Where it all begun! (Bhutan Travel Diaries)

November, 2014

One humid afternoon in Mumbai…

I was browsing the Economic Times website looking out for macro-economic content so that I can brag about it when asked in the job interviews. After reading an article on what Raghuram Rajan was doing to keep up our struggling economy together, I found a suggested reading with the title  – “The last village in India

It was an interesting title but given that it’s a Times group website, I had my reservations before jumping to conclusions. I clicked the link that took me to the ads-only paper Times of India’s website and the article detailed about some of the exotic places in the Himalayas. Chitkul is widely referred to as the last village in India in travel circuits. You cross that village…better prepare yourself to find monks of Tibet or  face the PRC army.

The last village in India is not what excited me but the sheer idea that I could get away from this mundane life and materialistic world only to get drenched in the nature’s beauty certainly did. I started thinking how I would reach this place from Mumbai post my MBA and how much would the budget be. I had a plan to stay there for a week or two and indulge myself with some writing or wandering in the woods of the Greater Himalayas.

I could imagine this whole stream of events glazing in front of my eyes. It’s like these tiny moments of imagination that make my heart-beat stop for a second, give the much-needed adrenaline rush and drench in joy. The thought of going there had such an impact on me that I wondered what it would have on me when I actually visit this exotic place.

But things don’t go out as planned always. May be that’s why life is such an interesting journey to me. If someone would ask me…what’s my favorite journey, LIFE is my answer to them. There are many hair pin bends and steep curves than any road that’s been there or will ever be built.

And on one such steep curve, I came across this tiny place called Bhutan overlooking India’s shoulder and taking comfort in the warmth of seven sister states. The Himalayas cut across the length and breadth of this tiny mountain nation and their only connection is India. It is one of the very few untouched nations in the world’s tourist and backpackers’ circuit. Woah!!

I started to read right from Wikipedia page to every other article written by Tom-Dick and Harry that I could get my hands on. One can’t quantify time when doing something that’s close to one’s heart. And it’s true…damn true! I couldn’t see how hours slipped under the hood  like seconds while I drowned in articles about Bhutan and my interactions with the travel forums and biking groups.

I can vouch that the time I traveled in planning for Bhutan in some ways outweigh the real trip. I started to discover things about me that I was never aware of. There you go, my Johari window too expanded to let in more light!

The best part of my story was that it all started with my plan to travel to a place I thought I knew like a pro on a bike that I wasn’t sure if I could ride. Welcome to bag packing and travel at will!

Welcome to Mission Happiness Trip!

P.S. This is the first among the series of posts narrating the experiences I had on the dream trip to Bhutan, my first ever biking trip. 

Pic Credits:  Travel Blog

To read the next part of the series, click here

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Virginity is Overrated!

The white colored innova stops right in front of the gate erasing the muggu* with its tyres. The chauffeur opens the door and a young man in his late twenties steps out. He is welcomed by a garland of flowers and smiles of the crowd waiting for his arrival. The music band starts to play shehnai loudly to make sure they are paid their contract amount in full.

After the mandatory pleasantries, the bridegroom’s family members were seated comfortably in the extra-cushioned couch. The bride’s family members were looking at the bridegroom and were passing on comments about his looks, the dress, the hairstyle and what not! The center table is filled with sweets made of ghee which filled with room with their aroma.

Few minutes later… Continue reading

Only 1411 left! Please Save Tiger…

It’s a shame on us that our National Animal, The Tiger, has gone down to such a low number and is at the verge of extinction. From around 40,000 at the turn of the last century, there are just 1411 tigers left in India. Common fellow Indians!!! Wake Up and be a part in saving our beloved Tiger.

As the present generation of this country, if we fail to save our National Animal we will remain as a black mark in the history forever and be praised to be the successful generation of implementing the extinction of tigers. Do you want the future generations to read, “Once upon a time in India, tigers lived”? Do you want to be termed as the best generation to perform the worst actions? We have already achieved a sort of this in fields like communal riots, corruption, politics and what else do you want to include in the list, huh? Common! Just think for a while.

Let’s at least save our very own “Warrior of the Jungle”. Its time to change ourselves. As Gandhiji said “Be the Change you want to see in the world” Let that change start with you right now. Take an active role in saving our tigers. Spread the word. Save Tiger.

Watching a TV or chatting over net are not the only things that gives you pleasure. Things of this sort would also give you the ultimate satisfaction for doing something good in saving an entire race.

Common!!! Take an active part. Spread the word “Save Tigers”

For more details, log onto http://saveourtigers.com immediately.

I have already started spreading the word “Save Tiger” and trying my best to create awareness among people about what we are going to loose if we don’t act. What are you going to do???

Image Courtesy: http://www.crazypolack.com/

Why celebrate Republic Day???

Today is our Republic Day. I have seen flag hosting and patriotic songs sung everywhere. The electronic media was trying to spread the importance of this day in their very “own style”. The newspapers, which I’ve seen in the morning, were completely flooded with anecdotes of important events in the 60 years of Republic India. Yes, this is all on one side of the coin. But on the other side, the very thought of “Why celebrate Republic Day???” haunted me the entire day.

Don’t get carried away by the opinion that I have no respect towards my motherland, India. I do have, in abundance. But today, there was something new in my thought process on Republic Day.

Continue reading

Target Bengaluru

It’s been a long time writing here. Well, I have been travelling for 15 days or so and I am completely delighted by the way I have been doing these days. The Bengaluru tour was one of my most memorable experiences so far. I had fun, visited new places, met new people who are damn inspiring and above all, I had a taste of life.

The excitement had begun right from Visakhapatnam. I planned to reach B’lore by Prashanti express. I was a bit taken back when the very thought of travelling in this train for 2 obvious reasons. Continue reading

All the way to Brazil

Last year winter was one of my unforgettable winter moments. There are 2 reasons for this. One, the nights in that winter were so cold and I wrapped myself in thick blanket (which I love it 🙂 ). The second, I have access to net from my computer. As we all do in nights’, I was at my PC, busy in orkuting. Well bored with chat, I thought of playing Chess. I logged into chess application and I was challenged by someone named “Stra letici”. While playing, the weirdo named person started chatting with me in the chat box in the chess game. A few lines of the chat that I remember: Continue reading

Do we need something in common???

I was surfing through the TV channels and finally came to a halt at NDTV around 8:45PM and there was a debate going on hosted by well known lady of the show, Barkha Dutt. There was some hot discussion going on and hardly I could hear words like language, no compromise, China as there was a cross conversation going on. I was about to change the channel when I got a catch of a scrolling running in the bottom which means:

“Should we need to have a common language and is Hindi the answer to it?”

The topic was quite interesting to me as I heard the word China from one of the person speaking. So I got tuned in to the show. Continue reading