Positive Vibes

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

– Bob Marley

 (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican singer, songwriter, and musician. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae.

One World

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one.”

– John Lennon

(9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as the founder, co-lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles.

Fortune

I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.

– Hermann Hesse

(2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds

A Beautiful story that will touch and warm up your heart.

A man who has gone out of his town comes back and finds that his house is on fire.

It was one of the most beautiful houses in the town, and the man loved the house the most. Many were ready to give double price for the house, but he had never agreed for any price and now it is just burning before his eyes.

And thousands of people have gathered, but nothing can be done, the fire has spread so far that even if you try to put it out, nothing will be saved. So he becomes very sad.

His son comes running and whispers something in his ear:

“Don’t be worried. I sold it yesterday and at a very good price ― three times.

The offer was so good I could not wait for you. Forgive me.”

Father said, “thank God, it’s not ours now!” Then the father is relaxed and became a silent watcher, just like 1000s of other watchers.

Please think about it!

Just a moment before he was not a watcher, he was attached.

It is the same house….the same fire…. everything is the same…but now he is not concerned. In fact started enjoying it just as everybody else in the crowd.

Then the second son comes running, and he says to the father, “What are you doing? You are smiling ― and the house is on fire?” The father said, “Don’t you know, your brother has sold it.”

He said, “We have taken only advance amount, not settled fully. I doubt now that the man is going to purchase it now.”

Again, everything changes!!

Tears which had disappeared, have come back to the father’s eyes, his smile is no more there, his heart is beating fast. The ‘watcher’ is gone. He is again attached.

And then the third son comes, and he says, “That man is a man of his word. I have just come from him. He said, ‘It doesn’t matter whether the house is burnt or not, it is mine. And I am going to pay the price that I have settled for. Neither you knew, nor I knew that the house would catch on fire.'”

Again the joy is back and family became ‘watchers’! The attachment is no more there.

Actually nothing is changing!

Just the feeling that “I am the owner! I am not the owner of the house!” makes the whole difference.

The Moral

This simple methodology of watching the mind, That you have nothing to do with it.

Everything starts with a Thought!

Most of the thoughts are not yours but from your parents, your teachers, your friends, the books, the movies, the television, the newspapers.

Just count how many thoughts are your own, and you will be surprised that not a single thought is your own. All are from other sources, all are borrowed ― either dumped by others on you, or foolishly dumped by yourself upon yourself, but nothing is yours.

Sow a thought, you reap an action.

Sow an act, you reap a habit.

Sow a habit, you reap a character.

Sow a character, you reap a destiny.

Stay Blessed ❤️

Ride de Shinku La

𝙳𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝚁𝚎𝚊𝚍𝚎𝚛𝚜, 𝙸 𝚊𝚖 𝚍𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚝 𝙲𝚊𝚙𝚝 𝙹𝚊𝚒𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚎𝚝 𝙹𝚘𝚜𝚑𝚒 𝚘𝚗 𝚖𝚢 𝚋𝚕𝚘𝚐 𝚝𝚘𝚍𝚊𝚢. 𝙹𝚊𝚒𝚙𝚛𝚎𝚎𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚏𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚌 𝚑𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊 𝚠𝚘𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚞𝚕 𝚏𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚑𝚒𝚖. Catch him at Insta @capt.jaipreetjoshi / http://www.fitcomb.com / twitter : @fitcomb

Introduction

The evil tentacles of Covid19 held our heads down for long but now in Oct 2020 after things had started easing out we also planned  a much awaited ride . Also, the Atal Tunnel at an altitude of 10,000 ft was recently inaugurated and made open for the public and I thought of being one of the first few to ride through it.

The Plan 

I zeroed down on Shinkhu La or Shongo La which lies at an altitude of 16,703 ft linking Zanskar and Lahaul as it is one of the most unheard of passes and wanted to nail it before it becomes commercialised like another ‘Pangong Tso’ courtesy (sic) ‘Three Idiots’ (a bollywood blockbuster). The plan was quickly scribbled :

Day 1 – Gurgaon – Kullu 

Day 2 – Kullu – Manali

Day 3 – Manali – Shinkhu La – Manali

Day 4 – Manali – Swarghat

Day 5 – Swarghat – Gurgaon 

Total Distance – 1500 kms 

My dear friend and martial arts student Shridhar Sinha was itching to ride to the hills and hence this plan of a hill ride crystalized so quick.

Prep

Post plan acceptance , it was time to prep our machines for this challenging ride from 600 ft of pure non sense to 17000 feet of heavenly glory. Since mine is a carbureted machine , I did not forget to carry a few small size main jets to cope with the high altitude sickness called fluttering and loss of power. A set of spare tubes and Motul tube inflator was catered to also. Complete overhaul and check was carried out post which we shopped for some snacks , energy bars, meds and other essentials.Winter wear was also dug out and shown some sun , riding boots cleaned and polished . We were now fully prepped or at least that is what we consented on and now it was time to kick off.

