Tuesday, May 23, 2006

24 Karat Action - Penukonda, Timbaktu Ride

Date 14th May 2006
Total Distance traveled: 330kms
Destination: Timbaktu
Objective: Andhra Meals
Route taken onward: Bangalore-Yelahanka-Doddabalapur-Hiriyur-Gouribidanur-Hindupur-Penukonda-Timbaktu.
Route taken return: Timbaktu-Penukonda-Chikkbalapur-Bangalore
Photos uploaded at http://100kph.fotopic.net/c957887.html

24 Karat Action
One more ride with RTMC. In mid May, if one ventures out to Andhra braving the heat, the reason better be strong. ‘Genuine’ Andhra meals was promised and all of 24 Karat Action happened. (The inspiration for the title comes from the movie poster for the gult pillum Bangaru – 24 Karat Action). To avoid having to ride in the afternoon sun, we decided to start late, lunch and rest in the afternoon and ride back in the night.
For this ride there were almost no newbies from the announce group, but for this one techspan guy who was running in his bullet supposedly. We were some 15 of us, who started off near the HP petrol pump near Hebbal at 11 in the morning.
Dhak-Dhak Roads
We were warned that there were craters on this road that were visible from the moon. Right side or left side, road, off-road, ride sitting, ride standing, slow/fast/medium - just keep off the pot-holes!!
There were two regroup breaks – at one we emptied a tender-coconut vendor off his stock and on the second occasion, finished off the last drop of Buttermilk at Gauribidanur.
I was plugged to my Network Walkman mouthing some old Kannada songs – SPB, Annavru, Ravi chandran songs.
Thanks to all the dhak-dhak roads, my nuts came loose, literally. (If you think you read this joke, in my previous blog, you need to know I’m an advocate of recycling, jokes and girlfriends included). I had to pull over some 10kms before Penukonda. One kick in the butt (read silencer) every 2-3kms and the bullet was back to highway fit. Reminds me of Prof. Mulky’s KITA motivational technique (KITA acronym for Kick-In-The-Ass), who says management principles don’t work on Bulls.

Genuine Andhra Meals
It was some 230 when we reached Penukonda. Now the group split, the non-veggies settled for a Highway restaurant and about 5 of us headed to a Mess near the Penukonda fort. It turned out the guy was a Kannadiga, and he was serving Andhra meals without Parpu (Gun Powder). So much for ‘genuine’ Andhra meals.
Andhra meals typically has rice in the first course. Here you need to add about 2 liters of ghee to it, and then add one more spoon, then add parpu pudi to it, till it becomes light orange in color. Now mix this with Pappu. Pappu is the staple food of Andhra but keeping in view the global food shortage (esp. in the neighboring state of Amma) Pappu is served in a small quantities only using a tea spoon (the govt has not objected to this practice because of the employment it generates).
As you are getting done with the first course of rice and pappu, there is the second course of rice and sambar, then the third, with rice and rasam and the fourth, with rice and curd.
As we were finishing off our four course rice meals, the rest of the guys came thundering down. Because of chicken flu (or because the chicken flew) non-veg food was not available and they had to settle for the four course meal.
For 2 rupees, I got a nut for my silencer, and it solved my KITA problem.
Post lunch, we went to pay our respect to Kumbakarana. A bench mark for most Gults, Kumbakarana, the brother of Ravana, slept for 6 months a year, ate for the remaining 6 months and had a huge pot belly. (evidence that Beer dates back to the Tretha Yuga). With a great mines-not-so-big feeling we left to Timabaktu.
There is a Shiva temple 3kms off the highway. The dirt road is good for off roading. The only thing we did was to go there and get back.
I don’t recollect exactly, but it was some 6 in the evening when we started back. Sumanth was point and pp was the sweep. We stopped over at Penukonda again for some juice. Naxalites who:
After Penukonda, as we were getting into the Karnataka border we were stopped by the Ananthpur police. (With those fiber lathis, we had no choice but to stop). Someone had tipped them that there were there 10 odd bullets riding up and down, in that area. The Naxalite prone area that it is, routine interrogation took more than a few mins. An?l went into the police station to settle things out. No one could notice any lathi marks with his Joe-Rocket on.
The group had split into 2 when we reached chikbalapur, but we met up again at 9 near hebbal. It was one of those few rides when we all stuck together till the end.

kar·at [kérrət] (plural kar·ats) noun
measure of gold content: a unit of proportion of gold in an alloy equal to 1/24 part of pure gold. U.K. term carat[1]

1 comment:

Anantha Madhava said...

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