Amravati to Ajanta
The hotel at Amravati definitely made it up for the rats by providing a sumptuous breakfast next morning- hot aloo paranthas with curd and pickles. (A delicious start to day 10 of the journey- nothing could beat that!) And our ladies were ready to leave from this very endearing town by 8:30. As they approached Khargaon, 2 policevaalas stopped their car and inquired about the papers- license, registry, insurance, pollution check certificate… almost everything (what is with all these cops and their problem with women drivers?) Our ladies very obediently followed their instructions.
And then Monicka prompted Neeru to click their picture…
The second the cops heard the click of the camera, they retorted:
“why have you clicked our picture?”
and our women who had become street-smart, oops I mean ‘highway-smart’ by now, replied-
“we shall put it online and tell everyone how you helped us!”
Policevaalas with a sudden change in their tone- “toh madam humne theek guide kiya na aapko? Aap aise hi likhenge na..”
(Did we guide you right then? Will you write it like that?)
and they guided them with the perfect directions- to take the route from Buldana which would be shorter and to avoid Bosaval- Jalgaon road!!
and our ladies were back on the track 🙂 cheers to these two:
Only to find that the route ahead, though shorter, was very rough. It took Monicka a whole lot of strength to keep the car under her control. But, soon, the tyre punctured- right in the middle of nowhere.
As the women got out of the car, with no tyre- repair shop or any other kind of help in sight, they saw a man riding towards them. As he stopped to inquire.. soon there were more.. 2, 3 and 4 of them, on bikes. They crowded around them and immediately got set to fix the tyre.
It turned out that all of them were teachers at the nearby Balaji High School (Valsavangi, Tehsil: Bhokurdan, Zila: Jalna, Maharashtra) and were on their way to submit board papers of students at the centre in Aurangabad (March is the very dreaded month of BOARD Exammmmssss for class Xth and XIIth all over India!!)
So, it was Mohd. Rizwan, the Hindi teacher for Class VIII and IX, who single- handedly fixed the tyre…
accompanied by Imran Khan and Gajanan Khidki, the science teachers and Ganesh Sirsa, the peon at the school, who looked on. All of them were very curious to know about our daredevil women.
The obvious question was ” driver nahi hai saath main” (is there any driver with you?)
Mohd. Rizwan remarked, “I can’t even think of riding down 20kms to Buldana from here all by myself.. how are you managing driving on your own? What do you do? Are you all working women?”
and our women laughed it away,”no, no, we ‘re all housewives/ homemakers and our men do all the earning for us!!”
As a gratitude to their help, the women shared some refreshments with their compatriots on the road. The very sweet rendezvous ended with both the groups taking pictures and the teachers sending our women off with best wishes and plenty of dua to Allah for their smooth journey ahead.
and waving goodbyes with “we will try to find you online…!”
Oh! almost forgot- all this while the car was at a T- junction, blocking the way of a tractor and the driver sat patiently waiting, without honking, without objecting and the ladies waved at him… a little surprised and a little overwhelmed, they were on the move again…