Monday, September 19, 2011


Purple-flowered saffron is a wonderful plant to which nature has given a fascinating fragrance, a beautiful color, and a host of other qualities. Believed to have been originally native to the Mediterranean area, Asia Minor, and India, the saffron crocus has long been cultivated in India and was taken from this country a number of other parts of the world as a result of trade after its high quality and distinctive properties were understood over centuries of its application. The name saffron comes from the Arabo-persian "za'faran", Arabs having dominated the spice market for a very long time

The saffron flower is composed of 6 purple petals, 3 golden yellow stamens and one red pistil. It is this famous pistil made up of 3 stigmas (filaments) which when dried up gives the saffron.Treasured for its golden-colored ,pungent stigmas, which are dried and used to flavor and color foods and as a dye.
With its strong, exotic aroma and bitter taste , saffron is named among the sweet-smelling herbs in the Song of Solomon . A golden-colored water soluble fabric dye was distilled from saffron stigmas in India in ancient times. Shortly after Buddha died, his priests made saffron the official color for their robes. The dye has  been used for royal garments in several cultures .As a perfume, saffron was strewn in Greek and Roman halls, courts, theaters and balls, it became especially associated with the hetaerae, a professional class of Greek courtesans. The streets of Rome were sprinkled with saffron when Nero made his entry into the city

Kashmir is  among regions where saffron was cultivated for the first time ,and its cultivation development in other parts of the world is regarded as a consequence of wars and conquests by foreign armies, When Spain was conquered by the Muslims some products cultivable in territories under Muslim influence were taken there for cultivation in about 961 AD. Saffron is mentioned in an English leech book, or healing manual of the 10th century but may have disappeared from western Europe until reintroduced the crusaders.
Saffron is supposed to have been introduced into China by the Mongol invasion who took its bulbs from Iran. It is mentioned in the Chinese material  medical (Pun tsaou 1552-78)
The above manner of dissemination has continued to this very day in different methods to regions whose climatic conditions allow for its cultivation .As the latest immigrants to the United States, some Iranians have taken up its cultivation in the state of California.
Saffron crocus, Crocus sativus ,is a bulbous perennial of iris family (Iridaceous). Its plant has long and narrow leaves with no petiole and grows directly form but also grow occasionally in clusters.

Made like a gun..goes like a bullet

Through necessity, and in common with most other engineering companies of the day, Enfield didn't restrict themselves to one line. They also made lawnmowers, bicycles and rifle parts for a Small Arms factory in Enfield. A clue lies in their logo which depicts a cannon, which I have to say, is infinitely better than a lawn mower. Their motto of ‘Made like a gun, Goes like a bullet’ is also evidence of their military involvement. In 1907, the company joined forces with a business with the unlikely name of ‘Alldays & Onions', to produce the Enfield-Allday automobile. Fortunately, the onion was dropped. These cars remained in production until 1925.

Royal Enfield produced their first motorised vehicle in 1898, a vehicle that would today be described as a ‘Quad’. This early effort had a De Dion-Bouton 2.75 hp engine. As the 20th century dawned, a bicycle with a 150cc engine mounted above the front wheel was introduced. The year after in 1902, a similar machine was fitted with a 239cc Enfield engine. The famous V-Twins appeared in 1910, primarily fitted with a Motosacoche 344cc engine, but later superseded by Enfield's own power unit. The first small, two stroke engines saw the light of day in 1915 with the 200model.

