Sunday 13 July 2014

Mating Lizards at my backyard

Caught in the ACT !!
It was few minutes before dawn, I was out in my backyard, finishing my morning routine and getting ready for my office.
Though I was late by nearly 10 minutes, a surprise awaited me on that early morning.
Saw these lizards busy making out for their future endeavors. It was an opportunity not to be missed. Quickly I ran into my house, grabbed my camera, ran back to my backyard and clicked these mating lizards.


Camera: FujiFilm F770EXR (P&S)
Date: 11 July'14

* Illumination was from a 40 W TubeLight.

Sunday 1 June 2014

A bit of Gardening...

Two months ago I got to attend Chennai Trekking Club 's Trek Polama event. This is a two day event which hosts one hour sessions by eminent people working in the field of nature, wild life, photography, et., la. One of the sessions was by Mr.Indrakumar Subramaniam on Terrace Gardening which had many interesting tid bits on how to do gardening in a structured way. The interesting thing that captivated me was the process called composting which is the foundation for every gardener. He told about Vegetable Waste Composting and Fish Waste Composting. For the past two years, I have been doing vegetable waste composting, which involves using the throw away waste of vegetables from our kitchen. I used to fill these wastes in an earthen pot. As months go by, the vegetable wastes turn into manure. Through this session, I got a tip on using dried cow dung. Just sprinkle a tea spoon of dried cow dung powder, for every four filling of vegetable waste. After attending Indrakumar's session, I improved my vegetable composting system by using dried cow dung powder. I got a more efficient manure than what I reaped so far for the past two years. Now the "Fish Waste Composting" is the next experiment to be tried. While we buy fish, a quarter part of the fish is discarded as waste. This waste is the raw material in this Fish Composting process. Just collect the waste discarded after cutting of fish, add equal weight of of jaggery (Vellam in tamil) and store in an air tight container. The container should have 25% free space. Open the container after 40 days. When we open it, it smells like fruit salad (Panjamirtham in Tamil). This process of fish composting was always ringing bell in me, ever since I came back from the Trek Polama event. During April month, I started off trying with collecting fish waste from the market, added equal weight of jaggery and finally starting off the process of composting. During this process, I clarified for each and every step, thorough phone with Mr.Indrakumar. Finally, the day arrived wherein I needed to open the container. Finally, the compost is now ready in my hand last week. The compost need to be diluted in water in 1:40 part of water. I applied this mix to my lovely jasmine creeper. After four days, that is today, I was spell bound on realizing the spurt in the growth of the jasmine creeper. Wow.  Do, from today, all other plants in my garden will get an additional boost. Meanwhile, another set of fish compost would be kick started in another weeks time. This time, I shall be photographing each and every step. Stay tuned.

Monday 28 April 2014

The MRF Challenge – Racing Event – Feb’14


Racing brings the technological superiority to the fore that goes behind the performance of any automobile. Be it the lubricant oil, fuel, engine, brake, ….  tyre, et al..,

For MRF, the Formula 2000 Racing is a laboratory to do the litmus test on the tyre. A milestone to pomp off !  A cheer, for me as a person working in MRF.

If you know what to tune, you can bypass your peer! A precision up the notch, does make your knife hotter to cut the cheesy competition ahead and make the push forward. So, the folks who race, have the prowess in churning out the best of the products that stand out in the market.

For me  as an employee @ MRF and as photographer by hobby, I make sure not to miss the race event at NAMMA Chennai. Its a five hours bus journey for me.

Since the year 2010, as a regular to the MRF racing events, it’s a ground for me to hone in an additional spice to up my learning curve in clicking a photograph that stands a notch higher in my archives.

What I have done so far in race photography?
I have succeeded in taking sufficient number of panned shots of MRF Formula Racing cars.

What is panning?
Panning is a technique in photography which, if done right, would give a crisp image of the racing vehicle in the foreground and a blurred background. The racing effect on the vehicle gives a dramatic effect to the photograph. This is done by moving the camera in tandem with the speed of the racing car / bike. Panned shots were usually clicked by professionals using DSLR cameras. 

