Wednesday, November 02, 2005

An all-in-one trip

Like the 11 year sunspot cycle or the annual flooding of the Nile, it seems that the triennial submerion of Mandakini hostel's ground floor has a deeper meaning than what appears at the surface (pun intended).

So anyway, that is how I landed up yet again in Bangalore, and it's been a very eventful journey right from the start.

After my afternoon train was cancelled due to rain on Friday, I stood three hours in line to get an RAC ticket at 7:58 pm. One more guy had been in front of me, and the counter would have closed with my entry. All this fight to find a train which was so empty, there were seats left after all the RAC tickets had been confirmed.

Ever since, it's been a mish-mash of activity and adventure - quake, a bike trip to Mysore, a miraculous escape from a near-fatal accident, meeting with a cousin, a joyous diwali after a long time, raspberry flavoured vodka... - basically masti of the jhakaas kind.

The scariest moment has been the accident. On our way up to Mysore, I was riding pillion to Takli, and Banner was behind Dumbo. Takli was doin 110+ and Dumbo, despite protestations by Banner, was trying to race ahead. Obviously, Takli's Unicorn kept Dumbo's Discovery (or whatever that contemptible vehicle is called) far behind. It was just after Dumbo actually overtook us, when the most ghastly (but incredibly lucky) sequence of events unfolded. It was by far the most number of things happening in front of me ever in just two seconds.

Dumbo overtakes us and we follow him into an unmarked diversion. He bumps into a pit and then strikes some inclined plane from hell, which sends his bike flying four feet into atmosphere. They land, but tilted dangerously towards the left, and Dumbo loses control. The left leg guard screeches against the road, giving out bright orange sparks and leaving behind a hefty skidmark. Takli slows down, and I can see Dumbo falling head first onto the road with a skull-cracking thwack. Fortunately, he's wearing a helmet (but only because there weren't enough caps for all four of us). Meanwhile, Banner grabs Dumbo tightly from behind, juts his head into Dumbo's back and as they fall, he performs some awesome acrobatic stunt. He flies six feet and falls down. Now, our bike hits the half-built road and shakes the jeebies out of us. Takli's unicorn is heavier and slower, and we take no damage.

Immediately after this, Dumbo removes his helmet, and yells around for Banner, who walks back from his landing point, asking if Dumbo is safe. The net damage: A bruised Dumbo, a shaken Banner, bewildered Takli and I, and a bent left leg guard. NO ONE HAD DIED!

Let me repeat that: Nobody had died. Heck, no one even had any serious injuries. Even the frigging bike was working despite its former leap towards heaven.

So, with an extraordinary nudge of luck, four weary and injured souls (with bodies still intact) made their trip to Mysore good and returned the following afternoon, with Takli driving 100+ yet again.

Look, we even took pictures.

After lamenting for years about how Madduland Diwali sucks so bad in just so many different ways, I made up for four years of lost Diwalis in Blore. We contributed to buy candles, crackers and colourful fireworks, and shot amazing videos and pics of the beautiful displays. Pics here and here.

Raspberry vodka followed, and since the extended weekend had been so eventful that nobody realized that I had to book a ticket back to Chennai, I've decided to live it up here till Monday. With Bachi coming this Friday, it ought to be twice the fun.