Posts Tagged With: Dhaba

Ride to Be a Content Writer- Jamshedpur to Mumbai (1,900km +) Day 3

Date: 28th August 2012
2nd Lap: Raipur-Nagpur-Amravati (500km approx.)
Start: 08:00am
Halt: 11:00pm

Glitch in Clutch

The night went fine on a very comfortable bed with no mosquitos to bother me dreaming the roads and the destinations. It was 6:40am and everybody else was sleeping peacefully. It was easy to wake Rahul up for he is absolutely punctual so he was already awake and waiting for me to be up. He told me that it would take only 30 minutes for him to get ready and prepare a cup of coffee for us. I started packing and finally getting ready. It was already 7:30am now. I was anxious to start as I wanted to reach to the Lonar lake and explore it a bit before going any further. By the time I was done with my packing, another roommate of Rahul came back from his home. He was surprised to know that I rode down to Raipur from Jamshedpur and still have to reach Mumbai. Nothing new for me.

Both of us in front of Rahul’s house!

After a cup of coffee and few photos, we started at 8:00am, our first destination was a petrol pump where I was to pack fuel in all the three (tank and two Jerricans). Fueling done promptly and we sat beside the main crossroad to have a quick breakfast of ‘MeduVada’ for me and ‘Sambhar-Idli’ for Rahul. I called my friends and told them that in 30 minutes I would start off from Raipur.

Chinese stall serving us south Indian delicacies

Rahul having Idlis

My Favorite Medu-Vada in Sambhar!

Disaster struck…
My Nokia slipped off my hand and dropped straight into the Sambhar left in the plate of the ‘Medu Vada’ I just had. I picked it up and washed it off with water before removing the battery and sim-card from it, to wipe it dry. The HTC Wildfire Smartphone that I got repaired last year, was not working properly either. Hence, I had to borrow Rahul’s phone and call Sagar, our common friend from Initiatives of Change (MRA) who was to host me at his place in Ahmadnagar and my very close friend Nisha who was the manager of my road trip, keeping a check on my whereabouts (Very Important Task).

It was time now, I had to repack my tank bag and commence the ride when the owner of the small snack stall where we just had our breakfast asked curiously;
Gaadi mein kya laada hai sahab? (What have you packed in the vehicle, sir?)
Kahan se aa rahe ho? (Where are you coming from?)
Kahan jaaoge? (Where are you going?)
The answers were simple and easy for me to give but very complex for them or anyone to understand. I left both the husband-wife duo in utter disbelief and hugged Rahul before kicking my babe to roaring life.

A little dry to rest on the way!

It was 9:00am and the sun was already up and the weather was dry. Perfect for riding but only for the next 20km or so, after which it drizzled all the way till Nagpur. This made my 300km long distance from Raipur to Nagpur a rain drenched experience to my boxer’s final layers. It costed me the time as well, since part of the road were excellently built that if a big vehicle running at 80kph would break 20 meters behind me, it would definitely hit me because the roads were slippery now. Moreover, it was not easy for me to do even a 60kph on that road.

65km before Nagpur was Bhandara, where a dear old friend of mine from the IofC stays with his wife and parents. I met him on my 10k return ride last year and the entire family wanted me to stay back for the day. While crossing the river after the city I could see the alley to his home, but I didn’t go since I knew I could not say no this time if they would insist me to stay back. The camera pouch or the ‘Man-Purse’ as my friends call it, is gifted by Sonu and his wife, which has come very handy through all my trips. The evening has set in by the time I crossed the river and I had to continue as the need to reach the destination within the designated time frame was a necessity in such a bad weather.

10km before entering Nagpur the roads were broken and had multiple water filled potholes, which made my riding pace further slow. I stopped before the main highway flyover to ask for directions towards Lonar Lake via Wardha. That was the route, which I took last year to get myself back home from Ahamadnagar.The cops on the road gave me directions but I thought, lets cross through Nagpur street and halt at Akola as it was already 5:00pm. I crossed the main town and was about to make an exit when the clutch went free. So no clutch grip, no gear shift, and no gear shift, no movement or acceleration.

