Thursday, January 24, 2008

Travelogue: Part 2

Day 03: Osian on bike!

After some 3 million odd years I slept for 8 hours that day and woke up with a clear head. I was looking forward to the day as I was finally going to travel around Jodhpur. I checked the weather and considering Div's warning when I'd asked her a simple question while I packed my clothes, "Should I carry a sweater" with a reply "Sure! If you plan to kill yourself", I wasn't sure of the kind of clothes to put on. Black was decided against and I thought full-sleeves will serve the purpose as we were to go around Jodhpur on a bike in the desert sun. The advice to apply sunscreen and lip-balm were generally mocked and ridiculed and soon I was to pay the price for it. Div stood outside her hostel gate all covered in Kacky's clothes (don't get me wrong, it was the need of the hour, trust me). We had a breakfast first where Div enjoyed the jalebis for the first time apparently and tried to feed me the spicy mirchi-vada which I wisely avoided. (I find it difficult to eat spicy food due to some medical reasons best never discussed. ) Then we rented a bike (I chose Hero Honda over Enfield saving Rs.200 per day - though I was cursing this decision at first, it was to be a wise one at the end of the trip). 

We started for a place called Osian. Temple, sand-dunes and Cafe Osian were the suggested places to visit there. All set, I handed over my cam to Div and wearing a real funny helmet that came along with the bike (it was as strong as Kacky's cap that Div wore but since I didn't have one to wear, I chose the helmet), and we rode off. 

Cam and pictures: Now it's weird that Div and I have many a similar traits - the art of clicking pictures of the most non-picturesque objects being one of them. Everyone will click what is pleasing to eyes (mountains and all) but then there are things like a cow crossing a road, a pig fighting it's way out of a garbage dump or an open barren road will always be ignored. Somehow we both find it interesting and I came to know of this only after I checked the brilliant shots that Divi had covered. So I was happy to let her have the camera for the rest of the stay at Jodhpur

We reached Osian after some two hours. In between we did seek directions as we thought we were lost - the road seemed too straight for too long to some people and there were no direction boards anywhere for the others. Also, in between we stopped over briefly in front of a village school where the kids kept on looking at us and so did their teacher as we clicked a few photographs and had some water. 

Incident of the stupid-cows: I like cows. It's the best meat I've ever eaten. I hate milk but curd, yogurt and milkshakes are always relished. But when am driving at a speed of 60 kmph (Jodhpur's effect on me maybe but I never enjoy riding fast anyway), when a cow just blocks your way and keeps staring at you to dare you to pass her, you really feel like pushing her outta your way, except you can't. It's not Sukritically and Divically possible at least. So we had to wait patiently for them to cross-over an otherwise empty highway. Now there were incidences when these cows used to act like those confused "crossers" you see on the streets - who do not quite know whether to step back or run across when they see the oncoming vehicle and finally, they end up confusing the driver and leading to his crash while they safely cross the road, which is now clear, thanks to the crash in the middle of the street, and then these sinful "crossers" will go home and tell their family how rash the youngsters drive these days! With people, I understand their right to act confused and stupid as we are given this blessed power to think. But cows don't possess this power or so I believe. They just act as per their instincts. But just that day they were acting as if they were able to think. I think the desert sun was affecting them too. They just irritated the hell outta me that day!

The temple at Osian was beautiful. The mirrored walls and terrific architecture combined with almost no people and clean surroundings (which are a rarity otherwise) made it a peaceful experience. The sand-dunes could be seen from the temple and the reason for calling Jodhpur a blue-city was now becoming clear. But it was only when I saw the city from Meharangarh fort that it became evident to me. We waited at the temple for some twenty-thirty minutes. The hot desert sun and the dryness in the air were now doing their wonders on my skin. I started feeling it on my fingers first and then as I carefully looked at my arms, I realised every part of exposed skin was sun burnt. As they say, focus on pain and you'll feel the hurt - now that I saw the dark spots, I started feeling the burns. The lips now started hurting and suddenly I was desperate for water. The bottle got empty in no time and we needed more water. The sand-dunes were still to be seen and Cafe Osian was to be our resting place. We had to reach there as soon as possible. So we got 2 litres of water and set off towards the dunes. Just 15 minutes later we saw two dead animals on otherwise empty streets. This and it was 1.30 pm and the desert wasn't getting any colder, so we wisely dropped the idea and started back to the hostel. Though we did catch a glimpse of the sand-dunes, it was to be the last picture that was to be shot that day as Div fell asleep in no time. Had it not been for the "Pulsar-effect", her sleep went almost undisturbed throughout. 

The Pulsar-effect: Now I am used to driving a Bajaj Pulsar for 2 years now and it's gears are exactly opposite to Hero Honda's. While for Pulsar you push the lever down to increase the gears, you do the exact opposite by pressing the lever upwards to increase the gears in Hero Honda. So when, by mistake, I used to gun the engine and lower the gear, the jerk the rider got was awakening indeed! This was termed as the "Pulsar-effect". On arriving at Mumbai, when I rode the Pulsar, I experienced the "Hero Honda-effect" 

So when Ms. Divya awoke in between, I asked her a question which left us both umm.. scared.. no alert, "Do you think we are lost? Cause none of the direction signs show a way back to Jodhpur and the road just doesn't look familiar". We were desperate to ask for directions but there was just no one on the road and I just kept seeing dead animals everywhere. The sun was horrible but that was least of my problems back then. I had to know if we were going the right way as even the bike was making some weird noise and we were just standing on a straight-barren expanse with no life around. We decided to keep moving though and after some twenty minutes we finally found a broken-down truck getting repaired by a couple of people. We asked them the direction and fortunately for us we weren't too far away from the right way. I had to take a breather as I had got a bit tensed myself. After finishing a bottle of water, we were off towards the city. We filled our stomachs and then started for the hostel. 

We were a bit disappointed that we couldn't quite visit the much-hyped Cafe Osian but later on we got the news that it was some evil prank played on us by one of Divi's friends who'd wanted us to go and suffer at the Cafe - as it is apparently a strictly to-be-avoided Cafe.

I headed straight for a shower and slept a calm sleep. Then Div came to the guest house and we tried to watch a movie but got bored and started roaming around the campus. I met a couple of bloggers but I was still to meet my so-called cousin Ms. Preeti. Sometime later Kacky joined us. Then we had a nice talkative dinner and then we departed to our rooms. My plans of development of the football field for its optimum utilisation were again ignored by everyone! But that fortunately didn't affect my sleep and I waited the next day as we were to visit quite a few places the next day!

(to be continued...)


ninkita said...

oh my!!! fascinating.... haven't laughed so much in a while!! the cows!!lol!!

Sim said...

Abey!!!! baki ki kahini kab bataiga!!! i can't wait for the delhi parts!!
and hehehehehe.......i love taking random pics too, took pics of overflowing garbage bins in europe just to show people ki dekho woh log bhi gande hain!