Diwali 2014
Long Exposure Photography: Dhanraj Wadiwala

I was a little boy when I sat in the car with my family as we drove across the NH4 highway. I looked at my brother and said, “Bhaiya, ha highway asa kiti lamb ahe? (How far does this highway go?)”. My curiosity for the mysteries that the highway held always stayed with me as I grew up. I told my friends and family, time and again, about my dream to travel alone across the ‘Suvarna Chaturbhurj’ or the ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ of India.

 

I was now 23 and a hard core motorcyclist, a member and Chapter Admin of a hard core riding club – Wolfe Pack India. I lived and breathed motorcycles. I knew it was time to fulfill my dream. I researched about the route, set a meager budget for myself, packed my bags, said good-bye to everyone back home and set out alone.

Drenched in the torrential downpours of July, broken roads and endless traffic did not deter me from my journey. I slept on the highways, stayed in shady hotels in a dark corner of the highway and sometimes, with luck, was hosted by old friends and new.

 

People were sweet enough to take me around their city, share the space of their home with me, treat me to the delicious delicacies of their city, spend time over a cup of tea at the dhabas, escort me on the way out of their city and see me off. I am thankful that wonderful people like them exist.

Anirban Kundu from the Eastern Bulls

Ranabir Dada from the Easter Bulls

Rahul Ray from the Team Momozz

An average of 850+ kms a day, sips of tea and water, and an occasional nap. That’s all I did every day as I traversed through different cities and met various people who were friendly and interested in my journey.

I had a tight budget as I had put in endless hours to save up for the journey. Rs 20,000 was what I had initially planned but eventually I ended up adding Rs 5,000 more to the budget.

I ate little, spent my journey on endless highways, talked to my family on the Sena SMH-10 bluetooth headset and intercom, and took occasional breaks to click beautiful shots on my camera.

 

My motorcycle’s silencer fell off twice. The tyre got punctured. The nuts of my crash guard fell off. These were but little bumps on my route which were taken care of in no time at all.

The last 28 hours of my journey were the toughest. I just wanted to get back home on the day I promised I would. I knew my loved ones were waiting and I was eager to see their faces again. So more disciplines were set, less food breaks, shorter naps and non-stop riding. I rode all the way home, muddy and wet, covering 1650 kms from Delhi to Pune.

On the way, past Mumbai, my sprocket went bald and my rear brake liners wore out. I now rode carefully as I did not want any breakdowns so close to the destination.

Just 50 kms before I reached my town, I saw a group of people standing in the dark. When Incognito (my bike) shone his light on them, I recognised them as my loved ones! They were waiting to greet me and take me back home. There were tears and cheers. Every heart there was filled with joy to see me and so was I. What else could happiness be?

I, a little boy, now a man, achieved my dream through determination, while so many people dream to do many things but never go ahead out of apprehensions. I rode hard for 8 days, through 13 states, 9 capitals, 4 metros, past hundreds and thousands of people, made a mark of 6850 kms. A single rider, on a single motorcycle.

 

 

Sourabh Sane
Pune, Maharashtra
India
Diwali 2014
Long Exposure Photography: Dhanraj Wadiwala