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What Travelling earns....People?


When travelling is your passion, you are bound to see a lot in your life, meet a thousand through your journey. I realised a day back only that most of us love to write what we did on our trip, what places we visited, how was the road, the hotel, the people. The People! Do we actually write about the people we met, or the men or women we spend a good time with?
I did meet few people on rides, while flying or on train journey who left a deep impression on me. But, never actually took pain, if any, to jot down about them. Just them and there stories. So, in this post I will be talking about the People only, a few of the few meeting with whom I still cherish.

If you RIDE a Bullet, you ought to know him
There are many a people all over India and World, who love to ride. Few of them love to brag about there rides, most are just concerned about there rides. I belong to the earlier class, ride and blow your own trumpet! This person, about whom I’m writing this section, religiously define the later class: “mere ko ride se matlab, baki mero ko kyaa!” (I just care about ride, nothing else matters to me!)
I met this person for the first time in a club meet on Dec 2010. I wasn’t a member of the club then, but wanted to ride flaunting their colors. After rounds of pleading I was sent to this gentleman. “Beep beep, tere ko pata hai membership earn karna padta hai” (Marathi slangs, you know it’s earned). “Haan, par mujhe ride par pehen ne do, acha nhi kiya, to wapasi me utar lena” (Yes, but lemme wear it, if you don’t find me right take it off), few other marathi slangs, few eyes trying to steal a peek; and I was allowed to wear it. Not only I understand the importance of membership, but could also sense how tough but soft at heart this person is! 
Red Hawk!
Grand daddy of Bullet riding fraternity not only in Mumbai, but all over India - this man has clocked lakhs of miles, through heavy rain; dry as well as cold desert, across the length and the breadth of country through the wildest corners and so on, without a little hint of pride! He’s not only famous for his enthusiasm towards the Bull and riding, but also because the stories he delivers in very own style every night on the rides. His horror tales always end with a reason and not just the ghost. Like that story of a mystical pond behind the mountains which beamed with flares every night. When investigated by a city-returned educated fella, it turned out to be phosphorus of the animal bones burning in night. The charm he’s got while taking is just indescribable. The way he mixes marathi slangs flawlessly with his fluent ride stories is heart winning, even though you may not able to understand what he actually said.
Why don’t I name him? Well, it’s just a name, and what’s in name? If you want to know him, buy a Bullet, and join the fraternity…you’ll meet him on highways, the high way!

Are you an Indian? Don’t look like… 
Our King size Bed
Your headlight is on - is the second most frequent signal we receive from non-riding civilians on road. First is a peculiarly investigating look that reveals itself as ‘Aap Indian hi ho na? Rehte to bahar hi hoge?’ (You are an Indian, no? Must be residing abroad?) These guys we meet all over country, like the man who heartily gave his straw-cushion for night stay at that highway dhaba on that cold January night at Allahabad or that petrol-pump wale Uncle who inspected us  toe to top before enquiring! The way they ask us about being Indian and not Bhartiya or Hindustani reveals the courage they have to gather. And, we like the innocence. While we trying to sleep on our straw-cushion sandwiched between shacks of onion and garlic in our sleeping bags, they were talking, “They are Indian, one in fact talks like banarasi. But, must be residing in Amerika, or most probably Landan!” We love it!

Mechanics, oops Bullet Mechanics
Guddu Bhai and Team
These people are God! They know Bullet’s heartbeat and can talk to it! Again, this is not what I have just observed, but what I have been told by many a mechanics that are not as divine to examine an ailing Bull. Be it Guddu bhaiya of Jhumritalaiya who was so amazed to know that we reached him by riding/asking for him over 50km, or Shahid bhai of Khaanwaadi who refused to charge any penny as for him-he didn’t actually do, or Bhawani Auto wala who put his ear to the Tank and revealed the faulty air-suction. They are god, experts but humble too!

