Dadu Aur Madak

Back in Delhi

Back in Delhi, we found that Lalli had all of the paper work completed, and the luggage racks had been fabricated. Lalli Singh, we had learned is known all over India. Although he is not an authorized Royal Enfield dealer, he maintains a stock of bikes for foreign buyers, and for the several tour operators that he provides support for. His tiny shop is in a basement in an alley in the Karol Bagh motorcycle market. He also has a warehouse about ten kilometers away where he stores scores of bikes for the tour operators. He is totally thorough, thinking of many things that we would not of thought of. He provided us with all the tools and spare parts he thought we might need, with the understanding that he would take back anything that was not used. He also insisted that we come early on the day before we were leaving and meet his head mechanic for instuction on removing and repairing the front and rear tires, and replacing clutch and throttle cables. His thoroughness didn't end there though. He also changed the stock horn for a louder one--a must in India, and the evening before we departed he took us with both bikes to a closed off area of a nearby park to teach us how to kick start them, and to let us get accustomed to riding them. He also provided us with the easiest route out of the city. This last item was a godsend in a city where driving is absolute mayhem. Here he is affixing a decal of the elephant headed Hindu god Ganesh, who is the god of good fortune.  The rear luggage  was adorned with the symbol for Om.

The Karol Bagh motorcycle market is a four block area and the jumble of alleys that connect them, where you can find any type of bike available in India in any price range. Bikes and scooters constitute nearly half of the traffic encountered on the roads. Below is an example of one of the reasons for that.

Connaught Place is the Delhi's tourist center. It consists of three concentric circular roads, with eight spoke-like Radial roads. The center "hub" is a park that connects to an underground bazaar, an underground parking lot and the city's metro. Above is one of the spoke roads. You will note that the cars are parked five deep leaving only two narrow lanes for actual traffic. How they are able to get cars in and out is a mystery to me, but it does all seem to work.

Once Lalli was satisfied with our training, there was one last order of business before we could leave. The bikes were adorned with garlands of flowers and sticks of incense and were given offerings of sweet almond balls before being blessed by a Hindu prayer.

Finally, once Lalli was satisfied, his whole crew came out to see us off.