The haiku for yours truly is that, I learnt to churn out panned photographs of racing vehicles using my ordinary digital camera in its Auto mode. NOT AN EASIER TASK THOUGH! So much of trial and error have gone in this interesting experiement over the past few years.  Now, making a successful panned shot is a cake walk.


Got this panned photograph after trying some 25 clicks of the high speed cars racing on the track this time.

In the initial days of trying out panned shots, it was almost impossible, to get a good panned photograph. The factor of improbability did gave me a loaf of thrill to do more and more tries, to get that good panned photograph. Now, it has become easy, so is the thrill in clicking, which has got diluted a bit.

I now wanted to do something new.

What now?
Why not click a reverse of what I do in panned photography?
Let the racing car appear blurred in the foreground. Let there be a crispier background. Lets see if such a photograph looks interesting…

“FujiFilm F770EXR” recently got to be a family member with me. This is a bit advanced point & shoot digital camera bought a few months back. It has a Manual Mode option which invited me to play some new experiments during this event. In the manual mode, I have the option to fix the shutter speed and aperture.

I attended this MRF Challenge Racing event on 15 and 16 Feb’14. So, after initially roaming around the MMRT race track, having talked with few race marshals, learned to recognize the difference between the F1600 and F2000. F2000 is a little fatter boy as well a faster chick.

So, decided to fix a spot near the finish line and planned to do my experiment to get a dramatic photograph. The spot I choose was the one near the finish line.

As the race car sped past the finish line, I clicked my camera.  Many a time, there would be no car in my frame. Realized that these cars are more faster than what I thought. It was really tough to capture the car inside my frame. As I pursued in clicking few more photographs, I managed to get the nose of the car. Some times, the tail end got captured.

After a number of tries, finally honed the craft of discovering the split second wherein the speeding car would be inside my frame. After a few efforts, I succeeded to have the car inside my frame.

WOW!

It was time, I had clicked sufficient number of pictures successfully. All these have been in the camera’s Auto Mode, I went back through all the clicks to understand the shutter speed and aperture taken by the camera. Realized that, the camera was taking around 1/320 seconds as its shutter speed, and aperture at around 4.

Now, how about playing around the Manual mode of the camera? Its gonna be a first time experience. It was the time when last two laps have been on the go. I then switched the camera into manual mode. Got to set the shutter to 1/320 and aperture to around 4. It was really a "butterfly in stomach" moment.

Since the final lap is going to end in a couple of minutes, it was a moment of adrenaline gush in me. If I fail in this experiment, I need to wait for an year to do the next try. There were no option either for me to do sufficient number of tries. While I was ready, the last but one lap was on the go. I managed to click two cars, but there was no time to review the result.

It was the grand final happening. I just clicked the first car when it neared the finish line. A bit of confidence in me, and divine intervention got me to successfuly freeze the first car of the grand final lap as its nose just touched the finish line.

The spurt in the mood of the cheering crowd in the back ground spiced up the drama in this picture. A first experiment that succeeded, an additional feather on to my cap.

A memorable experience indeed !

Hey, where are the other photographs ? I hear you asking.

The photo log of the whole racing  event is available at my Face Book album here. Though its too many number of photographs there, I am sure you would fret if you do not have a look. Please log into facebook and enjoy my racing photography.

Saturday 25 January 2014

Pongal Festival at home



Pongal celebrations had been a grand one all these years in my life time here at my home. But this year, parents and grand parents went to Chennai for brother's home. As grandma and dad are both not well, the whole family was not able to travel back to Cuddalore to enjoy the festive celebrations.

So, we were at loss of the grandeur and me, wife and two kids were the only people this time here in Cuddalore to celebrate the Pongal festival.

All these years, there would be grandma who would have been keeping an eye on the traditional earthen stove. This stove is fired with twigs and fire wood. Often we encounter mistakes in maintaining a uniform flame and she intervenes to correct our mistakes.

The mistakes would be

1. We would have pushed too much twigs into the stove and snuff out the flame, resulting in too much smoke engulfing out of the stove.

2. People around would be suffering from soaring eyes due to the smoke. Folks (me or brother) behind the stove usually go away from the spot to escape the burning sensation.
 
3. Grandma would intervene and correct the system of the firewood inside the stove and shortly the fire engulfs, snuffing out our worries.

