Adieu, Auf Wiedersehen, farewell my dearest GTi

Around 3 years before, even before I started this blog, I had bought my first car. Must have cost me 4500$ in total, but was entirely my money. The first car in my life, the first car in our family. My parents don’t use a car even today and we are quite used to that. Motorbikes have always been my first love and somehow that spread to cars as well. I see them as things of passion unlike many who think of them as metal boxes with four tires and airbags. That’s why it hurt a bit lot to see my car go, but alas it had to be done. I had to let go of it and move on with life, so no regrets at all.

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But what I regret the most is that I couldn’t do a few modifications to the car and enjoy it a bit more. Don’t get me wrong, I loved driving it every single day. Not a day I was bored of it. Yes, there was a lack of power as compared to the bigger cars but the fun factor was there. A bit lighter and this would have been a pocket rocket. Finally when I sorted everything, it was time to give it away. That’s life I guess.

 

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I’ll miss the beautiful engine noise from this old school engine.

 

I'll miss taking pictures of it in the desert
I’ll miss taking pictures of it in the desert

 

I'll miss this steering wheel with no electric steering assist; plain and simple. I'll miss this bomb proof yet butter smooth gearbox.
I’ll miss this steering wheel with no electric steering assist; plain and simple yet handles like a go-kart. I’ll miss this bomb proof yet butter smooth gearbox; precise and slick shifts. Those heel & toes and rev matches, I’ll miss

 

I'll miss seeing the revs fly from 3000 to 6500. So linear and void of any induction.
I’ll miss seeing the revs fly from 3000 to 6500. So linear and void of any forced induction.

 

I'll miss those seats, they give me a warm hug from the back whenever I sit in the car. Was so low to the ground and felt home.
I’ll miss those seats, they give me a warm hug from the back whenever I sit in the car. Was so low to the ground and felt home.

Is there anything I do not miss? No.

I hope the car has found a better parking spot and a better owner than me.

 

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Goodbye GTi!


 

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Daily Miseries

Yesterday evening… 

It is funny that I do not recollect much from yesterday evening. I remember I ate something before I found company of my mattress and warm blanket. The lights were still on, so I had to get up and drag myself towards the switch board. As my hands reached for the switch board, I remembered that the dishes were lying in the kitchen and I am yet to do the dishes.

I mumbled…. ‘LIFE IS HARD AND UNFAIR’ and I went to do my dishes before I could finally hit the sack.

Today morning…

I woke up, thanks to the alarm. The alarm also happens to be my phone. The exact and only reason why it is still left unharmed. It would fetch more resale value than me, if I were to put both of us on sale. I grabbed my phone, patted on its touch screen and put it to sleep. I also went to sleep. It woke me up again in 10 mins. I have a total of 8 alarms set at different intervals, so that I can actually get up and go to work. So I finally gave up, got up and started getting ready to go to work. I realized that I was getting late which is not a good thing today. My car has been in the garage for the past 10 days and it would continue to be there for another 3 days, I’m hitching a ride with one of my colleague who leaves exactly at a particular time. I pulled myself together and hurried up. Finally I got a small lunch box out from my kitchen and put in some corn flakes, threw open the fridge and poured some milk into that. Then putting stuff into places I bang close everything that I had opened. Finally grabbed everything necessary and left the house. Damn! it’s late. I hope my colleague is late as well.

The pick up point is a bit far, I have to get a cab to reach there. But only if I could reach the ground. The worst thing in life to be waiting for is a lift, when you are in a hurry. No, it is the second worst thing. First is your wife/girl-friend. If you are single then ‘Hallelujah, Praise the lord’. Finally the lift arrived and dropped me from the 10th floor to the ground. I ran outside and eagerly waited for a taxi. Someone should be coming in a min. No one came.

