The journey - An introduction

Pictures on the title:
Left: The mode of transport with luggage, dahanu
Middle: Flamingo dance, rann of kutch
Right: Locals drying cow dung, National Highway, Bihar

A journey through our country via the untrodden paths on a motorcycle was our dream from some time now and October 2010 happened to be a good time to begin. Marzban and I had completed our job commitments and gave up everything for 3 months. We were under the impression that 3 months was a good chunk of time to roam majority of the country till we started planning day to day travel. Finally we gave up planning and just plunged in.

Guided by M. P. Ranjan's Handmade in India, Eicher Road Atlas and our newly groomed Honda Unicorn we set out on 5 October 2010. The first lap of our journey lasted till 30 October during which we roamed Gujarat, Saurashtra, Kutch before coming back to Bombay and packing for the winter.

Lap 1
The first lap lasted 25 days - 4505 km

The second lap started on 3 November 2010. It was to last till 20 December but was truncated on 2 December 2010 due to an accident. In this lap we roamed Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttaranchal, Himachal, UP, Bihar.

The second lap lasted 30 days - 3855 km

Lap 2
A lot of expectations were attached with this trip. Few things were known - that we wanted to avoid national and state highways, we wanted to explore the non metro - non urban areas, we wanted to track down local arts and crafts in their 'natural' surroundings (not as consumer products) - but a lot more were variables - what path, what destinations, how to not be tourists, how do we document the experience, how do we approach people.

Motorcycle was a requirement - it not only brings you much closer to the environment that you travel through but it is inconvenient enough to not let you slip into your own shell while traveling. It made sure we took frequent breaks and in the process interacted, it made sure we were not able to stock any necessities on us, it made us approachable and an object of curiosity with the tied up luggage and MH number plate. More often than not the motorcycle thawed the ice with the local populace.