Friday, August 26, 2005

Mean Streets of Ahmedabad

End term exams are coming to a close, and ive got my last exam tomorrow, whereas BaLLLma® had finished his exams today and was leaving for home. (Lucky B*st*rd, exams over a day early) anyways there was an auto rickshaw strike, and hence BaLLLma® was stranded with just 40 minutes to go for the train departure and no mode of transport. Thats where me and my bike (Hardly Davidson) come in. BaLLLma® asks me whether I could drop him of on my bike. Well for a 90 kg guys carrying a largish suitcase to go pillion on my paltry 100 cc 7.2 bhp bike with a wobbling rear wheel would be a tough job, but for a fellow RCPP, Ant-Eye Marketing Club and generally a ‘I wanna juice Nippo’ co-conspirator how could I say no.
So off we go on my ‘Hardly’ zipping through the Ahmedabad traffic. On a day where there were no rickshaws the road was full of two wheelers. And once you cross the Ellis Bridge and move to the Old City, the streets are narrow and mean. Every one, I mean every one is a skilful over taker with scant respect for traffic laws (traffic signals are like decorative pieces on the road for these guys.) When I say every one, I mean the 60 year old grandpa on his 50cc moped, the middle aged over weight house wife on her kinetic, 13 year old unlicensed kid whizzing past on his Yamaha, and last but not the least the haath-gaadi waalas, they too can teach a thing bout cutting and squeezing ahead. The strrets are narrow, you’ve got stray cows peacefully lying on the middle of the road, and vehicles zooming past. When I say these streets are crowded don’t think this is a Mumbai type traffic jam moving in 1st gear. This is road huggers zipping past frantic over taking, and lots of blind curves, some by lanes joining the road.
With such over taking and a deadline to reach the station in quick time and BaLLLma® trying to balance his suitcase on his left thigh and me trying to balance the underpowered motorcycle with a wobbling rear wheel, we reached the station unscathed.

But boy was that some kinda experience. My concentration levels were higher here than any other 1000 km free rider trip. The highways with trucks are no match for these mean streets of ahmedabad.

Now that I am going to Europe, hope the riding there isn’t as taxing as it was here.

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