Solo Cycling Expedition Day 18 – Kanyakumari to Khardungla

SOLO CYCLING EXPEDITION: DAY 18

Sunita Singh Choken -The legendary INS Viraat
Sunita Singh Choken -The legendary INS Viraat

“Day 18, August 01, 2017″ – Mumbai

Blue sea, colorful fleet and white gallantry receive Sunita at Mumbai

 In the navy
Yes, you can sail the seven seas
In the navy
Yes, you can put your mind at ease

Sunita Singh Choken - Ride of a different kind
Sunita Singh Choken – Ride of a different kind

The song came true for Sunita when her 18th day marked an unexpected day of rest. And what dream holiday it turned out for her amongst the chivalrous men dressed in white and spectacular naval ships and submarines. After her horrid accident on her way to Mumbai and the stitches around her elbow, this was a welcome break.

Sunita Singh Choken - Finally on a ship- A childhood dream
Sunita Singh Choken – Finally on a ship- A childhood dream

Not the one to get deterred by unpleasant experiences on her way, Sunita wanted to continue on her voyage. Her night stay was planned at a naval club and in the morning she was planning to be back with her companion of the last few days…her humble cycle.  But, at the club  she met the young Lieutenant Sumit who promised to take her on a tour to witness the naval magnificence and splendor. It was difficult to resist the temptation of the offer along with the hospitality extended by her very gracious host Capt. Mohit Goel, she finally decided to take a day’s break.

For Sunita it was a dream come true experience. There was the legendary INS Virat, INS Sindhuvijay and hordes of story around the super fleet and the handsome sailors.

As has been happening with her from the last few days, here also she suddenly spotted a familiar face who happened to be her friend Gautam from  mountaineering training school. She was also pleasantly surprised to meet Commander Puri who was to be her fellow Everest climber but could not do it due to work commitments.

At the club she enjoyed the naval hospitality and thoroughly enjoyed all the pampering she received from men and women in white. She saw with awe and wonder the precision and perfection with which they perform their duty and marveled at their hard work and energy.

In the evening she met another woman whose name is etched in history too. She is the first woman engine driver of India, a profession which apparently is men’s bastion. They call themselves motor men and with a woman joining their force now, a ‘motor woman’ has emerged.

Sunita Singh Choken With Motorwoman Mumtaz Kazi - Asia's first engine driver
Sunita Singh Choken With Motorwoman Mumtaz KaziAsia’s first engine driver

She left with a heart full of pleasant memories and a sense of pride for the country and the brave soldiers who face the hardships everyday but neither complain nor whine at the call of duty.

She started with renewed energy thinking there’s no short cut to success. The uniformed men she left behind will keep inspiring her for days to come.

Her message: There is no love like the love for one’s country and there’s no pride which compares to the pride in one’s motherland.

 

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