Mar 12, 2010

25. “PiT-ST0p NaNDI”

Ahhh, Its such a bloody relief, that I found this piece by a friend of mine who had taken the pain of documenting our maiden Cycling trip - A trip to Nandi Hills. Unfortunately the one that I had copied from the orkut with the comments from the members was lost due to my negligence at taking back up of my stuff, I got hold of this piece of work That "the Lady" had mailed to all the people who were part of the expedition. . . . Thanks Shvetha for writing everything that we had been through on that day, I remember the day very well it was 15th of aug. . . . This definitely is not a short one very much like my other posts, this one's longer than Usual . . . .
“PiT-ST0p NaNDI”   
Last 15th Aug while meditating at Matrimandir in Auroville, if some one ever told me I would be cycling to Nandi hills next year, I would have dismissed it with a laugh. Such is life. It’s most unpredictable and best kept it that way.

It all started with orkut, so let’s thank orkut for doing the Nokia act (connecting people). Secondly, thank prabal, who took the initiative to take on this trek. On the first Invitation I wasn’t keen, but cycling a 5km stretch was on my mind. It was only the night before when Mvj called in and asked bartiya? Let’s cycle till yelhanka!! Fair enough!

It’s the Independence Day. With a bottle of water and my neighbor’s cycle I headed to the main road, where I met mVj. I was instantly comfortable with VJ and the fact that he was my junior in both school and college gave us enough to talk about.  The two of us waited at the Ganganagar bus stop for Prabal, Prashant and Yatish to join. They were riding from JPnagar.

We joined in. As we were nearing the Hebbal fly over I was afraid the cycle mite start going backwards, did I have the strength to pedal on a flyover?? And VJ repeatedly said its easy yaar u can do it. But it was over even before I thought it’s impossible and it was the FIRST TIME I HAD PEDALLED ON A FLYOVER!! It was one of my firsts.

Our first break came in the form of a halt at a darshini for breakfast at Kodigehalli. This is where we got a formal introduction from each other, 2 software engineers, one architect and a student. Hogged on our idlis and dosas and when we were packing our bags to make a move THUD!!  fell a roof tile on the floor which missed Yatish by an inch!! With his skull intact and thanking his luck we pedaled ahead. Riding on the bypass past Jakkur aerodrome was quite an experience, flat and well maintained roads; we had crossed Yelahanka in no time… I savored that moment of joy. In the meanwhile, prabal and Prashant had taken the lead and Yatish and VJ had slowed down their pace to give me company. It was now time to take a call weather to turn back home or to continue the ride. We chose to move ahead. Cycling on the highway, past villages and picturesque stretches on a few bumpy roads, I wouldn’t complain about them, as there were barely a few countable ones. In about forty five minutes time we had reached the Devenahalli railway crossing. This was an extremely narrow road and was congested to ride on due to HTV. On the curve it was hard to cycle plus a KSRTC bus came behind me which haunted me like YAMDOOT. Thanks to Vj who guided me to the extreme left. But Yatish had taken the lead and the bus was racing rashly towards him. I could only scream YATISH!! The bus had knocked him down the front tyre brushed his T-shirt and he was under the bus with the second tyre just an inch away….for us it looked like he had come under it which caused the bus to stop, and then he rolled out. We ran to him didn’t knowing what to expect. Our man here gave a chamak to Yamraj with a few scratches. And we thank the bus driver and Yatish’s luck. Yatish was in a complete state of shock, his leg shivering; we ourselves took some time to come out of the shock. The thought of having seen almost death was scary. THIS WAS ONE OF THE FIRSTS FOR EACH OF US. We thanked the Heaven’s above and continued with the journey with extra caution and keeping to our extreme left as far as possible. Though we were pedaling, it still took some time for us to recover from the horror we had just seen. We wouldn’t leave this world unless we have served the purpose of our living and that kept him alive.

We passed the Devanahalli international airport stretch, then rode on the footpaths of ITC (riding on a footpath was one of the firsts for me) Here the roads were empty since we chose to ride on the by pass. I forced them to take rest after every km. VJ did freehand riding for as long as I could remember which inspired me to do it for a sec., past the beautiful Jain temple, a little ahead we saw a Shiva temple erected in between two boulders. This temple was built in a single day and it was highly professional and extremely beautiful. How we wished we could stop by for some time, but it would have delayed the journey and the sun would be blazing on our head and I continued to pedal slow…slower ……slowest. This is when the idea of towing came into VJ’s mind. Till the time we could find ropes, VJ held my hand and pedaled ahead and Yatish pushed it from the back holding the carrier. This went on for almost a km; it was also one of my firsts. VJ would always manage to come up with bizarre ideas and freak us, but these were workable ideas. Finally we found a congress banner which we used to tow till we were offered a sturdy long rope by an old man. Kudos!! to Yatish for convincing him. We tied it to our cycle and pedaled ahead. This had drastically increased the speed. VJ and Yatish alternatively took turns on towing me. I also fell flat once when the rope tangled the tyre. I guess I fell there because there was water near that place and we would have missed it otherwiseJ towing continued for sometime. I had recovered a bit and switched back to cycling. I HAD ALWAYS WISHED TO GET MY SCOOTY TOWED ON THE ROADS, BUT IT CAME IN THE FORM OF A CYCLE. If you desire for something the whole universe conspires to gift that to u (from The Alchemist) it’s just the wait that gets longer. Be patient!! 

