No, that was not the destination planned for this journey. It was supposed to end about 650 kms ahead, in New Delhi. I was shifting base and I was loaded to the hilt. And I came to a griding halt on one fine morning in the middle of the desert. Life just likes to have some fun.

The night before, I got my oil changed (and my oil fiter, now I know). And rode on through to Udaipur on the first day. Distance: About 850 kms. Time: 15 hours. Had the compnay of Mr. Sethi till Vapi. Then pulled on alone. The night at Udaipur was like any other night. Then morning came.

I rode in the morning into the desert with a slight noise coming from the engine. Then about an hour later, the engine started making noises like it was armageddon already. I stopped abruptly. The engine sounded like it has suddenly become a 100 years older. I wasn’t going anywhere. The crankshaft assembly was bust. The oil filter had jammed the oil and there was zero circulation. The crankshaft worked at full efficiency without any oil. I had murdered it. And I was in the desert and low battery on the phone.

I called up a friend in Delhi who told me of someone in Udaipur we knew. Man, I am lucky. Few phone calls later, there were two mechanics from two different places coming to check the bike. Two hours later, I was making plans of taking the bike on a truck to Delhi. Too painful, too long and too expensive, out. Four hours later, I am on the back of a Mahindra pick up truck going back to Udaipur. It was 12.30 in the afternoon. People on the highway finally find something on the horizon which can cheer them up – a fully loaded idiot wearing the helmet, sitting on a massive fully loaded motorcycle which is parked on a pick up truck. And acting like he is the king of the world. It was fun.

I meet my friend in Udaipur and his friend. Now this guy has actually gone out on his honeymoon on a Bullet. Just when I thought I had seen everything. I am to leave the bike with him, he will get it repaired and ride it to Delhi. I leaveon an afternoon bus to Delhi. Sounds good. Except the bus will reach the next morning. Can’t help now.

17 hours in a seat. Tool cold. Too long. Too painful. But I chilled out and woke up at 6 in the morning with a severe neck pain. I had made it. As I rode that early morning auto with my bald head feeling every atom of that chilly Delhi winter air, I thought back. Back at that guy I had met at one of the toll booths on the highway earlier. And I kept thinking, we actually belong to the same world!

Get out on the road guys, you haven’t seen so much in life. And those on it, ride on!

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