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Old 3rd October 2009, 20:45   #1
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Default Of a piligrimage, floods, naxalites and getting stuck in Gongura Land...!!!

30-Sep-2009
Wednesday, Bangalore
Me (29), Mum(55) & Dad (61), and My Indigo (1.5)
MISSING - Wifey, was thinking to sit out the sweltry HYD (Hyd had other plans).

20:30 we slowly drive out of a rainy Blore thinking next hour would be the last of the water from heavens above, and we are going to have a blast (we nearly did). I miscalculated the timing and took over 12 hours (not my fault entirely). After crossing BIA, i drive into UNCHARTED territory and slowly do about 200Kms in the 1st 4 hours. I was sleepy and rains steadily picked up. Little did I know what was in store ahead.

1-Oct-2009
Thursday, sometime after 00:00, somewhere near gooty.

I quickly msg my brother in Singapore wishing him on his bday and drive on...

There is a BP GHAR in Gooty enterance and I drove into a WET and WATER Logged GHAR at ~3AM. Grab a tea (Ghar was closed, some local vendor was selling ciggys and chai). I managed to take a much deserved EYE break, Tired of the high beams and rain everywhere. Tea vendor asked where are we heading to. I told him from bangy to Hyd. He stopped for a second and told me DONT do it, get back. Rains were heavy last "1" Night and bus drivers were complaning of impending floods.

Guess I was in the soup even before the reality hit AP/India.

This trip was supposed to end at BHADRACHALAM, which is a holy place for our belief and mum had dreamt of it for a very long time. I had planned to park the car at Secundrabad Rly Stn and had booked AC train tickets for the ride upto BHDR Rd Stn.

At Dawn' we were crossing "KURNOOL" town, which would never be the same. (I am teary eyed now). It was just fine, people were holding umbrellas and quite a few hundreds were surprised and bit shocked to see the Thungabhadra river at a "increased" flow. I push ahead, stop at the BP Ghar just after Kurnool town. I notice most of the farm lands were full with Muddy water and the NH banks were full with flowing water.

We walked into a bloddy wet GHAR and after a couple of Idlies, pushed ahead. "KRISHNA" was at FULL (Read Heavy) flow with muddy water, and I bid "dieu" to Kurnool town and drove on.

(PS - Mum made a wonderful suggestion to take a break at Kurnool for a day since I had been already awake for over 24 hours by now. I can only wonder what if I had Heeded to that advice)

Drama slowly started to unfold ahead.

Water had started to overflow onto the NH7, half to 1 feet of water was already gushing across the road. It was 'fun' back then, wheeeee - splash and drive on. Little did I know - I would be the last of the FEW to wheeee past those stretches. NOTHING REMAINS OF THE NH7 NOW at those SPOTS...

At one spot, it got tricky and I had to drive thru more than 2 feet of water. I could feel the RPM die a bit, and FLOORED it to AVOID stopping the car. After coming out of the stream across the NH, I noticed I was driving at "0" RPM, (Indica/go guys - was it the alternator dying?, now its ok). After a blip of the throttle, RPM Was back...

Around 10AM, passed thru Shamshabad Airport enterance . I told Mum/Dad the airport looked Beautiful when I came there last time. I wished they could see it in the future.

FUTURE was very near...!!! Damn..

Reached the part of Hyd where my relative is put up and got a BAD Welcome!!!

HE SHOUTED - why the HELL did you come thru. You should have turned back...!!! Next shout was - HOW did you come thru?? Did I take a different route...

All I needed was to turn to the T.V with my back pack still on and my shoes still on to Realize WHAT I WAS thru!!!

Man, I really dont know how I missed all the unfortunate events by a whisker. 2 hours late - I would STILL be thinking of writing a BLOG stranded between HYD-BLR on a wet Island surrounded by dead people.

1-Oct-2009, 22:00 Hrs,
Secundrabad Stn

I parked the Indigo and boarded the train to Kothagudem Aka Bhadrachalam Link road.

2-Oct-2009, 5AM
Get into the APSRTC bus, after a bumpy, crazy drive costing 20 bucks each, we enter Bhdr town and take a 1st look at the shrine. Mum is all teary eyed and I am happy to have lived that moment. Quick check into a AC place and all freshed up, got a 1st glimpse of the deity. Mum is speechless and I knew all that risk was worth this moment.

We hired a Auto guy to take us to a place called "panashala" which is about 35 Kms from Bhdr town. I KNOW I am crazy to ride 35Kms in a Auto on a road which connects north AP with Chattisgarh right THRU Naxalbari zone. We drove past a tiny village with heavily armed cops around and all people in that village looked strange. No one was acting normal and no eye contact was ever made.

I learnt later that we drove OVER a small Bump in the road "Guess??" which housed a 10Kg claymore and again a 2nd hump within 10 feet of the 1st which housed "20Kg" of the same above. I cant discuss why the 2nd is placed just after the 1st + 10 feet. I just cant...!! Hint -Ever played Gilli Danda...!!

--- These 2 were meant to 'supari' a Sub.Insp of that Mandal a day earlier. Were cleared by the SPG commando's the night earlier while I was dreaming away aboard a AC train in all comfort!!---

Sheesh, life can get cruel quickly!!

(The above was in the local Indian Express, Vijaywada Edition 1-Oct-09. Vijaywada eh?? Wonder what its going/gone thru as you read this)

2-Oct-09, 22:00
Back on the bbbuummpppyy ride to Rly Stn and I was AC'ed away back to Secundrabad.

3-Oct-09 5:30AM

All the above made me crazy enough to do the following. I asked mum and dad how tired they were, They went!. So I proposed a HYD Dharshan at 530 in the morning.

