Skip to main content

Celebration Day

Inevitably, your statement elicits the question 'why' accompanied by looks ranging from puzzlement to horror. You think about it. Sincerely ponder on the whole gamut; possible reasons, theories, answers, clever retorts...

You seriously consider replying with 'Because', pause (wisely, in this day and age) & then gently shake your head and stay mute, hoping that the zen-like expression on your face will suffice as an answer, explanation or whatever else. If they had to ask, then nothing you could say would ever satisfy. Ergo, you silently thank your guardian angel that no real melodrama ensued.

Kshitij and I left from home at 6:20 am, knowing we had a long ride ahead. There was a hint of anxiety in the air because the most important component of this trip (apart from ourselves) was the motorbike... the TVS Star DLX that had never been further than Lonavala, a distance of about 50 km from Pune. On the 1st of October 2008, the very same bike was going to be ridden roughly 470 km... to Goa.

It was Ashish's idea that I meet him in Kolhapur and that he & I continue onward from there to Panaji. It was my idea to not tell him that Kshitij was also going to be coming along and it was Kshitij's idea that we might as well bike it. Everyone was having great ideas, as it were. Ashish, being an experienced biker & on a Bullet to boot, made it all the way from Bangalore to Kolhapur by about 10:00 am, still under the impression that I was plodding along by bus. He may also have been helped in that impression by the thoughtful hourly messages I was sending him describing the non-existent bus driver's antics. This was Kshitij's first long-distance bike trip and I will take this opportunity to tip my helmet to his riding skills and stamina.

The NH 4 is a delightfully well-constructed road, although its ease and proximity to small villages and towns does take the edge of the solitary motorbiker mystique, somewhat. Besides, after about 12 hours of riding, only the fanatic would be put off by the comfort of the NH 4. At 11:45 am, turning off the highway into the Loksatta Gates and into Kolhapur, my cell-phone began to ring. Knowing it may have been a by now rather irate Ashish on the line, I chose to ignore it. Spotting him standing by the side of the road with a less than welcoming expression on his face may also have played a part, I don't know. He looked quite puzzled when a TVS Star DLX stopped next to him and the guy riding pillion jumped off, greeting him very cheerfully. Puzzled, because that pillion rider was expected to be hopping off a bus, not a bike.

The expression on his face was priceless as he realized that not only had I not reached by bus, but that Kshitij had also come along. And we'd done so by motorbike. Questions may have followed, but 'why' was not one of them. See, like I said before, if you have to ask...

Ashish will not.

Gagan Bhavda Ghat
From Kolhapur, we rode onward to Panaji via the Gagan Bhavda Ghat. We made it to the border by 5:50 pm and with a whoop of joy, crossed into Goa about 10 minutes later. It had rained earlier that afternoon and so, 3 pleasantly exhausted guys on motorbikes skimmed across the road to Calangute. I had the luxury of being able to look around and am therefore able to describe the following scene:

The sun sinking rapidly, the western sky was awash in golden evening light. A fading rainbow framed the horizon to the east. The air seemed heavy with the promise of some indescribably delicious joy as our tired eyes were soothed by the combination of dark-red earth & emerald-green hills.

K & A

Welcome to Goa...

Song for the moment:
Holiday - Greenday


Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Last of my kind

(This post hasn't come out as well as I wanted. But I'm still pissed off, so.)

Why do we have heroes? What is it about someone that triggers a decision to nail our colours to their mast? I don't have a neat answer so what you read from here on is both an explanation and an exploration. In a post-modern world driven by counter-points, certainty is a luxury.

I missed the boat when it came to India's ODI cricket madness. We moved abroad in the late 80s. When I left, my friends and I wanted to be Kapil, Kris or Sunil. When I returned, god was getting comfortable on his heavenly couch and all was right with a world I did not recognise. I had missed Sachin's opening batsman debut against New Zealand, the hullabaloo of the Hero Cup and other notable moments. So, I was interested in cricket, not any particular sportsman. Not even during the '96 World Cup. When India muffed it against Sri Lanka, I hurt for the team, not for a player.

Then came Dravid. And, personally, …

Let her go

Have you noticed how we throw things out a lot more than before? Of course, city-dwellers like us have more, now that disposable incomes are the norm. Does it also allow us to dispose of things so easily? I was the object of much mirth/ridicule at work today because I wanted to get a golf umbrella repaired. One colleague wondered if it was worth the effort, another asked why I did not just buy a different one while others chuckled when they realised neither of these thoughts had occurred to me. I trudged off, wondering if they were right. What exactly was driving me to take the trouble?

I think back to to the 80s and living in my Thatha's (grandpa) house. Today's 'use-and-throw' culture would have shocked him to the core. The man was the epitome of prudence. Since we weren't exactly floating in doubloons, the family followed suit. Thatha wore the same watch for over 50 years. A small umbrella, bought by my mother with her first salary, was well on its way to becom…