I walked here and there, finally I spotted one taxi, very far. I ran towards him and we set off towards the pick up point. I constantly monitored my watch and the speedometer. If the taxi driver slowed a bit down the max allowed speed limit, I’ll stare at him with a serious face and later on with a pity face. Darn! I’m late. I hope my colleague is late as well.

The taxi driver dropped me and I ran towards the pick up point. I checked my mobile. No missed calls from him. I’m late and I hope he is also late. After 3 mins, I see a car with indicators. Yes, that’s him. Holy mother of God, you are great. I saved some money by hitching this ride. Thank you lord. Not to forget that I had made myself dinner yesterday night, not because I love myself so much but just to save a few bucks. So yesterday night dinner and today’s office transportation minus the little that I paid for taxi…Damn! I’m a millionaire. 1% of my car’s garage bill paid off right there. I heaved a sigh of relief.

I reached office and breakfast time fast approached. I had a wide grin. I have saved another few millions by not buying breakfast and adjusting with cornflakes. I opened my lunch box and those corn lying in glory. First spoon of it in my mouth and spat it out the same instant. Darn! Did I not check if the milk expired? I definitely didn’t. I look around and everyone has already had their breakfast. The canteen is closed. I don’t have my car to go out and have breakfast. I walk here and there. Finally the fact has sunk in me that I am not getting anything apart from the expired cornflakes with milk.

I sat on my seat and put the first spoon of cornflakes in my mouth…. ‘LIFE IS HARD AND UNFAIR’ and carried on with my cornflakes.


 

A Clean Sweep

After trying for the umpteenth number of time, I got it right … finally. Thanks to all the Photography Gods, deities and idols! 


I have seen through the times

I have beaten the odds

Time that has built a fortified grave for many

The very same ‘time’ has seen me stronger than ever

I was made of wrought iron, by people who thought ahead of time

I grow stronger, meaner and invincible as years go by

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When the needle does a clean sweep

I roar out loud

The greater the sweep, the louder the roar

Dictating my power to everyone in the vicinity

Often challenging everyone to push their limits even higher

Setting the bar sky high

My limits remain unchallenged yet

I am immortal, I am forever

I am known by a sport

But those last three letters

Leaves the world ten steps behind

G . T . I .

It is such a pleasure to have an old car which I leave in the hottest sun and coldest winds, yet it has no intentions of giving up. Performs like brand new, still mechanically sound (touch wood); there is nothing more I expect but gratitude!

This world is a big bulb; Spreading heat, light and dust!

All the pics are taken in my mobile cam


 

Couple of days back, I washed my car that was laden with 8 layers of dust. I felt sad parting with the much necessary money that I had intended for something else, but I felt happy seeing the car shining.

Then Yesterday happened. I start walking out with the intention of going to work and the dust outside was just crazy. I don’t mind as this had become a usual sight, but I was wrong. Even after 4 hours, the dust hadn’t subsided. Instead it stayed for the whole day.

Usually this is how it looks from my office.

 

 

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Then yesterday

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No, this is not a messed up White Balance photography. This was the true color at that time. Let me demonstrate that.

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This is where I get killed everyday… inch by inch only. Now that’s not the point. Look at the window and the color outside. It looks like a bulb glowing outside.

Then a more clear picture.

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Completely tangerine.

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Later I stepped out again to see this. Things are getting better, in an orange fashion.

The tangerine didn’t last for long though 😥 but the dust did.

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To this I confirmed that the world was ending. I was happy chappy. No more torture that the world had to offer, no more ups and downs, no more FB, no more whatsapp and no more nothing.

And then I woke up this morning, to see that all yesterday had in store for me was 6 layers of dust for my day before yesterday’s shiny car. And surely the world didn’t end. I think the world is not comprised only of me, and there are lot of people who look forward to live and it’s fair to keep  the world up and running. I have no complaints about that but then what about the money and time that I put into washing the car.

In a fair revenge, I am not going to wash my car for another 3 weeks at least. I don’t care what people on the road thinks but then I am not paying to wash my car every 2nd day to see it laden with dust on the 4 th day.

