the January edition of Dugg Dugg Times


the January edition of Dugg Dugg Times
| | R O A D S U R V I V O R S m O n t h ly m A g A z I n e | | D e C e m B e R 2 0 1 5 | |
| | w w w. R O A D S U R V I V O R S . C O . I n | |
Road Survivors
the Czars of Chandigarh
e DItO RIAl InSIg ht
Road Survivors – the Chandigarh Bullet
Club – is all about riding, travelling, loving
nature, and friendship. We bring together
like minded individuals who share one
thing in common – love and passion for
the Royal Enfield motorcycles. Our 12
year old club comes together, not only
to ride, but also, to share experiences,
tour stories, and technical know-how.
To say that the past 2015 has been
phenomenal would be an understatement!
Not only did we manage to pull off the
biggest, craziest, wildest Rider Mania ever,
we also celebrated our 12 year anniversary.
But the highlight remains the Rider Mania
#dohajaarpandrah. (Damn it’s not easy to
stop using that hashtag!) Road Survivors
members were hugged, kissed, and dry
humped by happy, appreciative, attendees
– and that was only when some or the
other of us was not being held by the
shoulder, looked into the eyes, and being
told by a someone in high spirits – “Bro,
this is the best RM ever!” It’s kinda hard
to not be gushing about it even after 5
months. A big shout out to all our members,
participants, business partners and sponsors
for making this such a huge success.
Well, from one Rider Mania to the next…
RM 2016 hosts are going to be Nagpur’s
Wanderlust MC. And the buzz is already
there, the theme is out (“fullpower”), and
the excitement is high. And as always, it
is only going to get bigger and wilder.
Ladakh season came and went, but
Road Survivors didn’t really need to wait,
did we? This summer past, we managed to
do at least 9 major rides to exotic locations
in the mountains… Destinations included
the usual Ladakh, Lake Circuit, Lahaul and
Spiti, Mughal Road, and Nepal. Phew!
Keep riding safe. Until the next time!
editorial photo: anukaran Singh
Cover photo: nandita Saini
|| DeCemBeR 2015 || VOlUme 5 ||
road SurvivorS Magazine
[email protected]
“Bro! This is the Best RM Ever!”
by ravneet Juneja, aka teddy
Rider Mania 2016: Nagpur
by anukaran Singh
memBeR SPOtlIght
The Very Beanie Bean:
Kanwar Aulakh
by adie Mohan
Note to My Future Self:
This is Why I Ride
by gurleentoor
Reminiscing: A Beer+A Bear
Hug—Rider Mania 2015
PIttS & tRIPPIn’
by taniesha Shrestha
DOwn memORy lAne 1
Orchha—Unfinished Business
by apoorva Mohan
DOwn memORy lAne 2
Don’t Call Me Pillion
by Swati Maheshwari
DOwn memORy lAne 3
Memories of Jispa
by ravneet Juneja, aka teddy
Magazine ConCept
Manpreet Walia
Road Survivors
Shivalik Printers
182/14, Industrial Area Phase 1,
Chandigarh, India
Adie Mohan
Ravneet Juneja, aka Teddy
deSign & Creative direCtion
Kat Kozell
Contributing photographerS
JoJo Kharuna
Adie Mohan
Nandita Saini
Anukaran Singh
Contributing writerS
Adie Mohan
Apoorva Mohan
Anukaran Singh
Gurleen Toor
Ravneet Juneja, aka Teddy
Swati Maheshwari
Taniesha Shrestha
all ContentS CopYrighted ©2015
by adie Mohan
|| DECEMBER 2015 ||
ider Mania, as we
all know, is the
oldest and purest
of bikers’ festivals
in the country. It is
an event started
by bikers and
hence it retains
its rawness and
is devoid of
corporate culture.
It’s a nonprofit
event started solely for the purpose of being a
community-building exercise. Being managed, not
by the corporates, but by biker clubs year after
year, keeps the essence intact and alive. Needless
to say, it’s a matter of a great deal of honour and
pride to be the chosen hosts of an RM for a club.
eVen tS
From Panamik in the higher Himalayas to Kanyakumari in the South,
from the Rann of Kutchh in the west to Manipur in the east,
there is hardly any place in the country that does not have painted/pasted/written somewhere or
the other.
Saat Ke Baad Sola,
Ab Ki Baar Bam Ka
Wanderlust MC had earlier hosted the event in
2007, still in its early stages, and saw a modest crowd
of about 250. Since then the event has grown by leaps
and bounds and realistically, we are now expecting
around 1500 bikers for a “fullpower” jam up in 2016!
Excitement within our camp and the rest of the
BOBMC clubs is sky-high and so are the expectations.
