In the last 5 days, Wednesday (Feb 24) – Monday (March 1), I have slept for only 15 hours. I do not feel sleepy. Rather, I am on an overdrive. Feels like I have lived in an elongated dream which didn’t cease to amaze me everytime I decided to push further and keep the momentum going.
I had to go to Sanjay’s wedding in Vellore on Thursday and the muhurat was at 9 am. Since I had taken leave on Thursday, I had to double my shift and complete the pending work, which took me 1 am to finish. However, a solo bike trip just went over everyone’s expectations over me. The amount of blows I received was just too much to handle. My boss blasted me for such a crazy trip. Mom pressed the panic button. I managed to convince Dad before he could blast me, fortunately. Coincidentally, my company accountant gave me the "happy” news that my ICICI accident cover policy had been activated for 5L. Wow… this trip was really worth dying for.
The only way I could go to the marriage function was if I do a bike trip starting at 5am, to reach on time for the muhurat. I decided to sleep for 2 hours and wake up at 3 and start getting ready and do a bit of warmup so that I stay active during the ride. Getting my backpack ready with wedding attire, juice, Gatorade and Red Bull, I managed to start from my home at 5am. My roommate Venkat Shastry was generous in giving me his Bajaj Avenger 200cc cruiser, otherwise I would have had to ride my Bajaj Platina on this trip.
This was the first time I was ever riding this bike. Really smooth and fast pickup. Felt like floating on the road. From my home I hit the NH207 in 15 min at 5:15 and headed to Kolar where I would have to take the state highway SH95. After battling the traffic under heavy head-on truck lamps and bad road works, I reached Kolar at 6:30, half an hour more than it should have taken. Sun finally came to my rescue and gave me a boost. SH95 was bad, but the rural scenery was awesome. Managed to catch a “Cow conclave” where buying-selling of cows and bulls took place. From Karnataka, I enetered Andhra at Venkatragirikota and further, crossed to Tamilnadu just before Peranampettu. The crossing from AP to TN was awesome… the plateau ended and I found myself on the top of a big mountain, going down in bends to reach the bottom of the valley. What a scenic beauty it was. I couldn’t stop to take pics because of lack of time and I thought of taking some while on the way back. Once I entered TN, the roads became awesome and I had only 1 hour left to the muhurat. 80 km in 1 hour was what I had to achieve if I wanted to get in time. And I loved the mad rush. I flew past everyone with such ease, I couldn’t believe it. It was starting to get into rush hour with school and college vans starting off in various villages. School children shouted, college kids cheered and whistled, footboarders on bus tried hard sledging me, people flocked around me to show me the way, when I stopped and asked for directions. Wow… thanks for the encouragement guys. Cruisers always command respect.
Ultimately I reached at 8:55. Nice timing. After freshening up and changing, I joined Saikat, Sushyant and gang to wait for the climax. I slept off on the chair and woke up just in time. We didn’t have much to do so we just idled and chatted for a while. These guys had come the previous night and had checked into a hotel, so at 11:30 they went to their hotel to check out and get the baggage. I had my lunch and started back at 12:45 because I decided to come back to Bangalore before sunset.
On the way back, I tried to retrace the route. But at Peranampattu, I headed in the wrong direction and reached Ambur. Since it was on the NH46 – NH7 route to Bangalore, I took it. What a highway it was… smooth and fast. Unfortunately my bike could only top 110kmph. I wish I had got my Enfield Classic 350 by this time so that I could be flying at 130kmph. Highway unfortunately was a boring and ass-numbing affair till Krishnagiri. After having a RedBull and giving my mom a 10 min call of assurance, I resumed journey. The Krishnagiri – Bangalore stretch was the path of ascent from plains to plateau with only 2 lanes. With trucks cramming and competing, the superfast ride was really interesting.
Reaching Silkboard junction, I joined the regular traffic which lacked any grace. Bikes + buses went buzzing like mosquitoes around elephants. Confronting the Bangalore pollution all of a sudden was a tough task. Reached home at 4:00. I crashed for a while and woke up at 6:00pm, and the rest 3 days continued in the same momentum with nightouts on watching movies, karaoke-ing, partying with very close US return college friends, battling fire alarms and hyper-gas leaks, to mention a few. Thanks to Red Bull Inc. And tonight, Monday March the 1st, I am at IIMB playing AOE.
Long live Ashish the bachelor, till he dies.
(from left: Me, Vijay(chair), Maro (back), Ashish and Sunil)