On Wheels – 1

Location  – Mahbubnagar 1 town police station, 1.30pm

Officer : You should report where you have lost. It takes time.

Me: I have a photocopy. Wouldn’t this work ?? Would I still be fined with this??

Officer : You might be.

Me: I planned to get my driving license done and leave to raichur from here. I thought of traveling with complete documents as there might be definite checking when I cross the state.

Officer: Are you student ?? Why Raichur??

Me : I like to travel sir. And I want to go on my bike. *pause* how much might the fine be for not having original license?

Officer : might be 100-200.. as you have helmet, pay fines if stopped. Take chances.. say you are student.. and there are little chances of bikes being stalled.

Me : thank you sir

and I stormed out of Police station towards my bike sweating like a pig with helmet in one hand. As I approached my bike., realised that i havent taken off the keys from bike with still luggage tied to it.

I took it as a good sign to go ahead…

I asked another police route to Raichur, he pointed his finger west.

another good sign..

All the hesitation and fear  to go on a `1500km bike trip has disappeared when  spark plug ignited fire  and engine started revving.

To me, destination is just an excuse to keep moving to another place… i dont fancy traveling to meet new people, in search of anything.. I liked to keep myself moving.

Its been long I’ve been struck in a place, going nowhere..

I travel to my hearts content… sometimes.. a journey gifts destination and sometimes it doesnt.. but the journey is always a pleasure what may come.

Started my journey on wheels onto raichur road.

Originally planned to do

Hyderabad-Hampi-Banglore-Nandi hills-Skandagiri hills- Hyderabad.

orginal plan.PNG

This time, I am the driver and I am the passenger.

I can stop anywhere anytime on my terms.

At times while traveling when I look outside window, In my mind goes “Damnn.. wish I could stop here for a moment, embrace the beauty it offers and move on”.

Though visiting such places again renting a bike,  didnt give any satisfaction as the moment passed away and element of surprise is gone.. and the bike ride reminds that neither the bike nor the moment belong to me. there was a sense of dissatisfaction.

Barren land mostly it is.. but the road Ive never traveled.

I bought “motorcycle diaries” a book on Che Guvera’s travel experiences just to assure myself that its okay to travel on bike but not with an intention to read.

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During my school days, I was fascinated by TV commercial on this new bike by TVS… APACHE

Bike performance is been tested on F1 tack.. andtowards the end of commercial, the kid looks the bike on display in showroom and dreams to have it one day. I knew nothing about bikes, its performance, its capacity, its mileage… I just dreamt of having an apache (bike) in my parking place.

And here I am.. riding it on a highway with tank full of fuel.. a thousand kms to go.. far away from home..

I wasnt sure if the bag would hold tight to bike so I kept checking constantly whenever speed get struck by speedbreakers.

Devarkadra.Marikal.Makthal.

65kms in an hour… didnt remember speeding at 80kmph in city limits after that accident. its been 4 years I had a bike with me but never did travel longer than 100km radius from the city.

All through my journey, I didnt consider bike as a property… but as a roaring companion.

3.40pm somewhere after crossing khanapur, have I realised I dint had lunch. Eyes constantly searched for a good dhaba to stop and have a little refreshment.

As I drove past Maganur, didnt feel like stopping in no time reached Deosugur.. That’s it…

deosugur.jpg

There were no inspections…

Each sight was a surprise. You never knew what comes your way and what each turn brings you.. totally exciting, compelling.

I confidently knew that I had to go through Raichur to reach Hampi.. thanks to here maps to get an early estimates on budget and navigation.

With a lot of reaffirmation from locals on how to reach Hampi, dealing with my win10 upgraded lumia getting struck often.. continued my journey…

As I approach Raichur, On my Right took these amazing silos of RPCIL.

RPCIL.jpg

A few miles ahead, on a road to lingsugur main road, saw..

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I couldnt resist taking a moment there

This road has many such frames that couldn’t be captured.. may be the visual frame can be captured.. but not wholly… the fresh breeze, the feel.

Its only when I stop, felt the heat.

Took a left onto Raichur-Koppal road… Undoubtedly, the best turn I’ve made…

Not much of speed-breakers, completely surrounded by agricultural farms, amazing sunset view… and the cool breeze.. What more could a rider ask more for ??

I took off the helmet, drove as slow as I could.

Each time I look into rear view mirror, an air of melancholy and happiness stirred.. I felt lucky to be at this place and also that this moment wont be forever.. no sooner my front view would come in my rear view… but whatever happens, I need to get going..

