October 13, 2007

...butt shaking back breaking ride to Bhimashankar...

Wednesday evening i sit in the office after work and prepare a ride plan... mail everyone the ride plan so that they get the feel of the coming ride... guess what! a call from arun saying dhanajay was in town without his AMD powered pulsar...
a sinking feeling of the ride getting cancelled creeps in my mind... and the fears are confirmed by another call from mohit..

Day 1:
its friday and i start thinking hey its a long time that i have gone for a ride.. and Bhimshankar has been on my mind for a long time..
the itching starts to increase as the day goes by.. i start thinking of some alternative for a day ride so that everybody else can join..
but Almighty had different plans..He wanted me to give Him a visit.. and i an idea flashes across the mind.. how abt riding to pune on friday night! stay at uncles place for the night and start for the ride to bhimashankar the next day!! sounds great.. give it a try.. dial -- home -- dad on the other side.. explain him my plan and .......silence....hesitation.....but i get a Yes.... ask my boss if i could leave early..get a nod.. reason -- pune with family :) On the way i pickup glares for night as the new helmet has a mercury coated visor..
Reach home at 4.45pm.. start packing my stuff into the sack.. get a bottle of juice to give me company through the ride..
Start from matunga at 5.15pm.. its pretty sunny so far..Think that i may be able to get to the ghats before the sunset.. blunder at calculating the timing..
Reach Panvel at 6.30 and the sun is already set..take the panvel bypass...decide to quench my thirst as well as my bikes and fill up petrol at a reliance petrol pump at the bypass..wait for around 10 mins before i start for the journey again..

the sun is already behind the hills... just the orange tinge in the sky making the sky look like it was blushing..
Start from Panvel and reach Khopoli..take a pit stop to inform home that the ride is going safe and have reached the start of the ghat..it was dark by now.. the clock might be around 7 with no sign of the orange or red .. it was black sky..
Start the ascend of the ghat with a biker in front of me on a pulsar and a biker with a pillion behind me on a TVS star..
i think to myself.. boon or bane.. none at the end as they stop just at the start of the ascend to have a sutta at the corner shop..
go ahead alone with only the sound of the engine revving.. gears changing.. the ghat is done without any incidents so is the remaining ride till Chinchwad..my pitstop for the night.. reach there at 8.30pm.

Day 2

Alarm rings- its 5.30 am in the morning... get ready as fast as i can to leave for Bhimashankar..
There are 2 routes that we can take if travelling from Chinchwad.. One goes through the city and out to the NH50 and the other is the NH4 till the Nashik phata..
i chose the NH4 as i did not want to get lost in the city maze...
Start from home at around 6.15am and go to a bunk on NH4.. its closed.. but i have fuel which can take my around 80kms.. so no worries...
Start the ride on the newly laid road of concrete..am doing some 80kmph and miss a lane to get to the flyover...thinking nothing i brake.. and a SCREEEECH!!!! i get to hear some @%#@ early in the morning.. i say sorry to the Toyota Qualis driver and start my ride with more concentration this time...
reach the next fuel bunk on the NH50.. around 20kms from home.. closed.. i reached too early they said.. these bunks open at 7am..
NH50 is a great highway to ride on.. its a four laner just like NH4 but with more and huge trucks..
stop to take some snaps of the NH50..

Back on the pulz to ride to the destination ..The sun was getting hotter as the time passed by and the needle was starting to tilt.. The next bunk i see was on the opposite site of the road.. being the 1st time on that road dint know if there will be any bunks nearby.. so decided to take a u-turn and entered the gas station.. NO PETROL said the truck driver standing there.. a bit disappointed i left the bunk but asked the driver if there were any pumps ahead.. and he replied.."bahut saare".. The next bunk and i quench the thirst..
Forgot to mention that there are two roads that lead to Bhimashankar from NH50.. one diverts from Rajgurunagar and goes through a secluded area of Chas and Wada.. and the other about 10 kms longer diverts from Manchar..

Asked the petrol pump dealer which was better... he said if you go through Chas and Wada there is little chance of getting any help if anything goes wrong... but manchar road condition is also better and has more vehicles towing the road so chance of getting help is much much better...
being alone i decide to ride the 10 kms.. which turn out to be around 18-20 kms.. but that was fine..

