Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Came up with fictionalised famous last words for some of my favourite stories. Here you go:
Robinson Crusoe to a hungry Man Friday :
"But I thought you were my friend"
Alice to herself:
"These mushrooms aren't wild & toxic, they have pretty colours"
Dr. Watson in his study:
"Elementary; its the cocaine that makes Holmes smart - let me shoot up a bottle or two."
Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde:
"You are an ugly motherfucker"
Indiana Jones to his Dad:
"Stay here old man, African tombs are my second home"
Tom Sawyer to Huckleberry Finn:
"Naw, Deadwood is great country to play pranks"
little Peter Pan to an adolescent (and PMS-ed) Wendy:
"I believe in fairies"
Macbeth to the Witches:
"Yo lard arse! Do I get any Wishes?"
Jar Jar Binks to Anakin Skywalker:
"Ex-squeeze me; mesa think You talk funny suh; what's up with yousa new name - Darth Vader?"
Dr. No to James Bond:
"Mr. Bond, I have declared prohibition on alcohol and promiscuity on my island"
Raoul Duke to Dr. Gonzo:
"You are just wasted, the gun isn't loaded, and put your pants back on"
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
By Ujjwal Dey
Destination: Matheran in Raigarh district is a hill station in Karjat. It is 90 KM from Mumbai at 800 m above sea-level. Matheran is an eco-sensitive region with no motor vehicles allowed and only horses or hand-pulled rickshaws as transport.
The Trip: The trip for Matheran was for a single day ride due to its proximity. We bikers of course decided to have 2 groups; one riding on Saturday night and the other on Sunday morning, both to return by Sunday evening
All Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/udey11
Center One Mall, Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
10:30 PM, 19th April 2008
Bombay Bikers http://www.bombaybikers.com/
Saturday 19th April 2008:
With our large group divided into two we had a manageable smaller group for night ride and day ride. Seeing how everyone turned up before time on Malshej midnight ride I reached the meeting point before time for this trip. A lonely parking lot awaited me at 10:15 PM. At 10:29 PM Ashok showed up and we waited as one by one new faces showed up and introduced themselves. First timer Sunny asked me “what is the plan?” I said “there never is any”. Finally Kamal rode in on his Bullet 500 which I believe he brought for a trip for the first time. Military green in colour the bike looked a class apart. A few words to everyone and Akhilesh was to lead us into the night at 11:40 PM (schedule as per our traditional Indian Stretchable Time).
AK lead at a steady 60 KMPH and soon the Pulsar people ganged up on him to rip. He stayed at his sensible pace as a few didn’t know the route and it was pitch black on unfamiliar roads. I later wished him for having the balls to say no and maintaining group quorum.
We took a halt at the Indian Oil petrol pump after Panvel and rode on to halt at the turn towards Karjat. Everyone was vibrant and full of enthusiasm. Ravi showed of his Std Bullet’s spot lights which have grown bigger since the Kelva Beach trip; his windshield too looked good. We reached the bottom of the hill near Neral. After posing for plenty of photographs we decided to climb uphill. I thought I was the last to reach up but it seems Ravi’s Bullet got overheated and the battery wire had fried. He fixed it at a halt on the climb with worried pillion Koshal with him. All of the riders had so much fun climbing the mountain at night that they decided to go downhill and climb up again. The excuse for this adventure was to help Ravi. Ashok and his pillion decided to head back home due to commitments. So all of them left, with me standing alone at Dasturi Naka at 2:30 AM as I didn’t feel like risking a limb over a few thrills.
I waited there and soon 2 bikers showed up with Ravi and Koshal. Then off they went downhill for thrill seeking. Ravi was tired, hungry and wanted to get on with getting a room. First timer Koshal asked me “what is the plan?” I said “there never is any”. LOLz!
So hungry and sleepy we waited there an hour for the gang to show up. Meanwhile Koshal used up a tube of my Odomos mosquito repellant and Ravi was seeing tandoori in the stray dogs at Dasturi Naka. The workers there told us that there will be nothing available to eat or drink before 7 AM.
