It’s 3:00 pm on a Monday evening and Shakti is limping back to Mumbai. We’ve been on the road for the past 15 hours, and now finally at the Panvel stretch she’s showing signs of giving in. In the past we’ve crashed into a bulldozer, skid, fallen of a small cliff and missed a number of head -on collisions but, through it all she always has fought back; saving me most of the time from an untimely meeting with my maker. Today though on the Nh17 she seems ready to give up, I listen carefully to her wheezing and try my best to support her from giving in. Fuck! I don’t need this now. Plus, I think to myself, I have to be at work in next hour or so. I haven’t slept in the last 16 hours since we left Goa, and! we’ve been crawling at 40 kmph since morning due to a gutted chain sprocket. I have one upper in a pocket,given to me by a very kind soul avec love. I know it will keep me up through a 9 hour midnight shift I’m currently working. I take a deep breath, ease on the throttle and focus.35 kms to go..

I’m on my way back from a weekend in Goa; to pick up my motorcycle after an overhaul at Chris’s garage in Parra. 5 weeks ago the sleepy village was my home –away from Mumbai– and the sojourn had me working, mellow melting in Sussegad evenings; partying; strengthening my resolve to get back on the road, and closure on a sincere relationship that went temperamentally insane. A self misguided choice during that insanity cost me an assignment with Karma Yatri a year back. Lesson learnt the hard way.Though for all my misendeavors combined this once the ‘powers that be’ granted me a second chance. An opportunity with Karma Yatri – to ride, help open a coffee shop, an adventure retail store; and be a guest at the abode of gods. A determined and honest call to Hashim one night; a presentation to him that didn’t really make an impact, the chance of an opportunity in spite of it, working on and finishing a project mapping out and indexing primary research on tentative rides spanning the North -east; and luck had put me back in touch with KaYa and the mountains.

I adjust my posture on the bike and rub the dirt out of my eyes. Even though Shakti is barely making it home – yawing and pulling heavily to the right at every throttle increase – a few questions start a conversation with me.’Why shouldn’t I be able to ride her to the Himalayas??’, ‘I shouldn’t be?;Putting the bike on a train after what I’ve heard.’ ‘Should I be taking my bike that far?’–an idea slowly rooting itself in my mind as the responses follow. My motorcycle is akin to a Monk’s prayer beads , both objects resp. are never far away from their owners. I could not see myself leaving my bike behind.Practically, it was going to cost about the same to have her transported 2k kilometers. Could I finish this though? 2000 kms from Maharashtra to the Himalayas? The phone rings as I ponder in 5th gear. It’s Hashim. We are two weeks away from meeting to start work on the project he’s masterminded. I answer…


“Hey dude”

‘Hey man, how’s it going up there?’

”Going good; so like we discussed you’re coming up to Naggar the first week of April?”


”I need you to do one more thing before you get here. I need you to collect a lakh from Pune: to get up here. Can you do that?”

”Sure! I just have one change in my plan. ”

”Which is..?”

”I’m riding my motorcycle from Mumbai to Naggar.”

‘Sure, go for it if you think you’re up for it. Make sure the cash is safe.’

‘No worries on that!’

‘Cool, see you in the mountains then,bye.’

I hang up…

It’s on then!! In those early hours of a March evening – motorcycle and me exhausted – it was decided that the two of us, were set for a trip spanning 5 states over 5 days. Two bags for the essentials, tools and a journey to the Himalayas… Sweet mother of all adventures! Two hours later upperdown, a glass of water and I’m back to work with a smile and mental notes buzzing around about pre- trip repairs needed and the route I could be taking..

Tell us what you thought! Feel free to share your experience on a spot decision you made to drop it all and take a ride/drive.

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The road never ends…