Ride for sometime on the straight road and see a board telling me that i was about to ascend a ghat. Khed ghat.. stop to take snaps here as well as a butt break.. Some distance travelling on under the hot sun at around 7.30am.. i reach a spot with a small dam built to restrict water.. It was just awesome and jaw dropping to see the scenery all around.. with little mountains surrounding the place it felt like i was standing in seventh heaven..
i stop at the side of the road looking for some place to get down to water...on the right of me is a hilly region where the Villagers herd theire sheeps and cattle.. i wave to the gaavala pavna..and ask him if there is a place to go down...very happily he shows me the directions to the water.. asked him the name of the village .. heard .. Pohe.. which later turned out to be Dohe..
Wave him off to the water and take some snaps..
This scenic beauty was the start of Pokhari ghat..ahh..not out of pleasure but the pain..Apt to its name .. the pokhari ghat is all Pokharlela (pokharlela = dug up in marathi).. its not exactly dug up but its like moon with all craters on the surface with some road smooth..the ghat is of approx 8-10kms..The ride through this ghat drained me out completely.. the butt was totally shaken and by back nearly broken..
The road after Pokhari ghat was even worse.. There is a 2 kms of patch on the road where there are only ROCKS.. supposedly forgotten to lay the tarmac on that.. I would have been a great classical singer had i rode sometime more on that road..
fortunately the rocks led to the smoothest road that i travelled.. and lead to the jungle of Bhimashankar.. The 1st sign board said.."Drive Cautiously We are passing by"..WE=Leopard, Barking Deer,Bear..etc..Amazed to see such a thing..
i was about 30 kms from Bhimshankar at around 8.15am.. had covered approx 100 kms in 2 hours..The remaining 30kms took me an hour and 15 mins to complete..This is how much the road was bad..
Reached Bhimashankar at9.30am.. took some snaps.. decided not to do some daring stunts to check out Gupt Bhimashankar and head back to Pune at 11am reached safely through the two ghats at 2pm for lunch..

July 29, 2007

Solo ride to Karnala..

Decided to start at 5.30 in the morning today..meet Mohit Arun at Vashi and go ahead to Karnala..
Got up at 5.00am..n all i was able to hear was the noise that the rain was making on the roof top.. it was raining really hard.. n i was not able to understand how long it was raining.. so called up Mohit and we decided to drop the plan as we had to be back by 10.00am..

but i wasn't happy canceling the ride.. i was so excited to ride that road.. i got up at 11.00am.. and decided to start for the ride alone at 12.30pm..
as i go down to start my bike so did the rain.. it was as heavy as it could be.. so i stopped for a while but the rain Gods had a different idea i suppose..

started my ride in the rain.. It was around 12.50pm then..
i was riding in a heavy downpour.. for a change the roads towards vashi are still in good shape.. so was able to ride at an average speed of 50kmph...

Reached the Palm beach road and my horn started honking continuously.. so stopped beneath the palm beach flyover..tried to remove the wires n put them back..but that dint work.. the horn still honking..a guy standing on a scooter besides me checked it out..he told me the problem was in the button n not in the horns..so that was done.. but the downpour had not yet stopped.. so i decided to wait there for a while..

The rain hadn't stopped yet.. but i was itching to ride.. so started again in the rain.. it was really really heavy and the winds also hard.. riding was made difficult by the bad helmet wiser which the studds helmet has.. anyways had no other choice...but was a great experience..

The rains made way to a beautiful weather as i reached belapur..
decided to fill up petrol near the panvel bypass road.. n took the panvel bypass.. its a toll road similar to the expressway..
reached panvel in no time.. took a right for the NH17 mumbai-goa highway...

the road is all twists and turns.. beautifully laiden.. embraced by nature..
i rode the whole way at a consistent 70-80kmph...saw karnala bird sanctuary pass by me n thot that it was too short.. so decided to ride a few kms more.. rode towards Goa which was just 636kms away.. reached a toll naka and turned back to the sanctuary..reached there at 2.30pm..

parked my bike outside the sanctuary and went in to be disappointed.. there were only 4 cages inside.. one with rabbits.. one with parrots.. one with pea-hen and the last with a pea-cock..
but if one dares.. then there is a Karnala Fort which can be trekked to.. i dint dare it as i was alone n the Fila shoes had no grip..

started back at 3.00pm.. no rains till this point in time.. sat on bike.. n rains.. n the same maddening rains...
rode till the toll naka again to get a feel of the awesome twists...

reached belapur to meet mohit.. made him jealous.. n reached back at 5.30pm to matunga..my residence..

no pics as it was raining so dint take a cam..
but it was an beautiful ride..n the rains made it amazing..!!!