D Day (Gurgaon – Swarghat / 370 kms / 10 hrs)

Captains log started on 9th Oct 2020, RV for start was opposite Suncity at 0530 hrs but Shridher got delayed by 30 min hence we kick started at 0605 hrs .The nip was in the air and the feeling of riding in the nice cool breeze was elevating. Karnal byepass was crossed in less than an hour and we were now zipping on NH1 which had by now swelled up with traffic. We meandered our way through and stopped for breakfast at Aman Dhaba near Sonipat. Post a light meal comprising of butter toasts and tea we resumed our journey. It was now around 4 pm and we were nearing Swarghat after intercepting a farmers agitation  near Ropar which delayed us by good 45 minutes. It also coincided with my RE riding boots tearing open (probably due to non usage for long). Paid Rs 120/ to get the wide open lips of my boots stitched together as I had no other option available. Since we were in no hurry to reach Manali, we decided to anchor at the Hilltop Hotel at around 1600 hrs.. What followed was a small stroll through the local market where we picked 2 cans of Budweiser to celebrate day 1 of the ride . Dinner comprised of Chicken Rarha and we hit the bed early.

Day 2 (Swarghat – Manali / 240 kms / 6.5 hrs) 

Manali was now about 240 kms but we decided to start at leisure and then reach there by eve. But our plan changed as soon as I read a message from my unit officer Col Amitabh , Shaurya Chakra (my first company commander) to join him for lunch at his place at 1330 hrs . I treated this like a dictat and how could I even say ‘no’ to my senior officer who was extending himself so wholeheartedly , so we hurried up and finally started off at 0700 hrs. From Mandi we took the more cleaner and definitely much picturesque route through Katoula to Bhuntar and then Manali. The road was meandering and left almost no scope to overtake but it was very much worth all the efforts out in.At 1345 hrs we were at Manali Green Cess Collection Point, another 20 min and we were knocking at ‘Ambrosia’ , Amy sir’s (Col Amitabh) cottage built out of pure love and passion standing tall in the village of Kaniyal about 600 ft above Manali town.We had some beer to wash down the sumptuous meal prepared by Sudha mam’ , who is one amazing cook and a very warm and jovial hostess. By the time we finished the meal and were about to take some rest we were told by them to join them for a dinner hosted by Border Roads to celebrate the inauguration of the Atal Tunnel. It was a wow feeling to be amidst the entire team of engineers and military officers who made this dream come together as a formidable team in a resort on the left bank of Beas. It was a sheer pleasure to hear about the insights into the making of history at 10,000 ft by none other than the Chief Engineer (Project) – Atal Tunnel , Mr K P Purushothaman. It was an evening well spent but we decided to call it off a little early to prepare ourselves for the ride next day to Shinku La , also known as Shingo La .

Day 3 (Kaniyal , Manali – Atal Tunnel – Darcha – Shingo La / 140 kms / 5 hrs)

Though we started early to cross the tunnel before its maintenance shut down from 0900 hrs to 1000 hrs but we got a little delayed at the Manali Gas Station due to some Paytm payment not showing credited into the account of the Fuel Station but getting debited from mine. The lesson learnt was to either pay in cash or card to ensure immediate remittance. We somehow managed to reach the entry point just before time. 

We were feeling absolutely heavenly riding through this work of art at 10,000 ft stretching at 9.02 kms. We soon passed through the tunnel and steered our way towards Sissu. The ride on the newly constructed road through Tandi , Keylong , Jispa and Darcha was a sheer pleasure where we zipped past 80 Kmph on the odo. We took a well deserved halt at Darcha over momos and thukpa after getting ourselves registered at the Darcha Police Post. The next 2 hrs of ride from Darcha to Shingo La was not only arduous but challenging. The stretch is about 40 kms which winds through gravel, rocks and dry patches. The turns are sharp and some of them hair pin tight . Maintaining momentum acquires significance or it becomes very tough waddling the bike up hill with depleted oxygen levels.

Shingo La Pass is at a height of about 17000 ft with piercing wind chill making it tough to stand tall for long. Since the rider with me – Shridher reached after about half hour, I had a terrible time weathering the strong cold winds. As soon as he joined me we clicked a few pictures and shot some video to fall back quickly as the cold winds were torturous. We started back at 2 pm and took our first halt at Darcha over a cup of tea. Another cup of tea and sandwiches happened at Tandi Transit Camp as the Officer Commanding was my Army course-mate and there was no way I could miss out on him. Having done with the adieus and good byes we resumed our ride , overtook a beeline of cars waiting to get back to Manali and beyond through the tunnel. By about 1920 hrs we made it back to Amy sirs’ Ambrosia, took a nice hot water shower in his state of art bathroom which can give any upscale condominium in Gurgaon a run for its money. Having washed away the fatigue, we clinked our glasses to cheers and had some amazing food over loads of chit chat. Finally we retired at around 2350 hrs.

Day 4 (Manali – Swarghat / 225 kms /6.5 hrs)

We took the standard route via Pandoh – Mandi – Bilsapur – Swarghat which for sure was a pathetic decision. With loads of road construction work enroute, the ride back to Swarghat was actually bone crushing and equally so for our bikes, Tired and battered, we called it a day at Swarghat where we chilled ourselves over Budweiser and some nice mixed veggies and egg bhurji. It was goodnight at 2130 hrs to prepare for the final home run.

Day 5 (Swarghat – Kharar – Mohali – Dera Bassi – Ambala – Panipat – Delhi – Gurgoan / 350 kms / 7 hrs)

The early birds hit the roads at 0600 hrs to avoid crazy traffic being a working day. I was zipping past on open stretches and crossed Mohali at 0800 hrs. Thereafter there was no stopping and I took my first stop 10 kms short of Ambala. Next was a refuelling break near Karnal. I entered Delhi at around 1130 hrs but the traffic at Karnal Bye Pass was maddening. I meandered through the loads of vehicles on the dusty, grimy roads and hit home at 1300 hrs sharp.

Thanked God for a safe, no trouble, one amazing ride to Shinku La !