THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP - REACHING GANGTOK || PART 3 Skip to main content

THE MOST UNUSUAL SOLO TRIP - REACHING GANGTOK || PART 3

"Can it be fixed?" were my words as I was so doubtful about the final result. He said, "yes, yes, look what I will do, I will take this rope and tie this to this spring and remove the mudguard by hammering it. Although tyres will not be straight as the spring is broken but since there is no mudguard, what will they touch to? And the spring which was hanging, I will tie it.". This was his solution. I smiled at him and he smiled back, I knew he would do it but I was not sure about the final destination whether it will be Gangtok or some village where this car will finally breakdown.

I rushed towards the two boys who were smoking cigarette under a shed of a house about 10-15 meters away. The visibility was almost just 5-8 meters by then. I could just see the main road and the people sitting outside their house where I was standing. Another boy who was sitting beside me in the cab also asked the same question to the driver and he gave him the same answer. While I was sure he would fix it, that boy wasn't. He quickly called his brother who was coming by a car few kilometers behind us. They arrived in about 15 minutes and that boy and his girlfriend showed their face last time to us. They went on their way. I could hear the sound of hammer that he was beating loudly in between the sounds of thunderstorms and rain. I called Chandani's father to know the address of their house as my battery was dying. I asked him the landmarks and told him I will be there sooner or later. Then the driver called us, "It's done, lets go" and he smiled wholeheartedly. I went inside the car where one girl was sitting. She was very scared about the consequences. It is very dangerous to drive on a hill when your car is in such a condition. I told her, "Nothing will happen, don't worry". The driver was all wet and so was I. He quickly came inside the car and the fat guy sitting right beside him asked him, "brother, it will reach Gangtok, right?" to which the driver said, "Aah!! Don't worry, It will reach Gangtok, maybe(he said very slowly)". The guy said, "What maybe?", "Kidding" driver said. That guy had come first time in Sikkim like me. All the way he was getting a call from Mr. Kumar repeatedly and was continuously telling him that he took wrong taxi, how bad his luck is etc etc. This journey could have been fatal, he knew it, I knew it but the difference between us was he was sure about it almost 90% while I was sure about it only 9%.

We started climbing the hill again with the car none of us had trust upon. We were now 7 guys and 1 lady. She was really scared though. The car was making lot of noises. A lot. And every pothole invited the breakdown so he used to drive just on edge whenever he used to see a pothole. He stopped at a place 5-6 km away from the last stop and he called his friend. They both looked at the car and talked something in Nepali. One guy among us knew Nepali. He said, "the driver is asking him to fix his car but his friend is refusing". They both looked at the car, did something very quietly and we were on our way again after 30 minutes. It was very dark that time and the board telling us Gangtok - 60 km  looked very bright. After travelling about 20 kilometers, I smelled like something was burning. I thought at first that this smell could be of the tar that they use to build the road. But then the intensity increased and then my other sense also became active. My eyes. I could see the smoke right in front of me. Smoke inside the car, but it did not smell like engine smoke, it was like burning smoke. The man sitting in front said in fear, "Hey! Smoke!!" to which the driver calmly replied, "Aah! you must have put your foot on the circuit board". "But who puts a circuit board there?" "No! Actually I had some problem with the car so the solution which mechanic proposed was very expensive so I installed this circuit board to get around that problem". Everyone laughed to this. By now, everyone had believed that even though this is a shitty car with a talented driver, we are safe.

At the next stop the driver picked up his father who was waiting for him on the road and together they would go home. He lived few kilometres uphill Gangtok. His father was a unique human like him. He used to speak at a threshold frequency of human ear. He was littrally shouting in every sentence. They were talking in Nepali so I did not understand anything but the intensity was mind blowing. I can't forget. He was a very tall man. More than 6' 8" and quite healthy in physique. He looked like some WWE wrestler to me. I remember every 15 minutes he used to take out the packet of tobacco from his pocket and chew it. Then spit it out and again. Although he had a pocket on his shirt in front, but then also he would put the packet in the back packet of his jeans. Then he would stand partially again loading me with his 1000 pound weight with one hand. The father-son duo was laughing all the way. I remember his father told him that one another car came before his and the number was same. He did not look at the district serial number and just saw the last four digits and sat inside the car. And to this, which I found a generous mistake, they both laughed their lungs out. I finally reached Gangtok around 10 pm. Chandani's father received me and told me that you know one headlight of the cab was not working? I said, "No I don't". He said,"Yeah!! Well, it wasn't"

That was hell of a taxi ride I had. That was hell of a driver. But he was a good man. As the old saying says, "Those who find laughter in every problem, are the most magnanimous persons on earth". He did not panic for a single second. I did not too, but I was a passenger. I just have to put my butt on the seat. He is the driver, he has the responsibility of 10 persons to drop them safely. Maybe he panicked, but he never showed it. He was a great human. I can never forget his smiling face. He must have learnt that from his father and I believe they were a really happy family. I liked him. Maybe someday I meet him again, I won't remind him that I am that passenger who met you when your car broke down. But if anyone gives me a choice to choose between two cars, one of them being his, I will definitely board his car. Even though it will break down, but everyone in this car will be smiling ultimately.

