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Old 22nd April 2008, 23:12   #1
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Default One who likes taking the road less traveled (when possible)

Hi

I have made a few posts in Team-BHP, and decided that it was time for an intro.

Since this is an internet forum, let me start with ASL. Am 33 (can't believe it! so many things to do, so little time!), originally from Calcutta, spent 9 years in Bombay, now in Bangalore. Graduate of Presidency College and IIM Calcutta. Am driving global marketing for a software product company based out of Fairfax, VA. Travel a bit, usually to the US. Am envious of their car choices + prices - but would not like to leave India and settle there.

Have a two month old daughter (getting used to the paradigm shift), and a frisky 4 year old Irish Setter (that’s his pic). Wife is an ex naval officer (Lt. Commander). We bought an Indica many years back (patriotic feelings when Indica first came out), and are still using it. Have been thinking about getting another car for quite sometime. Need a safe vehicle that can support our adventurous nature – and can go to most places. Thus a SUV makes sense (all terrain + baby + dog). Am seriously considering the Grand Vitara. Love the Pajero also – but it is too expensive. Mind says to go for a value(r) for money option and invest the delta, but what the heck – as Thoreau said, sometimes a man needs to go beyond leading a life of quiet desperation (that’s corpo life for you).

Interests: contract bridge, mixed martial arts (used to practice, now only follow; am a big fan of this guy called Fedor Emelianenko), reading, Himalayas (have traveled extensively – Kashmir to Sikkim; yet to do Arunachal), wildlife, dogs, military history and strategy. Love long drives. Not too knowledgeable about the technical aspects of cars though. Teaching myself photography (using a Canon S5 IS – will graduate to an entry level DSLR once I learn the ropes).

Miss Bombay, but like the weather in Bangalore. Still can’t figure out why people often drive on the wrong side of the road here (bikes/tractors/ cars coming the 'ulta' way), why heavy vehicles drive on the right lane, and why most people overtake from the left.

Plan to explore the hills and forests of Karnataka, TN and Kerala once the daughter gets ready for long drives. Have already been to many places in the South (coffee estates, forests, the popular hill stations) when I was younger, but haven’t driven here. Goal: to spend 1 weekend every month exploring the country. Let’s see if that is possible. Badly miss the Himalayas though – before I started working, I used to make 2+ trips every year to the mountains.

Have wanderlust, and have had quite a few interesting experiences while traveling; some examples:
  • My wife and I staying alone in a Kumaon campsite (no other guests, the caretaker stayed 100 feet away in 1 hut) with a leopard calling through the night just outside our flimsy, torn tent. Imagine my plight after drinking a couple of bottles of beer and realizing that I had to go out in the middle of the night :-). Reading Jim Corbett so many times helped that time (and has helped at other times also) – one gets over the fear of big cats and knows what to watch out for in case of a 1/100 chance of a naughty cat.
  • Snowed-in in Chail at the Army MES Bungalow; caretaker stayed a long distance away; the bungalow, built by the Maharaja of Patiala, was like a haunted house – just us, the snow, and monkeys outside that would wake us up in the middle of the night by banging the windows (or maybe they were the spirits of the Maharaja's many wives - someone said > 100?!).
  • Traveling up to 18,135 feet in North Sikkim – way beyond Gurudongmar. Standing on top of the India-China border – a one foot wide demarcation made up of broken tiles. The army chaps are amazing.
  • Walking across the border to Nepal to a trekker’s hut just to buy local booze (Thumba) – we had run out of Brandy at 12,000 feet.
This is an amazing forum. Hope to meet up with some folks in real life – and maybe plan some trips.
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Old 22nd April 2008, 23:22   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Hi

