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Old 14th January 2009, 12:38   #1
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Default Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon

Prologue

Before I start my narrative, there are a few things that TBHPians should be made aware off. First of all, there is an exclusive forum for Scorpio owners on Yahoo Groups that has 411 members all over. Out of this, there is a motley bunch of about 30 odd members, who are very regularly in touch with each other. HVK, Guderian, Roshun and yours truly are some who are Scorpions and TBHPians as well. There is a group of 5, now grown to 6 in Delhi/NCR, who meet/interact on a daily basis and plan long drives together. If you all remember, one such was the Dudhwa trip in 2007. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...onal-park.html (Dudhwa Tiger Reserve & National Park)

Our post meet after Dudhwa had tentatively decided to do Bandhavgarh sometime in the December of 2008. Before I go further, let me introduce the team to you for everybody's benefit.

Ashish & Priyanka Gupta

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-agp.jpg

A wonderful DINK couple, both are excellant drivers and lively to the boot. They own a deep Blue CRDe SLX and is called the Stinger. Priyanka is an excellant cook as well and dabbles seriously in photgraphy. Currently Ashish has taken up a new vocation - he travels and writes his experiences. To know more about it - Join my exciting journey across India! : Myself Ashish : Oktatabyebye.com

Roshun & Sairee Povaiah

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-rpsaireeanil.jpg

Both working, Roshun in media and Sairee in consultancy, they have a beautiful bubbly daughter called Vera. Owns a 4x4 Scorpio and is highly passionate about his ride. His ride is called the DesertFox.


Sorry to leave it mid-way. GTG, urgently. If mods allow me to edit this later then would love to add here it self or wait for the next post..

Last edited by GTO : 21st January 2009 at 16:50. Reason: You meant Prologue?
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Old 14th January 2009, 13:02   #2
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Appears to be good beginning / teaser(?). Looking forward for the full travelogue.
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Old 14th January 2009, 13:09   #3
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Default Epilogue - The Team

Subhashish & Vaishali Sarkar

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-subhashish.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-vaishali.jpg

Another DINK couple and very lively. Subhashish, otherwise normally referred as SS is into advertising and Vaishali works for a tobacco company. Typical Bongs, both great photgraphers, and have some really strong views & opinions. Both are great dog lovers too. SS drives a black CRDe SLX called Vader.

Anil & Smita Sharma

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-anilsharma.jpg

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-anilsmita.jpg

A DINK couple again, a wonderful couple and very lively too. Anil has a software business and dabbles in school education curriculums and Smita (more American than Indian) works with the American Centre in Delhi. Anil drives a CRDe SLX and Smita rides a Santro. They too are dog lovers and Smita is associated with Friendicose, Delhi.

The 6th & the new entrant - Suman & Debarati Ghosh

Gurgaon - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Bikaner - Gurgaon-sumanghosh.jpg

Suman works with TataSky and Debarati is with KPMG. They have two sons - the elder's name I don't remember and the younger is called Bhaitu or Bhaiti. Bongs shall pardon me if I've mis-spelt. Suman drives a CRDe SLX.

Contd.....

Last edited by gd1418 : 14th January 2009 at 13:14.
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Old 14th January 2009, 13:36   #4
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Default Epilogue - continued

Now, coming back to the annual jaunt, as soon as September '08 ended the original 5 discussed on email and decided to meet to finalise the plans. Since Ashish & Priyanka were on a backpacking trip to Turkey and Greece and were expected end Sept or 1st week of Oct, we waited for them to come back. The added incentive was to enjoy Raki, Ouzo and the delicious & mouth-watering Baklavas. The Guptas invited all of us over to their pad on the 19th October and we all landed up. Remember, Jaisalmer was nowhere on the horizon; this was to discuss and finalise Bandhavgarh. If you all recall Ramakrishnan (Ramkya1) embarked on his MP journey on 23rd October. He had made some enquiries with MPTDC and was fortunately in Delhi on 19th Oct. We called him over also with the promise to drop him at the airport well in time for his flight.