Comments

Popular Posts

A Broken Dream - Chandrayaan 2

I remember the day when Chandrayaan 2 was set to launch. My friend had left for Sri Harikota to watch it live in front of his eyes. It was a big event. Bigger than Chandrayaan 1. I was watching it live too. But, 56 minutes before the launch, ISRO decided to postpone the mission due to some technical glitch. Chandrayaan 2 was finally launched on 22 July 2019. I watched a lot of videos and read a lot about the mission. Its history, mechanics, trajectory, almost everything I could find. It was a big event for India and certainly a big event for the world. It is not that easy to reach the moon. I mean, you can just figure it out by seeing that only three countries have been there. India could have been the fourth.





Every time something Chandrayaan 2 did, it got reflected in the foreign media. Look, India's lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 has entered Earth's orbit. Look, India's lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 has exited the orbit. Look, India's developed Chandrayaan 2 has entered …

A Letter To Your Mother

Thanks for this beautiful gift you gave this world. "Thank You", seems like a smaller word. But wait, will this gift think like you do? Or is it independent enough? You must not have thought this. Actually, I have seen enough. I have heard enough. I am tired of this. Are you a parent? Or a child? I don't really care as of now. But, you should. You should go back and think about your actions. You should think about your thinking. Are we moving towards the age of robots or you already have given birth to one? I am confused.



Everywhere I see, every time I hear, the same whining and the same useless thoughts make me think about the existence of yours in this world.  You must have thought you are a great parent, a great mom perhaps. But, does someone else thinks the same? Is she proud of you in the same way as you are proud of her? No, she will think. Yes, she will say. "Nobody thinks of me", is the perfect solution and resolution to hundreds of problems you have i…

The Divided States Of India

As I landed in the city of Bangalore, a man is shouting just outside the airport. He is shouting something that I do not understand. Fortunately, he has learned 4 5 English words. After all, he is standing outside the airport. “Where,” he asks. “Marathahalli” I spoke. “Bus 8”. He says one word and starts shouting again. He was a bus driver. But most importantly, a resident of Karnataka state in India. Yes, this place is in my country and we both cannot communicate.




Many years back when I was in the eighth standard, my textbooks proudly and boldly highlighted the words, “India is a diverse country”. They would show the culture and folk dances of each state. Unique on its own. A moment to feel proud. You can never find a country as diverse as India, as culturally rich as India. That was just the textbook. My practical started almost 2 months ago.
Soon when I reached my hotel I realized nobody in the hotel knows Hindi. Yes, Hindi. A language spoken in India. A language which is not only…

The Untold Story Of A Few Good Men - Kheerganga || Part 1

This blog post is about a few good men I met on the way to the peak of Kheerganga and I will come later on it. Don't presume from the name Kheerganga that I am going to recite you the beauty of the nature that I saw and how white snow embellished the high peak mountains. Well, as I said in my earlier post I would like to share my experience. The natural experience is experienced by everyone. I decided to write this post because of something else to which I will come a little later. This post is about a story which resides in the humble heart of these few men whom I met in Kheerganga. My Kheerganga story perhaps.


Kheerganga is a beautiful place which is in the hilly ranges of Himachal Pradesh. I went from my hometown Haridwar to Bhuntar by boarding a normal bus. The driver was old and I thought he might take some extra time to reach the destination i.e. Bhuntar. But no!! I was wrong. The way he drove the bus on the hills is inexpressible. He was driving at a speed on which many o…

FUTURE OF MY LANGUAGE

Earlier last year I went to Mumbai for an internship. People in Mumbai are of mixed culture. A heavy number among them is local people who speak local language i.e. Marathi. I also encountered the same situation everyday where I would find many people talking in Marathi in my office. Mumbai being an alive city will preserve its language for a long time to come. But this is not the case for every region.




