Trucks, Dalai Lama, friends, Tibet and elections...

The best two days of my professional life, 22nd and 23rd of March, 2014. Two full days of running two and fro, in and around the Buddha International Circuit. Two days of watching tests,repairs, formations and laps.


Two days of sweet agony around the Pit girls, truck racers, mean machines and burning tarmac...
Of course, there was also some occasional work to attend to... Truck racing was unheard of, at least in India, where big translates into sloppy, in-frugal. Despite their sheer size and reputation, trucks surprised the hell out of me. They cornered with deep vengeance, drifted without toppling and elbowed one another out of the way, bleeding metal on metal. Ah! Destiny, thy so serene! All hail the organizers of India's first ever truck-racing.
Just before this started, we went backpacking across Himachal Pradesh for five days, covering Simla, Manali, Dharamshala and McLaudganj. Met the Dalai Lama, tried Tibetan food, made international friends and tried the Manali Cream with them. All in all, an unexpected and adventurous trip that ended with the Holi and 'bhaang' pakodas. And though there was hardly any cellphone network around these places, happiness  was flowing like a river. Be it on the peaks of Kufri and tracking in Triund, at the mouth of Bhagsu waterfall or in the company of strangers from far-off countries dining and sharing together.
Many thanks to Couchsurfing as well, for the latter half of our incredible journey. The travelers were in full control of their lives, be it joining/leaving jobs, taking short break from schools or just paddling across India until they spend all their money. Five, they were. Two Davids, a Carolyn, a Luke, a Leo and a Neil. There were some pretty enlightening discussions from homosexuality, arranged marriages to travel consulting and the wonder that is India. David, a Swede, taught us a simple lesson when he folded some leaves and scooped the dog-poop away from the main village path. Neither was he ashamed/embarrassed nor disgusted to be doing it, for it meant keeping your shit to yourself lest someone steps on it for no fault of theirs.
Times like these are accompanied by realizations, epiphanies... I, however, had neither! Only a deep sense of guilt and shame that non-Indians are way better at practising harmony and peaceful co-existence.
Learning about Tibetan people, their self-immolation and the 11th Panchen Lama kidnapping (http://www.freepanchenlama.org/panchen-lama) made me realize how utterly small and insignificant my thoughts had been of late. Their slaughter shook the very depths of my core. Here are these iron-willed people who, after renouncing their desires, are dying for the dignity of their motherland. 
Then there was this case of sedition against a youth who was rooting for Pakistan in a recent cricket match.  Would I also be given up in the name of "Indo-China peaceful relations" if I supported the Tibetans? Answer only with your words, Government. Until that time, let's support these martyrs and carry their message all across through these  http://www.freepanchenlama.org/resources/
Lastly, but most importantly, come the Lok Sabha elections. Be very careful about voting this time. In fact, be mindful about ACTUALLY voting this time. India is on the verge of something beautiful, and your effort in exercising your right to vote may quicken its pace. Personally, I would vote for someone without a consistent criminal record or history of caste-based anarchy or dynasty politics or bogus propaganda about youth, women empowerment and RTI. Rest of you, happy voting!



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