Day 30: Sriganganagar to Bikaner

Gyaniji turned out to be somewhat funny too. I visited him in the morning to get my chain to optimum tension for the journey ahead. He presented a photographer to me. Apparently he takes the photograph of every single one of his customers for his records. So I pose on the bike and get my imprint taken for eternity to be fixed on Gyaniji’s wall (or his scrapbook) and head out.

Now being in Sriganaganagar, one can very easily forget that one is in Rajasthan, the desert state. The Indira Gandhi Canal has made this area so green and fertile that someone actually called Sriganganagar ‘the Punjab of Rajasthan’. But then the truth of the matter dawns on me as soon as I leave the city. The desert almost immediately takes over reins from the greenery. Sand banks and arrow straight – these two things define Rajasthan roads.

From Earning My Quarter Mile
From Earning My Quarter Mile

The roads are annoyingly straight. Boringly straight. Absolutely uselessly straight. Especially on a day that I cannot rip the bike at 120. It is so mind-numbingly straight and traffic free that there are time when fall asleep on the handles for a few minutes but wake up in exactly the same driving line that I fell asleep on. And never even come close to any other vehicle unless overtaking. When there is 10 degree turn or a vehicle to be overtaken, the mind jumps with joy that it finally found something to do. It is very very difficult keeping concentration. So, I devise my own solution. I take picture WHILE I AM RIDING.

From Earning My Quarter Mile
From Earning My Quarter Mile

And sometimes when I have stopped.

From Earning My Quarter Mile
From Earning My Quarter Mile

After five of the most boringly stupid hours spent singing the most random songs to myself just so I could be awake (and alive), I rolled into Bikaner. Its a nice city but I have other things on my mind. I travel about 50 kilometers further ahead to a place called Deshnok. This is truly mindboggling.

I get to a temple of a very revered local goddess, Maa Karani. This is how the temple looks.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

And the devotees in front of the idol.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

And then all of a sudden it strikes you.

RATS!!

From Earning My Quarter Mile

And more rats!!

From Earning My Quarter Mile

And even more.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

They are all over the place.

From Earning My Quarter Mile

They crawl all over the place. Climb on your foot. Never bite. You have to be careful to not step on one. One needs to drag ones feet. They are not really worshipped but revered. They have never caused any diseases or problems. They are the heart and soul of this place. This is absolutely amazing.

To cap it all, there is belief here that people who spot the solitary white rat will have all their wishes granted. And there it was. The white rat!

From Earning My Quarter Mile

Too bad I didn’t ask for anything.

This was easily one of the wierdest things I had seen in my life. Even within spiritual India, this is wierd. Something which needs to be seen to be believed. Absolutely amazing. Forgot all about the boring journey today.

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