Though the rider was riding very fast but my valuable assets had kind of given up. I had to re-adjust my sitting position every now & then. Mandi was still 70kms. Forget about Manali, Mandi had become my ultimate destination. Wanted to reach the place ASAP, put my ass off that seat & lie down on the road. On the contrary, the rider with me was really very tough. If it was not for me, he wouldn’t have stopped anywhere. Just to avoid any more stoppages and irritate the rider even more, my assets had to flatten even more.
I got this wound on the backside of my waist. Thanks to that heavy rug-sack & bumpy patches. Was getting worse & painful with every jerk. It started bleeding, but I didn’t want to appear meek. And then came a mysterious tunnel which was almost 2kms long. Absolutely dark with few yellow lights & cold mountain water dripping from the top. Very scary yet alluring. I had seen such scenes before but only in Hollywood movies. In real life it was very exciting. I had forgotten all my pains somewhere in that darkness
With the brightness at the other end of the tunnel, I got my cheerful self back. Mandi passed by & then Kullu became my destiny. We were amidst huge, tall, lush green mountains & Vyas(Beas) as our companion. Reaching Kullu did not take much time. We got the tyres checked at a small workshop in Kullu. We had earlier decided to stop & spend the night in Kullu. But then I don’t know what ignited that thrust that we wanted to reach Manali. 40 kms on hills might take few hours. But this time even I was adamant
Soon we reached that huge bridge over Vyas which connects conventional Kullu-Manali road to Naggar road. Conventional one is the one often taken by almost all modes of public transport. It is shorter & takes you straight to the main Mall Road. It is narrower, broken at some places as it is more travelled. The other road to Manali is the Naggar Road. Huge, smooth, beautiful sceneries, takes you on a ride through all small villages around Manali. You get to see a glimpse of Himachali culture. Yes and a Tibetan monastery is a treat.
The sun had set. It was getting darker & then dark. We seem to be the only one travelling on that road. But then we have always been interested in riding the road less taken. It was some auspicious day as many houses in all villages were decorated in lieu of marriages. Well decorated & lit houses, people serving food to guests who were sitting quietly in neat rows. Unlike the showy wedding celebrations in Delhi. These were very quiet & bright marriages.
We had crossed several villages but could not reach the guest house we had booked. I had begun losing my patience & finally gave up. Standing at a corner of the road, I started sulking. Blamed the rider for probably missing the place & getting us go lost. The rider asked me to stay calm as the place was yet to come. I didn’t believe him & continued to sulk. Precisely five houses away from where we were fighting, was our guest house. I felt as if I had reached my home. Tough job done: 600 kms in a day. It was a new start for me …………………………