Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Bro when it’s you, life’s always gonna be a dashing ride! - Part 1

23-12-2011 17:45
He kept saying 'Slow! slow! slow!' … I just said to myself 'Sorry bro when it’s you, life’s always gonna be a dashing roller coaster ride'

The ghat road was winding, curvy and didn’t have a divider for the traffic coming in the opposite direction. He kept warning me to slow down and watch out! But I knew I was in total control. I had the best navigator in business and nothing could go wrong… we had come this far and we would definitely make it safe. Finally, we had managed it and it was an experience to cherish.

Flashback: 2011
Okay, so 2011 was not exactly a year of leisure or vacation for me in anyway. It also reflects on this blogger site as I could not find to update my blog posts at all with zero entries in the year – a personal low for me (or anyone for that matter). The year started with the second semester of MBA in Kharagpur and continued there till the summer internship back in BengaLuru. After two and half months of awesome stay at home and relishing the internship experience, it was back to business at Kharagpur with the hectic third semester – one of the busiest till now. There was always something to do at all time with lot of electives to study, politics to deal with, fests to organize, companies to prepare and so on. But there was also the odd trip where we could enjoy. A Coorg trip with close college mates during internship was good and the trip to Rishop and Darjeeling with a different gang from college was not exactly something which gives good memories. Nevertheless, it was the trip in which I caught my first glimpse of the Himalayas and that alone was enough to make the trip a memorable one. Such being the case, when there was an opportunity to go on a long road trip with Ultra at the far end of the year, I dint want to let go of it at any cost. Thus began one of the most awesome drive trips I have ever been on till now!

When I landed in Bangalore with three weeks of vacation in hand, I already had a long list of to-dos built up even before I set foot on the YPR platform from the HWH-YPR duronto. Regular maintenance works at home, bank related work, phone repair, and what not. But the main thing of all was to spend time with family (especially Ultra) without any tension of college, job, etc. Also, Panini had landed in India with her hubby and they had plans of visiting their ancestral temple in Goa from their residence at Pune. So, I was thinking that if we went on our trip at the same time, it would be a good opportunity to meet her after a long time. But, the main things to be considered were if Ultra’s and Dad’s holidays coincided with the dates when they planned to travel. The idea of the trip had been planted but nothing concrete was decided.

A week went by in finishing off the routine tasks like vehicle service, bank account, etc. When I first brought up the tour plan at home, Ultra got really excited. He said he had one whole week of holidays in the last week of December and that would be the best time to go. Mom was in for it as usual. As a rule, mom is always in for travel plans like this. That’s the best thing about her. So, only person remaining was dad, and we all instantly knew what his reaction was going to be – trip to Goa during Christmas? No way. Do you know it will be enormously crowded that time of the year? (Khanddaaaapati rush :p)

And yes. That was exactly how he reacted. He was true to some extent. Christmas and new- year time is when it gets really crowded and expensive in Goa. Room rents per day in some places are known to touch a whopping 25,000 INR per night! Even the temple accommodation, where we usually stay would be full. Panini and her in-laws had already finished their trip by then and had to cut short their trip because of accommodation problem. Thus, we had thought it was all over about the trip plans. Ultra had plans to buy a new phone for long and was waiting for me to assist in that work. So, we decided to spend the holidays together by exploring the new phone he would buy, watching movies and playing games.

20 & 21 December 2011
It had happened many times before and it did happen this time too. Some casual talk between mom and me during a lazy winter morning over breakfast made us think that it would be a good plan if we continued our plans - The car had been serviced and yearned for a long drive since so many days; we had not been on the family trip since early 2010 and did not see any chance for some time in the future if we dint go now; Ultra was anyway taking a leave on Friday and if we could somehow arrange for accommodation in our temples, we would be good to go. A casual call to the temple office evoked a response of strict no for accommodation at first and then turned to a tentative yes to a confirmed status within a span of 10 minutes. Dad returned from office in the evening and said that if the three of us were going anyway, he would come too. But the only constraint for him was to be back in Bangalore on Monday morning which we thought could be taken care of. And by the time Ultra was back from work on Wednesday we had a plan in place!

22 December 2011
Ultra went to office early for the last time in the year. Mom got busy packing for all of us. I spent most of my time reading up blogs on teambhp.com and making notes for myself on which is the best route to go to Goa. The main criterion was to stay on good roads as much as possible. After going through many discussion forums, I decided on a route, somewhere close to 675km one way. It would be long drive and we would have to leave early to make it to the temple by dusk. We planned to stay at the temple for 2 days and then maybe leave for Karwar on Christmas day. Dad would catch a bus back to Bangalore from there and we planned to continue on the coast of Karnataka to our mom’s native place near Kundapura in Udupi district. Visiting the sacred Ganapati temple at Anegudde was long overdue, more so in our alto because we had put the deity’s name on the windshield and could never take the car to meet the deity whose name it flaunted

Pic of the alto lxi with the deity's name in Kannada script - it reads 'Aanegudde Sree Mahaganapati'

When Ultra came back in the evening, we went to fill fuel in the car and get the air pressure right. It had been serviced just two days back so we assumed there was no need to check anything else. We watched some videos on youtube together and learnt how to change a flat tire using the jack. We even tried out jacking on our own car, but dint make the mistake of removing the tyre… why remove something that’s fine anyway? Ultra’s new phone, which was promised to be ready by 22nd was to be available only the next day. We abused the sales guy over telephone but there was nothing much to do. We thought we would collect the phone after the trip anyway. We had to wake up early morning at 4:30 AM the next day and leave home by 5:30AM. A long but exciting day awaited. Both Ultra and I could hardly sleep and kept waiting for that alarm ….
... continued in Part 2 here