MEASURING THE ROAD TO LEH

HOW TO PLAN A MOTORCYCLE TRIP TO LEH
-Ambika
“There is no happiness for him who does not travel … Therefore , wander !”
-Aitareya Brahmana, rig veda
A journey onto the highest roads of the world , through the most rugged terrain , all in search of the most self challenging version of you , finding your soul through the breathtaking and landscapes … Welcome to leh ! And the adventure increases manifold if its a motorcycle trip .
The best time to undertake the journey is from May to October .As for the budget , it would cost approximately between 30, 000 – 50,000 INR depending upon the accomadation one takes up. Since much of the trip cosists of daunting weather conditions , it is well advised to check upon one’s physical fitness before undertaking the journey . Also one should be well equipped with a well equipped first aid kit and good quality woolens to keep you warm as most of the time you will be camping under the stars . It is also imperative to take a postpaid sim along with you as prepaid sims of other states donot work in Jammu and Kashmir .
At an altitude of about 13000 feet and above in the himalyas the distance that one can cover depends upon the roads and weather conditions and also the stops that one takes to halt en route . The best take would be to reach Delhi as the first stop and then to proceed towards Kullu either via a taxi or a bus as the flights can be pretty unpredictable due to bad weather conditions . from here the most advisable option is to take a taxi to Manali as that would be your next stop . From manali starts the motorcycle ride .
After the enchanting climb of over 13,051 feet and 52 kms of lush green mountanious terrain we arrive at the Rohtang Pass . After Rohtang one reaches the Chandra Valley and goes on to reach Tandi – the only place along the entire highway that has a petrol pump . Fill up your tanks and reserves in containers as well . The next stop where we halt is Jipsa which is 32 kms from Tandi thus ending the day’s ride .
From Jispa , next day we move on towards Sarchu, the next stop . The route comprises of small mountain lakes and breathtaking landscapes and also the second high altitude pass Barcha-la , the origin of the rivers Chandra , Bhagha and Yunam at 16,500 ft . Sarchu is a plain area and and snowbound for most of the year . in absense of any permanent buildings one can just well camp out in the open .
From Sarchu onwards we enter the state of Jammu and Kashmir and here encounter the Gata Loops a succession of 21 hairpin bends . The other significant landscapes are those of Lachung La , Nakee La and leading towards the Changthang plateau . After a dirt and sand ridden track one reaches to the Tso Kar Lake , which is a freshwater and brackish lake and a refuge for both Indian and Tibetan nomads for winter months . This is the next halting stop for camping at the night .
Day 5 begins with a ride from Tso Kar lake towards the Tso Moriri lake which is a distance of 60 kms . An extremely enchanting path that will take you to completely another world making you forget all the tiresome journey till now . The route has the magical three lakes , two high altitude passes Nalshang la and Pologonka la (16500 ft ) and a continuous stony track . so , just unwind , unfold your senses and click it up . a night of camping at the beautiful Tso Moriri lake would just be the cherry on the cake !
Our last day ride upto Leh is a perfect lesson on how the nomadic tribes enroute have been living harmoniously with mother nature . Especially the Changpa nomads are well known for the various innovative uses they make out of Yak products . the Yak wool tents in which they live , the yak milk tea are definitly some very amazing things that one gets to experience . The ride finally culminates onto Leh . This marks the end of the road trip . the various worth seeing sights around and in leh are Pangong Lake , Wari La , Nubra Valley , Khardung La . Worth mentioning is the heart thumping first view of the Pangong lake which appears suddenly as a cobalt blue meadow onto the rugged barren terrains of Leh .
With the best of Leh etched onto your hearts take it all with you for a lifetime to come !
Wishing you a safe and happy journey !

BOAT IN THE SEA

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The end of another era . i m finally about to be a law graduate (well just about to ) and yet again i find myself in a sea . its always been the same . what entices me is never what i presently am in . this gripping growing sea around me is shrinking my boat a little more each day . somehow the indianness in my outlook has reduced . u know , that indian factor of going after a job that gives you prestige and no happiness . well , it has gone away for good .
well the status quo as of now is that i have qualified my written for the defence services and the bigger hurdle is the ssb . i am being warned against the perils of joining the army but thats ok ! they dont matter to me anymore , unless i am getting decently paid and sent to remote areas with lots of time to introspect , read , write and stay fit . moreover its just a matter of 10 years . well you say i spent 5 years slogging in the law school .
i have an ALMOST job waiting at an LPO . Again i dont mind till i get pid decently .