And true to its nature, offers of help, support, and
assistance have been pouring in from clubs from
all corners of the country in terms of sponsors,
performing artists etc., and it is indeed as heartening
a feeling as is the pressure build-up before the event.
We have done it before, so we know the kind of hard
work that goes into it—it’s an absolute delight and
a large portion of bravado on our part to be the
hosts again.
It is indeed a fabulous feeling when your club is
announced as the next host at a Rider Mania, and
handed over the BOBMC flags. That moment is
special. The pride and responsibility towards the
event and the community is unmatched.
The theme for RM2016 is FULLPOWER, and that
is what you can expect—that is what we expect. In
all aspects that’s what we’re working this RM to be
like. Fullpower events, fullpower entertainment and
expecting a fullpower turnout from the clubs and
community alike to make this a roaring event, which
we’re positive it will be. The location is Nagpur, which
is the central-most city of India. It is a maximum
of two and a half day ride from the far corners of
mainland India and longer from North East India.
me mBe R SP O tlIg ht
Such is the ubiquity of one of the oldest riders of
Road Survivors, that nearly every biker in the country
and beyond—though he would have no idea who they
are even if they met him two hours ago—affectionately
calls him “Bean”, “Beanie” or “Beanieman”.
With a terminally ill bike, his wrappers of food come
wafting through the air as he happily chomps away while
riding—clueless as to where he is headed until fellow-bikers
catch up and tell him to start riding in the opposite direction
—Bean is probably one of the best known bikers in
the country.
He is friendly, fun, well-travelled and with a
formidable number of kilometers behind him—nearly
the same amount having been paid to mechanics—
the 4-speed, bike-loving Kanwar leaves his mark nearly
everywhere he parks. We decided to interview him to
find out what he has to say about himself, et, al.
Why do people call you Bean/Beanie?
“For that amazing power of forgetfulness and
all that follows later (we think, that is, the slight
nasal resemblance to Rowan Atkinson).”
What is this “adiasak” that
you keep mentioning?
“It’s my blog that contains my ramblings in the form
of poetry.”
When did you start riding?
“My first ride was to Dharamshala in 1996, but I
started regularly after I purchased my first Royal Enfield
Bullet in 2004.”
We have zeroed-in on an awesome venue
that’s compact for maximum crowd proximity
and concentration, yet adequate keeping all
requirements in mind. Visit the website for the most
current information on registration and venue: http:// and
Hoping to see you all in Fullpower. The promo
tees received a great response and the first batch
has already been shipped out. Fullpower 2016 is not
too far now, and we can’t wait for it to come. See
you there!!!
What do you do for a living?
“I am a teacher at a teacher’s training college. I also paint,
sketch, ride my bike and as others say, ‘Vandalize places
with my stickers and graffiti’.”
We have heard that most of
Chandigarh’s mechanics call you their
“retirement plan” Why’s that?
“Because of my terminally ill motorcycle that refuses to heal.”
There was an article about you in the
previous issue of Dugg Dugg Times.
Did all of that really happen?
“Yes, there was an article in Dugg Dugg Times. It was
a surprise though. I enjoyed it from the looks of it. I
think people must have had a laugh or two, too!”
Adie Mohan
photos: ADiE MohAn+jojo khuRAnA
|| DECEMBER 2015 ||
PhOtOS: AnUkARAn SIngh, nAnDItA SAInI+well...eVeRyOne
bY gurleen toor
higher—this thousand-strong
Enfield enthusiasts who travel from
The last tent has just been
congregation of like-minded individuals
across the continent to congregate
folded, packed and stashed
is having the time of their lives!
at a single location. They journey
away in the store. Rooms have
OU tS IDe R ’S Pe R S P e C t I Ve
ver since I can remember, I have always associated the
“dug-dug” of an Enfield with my dad’s Dispatch Rider
bringing him the day’s file work for review. While the
DR used to wait in attention—such is the discipline of
our Defense folk (you wonder if they are even breathing)—my
brother and I, like many other kids, would often run and struggle
to get on top of this royal being—pun intended—and pretend to
be the two most important people in the world.
Many-a-time I tried to get it off its stand by myself and
invariably would be buried under its weight. Every time that
happened, I could feel it smirk at me. Every time I crossed it in
the Mechanical Transport—that’s Army for a parking lot (MT)—
the temperature around it would simply dip. Such has been my
relation with Her Highness—The Royal Enfield.
But, when love and hate collide, the impact reverberates.