With the outbreak of World War 1 in 1914, Royal Enfield was requested to furnish the British armed forces with machine gun-carrying combinations and stretcher-bearing motorcycles. The company also won a contract to supply machines to the Russians. In 1917, when most able bodied men were at war in Europe, a police force made up of women was issued with 600cc Royal Enfield motorcycles.
The time between the wars saw a boom in the popularity of sidecars, and in 1924 a combination using a 350cc single was launched. In 1928, saddle tanks and centre-spring, girder front forks were used. Royal Enfield bikes now took on a more contemporary appearance, and despite the economic gloom of the depression years, sales kept steady. A 488cc machine with a four speed gearbox was offered in 1927 and a side-valve 225cc in 1928. It seemed that the company could do no wrong, and during the thirties, Royal Enfield's catalogue featured thirteen models. This is the time that the famous single cylinder ‘Bullet’ was born.
As the world once again fell into war, Royal Enfield rose to the occasion to produce a series of motorcycles for military use, the most famous of these being a 125cc bike called the ‘Flying Flea’. It was also known as the ‘Airborne’ because of its capability of being dropped by parachute. Special instruments for war use were also manufactured at this time.
In the fifties, Enfield of India began building machines with parts shipped from Britain, but in 1962 were producing complete motorcycles. Unfortunately, the factory in Redditch, England ceased production in 1970, with the Chennau plant in India still operating. Denomination rights were purchased by the Indians and the name lived on, which today enables Royal Enfield to claim the title of ‘The world's oldest motorcycle model’. The bullet is in fact the model with the longest production run.
Between 1955 and 1960, Royal Enfield's were sold in the USA as ‘Indian Motorcycles’. This of course had nothing to do with India in the Asian context.
The famous Indian motorcycle company had experienced troubles of its own, and this was just another chapter in their particular history. The Americans weren't too keen on badged motorcycles, and when the business agreement expired, Floyd Clymer, who had controversially claimed the ‘Indian rights', sought other sources for his venture.
It appears that the ‘Enfield’ name has plenty of life in it yet. Enfield India continues making motorcycles and is indeed flourishing. In 1986, a civil servant from Britain named Raja Narayan went back to India to create an export arm for Royal Enfield, so in the same way that Raja had returned to his roots, so had the Bullet, which is now marketed in Britain.
Despite production moving from Redditch to India, the marque can claim to be the only one to span three centuries, and who knows, it may even reach a fourth. Whilst the Indian plant goes from strength to strength, the few buildings that remain from the Redditch glory days have been swallowed up by the Enfield Industrial Estate.

The original article, along with other motorcycle articles can be seen at The website is dedicated to motorcycle touring in Europe. The tours can be seen at

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Making of Legend called Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has been one of the most influential and controversial figures in contemporary American culture. In 1999, he was included in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the Century. How does a 19-year-old midwestern college dropout rise to iconic proportions as a musician, poet, and the voice for an entire generation in less than a decade?
In this article, I will explore the early influences in Dylan's life from a psychological perspective. I will also examine the impact that the social injustices and political unrest of the 1960s had on him and his music, and the overwhelming impact that he had on society as a result.
Influences in Childhood & Adolescence
Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. When his father was stricken with polio, the family moved to nearby Hibbing, sometimes refered to as the coldest place in the United States, where he spent the rest of his childhood and high school years. His parents, Abram Zimmerman and Beatrice Stone, were part of the area's small but close-knit Jewish community. Dylan received religious and moral training from his local Rabbi as prescribed in the Jewish faith. His father was described by one of Bob's childhood friends as strict and unwelcoming, and his mother was remembered as warm and friendly. (Gill, 2004)
Bob spent much of his youth listening to the radio, first to the blues and country stations and later to early rock and roll. He started writing poems at 8 years old, and was playing the piano and writing songs by the age of 10. In his childhood years, he was most influenced by Hank Williams. By age 15, his father had bought him his first electric guitar, and he started a series of rock and roll cover bands with friends.
When asked in an interview about growing up in Hibbing, he replied, "We had 3 policemen, you couldn't be bad, you would be dead, it was a tough town." (Dylan, 1962)In a short autobiography called My Life in a Stolen Moment, he wrote,
You can stand at one end of Hibbing's main drag an' see clear past the city limits on the other end. Hibbing's a good ol' town...I ran away from it when I was 10, 12, 13, 15, 15 ½, 17 an' 18. I been caught an' brought back all but once. (Dylan, 1963)
Very little is written about Dylan's childhood and he rarely spoke publicly of it or his family. He grew up in a close-knit community that instilled solid morals and family values. He appears to have developed an ambivalent attachment style with his parents, and this ambivalence is evident throughout 
his career.
Erik Erikson's psychosocial stages of development are a very accurate indicator of intrinsic motivators throughout human development. Dylan's search for self-identity during his teenage years is evidence of this, and for him, this stage lasted well into his early adulthood.

