Monday, September 12, 2016

A Gear Unknown

The trek opened up some hilarious moments and some fine friends. I am his mountain friend as much as he is mine too, a mountain friend. (I did not coin this term, he did. By his definition, it means a friend he made in the mountains.)

After an exhilarating mountain climb through the rain drenched rocky climb to reach the Badrinath base, we had to negotiate for the limited availability of jeeps that were our sole transportation at that time. All of us packed ourselves into the chicken pen, save my mountain friend who was wandering about looking for a seat. His eyes fell on the extra space next to me. That happened to be placed next to the driver. What it really was a plank of wood right in front of the gear box. By now, you must have guessed where all this is going. If not, dear reader, allow me to enlighten you.

I love my seat next to the window, but for a few minutes it was not to be. He asked me to move over to the extra space and my protests went in vain. Finally, when the driver came around, he was aghast and asked us mountain friends to swap seats. 

What ensued was awkward and hilarious - entertaining for me and the rest of the women in the jeep, and a headache for my friend. My very tall friend had to put his legs around the gear box, leaving no choice for the driver, but to change gears in that limited space between his legs. Apparently, this style of driving is quite common in northern India! 

I kept grinning at him throughout the ride and in that moment of wickedness could not resist asking him how he felt - "I am in 11th heaven", says my mountain friend giving me a dirty look. I was howling with laughter and shared the good moment with Reb, our lawyer.
After a while, the rocky terrain forced the driver to change gears a lot more rapidly. I had the most incredulous look on my face and looked over at him with the widest grin plastered on my pretty face. It only heightened the moment of awkwardness and my friend shouted out, "Bhaiyya, ye kaunsa gear hain?" (Brother, what kind of gear is this?)- we were rewarded with an embarrassed smile from the corner of his eye.

Karma catches up I think. My friend had been tripping another common friend of ours throughout the trek. As much as I enjoyed it, I remarked to her, "Looks like the Heavens are smiling on us."

I think he took the ride quite well and we never brought it up until a good couple of weeks later when I let him know, I'm blogging this fun memory.

This one is bound to stay with me forever.

Cheers to a gear unknown!


Vidya said...

Hill...arious.... Just as any trip is with you. Humour follows you.

AquaM said...

Can't agree with you more - should blog your footprint in the muddy stretch leading up to the river:)- AquaM