On that sad bombshell, see you everyone!

 

Jebel Al Jais _ The Mountains revisited – 1

With everyone’s permission let’s revisit this post and the place again, this time I will post a proper review of the place. Now click that link and read it, will you? 😛 


 Recap :

A few months back, I was on the way to Jebel Al Jais ( Jebel – Mountain, Al- The, Jais – name of the mountain) and I shared my story of racing with an FJ cruiser. I couldn’t complete that journey due to high traffic jam from the half way point. I returned back, and said I’ll try and not go there. Well I went there for a quick visit and that was a very wise decision.

10 reasons why you could possibly consider visiting this place:

1. An amazing place to visit with your partner, family or as couples/wanna be couples. This place is going to elate both of your mood.

2. Beautiful views of winding roads from almost everywhere as you ascend.

3. A treat for any Motorcycle/Car enthusiast. Such are the roads. Narrow winding roads… means high adrenaline.

4. During the ‘not so hot and not so cold’ climate in UAE, the breeze at the top is something that needs to be experienced.

5. Compared to Jebel Hafeet, the roads are a bit more challenging. The roads from the bottom to the top are around 35 kms and feels like never ending once you start ascend. That can be good and bad, depending on how you view it.

6. Camping, barbecue and all those facilities available. (mentioned later on)

7. Availability of Public washrooms at every 5 kms for men and women. Fairly in good condition.

8. It’s not very far from the nearest city/Emirate (Ras Al Khaimah). Only 25 kms or so till the base of the mountains.

9. This can be a biking/cycling track. There are a lot of Cyclists climbing up and you may possibly bump into a bunch of them.

10. Last but not the least, it’s a beautiful place (see the attached pics)

Info :

As opposed to some people thinking, Jebel Al Jais is not the most highest mountain range in UAE. Jebel Yibir is with a 1,500 + meters above sea level.  Jebel Al Jais is one of the highest places, not the highest point.

How to find this place :

Ask Google… he knows, is the most worthwhile answer. It’s close to the Emirate called Ras-Al-Khaimah, to which there are two express ways (namely E311 and E611 which later on merges to become E311) and one highway (E11) joining RAK to other Emirates. The speed limit of E11 is 100 kmph with 80 kmph at some places near RAK, while the express ways obviously is 120 kmph with tolerance of +20 kmph making it 140 kmph.

Attaching the maps as I took both the route. The to journey was via E311, starts from Emirates market near my home and merges on to E311 and joining E11 later. The E611 is far wider than E311 and joins E311 at the centre as you can see.

To jais

 

The return leg is usually slow paced, as I am coming alone and not in a hurry.

Back home

 

Around 125 kms one way is the mention here, and I think it’s a bit more than that. Around a 150 kms (sorry no odometer readings to back my statement).

Planning :

I was supposed to go to Jebel Al Jais only this weekend, but then thought to myself what is preventing me from going there that weekend. Who can guarantee that next weekend would not see me doing something urgent! So just decided a day before that I am going. Tanked up, checked the tire pressure and set it to the standard 35 psi and checked the coolant/water levels in radiator and that’s it.

My take on the trip :

I went with my lady love as well. She is made of steel and looks Indigo blue.

The never ending 35 kms, the climb… the ascend is a nightmare if you go in traffic and a pleasure to climb if empty. The last time was a good lesson and I corrected myself this time, went early morning on a weekend. When the world was asleep after partying, I woke up at 4:00 am in the morning and managed to leave by 4:45 am. The plan was leave by 4:15 am.

On the way I stopped by a petrol station and got something to eat for the morning and I drove away to RAK. I knew most of the place from before. But towards the end I got lost and drove around for a bit before I reached the place. That ate up some time but nonetheless, it was only around half past 6. I had to climb the 35 km twisties and I was down there.

