the temple and worshipping his god while Me and Prashant have a talk to our own resp. gods at our home...

We are damn tired... and getting desperate to go to the bed.... Finish off the dinner early.. have a small walk, watch the new show "The Lost" and all of of us are sound asleep...

The Next day...

7:30 Wake up
8:00 Ready for the last place on our list after having a good breakfast
8:50 Touched the doorsteps of the 1000 Pillar temple... the place we came to see
9:30 Check out... and back on the roads
10:00 This time we know quite a few things about the road... so without any break we are back in Hyderabd at 12:45

While coming back I also cross the first speed barrier and see the speedometer at 80kmph. This was the first trip and it went on very smoothly. Thunderbird is really a very good bike after a 350kms trip the condition of my bike is much better than the CBZ even if it had 2 people on it. The best think I found out was that the bike is steady as a rock. The mileage is very good at around 40kmpl.

Well.. There are a few learnings from this trip....
1: Get out of Hyderabad and hit the highway before 6:30
2: Saddle bags. It is a must.
3: Have water bottles and keep drinking the water
4: Always book the hotel before you reach the destination.

Well that was the the first trip... and I am waiting for the second one.. This one would be the real test. From Hyderabad to Bangalore.... !!!


Meaningful life...

Why the hell are we talking about a meaningful life here ?
I didnt live one, In your eyes, when I was with you...
...and I am not living one either, in my eyes, when I am away from you.


Kinjal - The ugly duckling

The Bhatts used to live opposite to my uncle's "small house" in the chawl in Junagadh...!!

They were Brahmins and used to consider themselves different from others. Each of the member in the family used to compete with each-other in hypocrisy.. They had four children... Avni was the elder one... then Neha, Khanjan and the youngest was Kinjal...

Khanjan used to play with us... He was hypocrisy personified even at the age of 10. He was in 5th standard when I was in 3rd (When we met... ). He always used to brag about his intelligence and the financial position of his family... and we just listened( and hated him )... but he was a friend... cuz nobody was a foe in those days...

I never knew what was special in the Bhatt clan... or in my case the Bhatt children... but they used to show off a lot... Avni was a socialite.. she was clever, quick-witted (all the compliments given by the family itself.. )... and befriended everyone... Neha was a brilliant student ( this was partially true.. becoz no girl in the chawl used to get 50% in any of the exams which Neha did get... they had given a good party when she got 55% in 10th std. ).. Khanjan was the best of them all... He was the most intelligent person in the whole world ( as per the Bhatt family )... Everyone "knew" that he will opt for the Science stream and will become a scientist if not a doctor...

and then came Kinjal.. she had such big eyes that she could have got her name in the guinness book of world records... there was nothing in her, the family could praise about... so they used to ignore her.. even when some get-together was there in the chawl, there was nothing anyone said about Kinjal... she used to sit somewhere and listened what everybody was saying... she was a bit stupid too.. She could never understand what people talked... She somehow managed not to fail when it came to studies... and she was in the same standard as me... u can say she was a "black sheep" or a "lame duck"...

everyone, including her family, knew that Kinjal wont study more.. she will either fail in the 12th which was considered to be very hard or she will somehow manage to pass the 12th standard but wont go beyond that( which wasnt considered that bad in those days in Junagadh.. )

From the 7th standard I became kinjal's classmate.. not in schools but in the tuition where we studied together for 4 loooooooong years... it was a good break for kinjal too.. as she made some friends outside the chawl...

I used to talk often with Kinjal in those days... the reason was simple... she knew the girls in the tuition... and it was becoz of her that some teenage attraction took place... she was never seen as a girl.. I used to ask her about the girls in the class and she used to tell her friends about me... she was the best medium of communication... in terms of service, reliability and security..

Till the 10th standard things continued as they were... Kinjal was still the ugly duckling... Khanjan was in the 12th standard and had joined 5 different tuitions for 5 different subjects... Avni was reappearing for the 12th standard becoz she failed in her 6th attempt but it was okay as she was more of a socialite than a scholar... Neha was in the 1st year of her college and was doing well in her own rights...

I was talking to a girl who was the best student after me in the class thru Kinjal.. and we needed Kinjal in between us so that we could talk with eachother without anybody knowing about it... and as I said Kinjal was the best communication "device"... I used to talk with Kinjal at her home about her.. the excuse we had was that I am helping Kinjal in her studies... and Kinjal used to go to my friend's home to study with her.. this was also an excuse for Kinjal to get details of my girlfriend for me...

Things took a U-turn in the Bhatt family after that... Khanjan failed in 5 subjects in his 12th... the 2 subjects he passed were English and Sanskrit for which nobody went for tuitions... forget about being a doctor or a scientist... the best thing, we thought was that his boasting would stop (which never did... ) ( Khanjan later on.... failed 3 more attempts and joined the 12th standard again in the Commerce stream )... Avni - The socialite had an affair with a person who was of her father's age... whom everybody knew... Neha... had the affair with the same person... and it was hell of a shock for everybody... none of them were allowed to go to college after that incident... and were forced to give exams from the home... i dont remember Neha could ever complete her graduation... and Kinjal.. who studied a bit becoz of her friends got 55 % in the 10th... this time no party was given by the Bhatt family for Kinjal because of the other incidents in the family...

I left Junagadh after my 10th... later on I was still in touch with Kinjal.. she went on to pass her 12th with 60%... and she went on to cross all the barriers and expectation which noone had for her...

In 1999, Kinjal Bhatt was awarded the graduation degree by the Saurashtra Univeristy... She was the first Bhatt to be awarded the same... She never passed with flying colours and never she got any rankings... but her achievements were at par with Einstiens and Newtons...