Influences in Early Adulthood
In 1959, Dylan entered the University of Minnesota and began performing at local clubs. He flunked out for non-participation in a science class, ("refusin' to see a rabbit die" in his words) and for cutting classes to frequent the local coffeehouses. A friend gave him a book that would change his life. Written by folksinger, Woody Guthrie, Bound for Glory was an autobiographical account of his philosophy, his travels, and the social injustices he saw everywhere he went, and Dylan soaked up every word as if it was gospel. After listening to Guthrie's music, he traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic. In the sleeve notes to his album Biograph, Dylan explained the attraction folk music exerted:
"The thing about rock'n'roll is that for me anyway it wasn't enough...There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms...but the songs weren't serious or didn't reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings." (1985)
In January 1961, he moved to New York and performed in Greenwich Village folk clubs for a dollar & a cheeseburger. He changed his name to Robert Dylan, and spent much time with his mentor, Woody Guthrie. who was then dying in a New Jersey hospital. Dylan would later say of Guthrie's work, "You could listen to his songs and actually learn how to live." (Paramount, 2005)
From a developmental perspective, Dylan appears to have spent little time focused on intimacy issues commonly associated with his age, perhaps because of his ambivalent attachment style. I think he moved very quickly in young adulthood into the task described by Erikson as generativity vs. stagnation. Dylan worked day and night throughout his early adulthood, and was constantly reinventing himself, both philosophically and musically.
By 1962, Dylan was living with his girlfriend, Suze Rotolo, who was raised a left-winged, politically active family, and was remarkably well-read and politically sophisticated for her age. She opened Bob's eyes to many of the social injustices and the fight for civil rights and equality. Dylan's began to write more topical pieces, often taking the story from real life injustices. He incorporated philosophy, social issues, political commentary, and whitty humor into his music, defying existing popular music conventions, and appealing widely to the rising counterculture. Dylan was emerging as a dominant figure of the so-called "new folk movement" centered in Greenwich Village.
During this time period, major events were changing the face of America. The Civil rights movement was gaining momentum, the Cuban Missile Crisis was on everyone's mind, and television was becoming a standard fixture in homes all across the country. More and more images of poverty, predjudice and war were making their way into American living rooms. The The Baby Boomers, the first generation of children that grew up with television, were coming of age as a more socially conscious generation, and were banding together to promote liberation and change.
From a cognitive-social perspective, Dylan's life experiences and observations defined his personal values and beliefs. Dylan unwittingly became a reluctantspokesman for American youth, often to his regret. A number of his songs, such as Blowin'in the Wind and The Times They Are a'Changin' became anthems of the anti-war and civil rights movements. For his most famous song of the time,Blowin'in the Wind, he took the base melody from the traditional slave folk song,No More Auction Block, and added lyrics that questioned social and political injustices.
By 1963, Dylan and his friend, Joan Baez, were both prominent in the civil rights movement, singing together at rallies including the March on Washington. He was on the stage when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his I Have a Dream speech.By the end of 1963, Dylan felt both overly-defined and exploited by the protest movements. Despite his reputation as a "protest singer", he was never interested in politics, and his peers were frustrated with his apparent indifference. It Ain't Me Babe, which appears to be a song about rejected love, was actually his rejection of the role his reputation and fans had thrown on him.
Dylan began to move his music in a different direction. The historic meeting between Dylan and The Beatles took place in August of 1964, in The Beatles' New York hotel during their first U.S. tour. The Beatles were as profoundly impressed by Dylan as he was by them. They shared insights and ideas. The Beatles began to take their music in a direction that explored social issues, and Bob explored all of their musically creative energy. In the latter half of 1964 and 1965, Dylan's appearance and musical style changed quickly, as he made his move from contemporary song-writer of the folk scene to rock music star. Dylan's mid-'60s trilogy of albums is recognized as one of the greatest musical and cultural achievements of the 20th century.
In1966, Dylan was in a motorcycle accident that caused him to take a hard look at his life and his mortality. Though the extent of his injuries was never disclosed, the crash offered Dylan the chance to escape from the pressures of his far too public life and take a much-needed break. He withdrew from the public eye for 18 months. He had always seen his music as a way to bring social issues to the forefront. But he was a poet and a songwriter first, and never wanted to be in the political spotlight. He commented once in an interview, "Being noticed can be a burden. Jesus got himself crucified because he got himself noticed. So I disappear a lot." (Dylan, 1965)
In 1970, Dylan was awarded an honorary doctorate by Princeton University; He has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature. In April of 2008, Dylan was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his "profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power." (Pulitzer) He is the first rock musical artist to win this prestigious honor.
Conclusion & Summary
Many factors went in to the molding of Bob Dylan in the 1960s, but I believe that the humanistic theories of personality best describe the primary motivators in his live. It is no coincidence that the humanistic approach also emerged in the 1960s. In a time when traditional values were being questioned, people were seeking ways to be true to themselves and their personal beliefs. Dylan's songwriting has been driven by his need to express his true self, and he was forever in conflict with industry expectations that would divert him from his own beliefs and his search for the meaning of life. According to humanist R. Baumeister, "The search for meaning becomes more pronounced during periods of rapid social change, when a culture's values and worldview are breaking down." (1991)
Over the years, Bob Dylan's music has earned him Grammies, Golden Globes, and Academy Awards. Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Bruce Springsteen made the induction speech, declaring: "Bob freed your mind the way Elvis freed your body. He showed us that just because music was innately physical did not mean that it was anti-intellectual." (1988) Dylan has been awarded countless honors over the year, including a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1991 Grammies.
In closing, I would like to leave you with a quote from Dylan that sums it all up...
"When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it - don't back down and don't give up - then you're going to mystify a lot of folks."
·         For further reading, Check out the excellent references that I used in this article...
Gill, Andy (2004). A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks, 99. DaCapo Press
Dylan, Bob (1962) Radio interview w/ Cynthia Gooding, Folksinger's Choice, WBAI
Dylan, Bob (1963) My Life in a Stolen Moment, Columbia Records
Dylan, Bob (1985) Biograph (album) Liner notes & text by Cameron Crowe
Paramount Pictures, No Direction Home, Directed by Martin Scorsese, Released July 21. 2005
Dylan, Bob (1965) Quotes retrieved from IMDb database (Internet Movie Database)
The Pulitzer Prize Winners: Special Citation, (April 7, 2008) Retrieved from
Baumeister, R. (1991) Meanings of Life, New York: Guilford Press
Springsteen, Bruce (1988), The Columbia World of Quotations.
Retrieved from