It has been reverberating for a really long time now, year after
year—and marrying an adventure enthusiast has not helped the
case. On top of that, finding ardent riders in my best friends has
brought back the memories of those years growing up—straining
my ears at 4:00 PM in anticipation of that rhythmic beat pulling
in front of our house when the Enfield looked so much bigger, so
intimidating. I would just be in awe—a puny ant in love with this
beautiful giant, always playing hard to get. I have grown up trying
to keep these memories suppressed. But as that guy we read
about in Physics said, “Every action has an equal and opposite
reaction”. Please, go look up the antonym for “suppressed”.
Since the time I figured out the responsibilities of life, I have
never been an advocate of taking risks, big or small. I don’t see
the adventure in uncertainty. I always have with me: a plan— a
backup plan— and a backup for the backup plan. And, maybe
as an excuse for being shunned by Her Highness as a kid, I
had started associating riding as plain STUPID. However, this
perception was soon to change, owing to Road Survivors, and
owing to my notorious peeps associated with this enigmatic
bunch of riders.
You can never prepare enough for the experiences you are
about to have, the people you are about meet and you definitely
never can be prepared enough to meet JoJo and his merry
Survivors. Whenever I meet JoJo, in my head he transforms
he Kikar Lodge is silent today.
from his usual soft demeanor to someone straight out of a mafia
book—sitting on his Thunderbird with all the world’s bling, he is
the sugar daddy of the riding world to me.
Even though I feel like a misfit amongst them, I feel like I
am trying too hard and maybe to them I am just a wannabe.
Nevertheless, I have had the opportunity to observe these guys
very closely—just being around them feels like therapy. They play
with uncertainty, but they play safe. They ride into the wilderness,
but they are never arrogant about it. Yes, they are loud like any
other riding group. And yes, they have skulls and leather all over
themselves. Yet, they keep each other’s negative tendencies in
check. I have witnessed their legendary “Meets”, and am always
stunned at their meticulousness. If there were ever any kind of
Green Belt, Black Belt certifications for surviving it, these guys
would be top notch. And theirs is a responsible bunch too—
forever ready to ride for a cause. Their contingency plans—be it
I have had the opportunity to observe
these guys very closely—just being around
them feels like therapy.
for a breakfast run, or when they traverse the length and breadth
of the nation—make one realize that here is a grounded bunch
that will never mess with destiny.
I am not a Road Survivor (not yet)—but my blood rushes when
I hear the stories of their jacket patches, the history of the various
scratches on their bikes, the tales of the hinterland that gets
etched on their speedometers—because I want those stories to
be mine and I can’t wait enough.
Here is a confession—I am not the kind to keep regrets.
Lessons of life, yes, but never regrets. However, not riding
enough will definitely be a regret that I may live with. I have
been an aspiring rider for a long time now and I don’t quite
know which one of these rides/events will be the last straw
for me.
But for now, Dear Enfield, let’s get this party started! Who am
I, you ask? Not that you need it, but I am just a girl here to help
you accessorize.
What an extreme event this was!
to Rider Mania simply to meet,
been cleaned and restored to their
Freezing-cold riders rolled in until four
greet, make merry and experience
former glory, sans the occupants.
in the morning, filled their bellies with
an unforgettable trio of days!
The resort itself seems desolate.
food and ale, danced, sang and made
Although the sounds of roaring
merry with their brethren until dawn!
to congratulate, offer help, or just give
engines, cheering riders and thumping
Three full days and nights packed-
us a beer and a bear hug, made our
music are still ringing in the ears of
full of excitement, fun and frolic!
hearts swell with pride. We had finally
Of the many souls who stopped by
Rider Mania is considered a
been able to pull this off! Months of
pilgrimage akin the ride to Ladakh—
hard work went into organizing this
something a rider must accomplish
mammoth event, the scale of which
the small town and villages around it,
once, then repeat each year. A
could not be decided even at the last
were abub with excitement as riders
travelling Mecca for them—influenced
moment. Over the course of the next
from across the country descended
by local culture and cuisine where
month, we were flooded with emails
for a three-day extravaganza called
ever it travels to—Rider Mania is the
expressing gratitude, joy and sharing
“Rider Mania”. Each day, children
foremost biking festival for Royal
experiences. Thank you, my friends!
lined the passage to the resort
Enfield Enthusiasts the world over.
YOU made this event a success! The
the ones inhabiting this area, they
too, miss the flurry of activity.
Yet, not a week ago this resort,
as volley-upon-volley of riders
flocked to Punjab’s Kikar Lodge.
Imagine—’Tis nearly dawn. The
In its thirteenth edition this year,
a biker’s haven was conjured by the
centerfold of this edition deserves
YOUR stories. So here goes!
