Pedalling Up


As I was attending a social function in the morning an acquaintance walked up to me and joked about the Cycling pictures that I regularly post on the social media since the time I took on to cycling. I bought my cycle on 5 months back, the last time I had purchased one was during my school days at Mayo College, Ajmer from M/s. Hiralal & Sons way back in 1989 with my name and Roll No. engraved on the Handle Bar.

Cycling was something that I thought was beyond me, well I thought the same about all sort of physical activity, but a regular feature in the newspaper about cycling motivated me to venture inside a cycle showroom to have a peek of what I was getting into. They looked fancy and friendly (I mean the cycles) and so with a second visit with my wife and kids in the evening to finalise the colour, I was a proud owner of a Red and Black UT Cycle. Now came the time to buy accessories, I wanted to load my machine with them but I was coolly told off that first start riding regularly then eventually have all the accessories. I guess my reputation of a completely non-physical/outdoor kind of person was no secret. Neither the Shop Owner nor my family and for that even I wasn’t confident that this enthusiasm would continue for long.2017-23-08-18-07-55

The very next day I took off on my new cycle and soon I realised what a pain in the ass it was, literally!! Because how on earth does a small seat fit a 100+ Kgs man comfortably?? Even the slightest bump in the road was painful, but I had a point to prove and the morning motivation to look forward to and so with an constant pain at unmentionable places I was went along gradually increasing my distance and decreasing the pain.

And I took off to exploring Udaipur visiting places I had never been before from the Hanuman Ghat to Ambrai Ghat; From Vaijnath Mandir, Sisarma to the Madar Lakes; From Eklingji to Chandpole Ghats!! From cycling in the bylanes of Udaipur to finding my way up to Bada Madar Lake in ankle deep water. From getting jittery riding up the pitch dark Chirwa Tunnel to coming downhill the Badi Lake, mornings had never been so adventurous.

The solitude and the ‘me’ time that I had was something that made me get out of my bed even before the Sun rose on Sunday mornings something that was never me. I looked forward to getting drenched in the rains; to the wind blowing on my face and falling in love with Udaipur all over again.

I don’t know if I have managed to shed any weight but one thing that certainly has happened is that I feel less guilty when I binge. After all the pounds accumulated over last 4 decades would take time to go !!

So yes I would continue to use the social media to bore most of you with my cycling trips pictures and hoping this love for my cycles continues till the time we both outgrow each other (Sincerely hope this love story is for keeps).

Thank U Mummy !!

The world is celebrating The Mother’s Day today . But can the love for one’s mother be restricted to just this one given day?? Yes because if we can celebrate the amazing relationship of Brother-Sister on Rakhi then why not celebrate this first relation/ bond that we form with our life giver.
I have been triply blessed to have three generations of mother who have showered love and affection on me unconditionally without fail. Starting from my mother to my Grand Mother and then to my Great Grand Mother. Words and emotions would always fall short of what they mean to me. I am miserable at displaying my love and affection to the people that matter and are dear to me and that’s a grudge I doubt can ever be rectified. So this is a small measure to cover my inadequacies!!

mummyThis Mother’s Day I want to Thank you Mummy for bringing me up the way you did. For keeping me grounded, covering up for my mistakes and being there for me always. We have had our showdowns but what is a relationship without this. I have never told you this but time and again people have complimented me about my upbringing and I have you to Thank for it. Coming from the background that we do, it was very easy to get things to our head but a good thrashing verbal or otherwise was enough to get whatever nonsense crept up in my head time and again. The strict upbringing that we abhorred while growing up  but now in hindsight realize that it was what made sure we never wavered from the family ideals. Hope I am able to provide the same upbringing to your Grandchildren who are now getting the same love (हमसे थोडा ज्यादा) from you and the same reprimands (हमारे comparison में कुछ भी नहीं).

image-14Jiya that is how I and everyone addressed my Grandmother as, it means mother In Mewari. Someone who was known for her temper and who never suffered fools gladly, never once showed her anger irrespective of my foolish and stubborn temperament. A Cook par excellence, I had to name a dish and she would drop everything and made sure it was there: be it her Indian Cooking, her instant Ladoos and img221her cupcakes. One example that stands out was when she first visited me in Mayo College , I was howling and begging her to take me back with her to Udaipur and there she was all strong and admonished me for being such a weakling. The regular letters from her while I was in boarding was always a source of strength and inspiration for me. She passed away 18 years ago and till her very last days she wasn’t dependent on anyone, active and doing her own work!! My only regret is not spending the evening with her before the day she passed away.


Dadi: My Great Grandmother who lived past 100 years contented and with no regrets!! Remember snuggling into her bed and literally pushing her into the corner, her room was our hiding zone. image-31Only thing out of bounds for us was her rosary and her Shrinathji. When I moved to Mumbai for my college, she often spoke about her days in Mumbai in the early 1900’s where she was staying when my grandfather was studying then in VJTI. Her fondness for Tomato Ketchup and Macaroni and her keeping aside a roti for our pet dog. Uncomplaining and showering unconditional love on us. Life was never smooth for her with the loss of her husband at a young age, death of her young daughter and then seeing the death of her only son. She faced life as it came!!
Thank You my life is incomplete without the love of these mothers and it can only be truly measured by their love, for they define me as person!!

This song from Taare Zammen Par captures the true emotions ……

मैं कभी बतलाता नहीं , पर अँधेरे से डरता हूँ मैं माँ,
यूँ तो मैं दिखाता नहीं, तेरी परवाह करता हूँ मैं माँ ,
तुझे सब है पता , है ना माँ 
तुझे सब है पता .... मेरी माँ

School’s 20th Reunion



Today returned to my alma mater: Mayo College, Ajmer where I spent the most important formative years of my life and met friends after a gap of nearly 20 years. 20 long years!! Batchmates changed , humbled, unrecognizable from the grind and the rough and tumble of the past 2 decades.

Each emotion is in complete sync with Anurag Mathur’s poem ‘RETURN’ :

I returned to the land of my youth,

to childhood dreams and first passion.

That world had shrunk, distances had shrivelled.

The kindly giants now looked up to me.


The singing stones spoke to me,

Snapping open the clam of memory,

And in there lay the moonlight,

A luminous pearl.


I looked into that globe and of course

Memories are made of moonlight

That cleans out the dirt and the dust

And the ugliness of the daily interaction


I remembered most of all the sunsets,

When some unbelievable talented God

Painted the sky to his satisfaction


There was a friendly tree in the schoolyard, long suffering,

And the sun on a winter afternoon,

Friends with breaking voices,

And cricket on a turning track.

As I leave from the distance I see the fort,

Supine like a sleeping God,

Haughty in its power,

Brooding in the gloom,

Of bitter things seen.


Terrible in its beauty,

Heedless of our pygmy lives…