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Amit Sharma: Photography, Travel, Design, Technology, Business, Cinema

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An Afternoon at Sarchu

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It was day 3 of our trip if we count Karnal/Chandigarh as our base. We were trying to make up for lost time, and (touchwood) the slowest of the lot, which would be yours truly, was doing really well in terms of speed & time.

I reached Sarchu ahead of every one else, in the late afternoon, and was raring to go further. But we decided to stay the evening and night here. Much relaxation, much plates of maggi and biscuits, much cups of tea, much photographs, and much sleep.

All of my belongings

[All of my belongings]
All of my belongings, originally uploaded by recaptured.

Via Flickr:
on the trip, that is.

At More Plains.

She’s back with me finally after a month long stay in Delhi.

My Love

My Love

The first picture of my Thunderbird I’m sharing from the trip. And the last picture I took of her.

She’s alright, but I haven’t seen her for over a month. She’ll be here soon.

Adventure!

[Adventure!]Adventure!, originally uploaded by recaptured.

Via Flickr:

We left Sarchu early, like 8 in the morning, crossed a gang of foreigners on Bullets, climbed the Gata Loops, and took a well deserved short break at the altitude of 16616ft at Lachulung la.

Our own little Tso

[Our own little Tso]
Our own little Tso, originally uploaded by recaptured.

Via Flickr:
On our super leisurely ride from Keylong towards Pang (that it ended at Sarchu that day is another story), we found our very own Tso.

And clicked pictures.

For The Happiness Of My Feet

Previously on Ladakh: Qasam UDaanjhalle Kii

Ok guys, it’s show off time again!

High up on the priority list for Ladakh preparations is comfort for the feet. 10-12 hours of riding every day in that terrain demands that I keep my feet warm, comfortable and dry under all circumstances. Which is why I went to my regular riding/trekking/adventure gear shop and bought Cramster’s waterproof riding boots.

DSC2451
DSC2452[Cramster riding boots][Cramster riding boots][Cramster riding boots]
I do have a few other pairs that I wear during my long rides. I used to have a pair of suede Woodlands, rugged and robust but not waterproof. Then I have a pair of tan leather Woodlands, which once again look good and are heavy and robust, but still not waterproof. I also have a very economical pair of DMS boots, which are the same as my leather Woodlands, but are black and cover my ankles properly.

I have never had any boots which were sold as “riding boots”, neither did I ever have boots which are waterproof.

These Cramsters come highly recommended, and thus I’m psyched about them 🙂

My other options were the Alpinestars riding boots, which are almost 4 times as expensive as these babies, or the Quenchua trekking boots, which are slightly cheaper and are waterproof, but are only ankle-high (not enough if you’re going to a terrain like Ladakh’s) and come with laces (would not want to spend time & effort in tying & untying when my lungs are gasping for oxygen on the highest motorable road in India, would I?)

I think I’ve made a good purchase. Let’s see how good it proves itself to be.

Qasam UDaanjhalle Kii

When this rider was little and rode bikes only as a pillion (or sitting on the tank), he dreamt of a place. A place high up in the mountains. A place where the landscape was white and brown, and the sky was bluest. A place where the terrain was unforgiving but the people were friendly, where monks lived, where kids were as pretty as dolls, where houses were clustered atop hills. A place where it was scorching hot out in the sun and chilling in the shade just at the distance of a few feet. A “cold desert” which was nowhere near Antarctica!

The place where, as he would later know, riders would go in big numbers every year. The place which would later become one of the hottest tourism spots in the country, where a major TV reality show’s first season would be shot, where a motorcycle company would organise an annual trip to.

But before all that, for him it was the place where Dara and Karan went on horsebacks to capture Yogi Thakur, who was out of jail and wanted revenge on his old accomplice Raja Singh, and Bacchulal of Akaalgadh fame spoke the immortal words “क़सम उड़ानझल्ले की” (qasam udaanjhalle ki).

Err what??? Are you wondering whether I have lost it completely?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about the movie Joshilaay, the one which began as a Shekhar Kapur movie, but couldn’t be completed as such. It still is one of my favourite films to relax with. One of the reasons for this is Shekhar Kapur’s direction in the first half, another being R. D. Burman’s score, then there’s Anil Kapoor’s on-screen attitude, and Satish Kaushik with his inimitable dialogue delivery. But more than that, what drew me, the little would-be-rider, into this movie was the unique looking “desert”. Never before had I seen a place so beautiful and interesting being portrayed as a badland. Before Joshilaay, deserts and tough places were always amidst the sands of Rajasthan or rocks of Karnataka. Which is why this movie took me in so deeply. Joshilaay introduced me to the dream that is Ladakh.

Years later, I would see another movie. Not so commercial. Never seen at the theatres. The only popular star this movie has is Danny Denzongpa. And if you cared enough, Raj Zutshi. Set in Ladakh, shot in Ladakh, with dialogues in Hindi and Ladakhi. The cinematography and direction wowed me again, but in a manner different from that of Joshilaay. It wasn’t a hero film or an epic film. It was a sensitive film, telling an intricate story of a girl, and her father. Frozen continued the dream I have had for so long.

But why am I telling you about this dream of mine? Because it is going to come true soon.

Amongst the two big & impactful pieces of news in my life, this one is more urgent and delightful. I am going to Ladakh after all these years of dreaming. Along with my steed.

Towards the end of this month, three of my friends and I are riding off from Jammu towards Leh. Yaay!!!

Preparations have begun. The countdown has started. I dream of Ladakh every day now. I plan to keep the blog updated with the preparations, and with the ride as and when it unfurls itself.

For you to enjoy, here’s an all-time favourite song of mine from Joshilaay, and then a short scene from Shivajee Chandrabhushan’s Frozen. Towards the middle of July, I plan to start sharing my impressions and interpretation of the land. Hope it lives up to whatever expectations you have from me 🙂

Next on Ladakh: For The Happiness Of My Feet

Brothers

Brothers by Amit Sharma (recaptured) on 500px.com
Brothers by Amit Sharma

Two Enfields resting and reminiscing the ride they just had, at Hedvi beach

Also on Flickr

Heaven?


Heaven?, originally uploaded by recaptured.

A peaceful beach, sunset, Enfields and riders around us.

This is most definitely heaven.

Hedvi, ladies and gentlemen.

Also on 500px

The Murud & The Janjira

Firelords logoSo the weekend of 8th & 9th January, five Firelords headed west, got lost many times, and managed to reach the beautiful town of Murud at 5.30 AM, when not even the street dogs are awake.

Why did we get delayed you ask?

Because of endeavors like this one, among other things.

Starry Starry Nights, originally uploaded by recaptured.

But it was awesome fun! We’re all trying to put words to our feelings & emotions & experiences. Until then, keep enjoying the photographs I keep putting up. Here’s hoping that I do at least that with some regularity 😛

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