Jai Bajrang Bali:
The gang came up at 3:30 AM and we paid Rs 15 each for parking. This wasn’t it as to head into Matheran another Rs. 25 each was demanded from us. Now we carried our luggage and trekked 2.5 KM uphill following the lead of our agent from Amantran guest house. The guide walked pretty fast and soon the “coolie” luggage towing bikers were saying:
“My engine is getting overheated”
“I am on reserve fuel”
“My battery is down”
“I can’t change my gears”
LOLz! You get the drift. I was carrying my Cramster saddlebags and that too only with my left hand as I didn’t want to switch the weight to right hand as it is still just 5 months since my humerus fracture. I kept pace with the agent with Koshal and Abhishek for company. Soon these 2 discussed the stock market and fell behind as I knew that I didn’t want to break my momentum uphill with the dead weight of my Cramsters. So I kept pace with the agent and soon reached the Market and Koshal & Abhishek joined me into our guest house room at 4:30 AM. We undid our shoes, washed our faces and fell onto the bed. Sweat had soaked me from head to toe.
The rest of the gang joined us in the next 30 minutes and soon we had 3 rooms for 10 people at the good price of Rs 300 per room. While that group enjoyed TV and banter, Koshal, Abhishek and I put off the lights at 5:00 AM and tried to sleep with morbid hunger keeping us uncomfortably awake. This was good exercise and penance I understood the next day as Koshal informed me that Sunday is Hanuman Jayanti.
Sunday 20th April 2008:
I woke up with extreme hunger at 7:30 AM but seeing my room partners asleep tried to sleep again. Finally woke up at 8:30 AM and Koshal too woke up so I suggested breakfast and he got the snoring Abhishek to wake up. It was bright and sunny and I happily went from our first floor room to the ground floor to order food. Monkeys big and small were dancing and leaping everywhere; monkeys were more common than a stray dog there. I ordered food and tea and in the meanwhile Koshal ordered biscuits. So after tea and biscuits we went upstairs as there were plenty of mosquitoes outside.
Our breakfast arrived at our room and we consumed it with fervour. Soon AK and his room partners were up and we got the third room gang to wake up as well. With everyone eating, freshening up and packing it was finally 12 PM when we could get out for sightseeing. We checked out paying our bills but asked them to keep our luggage so we could see Matheran and collect it later. The manager agreed and with a few group snaps off we went.
We hired horses for sightseeing at a negotiated price of Rs 150 for 3 hours instead of the quoted Rs 200 for 2 hours. We saw the Charlotte Lake and the gorge opposite it. Then onto Echo Point and a couple of others. Plenty of photography everywhere.
The horses are very smart and turn their ears to hear the rider talk. If someone riding parallel to me talked the horse would turn his ears to hear that as well. They walk behind their trainers and stop when the trainer stops. As per the trainer, my horse named “Newton” didn’t like being hit with a stick (only apples on his hairy head I guess); if he was hit he would run wild and stop for nothing. It was exciting riding this magnificent, sensitive, powerful beast. After the horse ride we fed biscuits to all our horses.
The morning group reached by 2:30 PM and we all headed to a restaurant for lunch. I caught up with Dipesh of 60KPH Motorcycle Travel Club who had come along and he seemed very happy to have accompanied our gang. We ate and chatted and soon we were ready to head back to Mumbai. The morning group didn’t get to do any sightseeing as they were delayed due to the unfortunate accident of one of their group’s riders.
So Midnight group headed to collect their luggage and the morning group walked towards Dasturi naka. We all met there and with a loud roar of 16 motorcycles took off together downhill.
We had a halt at Karjat for sugarcane juice and then a halt at Panvel bypass. From there on everyone rode on towards home saying goodbyes and wishes.
I reached home by 8:30 PM and contacted a few riders who had gone to visit the injured biker from the morning group (4 of them headed back to Mumbai after the accident). This was an enjoyable short ride with good photo opportunities.
**** THE END ****
Copyright Ujjwal Dey 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
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Sunday, April 13, 2008
XBHP G2G Mumbai ( XBHP.com )
12 April 2008 at 7:30 PM
CineMax Mall, Thane
Ride to a dhaab on Nashik highway for dinner and back same night. 50KMs Total.
We got together at Cinemax mall, Thane and rolled towards the Bhiwandi bypass by 8:30 PM. We were 10 riders and one pillion. The range of bikes were P220s, Bullet, Ambition, Pulsars and Apache. We stopped twice to check out dhaabas on the Bhiwandi bypass road and finally rode towards Kalyan with a right turn from Bhiwandi bypass. Soon we found a good dhaaba for dinner with ample parking, wide dinner space and open air loo.
