Monday, December 27, 2010

Travel and Deception

While on a tour one has to always watch out for deception. Its happeining all around us and in many different forms but we seem to overlook it all the time. Well its quite obvious that people are the usual suspects but anything under the sun can be deceptive! Yes deception is an everyday phenomenon but it according to me can be the decisive factor between a great holiday experience and a shambolic one. Though I was lucky enough to experience a few "fairly mild" deceptive incidences but it helped me become more cautious of anymore future threats!

So I hired this bike in Bhuj to visit the beach town of Mandvi and the White Rann. Initially the bike dealer wouldn't give out his bike to an Indian but after a thorough background check he agreed to lend a lesser bike model which seemed hardly capable of touching 60 kmph. But I still had to cough up the same rate that applied to a better bike say a Pulsar. And that is deception point 1. I was made to believe through all the sweet talking during and after the background check that I was one of the select few Indians who could hire a bike in Bhuj and thus was an elite! Yet for this privilege, I could only get a bike that was last seen on Indian roads almost a decade back! And not to forgot the bike came at the price of a modern bike!

Deception point 2. On a scale of 10, I gave the bike a 2 for its performance before I set out on the ride. I was really not happy with the deal that I'd struck but the whole "elite Indian" feel good factor made up for it. And surprisingly, though the bike scored very low in terms of overall performance, but it was by no means a Gas Guzzler! And this was enough to win my heart 'cause mileage in any motor vehicle is very very crucial for a middle class Indian. In this case, I was "pleasantly" deceived.

Deception point 3. The bike suffered two flat tyres on the first day. But by some strange coincidence, both 'em happened right outside a bike mechanic shop! Initially I didn't pay attention to this as I was relieved that I wouldn't have to go through too much of an ordeal but on closer observation I realized this was no coincidence. Its a dirty game that these mechanics play. They carefully lay out these nails and other minute metal scraps that can cause a flat tyre, around their shops on the highway to ensure steady business through out the day. Deception at its very best! So the next day I was really careful whenever I came across any such "puncture repair" shops and slowed down the bike in order to watch out for any such alien metal pieces that would derail my journey.

So that brings us to the questions, is it possible to get square with deception? And does Newton's third law apply to deception? The answer is not known to me at the moment but there is hope in the form of caution and awareness. Oh but I did get my chance to get square with the bike dealer for lending me such a shitty bike. I was bored of nurturing the bike through out the ride and on the last leg I decided to push its limits. Though I was a good 100 kms away from Bhuj, my night halt, I didn't hold back and as expected the bike broke down due to the extra throttling! I knew God was with me on this one because within 10 minutes I found a trailer to a hitch a ride back to Bhuj. On reaching Bhuj, a little play acting and a sad weary face was enough to convince the dealer that I had gone through shit 'cause of the bike and he waived off the rent for the second day! Yay!

Deception is unavoidable during travel but having a calm head always helps!

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