7: Raipur

When I left in the morning, it was cool. That changed in two hours. I had three sugarcane juices with Shubhra at Sambalpur. It was delicious. I poured water down my shirt to stay cool. Shubhra left me on the four-lane to Raipur. The white concrete burned the sky with its simmering heat. But terrific roads, so I rode at a good clip. My clothes dried up immediately.

The speedbreakers that were supposed to be rumblers in disguise, or the other way around, didn’t permit speeding.

I stopped to drink chaas and gobbled a samosa to feel alive. It helped. At noon, I stopped at a dhaba and selected a khaat and slept for half an hour. The owner made a carafe of chilled chaas and that helped. I topped that with a glass of electoral in water. I kept lying for an hour more. I saw the shadow becoming longer and I geared up and left. It was 40centi!

Raipur arrived and my friend Gurmukh Chahal took over and his brother Ravi guided me to Hotel Mahendra. I changed and prepared for a Press Conference.

Some bikers also attended and the Q/A session became hectic. Lots of them had been following my diaries and wanted to meet up.

Mutton curry and rice, topped with Gulab Jamun. Gurmukh is a wonderful host.


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