Day 1/15 – Delhi
Delhi is one of the oldest metros in India and has quite a history. Not to forget the nature of a lot of people who wait for you to make the slightest mistake for them to take control of the situation. Kiran had been in this place recently for a few months and had experienced a lot of such situations. Taking his guidance, we decided to take a pre-paid taxi to a nearby location so that we could take some rest for the night. The queue was quite long and took us a good half an hour for our turn to come. We had to wait for a bigger car to dump the entire luggage we had.
Having got one, we asked the driver to take us to a cheap hotel just to stay for the night and move out early in the morning. Trouble began. The cabbie refused to take us to any hotel that cost less than 2000 for the night. He continued to argue saying that there was no such place in the area that would cater to our budget. Unable to find alternatives so late in the night, we finally landed in a place a little later than midnight who agreed to charge us 1500 if we checked out before 7AM. We ordered some food, gobbled them up and still continued to try and reach the bike transportation guy. Quite unsuccessful, we fell asleep very soon.
At about half past five in the morning, the crazy frog ring tone started ringing. The nature of this ring tone is that it is highly irritating and continues to ring until the battery charge lasts. Getting up, we decided to make it to the godown of the packers and movers and try and catch hold of the fellow. I called up one of my friends in Hyderabdad to get some Internet help over the phone. He figured out the location and address for us. About 15 minutes before we could leave, we got a call from the transportation fellow informing us that the bikes had arrived. Jumping with joy, we were more bothered about the fact that the bikes had reached rather than the fact that the idiot had been fooling around for about a week.
Kiran called up and arranged for a taxi that was waiting for us outiside. It was 15 minutes past 7 when we walked out of the room. The bugger at the reception charged us an extra 250 bucks for that. That wasn’t all. When we checked the bill, the food was about 900 bucks. We just had 12 rotis, 2 subjis and a 2 liter aerated drink. The drink was a desi cola, for which he charged 200 bucks. Fed up of everything that was happening, we settled the bill and moved out.
The taxi ride lasted for about half an hour and ended somewhere in the outskirts of Delhi where some container lorries where parked. Our bikes were parked in a corner, all covered with the packaging material. Paying off the cabbie, we unpacked the bikes and checked them for any damages. Allen’s Thunderbird and Kiran’s Karizma refused to start. My Pulsar 220 and Apar’s Apache RTR came to life with the push of a button. It was then that we realized that all the fuel had been taken out of the bullet and the ZMA. Both the 220 and RTR were fuel injected and the crooks didn’t know how to steal the fuel. I took Apar with me to get some fuel for both the bikes. As I rode the 220, I realized that one of the wires was disconnected and there was a small rattling noise under the fairing. I knew this couldn’t be something serious, however wanted to take it to the Probiking Service station for a quick check.
Loading the entire luggage, we headed straight to the fuel station nearby and fill the tanks a little bit and to have Apar’s bike checked for emission control. Our plan was to meet Imran, a member of Delhi xBhp, who had been guiding us a bit in Delhi so far. His place was in Noida, which was about an hour’s drive though the traffic. We missed each other a little bit in the traffic, but managed to regroup and make it to Imran’s place by 11. He was waiting there to head out with us for breakfast. After quickly unloading the bags and refreshing, Imran took us to a south Indian restaurant nearby where we had nice dosas and idlis.
Heading back home, we met up with couple of other xBhpians who gave us good company. LP was one of them, who accompanied me to the nearby Probiking Service station. The service engineers there didn’t understand anything other than Hindi or Marathi. I was finding it hard to communicate to the service engineer on what the problem was, and that’s exactly where LP helped me out. However, the service engineer took his sweet own time to investigate. There was bad news. He said that the battery had drained out and the starter clutch had an issue. Without much choices left, we agreed to leave the vehicle for over 6 hours for the issues to get resolved. It was now clear that we would have to start the trip only the next day. Meanwhile, we spent time at Imran’s home charting out maps and other plans for the trip. Later in the evening, we collected the bike and met up with a few other xBhpians for dinner. Heading home, we packed all the stuff and hit the bed.
As bad luck might have it, there was a power cut. But for Allen and Apar, the rest of us found it almost impossible to sleep. The room didn’t have too much air circulation and forced us to move out. We sat outside the entire night and it was about time to leave.