Monday, March 15, 2010



Had I delayed my trip to Dehradun till after reading Ruskin Bond’s Mussoorie Diary, in Outlook March 15, both I and my car would have been in a better shape today.
From Delhi, reaching the Meerut bypass, I was diverted on the road passing through the city and soon joined a crawling nightmare of a procession of all imaginable types of vehicles, with a sickening sound announcing the scrapping of the car by a rogue truck.

Wary of taking the same route back, I took the third, rather than choosing from the two suggested by Bond, via Pauntasahib planning to hit the GT Road at Karnal.
I made good time up to Pauntasahib. and then suddenly there was no road, only undulating ground where perhaps a road lay aligned earlier , the yellow of the mustard and the green of the lush wheat crop were all there but obscured by the swirling dust clouds raised by passing busses and trucks engulfing the car and totally blinding me , the engine whining , body creaking, swaying ,dipping and rising like a boat in a choppy sea, with me on tenterhooks, struggling with the steering wheel to keep the boat of a car on even keel. It was a wonder that we did make to Yamunanagar without a breakdown or accident .

Things changed and the torture subsided only on hitting the GT Road at Karnal with both the car and me long taking a long sigh of relief with the foot pressure transferred from the brake to the accelerator.

Nearing Delhi it was a nightmare of a different kind; with the familiar landmarks disappearing fast, thanks to the frenzy of construction due the fast approaching date of the CW games, especially now that it was night , with no signages to guide I took a wrong turn and promptly got lost , only and thankfully to be extricated by a good Samaritan of a Taxi Driver who led and guided me to the Road to Noida.

The car resting in the custody of local "Denter" (painter-repairman) I am still trying to calm the frayed nerves from the return journey, wishing I had chosen one of the two routes advised by Bond in his diary.

Inspired by Ruskin Bonds' 'Mussoorie Diary' in the current Outlook issue

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