My Story

My Story

Since my childhood I had been a loner…cherished long walks in lush green and yellow fields of my village…a village very close to Pakistan border…singing, at times quietly walking and talking to myself…fantasizing about life of freedom.

Some times I would visit nearby hills and get fascinated with carefree lifestyle of foreign travelers. I used to wonder how they get so much time to travel while back home I found everyone busy making a living. I kind of started yearning for this freedom..when would that time come, when I would travel like them.

In my village, I would go in the mustard fields, in simmering hot afternoons, spread a mat, sit under a shady tree and try reading English literature and dream about life of freedom. The only problem was I never knew English.

So now many years later, after putting in 28 years in a bank and few failed attempts at businesses…..finally, at the age of 52,  I feel I have got some sort of freedom. Have lately started traveling at will…thought why not share with others, there might be few like me……dreaming about life of freedom!!!

28 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Hello. What a lovely blog you have describing your drives through such beautiful countryside, with photographs of the beautiful scenery.
    Thank you so much for visiting our blog, and for the ‘like’ on the post about Varanasi. In case you are interested there’s another post about Varanasi focusing on life on the river:
    http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/india-part-15-varanasi-the-holy-city-of-benares/
    I think it is better than the first. I hope you enjoy it.
    Namaste
    Alison

    • Thanks Alison for your nice comments about my drives and photographs. Yes, I really, I liked your post about Varanasi. I was there a few months back and will be writing a post about it soon.I will also go through your 2nd post as well and revert.
      Regards
      Sunil

  2. I am planning to go to Manali and then to Tirthan valley in may 2014. I want to know , whether I can reach Chandigarh via Jalori Pass in one day.

    • Yes, sure you can. Infact you should……its a lovely, around 250 km, mostly smooth drive. You can drive through Simla or may opt to bypass it. You must ask at Luhri for diversion which bypasses Simla. However, the road that by passes Simla is narrow and not very smooth but definitely more scenic and lonely .

  3. Hello Sunil Ji, Good Evening. Grrrrrt to read ur blogs. I m hooked & wud seek ur indulgence. I m a chemicals & allied goods dealer(by default) & m in to travel as an ameteur only.For a change visited Orissa 3 yrs ago & the travel a/c of that trip is here below.

