Drive 1, Episode 1



I crave vacations.. Long ones.. I don’t mind spending a fortune to see the world.. And if you can drive in your own car, with your friends, nothing else comes close.. Nothing..

It was Kishan who triggered it.. Kishan and I were on a “rural exploration” drive on the outskirts of Bangalore when he mentioned that he has applied for a long leave through the last two weeks of 2015. Had I not stepped in that day, he would have spent those precious two weeks with his family and girlfriend. In short, wasted. I proposed a road trip and he agreed almost instantaneously. I was surprised and had to confirm his response multiple times. When I was sure that he’s sure about it, I made up my mind to approach my manager requesting a long week’s leave.

I┬áhad promised my manager a few months back that I would not go on any vacation towards the end of 2015 and I knew that he had his own plans. Luckily, when I approached him, his plans had already changed and he approved. Hard part’s over, or so I thought!

Now that the leave request was approved, I had to bring in more people on-board. A group of 4 is just about right for long vacations and if there are people who can drive then the drive would be less strenuous.Kishan had just got his driver’s license and I couldn’t depend on him. It was already first week of December and getting people to abandon their existing plans is tough. And then there’s that Everest of tasks – getting the leave request approved – that each of hose friends have to accomplish. I called up Shravan – an experienced driver and someone with whom Kishan and I would be comfortable with. He said he will get back in two days. Then, I called up Adi. Ditto. I couldn’t approach anyone now since two seats were already reserved for these two guys.

Three days later, Shravan dropped out as he couldn’t get his leave approved. Kishan said he will talk to Praveen.. I nodded. Adi dropped out two days later. We didn’t have any additional drivers now and I didn’t want to cancel the trip. I can’t bear the pain of trip cancellations. Cancellations turn me off. I decided to risk all the comfort for what it was going to be worth.

A week down, I was charting the route we should be taking. Things were not woking out in the routing department as I had to accomodate some important places while keeping in mind that I would be the sole driver for the whole trip spanning 10 days! And, I knew Hampi had to be on the list at any cost.

I happened to meet Lakshmi that weekend and I offered her a seat. And, just to make sure that she says ‘yes’, I dropped the word “Hampi”. I knew she wouldn’t be able to resist the thought of going to Hampi. I also asked her to bring some friend of hers so that she can have a better company as well as someone who can share a room with her. She gave an affirmative and things were back on track.. Great!

That very night, Kishan messaged to say that Praveen has confirmed his availability for the whole trip. One moment you don’t have company, another moment they start pouring in. I stayed put thinking someone will eventually drop out. Next evening, Adi called up to say his leave was approved. Now there were six people and there would be no way we could do this in the Thar.

By the time I could finish the routing, Lakshmi messaged to say she won’t be able to make it for the whole trip and that she may join us (alone) at Hampi. 2 wickets down..

After sitting through many sleepless nights and a lot of messages going back and forth on Whatsapp, the final route was prepared.

Today, we four guys are setting out on an exciting road-trip which will cover over 1800 kms within our home state of Karnataka. The trail would cover some of the best locations that the state has to offer (while leaving out some other bests). There’ll be history, mythology, architecture, forests, forts and beaches. We are going to witness the beauty of many different worlds, all within the boundaries of one state which promotes itself as “One State. Many Worlds.” Though I wanted this trip to cover everything Karnataka had to offer, I am settling down for this trail as we don’t have sufficient vacations left in our bucket.

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Kishan, Praveen, Aditya and I will be taking Ananya on her first true road-trip – The ManyWorlds Trail.

Keep yourself hooked!