Day 29: Sriganganagar

After the dark night came the bright sunny but completely useless day.

Sriganganagar has the widely known Royal Enfield service centre of one Harbhajan Singh, popularly known as Gyaniji. Having worked on Bullets and other Enfields for over 50 years, he understands the problem of any bike without touching, hearing and sometimes even looking at it. He is one of those people who knows the Bullet better than the people who made it. And he was personally looking into my problem. That, unfortunately, was the only good part. The problem was this. Knowing his clout and his sales figures, the company was converting his sub-dealership to a dealership with all the accompanying changes in the shop’s looks. So there was air conditioning, new lighting, company posters, show area, customer area blah blah blah to be done up. The place had to look like a Royal Enfield showroom. So, essentially the place was in a mess as the Regional Sales Manager of RE and Gyaniji tried to wrangle little details about what should go where. And that meant all the spare parts were in a dump where nobody knew what was where.

An entire day of waiting later, I am told it is highly unlikely that the part will be here. The RSM is understanding that a critical component like this is not supposed to fail so early. So he says he is ordering one from the factory in Chennai and that is should be in Jaipur by Monday or Tuesday ready for replacement within warranty. Dejected, worried but slightly satisfied, I leave to look for other stuff.

I buy new sunglasses. My last pair fell off and broke at Wagha Border in Amritsar.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

Based on the optician’s recommendation (who by the way had himself travelled this territory on his bike a long time back), I set out to Hindumal Kot. Hindumal Kot is a border village about 30 kilometers from Sriganganagar with a BSF post who are posted there for safeguarding the international border. I am told, I could get to see the border if allowed. So I decided to test my luck.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

I arrived at the BSF post about half an hour later and requested the sentry to ask the commander to allow me in. Luckily, I was allowed. I think it was all thanks to the fact that I was travelling all the way from Mumbai on a Bullet (which the sentry took time to explain to the commander). I meet Asst Commandant Parvinder Singh of the BSF, in charge of the border post. A rather soft spoken gentleman, he takes time to show me the border, the enemy posts, their formations and the history of the place. This was no Wagha Border, no loudspeakers with patriotic music and no Pakistanis to outshout. This was business which had to be done everyday. Unsung. Unthought of. Unthanked. In a place forgotten by God, the BSF is out there making sure these lines that we have drawn on the land are kept sacred. Theirs is an unenviable job.

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