So we all gather up and amidst gobbling up the baklavas, discussed also. Our previous two jungle expeditions - Sariska & Dudhwa, were a disappointment in terms of big game sightings. Although the gents were willing to take a try again, as Bandhavgarh has a high density of Tigers, the females were against a jungle trip. My wife, especially said that everytime in the jungle the guide spots a pugmark, he exclaims - अभी दो मीनट पहले नीकला है , and somebody from the range staff already would have stamped pugmarks on the ground...

I've now started believing her....

It was also felt that the Reserve would be so crowded during end Dec that the animals would retreat deep in the core area, making sightings difficult. Added to that was the cold season, which in any case is not the best season to spot.

Contd........

Last edited by gd1418 : 14th January 2009 at 13:39.
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Old 14th January 2009, 14:22   #5
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Good stuff.. keep it coming. Looks like it is going to be really interesting.
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Old 14th January 2009, 14:32   #6
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@gd1418: Curiosity has started building up....everyone but you is there in the pictures....post some of yours as well!

Cheers!!!
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Old 14th January 2009, 14:53   #7
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Hi Deep, I think I've an identity crisis.. You shall find me here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...h-gurgaon.html (Gurgaon - Chandigarh - Gurgaon)

And generally you don't find the picture taker in the frame. Do you?

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@gd1418: Curiosity has started building up....everyone but you is there in the pictures....post some of yours as well!

Cheers!!!
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Old 14th January 2009, 15:30   #8
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Default Epilogue - continued

In the midst of all this discussion about Bandhavgarh, the time taken to drive there, the route etc., Ramkya1 piped up - "from where and for how much can I pick-up a gear lock for the Scorpio?". The good samaritan that I am (read, ready to earn commission anywhere & everywhere) I volunteered and organised one for him.

I've to mention here that my wife is a Rajasthani; a rajput from Jodhpur and Priyanka Gupta has a very glad-eye for Rajasthan. Give them Rajasthan anyday. After our return from Dudhwa, when Bandhavgarh was zeroed upon, these two had suggested Jaisalmer. We had vetoed it, and the male lung-power succeeded.

Ramkya1 left for Ahmedabad and we dispersed planning for Bandhavgarh and the Plan-B was Jaisalmer if the bookings etc., were not forthcoming in the jungle. Like Dudhwa we wanted only the FRH inside the jungle and nothing else. A head count was done and accommodation for 11 was to be found.

We had to convince one tough customer amongst us and that was Sairee. She had not come to Dudhwa as some creature comforts were required for her infant daughter and the FRH there was having bare minimum. I would like to produce some privileged communication amongst us during Dudhwa trip, that shall give you an idea as to why Sairee was next to impossible to convince - THOU SHALT NOT LAUGH..

---------------------------
From Roshun on 17th December '07

I tried getting some info on Tiger Haven... as an option, can't get a
number for the place. The other hotels in Palia... does anyone know
the code? All 3 digit numbers, and can't figure out if we'll be
better off or worse off there.

As the days draw nearer, Sairee's asking more questions :-) gulp!
(Like running hot water, does it mean a 'kancha' will come running
with a bucket?) I happened to casually mention thinking of buying
a 'sleeping bag' and she hit the ceiling.

SS, any idea where I can pick up a Kabsons stove? The small cylinder
type. AG - this should keep 'dudhwa hot enough, and actually I need
it to boil 'dudhoo' for V!

Cheers,
RP
-----------------------------------

From SS on 17th December '07

A good place to hunt for the little stove is Lajpat Nagar, or any of the larger community markets. Even the Hauz Khaas market is good for it. While buying, be sure to buy a branded one, since the cheaper variety tends to spring a leak and go 'kaboom!' in the back .

And RP, while you're suppressing facts from Sairee at your own risk (it'll be fun to watch her chase you with the saucepan into the sunset), suggest you prepare her just enough to carry necessary baby-kit for the less-than-domestic facilities at that end. Else, the chase will be over much sooner and a body-bag will be the order of the day and not a sleeping bag.

