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Shamz Weekend In Bangalore 23 – 24 October 2004

Friday 22nd October 2004

Shamsher was to come down from Madras (I absolutely refuse to call it anything else) for the weekend and we had been planing about this trip for sometime. Had been thinking for a week about where to take him . Finally had a list and then sat figuring which places he would like to see and whether we could go there and get back in a day. Finally had it down to Sawan Durga, Nandi Hills, Bheemeshwari (the Cavery stretch) and Shivsamudram. Now all that was left was for him to get here and decide what he wanted to see.

Friday came and I recieved his sms at 9:30 am saying he had just left. That to me meant he would be here in about 4 or 5 hours and I had still loads of work to finish. Had to be done with all the weekend house work (you can’t imagine how much it actually is, especially if you do it only on one day in the week), then had to finish with my mandatory weekly visit to my Mom’s house. Finally left from my place at about 11 am headed to Mom’s when I remembered that I needed to fill oil in my bike. Reached Mom’s place said Hi and headed towards the mech to get oil filled and a check up done. With that done and my mind at peace headed back to Mom’s as she had some work for me to do. Pallavi then called asking me to drop by her place on the way. So headed there in a hurry as it was already 12:30 and Shamsher might call anytime. Got home about 1:30 pm and he still hadn’t called, was starting to wonder if all was ok. Then thought would wait for some more time and then call myself. As it was had just lost my phone on Wednesday so had not access to make out going calls and was using Mom’s number to recieve in coming calls. Anyway had some more work to finish so headed out to the store to pick up water as we were out of drinking water. On the way back he called saying he had reached Bangalore and would take sometime to get to Indiranagar. Finally picked him up at about 5pm from outside UTI ATM on 100 ft. road.

Once home we decided that we would just chill at home as he was quite tired after the ride. So made some tea and we sat down to talk. Was surprising how much we had to talk about. Hadn’t known him for very long and had met him just once before this but you know sometimes you meet people in your life for the first time and it seems like you’ve known them forever. At about 9 pm we decided to walk down and pick up dinner and some Coke to go along with my Old Monk. Was surprised to know that he was a vegetarian, had assumed otherwise after all he was a Sardar. Anyway after that initial shock it seemed quite a nice choice he had made, wouldn’t be able to do that myself. Was telling him about that one time in my life when I took a vow to not eat meat for a month and how much of a torture it was. Anyway picked up Butter Paneer Masala and Tandoor Roti’s for him and Biryani Rice for me and headed back home to start drinking.

The drinking (finished off half a bottle) and talking session went on till 3 am as both of us weren’t sleepy. As it is I suffer from insomnia and so sleep really late. Finally decided to sleep coz we had to be up early to head out to Nandi Hills the next day.

Saturday 23rd October 2004

We woke up late on in the morning. Had set the alarm for 6:30 am but when I woke up and called out to Shamsher all I got as a reply was Hummm… so thought would let him sleep some more. Went back to sleep only to be woken by the maid asking what time she should come the next day and whether she could get a salary advance. Acted as communication medium for her and Rupal (my roomie) and only landed up getting scolded for waking her up (actually she scolded me and told me to scold the maid in turn). Then went back to sleep again and woke up at 8:30am. Woke up Shamsher and we had tea. Finally headed out to Nandi Hills at 9:30am.

Reached Nandi Hills and he recognised alot of points and places that he had seen in my snaps. We climbed up the hill and parked the bike. There was a lot of crowd so decided not to go into Nandi Hills proper. Stood for sometime and enjoyed being that high up, seeing all the tiny houses and cars. Took some snaps and then we decided to head back down. Were quite surprised when the parking attendent said that parking charge was Rs. 15 and entry in Nandi Hills was just Rs.3. So we said we would go to the counter and clarify. When we came back the attendent didn’t ask anything, my guess is that he had noticed Army written on Shamshers number plate. We just left quitely coz didn’t want to remind him and also we had found out that what he was saying was true.

We had noticed that the chain was making noise on low gears and had thought it was coz some of the teeth of the spocket had gone and chain was loose. But then on the way back near the Hebbal flyover the sound increased and we stopped to check. We found that the chain link had broken so we settle down to fix it. After quite some acrobatics we managed to fix it and headed home.

We got home ravenous and so first thing we did was heat up the night before’s food (we hadn’t eaten it as we weren’t hungry) and tucked in. Shamsher then headed out to find a mech and get his bike checked. He got back home in about 45 min and was just in time to have tea. Rupal then headed back to work and we settled down to start our talking session again.

After sometime we thought we would go out, so off we went to my favourite place ‘Road Trip’. Sat there talking and drooling over some bike magazines along with beer and Cheese Fritters. Finally got two bottles parcelled and headed back home. Left the bottles there and took off again to show Shamsher ITPL (my work place). Had dinner at Forks and Spoons as that was the only place open in ITPL and Shamsher had Veg. noodles and Gobi Manchurian Masala as he likes Chinese food. I wasn’t very hungry. The food was quite a disappointment (what do u expect if a Mallu cooks Chinese).

Then headed back to start drinking again. Got home and sat down with Rupal to drink but this time we slept early as the next day was the Bheemeshwari and Shivsamudram trip. Early was I think about 1 am.

