Solo Date #58- Kushinagar


One wishes one was in Kushinagar, on the occasion of Budh Purnima. The Parinirvana temple, which I visited this April is a Buddhist stupa and is said to be the death place of Gautam Budh.


At half twelve, I returned from a wedding and burst into a barrage of abuses. At the receiving end was the one who attempts to talk to me before I sleep, fully aware what the consequence of that could be. Of course, he never reacts like any man I have ever met. Just burst into peels of laughter as I go on an endless monologue of my favourite- ‘fudus, that’s what all you men are, ALL, top to bottom. Freaking cowards!’ I’m yelling and he’s laughing.

One is usually the Alpha, though a reluctant one . But there is nothing about my aggression that intimidates him. It amuses him and funnily enough he takes it as a challenge. But tonight there is just a barrage of words.

‘ Why, do you freaking ball less shits not have the ability to express your so called love for a woman? Why? And if you don’t then why the fuck do you pricks go about talking about it to the whole world and it’s mummy? And pray tell, why does the woman, the so called person you desire have to listen to the taunts of the world because of your freaking insecurities? What the fuck kind of love is this?’ I swear I yell all of this in my head but the only thing that comes out, ‘ You freaking cowards!’ , to the only one who isn’t!

The circle of life

The white horse and I galloped into Delhi on a Saturday morning, after having spent two and half days on the road trying to get here. Two thousand kilometres, we both could have tried doing straight but since the sensors of the car were being mischievous and I started my period it wasn’t something we wanted to attempt. Plus, of all the states in India the three I liked the least due to the male population I encountered- Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat.

But on another day we can discuss the sleazy creatures I meet on the road. A couple of weeks ago, I parked my car, in a locality close to my house, where a tailor has setup a small shop. When I returned from the tailor’s after having given him instructions on how to stitch my kurtis, which I required for my road trip, I found a gentleman reading the stickers on the car. It’s something I am accustomed to, by now.

He started chatting, asking me the usual, ‘fear, my marital status, the how’s and why’s’ basically everything, everybody asks me. Then the conversation took a turn, I wasn’t expecting. His daughter was in depression and he wanted me to meet her, whenever I had the time. ‘Aap jab bhi yahaan aaoge, my shop is here, I will call her,’ he said. Though, I found the request a bit unusual [why would anyone want my opinion about their life?] but since he seemed genuine, I agreed.

Today, as I returned to the tailor’s to get a flaming red, polka dot outfit made for my Mommy, who is going to be a year older- physically, this Saturday and not a day older, otherwise, the same Uncle approached me. ‘Aap Sikkim se kab aayee?’, he asked. I was a bit taken aback. Apparently, he told his children about me and they found my page on Facebook and that’s how he knew about my whereabouts. Anyway, long story short, somehow I managed to meet his daughter today. It was a rather awkward meeting, with me treading on her personal space, shamelessly, which I almost never do, since I am so fierce about mine.

I grew up surrounded by mental illness and addictions, at sixteen the shrinks wanted me to get on meds because they thought that was the cure for my existential angst and of course I was genetically inclined. This was way before being depressed was considered cool and when regular people turned towards family, friends and most of all faith to deal with the harsh realities of life.

My Dad threw a fit and saved me from a life of addictions. There are a number of individuals who genuinely require treatment but I have seen the aftermath of those meds, that big pharma pushes down the throats of people who could get better with just a proper tweaking of their mind sets, through counselling. All this makes me a bit blunt sometimes, when I encounter people life myself. A friend who is part of some support group suggested I come in for a meeting, a couple of years ago. My reaction to that to that is and hopefully will be till I can fight it, with all my might, ‘ I ain’t feeding that beast!’

So, I attempted to give advice to the young lady, who sat there as awkwardly as I did, while her father looked over us, worriedly. So, as she discussed her lack of confidence and inability to work, I totally empathised with her. Of course, I never have a positive reaction to people getting on the pills, but since it was not my place to say, this and a bit more is all I could say, ‘ there are things you will go through which you will have to experience alone and you will be unable to discuss that with anyone. If you surround yourself with people who seem to have perfect lives to you, in a state of depression, that will make you retreat further, into your shell. All you can do, is to go out and meet people less fortunate and you will realize how tiny your problems, are. If you can just spend sometime with kids, they will make you feel better, for sure.’ I felt like an aunty giving a sermon.

What a role reversal, it was! Four years ago, I would get calls asking me to stop my romance with my bed. God and my gigantic ego came to my rescue. I hope faith and her ego come to her rescue, too!


Happy birthday to the kindest, craziest, gentlest person I know. You are one of the sharpest, most hard working person, I have met in my life, with amazing survival instincts and an incredible ability to read people. Your politeness, your faith, your love for your family and animals, babies and the elderly…all of it makes you a model human being in my eyes. None of it for show…not so that you can be called nice…it’s all so earnest…it’s inspiring.

You are one of the few people who has been with me in good times and bad, never effected by either. In sickness and in health, fussing over me like a mother hen. Always encouraging me to go further, to push myself as much as I can and yet worrying enough to have sleepless nights, never once stopping from anything, always supporting me. Thank you for your everything and most of all for praying for my Dustu. I’m most touched by that.

May you forever remain blessed.