Banaras Lovers
Kewl banarasi Baba
Not just bullet, I do walk, fly and have been through a lot train journey. You will find this amazing category of people everywhere, just everywhere! ‘Bhaiya, Banaras me bakchodi na hoi, ta fir kuchho na hoi’ (if it’s not f***ing around in Banaras, it’s nothing) is the favourite line if you are hearing it in Banaras, from a paanwala, a ricksaw-wala, a mithai-wala or anybody who’s a Banarasi in love with the city!

A famous paan shop
I met a guy from South Africa in an Indian Airlines flight Varanasi to Mumbai. The guy was on his second trip to ancient city to immerse the ashes of his mother, who visited with him on there last trip, into Ganges. When I asked him, why he liked a city that is so poor on hygiene, full of thugs; he said, he liked it for some reasons that he ain’t able to rationalise! Paused, he said it again, have you been to other countries? You see, India and Banaras are not that bad! I was overwhelmed! Shouldn’t I? :) Then he took advice on taxi-charges in Mumbai and local food; advised to take pre-paid and eat bada-paav and visit Bade Miyan.  
Then that girl who served us breakfast at that Calgary restaurant and refused to charge just because she has been to Delhi and spent her good time at Jaipur, Agra and Banaras!
There is another class of people, some of them very closed to me, who love criticising the city for heaps of justifiable reasons, but when questioned why don’t then they leave the city; they shut up. Probably, they need to visit more cities.

Just a little bit – 2nd class Railway travellers
If you haven’t travelled long in 2nd class of Indian Railways, then you haven’t actually travelled in India! The feeling is similar to what Saif Ali Khan tried to narrate after a truck-journey from Goa to Mumbai in Dil Chahta Hai by saying ‘To tujhe kya lagta hai main humesa takiye pe baith ta hu’ (What do you think, I always sit on a pillow?)
You meet a class of people, who are master in generating a space good enough to accommodate there any-size butt on a bench for 4 filled with 6 guys! Memorable are the moments when you are sitting (trying to take a nap) on your suitcase with the other guy’s kid sleeping on your lap and you’re confused to disturb her or not! Amazingly relieving are the moments when the guy who slept good 6-hours on upper berth alone, wakes up, looks at you and offers his regime to let you retire for few hours and you repeat it with other needy!
So much type of people you meet in single journey that you can actually write a book, of course you need to be a Chetan and not just Punit! :P

Bullet Baba
Om Bana aka Bullet baba
This is one mystical Man that I wanted to meet ever since I knew. Mystical and rather mythical, Bullet Baba aka Om Bana is a man who met an accident and died while riding (drink & drive) on Pali-Jodhpur road. Last month I was able to meet him, rather visit his Temple. The one thing that I actually was wondering about what should I pray? Finally, I couldn’t pray and just asked millions miles for the sake of visiting him riding some 800kilometers! But, amazing is the faith of the local villagers who offer alcohol and then distribute it there only to be heard by Om Bana. ‘No comments’ is the strategy I follow in such cases, so No Comments!

Bullet Bose
Experienced White beard Sir Bose 
This ain’t a mystery or myth! Fondly called as Sir Bullet Bose, this man with a mechanical brain and oil-cooled temper is Subhas Chandra Bose who not only mastered the art of automotive technology but was even able to clock 100miles per hour in 1960-70s on his self modified Bullet. Fraternity says none has since then equalled the record. I had a great opportunity to meet him last month at Delhi. So, soft spoken he’s; I remembered some great warrior’s words: ‘you need to be aggressive on your fist and not on tongue’! Nobody can say this humble soft spoken person once ruined the race track with slowest speed of 115kph and the fastest 240kph! Epic!

Friends
These are the not the least, but certainly the Best people I met while travelling. These people belong to the species whose frequencies generally match with me, or if not we somehow manage to produce a beat that would later resonate our hearts! Be it the first group excursion I had, or the SSB interviews I have been to, or the geological field trips, the rides or trip to Goa or...the list is long…what I earned in addition to memories and experiences are Friends! Even the passion of writing Travelogs earned me few great Blog mates. Won’t be going deep in describing these people, as they don’t need any! But, someday I surely would like to write a a blog, real long, to remember everyone of them…

At the end, customarily thanking Indibloggers and Expedia for such an interesting contest that let me acknowledge a few of the people I been able to know while travelling. If you are on Indblogger, you may Like to Vote for me here...

