United we stand, every storm we can withstand…!

As we introduce the soul of our crew, here’s looking at what Day 3 bought to the expedition table…

Day 3

No. of kms covered: 312

No. of hours ridden: 17 hours

Cities covered: Kotra-Sirohi-Posalia-Sumerpur-Balraj Bypass-Gundoj-Pali-Jadan-Sandiya-Bar-Beawar-Kharwa-Ajmer

Let’s begin Day 3 by introducing Mr. Sandeep Shelar the driver, who Mr. Ghanshyam (Crew Chief) calls the soul and true chief of the crew. As he drives cautiously with his eyes not missing a thing, he chats with us.

“I have been learning how to drive since the 4th grade. I stayed outside my village for 10 years to learn driving as I wished to become a driver at any cost! It is my first love and I have made a career out of it.

I have only driven once with cyclists when a group of my friends decided to cycle down 110 kms from 7 in the morning to 11 in the night on a whim. I rode for 11 kms and then drove for the rest of the time guiding the cyclists.

Not in my wildest dreams had I imagined that I would be riding with Preeti Madam. She got in touch with me through a friend and asked if I had ever driven with a cyclist. She explained how I would have to maintain a speed of 15-20 kms per hour. She inquired about feeling sleepy on the road to which I replied that till you ride, I will drive.

I was overjoyed to learn that I would be travelling across states. My family was extremely supportive of this too. I feel immense pride that I will be a small part of a historical moment when Preeti madam creates a record! Even my tours and travel owner is thrilled and keeps checking on me.

I wish to maintain the ambience of our vehicle as happy and lively. Inspite of our crew’s diversity, if we travel in a united fashion, we will achieve our dreams for sure!”

‘Mera Bharat Mahan’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ are his parting words of inspiration.

“He takes minute care of us and the expedition too. While we may indulge in short naps or chatting, his attention doesn’t waver for a second. He keeps a keen eye on the road, Preeti and all our requirements. He is the hardest working member of our crew and the most accommodating one too!” exclaims Mr. Ghanshyam with affection.

And uninterrupted riding and driving is what Day 3 was all about. Except for a breakfast, lunch and 5 minute tea break, our crew drove with vengeance as they wished to finally rest their exhausted bodies on a proper bed. Reaching the Forest Guest House in Ajmer was their intended target. This limited the number of people they could interact with.

Before lunch, they passed a lovely little water body. They longingly stared at it desiring to do nothing except splash around in its fresh clean waters. While the rest of the crew squashed this longing, our exuberant driver could not get it out of his mind. At the lunch stop, he dashed into the washroom and enjoyed a lengthy happy shower. “His towel was out and ready even before he had applied the brakes!” jokes Mr. Ghanshyam.

Initially Preeti faced heavy headwind, hence the going was slow. But once she received tailwind, she covered up for lost time. They encountered about 10 kms of hilly area which proved to be strenuous and time consuming for our rider. And thus instead of 8 pm, they reached their night halt only at 12 midnight.

Some more niggles awaited. Due to miscommunication, their rooms weren’t ready when they reached. Also they had not stopped for dinner believing the Guest house guard would have to unnecessarily wait up for them. Since everything was closed at that late hour, they dropped Preeti at the guesthouse and drove down 10 kms to a highway dhaba for food. So it was close to 1.30 am by the time they could actually fall asleep.

As the crew chief rightly points on, records aren’t created with ease. There are innumerable obstacles and sacrifices involved. And it is with awe that we behold our lady champ and her staunch crew cross each hurdle without complaint and with an undying fierceness.

Here’s wishing them all the luck there is and more.

Blog by- Arohi Bhimajiani