Date: 31th August 2012
Last Lap: Pune-Mumbai (180km approx.)
Final Destination: 01:00am
Exactly at 4:00am I get the call from Nisha.
“Wake up, we are coming!”
My mind was already up but not the body, the feeling of fatigue was deep within me. In 30 minutes the door-bell rang and there were my curious hosts, right on the other side of the wooden panel; waiting to get the first glimpse of me. It was my first time as well, to meet my hosts in real. I opened the door and they came in, Ajay reminded me of someone very known, whom I met many times or saw a million times; perhaps.
Nisha was shocked the moment she saw the living room and I was a bit embarrassed with the way the room was decorated, with my stuff to dry. I assured her that it will all be settled by noon, before both Ajay and Anushi would wake up.
Anushi went to cook “Missi-Parantha” while Nisha opened up the food parcel of Scrambled eggs with Paav; my favourite. This reminded me of our little weekend trip to Diveagar that we did last year, while I was on my way back home from the first massive road trip of my life. By the time we were done with the first round of meals, Anushi served us some hot pranthas. She’s a good cook who knows how to make delicious and nutritious food within minutes. After a late “Dinner” these two guys went to crash and so did Nisha.
I had to collect my things to arrange my luggage because by noon my last part of the journey was to start towards Mumbai. The love-birds were chirping when I passed beside them, to the terrace. I stepped out in the open space, where I could feel the wind and see the rain. If this rain would continue even in the same manner it was to be a difficult ride across Sahyadri for Mumbai. I experienced the ghats last year and now it will be an evening ride.
A Pizza was ordered as Nisha didn’t want to make anything for lunch. I called Dominos and they delivered the Chicken Pizza in 30 minutes. It was 2:00pm when Nisha reminded me that I had to call my office to let them know that I would be reaching by evening.
After calling office I was very relaxed as they were friendly to speak with. The directions were given to me for the rendezvous point, which I saved in my HTC. The last lap of the ride was supposed to start by 2:00pm but I ended up loading my babe at 4:00pm. Difficult times of Sahyadri started, the Bullet won’t start. After kicking her for half an hour she coughed and roared again. Pleasure is all mine.
I bided Nisha good-bye for the moment whilst she greeted me safe journey. By 4:30pm we were on the old highway to Mumbai. 20Km ahead of Pune on the highway she started shivering as if the fuel pipe was clogged. I prayed that nothing should happen now but the trouble had to begin for me, so it did. She halted and I was stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Checking her was of no use as she needed a professional mechanic as it was the rain that has created the mess. Leaving her there and looking around for a mechanic was not an option, hence the old practice of pushing a 250 kg babe on the road was the only choice I had. Not a problem as such, practice has made me perfect and strong. Pushing her for 3km in the rain was breathtaking when I saw a small shop beside the highway.
He told me that there is a mechanic right behind his shop. You must be thinking that it was the end of my trouble. Well, the mechanic’s shop was closed. Shop owner directed me to another mechanic who was 5km behind, from where I came through. Back to the same way, from where I came. It was a small motorcycle workshop but fully equipped. They had air-pressure machines, spare parts, all the tools and experienced technicians. It took them two hours to figure out the problem and sort it out. The water has seeped into the chamber of the engine as well as the carburettor so the combustion wasn’t taking place. The entire combustion chamber was cleared with air-pressure and a fresh spark-plug was fitted.
The mechanic was very generous and asked me if I needed anything. I asked him if he could give me a spark-plug spanner, for which I shall willingly pay an appropriate amount. He gave me a used spanner for dirt-cheap price. Moreover they gave me a plastic sheet to cover the front portion of the engine from direct splash of water. I started from their workshop at 8:00pm.
It was drizzling, when I reached back to the highway. The ride from now on was to be done very carefully as there would be no more good mechanics on the way, if something was to go wrong. In an hour I reached the township of Lonavala and crossing Khandala streets, got into the expressway. After the tunnel, it was a different road, where nothing was visible because the clouds were all around. The sight was just amazing because it was no more drizzling or raining but the white clouds were floating on the road. Visibility was zero so the speed was to be decreased to 30km/hr. On my left was a huge rocky cliff and on the right the beautiful township of Khapoli was tinkling with its small ant-size night-bulbs.
After traversing 7km on the expressway, an exit took me through the Khapoli township and on to the old highway. It was already 10:oopm now. Stopping was not an option as reaching my destination and settling down was the first priority. In another 2 hours I was through Vashi and into the Mumbai area. Bandra was the spot where I made a brief stop to call Adarsha Mohapatra, my colleague. He asked me to come ahead and cross the ‘Milan Subway’ to reach Santacruz West.
After 30 minutes, I was standing next to an unfinished flyover right next to the “Milan Subaway.’ Adarsha asked me to ride further ahead to Milan Mall. There were these two guys waiting for me, Adarsha and my another colleague Bijan. We went to shantiville, dropped my cargo and then went off to office to park my babe. There I met the Managing Director for the first time, a young man in his early 20s. Impressive, I must say. Then we three went to have dinner at a small hotel where I again had my favorite “Egg-Bhurji & Rotis.”
The entire ride from Jamshedpur to Mumbai was breathtaking in rain, with tonnes of excellent experience and fantabulous people on the way to make it more interesting.