Pushkar ran off within minutes even before dinner arrived. But Vikram joined us so we were 10 strong team still with lot of banter and jokes and ride stories to share. Soon tandoori appeared and disappeared :p .Chicken handi and bhakri were soon to be finished. Meanwhile Jeetu shared interesting mobile videos and so did Gautam. Santosh seemed to be most silent of the pack but chatted a lot on his mobile (with fiancee kya ??? ).
Bill was okay - Rs 100 per head for teetotallers.
We rode off again after dinner as most had other commitments and so the impromptu extension of the ride never happened. Santosh kept on going towards Bhiwandi and Anup (darthvader) brought him back on track. Santosh had joined us coming from Panvel so was probably a real ride for him coming all the distance for dinner.
We stopped again after the toll naka for goodbyes and rode on home.
I stopped at Bhandup at a restaurant for coffee and went on home.
All in all a peaceful night ride with no big agenda but big hearts.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I had spent over 5 years with my first employer Reliance Communications. But being a company that despises non-engineers like me who are labelled Ordinary Graduates by the Management I finally quit for a better payscale. Anyways no cribbing here - just my farewell message to some of my friends, colleagues and seniors reproduced below as sent out on 3rd April 2008, my last working day at Reliance DAKC.
Chalti ka naam gaadi
My Last Day at Reliance; so here goes one more Full & Final Formality:
Some people you meet because you have no choice. Some others you crave to meet and know. I have known and cherished friendship with many wonderful people here at Reliance DAKC and F2K. There was no reason or motivation other than work but within that scope we have found a bond that will keep us together no matter which part of the world we are in.
I joined Reliance Infocomm in 2002 and was chosen to be on payrolls in 2003. From a humble paycheck of Rs 5000 per month (gross salary) I have come a long way and been in very dynamic Teams with the key element being the people at Reliance - be it Management, Seniors, sub-ordonates, intra-department contacts, et al. Their enthusiasm, energy, dedication, sincerity and humility have made me a better employee and more importantly a better person.
I hope, now that I am moving out to pursue other career interests, my learning experience with Reliance will keep me in good stead no matter what challenges the world throws at me. Having worked in 24x7 shifts for 3 years at a 6 day work week and double shifts and our memorable Mumbai Flood working at DAKC while no one else in this city could think of work would always make me smile with any potential risk seen as oppurtunity by my eyes.
As we move from place to place, group to group, the only Soul satisfying moment is catching up with old friends and knowing how much we have changed while our Love remains the same. I too hope to catch up with you all and find that the progressive minds & generous hearts have made successful people of us all.
A "vishesh tippanni" - so you know you will find me back in Reliance again:
"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." - Mark Twain
Jokes aside all the problems thrown at me here have not been faced by me alone and I have had the benefit of battling with veterans like you all.
You are most welcome to contact me for any help in any way that I can do for you. My Yahoo email id is marked in this mail and my mobile will continue to be in service as we can agree that we do have the most competitive tariff and products.
The wheels of time never turn back and the only thing you can control is the steering wheel of the present to carve out your unique path for a better future. For my younger friends here: As Mahatma Gandhi says, "There is dignity in Labour"; so work at your Job the best you can. Someone has trusted you with a task so take ownership of those issues - that's what successful organisations like Reliance are built upon. My road may have been difficult to tread but I hope my work has eased your journey when you follow in those paths.
Best of Luck. Faith may not move mountains, but it gives you the courage to climb them. So "Chalte bano" !!!
:::: Jai Guru ::::
"No Man lives who has not seen some of his prayers granted." - Sri Paramahansa Yogananda
http://www.ujjwaldey.com/ | http://freedomfriends.in/ | http://hotaircoldlove.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Malshej: Midnight Masti Ride
By Ujjwal Dey
Destination: Malshej Ghat is located at 130 KM from Mumbai and has Hanuman Ghat atop with a Shiv temple, Hanuman idol and Shani Dev idol there.
The Trip: We at random decided to have a midnight ride to Malshej Ghat to view the sunrise from Hanuman Ghat. 23 Motorcycles and 5 pillion showed up for this Weekend Ride.
All Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/udey11First Published:
Eternity Mall, Thane.
