On life…and learning

Archive for January 2016

Motorcycle Diaries. Road to Ladakh… Preparation Begins

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New Delhi – Ladakh – Srinagar – New Delhi. This one is the Holy Grail for all the bike riders of the world – 3200kms of the toughest terrain any biker can bargain for. Starting the preparation. Having done it already in 2012 as part of Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey, 2012, I know what it takes.


This motorcycling journey would cover 3 mountain ranges, six passes and touch the daring heights of 18,380 feet at Khardung La  – world’s highest motorable road and brings you to Ladakh – the land of high passes.

Last time, I rode there I was 30. Now, I would be 36. Can the body sustain the ride? The weather, the oxygen or rather the lack of it, the terrain, et al? It commands a grilling fitness regime before you even venture into thinking about this Trip – both for you and your Enfield. Trying to stay true to it.

Despite the challenge it offers, there isn’t any dearth of bikers who have done this trip – you’d find so many of them, try searching on Google! However, my earlier travel to Ladakh taught me a useful lesson – every ride to this Himalayan abode will be a new test, an altogether different one every time you venture on it; it doesn’t get any easier with earlier experience that one may have of riding on to this absolutely stunning journey.

This ride can be a truly difficult learning experience – it tests you on much more than expert biking skills; it teaches many things too – about yourself! Every biker dreams about this Trip. Having done that already, I am daring to relive this dream yet again this year, and making it go real very soon.

“If you go to the Odyssey as a boy, you will return a man; if you go as a man, you will return a sage, and if you go as a sage, surprisingly you will return as a boy”. Those were the words with which Dr. Venki Padmanabhan, then CEO of Royal Enfield, flagged off the 2012 Himalayan Odyssey, 2012.

Am I trying to find that boy in me? Shall keep you all posted on this ride of a lifetime!

PS: Read here about more on Motorcycle Diaries

Written by RRGwrites

January 26, 2016 at 12:40 PM

YUVA – For The Young India…

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Written by RRGwrites

January 11, 2016 at 11:51 AM

Actors, Them All!

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Bad Actor CartoonFor the past few days, I have been following the events around the Pathankot air-base attack. While I wasn’t surprised at this yet another act of terror, I was certainly bemused when the well-awaited alibi of Pakistan came forward yet again – ‘this is not the act of Pakistan’s armed forces or ISI, behind this could be the non-state actors (read – militants).’

Pakistan is indeed full of actors, isn’t it? Some state, some non-state. Some actors take form of its slimy politicians, who don an astonishing act of friendliness and forward-looking statesmen in one frame; and yet, turn their dialogues-delivery to extreme nonchalance the moment they are faced with some real questions. They are at their theatrical best while playing the role of a shameless, spineless character; an act that would have made legendary villain, of the yesteryears’ Hindi film industry, Kanhaiyya Lal bow in honour!

Some actors play the roles of well-read and well-travelled journalists, who exhibit moving sentiments while reciting verses on the platforms like ‘Aman ki Asha’ and TV chat-shows, and yet offer an equally moving rendition of silence when made to face the dastardly, state-sponsored acts of terrorism against India.

Even better actor is the Pakistan Army, which performs its act so well at times that I really don’t miss another fabulous actor Mahmood anymore! They act out an aggressor and a coward with similar gusto, almost in the same frame many a times. They act befittingly the role of butchers of soldiers, character of a guide to terrorists and the part of a watch-keeper when militants cross the border almost as a daily ritual. They also mouth splendid dialogues; sometimes well after the whole act is over! Who would forget the splendid performance by Pakistan denying involvement of any of their armed forces whatsoever during the Kargil skirmish in 1999. Sadly, Pervez Musharraf, the protagonist playing army general, in his later played role of a condemned politician, admitted to the world – ‘well of course we played a role there!’

And then, surely exists out there the legendary non-state actor of Pakistan – mightiest of them all. And they perform their part with similar flair all over India, you see; right from the snowy LoC to the swanky metropolitans like Mumbai. With an acting prowess like theirs, their craft is good enough to sweep each award in every category, should there be an award ceremony for this coterie!

And this is all one big family of actors performing in unison, so impeccably all the time. Some incredible acting it is, as it never ceases to act in the most crafty and nifty manner. This is also probably the best in class show; even better than the drama America put by bombing Iraq, in its spell-binding performance of Uncle Sam’s men searching the WMDs!

Wonderful actors, them all Pakistanis!

With this grand histrionic around, I also wonder as to when the side-actor, called the Indian government, specially this new one with a 56-inch chest, too finds a frame or two to showcase its talents, if any…


Photo-credit: cartoonstock.com

Written by RRGwrites

January 9, 2016 at 6:53 PM

My Guiding Words for 2016

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2016Over the period of years, at the outset of each new year, I pen down my intentions – words & thoughts that guide me throughout the year. At times, these are the pieces that I learnt the hard way during the preceding year, or somethings that I read or heard and which stayed with me. I note them down, and they become my reminders for the year-round.

For the year 2016, here they are:

  1. Will cut down on time taken during the decision-making process. Will watch and act against time wasted in unnecessary meetings and reviews.
  2. Won’t attend all arguments I get invited to. Simply, won’t. Will stay away from people bringing negative energy. Two-feet distance, at least.
  3. Will authentically look out for at least one good deed every day – done by anyone around me. Will thank the person before the day ends. Delayed and/or unexpressed gratitude isn’t useful to anyone.
  4. Will call a spade by no other name. Will stay polite when I do so.
  5. Will continue to focus and work on the strengths of my team. Will keep pushing them to excel. Give more credit and take more blame as a leader.
  6. Will be a better spouse. Find lesser faults with and show more affection and respect to wify Neha.
  7. Will teach my son Rajvir how to swim.
  8. Will give higher attention to my health; and not merely via lip-service. Will go on vacations; will encourage my team to do so too. Will choose happiness and choose to spread it.
  9. As Jeff Weiner recommended, will dream big, get shit done and have fun while I do so.

The intention behind writing my guiding principles and goals is simple – it inspires me everyday to achieve them, stay true to them. That’s what I will try and do with above nine intentions for 2016.

What are yours?


PS: Here are the links to my guiding principles earlier years. You you liked reading the above post, chances are, you’d like these too:

Written by RRGwrites

January 3, 2016 at 3:17 AM

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