The roads are not that great, and your heart breaks with each bad pothole your small car hits. My suspensions aren’t that great either. It’s stiff by default and that’s where the Golf gets it’s precise handling. The potholes would be hard to tackle sometimes, and in a blind spot some other times. Few kms were testing, but the remaining were amazing.

Driving on narrow winding roads is really an amazing feeling, dangerous but then the best thrills come with their own dangers. More danger, more thrill. So the safest bet is to stay in your limits and have as much as fun you can. May it be car, may it be life. Never forget the limits…. Gladly I know exactly the limits of my car. I know it’s brakes, I know it’s acceleration and I know it inside out, except it’s ABS malfunctioned once (or did I panic more than usual) and I hit a smooth speed breaker a bit hard. Arghhh!!!

As usual my Photography revolved around Golfey.

Let’s move on to that then

(Please don’t mind the Vignetting in some of the pics. My screwed in filters have screwed up. My mistake again that I kept them screwed in together for a long time.)

First look at the mountains, the sun’s showing up

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Playing with the focus I land with something that looks like the below

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And finally … I own a VW GOLF GTI MK4. lol

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Sooner than later, I stop again.

 

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Again…

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And again… ufff!

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The sun has shown up now… and it’s becoming visible.

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Point 7. Public washroom.

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Point 6. Barbecue

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Now some pictures of ravines. You will now notice why it is not a good idea to jump from a ravine.

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You see in the next picture, there is a minute thing on the road.

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Then I zoom completely, at a 105 mm

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How do people even jump from suicide points?

Then my rally car,

If I stand up to click it then it looks tiny like a scale model… awww

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Then I kneel down to make him feel better

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Then I start driving up again. Suddenly after a turn I see some mutton dressed in the shape of lamb crossing the road. (pun intended)

I park my car, and go after them.

One of them is thinking of committing suicide

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He apparently is troubled that his gf is seeing someone else, and then I tell him my story and that my passenger side seat belts have become stiff and crispy. He is moved by my story and …..

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You don’t swear at someone who saved your life… dude? Where is the god damn manners.

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Then I turn back and take a couple of pics, from the edge. I live on the Adgeeee, lol 😛

 

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I turn my head to see something that reminded me of India. Why this kolaveri di?

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A closer look

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The herd is not happy with my intrusion… I might have to leave soon.

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I drive drive and drive… I reach the end of the road

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So that was the end of my uphill journey. The roads after that point were doable on a 4×4 strictly. You can see the rules written on the board. I saw a couple of cars passing the gate, and on enquiry the guard mentioned that they were from the company and had permission.

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Then some random shots

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Then I saw a braveheart

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Leave the braveheart, check out the place

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To be contd… 

With rest of the story, my quick review of this place and some more snaps

A day in AD corniche!!!

All pics are taken in my mobile camera with slight color adjustments. 


 

A dialogue between Teacher and a Student…

Teacher : ‘Class, Where is Gelf? Can anyone tell me?’

Student : ‘Teacher Teacher…. I don’t know. Can you?’

Teacher : ‘Class, Where is India? Can anyone tell me?

Student : ‘Teacher Teacher… In Gelf!’

Teacher : ‘Good Boy!!!’

 

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I went for an interview last week in AD (Abu Dhabi, UAE). You can see the queue for the interview, it was 1 km outside the venue and the whole venue which by itself was a well reputed hotel in Abu Dhabi was filled with people. I would blame it on the company for lack of proper planning. There were like 20-25 disciplines that the company had called for and an unacceptable number of people standing here, there and everywhere. Well done by ruining everyone’s weekend.

But then, I had a good time. I was informed by my room mate that there was an interview next day. Yeah, on the day before at say 8:00 pm. He obviously had to take a bus to reach AD, so what’s easy for him is to go with me and if I happen to go, tag alongside 😛 No…no, he is not mean. He is just a friend. So I am in a half mind whether to go or not, and as anyone would think… I also thought if I don’t go I will not be able to move on from my current job (no, I am not typing it at my workplace … only editing and posting) and if I go attend the interview, I actually have a chance.

