This Monday afternoon, I was all planned to visit ‘Maati’ at Jayanagar to make some pottery purchases. (I did mention about Maati in my blog, Pottery Road: A new exploration) I was close to Lalbagh with a lady who happens to be my mother’s yoga student and her friend. This lady, being an activist, keeps meeting a lot of people every now and then. That day we happened to be out together for some work, which did not work out for reasons not in our control. Post that work I had planned to visit ‘Maati’ while she had plans to meet a friend of hers and take her home. Both of us were unaware of the plans we had jotted in our mind. When the work that we visited for, did not take place she requested me if I could favour her by picking her friend and by dropping them home. A little disappointed, I said Ok. I had to park my plan aside and pick hers since I had taken the responsibility of dropping her back home after our work. She was with me for my work. It was past noon, so we decided to have lunch and then go home. While I drove to Basavangudi, she made some quick calls asking her friends to come to “Bharjari Bhojana” in Gandhibazar. I was lucky to spot a parking for my car as soon at we reached the place. Else it is adventurous to catch a parking area in Gandhibazar road, that too on a weekday.
“Bharjari Bhojana” was very crowded. We thought of “Vidhyarthi Bhavan”, but that opens at 2:00pm and our watch showed 12:50 pm. Not wanting to wait, we finally chose “Udupi Sri Krishna Bhavan”. We settled for a plantain leaf meal, pure south Indian style, though I heard their saagu dosa and double filter coffee is very famous. I struggled to do justice for the Rs 220 meal for I am not a heavy mealer, but I tried by best to taste everything and not waste any food. I would certainly recommend this place for authentic south Indian food.
By the time we cleaned our leafs to start our meal, arrived 2 ladies who were probably 50 plus. My first impression was normal, as I thought they must be friends to the lady I am with, and that they were on a casual meet. I under estimated them. Specially the one in pink kurta and white salwar. She was on plumpier side and she was introduced to me as Madhuri. She gave me a firm handshake and we sat down for our meal. There was energy and enthusiasm as she spoke. It was only when the talk continued that I realized we should never estimate a person by looks. She was simple, but her works were not. It was later that I realised that she was one among the “mothers on wheels” and is very passionate about driving.
As we ate she shared some of her experiences. These mothers were on motto. 22 countries, 22000 Kms over 3 and a half months (100 days). They had set out on a journey to know how mothers on other parts of the world are. The lady I met, Madhuri Sahasrabudhe, works for education of Jammu & Kashmir children. She was all geared up when she told us how they had managed an entry into Pakisthan during their travel. The difficulties they faced getting the VISAs approved. The struggles they went through in getting the grants. The fun they had on the wheels. The ‘mastis’, ‘badmaashis’ and ‘silence’ (as she terms them) that helped retrospection and introspection. A resident of Delhi, yet spoke good Kannada. Far better than people who have stayed in Bangalore for more than a decade and yet don’t feel the need to learn Kannada. Needless to say, her Hindi was fluent and so was her English. She also spoke about her love for travelling, and how she loves Hyundai cars over others for Indian drives. She told us how she limited their luggage. Each one of them carried a 12 Kg personal luggage and 30 Kg of food. Food was a must since they were pure vegetarians. She explained about their budget stays and hostel stays. Then she went on to explain about the delay in travel having lost their route due to lack of knowledge on foreign language. I was instantly motivated. She made my day.
They had already planned their next trip starting mid-December. Her stories were endless and I was all ears to her stories of travels. I no more was disappointed of having kept my plans aside. I loved the way she was playing her second innings of life by blending her passion with work.
We had a mini ‘Mothers on wheels’ as I drove back home from Basavangudi. Despite of namma Bengaluru traffic, having heart her, I fell in love with driving all over again.