Things which I adored for recreation are now resonating loudly inside. Why do I feel like staying away from the materialistic things and live in woods? Well, I am not giving upon my social or professional life, at least not yet! It’s just that I couldn’t resist waking up to the golden rays of the rising sun penetrating the not so translucent tent. Crawling out to stand on your tired legs from miles of cycling. It’s the chill of clouds passing beneath you and freshness in the morning chirps. Your pupils constrict to adjust the gigantic landscape – completely absorbed in the aura swinging to the soothing vibes of the dancing waves, in the breeze of the ocean. As some noble soul said, “the core of man’s spirit comes from new experiences”. It’s life in there, experience it.
Sitting in the cockpit with the noise cancellation headphones on, going through the routines of the flight check, radio contact with the tower requesting for clearance to fly, the cockpit of ‘The Piper’s Archer II PA-28-181’ was all set to change our horizons to realize the childhood dream come true.
Pushing the throttle to fuel up the four-cylinder single propeller boxer engine generating a thrust of hundreds of pounds took us to the take off speed before one can realize. “That’s it!!” Yeah, in a moments later we were airborne. Flying at an altitude of 2000 ft over the city, I could recognize the roads I wandered, I could spot the tiny toy like trams I commute in every day and locate the apartments where I welcomed this new year. It wouldn’t have been this exciting unless you are holding the yoke (steering wheel) and cruising at an average speed of 110 knots, which is just over 200kmph of ground speed. It was much more thrilling to roll the plane into the right bank with a gentle rotation of the yoke while drawing the yoke towards the body to pitch the plane, the G effect, more than the adrenaline rush, you get to experience was really something at those cloud kissing altitudes.
It was a breathtakingly different view one gets to see from the top. Things seem to be monotonous all the time unless one tends to add a different dimension to our perspective. experience of flying was one moment I would cherish for quite a long time.
To find yourself at least once, it’s not necessary to be strong but to feel strong.
You know a woman. You’ve loved for lot of years and you know there’s an ocean of story holding her. A silent plead into the air , to walk her through the ocean and get her back to me. She means a world to me. The moment you convey her, she adores you, the next moment you embrace her. Jesus !! your world is bestowed in you, ohh yes it is !!
Do what you do with characteristic moderation , It’s your own re birth
It’s life out there in the wild .. experience it. Go out explore , being curious is a healthy symptom. Every drawer you draw will end up you discovering something sweet .The radical changes we dare to seek traps us onto a never ending routine not letting us try anything new. The core of mans spirit comes from new experiences , we need to the change the way we look at our experiences and sharing them. The bliss you find in those moments, happiness is in everything. It is real when shared.
The quest of doing something crazy, something adventurous to fill the soul brought me to pen down this amazing experience from my recent endeavors. My plan to visit Jammu and Kashmir and experience the snowy picturesque views of high altitudes has always been a top entity on my bucket list.
It was over two months back when I registered myself for an adventure camp in Sanasar, Jammu. Its D day. A long wait of 60 days for the scheduled departure day has come to an end. Speaking my heart, I was oscillating from nervous end to anxious end. Nervous for the fact that this trip is first of its kind for me as nothing was planned but for the travel tickets and yes, I was anxious about the surprise element considering what Jammu has stored in for a solo traveler. I was just sure about the travel itinerary from Mumbai to Jammu and back to Mumbai. It was totally an unplanned and unorganized trip, I wasn’t sure where I am going to camp etc, etc.
As I was waiting for the boarding procedures to commence, I could hear some of the charters of my fellow passengers about the circumstances in Vaishno Devi. Vaishno Devi was the first in the list of places to visit once I reach Jammu. “Its 1 degree Celsius on the cliff”, “and the there are reports of the snow fall” is what I got to learn from them. In a short while I was air borne to Jammu, my longest floating journey so far. Accommodating myself in a window seat in a flight heading to one of the beautiful hilly places on earth is a bliss. The breathtaking aerial view over the widely spread gigantic green fields of Ludhiana
Gigantic fields of Ludhiana .. radiating from the small villages as islands in the ocean of fields
and eye treating valleys of Jammu jeweled with tiny rivulets was indeed a cool welcoming gesture.
Jammu airport as evident from the first look is definitely is an army regulated airport. Thanks to the Air Crash Investigation series, I could understand the spiral pattern of landing instead of a conventional slow descent. Once I am out of the airport my journey to Vaishno Devi temple started. One need to start the ascent from the base called KATRA.
It’s a small base camp, (basically a small commercial town), for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi. For a healthy guy it usually takes over 4-5 hours to reach the summit point with a minimal rest time.
My ascent to the top, amidst the horses carrying pilgrims, pittu walas (hired porters) took over 4 hours.