Friday, September 16, 2011

Honey,I m tense..Lets have sex

The bonobo Monkey is one of the last large mammals to be found by science. The creature was discovered in 1929 in a Belgian colonial museum, far from its lush African habitat. A German anatomist, Ernst Schwarz, was scrutinizing a skull that had been ascribed to a juvenile chimpanzee because of its small size, when he realized that it belonged to an adult. Schwarz declared that he had stumbled on a new subspecies of chimpanzee. But soon the animal was assigned the status of an entirely distinct species within the same genus as the chimpanzee, Pan.
The species is best characterized as female-centered and egalitarian and as one that substitutes sex for aggression. Whereas in most other species sexual behavior is a fairly distinct category, in the bonobo it is part and parcel of social relations – and not just between males and females. Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner combination (although such contact among close family members may be suppressed). Sex is used as a greeting, as a method of conflict resolution and to celebrate when food has been found.Despite the frequency of sex, the bonobo's rate of reproduction in the wild is about the same as that of the chimpanzee. A female gives birth to a single infant at intervals of between five and six years. 

Was God a Mathematician?

From sea shells and spiral galaxies to the structure of human lungs, the patterns of chaos are all around us. Fractals are patterns formed from chaotic equations and contain self-similar patterns of complexity increasing with magnification. If you divide a fractal pattern into parts you get a nearly identical reduced-size copy of the whole. The mathematical beauty of fractals is that infinite complexity is formed with relatively simple equations. By iterating or repeating fractal-generating equations many times, random outputs create beautiful patterns that are unique, yet recognizable. The greatest example of such pattern is Romanesco. Though classified as (and also called) a summer cauliflower, this vegetable's appearance is so uniquely striking that it deserves its own listing. Like regular cauliflower, Romanesca has a tightly compact head of florets attached by clusters of stalks — but there the similarity in appearance ends. Romanesca, which hails from northern Italy, is a beautiful pale lime green color; its florets, rather than being rounded, rise in a pyramid of pointed, spiraling cones. Its flavor is somewhat more delicate than that of regular cauliflower. Romanesca is available only briefly from September through November. 
Romanesco is a member of the species Brassica oleracea L., which includes cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, and numerous other “cultivars” (cultivated variations). Plant species are broader and more diverse than those of animals. The French name, chou Romanesco literally translates to “Romanesco cabbage”, placing it in the cabbage family even though it doesn't much resemble any cabbage you've ever seen. In German, it's Pyramidenblumenkohl: “pyramid cauliflower”; in Italy, where it was first described in the sixteenth century, it's called broccolo romanesco: “Romanesco broccoli”, but sometimes cavolo romanesco: “Romanesco cabbage”. Finally, in English it's usually called “Romanesco broccoli”, but you'll also see it referred to as “Romanesco cauliflower”. Even professional plant taxonomists can't decide precisely where it belongs; some place it within the Italica group with broccoli, while others argue it belongs in the Botrytis group with cauliflower. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower—beats me—let’s just considers it sui generis and call it “Romanesco”. 