Road Survivors Club at the Kikar
world is mostly asleep, comfortable
Lodge for BOBMC Rider Mania
in their cozy, little beds. Cut to
2015—#dohajaarpandrah, presented
#dohajaarpandrah! A thousand human
by CEAT. Rider Mania
beings, and then some, are partying!
attracts Royal
Hard! Bikes being revved, new
friendships being forged, graffiti being
drawn! The ale flows, raising
their spirits even
|| DECEMBER 2015 ||
“RM 2015 for
me was the rider
“Bro, this is the best Rider
Mania ever!”—BILAL,
“It was a great experience in the month of
January. All my boys are still remembering the
chilling weather, the warmth provided by you
guys, and the regular susu intervals.”
—SANJEEV, 99 Cannons, Hubli
“This is what brotherhood
smells like! I’m just amazed
at what we’ve been able to
pull off… Proud to have been
a part of this epic event!”
“‘WATCH MY BACK’— As we say it fondly @GreatWhiteRiders. We
reached Kikar Lodge with no expectations and were floored by
Punjabi MehmanNavazi. Everything was just perfect. 2015 has taken
BOBMC Rider Mania to a whole new level & has set benchmarks for
years to come. Kudos and helmets-off to Team Road Survivors!”
–VIJAY PATIL AKA VJ, Great White Riders The Motorcycle Club
“Probably one of the best events that I’ve ever
attended with arrangements and itinerary
followed with military precision. RM’15
has set the BAR very very high for all other
clubs who would be following
suite in the coming years.”
–HARRY, FSR, Delhi
“I came half prepared to pitch to be the hosts for the
next one, and the hospitality shown by my Punjabi
blood brothers has just made me want to do nothing
but return the love, and just furthered my resolve. See
ya in Nagpur in 2016!”
—ANUKARAN, Wanderlust MC, Nagpur
“The 5083km ride
from Secunderabad
to #dohajaarpandrah
was epic! Spirits
dampened by a
broken pushrod,
extreme fog and
being towed by
Akshat Rajan
through a slippery,
winding path to
the venue were
revived by piping
hot Rajmah Chawal
that were served
to us post 1am by
An unforgettable
“Excellent arrangements for stay, food,
entertainment, and a fantastic venue.
We were thoroughly impressed by the
organization and the helping nature of you
guys. The number of bike-related events
should have been more, though.”
–PRAVIN, Roadshakers, Pune
“I was on my honeymoon with my wife riding
pillion on this ride, and had a flat on the kachcha
road to the venue at 2 in the morning, in pitch
darkness with thick fog; the Ranchi Metal Riders
helped us out, and we were received with a
resounding welcome at 3:00am. That was all
that was needed, and the superb arrangements
were just an add-on! Thank you!”– ARUN,
AKA HUNTER, Road Melters, Jamshedpur
“As soon as I started from the venue, the new size zero named ‘Kareena’ (the piston) gave
up. With a couple of thousand km to go, it seemed as if my dreams had come crashing
down. But with support & encouragement from fellow Wanderers, I decided to drag
‘Anarchy’ (name of my 1976 std) until it gave up. But, it didn’t. Encouraging words from
the expert mechanic Sikandar Bhai at Agra motivated me to complete the trip—’Insha
Allah pahuchjaoge aaram se aap, slow chalao bas’. The ride back from RM2015 taught me
to believe in myself & my ride”.—RAHOOL SAXENA , Wanderers
“2015 RM was my 5th RM;
was a great experience, had
wonderful time with all, and
great food. Totally awesome
experience as usual u
guys rocked!”– SAILESH,
Madbulls, Chennai
“The ride broadened my views & gave me new experiences. It
showed me, that no matter how hard it is, how bad the road, how
much trouble the bike gives, if you’re with the right people, at the
end of the day, it will seem as though nothing bad ever happened.
And that family isn’t just the one you’re born into,
but the people who take you in as one of theirs – no judgments or
questions asked.”– TANIESHAA, FORE, Kathmandu, Nepal
|| DECEMBER 2015 ||
PIttS & t R IPPIn ’
A ride story by a 15 year
old pillion rider who rode
into Rider Mania with
Friends of Royal Enfield
(FORE), the Royal Enfield
club in Nepal.
The morning of 18th of January saw 9 bikes and 14 riders set out for what
they thought would be a road trip to India for Rider Mania #dohajaarpandrah
(2015). Little did they know, that besides the testosterone dominated, booze
filled event, they would also be going on an impromptu religious journey.
We set out early in the morning, excited about what lay before us. Up till
Chitwan we had an entourage of friends following us. The sound of Enfields
tore the peace of the quiet morning of the Nepalese highway, and fueled
our adrenalin. The wind blew through our layers of clothing and chilled our
bones, yet nothing was harsh enough to stop us.
