Friday, July 10, 2009

Sindh Safari – Road (S)trip – Part 5

But wait, just as we left, a most chilling site awaited us:

It was the ghost of ‘Maskara Khan’, the court clown of the King Nasir-uddi(n) Shaikha; who suffered a most horrified, terrified, and petrified death.

How?  Maskara Khan, who despite being warned, was found taking a dump in the King’s sacred fountain:

clip_image004[7]

You can just see the agony on everyone’s face with their hands to the head; they can’t believe what just happened!

Even Maskara Khan, who although has no dignity or honor, for once can’t believe it himself!

Maskara Khan just turned away while the rest stood shell-shocked!  No one will ever take a bath here again.

Although he tried to make a get-away, yet our knight in shining (glasses) fought a dual with Maskara Khan, and finally succeeded in delivering the King’s decree:

clip_image010

Maskara Khan was hanged, and mutilated against the gate’s sharp spears, and left for dead (while still smiling), to serve as a reminder to all mankind, for not properly checking (in) his code (of conduct)!

And so endeth our tale of long ago, and with that our adventure, and this story!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sindh Safari – Road (S)trip – Part 4

To fast forward, some pictures of the fort (with commentary):

image_thumb51

The leaning tower of Pisa

image_thumb50

Light at the end of the tunnel

clip_image002_thumb7

Age-old Post office with mail boxes

clip_image004_thumb3

Modern day water tank!?! (What the hell is that doing in an abandoned old fort?)

clip_image006_thumb2

The tunnel to no return

image_thumb65

Trigger-happy: Careful buddy! I’ll shoot if you do!

image_thumb61

Lost

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sindh Safari – Road (S)trip – Part 3

As if things couldn’t get worse, they just did. The power steering went out of order. So we decided to stop at Moro. We had the team split up as it would take some time, and decided to have lunch during that. O, Massa Khan, MF and I went to have lunch, while the rest had the car repaired. Now all this while, Massa Khan kept updating the status on Facebook, to give a firsthand account of our progress.

While we had lunch in a totally air conditioned environment (O wouldn’t have it any other way), the rest were in search for ‘Ustad Guloo’, regarded as the expert in repairing any type of vehicle having at least one wheel.

Our explorers waded out into the thick jungle (encroachments) of Moro city, searching for the Chownk! They finally managed to find him. Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, we were really starting to feel tired from our hectic and ever-so-long wait in the AC surroundings. We even tried tea, going to the toilets multiple times and taking pictures of other people, but in vain. Finally, we got word that the other team was headed back, with the Power Steering all repaired. But if we thought that lady luck had finally smiled on us, we were in for another surprise, the belt that runs the Power Steering motor broke again. Hell man! Even a Chinese or Pakistani made belt lasts more than 15 minutes!

By this time, everyone was fed up, and hence we had to bring Plan Z into action: Massa Khan!!

Massa Khan took to the steering wheel, gripped it hard, and drove the BAAWno like his very own, …. ahh Truck.

Finally, we reached our destination, the beautiful fort at Kot Diji.

image_thumb52

Access to the fort was blocked by massive gates at the entrance, having killer spikes.

Since pets were not allowed, we hung Massa Khan on the gates to make sure he didn’t run away:

The small gate was the only way into the fort, in which you had to bend over to get in. It was guarded by a chowkidar, on our request, he stepped back to let us in. Of course, a bent down R with short shorts in full view of the chowkidar helped here.

Sindh Safari – Road (S)trip – Part 2

On our arrival to the Trucker’s stand, we were welcomed by Massa Khan’s friends:

image

Massa Khan greeted them by saying “Doggy Doggy!!”; and they replied in kind by saying “Kuttay Kuttay!!”.

After having our breakfast (what else, but paratha & chaye), we were soon off again; and even sooner stopping again, as now JD’s car had an upset stomach. This time it was a wire on fire! This was pit stop number 2.

Luckily, A got in contact with his Mamoo who lives in Hyderabad, and he was able to guide us to some mechanics in Jamshoro, so as to avoid Hyderabad city. This was pit stop number 3. We were able to get the wire repaired, and while we got our ice box filled up, Massa Khan put in a quick order for Paratha. Why again and so soon you might ask, first of all because the first breakfast was for Massa Khan, this one was for Munna! And secondly, the first breakfast didn’t have any ‘unda’ (omelet), and so no nashta can be complete for Massa Khan without that.

