Wrote this few days ago only got to upload yesterday.
Early start that day. By 6am I was up and showered. No shop was opened this time for coffee..guess I better start packing and get ready to ride on. Who knows.
I guess I was the 1st customer when I saw this tea house opened nearby. Sat there and ordered my coffee.
There was this old man sitting on the next table. Late 70’s I guess. He was earlier than me. He looks local to me.
Sipping his tea and having toast and just enjoying the morning sun like me too.
a sketch by our map admin, Zaim
Old man: Where from son?
Old man: Mahathir Mohamad…A very good prime minister.
Old man: Holiday?
Old man: Good to see the world when you r young and learn about other country and their culture.
I nodded my head n sipped my coffee.
Old man: Long time ago, India was run by the British. Same goes to your country too, rite?
Me: That’s history sir.
Old man: How I wish the British would come back and rule us again for at least a 100 years.
I looked into his eyes and he looked deep into mine.
Me: What makes you say that?
Old man: I served the army when I was young. Proud to be a soldier and served my country. We were taught and trained with full of discipline, respect, dignity and take pride in our country. Look at India now. Look at the young people now.They have no respect for the elderly, even for other humans. They live worst than the monkeys.
I just nodded my head and listened to him.
Old man: Look now. It’s almost 9 am and people haven’t start working. India starts work at 10. By 12 they are gone for lunch, not back till 3 sometimes and work ends by 5. Some didn’t even turn up for work and there is no way to monitor them. You think they can do this during the British time?
Me: No sir, I replied.
Old man: They have no pride in their job. They tell lies everyday, promise people that they will serve them but they don’t; from the top right to the bottom. Indians just love to live in filth. You see how beautiful this mountain view is?
I nod again.
Old man: But when the Indians come here, they throw rubbish everywhere. They spit, they just don’t have the respect for others. Come to their house and throw rubbish there, for sure they will get mad. But they can do to others. How silly.
He went quiet for a while and had another toast.
Old man: You hear that? Pointing to the streets. Brainless impatient inhumane Indians on the streets. The bigger the car, the louder the horn.
Old man: They can’t even wait for a second. Let people walk and cross the street, you lose nothing if u treat others with respect. If you are late, you are late. Wake up early and leave early to work. They are living a silly stressful life. In rush for everything.
I smiled too.
Old man: How are you suppose to enjoy life to my age if you live in rush and stress? greed? money? You know how to kill Indians without a gun?
Me: No sir.
Old man: Take away all the horn in all the vehicle in India.
And he really laughed.
Old man: They will die of no noise.
And he laughed again.
Old man: Give it a day. If the gov would impose the rule, there would be riots everywhere.
And he laughed again.
It was just us at the cafe and I had a good time listening to his story and had a good laugh.
Old man: What do u do son?
Me: I am humanitarian worker.
Old man: Good. You like it?
Me: Been serving more than 10 years, sir.
Old man: Those days there was no such thing as those, son. We served our people and protected them. We joined the army at young age. Until today our army is full of discipline and they serve and protect the country well. If its not because of the British, I have no idea what India has become. Look at the roads, buildings and what ever they have taught, built and left for us.
Look at the roads that Indians build. New buildings, what ever new thing, they don’t last. Most of the roads are never completed. Ugly looking building with no character. So called new education system that breeds monkeys, not humans.
Old man: My time, there was no such thing. We respect others, we don’t fight over silly things. Religion is your choice. Your god is yours and my god is mine and we don’t make fun of other beliefs.
I nod my head.
Old man: Nowadays you see, they instill fears, hatred towards others. Just because of few bad people. The country fight against each other. If an eye is revenge to another eye, the world will be filled with blind people.
I smiled n said….Mahatma Gandhi.
Old man: Good that u know that, son.
He sipped his last bit of tea and got up.
Old man: Don’t ask what has your country has done for you, ask what have you done for your country. You have a good day, son.
We shook hands and I didn’t even get his name. I had a wonderful start this morning with this wonderful man. The whole thing was more, I just summarised it. He is a wise retired Indian army and loved his country and what he does.
It was half past 9 and my logistic issue back home was not sorted yet. I better get it done soon. Guess it won’t be as planned. Went back to my room and ready to ride. Not much response from home.
All set to ride and started late.
The ride to Jammu-Kashmir was nice and warm. After staying in nice below 20c in Mcleodganj, riding under hot sun doesn’t feel that good. Temperature rose fast and by halfway it was already 40c. Phew!
From below 20 to 40 in few hrs.!!! My body is suffering. Reached Jammu at about 5pm. Too hot for me and too dusty. I have time for the next town.
Continued to Srinagar trying to hit nearest town before dark. Too bad. As I left Jammu, storm started coming in. Riding up hilly road in gusty wind and strong rain is very very dangerous. They can flip me and my Lil G easily. Slowly and scarily I rode.
Wondering to myself, “Why does everywhere I go it rains?”. I mean it RAINS. Not in Agra or Varanasi but in Manali or here.
Got this smelly stinky hotel in the storm with no other options and again, no power, hotel runs on generator. Can’t charge my phone, no hot shower, tv doesn’t work. No signal for phone since I left McLeodganj.
It’s true what the old man says. They promise you and they tell lies all the time.
Not just in India.
Ps: I didn’t snap a pic at all today.