Hikkim: World’s highest post office
Spiti is a terrain that is strikingly different in winters and summers. Covered in thick blankets of snow when the temperature plummets to the minus, the mountains glisten as sunlight touches them. This sight is pure magic — an experience everyone must have at least once in their lifetime. For me, visiting the world’s highest post office in peak winters on my Raptor was a childhood dream that sat unchecked for the longest.
Enroute Las Vegas
While travelling from Irvine to Las Vegas, I saw this beautiful amber tint of sun cracking from the sky and these words occurred to me:
The mesmerising amber tint of the dawn,
Tickles all my senses,
Beneath the silhouette of the sunrise,
A million words drenched in emotions,
yearning to pop out
To go to a fairly popular destination and be able to find a hidden spot is the art my Raptor and I have mastered. On a trip to Billing in Himachal Pradesh, I took a snow-laden trail to find the perfect spot, off-the-beaten-track, to get a gorgeous view of the snow-clad Dhauladhar peaks, sans paragliders distracting the view.
How old is your Raptor? People often ask me. “She is a little over hundred thousand kilometres old,” I say. Then the most common response I get is, "You travel so much, you drive so much, isn’t it risky?" My answer to them: "Never dread death. Instead, dread an unlived, unexplored life".
I had read a lot about the Hoover dam when I was a child — how it was targeted by the Germans during World War II; how it once was earth’s tallest dam and created America’s largest water reservoir. With all these stories in my head, I visited Arizona just to see what the hype about this dam was. And I guess my desire to see it was so strong that I ended up seeing this beautiful curve lined with cars of multiple colours. I immediately documented it for my future reference and this particular photograph has been loved and appreciated by many.
It was the 24th of December. I was warned by locals that only a skilled driver can make it to the last village of Yamunotri, as the roads were in really bad shape during this time of the year. I decided to trust my Raptor and went ahead, and reached my destination without much hassle. On days like these, when I do not even trust what my eyes see or my gut tells me, I trust the Raptor to bail me out of every delusion.
There are drives, then there are journeys and finally, there are anecdotes. When you multiply all three exponentially, there is the Raptor. After clocking over a hundred thousand kilometres in my sturdy steed, I say with conviction that this machine separates the men from boys.
My trip to see the ruins of Hampi was nothing short of surreal. In my opinion, it is one of the very few places where man-made and nature seem to be at loss without one another.
How beautifully does the ice wrap the mountains and how gracefully does it melt and part ways. Only to come again the next season and with a bang. That’s how arrivals and departures should be in life — silent goodbyes and expressive welcomes. Nature has stories that it tells in a million ways and I have been witness to many such with my trusted companion.
Migratory Birds: Detachment is the key
I covered quite a distance to see these beautiful migratory birds. The moment I reached there I saw freedom at its best. The way they are not restricted by borders, or permanent homes, it brought back all the archived memories from my countless trips. And I was motivated to stick to the unconventional lifestyle that I have been and will keep pursuing.