On this trip I have been lucky… Almost everywhere I went I found a good human being willing to help ; share knowledge and take some time out to help another human. One such soul was one of the organizers of the Ziro festival, he is from Itanagar and after getting in touch with him through a mutual friend he helped me find a hotel on the night I reached Itanagar, giving a me small sense of familiarity in a place I was seeing for the first time. Eventually after settling in, he came to meet me and we got to talking about the Ziro festival – the reason I was here in the first place. The festival has often been called the ‘Wood stock of India’ and has been around for the past three years since 2012.

Of the things we discussed (about the festival), was the idea of keeping the growth of the festival organic – spreading it through word of mouth and actually making sure it happened every year, rather than with heavy advertising. This has worked exceptionally well for them and the festival will now be in it’s 4th edition in 2015.Towards the end, our conversation revolved around bikes, the need to know how to fix it in these parts (as I would soon come to see) and future plans for the festival.It gave me a small insight into the initiatives that music lovers,festival organizers and travel enthusiast have in this side of the country. Of note is the fact that community plays a huge role in everything that the people in AP do, from their local festivals to drinking, to having fun, to issues of more importance.

It was eight pm by the time we finished talking and by then – to my disappointment – all the local joints had closed down. My friend put out a note of caution about venturing out by myself and I decided to pay heed to his reason and not risk it.

My only option was to get a meal at the hotel and the prices on the menu , were not budget friendly but, small gifts from the universe come in all shapes and forms; and this particular one took the form of a Manipuri thali that the hotel owner said I could have on the house.Since the owner was a friend of the guy I just met and an avid biker himself – the initial plan was to have dinner with him(the owner) but, it didn’t happen. So I ended up eating along with the staff, who made me feel like a guest of honor , making sure I had round two of the delicious and very spicy fish, vegetables,chicken,rice and some other things I could not identify but ate anyways.

All the while I answered questions about Mumbai and why I’m on the trip. At the end it was a fulfilling meal and a great end to a 300 km ride for the day.As I was leaving,the staff asked me to come outside and help with putting my bike in the hotel lobby (right by the reception desk). After a puzzled reaction.I was told that its best for my bike and the owner does it every night as well. I didn’t react and just went along, but the sight is something that will always be a story for me. Another example of the good nature of people in general and maybe a slight truth about being a tourist, out late in the North- East. Here’s a photo of where the bike was parked, to put it into perspective.