Friday, September 15, 2006

Nandi Betta and Nidhi Bete - Part II

Ok…after a lot of prodding from my good friend Manoj, I’ am finally writing my first ever-blog entry…as a guest-writer on Manoj’s visorview (road conquests??) blogsite!

The event: Nidhi Bete 2
Date: 10th Sep 06
Organizers: RTMC
Participants: 22 teams (solo or with pillion)

As a precursor to the events to follow, the first task was difficult enough….meet at 7.30 am at Sarovar, Lavalle Road. Now, for heaven’s sake, this was supposed to be a Sunday, ain’t it meant for catching up on lost sleep???!! Anyways, I was determined not to ditch my dear friend Manoj (ask him for my track record on this one!!) woke up by 6.45 am, quick shower and after a lot of searching & directions on the phone, finally reached Sarovar at 7.45am. I thought I was late, since the flag-off was scheduled for 8 am, but I should have known better!!

After a quick round of introductions to the other participants, my ‘pilot’ (read: Manoj= Kuruda) and I broke our fast on a helping of 2 idlis and a vada each.
I changed over to the t-shirt (covered in the 300 bucks as entry fee), a couple of quick smokes, and bingo…we were ready to zoom….it was 8.40am…

Oh, btw Aetos (the eagle!!)..gave a brief on what we were to expect and he did mention that he wanted to see our butts when we got back after the ‘grueling’ ride….should have paid heed to that a little more seriously, but what the heck…aren’t we the daring sorts, come what may kinds… so bring it on!!!

After a series of bikes were flagged off…our time came and my pilot and I were on our way! The first clue was easy, because it was a part of Bangalore I know well ( Jayanagar ) ….but there was a hitch…Though we were bang on the right track, we happened to ask a person for re-confirmation. In his eagerness to be helpful (??), he confidently veered us back to a place we had already passed by….there goes 5-7 minutes!! Anyways, we recovered, rather realized our folly quickly enough and I was very soon dashing into the Royal Enfield showroom where we were supposed to pick up the visiting card of the store-manager…The guy actually stood up from his seat, handed over the card without even asking a word, realizing that I meant business and didn’t have time for small-talk.. And yes, I did take down the reg. number of the bullet from the poster there (I realized it should have be the reg. no. of the bullet with the side-car only later!)

Now, we were well and truly on our way…the next clue was to take the Hosur Road and get to the road to the place which means ‘Elephant Stone’ in Kannada…Bingo, my Kannada is good enough to decipher that as ‘ANEKAL’…but found that in the next clue the same was mentioned (was that a mistake on the organizers’ part??) Anyways, once on that road we were supposed to take the deviation to the place, the clue for which was an anagram – ‘INJAGI’. That’s an easy one…of course it has to be JIGANI (thanks to one of my many initial jobs, I had been to that place and knew it existed!)… Got the deviation easily enough (when in doubt-ASK…and that’s precisely what we did..ask an auto-rickshaw guy to reconfirm),noted down the name of the hotel there, picked up a red-looking stone and proceeded to our next set of clues, which included getting the name of a school (Royal School- at some injalwadi pass on the way), a charitable trust (forgot the name) & an organic products plant ( Kumar Organic Products, whose byline is ‘a positive chemical reaction’….good, na??!!) ….all pretty much sequentially on the way.

Next up was to find a school which resembled Hogwarts (Harry-da-puttar, anyone??!) on the Bannerghatta Road, just some 10 kms from the Zoo (All cats here, what r u doing here, u dog??).The school turned out to be ‘Savodaya Birla International School’ and thankfully we were not too far when we stopped by to ask, only to realize we had passed it! Anyways, these things do happen, don’t they?? Of course, the symbol on the board of the school resembled a Sun (that was a question in the clue-sheet) and I got down from the bike momentarily to look for a ‘white cock feather’ in the grass around...but could not spot one. Not wanting to waste too much time, my pilot said ‘yeno ondu white irodu yettko maga’..meaning ‘pick-up something that is white man’…I did as ‘boss’ said (anything that would save me some trouble!!)…hopped on as pillion and off we were again. Manoj happened to know exactly the destinations of the next few clues since he had done this route before, so I was like..’Ok, cool…we’r almost there’…only to realize that the tough part (read: bad roads) had just begun!!

