Sighted a black and white bajaj auto rickshaw with some travelling gear on its top near Pahala and 3 white skinned humans lurking nearby.
Two young chaps running,huffing and panting their way to the parking lot at Pantaloons,Bhubaneswar. Reportedly on their way to catch this white rickshaw and its occupants for an interview.
Two of our intrepid wryders chased down this suspicious looking auto rickshaw all the way till Panikoilli toll gate. That is about 90kms from Pantaloons en route to Calcutta.
Stopping to ask first at Pahala where the intial sighting was made ‘Have you seen a bunch of foreigners and an auto rickshaw?’ ‘Yes’ comes the reply.’They went that way.’Off we went towards Cuttack still no sighting.We continued to Manguli chhaka where we asked the same question this time to a bara piyaji shopkeeper. “Haan bhai ei pate gale paa adha ghanta heba.”(they went this way saw them half an hour back)
We raced down the highway on our puny little 100cc bike wondering how fast can an auto go that we are still unable to catch up with them ? .
Finally at Chandikhole we were given a tip off by an alert traffic cop who said that he saw them 20 mins earlier heading towards Calcutta.Going as fast as we could on our bike we crossed the 21km to Bhadrak milestone and as we did that the evening light was beginning to fail us peer into the dark highway,crossing haystacks,dogs,cows and humans all trying to cross the N.H-5 we thought as if we were in some kind of a video game where the more you level up the more the dogs,cows and humans cross the road at their own free will.At one point i lost the will to chase that auto rickshaw down and almost decided to turn back only to be egged on by our photographer who said ‘lets check out that last convoy of vehicles travelling.
I will count till 10 vehicles if i don’t see’em we turn back.’And as he said these words moments later we saw the rear of a nimble white auto rickshaw with a paint job that looked like the udder of a lactating cow.
Ladies and Gentleman, meet Team Chaos,an all british team participating in the Rickshaw Run.The interview was nothing more than their names,where are they from and when and where they are heading too.We must say the shortest interview of TBS till date,2 minutes that too near a darn toll gate exit.
Starting from Kochi they are making their way to(you won’t believe this) Shillong.Driving night and day through the heart of the India and through the coastline of eastern India.
David Mcgill,Brett Stirling and Matt Arnold on their lovable 7 HP 145cc Bajaj Auto with no backup,no route,no support and lots of adventure. Held thrice every year by the adventurists for a sum of roughly 1395 Pounds Stirling you get yourself a tuk tuk(auto rickshaw),some tracking and navigation gear,permits and the chance to show off around the town in parades.
These are a bunch of crazy racers who risk life and limb on these vehicles which are never meant to do anything more than short distances let alone cross the Himalayan foothills or drive across the Thar.The spirit of adventure is the only thing that drives these participants and their tuk tuks.This form of rallying hasn’t quite caught up with the Indian public yet but it has a quite a following in U.K, U.S.A, Europe and down-under(kangaroo country – Australia).
We wish David,Brett and Matt all the best and we hope they make it in one piece to Shillong.
For more info log on to http://www.theadventurists.com/the-adventures/rickshaw-run
Yes, btw some money goes to charity too :
You can have a glimpse of the Adventurists here
Chase Courtesy : Sankar Kanhar and Aditya Kiran Nag.