I had to find a bullet mechanic. I found one just 500 meters away from the main road where I had trouble with the clutching. I would still be looking for the exact directions to the mechanic’s garage, if only a middle aged gentleman would not have escorted me straight to the former. It was a relief to see a full fledged Bullet garage run by a young man. After we got into conversation, I learnt that this guy went for almost all the Rider-Mania organized by the local clubs across India. He has been to Kolkata as well. To top everything off, he let me have a word with Anukaran Singh of Nagpur Bullet Club as well. A fellow rider whom I was suppose to meet last year but couldn’t because he was in North India doing some photo-shoots. This time, it was a short notice.

I called another friend of Initiaves of Change who promptly came down to meet me within 30 minutes. One does make a few friends for life at this magical place in Panchgani. It was good to meet him and catch up on old times. He took me to the shop from where I bought a fresh pair of rain-coat as the previous ones were completely torn so I had to dump them on the very first day. Bless the red-oxide of Jharkhand-Orissa iron-ore mines. The mechanic fixed the glitch in the clutch assembly and aligned everything necessary on my babe. However, as everything took a lot of time, so I though it to be a better option if I manage myself till Amravati and halt there for the night. This would shorten my distance to Ahmadnagar and maybe the next day I can check out the Lonar lake, even for a short while, but I may just be able to visit and take few shots with my point & shoot.

By 6:30pm all was set and it took me another 30 minutes to get out of Nagpur. It was already dark by 7:00pm and I was still in a mindset to reach Akola so the distance be covered and the Lonar Lake be visited with a good time at my disposal. At 9:00 I saw a quite Dhaba and rode right to their kitchen area on my babe to ask them if they can cook Rotis and Scrambled Eggs, it was an affirmative. It took me less than a minute to put my babe on her main stand and get myself comfortable on a ‘Khatiya.’ First came a huge glass of water then the plates and then the question;

Sa’ab, kahan jaa rahe ho? (Where are you headed to, Sir?)

Mumbai. A one word answer to their first question.

Kahan se aa rahe ho? (Where are you coming from?) The second most anticipated question to follow the answer of the first most common question by a curious onlooker.

Jamshedpur. Here I wait to observe the expression of shock on the face of the inquisitor and trust me you, it’s a very pleasant and funny sight to witness.

Itni dur se! Is pe? Akele? (Such a distance! On this? Alone?) Well that’s what one gets to hear in India when they are riding long distance alone, on a motorbike.

Right then the police came in their patrolling vehicle to the Dhaba, they saw me and looked at the owner of the establishment who was still stunned to know from where I was coming from. The incharge of the team came next to me, I looked at him and as usual he asked me in a very rude tone (they all do it in order to inhibited you);

Kaun hai? Kahan se aa raha hai? Gaadi mein kya hai? (Who are you? Where are you coming from? What’s in the luggage?) Pretty obvious question. I looked at him silently and indicated him to have a seat. He reluctantly sat, after which I asked the owner of the Dhaba;

Sirji aur bhaiyon ke liye roti-shoti lagao! (Arrange dinner for the bretherens.) The incharge hesitantly asked now, in a much lower and amicable tone.

Aap army se ho? (Are you from the Army?) This question reminded me of the two Army men and one Airforce Piolet I met last year on my way to Leh. I looked at him, smiled and asked.

Aas paas Army ka koi camp hai? Mujhe raat ko rukna hai? (Is there any army cantonment nearby, I need to make an overnight stay.) Now he was intimidated by me. I apologize to my Army brethren for using their influence but then it is a fact that any daredevil act done by someone is considered to be an army man. He was very uncomfortable by now and said;

Yahan to koi nahin hai, Amrawati bas 20km door hai, wahan aapko hotel mil jaayega. (There is no army cantonment nearby, but Amravati is 20km away from here, you will find a hotel there for lodging.) By then I finished my dinner and paid the owner.

Hmmm… abhi neend to aa rahi hai mujhe, chalo thane, wahin lockup mein need poori kar lunga mein fir kal subeh aage bad jaaunga. (Let’s go to the police station, I am feeling very sleepy so I would spend the night in the lockup and would push off tomorrow.) This statement spooked him, a young army man (supposedly) wishing to spend his night in the police lockup because he is feeling sleepy is something these police men would have never thought of.

