“Day 17, July 31, 2017″ – Pune to Khandala
Distance – 78 kilometres
Duration – 6 hours
An accident, a doctor and Imar Deepak Kadam………
Sunitas day began well on an inspirational note as a Senior Citizen Cycling Group ( above 60 years)accompanied her for almost 30 kilometres till the old Pune Mumbai highway as two wheelers are not permitted on the Expressway.
Continuous rains and the winding roads of the Western ghats are indeed a treacherous combination and can prove to be a difficult and trying ride even for the most seasoned cyclists. Sunitas GPS had clocked 79 kms and she had just crossed the picturesque locale of Khandala looking beautiful and mysterious in the fog and rain. As she cycled down the steep slopes visibility was poor and it became difficult to control the speed of her cycle which was now speeding uncontrollably at around 60 kmph. She unsuccessfully tried to slow down using the breaks but because of the gravel on the road the cycle skidded and tossed Sunita to the ground dragging her some distance on the gravel. It took her some time to compose herself and check for injuries. She realized there was a deep gash on her elbow which was bleeding profusely. Belonging to a rare blood group Sunitas concern was to reach a hospital and ensure that the bleeding stopped. By now some passer bys had gathered but nobody stepped forward to help. Imar Deepak Kadam….. who was passing by immediately took stock of the situation, directed a biker to take Sunita to the hospital and assured Sunita that her cycle and belongings would be safe with her. She then gathered the belongings and dragged the damaged cycle for about a kilometer to Sunset point at Khandala where she sells ‘ Bhuttas ( corn)’. Sunita received first aid and stitches at a hospital in Khandala town.
Her cycle was a little damaged and the rear tyre was punctured so there was no way she could cycle further. Help was on its way from Mumbai as she waited with Imar near her cart in which she was selling Bhuttas Imar introduced Sunita to her friends Sukhdev Bhatt, his daughter Saraswati Joshi and his daughter in law who owned similar roadside eating stalls in Khandala selling boiled groundnuts, tea, boiled eggs and Maggi . Sunitas surprise knew no bounds when she got to know that Sukhdev Bhatt the owner of the tea stall was a cyclist himself and had cycled as far as Punjab in his ordinary non sport cycle. The warmth and concern of these people touched Sunitas heart. she couldn’t help but draw a contrast between these lovely people who looked after her fed her and didn’t want anything in return. and the attitude of indifference of the doctor who attended to her at Khandala whose main concern was to ensure that arrangements were made to clear his bill.
Sunita was received by her friend Bhushan and reached the Indian Navy base right next to the picturesque Arabian Sea where she was to stay for a day . Lt. Sumit was there to receive her and he was a great help as he helped get her cycle back in shape, and other logistic help.As Sunita got ready to sleep the days events flashed past her and she thanked God for the beautiful life and lovely people like Imar Deepak Kadam who share whatever little they have spreading so much of happiness and love . “ A persons wealth is not the money he possess but the ability to give happiness “.