4. Sometimes  we push in too much twigs and the fire would be blowing in too fiercely and grandma intervenes to maintain uniformity.

So much of these years, we were in for a surprise and challenges in maintaining fire in this stove. At the end we enjoy at the sight of the boiling Paal (Milk) Pongal gushing out of the utensil.

This year was the first time ever in my life in which there is no one to guide us through. I was cooking alone in this challenging earthen stove. Wife was tied up with other chores to keep the festive going through. After setting up the placement of the system, she left. My kids helped in getting the fire wood and twigs nearer to the stove.

So, with a little dose of fear I sat in front of this stove. It was sheer luck that the whole process went on well. I kept to my idea of pushing twigs of small size at uniform intervals into the stove. So, the flame did not get off as well as not to grow much fiercly.

After some 15 minutes the Pongal boiled out and pushed the steel plate off and gave us some ecstatic  interesting moments.

A Pongal enjoyed well !
This too is a first time responsible experience which has come out well.

Happy Pongal!!

Photographer was my elder kid Suriya
Camera : FujiFilm F770EXR

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Sports Photography Workshop by Dharma Chandru

A workshop on sports photography happened at SmartShoppers, Egmore in Chennai on 19 Jan 2014.



Dharma Chandru, one of the Canon India’s Brand Ambassador and Photo Mentor gave the participants a rich information on the Hows, Whats, .,,,, of sports photography.

The workshop started at 8.30 a.m. and ended at 10.30 a.m., within such a short time, he gave us a very rich and non-googleable info about photography.

A time well spent and learned a lot of interesting things in photography...

Thank you Dharma Chandru Ji for such a knowledge packed session.

Thank you  SmartShoppers for putting efforts in sprucing up such a workshop that too for free.

Here is my trip story...

3.30 p.m. on 18 Jan
Yours truly bought the open (unreserved) ticket at Cuddalore rail station to travel to Egmore the next day for attending the workshop. 

2.05 a.m. on 19 Jan
Alarm rings. Little odd to get off from sleep. But managed to finish my bath and leave home at 2.55 a.m.

3.05 a.m.
Walked my way on the road and reached the rail station. It was very different to walk in the road as there were none around other than me in that odd hour. Train was expected to arrive at 3.10 a.m. But as the clock ticked past 3.20 there were no sign of train coming up.

3.30 a.m.
Wife gives a call of what happened. Assures her not to worry and train would arrive in another 5 minutes.

3.35 a.m.
Train arrived.

3.40 a.m.
The train chugs off from the station. I give a call back to wife and assured her.

I usually go in this Madurai-Chennai Superfast train because since its a bi-weekly train, there would not be any crowd. Seats are usually empty and I usually lie and have a good sleep. But, surprise this time was that the unreserved coaches came in fully packed. Should be so because of the end of Pongal holiday season. It was a little hard time to realize that I would not be able to have a good sleep this time. A seat was available and I traveled by sitting. No opportunity to lie down and have a good sleep.


7.40 a.m.
Train arrived at Egmore rail station. Hopping down, I went to the refreshment stall and filled up my hungry stomach with a set of Dosa costing Rs.20.

8.00 a.m.
The venue is less than a kilometer from the station and since there was ample time left, I preferred to walk down to go to SmartShoppers to attend the workshop.

8.30 a.m.
After asking nearly 5 people on the road, I reached down to the spot.

There was only a person inside with chairs arranged neatly for the participants to come and sit. Having checked with the person, I then settle down for the workshop to start.

More than 15 people came in and then came in Dharma Ji and workshop started off.

An interesting session it was. Came across bit and piece of information from Dharma which are not readily available on Google to dig out and learn. The real learning experience came to an end by 10.45 a.m.

There was a train - Mumbai to Karaikal Lokmanya Tilak Express - a weekly train available at 10.45 a.m. at Egmore to reach Cuddalore by 2.30 p.m. I was wishing this train to come bit late. Got a MTC bus to go back to Egmore rail station. To my luck, the train was expected to arrive toooo late at 1.05 p.m.

11.00 a.m.
Gave a call to my brother.
I had a medicine packet meant for my mum to be handed over to him.

