It was last year when I was switching job from Synopsys to D. E. Shaw , that I saw the Himalayan Odyssey 2008 ad on the RE website. I said to myself what a waste I should have taken a month leave in the switch to attend this. I took a vow to attend the next years event and went back to work.
A year later I was struggling to get leave for Himalayan Odyssey 2009 since I had already taken a leave for 3 week from my sister's wedding in February. So I worked like anything to complete my assigned projects and applied for leave after a little bit it got approved. So what was it about this trip that I badly wanted , if you have asked at that time I did not even know. I would have said, something like "I wanted to see Himalayas on my bike" or " I want a real break from the the order of things going in life".
If you ask me now, I will say it was one of those schools that you attend which has least of theory and and all of practical to teach you some of the important lessons of life with so much fun it it that's its unbelievable. If you know me you would get tired hearing about the trip on every moment i get to speak but i won't.
This is how it all started, I was working on one one the weekends in start of April in my office, I got a impulse on checking the RE website and there it was Himalayan odyssey 2009 registration. The page made my heart sink I was a week late. I wasn't sure if there was scope of me to fit in, So I called up Mr. Kanwardeep to figure out if there were seats left. He asked me to give a try.
Since it was already Saturday evening, I postponed the paper work to Monday. The first thing to do on Monday was to take a leave and start collecting the documents. I started with medical checkup, went to hospital nearby who made me wait for long and wasted 2 hours. Next i went to a private medical clinic and then the process started flowing, i got the draft next , called up for my medical insurance , got a courier guy who promised to deliver the courier the next day morning. Man I was tired roaming in City for a entire day in sweltering heat and realized how much capable I am to cover in hot day given the fact that spend all my day sitting in front of a computer in a AC.
I made some fanatic calls to Mr. Kanwardeep the next day to figure out if I am in or out. Man he was so patient in answering my calls. I was relived when he said my application was there.
I got a mail several days later of my participation in the event. Wow I was happy, happy indeed. The next was planning which I was pathetic in. I had no time out of work so called up my sister in Bangalore to arrange for my gear, the jacket , boots , saddle bags..... which she couriered me right on time. I was still short of sleeping bags, helmet , glove, and i know what. I got a guy in Hyderabad who had these stuff and so I was in luck again. I was late sending my bike to Delhi. Pleaded the Gati guys to deliver it on 12th when I reach there in afternoon. I went back to complete my work my appraisal and everything which looked almost impossible to complete.
I worked till wee hours of Thursday to complete the work before I leave Hyderabad and so missed most of my packing. hustled towards the airport to catch the flight. The moment I sat on the flight the thought of work was gone, I can't work now even If I wanted to :)
This was a first that I was in a trip to outdoors without the comfort of my friend who always took care of everything for me to be lazy bum. There was a little bit of awkwardness. I managed to reach delhi on time and reached our starting point. As I entered towards to the hotel I saw bullets and bullets everywhere. whew that was a scene. I had never seen so many bullets together. I started feeling something inside that this is going to be one hell of a trip. There I met Kiran my roommate for the day, he had been traveling from Bangalore to Calcutta on his 535 lightning and then went for a trip to north east and came back driving from Calcutta on a hot north Indian summer. I just took a flight that morning and jumped in :( . Then I went over for scrutiny. I met KD , Sachin who asked me to go for a medical checkup and get my Bike inspected from Amol. I didn't knew at that time how crucial these guys will be in my survival in the trip. The medical checkup went fine but there was problem with bike inspection. I still had to get the bike. I called up the Gati guys on my bike whereabouts and guess what it was still at their godown, I asked them to deliver at the destination by 5 and headed towards the destination model town 13 KM from where I was. I took a bus -> Metro -> rickshaw -> auto rickshaw to land up at the godown. The bike's self start was gone and the foot rest as well. I got back driving n the ring road and then got the footrest changed and was almost on time for the briefing which started on time at 7 in the evening.
Understanding the trip , getting introduced to my fellow riders, Ashok jee , Dr Raj kumar and media guys was what happened for the next hour. After which I started to do my essential shopping which I missed in Hyderabad. I went to Sarojani nagar market which was close by and a regular destination when I stayed in Delhi in 2000-2001. i came back at around 11 tried to sleep, we had to get up at 4 in morning. I have worked till 4 -5 even 7 in morning but never got a chance to wake up so early. This trip is going to be tough I said to myself and went to sleep.