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 a cigarette under a shed of a house about 10-15 meters away. The visibility was 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 car a few kilometres 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. No doubt, they would be reaching Gangtok way before us. I could hear the sound of the 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 near Gangtok and told him I will be there sooner or later. Then the driver called us, "It's done, let's 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 a person called Mr Kumar repeatedly and was continuously telling him that he took the 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. Gangtok was not near I could tell. The car was making a 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 kilometres, 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 because I saw some construction going on some time back. 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 at 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 a few kilometres uphill Gangtok. His father was a unique human. He used to speak at a threshold frequency of human ear. He was literally 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 the 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, then also he would put the packet in the back pocket 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 the 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 a hell of a taxi ride I had. That was a 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 again. Even though it will break down, but everyone in this car will be smiling ultimately and yes we will definitely reach Gangtok.

Comments

Popular Posts

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 Dusse

Leh to Nubra Valley via KhardungLa Pass - Ladakh Diaries Page 2

Finally, the day had arrived that we had long anticipated. Climbing the Ladakh mountains with a motorbike and passing through the top of the world - KhardungLa . The ride should start from Leh and end at Nubra Valley. Around 10 AM, we were ready with our bags tied to the motorbikes and excited to press that self-start button. I had been looking forward to this 40km of ride since we landed in Leh.  KhardungLa has always maintained a special place in people's minds because of its high altitude and a milestone that says " Welcome to the top of the world - the highest motorable pass in the world - KhardungLa ". It feels like an achievement to be passing through a road where people sometimes need oxygen bottles to battle their shortage of breath. Down in Leh, travellers who had completed their circuit and were relaxing for a day warned us about the dangers of that road. In the last two days, we had heard all sorts of stories related to KhardungLa which may or may

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

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 Day Before Long Nights - The Start of GBS || 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 s

Passing through the top of the world - Ladakh Diaries Page 1

"Do you feel anything?", I asked my friend outside the airport. "Yes", he said. "Like what?" "Like I smoked a joint" This conversation is not regular stuff I ask people when I land every time. This was special. We just landed in Leh by flight. An altitude of 3500 meters is equivalent to the height of Monte leone . A lower oxygen in the air compared to New Delhi and altitude sickness is not surprising at this place. But I had more important things to focus my mind on. The iconic brown mountains that have always been a signature symbol of Ladakh were merely 200 meters from where I was standing. I had not slept for 30 hours but the excitement had overcome sleep in just a few seconds. Zostel was the place we thought of staying at because of the vibes and bachelor culture it exhibits. Zostel is unique. No one cares about what you are doing but if it is something exciting, people will ultimately join you. This introduction is just to create th

THE UNTOLD STORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN - KHEERGANGA || Part 2

I climbed to the peak with a dog whose both eyes had different colours. A disease maybe. The scenic beauty of Kheerganga trek is something you cannot miss and would crave for later in your life. It was a hard trek, especially for someone who does not trek regularly. The path was natural, unpaved and quite narrow. At some places, there was no path at all due to the landslide happened just a night before. It was tiresome to climb such a trek for 14 kilometres but I had a companion that I told about in The Untold Story Of A Few Good Men . I reached the top of Kheerganga trek at around 5 in the evening. It was very cold at the peak. Nearly about 12-15 degrees. But thankfully there was a hot spring bath at the top. A hot spring bath is all you need after such a growing latitude. I booked a tent and quickly went for the bath. It was the best. The natural hot water flowing continuously and in the centre of the highest peaks you can see them capped with snow. I spent nearly an hour there

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 tha

A DAY BEFORE LONG NIGHTS - FRIENDS AND FAMILY || PART 7

"You don't choose your family, you get it", I had read this quote a long time ago and the first thing I imagined that time was my sister. Fighting with her almost everyday grooved this quote because I thought, I really would not have chosen her. My sister was informed about my condition a day after I was admitted. In the cab when I was going to the hospital, I asked my mother to call and tell her but my father said, don't worry, no need to get her distressed, you will be fine tomorrow . I was not sure. While in the hospital that night, I again asked my mother to call her and tell everything. I knew having her beside me would make me confident. The next day she came from Delhi. She wore purple Jockey top and had a calm look on her face. I don't know what she was thinking looking at her brother whose face was all distorted, but she was calm. She was the best support I could have possibly got with anyone's presence. She would motivate me everyday around thousand

Close To The Sun - Meeting Anurag Kashyap

    " Dude, I won the bet ". " No way! I won the bet ". I was dreaming about the bet I played on the gender of a child of my friend's. I definitely won that bet because I said it would be a boy. I was just arguing when the phone rang. No not in my dream but in reality. It broke my dream. It was my friend Aman Sharma calling on a Friday morning. It was his job day. I picked up the phone. " Hey! Let's go Rishikesh ". " Okay, " I said without inquiring how and why he made up his mind. The next thing he said, " Anurag Kashyap is in Rishikesh today, I guess ". He was talking about the Indian filmmaker  Anurag Kashyap . One of the best directors India has seen who has literally fought and changed the way Indian movies are made and should be made. The true cinema lover was in Rishikesh. So close to where I live. Aman had guessed this by seeing the post of his Assistant Director on Instagram the caption of which said, " Triveni Gha
Managed and maintained by Harish Rajora