I bought a train ticket and then proceeded my journey on the Chennai local EMU train till Palavanthangal. As bro came in, and as there was too much time left for my train to arrive, I went with him and reached Chennai home. Mum had just finished making Mutton Briyani. So, in another half hour, finished have a delicious food and started off.


The train should be departing Egmore by 1.10 p.m. and I planned to catch it at Tambaram wherein it should be arriving at 1.40 p.m.

Brother left me at Palavanthangal station and I now had to take a half hour  Chennai local EMU train journey to reach Tambaram rail station. Finally reached there at 1.50 p.m. It was a bit of anxious moment for me as I had the doubt - whether the train had left or still to arrive there. I could not confirm since there was no station master room on the platform in which south bound trains arrive (Platform No. 8/9)

By about 2.05 p.m. Vaigai SuperFast train arrived in this platform. So, I reached to the driverto know whether the Lokmanya Tilak Express train to Karaikal has left. It was a bit of peace to me as he assured that the train was yet to go past.

2.20 p.m.
The LT Express train to Karaikal arrived on the platform in Tambaram. This train is late that day by more than 3 hours.

Though train delays are a curse, it was a gift for me that day. I utilized that time to visit my brother's home. Parents and Grand parents are now staying there. So, this train delay gifted me to push in some time to have a short time with them. Mum's special recipe "Mutton Briyani" was a blessing that day. Mum's tasty recipe is hard to beat.

The train after a very short stoppage chugged out of the Tambaram rail station.

5.30 p.m.
Reached home.

The day was an interesting one. My learning of photography got an exponential peaking curve. This learning experience should be of help when I would be covering MRF Formula racing event next month at MMRT in Chennai.

Thanks Dharma Ji

Thank you SmartShoppers

Monday 13 January 2014

Making the crying baby, SMILE

There was a Rangoli (Kolam) competition at Pondicherry beach presented by the Pondicherry Tourism Dept (@6a.m. on 12Jan'14, a Sunday). I got to know of it through the Pondicherry Photorgaphy Club. As I was riding down to Chennai to deliver my Brother's Royal Enfield, I spent a little time, enroute here, to take a few clicks. 


Reached there at about 7.00 a.m.; there were a number of women trying their efforts out in making the winning Kolam (Rangoli).

Happened to see a lady drawing the Kolam while her annoyed tiny tot was pestering her.

The little girl seemed to be agitated, may be due to a disturbed sleep on a early morning. She was not letting her mum to draw the Kolam.

Managed to click her while she was crying.

Started a conversation with this tiny tot and managed her to come near me. I zoomed here crying face on my camera to a bigger size and showed it to her.

She then cheered up a bit forgetting her cries.

Now she happily went behind her mom to pose for another photograph.


Her mom too was bit relieved as well finished drawing the rangoli as the tiny tot stopped blocking her mum's efforts.

A different experience for me !

Wednesday 1 January 2014

The year 2013 experience

GREAT BECAUSE


MRF Formula 2000 Racing Event got me the perfect to clicked my camera to the utmost to my satisfaction. 



Achieving a panned shot of the speeding race car with an ordinary digital camera is a challenge. Successfully achieved it. The above is the result of a panned shot of the Formula 2000cc car I clicked with my point and shoot digital camera - FujiFilm JZ300.


Got that golden half minute to get a click with the Managing Director of our organisation MRF during the race event.
 

That was a great memorable shot because my former boss and current boss are there in this frame. 

A click with Mr.Narain Karthikeyan, the fastest Indian on the Earth!

 



Bought a new Point and Shoot digital camera F770EXR through my colleague Peroumal Ji. This camera is an advanced P&S camera with a 20X optic zoom and since it is not available in India, my colleague helped me to get it from the USA.

My photography skill got mentioned in my organisation MRF - A click of my bike tyre went into the annual corporate presentation with a mention of me. Got me noticed in higher echelons of my career life.





Reviewed a yet to be launched Royal Enfield #Bullet500. Finished 2500 kms over a period of 20 days. Took it on an arduous long four day 1710 kms trip, riding the bike through four states in south india along with some interesting hard core riders. Clocked my longest ride of 647 kms through 3 states in a single day.
 
