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: 7th August 2016; Route: Jaisalmer – Suratgarh
“Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, now that is the true strength.” ― Chris Bradford
Last night was horrible, there was no power; it made me woke up a couple of times. When I woke up the third time, I found that the door and the windows were open. I was relaxed when I knew that my partner was also going through the same. I went out, it was damn hot outside. Finally, after a lot of fidgeting and rolling over the bed, the night was over. I was never so eager to get out of the bed.
We started getting ready for the camel ride. It’s one of the best rides ever, if you haven’t done it, I would strongly recommend you to give it a try. A camel stands or sits in 3 steps and you might shit (if not shit, fart) in your pants if you are riding a camel for the first time. While I was riding, it was about to bash into the shrubs quite a few times. I asked the tamer if it was blind. He said, “It’s just 14 years old and it came 3rd in the race last time. So there is no way that the camel is blind.” Then I guess it was just sleepy or angry. Maybe the camel didn’t like me. I am one of those guys who always want more. But this time I was like, when is it going to be over. The ride was for half an hour and I was glad when it was done. Then started the best part, the Thar Desert safari, it was so exhilarating that I was able to feel the Adrenalin rush. I can’t describe it in words; it’s something you should experience. It’s one of the must-do things if you are in Jaisalmer. This time, I was like can we go for one more round, please.
Then just for fun, we decided to see the Indo-Pak border which is 55 KMs from Jaisalmer. After riding for few KMs we saw a barricade which said: “Stop”. It was guarded by India’s first line of defense. They said none of the civilians come here and we were one of the few who did. They were quite happy to see us. All of them at the check post came out to greet us. We asked the border security guards if we can go through and see the Indo-Pak border. And they said, “Not even Indian Army can go without the permission.” We tried to make our sad faces but there was no way to go beyond, it was restricted for civilians. Even they felt sorry about it; they asked us to come inside, gave us some water and offered us tea. We spoke to them for half an hour. Unlike the rest of the world thinks, they were quite fun to talk to. They also warned us about the situation (curfew) in Srinagar and wished us luck. It was time to catch speed for Suratgarh.
When we had stopped for lunch on Jaisalmer highway, the hotel guy was curious and the first thing he asked us was about our caste. One thing about North Indians is that they ask your caste before they ask your name. And I personally feel offensive when someone judges you by your caste and not by your character or attitude. I am not talking about every North Indian out there; I am referring to the ones in the rural areas. And this incident repeated quite a few times before I made that statement. Though they don’t mean to offend us, it has just become a habit for them. He was not a bad guy; he even offered free coffee at the end. Not everybody has the heart to give something out to a stranger when they know they are not going to gain anything in return. It was a really nice gesture.
Anyway, post lunch we felt Rajasthan to its core. Not because of the food we ate but the heat. The sun was inflamed. I was like a dragon breathing fire; I felt my entire body on fire. This time, I was badly praying for rain.
Me: I want you in my life, I love you. Please come back.
Clouds: Fuck off.
I was dog-tired; fatigue and dehydration had hit me badly. I was counting every second of that 5-hour ride from 12 PM to 5 PM. We had come a long way from our home. I had never done a trip of this duration before. And the first thing that comes to your mind when you get drained and exhausted is to give up, your motivation drips down. I had to literally talk to myself to keep me going. I would love to say that I didn’t give up that day because of Sylvester Stallone, yeah you heard it right. I still remember the dialog from Rocky which I said to myself.
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Every time I was about to give up, I thought “I knew it was going to be tough but I still wanted to do it.” So I went ahead and did.
It was almost 5:30 PM; we stopped at a tea stall and thought of taking a break. And all of a sudden, the weather took a U-Turn. The cool breeze started blowing instead of the hot loo (I am referring to wind here and not shit). And the rain was followed by a sand storm which lasted only for few minutes. Yeah baby, even though my call was answered after 3 hours, I believe the Gods were on my side maybe they were just fulfilling your wishes earlier.
When I think about it now, I guess it was a good day to ride hard 😉
P.S. I wrote a song that day while I was trying to motivate myself. And it goes something like this.
I am forged in sun and rain.
Hey storm; I can say fuck you on your face.
Who said I won’t fail?
I just might.
Who said I might give up?
I just won’t.