Of course, the only respite was the NICE road…on which my pilot was in fullu josh..ripping at 120kms/hr (he thinks we did a max of 115kms/hr, but I was watching the Speedo all the while).The good part over, took the deviation to the “Big Banyan Tree “ ( ‘brother to the underwear’ , or so the clue said!!). I took a much needed pee-break while Manoj a.k.a Kuruda took down the landline number of the studio there and picked up a dry leaf….I thought I could have a smoke in peace, being stationary(after all, we had made it until here in good time, hadn’t we??), but I was wrong L The ‘boss’ was like let’s go, let’s go…so off we were again ( BTW, did I mention I also bought 2 beedis at the shop there, much to the bewilderment of the shopkeeper??!!)

Next up was Manchinbele post-office (we had to count how many pillars it stood on, and the answer was 4, but alas, we forgot to mention that on the clue-sheet!!), we noticed it, thanks to ‘Bamboo’ and pillion standing right in front of it….it was also a sort-of re-affirmation that we were indeed on the right track! We were running out of gas, but thankfully found a shop which sold petrol, filled 2 litres which cost us Rs. 130 ( who said fuel was expensive only in Bangalore??!!) and off we went to our next destination…the Deer Park at Savandurga. Got my ass off the bike (was that a relief or what, albeit for only 2-3 minutes!!), to enquire with the shopkeeper there about the number of Deers in the park. Once we had the answer (none), and after having noted the ‘who’ in the statue, we were gleefully on our road back to Bangalore…

Before I proceed to the last stretch, lemme take a minute to mention here that the stretch mentioned in the last para (Big Banyan Tree – Manchinbele – Savandurga) was probably the ‘super specialty stretch’ that Aetos mentioned in his intro before we left Sarovar…and boy, was it special??!! You could hardly call them roads, let alone good or bad….we were constantly in and out of ditches, going left and right to avoid some, and then in cases where it was inevitable to avoid one, my pilot and I used to just let out a shout in the anticipation of the pain it would cause our backside!! Whew, Manoj/Kuruda must’ve cursed the organizers for this, and what’s more, they even had the cheekiness to collect Rs. 300 as entry fees!!

Anyways, glad with the anticipation of the last stretch and lunch, we zipped back to Magadi, took a right turn…and hurray, we were on our way back to namma Bengalooru!! But, well, all good feelings must end, ‘coz just then we noticed a milestone saying “Bangalore – 48 kms” …48kms….crazy or what??? Haven’t we already endured enough??? And by this time, my ass as burning….and my pilot didn’t help (!!) by not being co-operative enough to stop for 5-10 minutes and recuperate…It came down to me almost begging him to stop for 10 seconds, which he did, only once!! He just kept saying “ let’s finish it off “…..well, I knew he was right, but when ur ass is literally on fire, does reasoning ever help??!!! But still, I braved myself to endure the pain (btw, I think I heard Manoj say something like iron-ass….hmm…!), no matter what and ended up trying to find various postures (given the limitations) that would help my backside, even just a little bit!

Finally, after a little bit of guidance from one of the shopkeepers (god bless them), we reached our starting point, Sarovar, at around 1.35pm ….hurray..we made it, and boy, were we glad!!

We submitted our clue-sheet to the organizers only to then realize that we had missed 2 clues on our way back….picking up ‘kadlekai’ on the Magadi rd – Bangalore route and finding out who maintains the clock tower at KR Circle, but who cares, I was just glad that I could stand still after 5 hours of almost constantly riding pillion (roads, did I hear anybody say??)…and Manoj cover-up line was “we don’t believe in bribing!!”….Still, we were docked (I think) 20points….Well, whatever….


Cut to scene of having lunch and then results….

Aetos announcing ….” The third place goes to team O…Manoj “ What the $&^&??….Anyways, Clap clap clap!!!

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