Some say overnight biking is not safe in UP. For me, it was an ultimate and the best offbeat experience.
Out of those 24 hours, covering more than 700 kms on golden triangle highways, we spent almost 16 hours on bikes with mere 4 hours of morning sleep before kicking off next day again back to Delhi under hot sun of Rajasthan.
The life that I lived in those 24 hours:
Bunked the exams; Escaped Delhi’s traffic and heat; Enjoyed Indian plains; Saw the difference between life and death in the dark on bumpy roads; Cruised over smooth 6-lane expressway; Searched a remote village 15 kms off a small town at midnight alone; Watched traditional royal wedding of rural Rajasthan; Kicked off to Jaipur and reached in morning; With minimal sleep kicked off to Delhi; Had royal hukka; Saw the road just few inches ago; avoided an accident miraculously; Had chilled beer under hot sun; slept for hours on shoulders of friend before getting up for lemonade on highway; Back to Delhi; Back to college.
THIS IS OUR STORY:
24th March 2010, 13:10 PM:
The excuse that we made to bunk the mid-term exam:
“Sir! my aunt is ill.”
I was referring to Anurag’s mother and he, left with no choice, had to admit forcefully that yes, his mother was ill.
If you race it over 60, Petrol would start dripping out of pipe; other cool features of our lovely bike were: loose kick and loose break.
It was very hot and if you have been to Delhi before, you would know what I mean when I say “Delhi is hot”.
So elated by exemption from exam, we forgot to take our lunch and rushed by the Bike to avoid Delhi traffic as soon as possible before afternoon falls. We headed to our flat; packed our bag; filled up the petrol tank and we were set free.
Hoping to catch our lunch at some Dhaba along the highway, we had skipped our lunch and unfortunately, got caught into Delhi’s traffic. Here again, I would like to emphasize that Years ago, Delhi Metro was not full-fledged and construction works had create a lot of Jams then.
14:25 PM: Offbeat travel along NH2 to Mathura
My discoveries along the highway:
– Never ever travel on bike on this highway except if you are a freak like me and you are looking out for a series of odd things rolling out miraculously.
– If you are big fan of plains spread across miles and miles to the horizon, this highway is made for you.
– As you inch closer to Mathura, number of temples, Vaishnav Dhaba or (read it a veg Dhaba where pure ghee is used), small and big temples, water buffaloes, sweet shops, Oil refineries/storage, milk products shop, leather shops, chatwala shop, Sweetened milk, Lassi, thandhai and even Jaljeera and sugarcane juice stalls increase.
– If you are a big fan of tasting your palates with variety of eatable products, this highway is made for you.
– Be cautioned at Dhabas, prices would be exceptionally higher which you might be well aware of before hand.
Rural India falls before you:
– You can park your bike road side and take a dip into the running bore-well water.
– It should not be surprising to see a herd of sheep grazing over dry farms or a bullock-cart carrying green long grasses (I wish I could have my camera then, It would have made things more realistic)
– You would get many chances to taste rural Indian food and drinks like Lassi, Sweetened milk, Jaljeera, Thandhai etc.
The best and luckiest part is: if you are a big fan of “Dil Chahta hai” you might a chance to race against local trains which we did against Kota Janshatabdi express.
Although we almost had reached Mathura but, we did not want to enter into the city because we had to attend marriage of a friend. We did not know the place of marriage exactly. Only thing we knew was, It was not proper Dausa town but, some village almost 20 kms away from town and we had to find that village.
Race against darkness and life to Bharatpur: 19:30
So we took a diversion before entering Mathura. What shall I say? There were pits into the road or the road was made into the pits. Someone had told us that that was a 15 km stretch of bypass and we could save almost 25 kms of city traffic.
We reached an egg shop and he suggested us to return and follow city roads as that road was full of dangers. we could not accelerate over 60 because either engine will shut down or oil pump would start leaking. Only thing that we knew was we were not supposed to take a break anywhere. Just run. Even if someone signals you hand to stop by just don’t stop. keep on going.
Roads were really bumpy and those 20 mins were like more than half an hour bumping onto roads.
On 6-lane Agra-Jaipur highway: 20:00
We felt we were survivors. Running cold underground, we had come up to the open ground. The period of asylum was over and we were free and had got independent.
A 6 lane road, shining under aligned yellow street light was lying smooth in front us. In the night, no one is there is check your speed. We wished we could race against everything running parallel on the highway- the truck, rapid cars, the wind, the moon, the white lane marks.
I felt like a kid who wish came true the same moment. Winds were playing Irish melody in my ears and some unknowns were playing Uilleann pipes. I was smoking a wind pipe on the coolest street of India.
Finding the village at night: The treasure-hunt: 22:00
We had reached Dausa by 10 or 11 at the night. Our next target was finding the village where our friend was getting married. We called them on mobile and we were told that some 15 Kms away from the town we had to keep on following a road and we would reach.
We kept on following. Though we reached. On the way, we found a few drunkards as well.
The village of confusions:
Although we reached a village but there was not only one home which was decorated with lightnings but there were more than four or five houses. When we used to cross a house, we would look into the faces of people if we could recognize some of them and they would stare at us. Finally, we reached at our friend’s marriage home.
We had reached late and there was nothing left to eat. We would attend dinner around midnight.
There was a rumor that “Delhi wale ladke aaye hain” (People from as far as from Delhi have come). I never expected that people coming from Delhi would be treated with such high reverence. We felt proud but next moment we realized that there were odd expectations of people behind us “coming from Delhi”-
Dance, English dance.
Fortunately, few friends from Jaipur had also come. The brass band began hitting the leather drum and we were dancing. Riding bikes for last 10 hours and without any refreshments, we were dancing while whole village was watching us. Thank god, the dance did not last long. Soon we reached the destination- the Groom’s home.