Disclaimer: I have tried to recreate the events, locales, and conversations from my memories of them. The below-expressed views, opinions or analogies are personal and may not be in line with the widespread conceptions. Please go to Motorcycle Diaries -> India: Ocean To Mountains (or Click here) to check out the previous events.
Date: 6th August 2016; Route: Jodhpur – Jaisalmer
The only way to survive is to embrace the change, improvise, adapt and overcome.
As per the itinerary, we were supposed to service our bikes today. Since they were running just fine, we thought of pushing it for 3 more days and do the servicing at Amritsar. Now the plan was to explore Jodhpur and reach Jaisalmer by end of day. I wanted to take it slow today as Jodhpur – Jaisalmer can be done in 5 hours but my partner was in a hurry, he wanted to wake up early check out all the places before afternoon and reach Jaisalmer by evening. It was not a week’s trip where I could have compromised on sleep, I couldn’t afford to dose off while riding. I needed 8 hours of sleep every day without fail.
So we improvised, we thought of taking our own time in Jodhpur and regroup by end of day at Jaisalmer. By the time I woke up, it was already 9 AM and (as discussed) my partner had left quite early. It had rained heavily in Jodhpur last night which reduced the heat, the temperature was quite normal out there. I was there in Jodhpur for a couple of years during my childhood. Jodhpur city which I remember and what I see now is quite different. It’s not what I thought it was like. It was kinda green in the desert state.
Meanwhile, I called my co-rider to check whether he was alive or not. He said he was already en route for Jaisalmer and my day was just getting started. There were few things on my list in Jodhpur and Bullet Baba Shrine was one among them. It was not just any other temple; it was devoted to a deity in the form of a motorcycle (Yup, you heard it right). It was on the same route which we covered last night. I had to ride 50 KMs in the reverse direction towards Pali. Considering the distance we had covered till now in the last few days, 50 KMs was just walk in the park.
At the end of the navigation point, I was looking for a temple but I couldn’t find any. I heard some funky music on the other side of the road. So I took a U-Turn and asked a guy for the direction for the Bullet Baba temple. He was tying some orange thread on his bike; he said: “this is the temple”. I asked him “where exactly?” He pointed his finger to the place where the music was played. While I was parking my motorcycle, a guy came running to me and offered me an orange thread, same as the one which the other guy was tying. He said it would bring good luck for my trip. As I was about to put my hand forward and take the thread, he said 100 bucks, for a 5-inch piece of thread, which people think will bring good luck to them. Are you kidding me!
I said thank you and I entered the temple. It doesn’t matter that the deity was a motorcycle; they were following the same code as that of a typical temple. I had to remove my shoes to enter. People were chanting and reciting. The devotees were praying to a Royal Enfield Bullet kept in a glass box. It was funny but I didn’t want to offend them; nobody likes it when you make fun of their God. So I controlled my laughter. I had to do the same what the rest of the folks were doing, if not the same, at least act as if I was doing the same. As soon as I finished praying, a couple standing next to me asked “Don’t you feel hot in it? It’s already hot in here, right” she pointed at my jacket. I pointed at her wrist and said “That orange thread will not save your life but this just might in case of a misfortune. I don’t mind sweating a bit than losing my life”. They smiled and walked away.
The next on my list was the Merahgarh fort. By the time, I reached the fort; the weather took a one-eighty. Even though I was breathing fire, I still had the enthusiasm to explore the majestic fort. It’s huge and well maintained. While I was checking out the fort, people were staring at me as if I landed straight from the moon. It takes a lot of time to explore a fort of that magnitude but do check it out if you are over there, it’s one of the must visit heritage sites in Rajasthan.
I wanted to explore Umaid Bhawan Palace too but I was worn out due to heat and I had some distance to cover for Jaisalmer, so I decided to move on with it. As I was taking the exit, it rained heavily for 10 Minutes. And this time, the rain was a blessing in disguise. It made the climate normal. The route to Jaisalmer was through the desert. I reached there by 7:30 PM and I reunited with my partner. He had reached by 5 PM or so and took a nap.
We had doubled our budget for Jaisalmer. This time we thought of staying at a desert resort which showcases the Rajasthani culture. And the resort was few KMs away from the Jaisalmer city. As we were riding through the desert at night, we were able to see the lightning like disco lights. When we reached the resort, the guy said it’s raining in the desert! I said, “It’s our luck that made the desert wet (humne registhan main bhi baarish karwa di. BC jahan jao baarish ho jaati hai).” We also met few self-proclaimed Gujarati filmmakers over there. Funny guys, they offered us drinks too. Anyway, we had a good time enjoying the live folk songs and the performances at the resort. I have fallen in love with the song that the guy performed, click here to check it out.
P.S. Happy Diwali Folks 😀