Are nahin sahab, aap jawan ho, aap aram se pahunch jaaoge Amaravati, accha sa room le ke ruk jaana, kyun maccharon ke saath raat guzarana chahte ho? (Let it be sir, you are young, you can make it to Amravati easily. Take a good room and stay there for the night. Why do you wish to spend the night with the mosquitos?) He was very apprehensive to even stay there anymore as I was just clinging to him for the night halt.

Thik se jaana aap. Hum chalte hain! (Safe journey, we shall make a move now.) And these police man ran away as if I would feast on their blood that night.

Anyway, I got into my riding gear and rode ahead when I found a huge Dhaba beside the road. I stopped a few meters ahead of it and walked back after putting my babe on her side stand. There was an old man, I asked him if I could spend the night there.

Humare yahan beechona nahin hai. (We don’t have any bedding.) He said.

Mere paas hai, mujhe sirf sone ki jageh chahiye. (I have my own bedding, all I need is a place to sleep.) I answered.

Aap army wale ho? (Are you from the army.) His first question.

Nahin, mein ek writer hun. (No, I am a writer.) For the first time in the entire trip I gave my real profession.

Aap aage dekh lo, humare yahan jageh nahin hai. (Look ahead for shelter, we don’t have any place.) He exclaimed.

Wow! As long as I pretend to be an army man, all the respect and charity is offered, the moment my profession changes, I am no one. Hats off to the Indian Army for their courage and reputation. I had to ride on to Amravati now since I already made up my mind to stay back in Amravati. At 9:40pm I reached the spot where one road was going towards the Amravati city while the straight highway would have led me to Akola, my heart was persuading me to ride towards Akola while my head and body were telling me to make a night halt at Amravati. Logic prevailed and the bullet turned towards the city, the street was deserted and empty at 10:00pm when I saw a boy winding up his shop beside the road. On questioning about the hotels for the night stay, he directed me straight towards the city and asked;

Aap Army se ho? (Are you from Army?) This is a common question I come across, yes Indian Army is among the top best military forces of the world and it would be a matter of honor for me to be a part of it, but unfortunately it is not so. Hence, I smiled in reciprocation and he smiled back at me, it seems he was assured of my positive credentials even whilst my face was covered with a Balaclava and only my eyes were visible. I moved ahead

Hence, by night 10:30pm I was looking for a descent and affordable room for the night. It would be just 500km to Sagar’s home with a short trip to Lonar lake from the heart of Amravati in the morning. Bless the guards at the ATM machine counters at night, they guided me well enough to find a good hotel in a very quiet corner of the town that gave me an entire garage to park my babe without being worried about the rain or thieves to plunder my belongings loaded on her. The room was huge and the adjacent washroom was bigger. I took my time taking a shower and cleaning my stuff as the checkout timing was at 12 noon, so I was relaxed.

Perfect room for the night!

The bed sheets were white and there was a television and a water cooler so few of the things, which were wet because of the rain could dry by morning if I put them right on the way of the wind blown by the water cooler’s fan. My night could have been more adventures if that policeman wouldn’t be so apprehensive to host me in his police station’s lockup. But no complaints when I am in a room for the night that is worth INR350 only. One last thing was to be done, get in touch with my manager Nisha and let her know my whereabouts so I logged into my Acer Netbook with the MTS Blaze net-dongle and found her over the Gtalk. She was relieved to know that I found a place for the night and the next morning she was to inform Sagar about my arrival.

All done for the day, a goodnight sleep commenced at 12:00am!

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Ride to Be a Content Writer- Jamshedpur to Mumbai (1,900km +) Day 4

Date: 29th August 2012
2nd Lap: Amravati-Murtuzapur-Karanja-Washim-Mehkar-Jalna-Paithan-Shevgaon-Ahmednagar(500km approx.)
Start: 07:00am
Halt: 12:00am

Most Ridiculous Choice of Route

Perfect bed, perfect sleep, beautiful sunny morning…
I realized all of this at precisely 6:00am when I opened my eyes to the noise outside my room, it was the busy street beside the hotel. I had few minutes to wind up all my stuff and make a hasty move towards my favorite stoppage of the entire road-trip; Lonar Lake.

