Name: Monsoon Madness
Destination: Mumbai, India
Distance: 2,180 kms (1,360 miles)
Vehicle: Auto rickshaw 125cc
It’ll be like last time. Only wetter
Walkie-talkies – brilliant when on
Goes by the name of Death
Stick a finger in it
The Highway Code is AWOL
So diesel is the green one
Drinking whisky driving risky
Stick a finger in it
There’s a peculiar phenomenon in India that whenever you stay in the same spot for more than five minutes, however remote you think you may be, people just start appearing from absolutely anywhere. Why would anyone be half way up a mountain seemingly hiding in a bush, just in case we turned up?
No sooner were we surveying the damage and giving each other the “what are we supposed to do now?” looks, than several locals had teleported themselves straight to the scene. Then a pick-up pulled up and it became a case of a crowd pulling in a crowd.
The hand gestures were lost in translation
We made some hand gestures to explain our predicament. Someone picked up a plank of wood. Just as we thought something had got lost in translation, our rickshaw was being rolled on to its side and the afforementioned plank of wood became a makeshift jack.
A middle aged man in flip flops dived straight under the vehicle and immediately set to work. The hole in the sump was sized up and after a bit of pocket fiddling that went on just a bit tool ong, Mr Flip Flop whipped out a five rupee coin. It would seem that some spare change and some weird gunky paste (that we hoped hadn’t come from Mr Flip Flop’s pocket) is all that you need in India to perform a major repair.
Afterwards Mr flip flop, the plank holder and the assorted helpers all resolutely refused to take any payment for the work, but instead settled for a group picture as if they’d just landed a prize winning tiger shark. With a wave and a cheer off we splashed.
From here on in we were quite literally, “on the money”, at least until the rickshaw starting lurching violently from side to side. And we still had sixty kilometres to go to the rest stop.