I had never visited Tirupati in my lifetime until last year when I went to India for a month. I requested my husband to arrange for the trip as soon as he can. I personally don't prefer long road trips in India, one because I don't feel its as safe as taking road trips in USA and secondly since I want to relax when I am in India, I didn't wanted me or my husband to take the pain and drive all the way. After a day of hassle and discussion, my husband somehow stuck to the idea of taking a road trip. Along with we both, one of our cousin joined our trip. I was not so comfortable with the idea since I knew that he drives like crazy but my father in law had given instructions to him to drive safely.
So, finally we started for the trip. My nephew was crying to join us but since he was just 3yrs old I thought I might not be able to handle him all alone. But I felt bad to leave the poor boy. We brought some chips, coke and water and started from Hyderabad. Initially the road was good but because of traffic we couldn't cover much distance. After travelling for 100 kms we decided to take a break and switch driving. Now, my cousin started to drive and I was very cautious. He started driving at the speed of around 120kmph and that alarmed me somehow since I saw few auto rickshaws on the highway and few times he had to literally stop because of the signs.
We were driving on NH-44 and somehow we missed the route and instead of going towards Bangalore we continued on NH-40. We started at 10am and it was around 5pm and we had just reached Kadapa. My father in law was calling so many times and taking tension. Since, we wanted to reach Tirupati before it gets dark since now we had to cross the ghat roads and that would have been scary. For some reason while we were talking to our father in law, my cousin sped off and he over looked a bump because of which our car literally flew. He was driving at 120 kmph and on top of that there was an auto rickshaw driving in front of us. Our car dashed into the auto rickshaw. I don't know if it was god's grace or my cousin somehow managed this crisis, nobody got hurt except the car. I could see the smoke from the radiator and the car stopped with a thud sound. After this massive incident, the auto driver came out to fight with my cousin and they started arguments. Slowly, it converted to a fight and my husband and my cousin started fighting with him. Looking at this local people surrounded them and I got so scared. It is believed in my family that Tirupati journey is never easy for us. My mother in law had already warned me before heading for the trip. I don't know why but I started crying and came out of the car and shouted " Please go away, no body is hurt here.. stop this fight"
After few mins, everybody dispersed and when my husband started the car it somehow started but the wheels were shaky. On top of this, it started raining heavily. We were just 10kms away from Kadapa district. The wheel alignment had got disturbed and the headlight had broken. We found one auto repairing shop in the town and it was getting dark and rain was making it more worse. To top all these, electricity had gone off in the town and mechanic had somehow managed to align the wheels but he couldn't set the headlight properly. My head was already spinning with what was happening since morning and I felt miserable. So, finally I collapsed in the back seat but couldn't sleep. I was somehow sensing that something bad is going to happen so I requested my husband to find a hotel in the town and we can drive to Tirupati in the morning since we were just 120kms away. It was night 8pm and we had to take a pick. Since I was sleeping after enquiring few people they both came to know that the place is not safe and the hotels nearby were not that good. They made up their mind to drive on the ghat roads. I protested but since rain stopped they thought it would be better if we continue the journey and reach there.
I slept hoping that we would somehow reach our destination without any hassle. But our journey was filled with many hardships as my mother in law had told us. The headlights were not properly placed and that made it difficult to clearly see the pits and holes on the ghat road. After driving for an hour it again started raining and we were driving on ghat roads. I woke up from my sleep with a big thud sound again. My heart started pounding since I didn't wanted any other trouble. This time since my husband couldn't see the road properly and he was sleepy he couldn't see a manhole. The wheel balance again got disturbed and that got me on to my nerves. I started praying god and asking for forgiving any past misdeeds we had done. We took a break at a local dhaba that was open at 10.30pm. After having food, I asked my husband to take a break since food somehow induces sleep. But who listens to me??
After driving for some more time, I woke up with another shock. While driving on the road my husband closed his eyes, thanks to my cousin that he was awake and saw that my husband was driving on right hand side. He forgot unconciously that he was driving in India and not in USA and there was a truck honking at him from a distance. My cousin suddenly turned the car to the left side and thank god my husband woke up and applied the brakes else that would have been our last road trip ever on this earth! I can still get scared remembering this incident. We were some centimeters close to death. At last after fighting with our fate, we somehow reached Tirupati at around 2.30am.
At that moment I was so happy to not bring my nephew. Poor kid would have got scared by all this and what if something were to happen on that night! With all these scary thoughts I finally fell asleep that night.This was a scariest road trip of my life.
We learnt a lesson that speed and thrill definitely kills! I can never forget this trip in my life.
This story is a part of Mahindra XUV500 "Incredibl
e Stories" contest!