    On 10th Dec after landing at BHUBNESHWAR at 9.20 am, we straightaway headed to Satkosia Sanctuary via Angul. We had quite a few stops enroute for food & rest etc before collecting our permits for stay at Purnakot Forest Rest House.The place was really cold in comparison to much hyped north indian winters.The highlight of the evening was the beautiful scene of Moon Eclipse right over a water fall in the core area of Jungle(forbidden for tourists ) & after a brief trespass of about 10 minutes we were shoed away only to retreat to our guest house for Mahua & dinner of Desi chicken . Perfect start for some one like me. Next morning was really good with lots of sounds of birds all over amidst dense jungle of variety of trees never seen before. At 8.30 we left for Mahanadi River which flows in the heart of sanctuary & had our breakfast of local food as well as pakoras of freshly caught fish at small tea shop cum eatery. Never before had fish so early in the day,but the fresh catch was too much to refuse. We crossed by power boat the biggest river gorge of asia that Mahanadi forms in that terrain ( 100-150 ft deep at places) & length of 22 kms or Saat Kos hence the name Satkosia. On the other side we hired two very small & scary looking manual fishermen boats(locally called Donga) for our very slow journey down the river up to the banks of village Kuturi . We had a playful bath in Mahanadi upon getting off from the Dongas. The river banks were almost like sea beach with lots of sand all around & we really had to labour a hike of about 80 mtrs to get out . Upon reaching other side much to our surprise, though the so called river bank kutcha road through dense forest was there, but was devoid of any sort of transportation. On enquiring we realised the nearest place to have any chance of vehicle was 16 kms & on top of that no body bothered to ask for any tea or food. May be the area is actually very poor. Now this compulsary walk was not something we were prepared for. At around 3.20 pm we walked while chatting the large looming difficulties of an eastern india early winter sunset & possibilities of reaching almost nowhere plus impending dangers of an unfamiliar thick jungle trail without guide, torch & food. After about 3 kms suddenly a forest guard appeared on a bike along with two labourers. On narrating our miserable position the guard agreed to try for another bikeman from nearby & to come back once he drop the labourers at some place. Like divinity he came back to us after we further walked the distance of about 2 kms & myself & our bulky friend drove the bikes with 2 each as pillion riders . All bumpy road stuff full of stones & flanked by dense foliage & big trees, we came out to a clearing & some habitat with 2-3 shops to have tummies full with good local stuff. There was a shop having a WLL & we managed to contact our Innova driver who was some 30 kms away & was in mobile signal range. Our saviours left us & though any sum would not have been appropriate to offer for the rescue we still asked & the humble forest men could only demand for fuel charges. Any other largesse would have hurt the sentiments & so we gave them Rs 200. After about 20 mnts a TATA 407 appeared & we took the lift to reach early to next point & to meet our Driver head on. The driver u know had to take a detour of about 160 kms in comparison to our journey by boat & road of only about 30 kms. All this for the sake of not being on the same route again & because of very few bridges over wide Mahanadi River. Finding the forest guest house at Chamundia not so good & with lots of people around due to S.P of the area on some tour we decided to halt at Nayagarh in some hotel. Nayagarh is famous for a sweet called Chena Poda( a sort of cake made by Halwais with suji,sugar & paneer in local style over wooden coal). I did eat the sweet tummy full but not heartful. Next morning we headed to Atri hot springs for bath-A big let down for lack of hygiene. After lunch we went to Mangalajodi- a migratory & wet land bird’s paradise. Great place to see. U can check for the place on net. Lakhs of birds sighting from close qrtrs riding on manual pole boats through shallow Brackish waters stretching upto 5-8 kms on the Chilika lake edge. On 13th morning we left for Barkul – the main entry of Chilika & got some food stuff, beers, coconut water & lunch packed( included great Chilika Crab Masala) from famous CHILIKA DHABA- which was voted best indian dhaba on many magazines. We hired a big engine run boat to cut through the heart of Chilika & to reach the far end of Satpada via sea mouth(where chilika meets sea) & Dolphin sighting area. That was some journey – 6 hours offshore with lots & lots of fishermen & their nets & the in between & over the nets water ways. Great stuff & we had our beers & lunch on board & lazed around the boat in king’s style. On 14th morning we left for Puri & saw the Jagannath temple hurriedly . Same old indian notorious PANDAS trying to woo devotees. At around 12 noon we reached KONARK & what a monument it was & still is. But u know the nature lover in us is always craving for naturally beautiful places & the KONARK beach was really good & without many a people. We had a good bath & saw the sun set along side. Surprisingly the waters were cooler. Next morning we again came back to beach for sunrise & some walk . Really satisfying. After breakfast we left for Bssr & before our evening flight saw Lingaraj Temple, Dhauli Shanti Stupa, Udaygiri & Khandagiri Caves. We had a delayed lunch at Dominos after some beers in a bar & reached Airport at 5.20 only to learn a delayed flight by an hour. Landed at Delhi & reached home at 11.15 pm.

    Listen to dis piece from across border, though hindi heartland song but sung so beautifully by Mallika.

    all time grrrrrt folk

    Nana’nd Mun’e’Bas Le’n Day…!!!
    La-Jawaab-Pukhraaj

    And another gem as well if u liked de above one ( Listen dis one by Mallika Pukhraj & Tahira Sayeed Duo )

    लो फिर बसन्त आई, लो फिर बसन्त आई, फूलों पे रंग लाई. …लो फिर बसन्त आई, लो फिर बसन्त आई, फूलों पे रंग लाई… चलो बे दरंग, लबे आबे गंग, बजे जलतरंग, मन पर उमंग छाई, लो फिर बसन्त आई , फूलों पे रंग लाई , आफत गई खिज़ां की, आफत गई खिज़ां की, किस्मत फिरी जहाँ की, चले मै गुसार, सूये लाला जार, मै पर्दादार, शीशे के दर से झाँकी , आफत गई खिज़ां की, किस्मत फिरी जहाँ की,

    खैतों ka हर चरिंदा, खैतों ka हर चरिंदा, बागों का हर परिंदा , कोइ गर्म खेज, कोइ नगमा रेज़, सुब को और तेज़, फिर हो गया है ज़िन्दा, बागों का हर परिंदा , खैतों का हर चरिंदा , धरती के बेल बूटे, धरती के बेल बूटे, अन्दाज़े नौ से फूटे, हुआ पख्त सब्ज़, मिला रख्त सब्ज़, हैं दरख्त सब्ज़ , बन बन के सब्ज़ निकले , धरती के बेल बूटे, अन्दाज़े नौ से फूटे, है इश्क भी, जुनूं भी, है इश्क भी, जुनूं भी, कहीं दिल में दर्द, कहीं आह सर्द, कहीं रंग ज़र्द , है यूँ भी और यूँ भी , मस्ती भी जोशे खूँ भी , है इश्क भी, जुनूं भी,
    फूली हुई है सरसो , फूली हुई है सरसो, भूली हुई है सरसो , नहीं कुछ भी याद, यूँ ही बामुराद, यूँ ही शाद शाद , गोया रहे कि बरसों, फूली हुई है सरसो, भूली हुई है सरसो, इक नाज़्नीं ने पहने, इक नाज़्नीं ने पहने, फूलों के ज़र्द गहने, है मगर उदास, नही पी के पास, घमो रंजो यास , दिल को पडे हैं सहने , इक नाज़्नीं ने पहने, फूलों के ज़र्द गहने, लो फिर बसन्त आई, लो फिर बसन्त आई, फूलों पे रंग लाई, लो फिर बसन्त आई , फूलों पे रंग लाई, फूलों पे रंग लाई…

    & By de way brother i too belong to ” sifti da ghar ” I mean AMRITSAR.

