India, Jammu and Kashmir, Road Journals
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The day of the U-Turn

I offered Cynthia Tea. She said “I am sorry, I am still not Indian’ and asked me to come up and look at the lines on her table.

The table had a beautiful map. And this map sounded fulfilling. It had the river Indus, a path that will leave the road behind and lead to a narrow canyon. I must take that. And walk for an hour or two to the village of TAR where Cynthia’s best friend lives, in a cave like kitchen, where Ibex’s and snow leopards come sometimes to say hello.

I left. In between late and very late. Almost not sure. Not excited. On my Himalayan. but something felt missing the whole day. More motivation! No. What had I thought and where am I leading myself to. The path seemed contrasting in my head. And Just before getting close to half the way to Chilling, I u-turned from a gorgeous bridge over Zanskar and rode back like I wasn’t riding. Faster, anxious as one gets after getting a temporary focus, on my way back to Leh. A blinker of a turn and I almost threw myself under a truck. If you are here reading, and have ever come close to feel a bump just before a possible death, well i was so close that in those moments I whispered to myself inside that helmet, okay! I am here, but then i don’t know how i just slid past the big tires. It was a warning, scary warning and will keep in check for upcoming few days on the my ride to the border roads.


An old image of my north-Indian bike journey on my good old Pulsar

Those days many things were going on in head, as UT was a new thing for the region things were not in place. I remember i took a U-turn because if i did not get the inner permit signed, i would be trapped in let for another 3 days with motorcycle meter ticking on each day.

I straight away rode to the permit office and got the stamp for Hanle. It is one of the remotest areas in Southern Ladakh. It’s getting colder every day and Hanle will just be a like horses sitting on wind. Almost 250 kilometres from leh, reaching Hanle in a day is going to be one long journey. The only way I know I can enjoy it, is by making the most evoking memories, images and film ever to have come from a human from that place, more so words. There will be something I ll take back home for the world before I conclude this long story forever.

Many lines on my land

It’s Mr. Modi’s birthday tomorrow. I wish him from my bed here. And it’s my birthday the day after. It may happen that i will be beyond the towers of the corporates for next three days. But if I am not. I will see you again with some more words.

As for Cynthia’s map. I have a plan 🙂

Nara : x

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