Thursday, June 25, 2009

"I searched all day for a book store to buy some weekly magazines,but I found none," I complained.
"Bhaiya, all the book stores in Aalo have transformed into wine shops," My sister declared.
"Wow! people are drinking instead of reading!" I exclaimed.

Aalo,my hometown,seems to have a really bright future.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


"I am coming Duli. And I am bringing some chicken too," I observed.
"Yeah sure, we'll be waiting," Duli replied happily.
It had already been long since I visited his place last. Chedup was there with him too. Soon after I reached his place in the evening, half a dozen beer bottles were bought. And as the chicken and the whole dinner was being cooked,we sat down like usual helping ourselves with the beer and then the conversations followed.
Chedup is from Mechuka,a place I always longed to visit. Last year too the plan for a biking trip to Mechuka could not be accomplished. But this time, I surely will ride all the way there.

"....and then the bamboo groves disappear suddenly, and there starts the reign of the majestic Spruces, Pines and the Himalayan Rhododendrons. A land where the mountains change colors every season.They are brown and yellow and look worn out during the winter and just before summer,the people burn the bushes all off the mountains to scare off the snakes and you get 'black mountains', and then new bushes grow and the mountains turn all green as the summer arrives," Chedup recollected the views of the picturesque place.

"....and during the beginning of the summer,an amazing thing happens. The sun rays touch the valley as early as 3:30 am. I was first confused if my watch was out of order but his dad cleared the doubt saying it was normal," Duli observed. He had visited Chedup's home last year.

"....and there are all these holy inscriptions all around carved out of rocks. And earlier,there used to be a direct route from here to Lhasa in Tibet. Now it has been sealed by the Border Security Forces. It has got a really important historic value as they say the 'Silk Route' used to pass through here in the early days," Duli, who is studying history, continued still.

"Don't worry at all about accommodation. My home is always open for you. And I'd be glad to show you around the place," Chedup observed.

I really don't know much about history like Duli does but still it has always been a place I wanted to see. Now that they have given me an imaginary glimpse of what it is like, my penchant to go there has increased a hundredfold.
As the conversation went on, we least realized that seven bottles of beer had almost been finished. God! that was too much. Chedup jumped to bed after quickly finishing his dinner as he got pretty high after the heavy drink. Duli and I talked for some more time till we totally consumed the beer. Then we went off to sleep.

"Did I have dinner last night?" Chedup asked the next morning.He had forgotten he did.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Unpredictable Adventure

'Along' is just 10 km from my home and my holidays normally see me go visit my old friends and freak out with them,and have some beer at the Bar they had built along Yomgo, the picturesque river that runs beside it. My bike has always been faithful to me, carrying me everywhere I ride it to. And I usually spend the night at my friend's or my 'Buaji's' at Along when it gets late.

"Beta, we were worried. etc etc these days....Do tell us if you are going to stay back at your friend's," Mom always said when I returned home the next day.

So it was just an utterance of the minimal words," Mom, I won't be back tonight. Don't wait for me. And do have your dinner" which freed both mom and me from the worry, at least she would hope that I am safe with my friends and I would be happy that she won't be staying up late waiting for me to come back.

"I wont be back tonight. Don't wait for me," I told them and pulled off my bike at about 10 am.
But this time, it was not 'Along'. This time it was exactly the opposite way, the way to 'Pasighat'. About 115 km from home,that too on the mountain terrain and ultra-poor road. But still the thought of the journey, unplanned and unpredictable, made me take the step.

"Hey Nongan, I ll come to your home one day before you leave for Delhi and I'll meet your mom and dad (of course not for marital purpose)," I had told Nongan many a times. She is a girl from my college. A good friend.
She was very enthusiastic about the idea.

The journey would be all on fate. No one to help me in case I went through an accident and nowhere to stay if my bike crumbles mid way in the deep mountain forests. But something strange was driving my heart to do it, a sense of seeing the unseen.
So I pulled off even without telling my parents where I was going to.If something bad happened with me they were never going to know.

A trip on the mountain is always refreshing. You never know what comes next behind the curvy turn.....maybe a lone passerby or a lone car making a journey like me or maybe a leopard, no one knows.

When the untouched,virgin forests get ridden through, the moist mountain wind swishes over your ears and you never get tired. Signs of occasional habitation fall on the sides of the road where people would look at you with curiosity and unfazed interest, that a lone boy is riding through their village on a black motorcycle. I love the look on their eyes. So true and trustworthy but so far away from the harsh realities of the so called civilized world, the cities.
And then there comes the gushing torrents from the waterfalls many a times on the road. Far away, dozens of cicadas whistle aloud deep in the forest. They are life's sweet sounds. And at times, you have to wade your bike through the torrential rivulet that gushes over the road eroding it pathetically.

