Post reaching to Kanpur, the sleep that gave me a slip the other day was back to haunt me and the needle on the odometer went down to 20-25Kmph. It felt like I was possessed and I was desperately looking for a Dhaba so that I could rest for some time. But couldn’t find one.
A stop was inevitable as I was barely able to keep my eye lids open and control the handle bars. As far as I could see it was only farm lands all around me. Finally I decided to stop and sleep on one of those paddy fields under a tree to avoid slipping on the asphalt under some heavy moving vehicle. A farmer was working in the field and I asked him if he could look after my belongings while I take a nap and he agreed. A count to five was good enough to put me off. The bike was hidden between the bushes to avoid any unwanted circumstances. It was an amazing feeling sleeping beside a highway.
If you are a motor enthusiast you would love the idea of passing vehicles playing a humming music and putting you to sleep. The earth beneath was indeed feeling like mother’s lap and the sky above reassuring me to take a good relaxed nap.
It was a good 60 minutes sleep and I woke up completely fresh. I looked at the time it was 05:00 PM. It was time to decide whether I should stop at Allahabad for the day or should I ride till Banaras to save some time.
I was cruising slowly around 40 kms before Allahabad when unexpectedly I saw a sign board. Take left for Banaras. You take a slight left turn and an entire new world opens up to you. I read about it in the travelogues. Standing at the crossroad between Allahabad and Banaras I quickly did a search for Varanasi on Google maps and it showed 140 odd kilometers. It was 6:30 PM. At 70 kmph I could do this stretch in two hours. And on top of that this was as expressway. A change in plan was evident.
And, then a thought crossed my mind, it is better to reach late than never and I decided to stay in Allahabad that day. I took the right turn and started my journey to the Allahabad city which was around 60 kms away. It took me 2 hours to cover this 60 kms as the road conditions were very bad and very soon I started to think that choosing Allahabad was not the right decision this time.
Have you ever encountered any speed breaker with a pothole on it and that too filled with dirty water? I have lost the count of them on this road.
I booked a hotel in Allahabad civil lines through Oyo rooms app, had dinner and don’t know when I was asleep when I crashed on the bed and was gone for good seven and half hours.
On 15th Oct’17 Sunday, after waking up at 06:00 AM feeling completely refreshed I took a bath, had breakfast and decided to roam around the city. It was a pleasant ride through the vacant roads and alleys of Allahabad. I went to the Sangam (Meeting place of Ganga and Yamuna River).
This place is not only the Sangam of two rivers but also the Sangam of souls.
There were only police personnel and parking attendants along with some tea sellers all around the city. After roaming around for couple of hours and a kulhar tea, I left for Varanasi at 8 AM which was ~130 kms away.
As they say never try to ride hard when you are nearing your destination. Forgetting about all practicality and calculations I was finding it difficult to believe how long it was taking me to cover that 100 odd kilometers. But as mentioned I lost all logic as I was riding high on emotion and wanted to stop only at my home. Also, those who have been through this road would know how irksome this route is. It was full of Hawkers, jay walkers and wrong side drivers. Probably trying to put up a last test of my patience and riding skills. I was trying hard to escape and the more I try the more they choked me from all around. Some of them I thought were intentionally trying to drive close to me as they wanted to take a close look at the bike and more over the riding gears were also something that they were not used to. I was so done with all these that I decided to stop and take a breath. And while I was looking for a tea shop I saw a sign board: “Take left for Varanasi: 30 Kms” and it was only 10:30 AM.
Thrilled, excited, over joyed, I am not sure how to explain the feeling. I was completely over the moon. Four years of thinking, dreaming, planning reading hundreds of travelogues and the frustration of not being able to do it, everything was playing in a sequence in my mind. All the irritation of the last 100 odd kms was just irrational thought and the itch of reaching home. The world around me stopped for a moment. I was yet to believe that it happened to me and it was unrealistically pleasing. But wait my home was 10 kms away. Made a quick call to my parents and I was back on the saddle completely energized and happy.
I was cutting through the busy traffic and small markets full of hawkers as if I was playing a video game.
And finally I was there. Home Sweet Home!
All I saw there were some puzzled faces staring with their eyes open as wide as they could. Some long twist of the throttle to announce my arrival and there they were. Mom and Dad. It’s a small family and they were staring at me as if they just saw a ghost. It took my mom and dad a good thirty minutes to come up with the first word. And guess what it was? Are you crazy? Yes I am. And I hope this craziness stays with me forever. This is what I live for.
Because being normal is too boring!
Go through our You Tube channel to check out few videos about this road trip: