Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Malnad Diaries - Chapter 3

Guest Post
Author: Meghana C R

Sounds different? Well, it's the name of a ride that BJYMC conducts every year in the month of January, to a location in Malnad region of Karnataka. And this year, the ride was to Sakleshpur which is a hill station town in Hassan district, well known for its climate, peaks and coffee estates.

When I heard about this ride from my BJYMC friends, I definitely didn't want to miss it.
Riding on NH48 to our first stop for Breakfast at Shark Hotel
Like every time, all riders gathered at a common place on the outskirts of Bangalore around 5.30am for their attendance and ride instructions. Post that, we began our journey before dawn from NH4 (Bangalore - Pune highway), then connecting to NH48 (Nelamangala - Mangalore highway). The tolled roads of NH48 are not only well maintained but also offers a scenic view of areca and coconut trees alongside the road.

We stopped for an early breakfast at Shark Hotel near Kunigal right beside the highway. We enjoyed their famous Thatte Idli and Vada sitting together in the open by which time the sun was up making it a perfect time for some photographs.
Points bike breaks down with a faulty head gasket
 After a few kilometeres, one of the bikes (Called Points Set bike) broke down. The head gasket had torn and the boys quickly got around to fixing it. I curiously watched them dismantle the parts and heard them say gasket, nuts, screws, spanner 17, 22, bore and what not. It's so true that only men can understand their machines, and for me, uffff those were just jargons!! ;-)

After 1-2 attempts of fixing the bike, a minute portion was still missing. We had to take it to a mechanic and the next town Channarayapatna was around 40-50 kms. And how would we take the bike was the question. When it comes to towing in BJYMC, there is one name that pops up. Mr. Bharat Singh. This guy has got an amazing talent and a history of towing a bike, a Yezdi at 80kmph. Simply Wow! He towed this bike till the town and finally we found a mechanic.

We took a short break with some refreshers and fruits and once the bike was ready, we headed straight towards our destination. While these bikers took pride in enjoying the scenic beauty, the curves and the turns of NH 48 and SH 9, I enjoyed the same but along with the music that we played in our car #5569. 
Riders enjoying the stream crossing
We reached Kasaragali Homestay at Vanagur, way past our lunch time. Those who had reached early were relaxing & basking in the courtyard, and some were already partying. As we had a long day, we rushed to the dining hall and were blessed to relish the authentic malnad food ie, akki roti, tomato chutney, coconut chutney, rice and rasam. It was worth the wait. And in the evening we went to a nearby stream for off roading and some bike stunts. We do not call it a day without a campfire, especially when there is a huge crowd of 50+ people, some known and some new. Gathered at the lawn, we introduced one to another, as there were people from different places like Coorg, Mysore, Mangalore and majority of them were from Bangalore. It's not about where the people come from, it's about what they come for. It is not just an event, not just a ride. There is more in it. There is a passion that drives them, a personal connection, friendship, love, happiness, brotherhood & togetherness that is built over the years. I was really amazed by the vibe and was glad to be a part of this group unofficially though. To belong officially, I should own a Jawa or a Yezdi :-(  The night continued with playing dumb charades, laughter, music, dance & booze!
So much energy during our early morning trek to Vangur Betta
The next morning we went on a trek to a hill next to our homestay called as Vanagur betta. It was easy to moderate trekking and the view from the top was super stunning. Mountains and green fields on all sides. Sakleshpur is situated in the western ghats and hence the mountains that we saw around, I presume it to be a part of sahyadri ranges. And the road from top looked in a shape of an anaconda snake!! We were lost in the serene beauty of mother nature!

Staying in this homestay was unlike others. Isolated from the city, surrounded by greenary and the hospitality gave us a peaceful feeling being away from home. But to explore more, we set out to a water falls in the noon and yet another off roading to Patla betta to capture the sunset. I was unable to make up for this, but was lucky enough to watch the sun go down standing in middle of the road. And I was also privileged to ride a Yezdi Roadking for the first time ever, which was another delight. Day 2 ended with adventurous rides, unlimited masti, dance, announcements and recognition too.
Our customary selfie
On the 3rd day, after breakfast, we set out to the local Government school. As it is customary, BJYMC, MJYMC along with other partner clubs aim to give back to the society during every major event. We were welcomed by the Principal and the school children with a loud cheer. The teachers took some time from their busy schedule, introduced us to the students and spoke about how important education is and to be a responsible citizen. The riders had come together and contributed an all-in-one printer and copier that was urgently needed by the school. Amrit Appaiah, one of the co-founders of the club was felicitated for this gesture.
The team contributes to the welfare of the society
Thus, the chapter 3 of Malnad Dairies came to an end with everlasting memories. Words fall short to describe the experience I had, the wonderful people I met, the things I learned, the places I saw and the new "me" that I found!!!

I wholeheartedly thank BJYMC & everyone for making this a memorable chapter of my life and the crew that drove me there.
Sreedhar Kacchu's Ride
#BJYMC, #Roshan, #Driver, #TheShine3717, #Amrit, #Tow master, #Hamsa&Sandeep, #Everyone, #Loveyouall!