what was almost a cross-country-ride…

Shraavana is always an action packed month. It is also the time for much heart-burn for working ladies ‘coz it hitches along festivals at the rate of more than one per day. While the aforesaid ladies might be very interested and happy with the impending festivities (and the accompanying shopping – it’s a package deal!), it is however not looked upon kindly by their stone-hearted managers, as several of my friends will vouch.
Shraavana can also occasionally lure one into cross-country rides. How, did you say? Read on…

After having administered the necessary formalities of one such festival on a Friday morning and hurriedly answering the frantic phone call of the manager (thankfully not stone-hearted in this particular case), promising to apparate at his desk within the next 10 minutes, I donned the helmet and zipped away on the bike assured of being in the office within the said 10 minutes (don’t miss to note the progression from cautioned balancing to zipping on the bike!). As I covered the distance in a quick 5 mins and got on to the road leading to the main gate, I was stopped in my tracks – just before the main gate of the office campus there stood a monster of a 10-wheeled truck in a stark horizontal fashion, with its left front wheel stuck into the mire of the road-side gutter – made generously slushy by the recent rains. Obviously, the truck-driver, bright fellow that he is, had tried to squeeze in his monster from a small cross-lane and had gotten the front wheel firmly stuck into the slushy trough.

After 10 minutes of impatient waiting under the sweltering sun only to witness the failed attempts of the lorry driver and several well-meaning citizens to get the truck back on the road, I was stumped. Now the strategic location of the office campus is such that there is no alternative route to the main gate from the near-by cross-roads. The only other route that I could think of would take me further 20 minutes with having to handle the busy highway traffic. With the entrance tantalizing visible just beyond the truck, I was in a quandary.

That’s when I noticed that a few of the other fellow bikers – also working in the same campus as visible from their tags – were turning their bikes around to find a shorter alternate route. Blindly trusting them I turned my bike around and followed. Boy! What a ride that was! Ups and downs and crests and troughs, stones and potholes, through gullies and cross roads they zipped and I did too. And somewhere along the way I lost them. But thankfully by then the backyard of the office campus and the coconut groves within were visible and I was fairly sure that I was close to my destination.

Did I say the ride was one of its kind? I soon found out that the best was yet to come – just as I neared the fencing and noticed that the parking area was just beyond, I turned and beheld the path that I had to take to reach there. It was not a path in any sense – it was a stretch of mud and slush and mire and sludge with ankle deep water of the muddiest colour that you can imagine! I stood still for a full minute – the thought that I could never cross this muck did happen to cross my mind. I then noticed that there were tyre marks and imprints amidst all the slush – proof that people had indeed crossed it and it didn’t look like there had been casualties. I once again decided to blindly trust in the power up there and plough ahead, firmly pushing away the bhayaanak vision of me covered in mud and slime that had begun to rise in the mind’s eye.

A minute later I was across it safe and jubilantly parking the bike – also already planning to narrate the adventure aka a near-cross-country ride, to the hubby and all those who cared to listen! 🙂

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