20 July 2005
Getting High On A Bike
This is the write-up on my 16 day bike tour of Ladakh and Kashmir, starting from Delhi...first, I'll introduce the travellers:
Joy- I could write a novel about his eccentric tastes and choices in life. One of his top priorities in life (the others being junk food and fresh college chics) is to remain a college student forever. He's completed his UG in visual communication (with a generous helping of God's grace) and is currently pursuing masters in mass communication and lots of girls at MCC. He's also doing a course in human rights through correspondencewith some institute in delhi which is funny because he's tried to rip-off every single guywho has ever had any kind of deal with him. His main aim during the trip was to grow hishair and a beard, and to sport a 'hippie' look when he returned to madras (to greet junior chics in college). He's also the most uninvolved traveller I've ever seen, which is strange considering that he's visited half of India. Very little seeps through the impervious layers shielding his little memory, like he could never remember the town we halted at the previous night. He could make lots of money if he writes a book on "Living in the moment".Nothing hurts or pleases him for more than a few seconds. I've never seen him get upset about anything in the two years that I've known him.
Gopal- The official photographer. He'd just finished studying advertising and PR and is presently hunting for a job. He's the creative brain which kept us going through tough times. Incessant yapping (with an accent) for the handycam comes naturally to him. He absolutely detests things like logic, maths and in general things which work in aparticular well-documented way all the time- like bike mechanics or shoelaces.
Amaresh- Savouring the last drops of my dying college life. The very thought of work and routine life made me sad. I spent half the trip calculating expenses and settling accounts. Much of the other half was spent with the handycam, listening to Joy's orders(he's planning to use the footage for his final semester documentary film), which went something like this : "Machi, I want 2 minutes footage of the desert... including 2 camels... remember to give running commentary, because I'll forget!"
We rode 3300 kms in 16 whirlwind days... I never have and I doubt if I ever will travel as hurriedly as I did those 16 unforgettable days. It was always crazy- dizzying highs and depressing lows; we never had a normal day. a perpertual sensory overdose. There is only so much that a person can absorb in a few days and during the entire course of the trip, there were simply too many things hitting us every single day... there were times when I wished I could slow things down and sit there-maybe for an hour, maybe forever (eg: the sunset at Sarchu)-but it's just a momentary bliss which disappears just as mysteriously as it appeared, and I had to move on. In existential terms-I know it sounds stupid, but it's true in some strange sense- it's like how I want to stay in air forever while playing basketball.