May 13, 2007

i ask myself...

is this really what i wanted to do..
is this really what i wanted to be..
is this really where i wanted to go..
is this really what i wanted to c..

i want to see a change in d system..
i know its not as easy..
system changes you in no time..
n also drives people crazy..

change in the system can be brought by u n me..
so lets all join hands..
and make ourselves free...

March 19, 2007

500kms in a day!! Mahabaleshwar Conquered!!!

i started from home after watching Pakistan loose in their world cup encounter against the minnows Ireland.. it was around 4.50am in d morning..

i reached Vashi at 5.15am it took me unusually long time to reach there...might be i was driving cautiously in d dark..
but to my surprise everyone i.e Arun, Dhananjay and Mohit were waiting for me...We were each on a bike..a ZMA of Mohit and 3 pulsars...150 of dhananjay..my 180 v1 and arun on 180v2..
i was driving in reserve petrol for just about 4 kms when i reached Vashi..We drove to Nerul to fil up..it was 5.45 n no sign of anyone at de pump...from there we decided to check Belapur station pump..but that too was closed..no gates here but bamboos for sure..
from here we decided to start our journey even if i was on reserve and had driven some distance but not too much to take any chance..so it was fine....
we stopped at a Panvel Petrol Pump where each had put in 500 bucks worth of petrol i.e around 10litres...it was 5.52 am here..
decided to take de next stop at Dutta Snacks for garama-garam vada pav..but we were too early there for that...they had just started cleaning up de place for start...thot of stopping for a while so that we cud fill up our stomachs after filling up our bikes...but decided otherwise..
took a right to pen still in dark and started our journey towards Harihareswar..
it was absolutely dark on the way to Pen..Panvel-Pen road is a twisty turning H'way NH 17 i.e the Mumbai-Goa H'way..with trucks driving all over with all kind of stuff loaded...some of them carry mud and rocks without any cover and it flies off n sticks on ur face..
but driving in d dark is absolute fun..had never experienced that before...no street lights only de headlight to d rescue...people with weak headlights...dont venture out in d dark on the H'ways...the experience cannot be explained in words...u gotta experience that urself!!
The trucks coming from the other side never use a Dipper and we have the lights going directly into our eyes...after a while of driving all i was able to see was 2 circular coloured spots..
reached the Toll naka and i decided to stop for others to join...it was around 6.30 at this point in time...Mohit joined me right after and Dhananjay and Arun came in after a few minutes...everyone said just one thing...SAHI HAI YAAR!!
we left from here to our way to Nagothane which is about 25 kms from Pen...on de way we stopped on a diversion not knowing where to go...me n mohit were at front stopped there and asked for directions..in d mean while other two joined...

