This incident happened before my marriage. At that time, I was based in Chennai and my girlfriend in Bangalore. So I had a deal with my boss that if I finished my work by Friday afternoon, I could head out and not lose half-a-day’s pay. As you can imagine, I would work my ass out through the week to meet the Friday afternoon deadline. On Friday, I would fill up my motorcycle, and hit the road.
The trip was about 325 km long and took about 7 hours to complete. This meant that I would reach Bangalore by about 8 p.m., which would leave me the entire weekend with my girl.
At the time, I had a Bajaj Calibre 110 CC motorcycle. It was also my first motorcycle. I loved it madly and named her Princess.
On this particular trip, I was actually making very good time. That was until just outside Kolar. Here I ran in to a wall of rain. It was simply pouring down in sheets, making visibility hard. Also, at this time I was still a silly young kid who didn’t know better – so I didn’t have a helmet or a riding jacket to protect me and shield me from the elements and anything else. I pulled over to a roadside restaurant and ordered a cup of tea, which I had along with a smoke. By the end of the tea, the rain was still pouring down with no signs of easing up. I waited for a couple of hours, but respite seemed as far away as when I had first pulled over.
The restaurant I was at didn’t have any stay facilities that I could rent and I really just wanted to get to Bangalore. So I decided to get back on the road. My decision was fuel by two things. First, I wanted to get to Bangalore. Second, it would get dark soon and then I would really be in trouble. So I kicked the bike and ventured out. The going was tough. The thick rain, coupled with water my spectacles, meant that I was hardly able to do about 20 km and hour.
On my road trips, I have the habit of talking to my vehicles. Even today, I speak to my car and tell her what a lovely babe she is, and share my dreams and fears with her. So there we were – Princess and I – rolling along in the rain, as I told her my fears of riding in the pouring rain and sang my favorite songs to her.
There is one thing to be said about riding in the rain, no matter how slow you are going, it is matchlessly refreshing. As the water seeps through your clothes and touches your skin, it wakes you up and makes you feel like all your worries are being washed away. All I am saying is that it was not all bad.
A downside is that every vehicle that passes you throws a huge splash of water over you. The bigger the vehicle, the more the water it splashes. On the highway, most vehicles are buses or trucks.
One such truck passed me and then slowed down to about 50 km/hr. This shielded me from the rain and I was able to make almost twice the speed. We rode like this for about an hour. Then as suddenly as it had started, the rain disappeared. The truck driver gave two hoots on his horn, picked up speed and raced away.
That was when I realized that it wasn’t I who had been smart enough to get behind him, but he had done it intentionally to help me through the rain.