When I Rode a motorcycle with a non-functional headlamp for 100 kilometers
I was in the middle of nowhere with a friend of mine & a motorcycle whose headlamp is not functioning any more, the horn had already stopped working some 15 minutes before this. There was no street light or any other source of illumination. While I was trying to fiddle with the wires going from headlight to the battery hoping this would revive the headlamp, I was recalling a conversation with my friend who told me that people in Bundelkhand (Madhya Pradesh, India) had a reputation of pointing a gun at anyone for almost no reason. Scared about my friend’s and my own safety, I called on an unknown number from which I got a missed call some 10–15 minutes ago thinking that this would be from the Bike Rentals office from where I had rented this Royal Enfield Classic 500 cc, He didn’t receive the call whereupon I called the property manager of the hostel we are staying in at Khajuraho who also helped us in renting this bike, He too didn’t answer the call. I really hate people when they don’t answer calls. I decided to make the last call to my mechanic in Delhi.Thankfully he answered the call & asked me to change the fuse since the motorcycle I own is a carburettor one (I own a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 cc 2012 model)& the one I am riding was an EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection), I couldn’t really figure out where the fuse was.
I just couldn’t stay here any longer, so I told my friend that we are going to move from here & see if we can move with the phone’s torchlight. I couldn’t believe what I said to her because I never thought I would be able to pull this off. But I had no other option. Her phone’s battery was dead already, thankfully my phone was sufficiently charged. I looked at the time in my phone which showed 20:43 & I started riding with the phone’s torchlight.
As expected the first couple of kilometres were really tough, the illumination wasn’t enough for riding a motorcycle & on the top of it, it was a single lane road. So for most of the time, I was riding like a blind man riding at a speed of 20 kmph
My friend later told me that after those first few kilometres she thought that we would reach Khajuraho at 2 or 3 in the morning.
After riding for 2–3 kilometres I suddenly feel that there’s more than enough illumination on the road & I could easily see the road & vehicles coming from the other side. I asked my friend if there is a bus behind us. She confirmed (It later turned out to be a car)
I asked her to hold the phone which we were using as an alternative to head light’s lamp & told her that this bus is our last hope & we can’t let it pass.
I started riding at a speed of 80–90 kmph and when the car would try to overtake us I would accelerate to a speed of 100–105 kmph. We didn’t let this car overtake us for almost half an hour. There was no way he could know that I was riding with a non-functional headlight. He must be thinking that I am some crazy guy who was trying to race with him.
He overtook us finally, I am sure he would have yelled at me multiple times during that half an hours thankfully I couldn’t hear any of that.
The next couple of kilometres were again very slow at a speed of 15–20 kmph.
And again there was enough illumination on the road, i handover the phone to my friend and accelerated, This time I couldn’t hold this car for more than 10 minutes as my friend told me about the driver’s monstrous eyes, I didn’t want him to put a gun on my head so i let him pass.
The driver of this next car was a psycho, he was continuously honking at us, so we had to let him pass in just 15 minutes, By this time we reached Chattarpur where we had seen the street lights first time on our return journey from Oorcha to Khajuraho.
Again we didn’t let a car to overtake us for good 20 minutes, but when he finally passed us he stopped the car, my friend asked me, “what was he up to?” I said probably he is going to take out his gun, I was scared but I kept on moving & overtook his car, He drove behind us for good 12–13 kilometers, He was the first and only guy who figured out our misery and decided to help.
When he left us, we were just 13 kilometres from Khajuraho.
We reached Khajuraho at 10:30, I couldn’t believe I survived all this.
It was one hell of a ride, one that I’ll never forget.