Hanumangarh was the first city from where I left at the earliest during this whole journey, i.e., at 5:50 am as I had Bathinda as my destination and I was pretty excited about it. Very soon I crossed Rajasthan and entered Haryana, the state where I was born. But my stint in Haryana was for just 40 km, after which I entered Punjab. I was in Rajasthan for 17 days, which is the longest I took to cross any state. For the first time in my life, I saw the desert and experienced its oppressive heat first-hand. I could smell wheat fields and it felt like home and the route was also good, with trees on both sides. I understood that it was just the starting of good times ahead.
I stopped by at a dhaba where I had parantha; after all, this is what Haryana & Punjab dhabas are known for. I realised that the changes in food also showed that how far I had come: from idli-dosa to dahi-parantha, which in opinion is a nice way to put it.
I met a cyclist who competes in the Punjab region when I was some 30 km from Bathinda. He was on a motorcycle and we talked as we rode. This way my speed also increased as I was tired and riding at slow speed. My friend arranged an accommodation at his uncle’s place in Bathinda and as I reached at his home, I was warmly welcomed. Soon I realised that there were just uncle and aunty with a servant, who stayed with them in their big home. Their two sons were settled in Canada and they were really happy to have me there.
They were really nice to me and made me felt at home. I stayed there for two days as I wanted to give my body rest that it had been begging of me and recover from cold. It rained that night, and the temperature was 20 degrees Celsius, the lowest of my whole tour.