Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chasing the rains

Past Sunday we roomies again decided to visit Lavasa. This time Mayur had done the recce for Lavasa route and found out that to enter on a bike Helmet and License are mandatory. To reach Lavasa, you need to leave the road towards Tamhini after Pirangut and take a left turn. Once on that route, the drive gets better and better as you reach the modern day India's largest hill city. I had earlier thought not to write about this trip and only post photos but it has been such an eventful trip that I am compelled to convey them in my lousy words.
You need to cross a hill to reach Lavasa, as you climb up the road gets foggier, there are few small waterfalls along the road and whole drive is a superb experience. There is lot of construction going on currently in the city and not much to enjoy on a rainy day. Our plan wasn't limited to reach Lavasa and come back but follow the Mutha river on its path towards Panshet through Warasgaon. On this route we met with only couple of other wanderer groups. I feel if you go to really crowded place as in Sinhagad, the whole time you keep on honking and finding a place to park a vehicle the whole essence of monsoon biking is lost in it.
Somewhere in middle of Lavasa and Panshet, we saw a waterfall and went to check it out. I was the first one to reach the waterfall. After being drenched completely in rains, I was shivering in water. I removed my wallet and kept it inside pocket of my jacket which does not have a zipper. I posed for couple of photos and immediately realized that I have lost my wallet; sometime between the two clicks, my wallet had fallen from pocket and got flown in water. Now, I am screwed for next few weeks having lost my two wheeler and four wheeler licenses, thousand bucks and who knows what other till the time I find out. Apart from this, Mayur's bike fall off while it was parked, leaving him with a dent on petrol tank and broken right side rear view mirror. After Panshet, Mayur's bike got punctured, fortunately we did not have much trouble get it fixed. If all that was not enough, once our road was blocked by couple of cows, somehow we managed to get past them as well. I hope next time around there won't be any un-fateful events and just to make it certain, my list of precautions have just increased. :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Moment of Truth

As anyone who has seen "American" game show moment of truth would have guessed if ever there will be an Indian version, pretty soon the guardian of "Indian" culture would feel threatened. Star Plus is airing Indian version as "Sach Ka Samana" for less than a week now and Parliament has discussed it, I&B ministry has issued a notice to the producers' of show and honorable Delhi High Court is going to decide whether the is is "obscene and against Indian culture and ethos."
As a matter of fact, the same Indian audience is all watching it and talking about it; isn't the population wise enough to choose what it wants to see? Do the people who watch inherit different culture? I wonder why and how this show about virtually nobodies gets so much of popularity? You can find enough people who have had weak moments and have failed somewhere. The show in a way sensationalizes those specific events. It surely makes or breaks relationships. But, people who are willing to come out open about it, take risk and make money out of it, go there. Also, nobody forces anyone to watch it, if TRPs for the show are down, surely the show would be wrapped up even if King of Bollywood sells it.
I really don't know how to define Indian culture whose population is amalgamation of all the major religions in the world with widely different practices and languages. But, I surely can say, even hundred shows like "Sach ka samana" are not going to make any crack in the Indian culture(whatever it means).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pune to Lonavala

This is one route to Lonavala from Pune not many know and the ones who are aware of it rather avoid it. It passes along Mulshi dam through Pirungut Ghat. This route is longer but also it is quite narrow and dangerous for a normal drive to Lonavala easy choice to give it a miss. We happened to bump onto this road was pure matter of chance. Past weekend we roomies decided to check out Lavasa city. Knowing that it lies on the road to Paud gaon, five of us road on our 150cc bikes down the Chandani Chowk. Well we missed out on locating Lavasa but we continued wandering in Tamhini Ghat :). The drive is superb as roads are well maintained passing through green hills, perfect Pune mansoon with a little drizzle and a lot of fog around.
After the Neve goan (50 odd kms from Chandani Chowk) the road split, we had two options either continue through Tamhini Ghat towards Murud a hundred odd kms from there with a fairly decent road or take narrow one to Lonavala through a dense forest. It was 6.30PM, all we had was bikes and plastic money, after some thoughts we went for Lonavala and thankfully it turned out to be a worthwhile decision. A wonderful ride for someone in Pune looking out for a decent biking experience. Mind you it is a bit risky, we were lucky not to get into any accident but next time if I am gonna go that route it would be in day time and with some more preparation. There were several passes on that road where water through hill spilled over the road and after the heavy rains it would be very difficult to cross it on two-wheelers.
This 50Km drive is the best I ever had on a two wheeler. The road was foggy with hardly any visibility. The beam thrown by headlights was dispersed in fog and the one who was driving in front could actually see his shadow on the wall of fog. There were few settlements along the road but hardly any city necessities all along. I doubt if we had got a punctured tire whether we could have managed to get it fixed before Lonavala. But, one surprising aspect was we did encounter our ST Mahamandal buses which was a bit assuring. There is a Arhatic Ashram on that road, must say a very great setting to unwind.
The whole experience was amazing and much needed break from polluted city environment. Lot of greenery with a very soothing eloquence of nature, it was a refreshing couple of hours.