Lonar Crater lake

Lonar Lake is a salinesoda lake located at Lonar in Buldana district, Maharashtra, India, which was created by a meteor impact during the PleistoceneEpoch. This lake, which lies in a basaltimpact structure, is both saline and alkaline in nature. Geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, naturalists and astronomers have reported several studies on the various aspects of this crater lake ecosystem. Lonar Lake has a mean diameter of 1.2 kilometres (3,900 ft) and is about 137 metres (449 ft) below the crater rim. The meteor crater rim is about 1.8 kilometres (5,900 ft) in diameter. The circular depression bears a saline water lake in its central portion. The crater’s age is usually estimated to be 52,000 ± 6,000 years (Pleistocene), although a study published in 2010 gives an age of 656,000 ± 81,000 years. [Source]

So keeping that in my mind I packed all the things scattered in my room and checked every corner, if I was missed something from packing. Well, all was in and it was time to checkout from the hotel and be on the road, I called the bell-boy and asked him to help me with my stuff, he eagerly carried all my stuff to the reception area and then brought the register for me to sign. I did that and he gave me the rest of the money which was with him for the night. It took me less than 30 minutes to get things on my Bullet and ride out of the narrow ally of the hotel.

Once on the road towards Murtuzapur I was relieved as it would not take more than three hours for me to reach the lake, when all of a sudden she coughed and halted. Petrol was finished, it was time for the fuel in the jerrycans to be put in good use so a total of 7 liters of petrol went in the tank but she refused to start. A bit of concern lingered in my head for the first time as she already did more than 1,000km and thus, the spark-plug could have gone with all those pulling in the mud on the very first day. To top everything off, the spark-plug spanner wasn’t in the tool kit. Stupid of me, very stupid of me. She needed a little pushing till a Samosa making road side vendor. I asked him if there is a motorcycle mechanic around, he answered in an affirmative tone but the shop would be opening by 10:00am. Two hours to kill in the drizzling rain, drink tea and sing lullaby.

Tea, Samosa, some more tea and a little bit of Bhajiya.
This is how the time was being killed when I was getting phone calls from Sagar and Nisha about my location. The former understood my situation but the latter was furious, little did she know what all practical problems one has to face being on a lone long road-trip.
10:20am and the mechanic is here, I treated him lavishly with tea and Samosa after which he lend me the spanner. The spark-plug was gone so I replaced it with a fresh piece. She was alive and roaring as before. I bid farewell to both the Samosa vendor and the mechanic and rode ahead on the Akola route looking for a petrol pump on the highway to fill up the empty jerrycans.

It took less than 20 minutes for us to reach the highway that was partially broken at places. However, it was a fun ride as the sun wasn’t out and there was no rain but just a pleasant weather. There was a petrol pump where refueling could be done with a credit card.

Save paper, use plastic!!!

Trouble still looming on my head, the card somehow didn’t work and the transaction was declined so I used the cash that I had. Fuel worth INR1400 in tank and jerrycans. Time for us to proceed but as always, now I was considering a change in route, go via Akola and skip Lonar. Soon it became clear to me that when the rider is a vagabond like me, then the path selects his journey while destination and time is imperative; it’s just the experience that matters henceforth.

Right before Murtuzapur a road was going off the highway towards south, that was the way to Lonar. I stopped at the mile stone that read “Akola-80Km” but we had to get on the the second worst part of our journey so taking a U-turn I rode down to that narrow road. It had green fields all around and yet it was very barren. A rare and different kind of barren. I rode for couple of hours towards Karanja and stopped on the way to take few snaps. It was beautiful green…

Self Shot!

Reaching Karanja wasn’t difficult nor continuing till Washim from where I was directed towards Mehkar. The trouble started here when the locals told me that the nearest route to Lonar is completely packed with mud and water. At 2:00pm it wasn’t a good idea at all to further jeopardize my babe into situations like these and delay my approach to Ahemadnagar. The head and heart suggested a straight ride to Jalna and visit my favorite green tunnel of all before moving ahead. The narrow roads were good till this particular spot where I spent a good long hour just admiring the greenery of this particular spot. I call it the Green Tunnel of Jalna.

Green Tunnel of Jalna

This is the spot amidst the complete trip that is the most greenest way of all. Although the north Orissa jungle was absolutely green and the Sahyadri ghats after Pune will be mesmerizing in this time of raining bliss of a sight but this place will always hold a very special place in my heart and anyone’s lens. It took me a while to get a perfect shot of the empty road as a lot of vehicles were moving and so were the people. After that exclusive shot was done it was time for my babe to get some love from the camera and so she was captured nicely with an incoming truck towards her.