10:30 PM, 5th April 2008
Bombay Bikers http://www.bombaybikers.com/
Saturday 5th April 2008:
Being bikers to the core we just wanted to ride and utilise the weekend for fun. So began Midnight Masti Ride and even though we declared the ride to start at 10:30 PM we saw a huge turnout with about 20 Bikes at the meeting point. The range of bikes included 6 Bullets + 3 ThunderBirds and ZMAs, 1 P220, 1 Caliber AND ONE MONSTER Yamaha Royal Star 1600cc aged 7 years, etc. Finally Mr. Nilesh the ride co-ordinator showed up with a fashionably “last” entry. A few words of advice from Kamal to all riders for this night ride to a Ghat which has an incredible drop and even better view. We rolled at about 11:40 PM with first halt at Thane itself for newbies who had not refueled for the Trip.
Soon we thundered together on the road to Bhiwandi bypass with our turn-signals on to identify each other in front and rear. Even after the pre-ride lecture some riders missed the turn and kept on going ahead towards NH3. Mustafa chased these riders and brought them back to the turn on the road from where we headed to Malshej Ghat.
Here the formation got screwed. We stopped once when Nilesh informed that a biker had a tyre puncture so the gang rolled ahead while a few waited for puncture repair. The road was straight with everyone doing 80 KMPH with clear road signs to the road ahead.
The lead team went over 90 KMPH and soon I let others zoom ahead as I fell back to ride safe at night. So I was with a small group that was in the middle while the lead and sweeper groups were far away from us. The middle group I was in was worried about where we were headed as we were just hypnotically chasing the turn signal all riders had kept on LOLz.
The Bitchy Witch Project:
Soon I stopped near one of the mountain enveloped roads and the small group behind me also stopped with me. We had no mobile phone network here. We wondered whether we were going the right way. Ashok soon joined us with his pillion here. After a few smokes Prasad and his pillion also showed up at this halt.
Plus the mysterious accident of a rider in a previous private ride of Ashok and Sodhiji got us wondering about the road we were on. A rider with them on that ride didn't know what fell on him, his front mud guard was cut into 2 pieces, he had deep cuts on his chest which required stitches, he just couldn't speak about what fell on him. I added my masala that the guy was attacked by a "chudail" (witch). Anyways the joke was on me because now they all unanimously said that I should continue leading them riding in front, LOLz. A Police jeep stopped and asked us where we were headed and we realised we were on the right path. So we rolled and I said prayers under my helmet on this Moonless Midnight Ride.
Sunday 6th April 2008:
Finally all reached at the dhaba before the Ghat - Red Chilly hotel stop be damned.
We reached Hanuman Ghat at about 2 AM.
At about 6 AM there was faint light but not enough for good photography so my mountain and gorge photos may not be too impressive due to the lighting. A final photo of lineup of bikes and the gang decided to use Ashok’s “idea” to ride towards Nashik for the MTDC Hotel which is on Malshej Ghat itself. So instead of heading back towards Mumbai to get our breakfast at the wonderful dhaba where we had our dinner we went in the opposite direction with opposite results.
There is no electricity at this MTDC hotel with only one working wash basin. The water offered for drinking is tap water. They charge Rs 15 for a lousy tiny cup of coffee so forget about the exorbitant expense on simple breakfast food items like poha, upma, etc. They didn’t even have more than 10 eggs at this grand sprawling resort. Worse thing is that at least at the dhaba we could have found cigarettes to satisfy our souls (par yahan @#$%&* Sutta na mila). The MTDC Management have spent all the Tax Money on pretty posters for all their walls and not on service or facilities.
Lazing around at this stop riders came up with ideas of visiting nearby Shivneri Fort, of sleeping till 12 PM, then lunch then riding to other places before heading home. I got into the sunlight outside to keep myself wide awake.
Anyways a few riders wanted to head back to Mumbai and I agreed to go with them. Wisdom dawned upon others too and all decided to head back to Mumbai. This was about 9 AM and we had probably been awake for exactly or more than 24 Hours now.
So alone I treaded under the hot sun, following road signs at a good speed of around 70KMPH. At
I waited at Eternity Mall but no one was there so called up the "Ride Coordinator" Nilesh and he couldn't hear a thing I was saying - so had a sutta and got going home. I reached home at about 11:30 AM.
Not really tired because I rode at my speed and on ROADS; not on Martian surface like previous ride LOLz.