It was a much awaited Saturday (1 March 2008) for me. No, not for the Speed Run 2008 being happening in Mumbai but for the ride I was going to make to Mumbai with the aim of attending the Speed Run and get some work done on the bike so that my life becomes a bit more safer. Nah, not getting a bullet proof cage getting build around it.
As destiny would have it, somehow I managed to carry on the flyover, which I was supposed to miss, to turn off for the Speed Run event. I got to know only after I went ahead by around 15km’s that I have come a bit too far ahead. The plan was quickly revised and I headed straight to Goregaon where my life was about to be transformed.
Just after 6pm, I started back towards Pune and by the time I managed to crawl past all Mumbai traffic it was 8pm when I refueled at Panvel. What was going to follow, I had not even dreamed off.
It’s a nice stretch of road with mild traffic all the way till Khopoli. I was cruising at my pace when I catch up three trucks traveling in left lane, as I was thinking of passing them, the last truck driver decided to make a move on the other two trucks. From my past experience, I knew I had to start slowing down as there is no way the truck driver will change his plans even if he is able to hear my bike’s horn. Few seconds later, as the truck driver was half way into the right lane, he decided to abort his plan (probably he saw me coming) and went back to left lane giving me a clean chit to overtake them. This move came to me as a shock.
Few kilometers down the road I catch up with a car overtaking two trucks. While I was waiting for the car to go pass, I was also getting ready to pass the car from left lane as I have not come across too many car drivers who care to move to left side letting the faster traffic pass them. Once again, I was made to change my plan as the moment car went pass the trucks, driver simply ducked to left lane, giving me once again a clean run to go by.
Well the above mentioned were just two of many instances where I must say I came across so many “nice” people who just simply allowed me go pass them with ease though I was on a much smaller vehicle (in size) than theirs. The count of such people I meet in one night can easily out number such people I would have meet in my 10+ years of riding.
I used to think that on Indian roads, jungle law is followed. Bigger vehicle has right of way. But how badly I was proved wrong on Saturday night; I just could not believe myself.
Telling half truth is as good as saying a lie. So what all I have said above is though not a lie but I have also not said complete truth as well.
What I have not told you guys is about the “life saver” I got installed on my bike. Well it’s not a bazooka (which I wish to get installed some day – may be once I turn dictator and take over the country. ;-))
Though I can post millions of pictures of the life save and write pages and pages about it still I might not be able to convey proper message so let me try to compare it with something, most of us would have experienced.
Illuminate your room with a 35W electricity bulb. Now put on a 100W tube light. Can you see any difference? If not then replace the tube light with the bulb after sitting in tube light for few minutes. Well that’s the difference between the stock 35W halogen shod head lamp and the HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamp.
HID lamp – the life saver I got installed on the bike. More detail about it later on.
Well, I still believe to what I said above, “I used to think that on Indian roads, jungle law is followed. Bigger vehicle has right of way”.
What made all those people turn “nice” that night was not just the nice nature (which I don’t discount that there are some nice people on road – Me for one ;-)) but the HID lamp’s power which was creating the similar discomfort which one would have faced thanks to the oncoming traffic with head lamp being used on high beam.
So what I have done is it legal? Morally should I have done it? Etc etc. These are some questions on which I’ll share my view points in my next post but for now I’ll just say one thing, if you have to ride in night on Indian roads on your two wheeler, dump those pathetic 35W head lamp unless, either you are willing to stick to a max speed of 40-50km/hr (that’s what I find is a safe speed) unless it is a well illuminated road or consider your life to be cheaper than those few hundred $’s one need to spend to get HID lamp fitted on the bike.