Images from 4th June 2005 keep haunting me, each time I open the dashboard of my car and gaze at the amount printed on the service bill. I did salvage most of the depression on the 5th June though. However, the scar still remains.
Rajesh (Pandi), Rajesh (Bull), Gopi and Myself had gone on a trip to Ooty that weekend. We planned to leave for Mysore by 4:00PM on Friday and camp at mysore for the night. Our first setback. Pandi had a meeting which extended well over 6:00PM. It was around 8 when we started off from Bangalore.
Construction was in progress on the road to mysore, to widen it to a four-lane highway. Traveling on such a road (when its in construction) is a nightmare. They had built speed-breakers for fun. You would come across a solitary one, sometimes a pair ( the construction Corp considered romantic aspects perhaps ? ), and sometimes in groups of five or more !! I spent more time on verbal slander than on driving, till I reached mysore.
Next morning (Ie, doomsday morning), we left for ooty at 7:15AM. We had planned to reach ooty by around 11:00, so that we could enjoy the beauty of the place before getting down to some serious boozing !!
Story as told by Hercules XXX Rum (pint bottle):
They bought me on Wednesday, at an exorbitant price of 160Rs (as it was past 11 PM) and took me home. For some reason, they didn't drink that day. On Friday evening, pandi casually dropped me in the car. They were planning to drink once they reached ooty.
On Saturday morning ( around 9:30 AM Approx), a policeman at the karnataka-Tamilnadu border picked me up gruffly and took me to the station. Pandi had to bail me out @ 500Rs. The border police then asked us to go back to Karnataka, drink, and then enter Tamilnadu. I think everyone's interest in me had waned by then, as I was poured out on the roadside by krishnan.
Story as told by My Hundai Accent
The drive to Mysore was peaceful, albeit the interminable speed-breakers and curses from krishnan. Next day, we drove past the KA-TN border, circled around the area again, and left for Ooty. There are two routes to ooty, and we picked the shortest (30Km less, but with 36 hairpin bends instead of 6). All was peaceful till we started the climb. Very soon, I was over-heating and my engines fuming, and I finally faltered and conked out at the 18th turn.
After I had cooled down a bit, krishnan opened up my coolant tank and concluded that we had been loosing a lot of coolant, as there was none in the tank. Pandi and gopi volunteered to go to Ooty and come back with mechanics from the Hundai service center. They came back at 2:00PM in a Jeep (which cost them an exorbitant 450Rs).
We drove back ( some in the Jeep, Gopi and a mechanic with me) to Ooty, where they re-fitted me with a new coolant tank, ( as the current one had ruptured) and filled me with coolant. I am a pretty expensive guy to have around, It cost them around 2700Rs.
Story as told by the Auto-Rickshaw @ Ooty
They hailed me in front of the Hundai Service center at around 4:00 PM. They hadn't booked any accommodation at ooty, but gopi knew of this place called 'Hotel Lakeview'. The lodge is on the suburbs of town. However, all rooms were already let out. Our next stop was 'Hotel Queens', where the event repeated. We went around town to a few other lodges too. Finally, they asked me to go back to the service center.
Ill-fate seems to be following them everywhere, as I got punctured around a Kilometer from the showroom. They decided to walk back.
(Back to my story)
At Ooty, We finally found a lodge next to the Hundai service center at around 5:00PM. It was a small dingy room, with an extra cot on the floor. The roof started leaking as soon as it began to rain. However, we were getting pretty used to our destiny to notice.
The receptionist mentioned a decent bar named ' Court' and Bull remembered seeing a signboard 'Rose Garden' near a hotel. We hailed a Rickshaw to take us to 'Rose Garden'. He promptly took us to the botanical garden ( We learned later, the signboard 'Rose Garden' bull saw, also mentioned that the place was 1Km further, and in the botanical garden. Lucky he didnt seen the signboard 'bangalore' anywhere) !! We then asked the Rick to take us to 'Court'. He questioned 'Selvans Court' ? and we nodded our assent.
We reached 'Sullivans Court', a posh 3 Star hotel after a few minutes. We paid a lumpsum to the auto driver ( getting quite used to paying money for nothing now, bull had sardonically joked we could just go to the street and give money to every person we meet ... It would be cheaper that way ). We got into another auto, and told the guy to take us to a nearby Bar.
It was at the Bar that our train of ill-luck was laid to rest, as we subdued our desperation with opious amounts of alcohol.
The next day was calm and peaceful. We had a wonderful time at ooty, and left for mysore by the long way.