I arrived here, with the usual amount of drama I like to surround myself with. Though, honestly I wasn’t looking to, I just wanted to get out of Uttar Pradesh. To know why, you will have to listen to my Notes from the road. But since the monologue is so long, I was unable to upload the actual reason. Connectivity is terrible..takes forever to upload photographs and each voice file has taken a couple of hours of retrying. So, sorry, it will just have to wait.

Once I left Kushinagar, the only time I felt absolutely safe to stop the car post sunset was when I saw a group of men with long beards. Oh no, no, I find no comfort while crossing Punjab at night. There is something about old men in skull caps, that I have begun to trust through my travels. Though, of course they were shocked to see me, it was nice to be able to stretch my legs, buy a couple of beverages and make my way to Siliguri.

I reached Siliguri post midnight and got off the car yet again to stretch my legs and get gas filled. The boy at the fuel station was chatty but uncomfortable about having me prance around at that hour. ‘Aap beth jaye,’ he kept insisting. Many questions later, which were all directed towards me, ‘kahaan se aa rahee ho?’ ‘Kahaan Ko ja rahee ho?’ and the usual ‘darti nahin ho?’ He advised me to head towards Gangtok, right then and since he seemed earnest, I took his advice and made my way.

Around 17 kms away from Gangtok, I just couldn’t do it no more. I caught a wink and realised it was time for a nap. So I parked at gas station, covered myself up with a sheet, from head to tow and went of to sleep. At five I was rudely awoken by someone banging on my window. It’s never happened before and it scared the shit out off me. But the look on that man’s face was freaking fabulous when I revealed my face. Since the fuel pumps are really tiny there is no place for stray cars and stray women to park, so I left.

My usual app has been of no use to me here, since my primary concern is the parking of my white horse. So I just walked into the first place, where I could park and asked for the best deal. I’m glad I did because they gave me the best room and were absolutely amazing.

Spent the entire day nursing a headache, puking and sleeping while it rained outside. Higher altitudes are very unforgiving to my health, I once almost died while I was on a trek with my cousins. I had to be given CPR, that’s why I did’nt do Ladakh to Kanyakumari. Bhai Sahab saas ki kami se nahin marna chahte, high speed pe,jaye ge hum, Inshallah. I am going to drag my assistant to Ladakh with me, someday soon.

Anyhow, the next day as I was making my way towards MG Road, I stopped at the Gurudwara. Now, I didn’t know that it was a station Gurudwara, which is maintained by the Indian Army. Though, I didn’t manage to get any photographs from the couple of hours I spent there, it was one of the most interesting encounters. Anyone who knows me, would vouch for the fact that as a woman, especially alone, I stay way from uniformed men. There have been too many experiences through out my life’s journey to trust vardis. Before you start screaming, lekin border per humare jawaan, this is purely from the point of view of my personal safety, taking into account that I travel alone and have a vagina.

We broke bread, while they tried to figure me out. Since Punjabi refuses to roll of my tounge despite my best efforts and my name is so fantastic, Sikhs always think I am hiding something. But despite that, from the young to the old, they were all very nice. Unfortunately, one individual had worked in Kashmir and since I have an uncanny knack of pissing the shit out of people, he was going on and on about Kashmiris so I gave him a lowdown of my own personal experiences with the armed forces there. ‘CRPF se hoynge, Sardar nahin honge and then the truth came out-Madam itne din ghaar nahin jate, aadmi he, kyaa hota hoga unka haal, aap ko bhi samajhna chaahiye!’ We should sort out this sexual frustration problem, if we care so much about border pe humare. Actually, when we can’t sort out their ration this ain’t going to happen no time soon.

The day went by as it does -shooting at various places and with a brandy and pizza for dinner as did the next- just eating, shooting, driving- getting stuck in slush and somehow making my way to Ravangla. Intercept with some massive leg pulling. A couple of individuals I know, have been fretting over me going to Bhutan, since it will steal their thunder. . But I have only three reactions to pettiness- silence, abusing or massive leg pulling! So while they have sleepless night about me entering Paro, I will be going where the wind blows!

P.S- By the way if you are alone and need help, Sikkim is the one place where you have the nicest, cleanest, most helpful vardis.

Notes from the Road- Baapchod

As women we get accused, we questioned, we hear all kinds of disparaging remarks and we either bury ourselves under the expectations of this world or just brush all of it off, by saying anyway. Most of the times, I tell myself elephants can’t be reacting to dogs but sometimes I just loose it and this what happens then.

I come up with monologues that go something like this- Aadmi chutiyaa bana kiss se sikhta he? Apne baap se! Toh aap log kyuun Ma ko gaali dete he? For all the misogynistic, homophobic pricks- this is the perfect abuse, baapchod.

Notes from the road- Guzarishe or Shikayate

Random thoughts that run through my head while driving…incase you are wondering what I do by myself. Mein aur meri tanhai aksar bateein karti he…

Solo Date #57-Gorakhpur

Since I will be updating all the solo dates from the past years travels on the website, I am skipping the chronology. Anyway, having arrived at Gorakhpur at a reasonably decent hour, I stepped out for dinner.

It would have been better if I had stayed in my room. As it is the beautiful pimple on my lip, no it’s not a sore, I checked, is making me very uncomfortable. To top not only was the food bad…even the beverage was!