On the way to Vaishnodevi from Katra
Remnants of the snow on the sides of the road heading to the temple was a weather report for a first time traveler heading to experience the chills of the Jammu snow peaks. Following the sign boards I got myself a place where I can deposit my luggage including shoes and cell phone. The moment I took off my socks and rested my bare foot on the floor, I was struck with the freezing cold bolt, penetrating at a lightning speed from the bottom of my feet to the perceptive lobes of the brain. Just imagining the duration and the long walk I need to take on the stone cold floor for the Vaishno Devi Darshan, I was on the verge of rolling out my tears. I badly wanted to freak out loud, very loud. These extreme conditions were making it very difficult to hold my usual gait. The only way to get over this 45 min walk was to complete the darshan and come back to the locker and wear my shoes. As I started walking down the aisle, the wet pavement was adding to the chills as if someone is peeling off my skin. All of this pain and agony I have been through paid off as a blessing when I met Arman and Dolly at the cloak room. I am all set to explore the rest of the Jammu with these guys and it turned into one of the best moments with these guys. I guess this experience would be something I cannot put in words. It is definitely something one need to experience in lifetime.
One aspect that really awe me from the list of few things that made me really happy was good food.
A TASTY GOOD FOOD
One can always get good food at home. But the question is, what about the taste you’ve never savored? That’s something one need to address their souls. The appeal in a well garnished mouthwatering delicacy, the pleasing aroma triggering a surge of appetite, an overwhelming feel of the first bite of the very same food takes you into a state of euphoria. This is what a good food can do to you.
A happy tummy, a happy soul.
This very feel triggered my pursuit to be the best buddy to my taste buds. A recreation not just to experience the taste but also to feel the ambience of various food joints of all classes.
Of late this virtue of mine turned into a potential endeavor. A source to learn about food cultures of various demographics and to understand the secrets of the incredible combination of the spices inculcated to create a bowl filled with art. May it be the delicious Konkan dishes or the unbelievably smooth Mamosa of the eastern Himalayas. May it be the Hyderabadi dum biryani or the Punjabi Rajma masala. This concept of exploring food joints in itself is a beauty. A dinner as a celebrity at a star hotel, a well deserved treat to the absolute you who have earned every bite of the sumptuous dinner. A mark of being successful. While the magic of street food always signifies the importance of being grounded no matter how successful you are, adds a spicy essence to the life.
When someone enters your life, they have a purpose to live in your life. It is so destined that you meet that someone at the right time ⏰ at the right place.We cross each other’s path many a time, yet, never realize that a seed has already been sown to grow, to be nurtured when it is bound to.
A blessed bliss when that someone turns as crazy as you and only havean absoluteyes for whatever planyou propose 🤩. This light showersupon as astronglending hand to pull outfromthe bluesof daily routine and presentto ushow the coming days are illuminated.
As we embrace this change,whileideas exchange, we learn that we are in the same sail⛵️cruising nowhere. Fiction 📖 turnsinto a naïve experience aspages of a great creation turned from one to two, to three, to 200 hundredand so on,taking us into a Trans,aTransof being lost in the magic of words which narratea lifeof Immortal inMeluhaas if it’s happening all around.
A strong belief which beholds the secret–To FillTheStriving Soul, Travel –isthe mantra to nurture what has been sowed over years ago.To live a short, but many happy moments.This is it. This is the call set out loud 🔊 to listen andtoembrace.A never ending bucket list enthrall the lively company every moment.Many miles to fly👣 with, manymemories tocapture.
Just five minutes, 🕖 I said to myself, please, just five more minutes, not willing to leave the bed and the pillow I held while sleeping 😴 , I woke up. I woke up to realise it’s already been fifteen minutes since I bargained myself for those world’s most precious five minutes of sleep. God I wish I could sleep for some more time. 💤
Recollecting what’s scheduled for todays work in the laboratory and ponding on what I missed yesterday, I have to race against time 🏃♂️. A never ending race to complete my daily morning routines, right from brushing to catching the office bus 🚌 just drains me off before the day commences.
A deep breath while taking off the office bag and leaning over the seat is such a relaxation. Above all finding myself in a window seat is such a treat. All of the morning rush is worthwhile only for this moment.
As the bus cruises 🚍 on the road between two huge mountains ⛰⛰ embraced with a dark clouds 🌩🌩🌧🌧over their peaks, as the blow of wind rushing through the window makes your hair flow with it as my playlist hits my favourite number, I am lost, lost within myself. Let this moment be forever, let this feeling of being lost be forever, let this peace be eternal 🧞♂️🧚🏼♂️
There’s life in smallest of the moments we live in. These are the healing moments for a heavy heart ❣. Life is too short. One of my friend said “Life will never satisfy you with all your needs, u need to fight for them .” Life is full of moments, live them to make the best out of them.
