Nightwalk to Karwar – Part 3.
No buses – strike.
After half an hour of waiting on the near deserted highway, the tea-vendor took pity on us and shared in broken Hindi that private buses had gone on a flash strike today. In solidarity with the striking farmers. Govt. Buses were not on a strike but he hadnt seen a single one today. We got the picture.
It’s like you planned this i groaned at K. He laughed. I joined him. K wasn’t a planner, not with these things anyways.
I sucked it in, started walking.
The national highway was pitch dark. At times, we were forced to switch on the torch light on my mobile. That’s when i realised we have company. Shadows. Sometimes they walked behind, sometimes besides, at times when we heard ambient noises they grew larger. Light or the lack of it changed the way I sensed things. I was grateful then that K was besides me as we soldiered on.
At times we saw bikers cutting across the highway, bouncing on the divider & getting to the other side to disappear onto the service lane. So much for six lane highways and service roads running parallel to them.
We reached the border – no one even bothered to look at us, forget checking us. Finally we were in Goa.
Surprisingly on this sorry excuse of a highway, there were street lights. We had to walk in a single file again, but our shadows didn’t bother us so much. I experimented clicking pics with low lighting, K picked up a walking stick – the stars watched our progress.
Finally we reached near our place, just a bit ahead was a dhabba. We had walked for and hour and some, our legs were hurting and we were hungry. We went in, checked the menu, I ordered comfort food, fish-curry rice while K struggled for a while before he decided he will stick to his new vegan diet. We watched the highway as we waited. Vehicles would light it up from time to time, otherwise it sat in wait. Till we took to it again sometime. I smiled at that thought. K changed his mind, called the waiter, asked for a fish-curry rice himself. We looked at each other, began laughing as a car lit up the highway again.