Here I am… on the road again

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Life is like a ride. It has its own ups and downs, its skids and slips and its discomforts and thrills. It is a rocky narrow passage at times and a smooth highway pass on others. At times, when one falls, the best thing to do is stand at the roadside and retrospect. That is what I was exactly going through for the past few days. Parked on the side of the road and watching the world pass by, healing my soul before I began another dash on the road. Today was the day. It didn’t seem to be the perfect moment but it did feel right. There was no push to go back on the road and yet there was nothing holding me back.

Blue seemed to be a reflection of me. It was covered in a layer of dust that I didn’t bother to wipe off. I hadn’t dusted off the rust on me, why should Blue look any different. The pings on the WhatsApp bikers group last night kept me informed where my fellow brethren were headed to. I informed them of my willingness to join them and as always our community of riders have nothing but love to offer.I joined them at the showroom where we decided to meet up and where the final arrangements were being made before we took off. While filling up the fuel tank at a petrol station, I remembered that I had changed my engine oil yesterday to the new Castrol POWER1 CRUISE which is specifically for cruiser bike engines like the one on Blue. Once the air pressure was checked and corrected, we hit the highway.

Our first pit stop was Nandi Upachaar which is a famous breakfast spot 40 kilometers from Bangalore, located right on the corner of the cross to Nandi Hills. The place lived up to its expectation once again. It never disappoints in curbing your hunger. 

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Once fueled by the delicacies on offer, the gang proceeded to partake in a small off-road adventure in the nearby areas. We climbed a little hillock on our bikes and I was surprised to see all the thrill of my previous rides returning to me and making me realise that I spent too long worrying about things and not doing what I love. It revved me to make the most of this day.

Amongst our company were these three Australian bikers with a mission to map the entire rural landscape of India and experience the life from this unique perspective. They are documenting this project and were really excited about the prospect of joining us on this ride.

After an hour of off-roading, we stopped at a Go-kart track and took our bikes on the track for a few fun laps.However, being a Sunday, this was just a breakfast ride. Even I was of the same opinion when I started from home. But as they say “Once you taste the blood, it is impossible to stop the craving”. While everyone started heading back towards the city, I wanted to ride away from it towards the places where I had placed pieces of my hearts since I found my heavens there. And this added another chapter to the journey.

As I blazed passed the sun scorched highways there was a sense of relief. The heat wave troubling everyone for the past few days was a factor I couldn’t even notice because I was heading towards the place where I am happy again. The joy of riding and the assurance of control and this amazing feeling called freedom was filling colours in the dark and rusty brain of mine and gradually I started feeling alive again.

I had just one worry; if Blue could make it. It has seen more than a couple of summers now and lately had started feeling sluggish during long rides. The hot weather was another concern since it alleviated the heat and friction which rendered Blue powerless when I needed her to accelerate. But I guess the new cruiser bike specialist engine oil from Castrol was working its magic considering the way Blue accelerated even after a couple of hours on the ride. Gradually my concerns faded and I could focus on the one thing that I liked most in life and the one thing that resembles life the most. The Ride.

Further ahead as I travelled along the roads, I reached this town named Kaiwara. Once you have travelled enough you seem to realise that the towns and roads and civilisations are pretty much the same no matter where you go. You realise that it is not the place or race or colour that divides us. One tends to forget the concept of boundaries and borders. Kaiwara was no exception to it and yet it held its unique identity. I passed through its roads soaking in the humanity that dwelled here. Around 2 kilometers ahead of the town is the Kaiwara Zoo. It is shut down and now serves the purpose of a park for people to visit. The sun, however, forced it to be empty at this hour.

I continued riding and a few meters ahead I came across this beautiful temple surrounded by greenery on all sides. It is the Gavi Temple.

I took the blessings from the Gods who resided here and roamed around only to find monkeys and sparrows to keep me company. There were a lot of sparrows here and there constant chirping wouldn’t let you feel alone.

After spending a few minutes of peace, I rode ahead towards Kailash Parbat. Don’t confuse this with “The Kailash Parbat”. This is a different one. The last stretch of 2 kilometers to this place is a patchy broken road which was another test for Blue, but I guess the new blood was taking good care of it. I could enjoy the slow ride along with the beautiful view on offer. There were these small water bodies like ponds along the foothills. The silence of the still water reflected the clouds flying over and I noticed that I finally had some friends to protect me from the unforgiving sun.

A few curves later I reached the parking lot of the Chintamani Cave Temple.

From here the temple is a short walk uphill. I was awestruck by the sheer size of the mighty hill.

While you climb up, you would find small plastic containers which contain the prayers, requests and other offerings from other devotees who visit this mesmerising spot.

Like all caves, this one too has a small opening. But when you enter you would witness the grandeur of the wonderful temple. Thankfully there were no bats here. Every word you speak loud enough echoed back. A perfect place for retrospection; me talking to myself. I came across priests and deities who all blessed me before I moved on. The view of the surrounding hills was breathtaking. I was lost in the beauty of it as I kept staring at the way nature had adorned itself here. The only thing that broke my session of peace was the gurgling sound of my empty tummy.

I descended down the hill to the parking lot to find a dining hall. I was delighted to come to the realisation that it was not just the hunger of my soul that would be taken care of.

The temple meals are served from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM and that too free of cost although one can make contributions towards the counter outside the hall for the food one eats. I stuffed my belly till my heart was full.

The meal energised me for the return journey and after a rest of a few minutes I could call it a successful day and started my journey back home.

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