Luckily got invited to the SUV offroading initiative of Audi Chennai on the Q type of Audi cars.
Driving the sophisticated luxury car was a great experience.


Covered Offroading of Renault Duster cars. It was a great time to get introduced with the thrilling group of adventurous group - "Jeep Thrills".



 


My interest in Bulletering has now spread in my family which ended in buying one more Royal Enfield Bullet 350 (1994 model) for my brother.



 

SAD BECAUSE

Shri.Rajendra Ratnoo IAS, the then District Collector left from Cuddalore subsequent to him being transferred to Chennai. This happened in Dec 2012.

A great experience working with him in sprucing up social media initiatives for the improvement of my town Cuddalore way back in 2012. 

 This was during the kick starting of social media initiative in "Rebuilding Economy and Ecology of Cuddalore"  post the devastation due to Cyclone Thane



That was me alongside Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam which was during the kick start of Social media initiative for "Plastic Free Cuddalore".

A sad time that after Shri Rajendra Ratnoo IAS left our district, his wonderful initiatives could no longer realize its intended fruits. Had he stayed here for a few more months, the Cuddalore district would have been a fore runner in total implementation of Zero Waste. After he left, the projects got handicapped. Cuddalore is back to the bad old days of banned plastic being used every where and garbage being dumped in river bodies. 

Projects such as banning plastic and implementing zero waste system in such a big district would need a couple of years time. But before the fruits reach the people, this bureaucrat was shifted to the state capital. The sprouting of the seeds sown by him had withered for want of care. 

Though this bureaucrat is an expert in implementing environmentally conscious initiatives, his expertise has gone un-utilized by the government. He has been shifted to departments which are not related with to improving the environment.
 

One of my photographs was stolen and used for commercial purpose by Bike Basix,  an Ahmedabad based company selling commercial merchandise.



 without any credits or monetary benefits to me.

Now welcoming 2014 and expecting it to be a more interesting one...

Tuesday 24 December 2013

The THUMP mania that spreads...

As far as biking is concerned, I bought my first bike in the year 2000. It was a Hero Honda Splendour - a 100cc motorcycle. I bought it because commuting to my office direly needed a bike for me.

In 2003, I got married and after 7 years of married life, my wife needed a bike. There had been a necessity of a vehicle for my wife to tend to adhoc needs at home, especially for our two little kids. I zeroed in on TVS Super Excel moped.

Dad was already having a old moped (TVS 50 XT) and I was having a 100 CC bike. The problem is that there was neither sufficient space to park a third bike, nor my wife could ride my dad's old moped.

When I bought my bike, the cost of petrol was Rs.24 /Lt (year 2000), by year 2010 the price escalated to Rs.50 /Lt. On the other hand, there had been many headaches on my daily commute such as stray dogs toppling many of my biker friends. During the year 2004, I too tasted a long skid on a oil spilled turn, luckily I escaped with bruises which needed a weeks leave from work. Over the ten years there had been a considerable increase in irresponsible drivers giving bad surprises. To add to this, casual loiterers just peep in after an accident, support the irresponsible localite who was the cause of the accident and the gang come against the poor bikers and plunder money out of katta panchayaths. Few of my friends have been casualties of this bad system that still prevail around us.

Given the expenses involved on fuel and the horrible accident stories happening around, I decided to tick off the practice of riding the bike for daily commute to office.


It had been a great time owning the fuel efficient 100cc Splendour bike and maintaining it in mint condition. This bike commanded a great price on the second hand market too.

Since, I switched to public transport for my daily commute; my bike got into riding mode only on fewer occasions; Though its not a great experience using the government buses day in and day out. The crew of the government buses give surprises with their absences, as well there comes lot of reschedule in case of festivals. We usually get atleast two surprises in a week. Ofcourse these are the opportunities in getting used with a Plan B and hopping on to any other buses or getting help from bikers for their pillion seat and do the commute. Though these are full of surprises,  is gives stomach chills, its a safer mode ! At first the change over was little harder, but over a few months I got used with the public transport.