The Movement
In the 1960's, the hippie counterculture movement emerged. Due to the baby boom after World War II, there were 70 million teenagers and young adults in America. The American youth rejected the traditional values of their parents, forming their own culture, aesthetics, beliefs, and values. Hippies practiced free love, advocated "flower power," experimented with drugs, and expanded the boundaries of what was acceptable in American culture. This group of individuals was called the Hippies. Their ideas if life and love amazed almost all the people across the Globe. Hippies were strange but at the same time funny and got connected with the people very easily. The word hippie comes from the word hip, meaning "aware of" or "knowing."  By the mid-1960s, hippies began to appear in high schools, colleges, and enclaves around the country. Their unique combination of hedonism and morality depended on the spin they placed on the "generation gap" that separated them from their elders. Starting around 1964 and increasing steadily into the early 1970s, hippies began gathering in lower income, inner city neighborhoods (the same areas their parents had worked so hard to escape) such as New York's East Village and, particularly, San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, and later formed communes and settlements in the countryside. Largely white, middle class, and educated, hippies whipped up their own philosophy of natural living, easy sexual and social relations, sincerity, and hedonism through a blend of Eastern mysticism, left-wing social critique, and Beatnik appropriations of African-American slang.

Drugs played a special part in this hedonistic moral rebirth. By "blowing one's mind," drugs allowed one to see through the fake values of middle-class materialism and into the profound layers of one's innermost being. The hippie political outlook was just as fanciful. Hippies imagined the older generation working together in a massive authoritarian conspiracy called "the Establishment," or "the Man." They believed the main objective of the recognized social order was to restrain and control the innocent love of life, nature, and happiness that defined hippie life. The Vietnam war provided a ready target for hippie opposition and rebellion: the words "peace" and "love" became symbolically loaded terms, lumping together a call for military withdrawal from Vietnam, an attitude of mutual acceptance and trust between people, and a sense of personal awareness and happiness. The famous photograph of a hippie protester inserting flowers into the rifle barrels of a line of National Guard troops demonstrates the unique style of hippie morality, which connected personal feeling with political intent.
It is possible to bracket a viable and active hippie counter culture between the years 1965 and 1973. Over this period, a few important dates stand out: in 1966, the Beatles, having already made long hair an important emblem of youth culture, released Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, rock's first concept album. The jacket featured the band in lavish, mock Napoleonic military garb, a look that coined much early hippie camp and whimsy. One song in particular, "A Day in the Life," crystallized the hallucinatory drug-induced sense of the absurd which was to become known as "psychedelic." The song wove together two quite different sounds; one, sung by Paul McCartney, took an everyday, commonsensical tone, "woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. . .," while the other, sung by John Lennon, interrupted McCartney's narrative to coo dreamily, "Ahhhhhhh. . .I'd love to turn. . .you. . .on. ..." The song seemed to split reality into two, the mundane and the fantastic, the square and the hip. And, along with another track on the record, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," Sergeant Pepper was thought to advocate psychedelic drug use as the necessary bridge from the drab world of old straights to the lush and expressive world of the young and the free.
In 1967, the Monterey Pop Festival provided the first in a series of major outdoor rock concerts, and in 1969, the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival provided the movement's thrilling climax. Hundreds of thousands of hippies clogged the region around the concert trying to get in, and, after airlifts of food, water, and flowers from state troopers, the event subsided without incident, a testimony to the solidarity and mutual goodwill of a counterculture guided by feelings of love and peace. However, over time, the climate of the counterculture changed: hippie urban frolicking turned into serious homelessness and poverty, and the drug culture grew into an organized and dangerous underworld. Petty criminals, drifters, and profiteers overran many of the hippie hangouts and communes. The Manson murders and a violent outbreak of violence and murder at a concert at Altamont, California, in 1969 brought to the fore a growing tension within hippie culture between middle class and idealistic hippies and a growing criminal drug culture with no idealistic pretensions to speak of.

