I am not sure where I should start from. Perhaps we can do a flash black to 2009, when an ex-colleague of mine decided to quit and start off an entrepreneurial journey. It was the time people in the IT industry had started making enough money to afford affluent vacations; tourism was flourishing. When I got to know what he was up to, I had my own doubts; I felt it was too ambitious for someone to venture into an unknown path all by himself. We wouldn't know if it was a brave or foolish decision until much later. Back to the present.
Ammu and I hit the sack early enough the previous night. We kept wondering how it's going to be. We received a mail that night that had the name of the instructor. The name was rather strange. We had never heard of that name before. Ammu mischievously wondered if it was going to be a he or she. She giggled. The surname sounded familiar.
The next morning we hurried out of the hotel hoping to find a team of people, which we were going to be a part of. Impana was standing right there with 3 bicycles ready to greet us. She was warm and friendly. She helped us try our helmets and adjust the cycles. At 7 am on a Saturday morning we started our first experience with "Royal Mysore Walks". The cycles were all maroon and the tyres were much broader than of my cycle back home. I had just recovered from my cycle crash adventure that left me with 10 forehead stitches and multiple bruises all over. So, hopping on this maroon baby needed a bit of courage than usual. The only relief was that this time if it crash landed, I would at least have the helmet on.
We started peddling ; the cycle wouldn't move; 14 year old sedentary lifestyle or perhaps my cycle back home moves with much less friction ? It took a lot of effort to get this guy rolling; the more difficult the more calories burnt. We started off with the government house and Impana soon took us through the nook and corner of the city, telling us interesting stories about different monuments, streets, art and shops. I must admit that it's the very first time I was riding a cycle on the road ( I have owned only one cycle till now and that was bought by depositing ten rupees at random intervals in a school bank account till it grew to 1000 rupees over a period of more than a year. My first blue BSA cycle; how my heart gleamed ).
I don't remember the exact places we went to but I remember my heart racing and a fresh feeling filling me up. It was a pleasure seeing young Impana explain through small stories confidentially. It felt like we knew her from long back. All three of us laughed , took selfies whenever we got a chance and we shared our stories with her over a cup of coffee and breakfast. At the end of almost 3 hours, the trip came to an end. Ammu and I did not realize time flying by and it felt a little sad that it had come to an end. The best thing was we had signed up for the Jeep Tour as well, which was coming up the next day.
I must say that it was one of the most enjoyable activity I have done in recent times. It was not just a cycle ride; It was a memory that will remain etched in Ammu and me for years to come and Impana had made it look so beautiful. Impana, thanks for the wonderful time !
We got into our hotel happy to have burnt some good number of calories. Right there was a framed photo of "Royal Mysore Walks". Well, I guess it wasn't a foolish entrepreneurial journey after all!