Once out of Pipariya, Sohagpur was the next town enroute. As I, Rishi and Nikita pedalled along we were soon stopped by a mob eager to welcome us! Ahh, the feeling of a celebrity as we were garlanded! Gathering blessings and wishes the three of us latched onto five others who were also from Nagpur. We were on the road only for a couple of minutes that we were again stopped near Sohagpur police station for another round of felicitation. School children, a handful of cops and locals, all eager to wish us for our journey ahead. The undisguised enthusiasm of the people and their revelry for a tour, which we on for reasons of our own, was heart-touching! Just as the flower shower got over and we were about to take leave from the people gathered, I overheard a kid telling the other “Ye chali Ferrari!". This innocent simile brought me an instant smile!
As I and Nikita teamed up here for the road ahead we came across a local journalist interviewing Amit and Jyoti on their cycling experiences. Post recording, the few of us who had halted here were onto the roads again and I observed that Amit, now in addition to the weights on his ankles and his bag was now also sporting a placard, handed to him during a felicitation ceremony, encouraging everyone to take up cycling to combat pollution.
As we diverged on to a road lined by trees on both side, Sneha who was leading our pack suddenly screeched to a halt. The rest of us behind her too had to halt abruptly. A branch from a big tree had fallen on to the road. Looking above, it transpired that a villager was actually cutting the branches of the tree. On asking a local I was told that only those branches were being cut which hosted the nests of a particular bird (not an ornithologist, so wouldn’t venture into identifying the bird) since the droppings of these birds were causing haijja on whomsoever they fell.