Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Trip To Remember - Part II

“So, if we leave now, we might hit the highway by 5 PM. That way we can make the 250 Km journey in almost 4 hours, as we’d obviously ride at around 60-70 Kmph and we should be able to reach Jaipur by 9 PM max. Perfect time for dinner. I know where exactly McDonalds is.” Devansh said, in one breath.

I kept looking at him, clueless. Not that the idea didn’t appeal to me at some level; it seemed fun and exciting but at the same time I’d heard about so many accidents on the same highway. Besides the bad road conditions, the highway was known for bad/no lights, stray animals as well as human beings casually strolling on it as it passed though a number of villages. Also, thinking about how my parents would react to this idea, that is if they ever got to know about is, wasn’t a very comforting feeling.

I asked him if he knew anyone who’d ever done something like this. “People do it all the time”, like all his friends were truck drivers, he said. “I know of people who go all the way to Jaipur from Kota, on a bike, just to have tea.” Clearly, Devansh wasn’t one to stick to facts as they were. He liked to exaggerate things when he was on a roll and it wasn’t nice to interrupt him when he did so. I once did that, interrupting him when he launched into a story about one of his uncle’s ability to eat humongous portions of food meant for dozens, alone. I ended up spending the next two hours being given exact details of his family’s food habits, historical roots and gastronomic details. Clearly information I could have done without, but then I learnt my lesson that day.

In retrospect, the story about how people go to Jaipur to just have tea and come back seems so stupid that I feel like a certified idiot for believing that. But, that was the thing about Devansh. I think he would have done much better as a salesman, going door to door, selling hair-dryers and encyclopedias. There was a unique manner in which he pitched things. I can’t put a finger to what it exactly was– his confidence, optimism or something else but he would wrap you up in his enthusiasm. You could start by vehemently opposing what he had to say, but before you’d realize, you’d find yourself nodding in agreement with him. I’m telling you, he could have made a fortune selling those encyclopedias.

So, I got up, picked up the heavy Organic Chemistry by I L Finar in one hand and Concepts of Physics by H C Verma in the other, and banged them both on his head, with the intent of knocking those ridiculous ideas once and for all, and walked out of the room.

Ok, I didn’t really do any of that, but I wish I would have. I ended up doing what any normal 18 year old guy would do at that point; picked up my keys and said “Let’s go!”

We tucked two shirts- one for him and one for me, toothbrushes, a deodorant, sunglasses, an ATM card, cell phones and their respective chargers in a bag, which Devansh hung around his shoulder and we were ready to roll! As an afterthought, I grabbed my helmet and gave it to him to hold on to.

I clearly remember that my last words to Devansh before leaving the house were “I swear to God, if ANYTHING goes wrong on this trip, YOU are to be blamed!”. That ever-optimistic idiot grinned and said “There’s nothing in the world that we can’t handle together.” And I smiled back.

If only we knew what we were getting ourselves into. 

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