Sunday, 29 September 2013

Dangerous curves ahead...

Seems like the person who was assigned the task of coming up with catchy phrases for the road signs through the Ladakh region did a fabulous job. Not only are you fascinated by the scenery through the drive - majestic mountains, the blue, blue sky, the never ending stream of water; you also get solid entertainment in the form of road signs. Some of the messages are downright sleazy, some funny and some others thought provoking; all of them however do drive home the point - road safety!

Here's a list of some of them, in no particular order. 

- Don't lose your nerves, when you see curves. 
- The enemy of the road - speed, liquor and overload.
- Speed is like a knife that cuts life. 
- Feel the curves, do not test them. 
- Feel the curves, don't hug them. 
- I am curvaceous. Be slow. 
- Driving faster can cause disaster. 
- Be soft on my curves. 
- I love you, but not so fast. 
- A spill, a slip, a hospital trip. 
- If married, divorce speed.
- If engaged, go steady. 
- If single, watch for curves. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Oneandhaff is sometimes justified.

Oneandhaff is the standard response while engaging in conversation with an auto driver in Bangalore. While it typically irks me and I respond with a "You only go!", or "Have you lost your mind?” there are some trips made that make it worth the oneandhaff. 

A couple of weeks back I sat in an auto that a certain Mr. Waseem rode (Do you drive or ride an auto?). It was one of those pimped up rickshaws with flashing blue and green lights, a music system with speakers that belted out Bollywood music (you could hear it before you could see it) and a small book shelf! The man itself seemed delighted at the prospect of transporting yet another passenger, with whom he could share his personal taste in music and interior decoration. And he was quick and mostly irreverent - THIS IS MY ROAD is what his auto screamed out as it inched its way through traffic. 

On a regular day I would politely ask the aforementioned Waseem Bhai to reduce the volume, so I could listen to music or hear myself think over the cacophony of sounds. On that day however, I couldn't help but note that I was bobbing my head and tapping my feet to the music. For somebody who typically requires several hot drinks to do the needful while standing on two feet, this was certainly a new, never before felt feeling. It was almost as if Mr. Waseem had planned it all, designed his rickshaw so people could dance to his tunes. 

Life lesson learnt - If you can’t beat them, join them... it guarantees ample fun!

So the next time you hear someone tell you "Oneandhaff", please look inside the auto to see if it has pretty lights, music and a book shelf, and a certain Mr. Waseem at the helm, before you scoff, say something nasty and walk away. 

Monday, 9 September 2013


One of the things I really enjoyed doing on my trip to Kashmir was taking pictures of all the animals that we came across. From majestic horses to pot-bellied marmots to birds I couldn't identify to random strays, I was in awe of everything. Here are some of the beauties I met. 

Gulab and Mehendi - Gulmarg

Horses - Gulmarg

Ducks in the water - Nagin Lake, Srinagar

Dog at Tibetan Market - Leh

Oneandaf horned domestic cow - Leh

Goat - Turtuk

Magpies on a wire - Turtuk 

Bactrian Camel - Nubra Valley

Himalayan Marmots - Near Pangong Lake 

Horses - Near Pangong Lake

Duck - Pangong Lake

Surprised Cat - Jalianwalla Bagh, Amritsar