We rode for hours on end, stopping only for meals, fuel, fixing bike breakdowns and the occasional break where we got too sleepy after eating the
daal-bhat served on the highway or to soothe our aching butts.
Cue, the Indian border. We had, by then, ridden for two days and the
excitement was still as fresh as it had been when we first started out. We’d
entered through Uttar Pradesh, and it was an adventure in itself. We got lost
quite a bit, but that wasn’t our biggest problem, the food was. Our previously
daal-bhat fueled bodies felt at loss as we stared at plates of papad like rotis,
overly greasy aloo-parathas and daal. I know most people won’t believe me
when I say this, but don’t be fooled by what people say about the food.
It’s terrible.
Meat deprived and grease filled, we rode on. Finding no accommodation
late at night, we stayed at a Sikh Gurudwara, commencing the start of our
religious journey. That night, we ate dinner at the traditional langar, or
community dining hall, and slept in gender segregated dormitories.
From there, we rode on towards Rishikesh. There, we saw the stars sparkle
over the holy Ganga river at 3am. We also saw the aarti the next day at
Haridwar. Watching the prayers and hopes disguised as lamps floating away
at the mercy of the whimsical ripples on this holiest of holy rivers would give
even a skeptic like me to feel an affinity towards God.
We rode on tirelessly till the venue of Rider Mania near
Chandigarh at the Kikar lodge. We arrived late at 11:03 pm.
After getting tagged and registered, we rode into the hazy field
and were officially welcomed by the sudden explosion of music,
laughter and overly-enthusiastic riders from various parts of India.
The next day began with the official club entries. Clubs after
clubs rode on, each filling the air with sounds of engines and
horns. Each club put up their flag. There was also a bhangra
performance as well as stunts and such. A beer guzzling
competition was held too.
Day two (the final full day) brought us dirt-track races and a
Sikh troupe that performed the display of Gatka, a sacred martial
art. That night, there was a burnout (a game where one attempts
to blow up their bike’s rear tire on a concrete slab by running the
bike stationary) and the prize giving ceremony. There were also
various club videos that were ran for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
The scarcity of female riders was alarming to me. I had
expected equal male and female numbers, but the women were
few and far between.
After Rider Mania, we moved on to Amritsar. There we visited
the Golden Temple. The Jallianwala Bagh was like visiting a history
book. The bushes are shaped like British soldiers taking aim at
unarmed civilians—men, women and children. The “Martyrs’ Well”
was a little more than slightly creepy, as were the surrounding
abandoned houses. We also went to the Indo-Pak border to watch
the changing of the guards. That, too, was a major production of
each side preening their feathers and plumage to prove who the
alpha-male was. Though there were female soldiers, the men on
either side of the gate were highly anxious to show the other that
they were more male, thus more intimidating and stronger.
From there, we rode through the beautiful, yet intimidating
Rajasthani desert to the shrine of a dead man called “Bullet
Baba”. Bullet Baba or “Om Singh Rathor” was a man who died
in a crash while riding his Enfield. His bike was taken to the police
station. The next day, the bike was back at the site of the crash.
This happened many times. The family of the deceased sold it to a
Gujarati man. But the bike returned. Flabbergasted, and probably
frustrated, the family placed the bike in a glass case and made
that place into a shrine. Enfield devotees throng there. Although
we are guilty of visiting, I personally didn’t discover what all the
fuss is about, as the shrine is basically a place created to stop the
haunted bike from frustrating the family.
Onwards to Jodhpur we rode. The beauty of the desert is
marred by busy towns smack in the middle of nowhere. The
heat makes it a pleasant ride in the peak of the winter. Deer are
a common sighting as are camels. Rajasthani women in their
brightly coloured saris are a welcome sight in contrast to the
muted hues of the desert. After miles and miles of nothing but
desert, we suddenly burst into the bright city of Jodhpur, also
called the “Blue City”. There, we rode up a hill. And atop the hill
lay a fort. A fort that held stories and secrets galore… Stories that
are told mostly through history text books or are now lost through
the winds of time. The wind whispers stories that you would hear
only if you listen real carefully. Stories of war, of love, of anger, of
lust. The walls call—no, they seduce you—to enter and explore
their many, many stories.
We, on a side excursion, also visited the famous Rat Temple.
My theory on the temple is that they had an infestation of rodents
and decided to keep them because they are, according to Hindu
mythology, the messenger as well as the transport of Lord Ganesh.
We also visited a Sufi Dargah in Ajmer.
