Sunday, August 31, 2008

Motorcycle Diaries – City of Contrasts!!!

The first thing that comes to your mind when u visit the city of Bangalore is the stark similarity it has with cities like Dubai and others around the world. We had an eventful bike travel from the city of Calicut to Bengalooru (that’s what it's called nowadays). Anywho we started at around 6.30 in the morning. We traveled around 40 kms without much trouble. But then at around the twisting roads of Wayanad district we came face to face with what is known as nature's fury. It was raining like mad and we had nothing to protect us from the arrows from heaven, save the windstopper jacket and helmet. The conditions got so worse that we could not even flex our fingers to hold the clutch or anything. So we had to take a well deserved break at Kalpetta, from where we had tea and peed like hell. When the pee touched the morning floor, it started to evaporate the wetness and u could well see it clearly. Well this situation continued for around 50 more kilometers. As usual nature played with us. And as abruptly as we had started the rain came to a full stop at this place called Sultan Bathery. There we got into the Indian coffee house and had dosa, vada, puri and coffee. Then at around 110 kilometers, we crossed the Karnataka- Kerala border and then I took over the reins of the bike. Well it was quite a sight. We were very slightly stopped in the tracks due to a rogue elephant that attacked only small vehicles. But we took up the courage and went speeding past the raging elephant. Phew! That was a close one. And then it was quite a sight, through Gundalpett. Watch out Kerala, all the flowers for onam are close being realized right here in Gundalpett. We stopped to take some snaps. We even posed along with a local. It was nice, just for the stupid moment where vkh lost out on the camera ka pouch. Stupid idiot. Totally I was devastated, coz if I had borrowed something, I had always seen to it that I give it back to them as they had given it to me, or in a better condition still. No problemo amigo. Got to get him the pouch back.

Anywho, I drove for the next 120 kilometers or something, until we reached Mysore or something I guess. Anywho we reached Mysore without much to talk about or do anything at all. Let me tell u about Mysore. A really nice place if u ask me. They’ve got the greenery for greenery, the palaces for palaces and so on and so forth. The palaces are quite a sight. Takes you to some place else for sure. Anywho we stressed on. We had to take the now famous Bangalore-Mysore state highway. It was one of the most exhilarating rides of my entire life. And the bloody bike was with vkh, half the 140 kilometers stretch of road. We reached speeds of up to around 119 km/hr. I had to stop him otherwise I don't know what he would have done or up to which speed he would have gone! Anywho we stopped in the middle somewhere and got into cafe coffee day and I had a latte and black Forrest cake. Lip smackingly delicious. And then I took up the reins of the bike yet again. And just five kilometers before reaching the city of Bangalore, I gave it over to vkh. We were greeted at first by picturesque lakes and greenery and then moving a little ahead we were greeted by garbage here and there, polluted water and the usual. As I told u, this city is somewhat a kind of a deprived city of the U.A.E or something. It’s quite the city of contrasts. As Shivaji would put it - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We are really thankful to vkh's uncle Vijay who was kind enough to allow us accommodation at his place. And u should see this place where they live. it really reminded of my stay with my mom's bro's back there in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The streets are so narrow and the place so crowded that I really wonder why this place is called as the garden city and also as the IT hub of the country!! What use if the people remain so. And then vkh took me around the city and we had to show the bike at some bajaj showroom or something. And guess what we were confronted by??? Bumper to bumper traffic, and bloody so much pollution that it's quite difficult to go through those places without some kinda of protective eyewear and a filter. The same thing again - As in Dubai. And I called up some of my friends in Bangalore. And u should have seen the way they behaved. What I understood from the attitude of the people around here is that most of them think for themselves only and will not even have time for one of their closest of closest friends. And finally they put the blame on you that we did not go and meet them.

The only exception I got was when vkh and myself went to meet one of our married classmate, Nunna who had just gave birth to her second child. They stayed at a place called Mahadevpura at white field road. They had a very good place. The ground and first floor were used as the factory where her husband had a business of motor making.(They sell around 3000 motors a month) and on the top floor, they have their residence. It’s one of the most fantastic places I’ve ever seen in Bangalore. It resembles the kind of houses that u see in Hindi and English movies. With the extended front courtyard and excellent interiors (just the fact that it was still under works when we came there). Anyways the feeling of homeliness was surely there. And they had wonderful two children. The elder one suffered brain hemorrhage, and is still under treatment. Well after having the heaviest lunch I had after coming to Bangalore (and the only one), we left the place and went in search of the stupid pg or house for them. Actually I got a person from the factory itself to show us some place. And we saw the house. And u should see the house. I’ll tell u the size of the house – take your normal a.t.m cubicle, give it some more space and then add a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room and even a bathroom. How nice rt.? And the rent? 2500 bucks with around 25000 rupees in advance. Shit this place yaar. I am really in awe of the way people live around here. And no one is there to complain if u ask me. Well that’s all we did for that day.

The next day we again went to this bloody fellow’s job of doing some thing for his bike!! And then we again went to this bloody mall called Garuda or something. And then we waited there around an hour or a half. And that too just for that bloody vkh’s clothes and laptop to be bought by Shad. Anywho I never complained. And let me tell you this – Every time we got into some bloody mall, which actually I don’t like that much, I had to fish out 10 rupees. Every bloody single time. And if I were to go in some mall, I would go into it only once. And we went to these malls around 7 to 10 times. And this bloody fellow gave me the explanation that we were going to the mall just because I wanted to see around Bangalore. Shit this is Bangalore, I thought. This bloody place sucks big time. And then we did some shopping that day and that’s all we did. We visited another mall – Gopalan mall and also The Forum. This is what happens when people who haven’t seen anything other than Bangalore and some places in Kerala and other places take u around such places like Bangalore. I was glad that I hadn’t come a day earlier and that I was not leaving a day later. My bus was for around 9.45 in the night. It came as promised. And then 10 of us got into the bus and we had a very nice trip back to Calicut. I got a very spacious seat – 2 of them, and that too semi sleeper. I was so glad that I was listening to all the happy songs that I had in my Yepp player. Until we reached the outskirts of the city. It was one hell of a trip! And yeah it sucked big time. This would rate as one of the worst trips that I ever had in ma entire life. And people of Bangalore – I give it out to you, for the kind of life you live out there. You rock people! Really! That’s all and that’s the trip I had! Hope you enjoyed the ride!