I once had a chat with an old man sitting outside his house and thrashing the wheat. It was a nice morning in the month of July at a hilly area Karnaprayag. He was sitting on the ground and lived just 10 meters away from where I stayed. I used to see him everyday on the same chair while going to office. He was consistent. So was I. It was Sunday and my day off from office when I went outside the guest house into the sun. I used to live alone in that 3 BHK guesthouse and I used to feel alone sometimes. This loneliness lifted my feet in the direction of that man. I went to that man pret…

A Day Before Long Nights - The Start || Part 1

I took my empty bag, I took my jacket, dressed in college uniform I started my ride. I was going to my college to give my final semester presentation for the project I had done in LTI, Mumbai. I was happy about the fact that after today, there will be no exams, no attendance and my college life would be over. I had my days planned. Since I had been on the flight from Mumbai to Delhi to come home, I had planned all my days. I wanted to learn driving at a driving school. I wanted to learn swimming. I wanted to go to the gym. I wanted to go on at least three trips in one month. I had all planned but I guess life had other plans for me.


      I gave my presentation to a four judge panel out of which three were ladies. They were chit chatting and I don't remember any of them listening to me after I told them the company and brief of the project. My presentation was over as soon as they told me "Thank You". It was a moment of epiphany. My college was over with that sentence. I …

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - THE LANDING || PART 10

As I mentioned earlier, I was seeing double from the first day till now. My eyes did not improve even a little for many days. Everything I used to see was double. Two doors, two mobile phones, two coffee cups everything. The doctor said my pupils are not moving synchronously as they should and hence you are seeing two images of everything. The images are seen separately by both the eyes but our brain combines it as one, while in your case it is still two images. But, you will be fine with time. With time. This is a very vague sentence. There is no specific maximum limit nor there is any medicine. You will see normally with time. Hence, I waited for "the time".

Two days after I came home after being discharged, I picked up my father's phone, opened chrome browser and typed, GB Syndrome patients case studies. I wanted to know how much time? How everyone else have managed and how much time they took. I needed to know. I needed to be prepared at least. I read three case stu…

Mumbai Life

Mumbai as you know, is the financial capital of India with big buildings and sky touching hotels and apartments. But as I know, Mumbai is really more than that. I arrived by August Kranti Rajdhani from New Delhi to Mumbai transitioning from 0 degrees to almost 25 degrees. I had 2 sweaters in my hand and an internship offer letter in my bag which I had to show in LTI (previously L&T Infotech). First of all I was kind of looted at the railway station by the cab driver. Well, let's not say looted but I was charged like uber after finalising lesser amount before getting into the cab. On the way I got to know that so called kaali peeli taxi and the ola-uber taxi have become arch rivals on this land. Well, still I believe that you should not get into those cabs and prefer ola-uber only. They really try to play smart and think they can earn more from Non-Maharashtrian,

      Next day, I had to go to my office from the famous local train. I had never seen so much crowd at one p…

CONUNDRUM OF DUSSEHRA

A smile on his face, tied to the ropes, 10 heads and considered one of the most intelligent man, Ravana is standing in front of me. He is about to die. He is about to be "killed" actually by a man who was exiled, saving his wife and one of the greatest leaders in mythological history who led millions to the other country for this event.
For those of you outside the boundaries of India, Dussehra is a festival celebrated in India.

Coming back, I am standing with hundreds others. They are celebrating, eating street food and enjoying with their family and friends. It has been like this for the past hundreds of years. It has been like this for the past 23 years of my life. But today, I am alone looking at him and his brothers and wondering a small thing. Why are we celebrating this festival? Every festival has a meaning, a lesson which is moral and some reason to be happy and celebrate. You must be having your own festivals with all these characteristics. But what about Dussehra…

THE UNTOLD STORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN - KHEERGANGA || PART 3

Vishnu poured four cups and the owner asked me, "Do you want some?" I asked, "What is it?". "Oh! this is our favourite alcoholic drink prepared by jaggery in our homes. We can't go so far into the town just to bring a bottle. Our forefathers have derived a way to make it in home. Our mothers and wives prepare it." Although I would not have accepted the drink, but it sounded exciting and I knew I might never get to taste it again in my life. So I happily agreed. It tasted just like jaggery dissolved in some bitter liquid. I drank very very slowly intentionally so that they can enjoy their last day with whatever they had without involving me. I asked him, "So what are your plans for the future after this?". "Plans? Huh! This was not even a plan that is happening with us. We are in pain." Vishnu said, "Brother, this is something we never wanted. This is our living and they are snatching it from us" "They who?" I a…
Managed and maintained by Harish Rajora