From there we rode on to Jodhpur’s sister city Jaipur, or the
“Pink City”. There is not much pink to see about the city and
even the street which the city is famous for, is pink only because
the walls are painted that colour. There, at midnight, when the
clock struck 12, I turned 15 and had probably one of the most
unforgettable birthday cakes in the world. The highly intoxicated
bikers piled 3 slices of bread atop each other and stuck a match
into it as a ‘candle’. After listening to a pretty off-key version of
Happy Birthday, I cut the bread-cake and surprisingly the whole
thing disappeared—just as if it were the tastiest birthday cake in
the world!
The visit to Agra was a lot of fun. It was also
the last leg of our journey in India. We made the
obligatory visit to the Taj Mahal (obviously) as well
as the Agra Fort, as well as clicking the pictures that
you do there.
We re-entered Nepal the same way we went in, via
Mahendranagar, and soon we were back in our own country. Lumbini
was our final destination. There, we visited the birthplace of Lord
Buddha. Unintentionally, wed not only visited the holiest sites for
Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Buddhists but also Enfielders. However, I
still have my doubts on the “holiness” of that last one that I mention!
A church and a synagogue are all that remain to complete my
inadvertent pilgrimage to the holy places of humanity’s most popular
From there, we rode off to Kathmandu… Home. The end. There
were many that wondered whether my mom and my dad weren’t
concerned if I would be enticed by the whole drugs-alcohol-weed
scene that stereotypically seems second nature to bikers. Well, there
were all of those but the thing is, that is not all what the ride was
about. The ride broadened my views and gave me new experiences.
It showed me, that no matter how hard the ride is, how bad the road,
how much trouble the bike gives, if you’re with the right people,
at the end of the day, it will seem as though nothing bad ever
happened. And that family isn’t just the one you’re born into, but the
people who take you in as one of theirs—no judgments or questions
asked. This journey has taught me a lot. And no, being enticed by
narcotics and alcohol was definitely not one of them.
Thank you to everyone—my mum for making my dad take me,
my daddy for taking me and all the bikers for being like family to me.
I love you all.
Flabbergasted, and
probably frustrated,
the family placed
the bike in a glass case
and made that place
into a shrine.
Editor’s Note: A couple of months after the FORE riders reached
home, Nepal was struck with one of the biggest earthquakes in
its history, on 25th of April, 2015, killing more than 8,800 people
and injuring over 23,000. Hundreds of thousands of people were
made homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts
of the country. In doing our bit towards the relief efforts, BOBMC
clubs from all over India gathered contributions and handed them
over to FORE, who helped in making sure that the relief reached
the right people.
|| DECEMBER 2015 ||
by Apoorva Mohan
tummy was making dying whale noises from
the moment I woke up.
We stepped out of the motel and it was
B-E-A-UUU-tiful! The town was bustling
with people! Our first jaunt was to get
the bike’s kick stand fixed, since it had
some issues. While riding to the repair
shop, we came across a quaint, blue hut
with a thatched roof— it was a pretty and
adorable tiny, tiny hut—Adie was instantly
in love and wished to live in it right then
and there!
After the bike was fixed, we finally
headed to the infamous pakora guy, which
I still hadn’t stopped hearing about. Sadly,
when we arrived, the fellow informed us
way to cross the river is to row a boat to the
other side, which utterly fascinated me, to
say the least.
By the time we nudged ourselves to
get off our butts and get moving, it was
2:00 P.M. It was already too late for us to
go see the Raja Ki Chattris (cenotaphs) that
had been calling out to me all this while
from the banks of the river (as I ate and
stared at them in a hypnotic gaze). What
I did get to see was the Ram Mandir with
my “guide”, Adie, regaling me with stories
about how the famous Chaturbhuj temple
that was built during the reign of Akbar, by
the queen of Orchha, Ganeshi Bai. There
is a lore that the Ram Mandir wasn’t even
DOwn mem O Ry lAn e 1
travel back in time. There is plenty to behold in this small jewel-ofa-place, so be prepared for an entire day packed with sightseeing.
If you’re a history nut with a thing for architecture, you have struck
gold! Just to name a few places, there is the marvelous Jahangir
Mahal, the stunning Raja Ram temple, and the famous Chaturbhuj
temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
We arrived in the dead of night with Adie blabbering, “It’s so
beautiful, so relaxed, with so much to see!” After listening to his
story-after-story wafting into my ears for weeks, it seemed like
a real load of crap. From my immediate viewpoint it was deserted
and scary at midnight—I could not see anything through the
pitch-black—plus, the ride from Jam to Jhansi had taken all the
adventure out of me. All I yearned for was a warm, soft, cozy bed.
