It is about to be a month since we completed the ride. It has been an year old dream and an year long preparation which culminated in an ultimate experience of 33 days. During those 33 days, we have gone through every emotion that that a human can experience. Riding through mountains, crossing dangerous mountain passes, water streams, snow patches slippery roads, heavy rains, endless roads, remote villages, and finally ending the ride at the end of India at the junction of three oceans… this was a once in a life time experience.
During this ride, we have seen all kinds of people right from extremely friendly to very hostile and unwelcoming. We have heard surprising revelations, interesting conversations, stupid reasoning etc. Experiencing multiple cultures across the country right from small villages to cities, was a total experience. Each location that we stayed and travelled has taught us something. For example, seeing the lifestyle of the Indian army in Kashmir has made us extremely proud of them and understand the extreme conditions under which they operate. This has tremendously increased the respect towards them.
When we visited through the towns of Kashmir, the lifestyle of the locals taught is what planning is all about. Some interesting conversations with the defense services has made some interesting revelations. We have seen the extremely hardworking Kashmiris to the laid back folks of Rajasthan and Himachal. We have seen the difference in the attitudes of the people belonging to a City versus a village. Surprisingly, people from villages are most welcoming and curious about someone new. This ride cleared notions about highway safety and carelessness.
Personally, this ride has made both I and Srivadana more strong-willed and increased the ability to take on challenges. It made us explore our inner self and understand where do we stand. Visiting temples in South India has created future itinerary for myself as I need to visit them again. As I prepare to document our experience on this ride, there are some people who we need to thank for all their support.
First would be my parents (Srivadana told hers after the ride), who though worried never expressed that to us and just told us to be careful. Next would be our office management for giving us 45 days of leave without a second thought.
Peeyush for all his help for making us extremely comfortable in Kashmir.
Alekh Jain, Sharma Neha, Sudhakar Sagi, Kaushal Chawla, Neelesh Jain, Kiran Goonda, Jyostna Kamarsu Gutta – for hosting us in Mohali, Delhi, Alwar, Jaipur and Bangalore. A special mention for our backup vehicle driver for some stretch in Kashmir, Targais. His knowledge of the terrain made extremely difficult things look very easy. All of our friends/colleagues have encouraged us over the last one year and that has given us immense confidence.
Subramanian Chandrasekhar and Harsh Jain for sending us off in Pune when we started off.
Vamsee Krishna for interestingly hearing me out in Hyderabad and encouraging me to document this completely.
Icing on the Cake
This happened on the 24th of September, 2017. A fellow rider Tanmay Pangam, (whom I do not know and never met) posted an insta story referring to some Activa he had seen in Leh. One of my co-bloggers is a friend of his and shared the post, which was actually our vehicle. Though many people whom we know appreciated our ride, this was the moment where I personally was very proud of what we had done. Thank You so much Hemal for sharing the insta story.
The next post will all be about how the thought of this ride come into my mind and some details around it.