i am being expected to prepare for civil services … well i too want to do that , but somehow i know its just the chase of qualifying the exam that entices me and not the real job . well if money is all that i am looking for then not a bad option . right ?

now before you think i am a money minded bitch , let me just add on the detail that through all of these jobs all i seek is to travel , or may be just accumalate finances to be able to travel .

well then that puts me back to my boat . all i wanna do is travel and write . i might as well do it for myself . and yes the idea of working like a slave for filling someone’s coffers is enough to enrage me .

the only part where i am not gonna compromise is LIVING THE LIFE MY WAY

– ambika (athena)

p.s- i am letting the winds determine the course for the time being . till then … lemme just blog :0

HOW DO I LOOK – A SATIRE ON THE PARAMETERS OF ELEGANCE

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HOW DO I LOOK ??
© Athena coelho

Sale! Sale! Sale!
50%discount …
Buy the latest designer wear !

“oh god ! Not again”, she thought to herself .
It was yet again one of those dreaded shopping spree that made her question her very existence on this planet . Not because she was lazy ..umm .. Well that’s a bit of a reason too but mainly because she felt like a total fool while out shopping . Because it just somehow made her feel incompetent as a girl …a female specie .

A sexy beautiful dress , a perfect hairdo , a 24/7 perfectly made up eyes , sexy footwear that ‘gives u an edge’ , legs n arms like butter chicken 🍗 … That’s all the people she always gets surrounded by when she makes a visit to these fish markets .

Open shoe laces , tonnes of jackets (its still coold winter ..u see ) , wrapped up hair , unkempt brows n a blank mortified face … Hello ! That’s me … Athy n right there in front of me walks my only sweetheart …beautiful n all perfect …. “Maasi” (mom’s sister )

So the scene is set . She walks ahead with a purpose and an air of urgency around her and behind follows..me.. Like a lost puppy … Staring at the lanes turned hubs of feminist glitter , the dummies turned into an epitome of beautiful brides flashing those back breaking , nerve wrecking heavy ghagras n saaris , the hanging pieces of responsibility that are carried on our shoulders…those bags and off course the ‘tik tok tik tok ‘ high heels … How can I forget those ? Those pair of sharks that exude such impeccable arrogance of holding ur entire existence on a bloody ‘tip ‘ .
Huh … Anyways so here we go

Shop 1
Mission perfect jeans
Shopkeeper- there u go . Perfect for you .
Me – (ignoring him ) umm yeah well lemme try it on .

And the trial room! …is always as always a bloody nasty piece of ghetto … And first things first my mind starts activating .” Look out for hidden cams ! Remember all those tips you read on the internet “.
“ok , fine … Nothing found . Chuck it anyways . M gonna be smart enough not to show .”

“Annndddd the jeans!!! Nop … No ways . Looks like I have been wrapped in a plastic bag . ”
(next one please)
“too low … Whatt ??? Why cant they make Comfortable clothes for girls ” .

And the next one …
Too much a drag … “don’t fall down please ” .

I feel the man behind the counter givin me all nasty looks , perhaps reaching a judgement that this girl should be getting her pants stitched from a tailor . 😋😋

Ok ! So finally found a decent one . The one … Which can be a friend than a foe . Letting me run n work while I breathe .
Plus sparing me a chance to face more of such nasty men . Aah! Task one completed .

Mission 2
Grab a footwear

N this room with glasses all over , these pairs adorning the shelves like a piece of jewellery andddd I see the wicked gleam in my masi’s eyes .
“ahha , there she goes ” .
The shopaholic in her is woken up .

Sk – (a guy of 25-26) plz have a seat madam .
Hmm you have fair feet … Lemme see . … Yeahhh … This would go perfect for them .

And he brings a pair of heels that I swear are nothing short of Eiffel tower . I try wearin it . He immediately takes over and fits them onto my foot …. Fitting them less and caressing my feet more .

I glare at him like a hawk conveying Mr. Fetish … Just fuck off.

And my angel n devil wake up again …
Devil – “wow , look at that. .. U gonna look so tall n sexy in that …. Go ahead girl ! Empty your wallet n buy it ”
Angel – (I don’t think he is angel ) “are you mad . Look at the price . You aren’t earning n so have no right to splurge n drain your folks’ money . Shut it n stop .”

N finally ME (lookin at myself in the mirror ) – athy ! Forget it . Never ever would you b able to walk in those . Do you want to fracture your ankle ?? Or look like a person walkin on an artificial limb ???

Nooooo Noooo

And there comes a nudge from massi …
“its beautiful honey , go ahead ” .

