About the Fundraiser
It all started with a miserable mundane boring life. A steady well paying job, a stinking crowded city, a failed relationship and no purpose in life, just some meaningless goals set by the society. And I was conditioned to chase them down. But then I made a small mistake, a small change to the routine. I went and saw the mountains of North. I was wide eyed, surprised, mesmerized and was put in my place by those towering giants. I simply fell in love with them. I came back soon enough,for it was a short trip. I probably would’ve settled down in that boring routine but over a drink on another routine weekend, I came across an article about a man riding all over India for 4 months, alone. The schemed up an idea, and sold it to my company, I’m going to make a world record, I’m gonna ride 20000kms in 4 months in India visiting all states. And they too fell for it. But all I really wanted to do ride upto Ladakh soon and spend a month there.
But then fate had other plans and my manager too. He cancelled my leaves at the last moment and I never thanked him for that. I don’t know what came over me, but I simply resigned and walked away from everything. Everyone around me was admiring me for my courage but they never knew how scared I was. I didn’t tell, nor I showed it. I thought, let me have one last grand adventure, even if this is going to end badly.
And what an adventure it turned out to be. Here I’m writing this, after 600+ days. Yes, I rode thru most of the India over these 600 days. Through the burning sun, thru the snow, thru the rain. I rode next to the seas, thru the deserts and of course on those lofty mountains. 23000kms in over an year, spanning 25 states. But then I wasn’t yet satisfied with those mountains. I knew nothing of them. I had not seen snow. I couldn’t bear the cold. But I learned it all, slowly. And walked from Kashmir valley to Uttarakhand, 2200kms right thru the Himalayas. Of course, I had more lofty plans, silly actually. But then I’m glad of what I’ve done.
These 600 days have been the best part of my lives. Life is now a bundle of contradictions and strange adventures. Every day is fresh and new. I make new friends wherever I go. I leave a trail of wide eyed kids and adults in my wake. I sell dreams now. A dream that you can be what ever you want to be.
I would like to tell you all about it, but then its a long story. A very long one indeed and I’ve a hard time choosing what to tell. I was mostly alone on this journey.
I got sun burnt in the south, my hair turned red. I scared the tribals of Orissa, I rode to the holiest places of India, went chasing tigers in sunderban, rode thru the rain in Sikkim, Almost froze myself to death in Tawang, and enjoyed cherrapunjee mostly. I was a terrorist in J&k and Rajasthan border, but a holy sage in the dev bhoomi Uttarakhand and Himachal, Attacked by a murdering peacock of Orissa and camped in the vicinity of bears in Kashmir. I celebrated my birthday with tribals of chattisgarh. Spent an unforgettable night in the desert of Jaisalmer. Rode over to the highest motorable road in Ladakh. Got high with the aghoris of Tripura. Got drunk with strangers in Meghalay.
Well, the point is, I enjoyed it. All of it. It was exhilarating, liberating. I was at last free. Free to do whatever I do(Almost) free to go wherever I can(Except army had some issues with that). I was in-charge of my fate(I think). I had no banners, no messages, no purpose for this ride. It was a selfish act if you please, but I didn’t wanted to preach anything to anyone. People expect me to know some secrets to a joyous life or successful one. I’m no hermit. I’m no sage. I did what came to my mind and that’s was all that. I didn’t want to look down on others for their boring lives. I didn’t want to give them life lessons. I’m just a curious passing spectator. Although I didn’t plan all this, it just happened. I just stretched my meagre resources to the end. I do have a group of small but insane friends who supported me throughout. And after 600 days, I’m now broke. All my belongings, now fit in my backpack and then there is my cycle, whom I call Rover. No, I don’t have regrets. I’m happy about what I did. I’m even proud of me. I’m in love with my mind. But then, forgive me if I’m a bit greedy. I dont want to go back to earning money yet. I don’t want to forsake my freedom. Not yet. I want to stretch this even more. I want to make it a 1000day spectacle. I want to roam around another year. But I need help. This fund raiser is to support me for another year. I know, I ask for too much. It’s unfair to just go and enjoy when you toil. Plus, you might want to know what I’m giving back in return. Why just through away your hard earned money on someone’s silly dream? I’m poor man, I’m broke but this is all I can hope to give back. I would work an NGO for an year in return for this favour. Not for money but just for food. But of course that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. But yet I ask you to support me for the next 400 days. I don’t really need money. If you host me for a night on the way, that would me enough too.
The plan now is to ride or walk for the next 400 days covering 17,000kms. I would be riding from Omkareshwar in MP to Kutch in Gujarat. Then thru the central india MP-Chattisgarh-Jharkhand-Bihar-UP-Himachal-J&K. Then walk from Sankri valley in Uttarakhand to Darjeeling in West Bengal Thru Nepal. And again cycle from there to Mizoram to end the journey.
I need about 200 a day for food and need to rent a room once in 3-4 days to charge my gadgets and stuff. I’ve averaged it to around 300/day but then I can live on much less as I would be sleeping in my tent mostly from now on. The amount also includes the expenditure on winter clothes and equipment that I would need in Himalayas.
For more Info. Please contact: https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/CyclingacrossIndia