Off we were again, past the Jamshoro Barrage, where photography was prohibited (oops, my bad).

image

Of course, there was no AC, but for the while, we braved the heat lashes stroking our faces. We had a death defying incident when a truck suddenly came in front of our car, but JD’s quick reaction was able to stop the car in time and avoid a collision.

Further on, due to diversions, the highway often became a two way, and when some buses came in the second lane headed towards us, JD had to manage again. JD showed the middle finger by projecting his arm outside the window, and the bus drives waved back thinking that JD was saying hi. “What a nice fellow to get his car off the road into the side ditch and still say hi!”, they must have thought!

On again, and off again (off the road that is). If it wasn’t us being forced off the road by others, it was the car making us do so. How many pit stops, I’ve lost count!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sindh Safari – Road (S)trip – Part 1

Our journey began like any other; … with a plan.

And as most plans that we tend to make and which eventually end up in the trash can, this one too was destined for the same fate. Worse was the fact that it was being sketched out by AVS, not that AVS’s planning is any bad, just that when he is adamant to go himself, it always tends to fail. But as they say, sometimes you get lucky once in a blue moon; and this time it was literally exactly that (read on), and AVS was able to pull off the plan successfully.

Did I say successfully!? Hmmm … At least the plan was successful, never mind its execution!

So with arrangements made (mostly thanks to AVS), we agreed to gather at his place early on Saturday morning, on June the 6th. But before I proceed any further, let me introduce you to the cast of this, anything but brief, “Road (S)trip” :
A: Director of Photography and Event Manager, he’s got all angles covered.
JD: Editor-in-Cheap, anything you say or suggest will be cut short by “Maaf kar do”.
F: Hair Stylist, he has a special way of servicing Motor Mechanics.
R: Site & Location expert and an emerging camera-man; CHEERS!!
S aka Massa Khan: Comedian Actor. With an IQ of 1.5, he’s a natural. Other traits include being a Truck driver, Bus driver, Riksha driver; but sorry, he can’t drive a gadha gardi; since when have you ever heard a car driving itself. Under this profession, he goes by the name of “Massa Khan”. (He’s ideal for situations where a car’s Power Steering has just gone bust.)
O: Our beloved heroin; must be provided with an Air Conditioned environment at all times.
MF: The Good Guy and the Fantasizer, but don’t go by his name; he usually is the one on the received end.
H: Writer, PR Manager and “Maachis ki teeli”, has no morals and will report anything and everything that is material for ridicule.
Some other members who were unable to join:
Ajju: Bouncer; first one to run off in case of a fight.
Phajja: The Suga Daddy Mommy and sweetheart of every, not necessarily, gay man.
Uddi: The not so good, but bad and definitely ugly villain, requiring no makeup to play the role of a frightening beast; little ghosts & poltergeists check above their graves and behind their tombstones to make sure that Uddi is not hiding there waiting to scare the moon-lights out of them.
The Many Ex-Colleagues: The Extras that JD wanted to bring along for some unknown reason.

Anyways, back to the story.

For once, everyone managed to reach on time, that being 6 AM.

image

But then A disappeared for 20 minutes in his house, F went to pray, and Massa Khan went sniffing about for Paratha & Chaye once the Dhaabas started opening. Anyways, we were off by 6:20, with A, F and me strapped in JD’s car; the other’s in R’s. Once passed the Toll Plaza, we were in full speed to our first stop, that being “Hala”, where we intended to have breakfast.

But the gods were with Massa Khan this time round; his rumbling belly cried out to the heavens, begging for some miracle (more like debacle) to happen, and so that we stop mid-way. And that’s exactly what happened; JD’s AC started blowing smoke, and by the time we eventually stopped and got out, the outside environment was cooler than inside the car. This was pit stop number 1.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sindh Safari – Road (S)trip

I went with my friends to explore Sindh. Well, we had planned for Kot Diji, to be precise but some mishaps with my car made us stay overnight and gave us enough time to explore other places as well.

Anyways, we had gone there last month and upon our return, one of my friends, HZM, narrated the whole story in his own unique style. Yup, you guessed it right. This is the same HZM that did a post on the shoe-throwing conspiracy.

Anyways, i am gonna include his creation on this blog. The next few posts will be his.