And I stand up … Walk up to the shoes section … Pick up my regular running sports shoes and pay the bill .

The following 5 minutes I am at a mental debate with myself about my decision and finally I reach the conclusion that …
Shoes would keep my feet warm and protect them from harsh sunlight keeping them fair as ever .
Yay yay …. The loser who can’t afford and wear heels winsssss .

Whaooo … And she grabs my arms and drags me onto a new world . Paints and polishes for everyone . The lipsticks , the mascaras , the blushes, the foundations , the ‘god knows what’ …. And all the other sexy , fancy ‘pieces ‘ of garments that hide your privacy and that guy’s matinee fantasies … (yeah c’mon we know you do) .

And the shopkeeper….oh boy ! Was he lucky ??? Oh yeah …damn lucky … With all of em shouting at him their dimensions .

And a look of peculiar expressions he gave me and that was enough for me to step outside the shop .
With all the paints and polishes purchased she asked me , ” do you want anything honey ” . And that dreaded question like always seems like a tough sum on calculus .
(inner me at work )
” who buys this junk to use everyday . At least not a person like me who cares for her skin and lets it breatheeeeee ”
And what’s the point I look like a vampire already . Its sickkk … This obsession with whitening creams .

Umm well someone loves my eyes . So perhaps a ‘kajal’ .
Aah chuck it .. He says i am cutest without that too

“yeahh maasi , I want you . Plz come soon . M hungry . Lets grab a bite . ”

She comes … I look at my bags …
All the same …
As always . The same me .
I kiss her on her cheeks . Feel the sunshine on mine n say to her , ” I love you Sweety ” .

p.s – its 11 at night . I am sitting idle and draggin along my news feed and admiring (in awe) the beautiful n pretty dresses that these girls wear n I make a mental note ” I guess I should try that ”
© Athena
http://www.profanespirituality.blogspot.in

https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1517494311834425&amp%3Brefid=17

SHE

Space24

SHE
A pair of cold feet �� beneath the rug ,
A pair of hands wiping away the rain upon the cheeks,
A pair of eyes bleeding from the wounds of the heart ,
And arms tryin hard to hide this piece of flesh n bone ….
That’s she … A character sketch of a ‘she’ …just a she .
Four walls that are as pale as a corpse …
staring back at her like ghosts of her dead wishes….
A door that opens not into the outside world…
but into a hell more dreadful …
A bed that is as old as the scars on her soul…
An ocean of books that have been her paradoxical mates…
Her disguise to hide her loneliness…
And her only windows to the world …
A strange magical box that connects people in the most deceitful ways ….
People whom you can’t touch and see …
Just read n hear !

Hear their tales of far away lands …
Of snow clad mountains …of the vast oceans…
Of deep valleys… Of sunlit skies …
Of sands n beaches that drench them in themselves ….
Of the silent breezes that ruffle their hair…
Of the million city lights that illuminate the night …
Of the thousand adventures that fill their memories …
Of picture postcards to exotic food …
Of different people to romantic moods…
And these tales seem so beautiful to her that she begs them to be told again n again….
These tales so magical that she closes her eyes n dreams of herself having her own stories….
These tales so adventurous that
no matter how much the difficulties …
No matter how many times the downfall …
No matter how many broken knees …
All this child wants to do Is …learn ..
Stand up once again …n again …n again ,
BUT MAKE HER OWN TALE !
And then suddenly…Thud!!!!
And the door opens …
A mirror is shown to her…
A pair of cold feet �� beneath the rug ,
A pair of hands wiping away the rain upon the cheeks,
A pair of eyes bleeding from the wounds of the heart ,
And arms tryin hard to hide this piece of flesh n bone ….
And that’s ‘She ‘ …just ‘she .
© Athena Coelho

