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Life Goals before 40 (the year 2015)

बेखुदी ले गई कहाँ हमको

देर से इंतजार है अपना

……मीर त़की मीर

2015 was an eventful year spent in the wilderness of Ladakh and the jungles of Ranthambore National Park. When in Delhi, I spent my weekends shooting on the streets, cycling on alternate days, and blogging during downtime at home.

The first couple of weeks of the year were spent settling into our new house and attending to work at my company's manufacturing unit located outside of Delhi. It was my mom's visit sometime in March that helped us get organized.

March was the month when, during casual talks of adventure during rides to the office, the idea of traveling to Ladakh by bike occurred. The plan was to go just the two of us, rather than being part of group trips.

"You need to have a bike and a driving license, Durgesh," I said. "It will be a long ride spread over 15 days, so it's difficult to manage on a single bike." Durgesh quickly decided to buy one, but it took a couple of months for his parents to allow him to own one.

My wife gave me permission for the trip. Every couple of weeks, I'd broach the subject of going alone and leaving them behind during the summer break. True to her nature, she never changed her mind. Still in March, I also received approval from my boss for the venture.

Before our trip to Ladakh was due, we celebrated my younger daughter's birthday in April with a home performance by a magician. I have lovely pictures of a white pigeon perched on the heads of my wife and mom.

A week before May 31, we shopped at Karol Bagh for the trip. However, we missed out on getting a raincoat and waterproof shoes.

For a full fortnight in June, we lived on the road, biking some 3500 km and enjoying the beauty of Ladakh.

We celebrated my elder daughter's birthday in June in Chandigarh. I returned the same day from Leh, but suffered from food poisoning the whole night. However, this didn't deter me from driving a further 270 km the very next day to be back home.

The following week, we headed to Ranthambore, where my family got to see the National Park that I've been visiting for several years.

In July, I surprised my wife with a new laptop, wishing her well in advance for her birthday. August was memorable for behaving carelessly as a couple. We also embarked on a personal mission we had defined for ourselves.

The whole of September was spent in a subdued mood. I was lucky again to take a break on my birthday.

Plans for Varanasi failed in October. I even had to cancel flight bookings to Nagpur when I could not secure a booking for Pench Tiger Reserve.

We persisted in our goal, for the third consecutive year, to travel to my parents' place for the Diwali break. Bookings for Pench Tiger Reserve were cancelled again due to illness.

December will be remembered for getting back to normalcy. Sometime since the beginning of September, I had lost my peace of mind.

I am currently busy working towards meeting the life's goals before turning 40 on September 29, 2016.

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