Have wanderlust, and have had quite a few interesting experiences while traveling; some examples:
  • My wife and I staying alone in a Kumaon campsite (no other guests, the caretaker stayed 100 feet away in 1 hut) with a leopard calling through the night just outside our flimsy, torn tent. Imagine my plight after drinking a couple of bottles of beer and realizing that I had to go out in the middle of the night :-). Reading Jim Corbett so many times helped that time (and has helped at other times also) – one gets over the fear of big cats and knows what to watch out for in case of a 1/100 chance of a naughty cat.
  • Snowed-in in Chail at the Army MES Bungalow; caretaker stayed a long distance away; the bungalow, built by the Maharaja of Patiala, was like a haunted house – just us, the snow, and monkeys outside that would wake us up in the middle of the night by banging the windows (or maybe they were the spirits of the Maharaja's many wives - someone said > 100?!).
  • Traveling up to 18,135 feet in North Sikkim – way beyond Gurudongmar. Standing on top of the India-China border – a one foot wide demarcation made up of broken tiles. The army chaps are amazing.
  • Walking across the border to Nepal to a trekker’s hut just to buy local booze (Thumba) – we had run out of Brandy at 12,000 feet.
This is an amazing forum. Hope to meet up with some folks in real life – and maybe plan some trips.
Hi Nilanjan
Thats great stuff, thanks for sharing it with the forum
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Old 23rd April 2008, 00:01   #3
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Thats got to be the most interesting and comprehensive introduction on the forum.
Travelling, Photography & SUVs, you're gonna love this place nilanjanray.

You would probably love to browse through the many tarvelogues on the forum, espeically the latest one by Sam, which i beleive is yet to be completed.
And, keep an eye on the extensive information on the Vitara Samurai has been posting lately, would be quite helpful in taking the right decision.

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Old 23rd April 2008, 00:05   #4
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Superb intro,Nilanjan.
Welcome aboard! I must say that you have a very impressive style of writing. Not seen much of it here,with exceptions to the ad-people & a bunch of top-class individuals..

Good to see a person with similar interests.Military history,traveling,dog-lover,MMA (had a chance to indulge in Shotokan & UFC-style ground fighting techniques to name a few). And the only connection with the Armed forces being my father-in-law, a retired Colonel from the Artillery division.

We'd love to see a few threads describing your various trips all over the Himalayas..

Enjoy!
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Old 23rd April 2008, 00:07   #5
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nilanjan, a very nice intro, not saying welcome though, you are already 16 posts old in the forum i can see :-)
good choices there you are making.
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Old 23rd April 2008, 00:11   #6
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Welcome to the forum!

Good to have another person crazy about traveling here. Hope to hear more stories about your travels soon.

And congratulations for your little daughter!
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Old 23rd April 2008, 00:50   #7
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Welcome to the forum Nilanjan! Looking forward to seeing some interesting travelogues from your side.
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Old 23rd April 2008, 01:03   #8
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Accomplished introduction from an extremely accomplished individual. Welcome
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Old 23rd April 2008, 09:06   #9
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Nilanjan da, Excellent intro. Welcome to the forum

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Old 23rd April 2008, 09:26   #10
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welcome nilanjan, wonderful intro and enjoy your stay
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Old 23rd April 2008, 11:07   #11
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Welcome dude. That was an interestring introduction. See ya around!!
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Old 23rd April 2008, 11:27   #12
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Welcome to the forum. Was great to read your intro at the start of the day. See ya around
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Old 23rd April 2008, 11:57   #13
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Hi Niranjan. Welcome to the forum. You sure have had some good experiences. Good to see more people on this forum who share similar passions.
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Old 23rd April 2008, 12:04   #14
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Welcome aboard. With your profile there is no way you cant enjoy this forum.
There are tons of places to explore around BLR. With your 1 weekend a month agenda, rest assured you'll be busy for a couple of years.

I've already started the same from Jan of this year, with 4 trips behind me. Yet to write my travelogues (guess I'm lazybones).

Enjoy

cheers:
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Old 23rd April 2008, 12:14   #15
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Thanks all for the warm welcome!

@ Manson: I love travelogues – will go through them. Been reading up about the Vitara every chance I get – and closely following Samurai’s and Sudev’s threads. Still have concerns about spares and servicing though. I wrote to a Maruti person after getting intro through an alumnus – let’s see if she gets back.

@Nitin: You must have heard about Fedor then if you follow UFC – amazing guy! By the way, my uncle is in artillery.

@ TheOne: Thanks! Daughter already seems to like traveling. Will post some photos and travel experience once I have time – too much work right now.

@ akroy: Thanks man! Fellow Bengali I see. I read your Bandipur travelogue – nice!
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