My trustworthy bike didn't break mid way and I reached Pasighat at about 2 pm, after a long but thrilling ride. And there she came, Nongan, to take me to her home. A beautiful place. Her mom and dad was very friendly and cheerful. Maybe they wondered why I was there all of a sudden, specially a single young boy at a young girls home without any purpose. But at the same time maybe they liked my daring endeavor to come meet them and face them without fear.

I stayed at her big colonial home the night.
"Peyom, do you know how to ride the car?" Nongan's dad asked me the next day.
"Yes, I do," I affirmed.
"Ok then you drive around with Nongan and her sister and go see around the place.I wanted to show you around but unfortunately got some work," he said.

So the day saw me driving Nongan and her sister around in her dad's car. What could be more interesting than that.

A few hours of driving around and I thought I should go back home because I could not stay for more. I had to get back home also before the day ends.

So I bade good bye to Nongan ,her mom and sister and took my way back home. I left Pasighat at about 2pm and again a four hour ride and reached back home at 6 pm. Fortunately nothing grave happened. The unpredictable journey had been accomplished.

As I drove in home , Mom was seated there.
"You are back. You stayed back at your friend's again at 'Along'? Good that you told you wont be back last night. Else we get worried," She observed.
"Yes Mom, I am back," I hazarded.

They still don't know that I made a 115 km trip to 'Pasighat' within a day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Semester got over. Got good grades and cleared it. Feels good. Relaxed for the next 20 days. Feels like going on a biking trip with friends to the mountains. They are where I belong to. Ruskin said," Once you have been to the mountains, you belong to them and you must return to them again."

Saturday, December 6, 2008


My Honda just covered 1000 kilometers. And now I could pull the throttle as much as possible because the engine has gone through its 'running in' phase. During the phase, I was instructed not to ride above 50km/h mark. And now that the phase is done,it feels smoother even.
Saturday evening, we normally go to Nagaland House to gorge on some pork stuff. Three guys had already reach there and were waiting for us, calling up again and again. And here, my pillion was all busy with this architect(an alumnus). More than 10 km to cover, that too in Delhi traffic.
I got damn angry after having waited already long , but somehow managed to persuade the architect to come discuss the design after an hour or two. And got this dude sit on my elevated rear seat. Still with an off mood, we pulled off on the machine.
Slowly, I felt a smile was slipping off me. A mean grin. Why? Speeding off in between the narrow spaces amidst the cars, twisting and turning, churning ourselves ahead in this traffic, my pillion was getting all frozen with fright, with an occasional outburst of abuses. Was that a revenge for making me wait? I guess so.
Meaner still, on long oneways, I could see my speedo pull on gradually...30..40..50..60..70..80..90..100 km/h...vrooommmmmm......and my pillion would go," O madarchod!!!!" and....screeeechhh.....a sudden brake....and we'd start off from 20 km/h again.
Thrill!!! I could feel the adrenaline rush. Fortunately, we reached exactly before the guys started off with the beloved pork.
I realized I was all smiling and my pillion Delhi winter. Where the hell did the stupid anger go? Who cared. The feel good hormones had overtaken them now.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Audience

As I picked up my guitar and started plucking the strings tuning them up, I got this very interesting visitor, A brown-breasted mynah looking at me like a wise old musician. With its curious yellow goggled eyes, it just sat on my window sill. Unfortunately, my window jaali was closed, so it could not come in.

At this morning hour, when I was in a real sweet mood to hum out some melodies, I was glad that I had this new curious audience. So I thought I'd dedicate the song to the mynah,who,leaving all his business had the time in the world to listen to me. Since he was an Indian, I thought I'd sing a Hindi melody for him.

As I started strumming along, it hopped up to the window frame and looked down at me with curious eyes twisting its head now and then as if he was a real music connoisseur. As I sing this old melody, he appeared to be totally attentive to my voice, the movement of my fingers and the sound the strings produced.

My song finally got over. But as I was going to sing another one, my audience just left without a warning. Maybe he didn't like it. I presume he was a real busy mynah who got back to his business. But I am glad that atleast he sat throughout my first song. And I take it as an honour to me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Touch Of Eternity

I just happened to take a look through my journal and I came over this piece of simple writing. I even forgot that I had ever written that.

"06:06 pm

It showered today. The air is moist and cool. First time in Delhi when I could feel the weather. Otherwise,it's extreme here.

I open my window and the cool scented breeze blows in touching my face. The earth smells sweet, wet with rain. It drizzles still.

My mind flies back to my days back home when I was a kid; free, happy and content. On such days, I long for them again.

The first touch of spring breeze is here. Yellow-green foliage bud freshly out of the trees around. They promise me of life and eternity.

Beauty is eternal. Only you and I die.