Day 9, July 23,2017 – Bangalore to Hiriyur
Distance travelled- 186 kilometres.
Duration- 16 hours
Leaving the company of Jen and the comfort of home was definitely not easy , but Sunita was back on the harsh road braced up to face another day. Jen cycled alongside her sister till the city outskirts from where she returned on the insistence of her sister. She was choked with emotions as she saw her courageous sister cycling down the highway disappear from sight- much like the classic scene from the epic Ramayana where Lord Rama convinces his brother Bharat to return to Ayodhyaya while he moves on to face the hardships of the forest.
Energised after a days break Sunita completed first 93 Km by 11 AM ., She skipped the initial plan of breaking her journey at 110 kilometres and decided to head straight for Hiriyur which she on reaching realised was a whooping 186 kilometres from where she started in Bangalore. The excitement and contentment at having covered this huge distance was evident in her voice as she narrated the days happenings.When she was around city of Tumkur, she got a pleasant surprise as a group of Rajsthani people received her at the highway with great pomp and show and took her to Oorukera village. A small religious ceremony had been arranged as this community had bought some land here for farming and cattle rearing. She planted a sapling here and enjoyed the hospitality people from Rajasthan are known for. A sumptuous lunch of authentic Dal baati choorma, gatte Ki sabji., curd milk and a lot more right in the hinterlands of the Southern state of Karnataka– what could be better. She broke her golden rule of a light lunch as the spread was too tempting to resist and soon resumed her journey after her brief stay with these wonderful people. As she pedalled along Sunita was surprised and a little unhappy with the behaviour of some of the passerbys. For the first time during her this journey she came across the typical hooliganism women face specially when they are alone. The comments, whistling and uncomfortable stares directed towards her left a bad taste .By the time she reached Hiriyur it was almost 9:00pm. She stayed with a family known to her and after a satisfying home cooked meal she called it a day- a very loooooooong day indeed.
“Women are not objects of ridicule. Any behaviour which demeans them should be dealt with severely first by the woman herself and then by the society”
– Message from Everester Sunita Singh Choken