    Luv & Peace

    HARSH KHULLAR

    • Thanks for your comments and your story. The story seems awesome, but I could not find any picture either on your website or on your facebook a/c. I have also sent you request on your facebook id. Send/post some pics if you can!!!

      Regards
      Sunil

  4. I read with great interest your travelogue. I myself visited some of these places recently and your blog helped in reviving the memories. Your ‘in car on the car’ concept was very fascinating and path breaking. I must congratulate you for having the courage to break free and being able to live your dreams. Your blog ends at Day 20 and it does not become clear whether your journey ended on the 20th day. OR there is still more to come…..

    • Thanks Amit Sharma brother for stopping by, reading and appreciating the blog posts. In fact through these blog posts I want to relieve my own experience and also share with those who have visited these areas or who intend to visit these areas.

      Yes, the journey continued from Day 20. Soon I will be sharing the remaining part of the story.

      Thanks once again.

  5. Very nice, natural description…… just like the remote places you visit……really amazing……..keep wheeling…..

  6. Sunil,
    I am spell bound by your travelogue. I have decided to ride to laddakh on a motorcycle in 2017 May.. Can you please guide on the following:
    1. I have a 25 years old RX 100. So want to buy another bike for the ride. I am worried about unreliability of Bullet hence want to buy a jap bike. Can you suggest a bike on which i can ride for hours without back pain etc.

    Regards’
    Rakesh

  7. Thanks for your appreciation Rakesh ji, I am glad that you going to ride to Ladakh in May 2017. I think May may be bit early as many passes may not be open by then and also there is more snow, slush and water crossings during early part of the opening of the road. The road stabilizes after July/August and perhaps September is the best month to ride to Ladakh.

    As regards bike, I have ridden on Yamaha RX 100 in August 1994 (with my younger brother as pillion) and Hero Honda Glamour in September 2014 (Solo), I did not face any issues on both these occasions. These are in no way specialist bikes, still I was able to do it. For better advise on bike suitable for riding to Ladakh, I would request you to surf the net and seek advice from an expert……Regards

    • Ravi, in my opinion, the best time to be on this road is summers…..May/June before onset of monsoon, the skies are azure blue and snow clad mountain scape is beautiful or after Sept/Oct when monsoons die down and the entire area is lush green and meadows are blooming with colorful flowers.

  8. I look forward to reading more of you… your introduction is enticing enough. I love that you have had a dream of travel and of being free and are finally at the beginning of a wonderful life adventure!

    I too…. was once a mom of three naughty little boys and dreaming of freedom and a life of travel and discovery and here I am!

    We have to dream and then stay focused on making our dreams a reality.

    I would love for you to take a look at our blog as well and hear your feedback.

    So nice to discover you.
    Peta

    • Oh, that’s very nice to know. It’s wonderful to know that we share a common dream, a dream to be free and travel, see beautiful places and meet wonderful people. My children have grown up and helping in my pursuing my dream, hopefully your naughty one’s must be an asset too. Surely, would love to go through your writeups and give feedback…..thank you once again.

  9. Dear Sunilji,

    I read your journey to killar via such pass. Excellent description and photography. Once I tried to cross Sach pass as I reached bairagarh in Nov’ o4 after visiting Khajiar. Actually the manager of my hotel(HP tourism) told me visit sach pass. After reaching Bhanjaru and bairagrh, I came to know that the road was closed due heavy snowfall. And hardly any vehicle used to cross even in clear weather. I found lot of labors were working to make a motor able road. Lat year I planned to visit with my friends in oct but had to cancell. This time I am planning alone to cross Sach Pass in Sept’17 using local transport. I want to kaza, Kiber after crossing batal and Kumjum pass. would you mind to give information abt the road map from Killer to Kaza. Look forward to hearing from you. Regards. Tushar Kundu

    • That’s very nice to know Tushar, the road from Killar to Gramphu through Udaipur and then from Gramphu to Kaza through Kunzum Pass is all quite tough but is usually the easiest during September. Normally public transport is available on the route in September.

      • thnx for your information. want to read more about your journey in different parts.

        Tushar

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