I drove out in the Indigo, drove across Tank bund road, Buddha statue, Lumbini park, Secratariet, raj bhavan, 1 BIG Sitting Gandhi statue (where guys?), more wide and wider roads, eventually ended up at CHARMINAR.

Wow - 630~ AM, Charminar was a SIGHT TO behold. Very nostalgic and after a drizzly morning, headed back to relative to BAD NEWS!!!!

--------Entire NH7 Streches are WASHED AWAY, Kurnool swept clean, 3 dams nearing BREAKING point, Andhra in TOTAL MESS!!!-------

Quick call to Wifey, she is flying in tomm with my Latitude (bread winner). I am working for 2 days from NIZAM's capital and Flying back to Bangy on Wednesday morning 7th oct. 5 of the above tickets were better than 3 of us going back to bangy today or sunday. My visa would have toasted at the hands of these unscruplus airliners... Damn their pricing during these emergency times.

Mum&Dad are going to see the HIA, I cant have dreamt of a better holiday/or whatever you call it.

This is NOT the end, Remember a important element of the above yawn! story... My CAR!! Its gonna have a bahama'nian vacation at the hands of NO-One outside my relative home UNTIL POSTERITY. My dad has predicted 1 MONTH for Andhra to come back to Normal, NH7 to be rebuilt. I say 2 weeks, Lets see.

-------No pics since my Pentax Optio decided to blow up, thankfully not the claymores. None-the-less, a story I wanted to share with you all. Its to be continued...-------
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Old 3rd October 2009, 20:59   #2
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Even I was driving back from Pune on Wednesday via Belgaum, Hubli, Dharwad, Davangere. HEAVY rains. Pools of water on the road would pull the car to the sides. An LPG tanker had toppled near Dharward and there was KILOMETERS of jam. Dont know what happened to those stuck in the Jam. I asked around and took a detour inside a village and somehow reached the highway on the other side of the toppled LPG tanker.

Only when we reached Bangalore we realized the intensity of the rains. Waiting for the continuation of your article.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 21:21   #3
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That was an extraordinary adventure - thank your lucky stars !!!
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Old 3rd October 2009, 21:38   #4
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Good to hear you guys came through safe and sound! Things could have been very bad.
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Old 3rd October 2009, 21:51   #5
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Gosh that was close....

On the rains the clouds ar still coming in, so it might be dangerous if it continuous to pour...
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Old 4th October 2009, 12:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinsid View Post
Only when we reached Bangalore we realized the intensity of the rains. Waiting for the continuation of your article.
Damn! is it any safe to take this route now ? I have relatives coming tomorrow via Volvo buses ?
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Old 4th October 2009, 17:18   #7
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santosh, thanks God that you came out of the mess just in time. looks like AP and North karnataka is under water.

Abhi
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Old 5th October 2009, 12:53   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Good to hear you guys came through safe and sound! Things could have been very bad.
Kumar, still stuck inside Hyd... flying into blore wednesday morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Damn! is it any safe to take this route now ? I have relatives coming tomorrow via Volvo buses ?
If volvo can fly over kurnool bridge like keanu reeves did, then possible. Seriously - IMPOSSIBLE. See some Andhra channels like TV9, TV5, etc etc. Kurnool bridge, both up/down lanes have a 50 feet gap. (Coincidence?? with SPEED's 50Ft)

Ahead at mahaboob nagar, entire KM is washed away. Estimates say a week to 2 weeks of work needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
santosh, thanks God that you came out of the mess just in time. looks like AP and North karnataka is under water.

Abhi
See above, still in gogura land.

------
Update -Wife flew-in sunday late night with my dell. Back to work now.

As the title suggested, I helped my co-sis and mum in making gongura chutney today morning. Will update after a spicey lunch...

PS - Spent the entire Sunday inside Salarjung!!! Man, what a collection.

PS PS -Dirty cop outside Salarjung took 30Rs for tea/kaapi just for driving a TN car with all papers INTACT. $^$%^$%^ GUY!!!
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Old 5th October 2009, 14:12   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
30-Sep-2009

I learnt later that we drove OVER a small Bump in the road "Guess??" which housed a 10Kg claymore and again a 2nd hump within 10 feet of the 1st which housed "20Kg" of the same above. I cant discuss why the 2nd is placed just after the 1st + 10 feet. I just cant...!! Hint -Ever played Gilli Danda...!!

--- These 2 were meant to 'supari' a Sub.Insp of that Mandal a day earlier. Were cleared by the SPG commando's the night earlier while I was dreaming away aboard a AC train in all comfort!!---

Sheesh, life can get cruel quickly!!

(The above was in the local Indian Express, Vijaywada Edition 1-Oct-09. Vijaywada eh?? Wonder what its going/gone thru as you read this)
Wow! Incredible! Amazing Travelogue this. Good to know you are all safe. How abiut some Gongura you helped in making!
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Old 5th October 2009, 14:34   #10
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Jeez! Happy that you guys made it through. I keep seeing horrifying pictures of even trucks floating. You have to thank your stars.


Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
PS - Spent the entire Sunday inside Salarjung!!! Man, what a collection.

PS PS -Dirty cop outside Salarjung took 30Rs for tea/kaapi just for driving a TN car with all papers INTACT. $^$%^$%^ GUY!!!
Really? They stopped me as well outside the museum as I was driving a KA car but when I produced all the papers that were in order they let me go.

Nainar
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Old 5th October 2009, 15:02   #11
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Boss you are really lucky.Thank your stars moon sun whatever.
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