Horizon was getting darker.. one more frame of the moment…

raichur koppal road.jpg

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I used Nokia 720.. Wish I had a better camera… even If I had, I would crave for much better piece to capture… I have decided to use best tool at my disposal.. My eyes… I stopped taking pictures..

Sun was in a hurry to disappear beyond the horizon… I checked the time and it was 6pm… 2hours… 40km.. “so what… I am not racing… I want to live every moment” I told myself…

A simple mistake and the next minute I am on road.. lying beside bike wth its back tyre still rotating.. I was glad I changed to helmet moments before this happened.. cannot be more glad that the tractor hasnt ran over me..

No injuries.. but helmet got some scratches on visor panel..

With one hand busy in holding the phone and other controlling handle, recorded some shots of bike riding though shaky.

Temperature is getting cool by each passing moment.. and also…

lots of flies… because I was zipping through farms..

I had to close helmet fully so that I could concentrate on riding.. Whenever a vehicle approaches.. it was tough to see road as visor panel is damaged… and the blurry effect a high beam gives, words arent enough to abuse those drivers. I started worrying how I could do rest of the journey..

I lost concentration.. lost deep in thoughts with all this stuff..and having a hardtime in finding my own path in those glares… found a heavy sized bonfire…

highway bonfire.jpg

Vehicles have stalled on highway as there is a risk of explosion from fuel tank. Came to know there are no casualities… both the driver and cleaner are safe..

It was around 7pm.. My hunger bells started ringing loud and sound.. I need to find food.

Found a function hall.. by the arrangements and feel of the environment, it was reception.. read the names of bride and bridegroom.. Being an expert in attending uncalled functions… blended in the crowd smoothly… I hogged food like there is no tomorrow… but I limited myself to keep my conscious level in check so that I dont feel drowsy as I have much to drive..

Thanks to those +2 days.. which made me expert in attending functions uncalled for..

I started again.. But I couldn’t even reach 50kmph due to cargo lorries and scratched visor panel..

I stopped at a tea stall near sindhanur to check with locals… because total trust on gps is mere stupidity.

Best thing about Karnataka is, Kannada script is so close to telugu script and almost 6 in every 10 kannadigas can speak telugu..

They suggested me to go to Gangavati instead of Hampi.. stay the night there, leave next day morning thru ferry ride.. which could save 10km of distance.. the word “ferry ride” excited me… crossing river along with my bike.. Immediately updated my destination to Gangavati…

My bike has never been this happier.. Full tank.. and a boat ride tomorrow..

8.15 Gangavati outskirts..

You know you are in the right path, still you need constant reassurance from people that you are right

constant assurance that I am heading in right direction is need of the moment. Asked people at a bus stop as of where I could find cheaper accomodation in the city.. they told me to go near bus station. So did I.

Brindavan hotel, 280rs per night… I saw poster of Tamasha and asked how I could each there… and show timings…

8.45pm, Amar Talkies…

Ticket counter opens at 9pm and show starts at 9.15pm..

I parked bike in theatre and went out to medical shop to buy band-aid, water and a pen to update my diary..

Few good conversations, smiles exchanged, laughs…

To ticket counter.. very old style… two holes at ticket counter.. one to give money, and other to speak.. ticket was 70.

there was an unusual feel in the hall.. I was sure movie watching experience wouldn’t be that great but definitely different.. with fans fixated to walls, people smoking inside, and lights on.. and best comments from audience that were way more entertaining than the movie.

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ARR’s music and Imtiyaz’s storytelling is like wine.. gets better with time.

around 12 am reached back hotel only to see myself shivering.

I got ready to sleep, I didn’t have blanket… decided to  go commando… wore back jeans,socks and jacket to make myself feel warm and covered.

I couldn’t sleep. I felt strangled, fearful and the journey I am about to complete. Scared to the extent that next day I thought of heading back home. I had to be alive, I am scared like never before… narrow escapes.. I could have been on a hospital bed. Its almost 3am in the morning and I couldn’t shut my eyes.

I put on shoes n jacket and went to bus station. sometimes a little human talk could soothe our soul. The policeman on surveillance and I had a good talk, he reminded me of the policeman I met in Madurai.. who helped me reach Chennai cheaply.

I dint check the time, sun dint come up.. I went to bed that day.

I traveled before… but there was something special about this 280km… I fall asleep unknowingly.

Next :  ON WHEELS – HAMPI.01

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