As I grabbed myself in the tiny corners of my flat in New Delhi, and started typing a set of careful words — an effort to pen down the itinerary we followed during our Jammu to Killar motorcycle trip — I realised what I’d left behind. There are some experiences that leave an imprint in our life, depart us with many uncountable memories, and this one week ride I ended up being a part of, with 60+ riders from across India, was definitely one among them.
It is kind of comforting yet troubling at the same time thinking about how until yesterday we were riding as one big family while sharing our little lives together every minute. And today, almost everyone departed on their own, with some, a pair of wet-eyes and some, a heavy heart — very much like these pictures, with one frame saying two different stories altogether.
I always thought that riders are hard-hearted, their instinct and mind work slightly differently than us — the-non-riders-bunch. I thought they are so particular about things and mean-spirited towards the entire business of riding that the idea of random conversations and making friends is almost non-existent in their life. But I was wrong.
In only a few days, we befriended in a way as if we knew each other for a lifetime. I think it’s the power of riding, relying on others, and looking after them more, than yourself. There were times when the group waited for one or two riders that were left behind. Everyone waited under the boiling sun, generating unbearable heat inside their riding jacket, yet never irked.
If someone fell down everyone cared. If someone hadn’t eaten, people shared. Everyone hailed forward and acted like one big family.
I remember when I was initially invited as a blogger to cover the entire ride I was scared more than ever. I was scared not because I was riding pillion and had to rely on another person (Sachendra Pal, a friend, and a skilled rider himself) for my life over the next 7 days, I was scared because I thought I’ll get bored. I thought I’ll feel the odd one out. The one who was spotted speaking to himself for most of the journey.
Alas, I didn’t know that worrying about not having someone to speak with was never required. What was required was a little practice, and much patience, not to have wet eyes as everyone departed.
During what may seem now as a short ride, a kind that went in a blink of an eye, we all laughed, shared jokes, clicked happy selfies together, though a few of us did all of it a little more, and a few, a little less. And in the end, if there were a few things we all took home with us, it was the many happy memories in our eyes, and the many life-lessons from travelling that we, almost unknowingly, taught each other during the ride.
Disclaimer: This trip was organised by J&K Tourism and Biker Brotherhood Motorcycle Club, Jammu. But all recommendations and endorsements are solely personal. I only recommend what I personally try, and find worth appreciating.