This I thought, would be the most boring of all trips. Honestly. But I successfully convinced a guy blinded by a hangover to ride his Enfield Bullet to a place which was almost 130 kms away from Bangalore city- and that was an ego boost to my people-motivation skills.
Okay, ignoring the hour wasted in finding his house, then finally meeting up at a restaurant which was overflowing with more people fighting for good coffee than for better food, and that too at eight fucking thirty on a Sunday morning, everything seemd perfect (keeping in mind that it was cloudy even at 9 that morning). To make matters worse, Ashish called in with fever . Now, it was justthe Enfield guy and me, and we decided to do the trip for record’s sake.
A short 15 minute criss-cross through the morning traffic brought us onto the Nice road. And does it live up to its name! A toll booth later, we were flying down the highway with me surprised by how the surroundings change – we were in a traffic jam a few minutes back and now, we were riding at heights more than that lush coconut tree groves with lakes of water in between.
Now, this is where I start lauding my Yamaha‘s performance. To begin with, it’s got a “feather light handlebar” which gives you the smoothness of a banking aircraft on those long bends interrupted only by mangy mutts in the middle of such roads mulling on whether to cross or not. Occasionally, you would come across carcasses of victimised dogs and crows playing relay races in a similar fashion. Another realization that hits you soon enough is that while the Karnataka government was planting speed breakers, it forgot to put warning signs in advance and sometimes, skipped them altogether. Poor mileage, though an issue, was pushed aside by breathtaking scenery, and three hours later, I was at a 200 year old church.
A few minutes of stretching and soothing the side-B, I started the ride to the place where it all began – the Mysore campus. We revisited the old training rooms, food courts and libraries. The walk back to the hostel room from the training centre used to be a long one, taking 1-2 hrs, which included warm chocolate milk shakes, diaphragm exercises accompanying the accomplished guitarist, leg pulling, weekend planning … the problems of a simple mind which are now nowhere to be heard of.
I spent time recounting memories with all whom I could find from my training days and after I slept off the tiredness, witnessed a musical fountain dance to some (repetitive,) pop music with the glow of the enormous, second training centre for stagelight. Now, that building, is money well spent. Our stomachs growled and a thought of the good ole masala buttermilk ran through our heads. Two years earlier, there used to be just one crowded punjaabi dhaaba with finger-licking food. Now, there are many with bland food. We ordered butter nan, paneer bhurji and dal tadka , and got sweet dal, burnt nan, some bland paneer bhurji and this conversation: –
To the waiter,” Boss, isme(dal tadka) namak nahi hai!”
The spineless jellyfish(waiter) pointing at the salt-pepper dispenser,” Dal lo!”
Friend retorted:”Dal, pyaaz aur masala bhi de dete, khud hi banake kha lete!”
I don’t know what I should hold against my friend – the ‘best’ dhaaba around or the free movie that we missed by sleeping away at the dorm. I forgave him anyway(had to, I was spending the night over at his place and he knows Kung-fu) and spent the night looking at a curtain thread swayed by the cool breeze. We turned around for Bangalore the next day at around five thirty in the morning and reached home in three-and-a-half hours – and that’s another place struck off and nostalgia shrugged off the shoulders.