I and my room mate set off at 6:15 am for a 200 km drive to this hotel at AD Corniche. Corniche means a road cut into the edge of a cliff, especially one running along a coast as per Google. I say it’s simply the road along seaside. You will understand it better as we progress.

We reach by 8:15 am, even after 2 short breaks. That means it took only 1 hour and 40 mins or less than that to cover the distance, which is OK. There is a small crowd in the hall, I register after standing for an hr in the queue. They check my CV and mention that the experience is less than what they are looking for, they take the CV along with them and tell me they will get back to me. I expect it to be in their trash bin by now. The other guy who came with me had adequate experience, hence his CV got selected and he moved on with other process. It’s going to be long, for him. The hall was packed, the veranda packed and reception is also packed. The queue is 3 times the one I see in Kerala beverages (liquor shop). I realize that job is much more important than alcohol.

I had to leave, the parking lot was full. It was becoming hard for the candidates to park their car. I curse our population, I cannot believe my eyes. I am saddened to see the state of our people, all over the place. But this job and interview can’t make me sad. It was never what I wanted to do for a job anyways. It’s kkpp for me (kkpp is a KL shortform for : Get it then good, didn’t then fine).

I am not going before I explore the AD Corniche, which actually made my day. What a beautiful place! I realize at that very moment, what I was missing in life!!! I loved the place, it was a bit sunny but I still loved what the place had to offer.

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Dubai is congested, but then I haven’t got a chance to explore Dubai as well. But I loved AD for what I saw there, of course the rents are sky high. Even more than Dubai, but it’s the capital and financial power house of UAE. How would you blame them? Look at the quality. Mesmerized.

 

I couldn't get the WB right in this shot.
I couldn’t get the WB right in this shot.

 

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‘Jogging / cycling / skating or whatever you want to do’ track

 

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Monochrome, looks good!!!

 

The fancy lights
The fancy lights

 

You can sit here with your loved one and no moral police would come and disturb

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You can sit here with your loved one and no moral police would come and disturb you. The privacy and freedom is amazing!!!

 

A duck (or something) swimming!!! Nice water.
A duck (or something) swimming!!! Nice water.

 

Some young lady enjoying her walk
Some young lady enjoying her walk

 

Some guy on his roller skates
Some guy on his roller skates

 

Again it's some young lady with her dog!
Again it’s some young lady with her dog!

 

The last time I saw all this was in Mumbai. I knew then,at Mumbai, that I was living. After all these years of existence, I still long to pet a dog 😥 AD reminded me of that. It was a sad realization.

Now the scenes around,

 

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A fancy waiting area. Should go and sit there someday and wait for someone!!! 😀

 

Another waiting shed, this time it's a bus stop!
Another waiting shed, this time it’s a bus stop! (or at least I think so) 

 

Half in shade and half exposed. Doesn't do justice to me anyways!
Half in shade and half exposed. Doesn’t do justice to me anyways!

 

The buildings around. Would cost a bomb to live there!
The buildings around. Would cost a bomb to live there! Still under construction but you know where I am coming from.

I had to cross the road and that was made easy by underpass, with a warning though

Warning at a pedestrian underpass
Warning at a pedestrian underpass

And they are right about their warning (I hope this is not illegal)

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There was another camera looking at me at the other end. After a few days if I don’t come online, you know where I am. 😛

Just showing you a pic of the traffic at the parking lot

 

 

 

 

Did you see our swifty standing there?
Did you see our swifty standing there? 😛 

Then I walk back to my beautiful lady, my child, my everything; to whom I go to every single day. She accepts me with her arms and heart wide open. Her warmth has actually moved me. Who would bother waiting for me under the hot sun for hours when I am fooling around taking pics…. Yeah yeah! My car, who is waiting for me as always.

 

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With that sad bombshell…. let me say a good bye to you all for now!!!