Flashback | The Evening before Ananthapur

We had pushed hard from Mysore that morning. Plan was to use the good roads and highways and make up for the slow times we made on the first day and going up to Ooty and down into the Bandipur National Park. I had perhaps been a tad unrealistic in hoping to make Hyderabad late evening. But while I knew we couldn’t make it, I was hoping against hope that we did. That would have been something!

But Bangalore traffic and our inability to convince the Toll authorities to allow us to use the ‘super smooth’ Toll Highway, pegged us back considerably. Bangalore took up the whole afternoon. Getting through it and then a spot of lunch with Rama’s brother, Mani (he was the original 3rd member of the team) who lives in Bangalore.

By Sundown we were nowhere close to where we wanted to be. However the drive was a fairly quick and safe one even in the night. This stretch was a nice wide highway with a median. Thus, ridding us of the fear of having to deal with the monster super bright lit trucks hurtling down at as, as if we are just a small little bug about to go SPLAT! on the windscreen. I remember looking up location and the cities/towns we would be heading towards and realistically stopping for the night. Trip Advisor on the iPhone barely recognized the towns ahead let alone suggest any decent hotels.

Anyhow, the drive for the day had practically gone for a toss. It was pretty late and we decided to stop at the first ‘Dhaba’ – a roadside restaurant, confusingly known as a Hotel locally in India. Yes, Incredible India! There were many trucks and the place was brightly lit and inviting. We had planned to head to Ananthapur and stop for the night. But as things turned out we reached too late to get any decent meal. (Read about our Ananthapur Story here: https://globaladventurists.com/2013/04/09/incorrigible-india/ ). I digress, again!

We decided to have a few cups of Tea and some bottled water.

While I sat sipping my Tea. I looked out and looked at our dear CocoCW (photo below captured the moment). Somehow it felt lonely, all on it’s own. Waiting there for us. At our service. I turned that moment back to me. In those few moments with myself, I felt a little alone. And I’m sure Rama also went through these moments. Sitting there in the middle of nowhere; dark, just us and CocoCw. Loved ones doing their own thing back home. The discomfort. Why? Why was I there? Was this a good idea? The answers would flow like an angry flooded river. Fast and wide. I was there, first of all, because I was blessed with family and work colleagues allowing me to be there and encouraging me to be there. I can’t Thank all of them enough. Amazing moral support. Secondly, I was there because through our adventure, we, our respective families, our friends and colleagues could make a difference on a large number of people in India. Some young girls who we would provide financial help to get educated. Some village folk who would get clean drinking water and also benefit from running their own water purification plants and creating a revenue stream for the village to reinvest to enhance the lives of all villagers. (Teaching them how to fish, rather than feeding them Fish!). These thoughts made it all worthwhile. These thoughts were uplifting. These thoughts were the RedBull for our (and I trust I speak for both Rama and I here) thoughts.

With a smile our face and our hearts, we slurped down the last few sips of the delicious roadside Tea and headed towards Ananthapur, for an experience of a lifetime. Truly!

/Rakesh

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RickshawRun-Ananthapur

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