Once we got to the motel, the bike was parked and we
were ushered to our rooms. The last thing I remember is gazing
my eyes upon a very welcoming bed, and that was it—lights out
for the night. Thankfully, I had a wonderfully dreamless and much
needed sleep.
The morning was absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to stay, stay,
stay! However, the plan was to head back north since the cold was
catching up with us. I simply did not want to get out of the blankets
that had so lovingly held me all night! Yet, we had to. When you
ride with someone who is an early bird, you are dragged out of bed
with tempting offers of delightful brunch and tea, and, well, my
he didn’t have enough veggies to cook us
anything! It was an outrage! He told us if
we wanted to eat, we should head to the
farmer’s market and get the vegetables
for him to make the pakoras! And, well...
we did, as quickly as possible, because we
were people with tummies making dying
whale noises, remember? Don’t judge us!
We combed through the market and at
long last spotted some colourful veggies!
We selected what was needed, plus some
eggs and bread, then were off to the
pakora man.
Once we delivered the produce, he
skillfully made us delicious, hot pakoras
with red salsa. We ate like pigs, then ate
some more—indulging in lush, yummy,
scrambled eggs! Interestingly enough, the
fellow refused to touch and crack the eggs
into the earthen dish he wanted to cook in,
because touching an egg, somehow, was
against his religious beliefs. Adie graciously
volunteered to play sous chef and cracked
open the eggs, cooked them up, then
served them.
At the end of the bridge where we sat
to eat, starts the incredible dense forest
of Tikamgarh. We didn’t have a chance
to roam through it, however I would love
to the next time we are there. The fellow
told us that during monsoons, the bridge
is submerged under water, as the river
doubles up in size and takes over. The only
supposed to be there. The Chaturbhuj
temple was made for Lord Ram as Ganeshi
Bai worshiped him. A fortune was spent on
building it. The finest craftsmen toiled away
to make it the most beautiful temple that
was ever built. When Ganeshi Bai prayed to
Lord Ram to come bless the temple, he said
he would arrive in any form but, wherever
he would sit, that shall be the place
his temple would have to be built, and
nowhere else. She agreed to this condition.
Then, a child appeared and walked all
the way to Orchha with the queen. After
entering Orchha, the kid complained that
he was too tired—he wanted to sit down to
rest. They immediately did so. The queen
begged the youngster to walk a little further
where the Chaturbhuj temple was built in
his praise, but the kid wouldn’t budge—and
that, my friends, is how the Ram Mandir
came to be! The Chaturbhuj temple was
never opened but visitors still flock to the
Ram Mandir today.
Obviously, I have a lot of sightseeing
left to do in Orchha. It quietly calls me in to
discover unfound nooks and crannies, to
soak up its never-ending beauty and history.
Someday soon, I shall visit this magnificent
place again as well as remember to begin
my journey with the kind fellow under the
tree, serving the divine pakoras with spicy
red salsa.
photos: ADiE MohAn+jojo khuRAnA
hen I read “Orchha”, I instantly taste delectable, hot
pakoras with the zesty, homemade, red salsa. I’m sure
others would share the same sentiment. However,
for those of you unaware of the chatty fellow who sits
under a tall tree at the end of the bridge above the Betwa River,
you’re doing a great injustice to your beloved taste buds.
Orchha seems like a place out of my dreams I have always
wanted to visit. It is ancient, with tales of how the magnificent
temples and forts came to be, that it so proudly adorns. You can
sit by the glistening Betwa and look at the beauty for hours at
a stretch, still wanting more of the sun-kissed temple and the
gorgeous, colorful hues of nature all around. It is a small town,
with tiny markets accompanied by stalls set up on both sides of
the corridor. As you walk by, it is full of enchanting trinkets, clothes,
souvenirs, woollen hats, socks, stoles—you name it! There’s a
farmer’s market smack-dab in the middle of this charming village.
I am aware of it because of the unique pakora binge that was
forthcoming. So, the next time you’re in Orchha, go vegetable
shopping with plans for pakora-munching, sitting on one of the
oh-so-comfy grand rocks with your back resting on the trunk of
an ancient tree—while enjoying its shade—grateful for the warm
sunshine and listening to the singing river flowing by.
The architecture of Orchha is such that you sense an
exceptionally strong, dreamy, come-hither factor—it makes you
|| DECEMBER 2015 ||
Memories of
DOwn m e mO Ry lAne 3
DOwn m e m O Ry lAn e 2
by Swati Maheshwari
don’t like to be called a
pillion rider. Someone
once suggested that we
could instead refer to a
pillion as a co-rider, if that
sounds better. I wasn’t convinced.
