Notes from the Raid: The Parrot, the Coconut and the Gypsy. // Text: Shuchi Thakur // Published in the January 2012 issue of Business Standard Motoring magazine.
Breaking down and subsequently getting out of the Raid is the single worst thing in the world. You don’t see it coming. No signs from the Universe, no premonitory dreams, nothing.
I have a theory. Come September when the planets align and when the crouching Mummy of Gyu raises its head and the lamas of Lamayuru blow them long horns, high up in the mountains, Nawang Thinley’s three-legged pet parrot hops out into the courtyard and with his incredible beak, pulls forward the names of people from the Raid de Himalaya DNF deck of cards. Clearly, the parrot is on to something big here.
Pray, what, you ask, is a DNF? It stands for “Did Not Finish.” When abbreviated, it can be put to versatile use: as a phrase (I Did Not Finish), a noun (I am a DNF), a proper noun (Oh, look! It’s the DNF Gang), a verb (You DNFed? Me too!) and an adjective (The DNF party in the service park was a big hit).
The Raid de Himalaya was our last rally of 2010. Though we’ve been trying to organise ourselves for February’s Desert Storm Rally, we reckoned that Rangdum sub-zero temperatures during the Raid were not enough, so we took off to even higher mountains at even higher altitudes, to trek in the land of the thunder dragon. Trekking in Bhutan in the December is superb. More on the Druk Path trek soon!
Earlier today, we visited Acres Wild, Coonoor’s very own organic cheesemaking farm(and farm-stay). There’s a natural pond, ducks, geese, fish, cows, a few turkeys, a bio-gas unit, and farm-grown organic vegetables. We were told that sometimes, even elephants visit! There’s also a Cheesemaking Cottage, where all kinds of cheese is made - from Gouda, Cheddar and Parmesan to Feta, Halloumi and Camembert. And there’s even a two-day Cheesemaking Course(available to guests who stay in the farmstay). Great place, good for spending an idyllic weekend in the Nilgiris and learning how to make gourmet cheese.
Shuchi’s account of her first “X-treme” category Raid de Himalaya, 2006. As published in Business Standard newspaper(21.10.2006) and in the November 2006 issue of Business Standard Motoring magazine.