So what happened next ? Did the ordeal continued or The Hope , as they say it , finally emerged somehow. Lets find out !
It was more than 30 mins that we were standing at that place making the lemonade out of the lemons life served us. We sighted the headlight of a 4 wheeler (may be a Safari) coming to our direction from Gangtok side. As there was hair pin loops, it became invisible in few seconds. Again it appeared, this time even closer to us.
“This is our chance guys, we have to stop it” I said, motivating the team.
We stood on road almost blocking the way. It was a Bolero with three ladies on the back seat and a driver.
As a natural reaction, they were terrified having four guys, dressed in black with hooded jackets and bikes. We may have appeared like bike robbers to them.
I approached the driver to calm him down. I explained him the pathetic situation we were in. Asked for his help for a drop to the nearest village where we can get a mechanic who can fix my bike. He denied at once. This was quite understandable under the odd hours and the weather conditions prevailing. But it was our last hope.
I compiled some of the most merciful and emotional dialogues I ever listened in few sentences and approached the ladies on the back seat. Some how I succeeded in persuading them. It was agreed that they will drop on of us to a village around 3km back, towards Gangtok.
Owing to the collection of emotional dialogues and based on my recent performance I was nominated for the task by the team. I with my camera bag sat on the rear most seat and moved towards the village.
The Bolero dropped me to the village, not exactly a village. It was a small inhabited area with few shops, one of which was of a motorcycle mechanic. To my most unpleasant surprise it was in closed condition. But it was on me to evacuate my friends stuck in that mess. I inquired about the options. A lady on a tea stall near by said there is a back door to the mechanic shop.
I jumped a wall to reach that door. I knocked and peeped inside to find a young lad (probably he mechanic) playing Ludo with a school aged boy. They were so involved in their game that they just ignored me standing on their gate.
I raised my voice asking for help repairing the bike to which the mechanic said, “Shop is closed and I don’t have spare sprocket”. Having said that he closed the door.
All the bad words I have ever learned from my good friends came to my mind and I dedicated all to him. I mean how can someone be so reluctant towards his work and especially so insensitive towards humanity.
With my shoulders down I went back to the main road. The lady said this mechanic is good for nothing. I nodded in agreement. She seems to understand my situation. But she could not help. I mean the Teapot and spoon was surely not going to fix my bike.
I was standing on the road thinking what can be done. An over speeding wagon-R, playing and earsplitting music with five school aged boys came to the tea shop to buy cigarette.
“This is your last chance or your friends will be standing in the rains for the entire night” I told myself, this time to motivate myself.
They seemed to be “brotherhood age boys”.
This is the age where brotherhood prevails the most. Boys of their age are on the peak the sine curve of the “Sense of brotherhood”. (Copyrights reserved.)
I set my tone friendly and narrated the incidence. I told them that they are the only saviors around. While few of them didn’t want to spoil their party but my words made impact on two of them (One perhaps was the owner of Wagon-R). Bro Code Prevailed.
In a moment I was in wagon R with two of them. We dropped rest on the tea stall. The boy driving the car was driving ruthlessly. For a moment I though this is going to be another issue of the day. I mean I never wanted my friends to read a news with heading that “Three died, as a Wagon R fell into a steep valley”. Looking me being anxious, the guy driving the car said ” Bhaiya, Don’t worry ye hamara ghar hai, hamein yahaan ke raste yaad hain”. Bro don’t worry this is our home and we know the roads here.
To which the second one added “Please don’t judge him brother, he is half bottle down”.
Back to the spot of incidence Rahul, Pradeep and Sameer being fully wet started to freeze. While Sameer was praying to god, Rahul and Pradeep entrusted science. They started the bikes and placed their hands on the engine. It was so cold that they were able to hold the running engine. That actually helped regain some Fahrenheit. Owing to the rain, taking out mobile phone and contacting me was not an option for them.
For safety they kept the bike headlights and indicators on. This would increase visibility and avoid accidents.
It was getting unbearably tough for them to sustain the conditions. They were wearing their helmets through out this period. For them, the time was passing very slowly.
The thunders were sudden and ferocious. The rain was exceptionally awful.
Rahul started shivering due to frosty cold conditions. He took a chance of opening his bagpack amidst such rain, to take out his Old Monk. He sipped took neat shots to get some warmth.
There was a entangled web of thoughts in their minds. Huddling each other they discussed everything possible.
What if Deepak failed to bring any help? How will he return?
How will we survive the whole night, if we were forced to?
Can we pull one bike with other?
Should we send one person ahead in search of Deepak?
Accepting and denying all possibilities they stood drenched in between nowhere.
I reached the spot with the Wagon-R. Placed the luggage in it. Shifted the faulty bike to the mountainside. Covered it with bushes. Sameer and Pradeep sat into the car. Me and Rahul rode the remaining bike to that Lady’s tea stall.
Reaching a shade was a great relief for all of us. The tea tasted like a honeydew in that storm. That was the best tea of our lives. It saved lives.
I took my mobile phone and called Prithvi, who went in the utility vehicle and had just reached Gangtok with the first bike. Having experienced the weather condition on his way to Gangtok, He was already aware (Not completely though) what we might have been through.
I asked him to send the utility vehicle to our point. It took another 45 mins for the vehicle to reach us. By this time the rain turned into mild drizzle. All four of us boarded the vehicle and went to the point where we left that faulty bike. Loaded it in the vehicle. Reached the tea stall again. Me and Rahul rode the third bike and Sameer & Pradeep boarded the vehicle.
We reached Gangtok at 10.30 pm.
Later that night nobody slept, all were fainted.
Next morning, sipping the morning tea. We discussed all that happened. It was hell of a day. Where nothing gone right.
I asked all of them, What was the learning? All spoke in one voice.”Never come in Sikkim in rains”.
Author & Photo Credits :
Hey all ! How did you find the experience penned above ? Waiting for your feedback in comments section !!
Your’s Truly : Deepak Sharma Aka Lonely Musafir from lonelymusafir.com/