----------------------------------------------
From SS on 17th December '07

Actually, I suggest RP bites on a bar of soap and sends you his denture imprints. Of all the fellows in the group, I believe only you are qualified to give some respectability back to his jawline once Sairee is through with the Anjali, or Hawkins or whatever passes for a saucepan in that household..

SS
--------------------------------------------------
From Roshun on 17th December '07

Memo to self: Saucepan classified as dangerous weapon. Please
conveniently forget to carry it. Thanks RP.
----------------------------------------------------
From SS on 17th December '07

(I call this the coup de grace...GD)

You know, I'm getting shivers right now, at the prospect of witnessing the 'hunt'.

Imagine..the rest of us would be perched on top of our elephants and the mahout would hush us. Suddenly, the hapless RP would break cover from the elephant grass near our huts and make like the wind towards the river. A fraction of a second later, it would be Sairee in hot pursuit of her quarry, steel frying pan glinting in the setting sun as it whirls above her head.

Will he make it? The dust clouds up from 4 pair of heels and obscures the fantastic scene for a while, but not before we see the pan leave Sairee's hand in a gentle arc over the rising dust, twirling gracefully in the ochre sun and then - CLANG!! He's down! RP's been brought down by the beautiful manouevre. As Sairee catches up to the now prone RP and rolls him around, we see that tell-tale sign of the prey - crosses where the eyes should have been and a silly smile pasted across the now unconscious face. Whew! Did someone get that on the camera?


Cheers! This is going to be a ball!

SS
---------------------------------

Re-reading evoked guffaws and tears again..To be continued......

Last edited by gd1418 : 14th January 2009 at 15:36.
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Old 14th January 2009, 15:37   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
And generally you don't find the picture taker in the frame. Do you?
Chances of you getting clicked are pretty handsome as according to you, your group was having at least 3-4 photography enthusiasts. Right? Anyway I get lucky enough to see you framed in your travelogue.

Last edited by deepgautam_qa : 14th January 2009 at 15:40.
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Old 14th January 2009, 16:19   #10
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Default Epilogue - continued

We normally like to stay in a comfortable and budget accommodation because most of the time we would be out sight-seeing. High-end lodging is out of the question. Slowly it turned out that Bandhavgarh is not happening. Lodgings were costly and FRH availability was in doubt. Plan-B was activated. Roshun had done Jaisalmer a few years back and also did some dune bashing in his 4x4. He was willing to go again as he had recently bought some serious OTR equipment from B'lore, like Hi-Lift jack, hand winch etc., that he wanted to give it a try. I almost thought he would persuade us hapless 2WD owners to get stuck and then grandly rescue with his 4x4 and the equipment.

SS & Ashish had been to Jodhpur once and I several times as that also happens to be my 'sasuraal'. My wife had been to Jaisalmer once courtesy her brother in Jodhpur. But she was more than willing to go again.

Contd.......
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Old 14th January 2009, 16:20   #11
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lol. Have you forwarded it to Sairee?

PS: I was myself gonna comment, as to budget friendliness of Bandhavgarh. Its COSTLY through and through!

Last edited by phamilyman : 14th January 2009 at 16:22.
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Old 14th January 2009, 16:24   #12
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I've ordered some patriot missiles to destroy this 'homemade missile' in mid-air, if at all they are launched towards my direction...

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lol. Have you forwarded it to Sairee?

PS: I was myself gonna comment, as to budget friendliness of Bandhavgarh. Its COSTLY through and through!
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Old 14th January 2009, 17:32   #13
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Default Epilogue - continued

After everybody decided and zeroed in on Jaisalmer, finalising dates, finding a decnt place and getting bookings was the next project. Since my kids get winter vacation from 23rd Dec till 7th Jan, this period suited me the best and almost to all. After a couple of email exchanges the dates finalised were 25th to 28th. I suggested Moomal the RTDC joint in J'mer; my wife had stayed there and vouched for its excellant food. Went to Bikaner House near India Gate in Delhi to enquire and make bookings and found out that all rooms were sold out and booked at least two months in advance. To say that we were late was an understatement. To cut the story short, Vaishali through her good contacts managed to get us booking for 6 rooms in Hotel Jaisal Palace with a night's stay in tents in the desert at Khuri. Total cost per couple - Rs.6700/- inclusive of breakfast & dinner. For me, she managed to get Gauri's charge waived off. I thank her for this gesture. Jaisal Palace accepted payment online and Priyanka paid the 50% for all of us through her netbanking. And we all transferred our share to her bank later on, except Roshun who was in B'lore attending her sister's wedding. He would do it after his return, but that was not to be. We will come to that later.

