Skip to main content

5 - Frail & Bedazzled

Even silence speaks - Hausa Proverb

The words I am about to type in this post are today just that. Words. They will tell you the facts but not allow you to understand the churning emotions that we waded through that long, black night. The facts are hair-raising enough so perhaps not all is lost.

To somehow heave your mind off it's bed, ready it begrudgingly to carry on in the face of physical anguish & then be told matter-of-factly that one bike rider cannot see in the dark... you know the trip just got interesting. And yet, incredible as it may seem to you, we carried on. The spirit of youth, that was us. How we did circumvent the minor hitch of Ketan's night-vision was -
  • Ashish riding ahead at a speed of 35 kmph at best.
  • I'm sitting behind him, with a ridiculously heavy bag on my shoulders.
  • Ketan is following us on his bike, even slower than us because... & get ready for this... he's not watching the road. No, what he's putting the strength of his ocular powers on is the tail-lamp on Ashish's bike.
  • Ashish concentrates on the road, avoiding potholes & trucks.
  • Ketan concentrates on the tail-light of Ashish's bike.
  • I concentrate on looking behind me once every minute, watching for Ketan's bike's headlamp.
  • Yes.
I see that scene sometimes, reader. Silhouettes of trees, of the bike behind me, of Ashish's helmet in front of me, a flash of the white road dividing strip... these are what remain to remind me of what we had done. Till today, I am incredulous.

At around 12:30 am, a sorrier bunch of individuals could not have puttered their way to the border. Where we found out that Ashish's bike did not have insurance papers. Which instantly put us on the shifty-eyed, shady smuggler-type list. The cops, realising that they were on to a good thing, asked us for every possible piece of identification. My British Council Library card (don't even ask) brought a hasty end to the night's amusement & we crossed over into Goa about 250 Rs. (Ashish, please clarify) lighter. Considering our हालत we should be forgiven for thinking that the journey was over.

You see, crossing the border does not mean the beach has kindly parked itself a stone's throw away. With more than a hint of desperation, your nose twitches for the smell of salt-air, your ear for the sighing of the sea. And the road goes on & on & on...

Eventually, we stumble into Calangute.

Ketan tells us that we are going to the Indian Ocean hotel. You will not be shocked when I reveal that we rode up & down Calangute village in the dead of night until even he was convinced that the hotel did not exist or more likely, had got up off it's foundations & had meandered away. The universe, having extracted its fun, arranged to have a Chinese tapri open, where divinity in human form directed us to a apartment-hotel in a quiet alley. We walked into our room & I put my head on the pillow. It was 2:00 am.

I awoke at 3:00 pm the following afternoon.

We had made it to Goa.


Song for the moment: Constant Motion - Dream Theater


Ashish said…
200, actually.

And the BCL card came out at the second check-point - waaaay after the border checkpost. I remember being ready to kill the guard at the second checkpost - dumb m^%$^#$%#%er

Keep 'em coming!
Anonymous said…
I must have blacked out at the 2nd checkpost. Barely remember it. What I do remember but left out of the post is us going to some shady ICICI atm since Ketan needed money & THEN going to Calangute.

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 …

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…

Country Comforts

Part 1

With timing that was far more impeccable than their usual service, the MSRTC went on strike 2 days before Diwali over a pay dispute. I've traveled on their buses for close to 9 years and know full well just how popular they can be just before a major holiday. The chaotic crowd at Dadar is so dense, one would only need to introduce a few Naga sadhus into the mix and hey presto! we've got ourselves a brand new Kumbh Mela. Albeit one where getting out of Bombay ASAP is the only kind of salvation devotees seek. 

News and newspapers being what they are at present, I was unaware of the jolly bus crisis until Wednesday morning when a well-wisher asked how I proposed to go home for the holidays, flourishing the paper in my face with the reluctant panache of a small-town magician. Realising the gravity of the situation, I looked up train schedules and was stunned to find General category seats available on an outstation train departing later that afternoon. As far as I could see, …