Getting up early in the morning (say 3-330 AM) does funny things to your mind. First, you try to force sleep upon self; if that’s not working, go grab a novel. If it happens that you have finished that piece of work, there’s no choice but to make a cuppa tea and surf the net.
One warning: please don’t go to Google earth/wikimapia.
Why-the mind is at its receptive best in the morning (some obscure site imparted this knowledge, some minutes ago) and you most likely will do what your instinct suggests.
And mine saw Chamundi Hills on google earth- and suggested a small trip to Mysore.
Planning was done within an hour, and the rest of the day was spent in gathering the essentials: gloves, backpack, names of towns that I have to pass through, and- getting the bike to normal condition.
“Journey of a thousand miles begins with a small twist of the wrist”, they said (was it a step? I don’t know.) And though Kochi to Mysore may fall way short of the thousand-mile mark, it did begin with a twist- at 0600 IST (today).
Starting early did help: I missed the madcap traffic of Kochi. By the time I stopped for tea, the time was 730- and I had crossed Thrissur, the first town in the list.
90 minutes, 90 kilometers: “lunch in Mysore, buddy” I said. Of course, I hadn’t thought about the roads (they were good) or my (non-existent) butt.
The roads had no potholes: but they weren’t silky smooth either. The unevenness kept sending shockwaves through my spine, and the maximum speed one could reach was 40-50 km per hour.
200 km in 300+ minutes: very disappointing (put numerous butt breaks into the equation, and it doesn’t look that bad.)
Then came that heaven of a road, Nilambur – Gudalur – Bandipur. I’d have no problems if I were to be asked to ride on this road for the rest of my life. Squeaky clean roads, double lanes (It’s hard to find double lanes in the route I followed), picture-perfect surroundings, and the joy of climbing a hill: Just perfect. If the forest officials hadn’t asked us not to stop inside the tiger reserve- I’d not have reached Mysore before night.
Bandipur to Mysore- via Gundlpet. Except for a pothole- ridden 18 km stretch between Bandipur and Gundlpet, everything went smooth. Reached my old hostel at 3 pm- all my friends were out in college (final exam of their final semester!) and occupied my usual seat @ the tea shop. Everything was the same: the place, the surroundings, the tea cups… no, the cups were bit smaller.
“tu ne bola tha na aane ke baad phone karega? Mai pick karne aa jata na..” that’s Rohan.
“koi problem nahi hai re, pahuch gaya na..”
“kaise aaya? Auto se?”
“Train yaha tak drop karne aaya tha kya?”
Pause, and a smile.
About ten seconds later (saw the key in my hand): “tu paagal hai be..”