Apni Desi ‘Cars’

11.35 AM
It’s a cold, foggy day when I start this journey – 250 kms long from Jallandhar to Jammu. It is the first time that I only have only 1 person sitting on my head – commanding me, ordering me and making me dance on his finger.. err… is that a correct translation for ungliyon pe nachana? Well it’s a phrase but has been literally true since I went to gym and gained more power in my steering. The thing I fear today is not the fog but the fact that my passenger is alone (just like me!!) and all the focus will be on me today. Other times, when they get chatting up, I get a chance to run smoothly at a constant speed for good stretches. Chalo, enough of talking. I am invigorated with that sweet smelling petrol. Time to hit the road!!
12.00 PM
The city of Jallandhar is behind me now. After spending some time on the bypass road and the outskirts of the city, I am now freely moving on a 4 lane road. Though I must say that it was more enjoyable 2 days ago, when I was coming to Jallandhar. Less traffic meant that I had nice, fresh wind in my face. Now it’s all polluted. Shucks. I hope this broad 4 lane road doesn’t end. But I know it will. And then it will be time for the constant pull and push on my levers. That gives me lot of pain. Not to forget I will be constantly moved from one side to another. Well. Why fret about the future. We will take it when it comes. Filhaal.. enjoy the present.
12.30 PM
Exactly as I expected – the cat and mouse game has started. I don’t know why I named it but that was the first thing that came to mind. But it’s an exciting game that I hardly get to play in the cities. It happens as follows. There is a sputtering thing like a truck or a tractor or a bus moving ahead. I move slightly to the right, peeking, with one eye on the road ahead. It is easy decision if either there is nothing ahead or someone is so close that we can look deep into each other’s eyes. But the fun comes when there is a decision to be made. If it’s a go, then I have to open up my mouth, drink in more fuel and just march ahead. No time to think, no excuses, it’s a one way road then. Though there are few cases when I may have to stop in between. My other friends have told me but this guy sitting on my head has not let it happen to me till now. But that stuff is real hair raising one. The other one – just narrowly missing kissing the on-coming friend. That kiss by the way is called kiss of death!!!

1.00 PM
Wooooh.. I hate this part… Was cruising through wonderfully. Beautiful, Lush green fields on both sides and suddenly I am pulled up for no fault of mine. Some bloody tractors seemed to have gotten tired in the middle of the highway. Poor chaps are like the donkeys. They move slowly, bray like the always loaded animal. You should see how happy they are when they don’t have the baggage behind them. Anyways, there is a minor jam on the road right now. Have to slow down in any case as the town is coming up.

I don’t remember this stretch of road. It is awesome. Proceedings from the town were slow but have hit a nice patch of the journey. There is no one around – and being all alone is giving me some doubts if I am on the correct path. There has been no milestone too from quite some time. But what the heck. I don’t really mind even if I have to turn back. I am gliding on the curves nicely and have reached a nice speed of 120. Last time I had experienced some pains while on 100 only. Coughing and Tiredness was there. But today nothing of the sort. May be it’s the nice sunny weather.

Reached the half way point. And the road gets bad from here to Lakhanpur. And to make matters worse, the big enemies – the gundas, called trucks have entered the scene big time. These guys are huge, walk thinking they are Sanjay Dutt and the bhai of the road. Most responsible for beating up small people like me. Inse bach bach ke aage jaana padega.

2.30 PM
Have crossed into J&K now. Vast difference in the scenery – a sudden change in the colors on the sidelines. Green to Brown. I am also feeling tired now. Plenty of border towns here so it’s been slow and steady for some time.

It’s like total dizzy phase now. My mind is totally numb. I am just moving along, tiredly going past my slow friends and staying behind the faster ones. It’s really hot. This bloody guy has not given me any break. It’s been like three and a half hours now. And I am just following the motions. The road has been strange. The highway is partially constructed and one side of the road is open. So have to alternate between them. And it is the only time I wake up from my slumber- just to be sure that I am going the right way.

Closer home now. I can already see the beautiful shade under the tree. I am dreaming about it. It’s not far. Meanwhile, got some adrenaline rushing when a speeding Alto gave me some challenge. The damn thing was quite fast, even on straights. I thought of not taking too many risk overtaking the bhais. So let it go after some time.

Finally home, under the shade of the tree.