Morning at Dornala woke to hymns from a nearby Temple, while Anwarka got ready, I saddled up Mark -II.
Starting off at around 7 am, I thought the day had cloudy skies, but as soon as it was 7:30 the golden light emerged. We both knew we were in for one of the best stretches up to now.
A long stretch lay in front of us with occasional twists and turns, passing through far stretched lands as far as the eye can see, some cultivated, some harvested, some just plain wild. I remember texting my brother and father back home while passing through this, saying India is so vast and diversified and beautiful and we all need to get out more. And to think of it I have only seen yet still a small portion of it.
Faith and belief looking down on the villages below, while people look up to the mountains in belief in good faith.
Golden light shadow shot
This stretch of the ride was something special. This one we had started early and the rural areas on the out skirts of Andhra was really breath taking, there was a sense of freshness about the whole thing.
Stopped for a break, goofed around a bit taking pictures, the traffic was light and in the morning hours it was even lighter.
Andhra is famous for its flat stones and passing by I saw many houses made or at least had compound walls structured with these.
At local eatery somewhere near Bestavaripeta , we took our breakfast – Another satisfactory meal in our trip .
We found the owner and cook being the same person Mr. Thumal, a very inexpressive figure at 1st, it was almost like he went about his routine in the morning as if he didn’t care what went on around the world. He said nothing more than a few words to our curious questions, there was no questions or any sort of curiosity back. But that all changed when we put a question to him.
We asked he had ever been to Kerala, His expression mellowed down, his eyes looked away from us, as his thoughts went back to his younger years, He said no but he was working in Mumbai in a garment factory, and at that time, he had a few coworkers with him from Kerala, “nice people! he added in between “and that’s about as close as he has gotten to Kerala. After leaving his job there, he came about to set up his eatery here, He doesn’t get many bikers but a lot traveler mostly devotees and a few truckers come by here.
My friend said he resembled the famous actor ” Sree Jagathy ” from Kerala, and come to think of it, yes he did kind of. A small short smile glimmered out from the corner of Thumal’s lips and remarked that ” Everywhere you find people who look like one another “
Dr Anwar posed with Mr.Thumal ( Jagathy look like from Bestavaripeta)
After our meal and conversation, we paid for the food and I noticed that Thumal had gone back into his world as he diced and separated vegetables for the noon meals.
Next to the eatery was a tea shop, my friend had a good tea from there and I took coffee. I complimented the lad who made the nice tea and coffee (I forget his name) and he said, His dad is the best coffee maker in all of Bestavaripeta, so it’s in his Blood! 😀
Back on the road , moving forward
We got to admit it, Andhra is HOT! we took several pit stops to lube the chain and give Mark -II and ourselves a break. The sun was glaring down on us, so we stopped to have some oranges we had bought during our spree at Hyderabad, (before they went bad and few had already started to)
Now that’s cool two villagers cooling off under the shade, we were getting thirsty and running out of water, we looked for a nice spot to stop and buy a few drinks, perhaps 7 up with salt? :). One thing we noticed we both had a gut feeling about certain stop overs and each spots we choose had something about the place in store for us, always something interesting, just as the next stop turned out to be not just interesting but also another lesson on pride.
We found a cool place to buy water and 7 up, it seemed to run by a lady who had 3 children. We asked for 7 up but they only had sprite, that was fine, bought water bottles from there too. While we sat sipping on the soda pop, notice their shop was actually their home, with the lady’s permission I took some pictures, this family seemed to be living here, cooking eating, they even had a TV inside. When we got there, the kids were having their mid-day meal, talking to the boy in the white striped shirt, came to know they all go to school, he was in in 6th grade. With the Hindi being the language of communication between us, their dialect was different and some things were not clearly understood but could make the most part of it.
The boys seemed to love movies for they had all these movie posters stuck all around the walls, which were made out of tin sheets and from the little possible communication between me and the lady I think they also use it to cover the holes and keep the insides cooler – I am not sure I could be wrong, but the wall had nice attractive feel to it, like an abstract work of art.
When we were done with our rest and drinks, we paid the boy, he seemed to be running the money keeping end of the business as he corrected his mother’s miscalculation, rendering the exact change and all. There was a balance of 10 Rupees, which we decided to give the boy, at 1st the mother didn’t say anything. then we handed out 2 more 10 Rs to the other two kids, at this moment the mother flared up and grabbed all the three 10 Rs from each kid’s hand, and gave it back to us, clearly our good intention had pricked her pride. We felt bad and we apologized, and she waved with her hand as if to say its Ok. At that moment I had a lot of respect for that Lady, I guess she knew the value of money in a sense that it had to earned, and she was setting a good example for her children.
We left the place, though it was out of goodness , I was feeling a little bad, but I had a lot more respect for the mother .
On the road again, this reminded me of Dashrath Manjhi from Bihar who spent 22 years chiseling a massive gap through a mountain out of love for his dead wife, who died because the 34-mile route round to the nearest town was too far to take her for urgent medical care.
Over this area , we saw another breath taking view of vast land stretched across , where we could see countless of cattle and goats grazing away on what seem to be short dry shrubs.
We were now leaving the remote village areas of Andhra and closing in to on Tamil Nadu highway. Just on the out skirts of the high way, we saw a slum area. People living in plastic clad sheets as houses. We humans are the most diversified creatures on earth.
Moving towards to the south the surroundings started to green up, from dry large wastelands to greener lands along the high way to Chennai.
Passing over a dry bridge , I think its the Penna River , not too sure though .
Sun setting on the high way ,
With about another 121 km to Chennai, we decided to check google again and see if there are any short cuts, maybe there was a way to bypass Chennai city and over to Pondicherry for our next key destination.
So the plan was to stop over at Trivallur, and from there move on to Pondicherry the next morning. Cam batteries ran out on me, and it was dark anyhow. We checked out a few places to stay at Trivallur and then settled for MSK lodge – was ok, not the greatest but weary and tired I think we would have slept off anywhere 🙂