The Super Excel moped that is gonna be brought for my wife would suffice in times of my needs. So, by the year 2010, I sold my bike and a couple of weeks later the new Super Excel moped made its entry. So by then, my dad's TVS XT (old moped) and the new TVS Super Excel got to be parked at home and serve our needs of transportation.

After the new moped came in, my dad's old moped became a thing to worry as it needed plenty of visits to the mechanic. After much effort we successfully persuaded Dad to sell it off.

Bigger bikes from Royal Enfield have had a bit of kindling my joy a little, for many a time. Though its a sub conscious thingy.

The thing that attracts in this Royal Enfield bullet is the cult design that had gone in since the British War Era. Till this day, the military design with tiger eye lamps makes the pull, rather than the technology behind these bikes. The Dud Dud thumps that come out of the roar of the bullets are a music that still play in our ears even though the bike itself had gone off from the scene for more than a while.

It was during this time that the Royal Enfield company have been inviting its Twitter fans for factory tour. I had great time visiting the historic Royal Enfield factory at Tiruvottiyur. It was then for me to plunge in and know more about Royal Enfield.

I did put in sufficient time to approach the owners of the RE bikes. It was then I got to bump into people who had owned the old Cast Iron RE bikes and also the new RE bikes. The cast iron bikes are the ones which have brake on the left; gear shifter on the right and the new bikes have brakes on the right and gear shifter on left side. The old ones have separate sections for the engine, gear box, clutch and an exclusive neutral shifter. The new ones have a technology termed UCE which have all the three combined into a single section. Neutral shifter is a pedal, which helps the rider to shift the gear from a higher one to to neutral at a single tap. This facility is available only in Cast Iron bullets.

Then I searched for people who had owned both the kinds. A lot of interesting things that unfolded before me over a period of more than a year. Having fished so much of interesting things about this bike, I decided to try buying the cast iron type of Royal Enfield bike. These types of bikes had been stopped of production many years ago and its not possible to buy a new one.

I expressed my desire to my family. This was the point wherein all the problems started. I faced a stiff opposition from each and everybody at home against buying a old bike. I generally await for a consensus from my family, of-course they are the ones who care me the most. So I respected their arguments especially from my well experienced Dad. He was too particular not to go for old vehicles since there may be legal problems.

After so much of tiff at home, on one night, at about 1.30 a.m. my dad was awake and me too. Since, the idea of buying a old bullet was still in discussion, day in and day out, we jumped into a debate with him telling the problems associated with buying old bikes and me trying to prove my stand. Then, mum chips in and expressed that the time is 2.30 a.m. and why this hulla bullah at the brink of the night. It was a hard situation wherein my well researched work of over a year is getting pushed down.

Then my Dad goes in asking his friends and relatives about the bike. Problem started as no one voted in my favour. I then did a postmortem of his method and found that my Dad has asked the people who were not users of Royal Enfield bullets.  After a bit of hard time, everybody at home left me alone without vouching my decision.

Though I was clear on my judgement based on my home work of more than a year, having nobody to support me, did put my intuitiveness into a difficult situation. It was a hell of a situation that I decided to make the next step of approaching the local mechanics and bike brokers to know the availability of the old bike.

Now, Selvam Anna, my neighbor and a old time bulletteer came into the scenario. His effort helped zeroing in on a bullet and after verifying the documents the bull was bought on 7th Jan 2012.

The above photo was the first click of my bull. It was Selvam anna who is riding it after we filled few litres of petrol to come back to home after buying it near Panruti. The person on the right, clad in black shirt is Selvam Anna's friend who is a mechanic. The person on the left clad in white liaises on selling used vehicles.

A photograph clicked once the bull was parked at home. You can read the worries on family members standing besides my RE. Yes everyone was worried that some old metal had been brought in. All of them would have been happy if a brand new bike in mint condition arrived.

Initial days of owning this bike was bit hard since the machine is bit heavy. As months passed by, I got used with that. The next problem for me was that, the bike never roars even after repeated kicks, which gave so much of pain on my knees. After bit and bit of tuning on the engine and carburetor and then replacing the battery almost the bigger problems were solved.

After a few times of taking my dad as a pillion in this bike, his perception too changed. Mum got to be pillion and she too got little pacified. That is the charm of this 350 cc machine.