 

 

 

This is yet another shot that I would consider nice on this stretch as this middle aged man stays in a near by village and walks every day through this tunnel. When I asked him how does he feels about this spot whenever he passes beneath these big trees. He smiled and didn’t say a word but just waived at me when he reached to the other end of the tunnel. People and their lives, a very mysterious and mesmerizing things to explore.

 

 

 

Finally after a good bunch of shots being taken it was time for me to have a little quite time with the nature at its best. This was a small canal like structure that carried the rain water to the grain fields. Water was very clean and the shadow of the tree on them was very clear with a little distortion once in a while, for the wind at times made little ripples.

 

 

 

 

After checking the cargo on my Bullet it was very obvious move towards Aurangbad from where it would be less than two hours to Sagar’s place. But yet again, the path pulled this vagabond rider towards itself and we were off to Ambad and not Aurangabad. The surrounding was very strange, as if the entire populace residing beside the road would come and rip me off to eat me alive, though there was no hostility around me neither I stopped anywhere.

From a series of turns and crossroads I managed to make my way to Paithan after which the whole atmosphere was blue and black. It was because of the surroundings and perhaps the deserted road where everybody who passed by me looked at me in disbelief as if I am riding towards an oblivion. In a matter of half an hour I found out, why everybody was starring at me.


It was already pretty late for someone or anyone to pass through that spooky road. With me, it’s was a fine blend of danger and adventure.

 

 

 

 

 

While I was shooting in that deserted area, I saw a pair of headlights approaching me at a very moderate speed. I thought to myself, it has to be a public transport vehicle. It was a trekker, a four-wheeler soft top vehicle that is mostly used in the rural areas to ferry passenger within a short distance. They were four men, they stopped, starred and when I asked;

“Army cantonment kitna dur hai?” (How far is army cantonment?) They immediately drove away. Thugs I suppose!

 

 

 

 

 

It was getting darker and a lot of distance was yet to be covered. With no one visible on the dark blue road, my cell-phone had no network as well. Better to move than be answerable to Sagar and Nisha.

 

 

 
Via Shegaon reaching Pathkardi was indeed the most broken road of my fourth day of the ride. This road coasted me a lot of time and multiple wear & tear on the carrier, which I was to discover the next day. It was 9:30pm when i called Sagar from Tisgaon and he laughed so much that his stomach hurted. He told me that I would reach his place by midnight. I made a call to Nisha as well and let her know about my current location and conversation with Sagar. She was relieved to hear that I almost reached my Ahemadnagar.

It wasn’t more than 80Km that i was to cover, but with a tiered body and night riding ahead, it was a wise move to ride with ease. Till Tisgaon the ride was managed somehow, after which a break of 5 minutes to stretch and wash my face became mandatory in every 45 minutes. 15Km before Ahemadnagar I stopped for a cup of tea at a restaurant and this delayed me by 30 minutes. This small 15 minute break saved me from a lot of hassle because I was to ride through the hills now, to get into the town. It was close to full-moon so the outline of the hills were visible. What didn’t make sense to me when I was reaching to the destination was the many red bippers atop the hills. Yes, they belonged to the toweres but why so many mobile connectivity signal towers in a very far off location from the city?

It was wind-mill, as far as my sight would go in that moonlit night, all I could see was the wind-mills. My phone was ringing and the city of the largest Tank manufacturer depot of the Indian army was right in front of me. It was Sagar, he was worried. I told him that it would take me only 15-20 minutes to reach his place. He asked me to give him a call once I have entered the limits of the city. I said yes and pulled out my Lumix to take a shot of the city.

Beautiful in moonlit night, in 20 minutes I was on the main street of Ahemadnagar calling Sagar to come and guide me to his place at around 12:20am. He rode down on his new racing bike. And we were at his place in less than 10 minutes. His wife was very kind to cook some really delicious food and wait for me to come down. Sagar being a brother to me waited throughout, so we can have dinner together. The dinner was the best and the first home cooked meal after I left Jamshedpur.

2:00am, light off!!!

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