Skip to main content

3 - Cool Confusion

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart

- Marcus Aurelius

Often, I wonder if that motorcycle-trip would evoke such strong emotion in us to this day, had it all gone according to 'plan'. The plan incidentally involved us sprawled lazily on a beach with a crate of Kings (a beer found only in Goa), watching the sunset. Which would have placed us on the beach around 6:30 pm.

We will never know.

At 2:00 pm we set off from Kolhapur, supposedly on our way to Goa, via the Amba Ghat. Now, over the years I've come to understand from experienced bikers that a 6th sense clears it's throat when something about the journey does not feel correct. Being the amateurs we were, that sense stayed stubbornly silent for about 2 hours. In that time, we made our way on to a highway that was rather bereft of vehicles & pedestrians. A very scenic ride, the highway cut through lush forest-land & meandered over heather covered hills. The superb lunch induced a pleasant soporific effect but any sleepiness was brushed away by a gentle breeze. What are popularly referred to as optimum riding conditions.

To this day I cannot explain why a faint stirring of unease seemed to ripple in the air when it did. We had been riding for over 2 hours & while there have been faint misgivings about the rather desolate look about the highway, we were also somewhat caught up in the scenery & the ride itself. I remember the moment clearly; we had come to a fork in the road, taken the right & stopped for a drink of water. A man strolled passed us, his limbs moving with the steady rhythm that suggested he'd been on the road for quite a while. On a whim, we asked him if we were on the correct road to Goa. He said we were on the correct road to Ratnagiri.

Whatever else Ashish, Ketan or I may be, we are not particularly slow in the head. If you look at the road map of Western Maharashtra, the road to Goa follows South from Kolhapur. We had been earnestly riding West. Even then, realising what had happened, we did not grasp the enormity of the distance that lay ahead. What we did was turn around, take the other road from the fork & hoped for the best. It was around 5:00 pm & the sun descended ever so slowly but surely toward the hills. Even as we rode on, we tracked it's position because one thought reverberated at the back of our minds - that we had been warned not to ride on the highways at night.

I could feel the urgency that had crept stealthily into our riding. We rode faster & a tad recklessly, all the while aware that dusk approached. Time & again, we calculated what our average speed had been, reassuring ourselves that we did not have to ride for much longer.

At twilight hour, in deepening gloom, 3 steadily tiring men on 2 motorcycles careened past a green signboard, looking out for one name. It said:

PANJIM - 350 km

Night fell.

Song for the moment: Highway Star - Deep Purple

Comments

Ashish said…
Building it up well, aren't we? :)
Nice!
Piggy Little said…
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA :-D :-D
although i do feel your plight ALSO. ;-)
girish said…
@ ashish - danke!

@ neha - Right. Your sympathy comes across clearly despite your amusement :P

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, …

Drink up and be somebody

Dear Reader,

History will boldly testify that your favourite blogger is usually slow on the uptake, a state of affairs that's blooming with each passing year like a reverse-Revital. "Why this self-harshness, G", you may ask? Well...

I've been doing the Bom-Pune-Bom trips for 9 years and it's taken about that long to accept that MSRTC Shivneri, still the best bus service of them all, simply cannot (or, realistically, will not) cope with 3-day weekends. Since my job profile does not allow me to plan my travel in advance on said Fridays, I land up at Dadar, view the queue of potential passengers snaking a long way from the ticket window and mentally prepare to arrive home at the hour of morning reserved for sheepish teenagers and dacoits. The Expressway doesn't help anyone's cause thanks to truck drivers spreading themselves generously across 3 lanes and clogging the Lonavala pass to a point where the traffic jam is about 3 km long. A stretch that would tak…