 सैर कर दुनिया की ग़ालिब, जिंदगानी फिर कहाँ,
जिंदगानी गर रही तो, नौजवानी फिर कहाँ...

Keep visiting to lemme introduce more people I met... and don't forget to share your own stories that built upon the people you met....

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Comments

  1. Interesting collage of experiences. Enjoyed reading. Congrats on winning consolation prize at expedia.

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  2. Congrats on the win Punit.
    Really fascinating post.
    PS - I think the Biker contest is for you, you will surely win that one too!!

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  3. Thanks Dheeraj! :)
    M still working on a post for the BikersCode, would sure like you to visit and tell if it's worthy :)

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  4. Thanks TheFool! :)
    My Disqus thinggy is again on track...so thanking you again :)) Keep visiting...

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  5. Thanks for stopping by RAJ :) Glad that liked the post and especially the agreement that it's more about the people we ride with and we meet while on expedition...

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  6. very very interesting read!!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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  7. You could visit me at www.crispingcanary.blogspot.com

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  8. Interesting read! Such people we meet on our travels do leave lasting impressions on us... Would love it if you read my experience and share your thoughts :)

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  9. Thanks Sushmita... Do share with us your own experiences with people you met while travelling, I saw your blog...you do travel-I know :)

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  10. Glad that you liked it Canary :), would sure love to read your thoughts...thanks for sharing your page, here I land :)

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  11. Sorry, the earlier comment got posted before I completed it. What I meant to say is this:

    Er... I am a Benares lover too, and can't rationalise it either. :-)

    And I like your take on the interesting people one meets during our travels. Good luck for the contest.

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  12. Er... I am a Benares lover too

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  13. Great post! I guess there are holidays where you wish to mingle with people and those where you wish to be left alone - but either way, people are always around and some leave an impression even without any interaction. 

    As for Benares, it is one of those cities I would like to go (hubby studied there) but the impression of poverty, unsanitary conditions impinges upon such plans. Hopefully, some time ...

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  14. Lovely post Punit! You summarized it wonderfully well! We do meet so many people in our travels all around, but seldom thank them in our posts in such a manner. They do make up for so many of our travel memories, indeed. All the Best :)

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  15. Thanks Manreet! Glad that we share similar thoughts on travelling and meeting people...rather experiencing! 
    And, for Banaras...do visit the city, you may not like it on many a counts, but it would for sure leave a lifetime impression on you, and you would be visit it again :) Ask, Arti and Sudhagee :)

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  16. Thank you Sudhagee! For Banaras, the Love ought to be unconditional...after all its Love! :)

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  17. Thanks Arti! It's always a great feeling when a blogger like you Likes my post :) I just got back from travelling, would be soon reading your and other posts...I know you are at Top :))

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  18. Hey Punit, lovely post yaar.. only a rider can come up with such insightful observations.. loved this one.. agreed tht it's still bout the road, ur ride n u; but yup, it is the people who make it interesting...

    Brilliant post, Punit..loved it!! :)

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  19. highly obliged :)
    And, you do deserve what you are earning in our blogging community :)
    Keep travelling, keep blogging...you are an inspiration...

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  20. It's so great to meet people with similar taste through a post on people we meet while travelling :)
    Would love to meet you someday on highway :) Thanks for the visit and the wishes...

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  21. This is the kind of travel I like & do. :-) 
    In India, most of the time they assume I am a foreigner seeing my solo status, cargo pants & camera hanging from neck. And yes, sleeping bag too. :-)Train travel is always my favourite. If it's 2nd class, it's a bonus. :-)All the best for the contest.

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  22. Hey Punit, it's not Likes.. I LOVE your posts :) And Thank you so much for all your kind words and best wishes always, you people always put me on a higher pedestal than I actually deserve :-)

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