This small moment of my daily routine would always be the best part of my day with myself.
Have you ever thought, how someone just enters your life and sweeps you off your feet and stay for lifetime ? Why does one leave us in no man land and never return ?
Why we meet a stranger who later turns into closest friend?
I feel there’s always a strong purpose when someone enters our life. It’s our destiny that brings someone closer to us. Every individual is built with experiences and the situations around them. Every moment we spent with them would mould us into a better person, stronger enough to face bigger problems with ease in the future. They share their pages of life and leave a note of great learning experience in our diary.
Perhaps, meeting someone, leads us to to experience the best moments. A friend of great character would reshape us to discover ourself and explore the new horizons of life. They are the best that happens to you.
Two years back I welcomed MTB 🚲 into my family.I bought my first bicycle. Since that time, I have always fantasised riding on it to Pune. While the plan of this ride was on my mind, I met a guy – Rahul Dhali, in inaugural ceremony of cycling club, our Palava Cycling Club. Within our five minutes of interaction I understood that this guy also harbours the same plan. Very soon our plan of cycling to Pune was in action. Without any prior experience of long rides and without proper gears, like toddlers we started our first century 💯 ride. Our zeal to fill the desire of cycling 125 km stretch to pune was the only factor driving us all along.
Sunrise 🌅 point at Khandala
We started our ride early in the morning. Our ride was smooth till Khopoli, a village 60 km away from our start point and lies in the middle of the route to Pune. It is from this village that Bhor ghat commences and extends till Khandala. Being unaware of the topography we were riding in, elevation of the bhor ghat⛰ came as a surprise for us. It took us 3.5-4 hours to climb 🚵🏻♂️to the top of the 9 km stretch. While we pedaled the way, we had only one thing running in our mind, elevation is always followed by a slope and it will be fun and relaxing as well. But to our surprise entire stretch after Lonavala is a plain rolling terrain. Sun scorching at its best and with more than 50 km to ride we were drained out completely. Going back was never an option. It was only our strong will, that made us cycle the difficult stretch and took us to Pune. We returned to Mumbai in bus. That was a hell of ride with loads of learning experience which I am sure will never fade away from our cycling diaries.
There’s always been a dissatisfaction associated with that ride.We could not ride back! This feeling was uncomfortable and left us with a desire to do it again. Two years later we started pedalling again to Pune ,but this time in a better shape and an improved stamina and with better bicycles. This time it wasn’t a leisure ride. This was a part of Cycle2Work – to attend a photoshoot session.
With a backpack 🎒loaded with 📷a Professional cam, Water bottles, food and other cycling stuff we could manage to cross bhor ghat in 1hour 06 minutes and reached Pune within 7 hours. We beat our own timing by 4 hours. 😮 wow … that was a relief .. we were happy with our performance. After the photoshoot there in Pune, we had a chance to rest for some good time to get back on to the saddle on next day at 3:30 a.m.
Though we were tired, we started our ride at a low pace. We gained our speed as we entered NH4, the old highway and could maintain that momentum through out our journey.
In three hours we were at the sunset point of Khandala, our halt point. From then with an average speed of over 24 kmph and riding time of 5 hours 40 minutes we reached Palava at 9:30 am after riding 125 km.
We pushed ourselves,
We challenged ourselves,
We served our desire,
We filled our souls with this 250km of cycling saga in two consecutive days which was once an almost impossible distance.
The complete trip left us exhuberant! The feeling of achievement has been a powerful motivation.
Note: Rahul Dhali, is now one of my greatest friend. His cheerful personality and sportsmanship allowed us to roam around in the streets of Mumbai covering distance of 162km on a single night ride. Our longest ride so far on a single night.
Embracing a minutes old baby, a baby with nascent eyes, tender skin, tiny fingers, enwrapped in a warm soft cloth, watching a godly crescent smile on their face , I bet it would be the best feeling in the world. You are on cloud nine when you are blessed as a father or as a mother to have the new born in your lap. You make promises to yourselves to keep them safe .. to shower them with world of love .. to raise them with utmost care. Time moves on, days turns into months and months into years.
Every word u say, the way you say –
They observe, then imitate.
They listen, then learn.
They feel ,they remember.
They receive, then respond.
They perceive , they mould.
They are your reflection!
They are what you are !
Dear parent, you are a father today, tomorrow he will be! You are a mother today, tomorrow she will be! They hold your hand, to hold you tomorrow. Down the lane, your today’s approach towards an issue will be their formula to deal with life. Your kids are very receptive of what you are today. Remember our words can make or break these naive beings.