Planning a hang-out in vacations seems an exciting and great idea but what if you suddenly make a plan for an escapade, that too in this hot weather touching 45 degrees. Well! This idea came upon me and guess what? Me, my mom and my cousin brother decided to travel up to Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) to our relative’s place in scorching summer heat, thereby planning to zoom through two major highways—Yamuna Expressway and the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.
A road trip from Delhi to Allahabad could be tiring and most would not recommend it, as trains and buses are easily available; but if you want to satiate your thirst for driving, this could be a bit of adventure.
I was in two minds when I came to know that this trip would be a 12-hour-long arduous ordeal, but my mother—my faithful accompaniment in many such trips—convinced me to come along by bribing me with an offer I could not let go—of indulging in my favourite pastime shopping.
Next morning we decided to commence travel by 9, but lazy laggards as we are—could kick off only around 10:30, after we had our petrol tank brimming.
Almost toiling for one hour in Delhi and Noida traffic, we finally took off on wider, emptier roads until we reached Yamuna Expressway. I was driving for the first time so for everyone this had to be an adventurous trip. The speedometer hit 120km/h and the car was flying. The highway was clean and we crossed Agra in 2 hours flat and were on course to our destination.
We navigated our way through google and after some dilly dallying were on course again on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. The speed this time clocked 140km/h and you could only experience it after opening the car window. We zipped past many other vehicles but to our utter dismay realized that there were no restaurants and restrooms—for the next 300 kms at least. This expressway (Agra-Lucknow) is a peculiar zone, as there is no habitation or vantage points alongside, where one could halt, eat and relax and then continue with the journey. Much to our horror, we found there were no petrol pumps also and if there was one, it was a long way inside from the main expressway (we learnt afterwards). Suddenly, we realized, that before hitting this expressway we should have had a full refill of petrol.
For those reading this, I would advise that as an extra measure, while travelling on this expressway, one should have emergency kits and your baggage loaded with food. One should also fully take care of the vehicle’s tyres and fitness and other safety measures, while driving on Agra-Lucknow Expressway, especially in the hotter months.
To make things worse for us, a dog got knocked out by our car as I drove. This made me upset and it took me some time to recover from the shock. Added to this was the tired feeling I had for having driven for almost over 300 kms. But as we could find no restaurants en route, my mom decided to carry on from here, as I took a much needed break.
My mom really likes to drive and as soon as she got on the driving seat, she accelerated the car. After a while we realised that the petrol tank was half empty and refueling was the need of the hour.
My cousin brother get down to get petrol—far from the expressway, by walking and passing through mounds of mud and stones and could manage only 2 litres in 2 water bottles.
Meanwhile, we asked a biker to help us out and to our relief we saw some cops. We asked them to help us to find our way through a nearby petrol pump.
Luckily for us, the next petrol pump was about 35-40 kms ahead. We got the tank full and from a place called ‘Alan Murana’ we got our way via Kanpur to Lucknow. We got the coolant checked, but after going a few hundred metres we realized that the car AC had stopped working. We found a mechanic nearby. He checked and changed a few parts and told us that the damage has been caused by the unfortunate accident we had. Fortunately for us, he fixed everything but it was late for us to go to Allahabad, so we took a halt in Kanpur and enjoyed one of our cousin’s company. Next day, after having breakfast we set for Allahabad.
(Written by Delhi resident Twishi Mohan, a student of Pearl Academy)