Origins of the Hippie Trail
The roots of the Hippie Trail probably lie with the overland expeditions of the mid-1950s, when small groups of wealthy individuals or sponsored students would travel east from England by Land Rover or Bedford Dormobile to climb mountains or carry out scientific studies and surveys, often publishing accounts of their travels afterwards.
Many who read of such pioneering trips were less interested in science or mountaineering than with the descriptions of the exotic places and cultures on the way. Air travel was in its infancy and prohibitively expensive, but for those seeking adventure the prospect of an epic overland journey was both attractive and increasingly affordable.
The first established British Bus Company to ply the overland route was The Indiaman in 1957, closely followed by Swagman Tours (later renamed Asian Greyhound). These began as one-man operations catering for a handful of adventurous travellers, and as the economy boomed and the market grew, other bus companies started to spring up in the 1960s. After The Beatles visited India in a blaze of publicity in 1968 the number of young people hitting the road from western Europe began to increase dramatically.
But from the late 1960s onwards the largest contingent, united by a common interest, were the young people with long hair who gave the hippie trail its name - and what defined the hippie trail was that it led to the major hashish-producing centres of the world. Afghanistan, Chitral, Kashmir, Nepal - familiar names to the pot-smokers of the sixties and seventies, most of whom knew very little else about the countries where their herb of choice was cultivated. But for the next ten years or so they set off in their thousands to look for it.

The Hippie Trail Route

The route of the hippie trail essentially started at Istanbul, the point at which all roads from Europe converged. From here the direct route led straight across Turkey, though some headed south for Lebanon, for centuries the main hashish producer of the Middle East.
From Turkey the route continued across Iran, then a secular country run by the Shah, and on to Afghanistan, the first major destination of the hippie trail, a land where foreigners were made very welcome and where a large proportion of the population used hashish themselves.
After Afghanistan the trail offered many diversions. On entering Pakistan some would head north towards Chitral, but the majority crossed the country and entered India, where a trip up to Kashmir was an immediate option for enthusiastic potheads. Northern India also offered Manali, another popular destination for hippies and another centre of marijuana cultivation.
In winter months most hippies would head south for the beaches of Goa, where hashish was always freely available (though it was not actually produced there). But in the summer the hippie trail ended in the mountains of Nepal, where until 1973 there were many hashish shops operating legally, and where there was no real difficulty obtaining the world's finest charasafterwards.
Visas, where required, could be obtained easily at the borders or towns en route. British passport holders did not require a visa to stay in India long-term. 

Always A Freak - Never A Hippie

Those who went on the hippie trail often referred to it as "going to India", a shorthand way of describing the trip. They did not call themselves "hippies" anyway, preferring the term "freaks", and in Kathmandu everyone knew where "Freak Street" was (though the official name was Jochen Tole).
While other travellers - those who were not "freaks" - quite reasonably refer to the route as "the overland", there really was a distinct hippie trail. In every major stop along the way there were hotels, restaurants and cafes that catered almost exclusively to the pot-smoking westerners, who networked with each other as they wandered east and west - there were noLonely Planet guides in those days, and (of course) there was no internet.
This influx of long-haired western youth must have been a curiosity to the locals, who were largely unaccustomed to tourists of any sort back then. But they were generally hospitable, and many found welcome ways to derive extra income. Their experience was caricatured in the 1971 Bollywood movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna, which featured a scene involving chillum-smoking hippies, accompanied by the enormously popular Asha Bosle song Dum Maro Dum.
The hippies tended to spend more time interacting with the local population than traditional sightseeing tourists - they had no interest in luxury accommodation, even if they could afford it (which few could), and some would "go native" after a fashion, particularly in India. Of course, they were still tourists really, albeit of a different sort, and hedonism was the primary aim.
There were casualties, undoubtedly. Staying healthy could be difficult, particularly in Afghanistan, and even hippies can suffer from culture shock. Some would get severely ill, or run out of money, and have to be flown home. Others would wind up in jail, not a pleasant experience anywhere and particularly tough in a third world country.
Most survived, however, and lived to tell the tale on their return, often inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. And a few stayed on, found ways to support themselves, and still live in India.

The End of The Road

The classic hippie trail came to an end in 1979, when Islamic revolution in Iran and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan closed the overland route to western travellers. Lebanon had already lapsed into civil war, Chitral and Kashmir became less inviting due to tensions in the area, and even Nepal eventually lost its peace and tranquility.
Air travel had by now become affordable and Goa became the main centre of the hippie scene, based around the village of Anjuna, where hippies had been renting houses for many years before any hotels were built to accommodate the massive influx of tourists in the 1980s.
Those who flew to Goa in later years to partake of the hippie lifestyle doubtless enjoyed themselves, and the more adventurous will have travelled around India and learned from the experience. But the overland hippie trail, which lasted little more than ten years, was gone forever.

"I hate hippies... they want to save the Earth but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad." 
Eric Theodore Cartman