“You must be nuts to ask me for nuts to drive an auto-Rickshaw for 4000kms!”

Ranjeet didn’t say those exact words but after an hour of explaining every Auto-rickshaw part along with his brother Ashik,I am sure he was muttering those words inside his head. With my sparse Urdu-Hindi-Tamil mixed Kannada and somewhat better Hindi, it was a real pleasure to find Ranjeet at Madhu Auto spares speak fluent English. He was clear and concise and thoroughly knowledgeable in how many ways we can screw up our Auto journey. He took it upon himself to get the necessary parts that he anticipated will go wrong in our short 4000kms trip. His advise, “extra 10 fuses when the journey gets real short”.

Ashik came during the middle of our conversation and brought the new Axle hub that won’t require grease refill for 60,000kms. He said it was released just 15 days ago and guaranteed no Autorickshaw driver knows about this. He suddenly made me dream about how comfortable this journey will be once I get that axle hub as I was brought to reality by the number of spare parts on the table! Nevertheless, that axle hub goes into our Rickshaw!

As Ranjeet and Ashik got busy talking among themselves about hit coil,CDI coil,sil bolt,sil ring and adjuster, I got distracted by the drum beat on the opposite road. A celebration of death was in procession and I couldn’t help but wonder how they picked a really catchy tune for an odd time of life or to be precise,no-life! It also made me think how wonderful the idea is in our culture that we should celebrate when the soul departs into a different world and when our time ends on this planet, it is just a beginning in another world!

Ranjeet’s Dad entered the store at this time and was quite baffled at the assortment of spare parts that was accumulated on the table. He looked at me watching his sons in action as he proudly proclaimed,”These are my boys!”. I could sense the baton being passed on to the next generation right that moment. As if to acknowledge that “Passing to next gen” moment, a big beautiful butterfly entered the store. Whether she escaped inside that cramped store to get away from Banglore heat or to bless this monumental moment in the store owners history is yet to be determined, but this curious tourist is always happy to capture her fluttering waves before she disappears from my sight!

As Ashik finally tallied all the parts, the happy Pirgal family wished our “Chutney Chungas” team good luck with their personal phone numbers to contact in case we run into any issues!

Thank you Ranjeet,Ashik and your wonderful Dad for the hospitality and generosity. I am sure your tips and nuts will save our nuts in the long journey!

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