We had finally managed to reach the nandi grama circle with the help of a bunch of grapes, a banana, 2 coffee bites each and a half km ride on a tractor.( THIS WAS ALSO ONE OF THE FIRSTS FOR ME). It was a lovely bumpy ride. We wished it would go on for a little longer…..

            Once at the circle… there were a few shops in the vicinity, first things first we got our cycles repaired, relaxed on the stone bench listening to radio city and with high spirits pedaled ahead. After a km I could hardly pedal, gave up, there4 we walked, no strength to carry the weight of my cycle, v exchanged cycles. We would ride 100 mts and walk 800 mts, Yatish and VJ hit upon the novel idea of towing on this uphill. This requires a lot of courage and stamina!! These guys actually towed me on the hill. And it was indeed a tough task. We resumed walking again. Sun was scorching down on us. I regretted giving the tan lotion a miss... With little breaks, walks and pedals we covered a distance of 4 and a half km. at this point VJ was extremely thirsty and hungry too. For almost half an hour we requested every vehicle on road to give water but in vain. We pedaled ahead and found a couple resting on a stone bench who parted us with Fanta. Ok!! It’s aerated, its pesticides, it could be dirty water who cares, it quenched our thirst. Thanking them we moved ahead. Cycled for a while, walked a lil ahead we had covered a distance of 5 and a half km. these guys would have done it if they were on their own. I couldn’t do it any further. We loaded our cycles into an overcrowded tempo and hopped into it. (ONE OF MY FIRSTSJ) always wanted to take a ride on tempo; the crowd was like an icing on a cake. It gave more impact to the ride. On our way up we spotted Prabal and Prashant walking uphill with their cycles. A few seconds later we had finally made it to nandi!! Each of us were excited bout it, but with no networks and coin bhoots around, we contained it within us.

            We reached the hill top at 1:15 mins, went around the place took some pics. We decided to head back home when it started pouring heavily so we took a climb up the hill. After a few flashes and poses we came downhill giving Tipu drop a miss but we took a detour and we were at the Tipu drop, despite of not wanting to see it, it bought us to it. As we came down and it was 3:30, 15 mins stop at Nandi stretched to 2 hrs. As we unlocked our cycles, the rain gods decided to descend on earth, which delayed our start for some time. When we finally did start on the very first curve I banged into Yatish’s designer cycle and skidded to get a few bruises on my credit. This again delayed our home coming. For a moment in that pain I had a strange feeling that the hills wanted us to spend some more time and acknowledge its presence and beauty. I thank god for this fall, which made us aware that there was no breaks in my cycle; it kind of saved me from coming under some drunkard’s vehicle. And hey!! I had cycled a distance of 45 km with no brakes for the first time… this is no joke! We started our journey down hill. It was for this pleasure of riding down on the curves that inspired us to do the uphill task on cycle. This wasn’t all that pleasurable any more, for I was riding on Vj’s cycle, I could hardly pedal on that. We were faced by a new avatar of VJ the more caring and the protective side of him. He kept screaming directions KEEP LEFT!!!,, KEEEEPP LEFT…!!  DON’T GO ON THAT END … WATCH OUUUUUTT LADY!!! THERE’S A STONE, THE ROAD IS BAD, LEFT LEEEEEEFFFFT!!! Brakes mele gyaana iralii!!! UFFFF!!! He kept screaming all the way down the hill. VJ rode ahead of me to keep a check on the vehicles and road and Yatish came behind me like a guarding angel. We had done it, reached the Nandi circle in no time. Again a stop at the cycle shop for little fixes. We took the pic of 5 of us on cycle. When it was all done my mom called in, she was in tears... cos she wasn’t able to reach us for the past 4 hrs and was scared that something had happened to me .she ordered me to reach home ASAP!! We did try speeding up but my body was aching, Vj and Yatish lubricated the speed by towing me again for another 5 km. switched back to riding for another 4 kms, when Vj and Yatish managed to convince a lorry driver. He promised to drop us till where ever he could. We hopped on to the lorry and continued the journey ahead when it suddenly started pouring heavily. We again thanked god for having taken care of the situation. Vj’s communication skills (which need a spl MENTION) came in very handy. He totally “pataofied” our driver fella!! In no time we were in Bettahalusur. As soon as we got off the lorry the rain continued to pour down. The lorry guy boarded us into another lorry which disembarked us at kodigehalli. From here we cycled back home and reached home in 15mins. With a stop at the cycle wala for little fixes. This marked the end of the trip for me. Vj cycled towards Dinnur and Yatish headed for Indiranagar.
THANKSGIVING: Firstly, I thank Orkut and Prabal and Prashant for getting us together, MS word; without which this documentation would have been impossible, my neighbor for lending me his cycle, Yatish's luck, for standing strong by his side all the time, Monkeys who spared us with the meager food we had, tractor wala; who gave us a bitti lift, the lorry driver who went out of his way to help us, with not just boarding into another lorry but also giving his contact no. if need arise. Thanks to the couple who quenched our thirst with fanta!! May god bless them!! Also a spl thanks to VJ and Yatish for having towed me without which I might have not reached the hill top. Lets not forget the universe which watched us, protected us gave us the strength and took care of us.

Let this be the beginning of many more rallies to come in the near future…
Also this is my first attempt into documenting a trip so forgive me if it gets a bit too boring but this is what it was like….

Cheers to Shvetha . . . 

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