Sunday 24th October 2004

We did wake up early the next day at about 7am. Ok ok agreed wasn’t early but it was early by our standards. Left home at about 8 after having tea and cheese toast (bless Rupal) and headed out towards Kanakpura. Bike was handling well after Muneer Mechs administrations. Took the ring road to Koramangala and then had to ask for directions to JP Nagar. Soon found our selves on the Kanakpura NH7. Super road, have always loved state highways. This may not be one but it still is quite a small highway and has some lovely bends. It reminded me of the time I travelled on this road on the way to Harihara for the Soligere trek. My one and only trek to date. Well am a biking person and had spent the entire trek passionately telling people how simply superb it would be to come here on a bike.

Anyway went past Kanakpura and decided not to stop as both of us were not hungry. So took the Bheemeshwari and Shivsamudram diversion and kept on riding. Oh yeah forgot, filled tank up at Kanakpura (Shamsher suspected that the petrol was mixed). We took a left at Halagur (I think) towards Bheemeshwari. The road here wasn’t good but patches of it were really nice. Past some quaint villages. After alot of convincing I decided to ride for sometime. The first short ride was ok, was fun to see the reactions of the villagers though Shamz got to enjoy more of it as I was concentrating on the road. He said one kid even said Good Job or something. Then the bad patches started again and so handed over the bike. The next good stretch I was riding again but then as it was Shamz brakes were not so good or atleast so I thought and before I knew it we were at another bad stretch and to make it worse it was a steep down hill curve. Tried to stop and almost fell, was very embarassing. We decided to stop for sometime and see the river curving its way down in the valley before heading down.

Lovely place to camp was our conclusion. We then headed down and the roads got better. The road along the river is an awesome stretch, sometimes all you see is water and sometimes the river hides behind a wall of green. We found a quite place and decided to take a break after all the weather was great, it was almost noon and we need to stretch. The place we found had a family having a picnic a little way ahead but we found this tree that was by the water and at some point of time must have had its roots underwater. Anyway it was like a cradle so we made ourselves comfortable. I got busy as usual with my camera and Shamsher took a nap. It was a nice place and so we stayed there for quite sometime. How I wished I had a tent and could stay here for sometime. We finally left at 2:30 pm.

Headed back up and went on towards Shivsamudram. Took the left at Malvalli towards the Hydro-electric power station. Me I was constantly consulting my Outlook Traveller. We reached Gagana chukki and were quite dismayed to see the crowds. Had a Nharial Pani and bought a bic packet and then headed down in search of a quiter place. We went quite close to the falls and found this grass bank just by where the water was falling. So like a ritual I took out my camera and Shamz curled up to sleep. It felt really nice to be sitting there under a fine spray.

We left there at about 5:30pm and headed back. On the way Shamz stopped to change his spark plug and then we started off again. Towards twilight we got hit by these tiny missile insects. Shamz wore his helmet visor down but since i hadn’t been hit yet I left the visor up and then one of them hit me straight in the eye. It hurts like hell… had watering eyes for quite sometime. Finally felt that it was ok I wasn’t gonna go blind. Anyway lesson learnt – to keep visor down and listen when your told something.

We reached Bangalore at 7:30pm and then got completely lost at the flyover near dairy circle. Finally reached home at 8:30pm and had a good laugh about how I didn’t get lost at all on the highway but got lost in my city only. Freshened up and then Shamz told me that my skin over the cheek bones was a rosy red like kids in Darjeeling. Went to see myself in the mirror and laughed for a good 5 min. Sat down to relax for sometime and then headed out for dinner.

Decided to go to Shiok (next to CMH road Citibank) as had been there a few days back and had liked the food. Had Mea Goreng and some veg dish (can’t remember) and then thought would go for a short ride but within 5min of that ride came to the conclusion that we were too tired and so headed back.

Went to sleep quite early.

Monday 25th October 2004

We woke up at about 10am and I started to get ready to go to work and Shamz started to pack. we left home together at 11:30am. Me for work and he was headed to his friends place and then Madras.

At about 4:30pm when I took a break I saw that it was pouring and I just remembered that Shamsher had told me, he had got caught in the rain on the way here from Madras and I was hoping he hadn’t got caught in the rain again when he called saying he was just about to leave and was waiting for the rain to stop. So we talked and finally decided that he should leave only the next day. So I decided to leave from work early and we would meet up and do something in the evening.

Left work at 7:30pm and met up only to hear the story of how he had just missed an accident but had managed to bend his crash guard and the front mud guard had got pushed back. anyway since the mud guard could not be fixed with out a spanner, his friend took his bike and we took his friends 500cc. Must say the 500cc feels very different. I know it should but I guess over the weekend had got used to Shamz bike.

Anyway got home only to realize that there was no electricity so sat talking in candle light for sometime. Then thought that we would have dinner at Herbs and Spices but it was closed so then called Mamatha for advise and headed to Mandarin. Had a good dinner of Tom Yam soup, American Chopsuey and Cauliflower Manchurian. At about this time Mom called to say I had forgotten to pick up the bag she sent from my cousin at work so we headed back to ITPL and picked up the bag. Shamz then headed back to his friends place at about 12:30am.

He left quite early the next day and reached Madras about noon.

And here is the link to the snaps I took…

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