To utilise the stay maximum, we decided to leave at 00:00 hrs on the 25th, so as to reach J'mer by 3 pm. Also the idea was that since the fog used to settle generally after 2 am, we wanted to beat that. I normally don't like to drive in the night, but fell in line. Preparations got underway. An example of what it means:

List of accessories present in the Bull always:

1. 12V Air compressor
2. Complete set of fuses
3. 2 sets of spare standard HL bulbs
4. Standard jack & handle
5. 5 ltr can of water
6. Garden Umbrella
7. Spare main belt & PS belt
8. Heavy duty jumper cable
9. Floor mat (to go under the truck)
10. 1 tube
11. 3' solid steel rod
12. Bilora Pro tripod
13. 5' solid oiled wooden staff
14. Assorted tool box
15. 3M double-sided tape
16. Steelgrip insulation tape
17. Wire stripper
18. Car invertor
19. A tubeless repair kit

What will be carried as an extra:

1. Spare 12V Air compressor
2. 2 ton hydraulic jack

The date started approaching and the meeting point was decided. It was to be Guptas' place in GGN. SS & V were to come straight from office at around 7 pm and rest. Rest were to assemble there and leave at the appointed time.

And then the jinx struck........

To be continued.......................
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Old 14th January 2009, 17:48   #14
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Default Epilogue - continued

Just a week before the departure, Roshun called up and aslo posted on the forum to say that he couldn't make it as his leave was cancelled from the HQ, based in Dubai. As it is Sairee and Vera had dropped out much earlier because a 14-15 hr drive would prove very distressing and uncomfortable to the child. Now this was very disappointing for all of us and more so to him.

The deal that we had got from the Hotel in J'mer did not allow refunds in case of cancellations, but had a provision of parking the funds so that they could be utilised at a later date subject to availability. Here entered the 6th entrant to the group - Suman Ghosh. He posted on the forum asking since RP dropped could he join with the family. He was welcomed with open arms. Now we were 13 in total. Oh, I forgot to mention Anils' friend Karan & his wife Aarti from Siliguri also had confirmed much earlier, hence 6 rooms were taken initially. Karan & Aarti were to reach Delhi on 24th.

The jinx broken (that's what we thought), we were all set to leave on 24th midnight. In the meanwhile I had a rodent attack on the Bull and it had snapped the main supply to fuse box thus rendering the truck immobile. Got it rectified and thoroughly checked on 22nd:

--------------------------------
Continuing on the rodent attack on the Bull, yesterday it was
subjected to a very thorough investigation to find out from where the
rat entered or the possible places from where it could enter.

While none were apparently discovered in the rest of the vehicle, one
area that is often neglected proved the entry point. Most of us hardly
use the fresh air option on the blower, I may be wrong also. Irregular
use results in that flap getting stuck sometimes and it doesn't close
fully. The same happened with my vehicle and the flap remained open
although the knob on the dash indicated otherwise.

The rat entered from there and caused the havoc...
-------------------------------

Also sprinkled generous amount of some bad smelling tobacco, heeding the advice given here in some thread, hoping the smell would make the critter scoot. The truck was smelling like a hash joint...yuk

I was so so very wrong......

To be continued.....................

Last edited by gd1418 : 14th January 2009 at 17:52.
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Old 15th January 2009, 16:19   #15
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GD,
While you are busy compiling your travelogue, you may as well find me a new home will ya?
You forget Sairee's on the Net 24-hours-a-day and she got to read this way before I did.
I'm now likely to be on a bread and water diet, after you rekindled memories of our Dudhwa planning.

Anyway, on with the travelogue, I know it gets a lot more interesting (don't forget to go into details on your Sam episode).
Cheers,
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