The Fool Loses His Tools, and What Happens After

As many of you know, I am back in Bangalore already. And, you know it right, I came back sans my bicycle, sans my mobile, SLR camera, three lenses, GPS receivers, bags, ah well. The list is painful indeed, and includes even KP's trusty pannier bags and my sunglasses. Needless to say, I had no choice but to abort the trip. This list is an effort to recount what happened, and how I reached back Bangalore. It's long, but I'm sure you are all curious to know all the details. And, I owe to you, the reader. So here goes.

I woke up on the morning of October 10th (Saturday). I had had a good sleep after the midnight break. But, where was my bicycle ? It was gone! And where was the friend-for-a-day ? He was gone too. His bedsheet and creaky bike were all that were left. I saw his chappals in a few moments, and I knew what had happened : friend-for-a-day (read more about this chap in the previous post. Sorry for the redirection) had flown off with all that I had. How many hours earlier, I couldn't say.

It took a few moments for the situation to sink in : I had lost even my mobile, and my purse. My trust had been royally betrayed. Trusting fool I had become. And here I was : 20 kms away from Dwaraka, not a penny in my pocket, and not a known contact around me either. No cellphone address book to contact people either. To be honest, I didn't feel bad. I didn't feel the pinch of the loss, and I feel it much now, either (at the time of writing). I'm happy I took the loss well.

And what did I have left actually ? The following

  1. Manohar's sleeping bag
  2. Shoes, and a pair of socks
  3. A towel, a dhoti
  4. Dirty yellow riding shirt, spanky clean saffron dhoti
  5. Red shirt with sweaty stains, dirty blue track pant
  6. Two water bottles, slippers

That's all I have of all my possessions. I push everything into the sleeping back. No chance of taking the slippers. They are too big, and who needs them anyway ?

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The tale of the Haves and the Have-nots

Oct 9: The house where Mahatma Gandhi was born and lived is preserved as a museum. This opens at 8 AM, before which I have enough time to down two cups of chaai, and photograph a few kaathaiwadis. These middle aged and old men go berserk posing in front of my camera, and I have a hard time taking leave of them. Anyway.

The house is an interesting place. A few rooms are very well preserved, among these being the room where Gandhiji was born. The principal attraction is the section of the house converted to a museum of pictures. Lots of pictures. One striking aspect of these is how the Mahatma is almost always bare chested, and wearing perhaps only his dhoti. This sets him apart from all the other subjects in most of the photographs. Other dignitaries are covered in the photos, which aren't really arranged in a chronological order, as I would have wished.


Ride on till Porbandar

Oct 8: Nothing much for today. Had the earliest start of the tour : 6 AM to be precise. The weather is cool and riding is pleasant. The surroundings are changing as I make my way towards Porbander. Coconut trees and greenery everywhere. 50 kms go by pretty quick - by 9:30.

After breakfast, things go bad again. A strong headwind and sun come back in contention as tormentors. Nothing much really to talk about the day. Another one of suffering... I slept more under the Banyan trees and drunk more water that I can keep track of.


More of the Village, and Somnath

Oct 7: Woke up really late, at 6:45. Ok, I'm still in the village, and relaxing. No need to hurry yet. I've willingly piled up the delays today.

First, a visit to one (out of three) temples in the village. The old man has changed to spanky clean white clothes. Looks like the shoddy ones are for the market ! Half an hour of prayer, I'm about to yawn. Imagine me the atheist sitting in a small temple trying to look a little devout! Next up was what we, in kannada, call the somari katte. The old man was joined by another person from the same family tree(kutumba). Many more people joined us - farmers, the local politico and the local headmaster. I was the center of attraction. Many things were freely discussed - from the rains in north Karnataka to my salary !

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