Saturday, November 8, 2008

Merc n’ the jerks

Hi this is Ravi here; I’m the maverick monk of this group, passionate designer and enthusiastic traveler besides being a faithful husband. We as a group love traveling and this one was our first road trip; and it was from Mumbai to Bangalore.

As we started our road trip, we knew it’s gonna be full of fun, exhilaration and give us chills like a roller coaster ride. It all began with my better half, Pratibha and me. You must be wondering who is this girl? well, she is the better half of our very own tech geek: Mr. Gaurav Dharsania, a gujju by cast but not by taste or even face. I forgot to introduce Pratibha to you…. A koli girl who likes to keep house clean and even more likes to cook; unfortunately she works for a technology company.

Enough of introductions….
Lets get down to the trip now…we boarded our very own Merc, I mean Mercedes bus from Sion at around 5:30pm. Earlier, when Pratibha had booked our tickets for bus (Mumbai – Bangalore), she happily told us that will be traveling in a Merc bus. I was wondering whether it will be ‘Mercedez’ the Merc or is it the ‘Marc’ or just ‘Merc’….but when we saw the beauty we were proud of ourselves. I’ve always dreamt of traveling in a merc not a car maybe a SUV or a hatchback or even a bus….and today the dream had come true. The outside of the bus was dynamic & classy and inside was pretty damn comfortable and relaxing with lots of space to move around… No wonder Merc is one of the top-most brands in the world…. As we made ourselves comfortable inside the bus, people started pouring in and within no time (almost instantaneously) the bus was full and ready to take off. If you have traveled in a bus from dadar to pune you must be knowing the horrifying experience of waiting in the bus to get bus full and everybody seated. Out bus took off at sharp 5:30pm as Pratibha had informed us.

That’s how we started our 16 hrs journey from Mumbai to Bangalore. I have never traveled in a bus for more than 8-10 hrs and this journey was abut 16 hrs long & that too if the road and traffic permit the Bus to cruise at 80km/ph. When we started moving by better half and miss CC ( CC means clean and cook) got excited & started talking abut what we’re gonna do once we reach and how we’ll enjoy and the works….by that time I was totally enchanted by the beauty of the bus rather than my beautiful wife.

As we were relaxing and getting cozy of course with M (Mrunmaiy my wife’s name….please pronounce it properly and no spelling mistakes), the helper of the bus started playing one of the greatest movie I have never seen starring shahid, kareena, paresh rawal and om puri…ya u guessed it right “Chupke Chupke” on his DVD player. During first half of the movie I was looking outside - enjoying the journey and scenic beauty along the road and during the other half the movie I was sleeping. As expected, Miss CC….was checking mails one her blackberry….she has a blackberry by the way…and also talking on the phone back-to-back with family, better half, better half’s family, better half’s friend’s girlfriend and the list goes on & on….oh yes and coming back to Mrs. Abroal, I mean my better half ( I mean her family surname is Abroal…she likes to keep it still after marriage….no comments) she was eating ruffles, potato chips, cold-drinks etc etc… shhhhhh…no commets.

At around 10:30pm our bus took a halt just before Satara (which comes after you cross Pune)…we all were really hungry by that time… as soon as we got out of the bus…believe me it was quiet chilly…the first thing we did was searched for a loo and not the food. I guessed it was a famous crossover stop coz lots of bus and people were enjoying food and puffs there. As we got out of the loo everyone was glowing and looking fresh….no wonder the AC of the Merc played his part silently. As we rushed in to the hotel coz we only had 30mins to finish dinner and refreshments. We ordered for Mrs. Abroals fav. dish and not so fav. of mine “Butter Chicken” in the out-skirts of Satara. It took them 15-20min, to serve us butter chicken and roti’s, and still it was not good. I think Bombay serves the best food in the whole world…am I sounding too “Mumbaikar”!!!

Somehow we ate that food coz there was no other option and we didn’t wanted to waste the food and money too…coz it was supposed to be a low cost road-trip. Here comes Mrs. Abroal again, now she wanted to have dessert after dinner….like she always wants to have a starter before the main course….this time I guess she was no starters for her. So we ordered for some chocolate ice candies in that cold and chilly weather. Believe me, having ice-cream in cold weather feels amazing, you should try. Our bus started giving signal that its ready to move….by that time 3 of us were very tired of the overnight journey…slowly we slid inside that warm blanket at around 11:30pm. ….

I must say that NH-4 was too smooth and safe….hats off to Indian infrastructure management…When I woke up at around 6:30 what I saw outside the bus was like a scene of some different world….there were around 80-90 windmills all around over the hills …..the weather was little foggy, so some were visible and some were not….and it was green all over. As I was capturing the beautiful pics on my wife’s 5 mega pixel phone plus camera…with HDMI cable and has a TV attachment too…she feels very proud in pointing that out. Slowly slowly she and our Ms CC…woke up as if they were at home….but in few minutes they realized that they are actually in a bus and they were traveling to Bangalore…

As I was capturing the pictureous nature, I realized nature has captured me instead and I was waiting & praying that bus should take a halt by now for breakfast and refreshments… around 9am he did take a stopover. I cant remember the name of the place; as we entered the state all names were sounding so weired, as if we were uneducated.

As usual I ran towards the loo….so did the both ladies, they never mentioned me they were also in such an hurry….the first time I got to know that it takes Rs. 2 to pee in south. We brushed with Listrie & freshened up; hands washed with hand sanitizer, face nourished with face lotion….body washed with wet tissues….our Ms. CC carries this ha….very particular she is…. We entered in our first south Indian hotel in south. The smell of the idli’s and dosa’s was inviting us to try them…..we didn’t have any other option..having Punjabi…or any other dish in south indian hotel is like a crime….. we ordered for dosa, medu-vada’s and some tea…..and believe me it was as good as the one we get in mumbai…. Just that it was not that sweet…which was good….had a nice breakfast and entered our “Merc” with lots of positivity and enthusiasm… as we all geared up for the final destination of “Bangalore”. The roads were surrounded with palm trees, sunflowers, and lots of greenery….the perfect road for a road trip it was…..

Friday, November 7, 2008

"With flowers crazed with the love of light"

"With flowers crazed with the love of light"

The Days of our lives.... when we crossed the beautiful SUNFLOWER FARMS on NH4.

Bangalore - Mumbai Road Trip

Royal Challengers from the Bangalore Road-trip

Our carrier ...

Our Chai Break ...

The innumerable toll booths on NH4...

This ain't out of a movie poster
Breath-taking, clutter-free roads ...

Yahooooo .....