This was written on the April 12, 2020 and published here a few days later. If you are the kind of person who likes to shoot the messenger that brings unpleasant news, I’d suggest you stop reading now. I am not going to pretend that I know the answer. I will try to create a back-of-the-envelope map of the territory we currently occupy and chart the possible routes ahead. You should make your own inferences.
7 minute read | 1361 words
Note 1: This started out as a letter to my daughter who goes to college this year. But once I started writing I thought that others who go through the college application process (and their parents, perhaps) might find it useful too.
Note 2: I have no specific qualifications to comment on college or children, other than that I went to college once and have had the pleasure of growing up with two kids of my own.
8 minute read | 1614 words
Some years ago I had posted a packing list that I had used for my Manli-Leh cycling trip. That post generated many thank-you’s and even more follow-up questions. The Manali-Leh trip was my first major multi-day self-supported cycling trip. Since then I have done many more trips and I am now more settled on my packing list. And my approach to packing for a cycling trip is more refined, or so I’d like to believe.
7 minute read | 1341 words
It is five in the morning and still pitch dark outside. But I am up and ready to face the winter morning chill, which admittedly, is not at its peak yet. My camera bag on my shoulder and my trusty hat on my head I am ready to leave the comfort of my hotel room. While this is a nice hotel, it is old style. No digital key swipes, just one key for an old-fashioned lock.
7 minute read | 1468 words
Before I get to the ‘should’ let me answer if I ‘want’ to cycle to work. The unequivocal answer is yes.
For me the reasons for cycling to work are many:
I enjoy cycling. It is good for my health. I can create time from thin air if I cycle during my allocated commute time. If I don’t have to get up at 5:00 am to go out and ride, I can do other things at night: read some, party some… It saves me fuel and money.
5 minute read | 1025 words
Residents of Delhi, even those not terribly interested in history, are likely to be aware of the Safdarjung Tomb. Not because it is a particularly grand tomb, as mausoleum go, but perhaps because it is physically a prominent landmark, on a major road, in the middle of upmarket central Delhi.
This morning I had an hour to kill, and I decide to make some pictures there. While wandering there, two things occurred to me:
2 minute read | 396 words
At age 40, in the middle of raising venture funding for my second tech start-up, I had a massive heart attack. It’s a long story, but in essence, while I was lying on the cold OT table and wondering why they were trying to freeze me to death, my loved ones were waiting outside desperately hoping and praying that I make it through. Surprise: I did make it through.
In just a few days I will make it all the way through to 50.
3 minute read | 486 words
At 4,420 meters Sach pass is not among the highest ‘motorable’ passes in the country, but it is certainly one of the steepest and one of toughest to bicycle across. A couple of years ago, Punit and I failed to cycle across it (read about the last attempt to cycle across the Sach pass here. What are the chances that I’ll do better on a solo attempt?
It is a little after 4:00 pm and it has already been a tough day of cycling.
12 minute read | 2547 words
There is a post on my blog about choosing a bicycle
that has become very popular and I get to reply to lots of comment related to it. Recently I created a list of cycle shops in the NCR (Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida) for a comment on that post. Oddly this information is hard to get online. Therefore I thought I might as well share it as a post.
The list is sorted alphabetically (Name) but you can sort it in other ways by clicking on the column header.
2 minute read | 234 words
Planning on riding/driving from Manali to Leh? You can explore the route in an interactive map right here and also download a .gpx file of the route for your GPS.
On this 470 km trip you will climb 14,000 meters and cross five major high-altitude passes (called La). If you are cycling, the climb to the pass will seem endless. I have marked all of the passes in the file just so that you know how much more you need to suffer!
1 minute read | 190 words
Earlier this year we went scuba diving to the Andaman Islands. We spent a over a week at DiveIndia on the Havelock islands.
There is no easy way to describe the vibrancy of the underwater ecosystem of a coral reef. No description can do justice to the experience of being 10-20 meters underwater.
Early morning departure for a dive session I tired using the word ‘psychedelic’ to describe the colours and the shapes of the astounding range of lifeforms.
1 minute read | 144 words
As far as I can remember, I had one persistent, recurring childhood fantasy/dream: To fly. All by myself.
Some 40 odd years later, it has finally happened. I went through a short training to learn to fly a paraglider. So how was it to live out your childhood fantasy, you might ask? Well, nice! Really nice. But, somehow not as fantastic as the original fantasy!
Mostly because jumping off the face of a high cliff defies your basic instinct.
3 minute read | 544 words
© 1995 – 2020 Ajay Jaiman