Now almost two years have passed. People in my family got very much used with the old bike. This is because, the THUMP coming out of the roaring engine has a charm which changes the mood of the people. This heavier bike has its centre of gravity at a very lower point. So, its more stable. The wheel base is longer than the ordinary bikes, which translates to more road grip.

Though I have tuned the bike to perform in the efficient manner, I was not particular to tune up its skin. As its a bit costly affair I do not want to burn my wallet now. Till then let it look bit ugly.

My younger brother living in Chennai is now in a dire need of a bike. He decided to buy a 100cc bike and I too gave my signal to go ahead. I told on the difference between owning a 100cc bike and possessing a old RE bullet. He just needed one for office commute and to the ad hoc family needs. He opted to go for 100cc bike.

Dad was eager to know about the bike. While Dad came to my place in Cuddalore, we both went to the Hero Showroom to let my dad to know of the Whats? and How muchs? of the 100 cc Passion Plus that brother had decided to buy. The first conversation that came up between us was the design of the seat. We then went near other models and Dad was particular on the vehicle having a flat seat than the one inclined to the front. We opened up a discussion that all the bikes available in the market have seats which project downwards and the pillion seat lies a bit higher.

So, this experienced bulletteer, throws comparison on all aspects known to him with respect to a Royal Enfield bullet to that of the bikes. Dad was already satisfied with my bullet and over the last two years, he had got to know more about my Royal Enfield bull.

Now, we come to the reception desk at the show room and leave from there after getting a quotation. The bike costs around Rs.60K.

Dad opens up his liking for the bullet and asks me to look for a old bullet for my brother. I was quite stumped off on his!

Two years ago I took hard time to convince my judgement on the bullet, but all my efforts drove me nervous. But, he now votes for a old bullet for my brother. An opponent of the old vehicle market has changed sides and now voting for the Cast Iron Royal Enfield. Great DAD. And my one year work of fact finding behind the Cast Iron RE had not gone waste!!

The search for the bull is now ON !

My brother was hesitant on whether it would be hard to ride a old bike which has brake and gear shifter on the other sides. Now its my duty to cultivate the CULT and enjoy the THUMP. Though everyone has a little fear on riding a old cast iron RE, its a charm and the bike is like a child to ride. To make my brother realize that, he was made to come from Chennai to Cuddalore and take some definite exercises.

We could spare just two hours and I need to pack this time to make him fully aware of riding the old bull. Here goes the photo log of what happened day before yesterday (22 Dec'13). 

At first he was made to ride only in first gear on the vast grass ground.

After a few minutes, he got used with the first gear. Then I asked him to try going to the second gear. Since its a grass ground, enough speed could not be built up to shift to the third gear.

Then, few more lessons on kick starting. This is a harder part and would need more time to master.

Then he was made to ride it in 8 formation. This maneuver would test the skill of the rider in turning / cornering at very slow speeds without resting the leg on the ground. He did it with ease. So I moved on the next step of making him realize on how heavy is the bull. 

The petrol tap was closed and bike was laid to its left side on the ground. He should lift the bike on his own. I was particular to check if he would be confident to lift the bike.

That was an anxious moment for him.



Then he needed to drop the bull to its right side.

A bit of worry can be seen in his face. But once he gets a bull I would be worried if he is not confident in realizing its heaviness.






Having retained the bull back to its position, his confidence level pepped up. Now, I am happy of having imbibed his confidence to tame the bull. As you can see, pulling the bull back to the standing position needs to be done by holding the hand bar at specific spots on the bike. Once this is memorized on his subconscious mind, I need not worry.

Now he has got the ability to ride it.


I was more than confident that he could ride it on the roads which have normal traffic.

It took another half hour for him to be certain to shift to the fourth gear and  push the bull above 30 kmph.





Though I have got myself trained to ride this bike over a very long period, the art of training my brother was a new experience. Customizing these challenging steps to make him confident of riding it in just two hours was a wonderful experience for me too.

Alas I made him a confident THUMPER. Now the searching for a old RE bullet is ON.


The demand for the old type of Royal Enfield Bullet is so high nowadays and having approached with many people, we are still to zero in on the right one. Selvam Anna has been of help too. Shall update it once buying it succeeds.