THE CONSPIRACY CALLED EDUCATION

THE CONSPIRACY CALLED EDUCATION

THE CONSPIRACY CALLED EDUCATION
This is the 21st century … the age of freedom, democracy , lassiez faire and the rule of law . Not just the world but India too is on its way to the march of the nations , a march toward the supposed new era of knowledge …. And we hail the modern day education system . A system that holds the key to a knowledge which is proclaimed to set the human mind free , to break every shackle of mindset we have .
But wait ! Is it really so ?
By education what is being referred to here is the formal structures of education. Our schools , colleges , universities which are entrusted with the most precious asset of our civilization … Our children .
And what do these so called ‘bridges between the family and society’ do . They raise workers , labourers .
How? By imposing on a child what can be called as the ‘ideology of the ruling class’ .
You might be a tribal , a villager but you are to to learn the ethos of Englishmen. Why?? Because a set of presumably intelligent people decide that a particular quality like obedience , competition etc are virtues … That you need to excel at both chemistry and history , which are totally opposite subjects to be adjudged as intelligent or knowledgeable.
But does that imply a complete elimination of schools . Absolutely not ! What is implied is just that education system instead of being opressive and imposing be just liberating , extracting ideas rather that ‘reproduction of skills’ .
And this leads us to a second aspect of formal education – the universities. The universities or business houses selling degrees . To be very logical how can a piece of paper guarantee a person’s real expertise or knowledge of a particular subject ? How can qualifying the NET exam guarantee that someone can be a professor fully capable of teaching as it ought to be ? If that may be the case then Socrates would be unqualified to teach political science because he isn’t an MA political science !!
To attain excellence what we need is not a bunch of universities certifying knowledge.. What all we need is a LEARNING WEB . A group of people hungry for innovation …innovating ideas and that’s how legends are born . Marie curie, albert Einstein, Bethoven,William Shakespeare, Napoleon Bonaparte. Who of them confined themselves to 8 periods of maths, literature , art , music all stuffed in a lil brain . NONE
This can go on into a huge volume of a book but late upon a conclusion . There’s no need to paint a rosy glorified hopeful picture of things but yet again the biggest trickery and mockery that has been so beautifully thrusted upon us and that we have not just accepted but but loved with all respect . And that is the RIGHT To EDUCATION. Isn’t this a joke in a country where maximum child deaths occur due to malnutrition, that we provide that right to education as a fundamental right but not the RIGHT TO FOOD . Isn’t this the biggest joke that we make of those millions of poor people treating them as guinea pigs for our so called experiment of about 14 years of education or better hungry education … Of showing them the glittery sky of school n then landing them back in the mud … In a much more frustrated n devastated state.
Give them food… For no amount of knowledge , rationality or spirituality would enter a man with a hungry stomach .
© Athena Coelho

A RAPE MIND …

On hearing of the Dec 16 rape case my family exclaimed “why did she go alone at night n with her boyfriend”? Now the only difference between them n the rapist is that these people belong to educated urban middle class n myt not transform their thoughts to action but the rapist did …a slum dweller uneducated person . One of my “EDUCATED LONDON BASED” uncle says to his wife in a fit of rage … I wish u would be raped or better killed …n again …. The same difference …. WELCOME To INDIA My take on “INDIA’S DAUGHTER”

A documentary that is a mirror a portrayal of the Indian patriarchy and misogyny. While I am bound to draw the flak of many here on so called ‘outsiders ‘ shaming our hone India but still come on with it fellas for I don’t give a damn .

*to the ones who say it is glorifying rapists lemme tell you the documentary DOESN’T focus rape victims it just tried to understand why does a rapists rape. And yes CRIMINOLOGY does the same. So should it be banned?

*to the ones who say it will hamper and prejudice trial , i wanna ask why no one raised this argument when millions outside Delhi court were baying for the blood of the rapists . Wasn’t that amounting to affecting trial .

*the ones who say that a large chunk of society especially people like the rapist will be influenced by his statements n also the lawyers’, I think Bollywood with its munni n pinky does influence hell lot of people everyday . Why no ban on these shitty numbers ???
And also only a few people soul actually get access to the documentary given the fact that how many average Indians watch BBC ?

movies like RANJHANA are enough to glorify stalking .

*and lastly the documentary DOESN’T JUDGE WHAT THE MEN SAY . NOWHERE HAVE THEY (DIRECTORS) TAKEN A STANCE .

*n those who says its a conspiracy to ashame India n the rapes all over the world are not shown lemme tell u that firstly the indian version of the documentary (that is mostly pirated) doesn’t have world statistics but the original bbc documentary has it n secondly that this case has been covered just coz of the huge agitation that followed up the case which has not been seen across the world .

This thinking of ‘it needs 2 to clap ” “decent girl ” has existed in India long before this documentary . N its not only MUKESH but our godmen our parliamentarians our families which echo the exact same dialogues . Rape in Indi I a means to teach a lesson to the women …a revenge …thats what I saw in the movie BADLAPUR today . There is a sudden and shocking SAMENESS & SHAMEFULNESS’. From politicians to khaps that sanction gang rape …from police custodial rape to the Army accused of rape in JnK n northeast its all pervasive . The film only tries to understand n reflect how ordinary men are capable of brutuality and still remain unaware that they have done something monstrous .
‪#‎Athena_Coelho