I love the rides—especially
because they are with my
husband, Vineet. Also, because
I fell in love with him on the
open roads while
we explored the
beautiful highways of
Maharashtra. I have
been on endless trails
at his side—rocky,
beachy, sandy, rainy—
all of it. But, I have
never felt the need
to be identified as a
rider when I cannot
possibly move even
the footrest of the
bike—well, almost.
I accompany
Vineet on every
adventure on two
wheels, but I can
only experience the
spirit of a rider from
a distance. I am
certainly not a rider—
let alone pillion or
co-rider. In fact, I am far from
rider status. It’s like knighthood
that you earn and something I
shouldn’t, wouldn’t, and
couldn’t yearn.
I didn’t understand the word
brotherhood until I became a
regular traveler on the rides.
Being with the brotherhood
made me realize what it truly
means to stand up for each other,
or to just be by each other’s side.
The more I experienced their
camaraderie, the more respect
I had for every rider. They get
their hands dirty in grease come
the heaviest rains, or the night’s
darkest hour—nobody moves an
inch without their brothers. I know
what it means to Vineet to ride
alongside a senior rider or to lead
the way for someone who is at
the dawn of their riding journey—
it’s that deep-rooted bond he has
with every other rider—young or
old, experienced or not.
My admiration for each rider
goes up with every outing I am
part of. The more I cherish the
highways, the more I realize that
being a rider is a lot more than
just riding the bike. I have made
many great friends through
Vineet’s treks—people who
treat me like their own from the
very moment we meet. They
are exceedingly protective and
warm—I always feel genuinely
comfortable around riders I may
have never heard of before.
Invariably, it’s heartwarming to
connect with a new rider because
there is so much to talk about—
so many highway stories to share.
Plus, it’s always a
great deal of fun. I
laugh the most on
after-ride dinners!
Long before we
got married, Vineet
told me how going
to Rider Mania every
year is important for
him. I didn’t grasp
what the big deal was
until I finally went with
him. As it turns out,
he really meant what
he said. That’s what
I gathered since I
didn’t actually see him
during those two
days. I did spot
him once amidst
the thumping
madness—he was
sloshed in laughter
and brotherhood with riders from
all over the country. I learned
something important that day—I
am definitely not a rider—at best,
I am his true companion on the
road, as in his life.
It was almost a decade ago that our group
of 19 Bullets thundered into the obscure little,
roadside village of Jispa (a tiny hamlet with a
population of barley 340, in the Lahaul district
of Himachal Pradesh). As we rode in, the village
inhabited the right bank of the road while on
the left was Bhaga river whose gushing sound
mingled with the high speed winds – chilly winds
that pinch the skin – and knocked the senses
back into a 24-person group that had reunited
only about 8 kilometers back at Darcha.
Of recollections a lot remain, yet only few
come to mind... And they include facts like
breaking out the new campsite with the fresh tents
and the crisp bedding... The one little PCO-cumgrocery shop lit by a single candle where a lot of
us phoned home from, while others also got the
chips and Coke supply... The 2 feet by 2 feet camp
toilet that was restricted for use by ladies only, yet
was used by Adie and me as well, in the end of
course... And Swarn and Lalli’s plan to ride off @
6AM towards home – and actually implementing it.
2 days away. That was home. And the
end of Ladakh Beckons ‘05. While everyone
was exhausted and was looking forward to
getting back, everyone’s other side also did
not want it to end. The wonderful “KargilZanskar-German Bakery-Nalle bhar jaaengePajame bahut garam hain-too much Maggi”
interspersed caravan, that had given us all
such a high... A high that only half of us were
half aware would last well beyond our return.
That was a time when travelling to Ladakh
was not commonplace, leave alone “riding” there.
And for such a large convoy of bikes not led by
a professional “tour guide” to make Ladakh their
own for two whole weeks, was unheard of. And
yet we did it. And some of us have been doing
it every year, without fail, since. While others
reminisce, like this, waiting to go back some day.
Next day we crossed the Paagal Nalla that
Aman had been dreading the entire trip. And
crossed Rohtang to come back to the other
side. And those are stories by themselves,
waiting to be told at another time.
PS – Gomes, the guy whose brand new
camp we crashed for the night at in Jispa, was
the one responsible for setting up the entire Tent
City at RM #dohajaarpandrah. Helmets off!
Ravneet Juneja, aka Teddy
That was a time when travelling
to Ladakh was not commonplace,
leave alone “riding” there. And
for such a large convoy of bikes
not led by a professional “tour
guide” to make Ladakh their
own for two whole weeks, was
unheard of. And yet we did it.
And some of us have been doing
it every year, without fail, since.
While others reminisce, like this,
waiting to go back some day.
PhOtO: ADIe mOhAn
|| DECEMBER 2015 ||
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