Monday, July 24, 2006

A shot at celebritydom

For me, it was straight out of a fairy tale, the fairy in question is Shrabonti Bagchi and, yes, the story does end in a “and they lived happily ever after”.
One upon a time there lived a handsome, youthful, energetic, psychodynamic, vigorous, young man (read me). Hold on, that’s not the end of the fairy tale!!
Shrabonti Bagchi from The Telegraph was doing an article for the Sunday Telegraph, Graphiti. She chanced on my blog and found me fitting the ‘specimen’ category well enough to feature me in the article. Two mails, phone calls (and a lot of barefaced begging) later, I found myself giving a 20 minute interview sharing my passion about biking. And that is how I found myself on the first page of the cover story of Graphiti – The Telegraph Magazine, 25th June 2006. Thanks a million, Shrabonti.
Page 1
Page 2I, however, didn’t have hour-glass shaped creatures drooling over me and so I am trying this publicity stunt once again.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

To MadhuGiri with Tatte Idly

wide angle Madhugiri
Date: 09 July 2006
Distance traveled: 250kms
Route: Tumkur - Madhugiri
Some basic stats:
37 bikes (the highest ever on a ride)
45 people (the highest ever on a ride)
11 Women (the highest ever on a ride)
11 Announce riders (the highest ever on a ride)
5 Announce riders cleared for membership (the highest ever on a ride)

This ride had its share of some witty one-liners.
We need to see you come before we hear you come.
PP started off with something that can very well go into the history books for children to learn by rote. It helps explain a rather sanctified RTMC rule of keeping your headlight on while on a group ride. (And I always thought it was just meant to help you see the road better).
“We need to see you come before we hear you come”
This profound explaination, am sure will bring absolute clarity to us RTMCians and would also placate the curiosity of the bewildered country policemen.
On the last two rides (Penukonda and this one) cops stopped the battery of bullets, “Adella OK, aadre headlight yaake??” Trying stopping us next time fellas.
If you were to ponder some more, you will realize how this is aligned with the human anatomy too. We do have eyes before the ears!! And then nature seconds this philosophy too – Lightening is seen before thunder is heard, Bingo!!!
And all the sexoholics would concur, we do need to see them come before we hear them come, right (?)

There was a lot of ‘diversity’ on this ride. The lone female rider must have inspired this one, “Everyone has to come down to his knees here.

My tappets were making noise giving my bullet a chopper kind of feel. I could hear it over the racket of the other bullets and even inside my helmet. Nandan (my Bullet doc) had taken me through a course on tappet adjustments the previous evening to make sure I wouldn’t be stranded on the highway. It’s all here if you need to know more. And then I had to get back in time to catch my flight to Delhi. I still wanted to do the ride.
My initial plans were to join them till breakfast and then ride back. Breakfast happened at the world-famous-in-tumkur Pavithra Idly Hotel at Kyatasandra. This place just outside Tumkur is famous for its Tatte Idlies (tatte = plate). (Plz check out the recipe at the end of this post). It was 10am when we were ready to ride again and I was saying the goodbyes. PP and doc edged me to carry on another 30kms to Madhugiri. ‘To Madhugiri’ on the title of a blog sounds better than To Tumkur and so I went. Now we were riding on the state highway, first gear-second gear-third gear-fourth gear-fifth-speed breaker-repeat was the sequence for all of the 30 odd kilometers.
We reached Madhugiri by 11 or so, a few others were delayed because of a leaking tank on one of the bulls. I waited for the ride captain, Sumanth to join up before I started my way back. With the fear of loose tappets (or God knows what) at the back of the mind, I was glad I made home by 1:30, well in time for lunching, packing and boarding.
The next one week will be spent in the pink city Jaipur.

Before I leave... it wouldn't be fair, if I didn't give you a chance to experience it yourself, so here goes...
Finger-licking Tatte (plate) Idly
Idly rice (Ponni rice if possible)
Urud dal
cooked rice
Fenugreek seeds(Methi)
Salt as per taste

(Disclaimer: The writing on the wall in the photograph above is purely co-incidental and may(?) not have any bearing on the taste whatsoever)
Soak Idly rice and Methi together in water for about 5-6 hours.
Soak urud dal in water for 3 1/2 hours. Drain the water from urud dal and grind it in a wet grinder with little water. Fine grind it until the mixture is frothy. Keep aside. Now drain water from soaked rice and methi.
Grind these along with cooked rice and little water in the grinder.
Now mix the ground items and add salt. Allow it to ferment for 16 - 18 hours. Then make idlys in the idly steamer. The flour is poured into the tattes (plates) and piled in a neat circular arrangement.
This is then transferred to the steam chamber. Steam the idlys on high for 10 minutes.
Steaming Tatte idlys are served best with coconut chutney and hot sambar. Surrup…

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Manchinbele and NICE

Date: 02 july 2006
Time: 10AM
After a rathar dull saturday at home, it was time to hit the highway again. The weather in Bangalore these days simply lures you out of the house. I dug out the archives of my grey area and pulled out Manchinbele dam, put in there by Doc. One phone call later, I the plan was in place. I had made up my mind, in any case, I am gonna run with HASH this evening, which meant I had to be back by 3.
Manchinbele is a dam over the river Arkavathy forming reservoir around 30 Kms west of Bangalore. You have to ride on Mysore road, about 3 kms after Kengeri, a right turn takes you on a very bumpy road to The big Tamrind tree, continuing about 8kms further takes you to this quiet and serene dam, willfully hidden from the urban chaos.
It was quite a relief to take the butts off the bullet after the bumpy ride and walk up to the dam. The view from the dam was quite breathtaking. There were 3 gates to let the water (or dam it) to the channels on the other side. The watchman (if a black ribbon around his neck is any identification!!) told us that the water is as much as 70feet deep and quite a few lives have been lost in there.
Stopped over on the way back at Tamrind tree, buzzing with people in stark contrast to what we had just left behind.
Sooper weather, some wonderful views, and a terrible road is what i will not forget for a long time.

So after this, I had to rush to Anjanapura village. HASH was running that weekend on the NICE Bangalore-Mysore corridor. I had to ride on Macarise Club, some 10kms off Kanakpura Road to reach the run destination. Though I reached there some 10mins late, I could run and catch up with the rest of the hashers. The NICE is coming up at a good speed. There was a mix of countryside, road and uphill along the trial. There was a great participation this time, loads of hashers and many virgins, with svelte, well-proportioned figures ensured that the 'ceremonial' ring around the ice, had lots of action.
Biryani was served at the Macarise Club. One Bhubaneshwar hasher, an Australian citizen who shared my passion for the Bullet, wanted to pillion ride back to the city with me. (I wonder if he maintained that passion for the bullet after the ride!!). Apparently, a free lance economist working on a Public works dept project on State highways and world bank. Yes, I am trying a back door entry into one of those.
From 10 in the morning to 10 in the night, this is how it went...