Reached Nagothane at around 7.15 for breakfast...Had Idli-Vada and dosa along with nice coffee...really nice taste but a bit costly...
Saw the sun breaking thru from behind the Mountain in front of the Hotel Indraprastha...
There is a really nice informative board of the distances from the place to the tourist places around...This is where it was Arun shouted..abe Mahabaleshwar to sirf 126 kms hai idhar se...Mohit got excited and we decided to go to Mahabaleshwar instead of Harihareshwar as was predecided...
Started from Nagothane at around 7.45am after a nice breakfast...the next milestone was Mahad..around 65 kms from Nagothane...The roads up till now were really nicely laid...The road to Mahad was also great...little traffic on the road and nice greenery all around...
i stopped in between to inform about the change of plan to my bro..there i took a snap in Bombay Pulsars style...
it took me around 5 mins here..in the mean while others had gone ahead...they stopped in the middle to check where is was...they thot i had a puncture..but fortuntely this time around there was no such incident..i caught up with them n we drove at around 80-90 kmph average to our next stop Mahad...asked the directions and were told to take a left at Poladpur near a statue..
took the left after asking..and started the climb to Mahabaleshwar...it was around 9am at Poladpur...The road is a two way road to Mahabaleshwar..
after some distance we started the twisty and turning Ghat section...its around 38 kms of Ghat to reach M'war..the road is great apart from some sections..but that is ok...reached some 14 kms from the top i.e. covered 26 kms of ghat section and decided to take some snaps...
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it was about 9.45 at this point in time...it was just 14kms to the top...we drove some distance .. but just 2 kms into the ghat the road got worse...in some areas the road is dug up on one side as there is some road construction going on..and in other parts there are only rocks...me not confident in driving in these conditions was too slow...then some relief but again the same thing...it was just about 4kms but it took out all the air from me...stopped for a while and reached the top!! it was 10.45..so we took nearly an hour to cover 40kms...but funn it was...
did not roam around too much..went to the monkey point but no monkeys apart from the 4 riding bikes..
the view is great from the top..but have to visit after rains...gotta plan this out and for a stay too!!
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we decided to come back via Pune...the road is mostly one way and absolutley flat...u can go flat out here...test the top speed and anything u want...we drove at average 90-100 kmph..reached Vashi at around 7.30...
In the end this is one of the best rides i have had so far n will cherish for a loooong time!!

March 13, 2007

CH*T**A banaya!!!

being pressed down by the power of money…merit is getting raped in broad daylight…

this is an incident from the college i unfortunately chose for making my career path..i was ranked 171 in Maharashtra and 156 in the university .. so there were other options available..but the fees in this college were lower than the peer colleges…and yes the FEE WAS NOT INTERIM….

i went into the 2nd year MBA by paying what they called "Interim Fee" which was around 57k…and only 2 months left for the final examination and the management wakes one day thinking that there is too much going into their pockets and nothing is left to be given to the few good professors in the college..nothing is left for the construction to go forward… so they decide this… Students of MMS have to pay the remaining amount of Rs.49k…ya u read it right REMAINING amount of Rs.49000…within 15 days..

The Students…a few who were placed on MERIT started their struggle against the Political bandwagon of the College management.. They got the usually UNUNITED class together to standup against the injustice being done on them..The class for a change agreed that yes this is injustice and we would standup against it…

All heads got together to discuss what should be said infront of the management..It was pre-decided who would speak and what was going to be discussed…

It was all going fine in the meeting…

The management trying to break the moral of the students by saying things like




flash back to a day before….the college management gathered the students of the university to brief about something..the students - juniors as well as seniors ( not many present though)..and then the announcement was made that the fee for the college was being increased in consultation to the samiti to Rs.90k. Everyone was stunned but there was hardly anyone who stood up against this…

the one who stoodup was in no mood to take this so easily…and after some explainations from both the ends he was asked what hasnt he got from the college...this is where he got to Merit Vs Backdoor entry issue..in the heat of things he said a lot of things that seemed to be boiling inside him for many days…the intolerance of watching someone go through easily on just the basis of vitamin M..might be one of it…many applauded but was this really the time for all this?? i ask myself…

Justification for the management quota was given in this manner…

Today this guy seemed too frustrated to handle the politics that people play..he started resisting in his own way which many feel wasnt appropriate..and came into the eyes of the management..Politics runs in the blood of our management and this was the opportunity that was bagged very easily…this time seniors were present in better number.. he was called n asked to repeat what he had said a day before..he was asked "do u think u are superior to ur classmates".. he said "excepting some..yes i do"..Management was in no hurry to let him go so easily..so the whole class was made to think that he was the devil among the angels..and the class as usual withdrew support of him thinking of short term rather than long term..

then ……

"CAN WE PAY IN INSTALLMENTS" said one from the back when it had fallen totally silent…and another started to ask for discount…n then more started begging who really dont need what they were asking for…"yes why dont we pay in INSTALLMENTS"…."Installments after we join the job…"
This is what the management needed….the weaker link of the class to standup and say things like these…and it was all over for the merit holders…

anyways this was one more defeat for the people standing against injustice…
we are not going to give in so easily…

there are a few other issues also which need to be taken care of.. but that can be done after everything else settles...

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