Saturday, October 22, 2011


For people who just received the shock of their lives reading the title, let me put you to peace. Rest assured that in 24 hours you can make 2 round trips between Delhi and Pilani (if you are fast enough!). This is just my fond recollection of a mad first winter trip to BITS Pilani that will stay in the memories of a few of us forever just for the sheer overdose of excitement, frustration, anxiety and relief we experienced in a span of 24 hours!

For starters, Pilani is in Rajasthan and is really cold, and I am from Pondicherry where I guess most people might not know what a sweater is! And by the way, it takes 2 days to go from Pondicherry to Pilani. So after a one and half day train journey, we alighted at the Delhi station. We then usually took a car/sumo to Pilani. There came our first surprise. There was intense fog all around and visibility was near zero. And as a result, most of the cars hadn’t returned and we were told that it was a 4 hour wait. We thought: “Okay.. not bad. We are a big group of 15. Let us have some fun!” And we did. For about 8 hours I guess!

Finally at about 8 in the evening, we had our first sigh of relief. And the last I guess! 2 sumos had come back and were ready for us! “We are 15 of us. Where is the third one?”, one of our friends inquired. “Not until another 4 hours”, was the curt reply. We decided that we have had enough fun already. So we believed that we could squeeze in and it was just a matter of 6 hours. So we thought!

“One small problem, Sirji”, said the driver. “What now!”, my friend yelled. The frustration was already creeping in.

“One of the sumos doesn’t have a carrier on top. So we will have to tie the entire luggage on top of the other one”, he said; matter-of-fact-ly! So we loaded everything atop the sumo I was in. Didn’t know this was going to play its part later on!

So after those small hurdles, we were on our way. Momentarily though! It was already pretty dark and we could faintly see the road. But our man was calm and relaxed. Or rather slow and steady. 15 kilometers per hour it was. He had a sound strategy of picking a vehicle and following it. First it was the other sumo, then it was a truck. Soon the truck had lost us and we were following a scooter. Eventually he was fast for us too and there we were behind a lone bicycle man. He gave us good company and direction for a long time and our man was able to match up with his speed until: well no surprises there: Flat tire!

11 0’clock in the night and in the middle of nowhere! Mr.Cool inspected the tire and decided that nothing could be done. He didn’t have a spare tire but he had a plan! “We will sleep for a while inside: someone should come sooner or later for help!” We all looked at each other in disbelief! There was no room even to sit properly and he was already snoring. So we decided to step out and get some fresh air to think this through! It was a bad idea I tell you!  

Not that I was not warned about the winter, but I was a little adventurous. I wanted to see how cold can “cold” be! So I was heavily armed against the biting cold with a T-shirt, jeans and chappals. To make our experience a little more chilling, it was the coldest day in Rajasthan in 2 years. Surely that little statistic didn't help much! There I was in the middle of a sub-zero night, teeth clattering, waiting (hoping) for some help to miraculously arrive! My friends were only a little better off – they had a sweater/jacket on! Well, our prayers were answered in about an hour! 

2 jeeps were gracious enough to stop and they had place for 5 of us! So fitting in 8 of us wasn’t a big deal but: moving the luggage of 15 was! I couldn’t feel my hands for about 15 minutes. We all sat in thinking that the adventure is finally over. Then it slowly dawned that it was an open jeep. Brrrrrrrr…. I sat next to the driver and noticed that there was no wiper. The driver had read my mind. He handed me a towel and asked me to keep wiping the fog on my side of the window. I asked him curiously: “So what about your side?” “Don’t worry, I will do that”, he said. My friend was shaking: “Did he just say don’t worry?”

Then we had the adventure of our life! This guy was driving the jeep at about 55 kilometers per hour, one hand on the steering and the other wiping the front glass window and I swear even after that I couldn’t see anything in the front. I still cannot believe how he drove all the way at that speed with absolutely zero visibility. Either he was a mad man or a genius! I guess both! In just 2 hours we were in Pilani. I didn’t even feel the cold in the mad excitement and rush of blood! The madness was over and I strangely felt a little sad. Why didn’t we meet this guy in Delhi! That was a crazy fun ride I will never forget and I sure could have had more!


  1. It made me remember a terrible journey in fog that I had - if possible wouldn't like to repeat it ever. :) Nice way of telling the story, enjoyed it.

  2. Sunil.. Thank you so much. Glad you liked it. Some journeys: good or bad: always stay fresh in our minds. :)

  3. hmmm...guess I wasn't in that fun ride :) Did i take the train ?


  4. Dont remember exactly daa.. But you might have taken the other sumo! :)

  5. Thrilling I would say, nice written also...


  6. Can't ever forget this ride! However flat tyre can be surely blamed on ANT, as he was wishing for it.

  7. whatta journey! the driver - genius! not easy not easy at all.

  8. Saru.. thank you very much. It was indeed thrilling (and chilling :))

  9. Pondy.. oh yeah.. I totally forgot about that. Ant's clairvoyance! ;) And also.. Chicken was mentioning about the Delhi police chase! It was one hell of a ride!

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  11. Sujatha.. Thank you very much. oh yeah.. it was a mad drive! And our 2 drivers were poles apart in their driving styles! One had it and the other didnt! :P

  12. nicely presented... I was imagining the situation.... Very exciting.. You got the adventurous ride you wanted, I guess.. :-)

  13. Thank you very much Sneha. :) Yeah... I did get the adventure I had longed for! :)

  14. Which year was this in :D? My hubby dear would also have made such journey's to Pilani and even has lots of such stories to tell :D

    Good post :D

  15. Sorry for the late reply Ramya. I guess this would have been 1998. I guess it was our first winter. So 1998 it is. :) ohh.. that is awesome.. which batch was he? I am sure he would have loads of stories to tell. :)

    1. @Raj: I somehow have a feeling that you both would be from the same batch :D his name is Parameswaran Ramanathan from Electronics!!! trust me I dont know the 1001 jargons you BITS guys speak :D so not sure how to tell which batch he was :D


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