Thursday, 21 January 2016

Post Ride Works


Playing With Clay
20-21 January 2016


 I spent the last two days at 'AAkar Arts' Indapur, away from hustle and bustle of the city. I felt really rejuvenated there.
The reason for my visit was to create a small token of love for all of those who played a vital role in success of my I P'ride. I decided to send this little piece of art to all those with whom I stayed while I was on the ride! Rajesh uncle, my brother Vinod and other people from AAakar Arts had already done a lot of work. We carefully packed all items and sent ot via postal service. One of the other good thing to come out of this visit was that I could meet great social worker Ulkaji. I had a great conversation with her.


Other than that, I enjoyed playing with clay. I tried to make a few things using the potter's wheel. I have checked one important box from the to do list post ride!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Gratitude

16 January 2016

I reached home today. Really, there is no place like it. I am really blessed to have Dhananjay Madan (He is fondly referred to as Appa) and Charulata as my parents. Very few parents would have allowed their daughter to go alone on such journey. They gave me the confidence that I can do it. They are a bedrock behind the success of my ride.
I can't be thankful enough to all the people who supported me throughout my "I P'ride" ride. I am rendered speechless as I feel a sense of immense gratitude towards them. It was because of them that everything went so smoothly and without any hassles.
Some people were working even before the ride began and some joined in after the ride commenced.
To make such a long ride successful, it is important that you should have very strong and dedicated backup team. I am very lucky that I had such a team behind me.
The information about my ride reached a lot of people due to print media and radio channels. I would like to thank them for their encouragement and support.
In this ride, I just kept moving towards my aim. People kept joining me along.
I am just mentioning the names of people who helped me in this ride right now. I would write in detail about some of them later..
#SachinGavonkar #RohitNikam #GauravBhatkar #VishalManjrekar #Kavi #VaradPawar #ParagSarode #AkhileshJoshi #MansiRane #VinayakKanitkar #TejasMarathe #SachinShinde #SarveshAbhyankar #GirishMahajan #NikhilPatil #KumarThakur #PrasadKarve #AmoghKurghode #KedarKarekar #JayakumarTMalampuzha #Sureshrisbud #PrasantBhutkar #DrSudhaKS #ShobhaNair #AjithKumar #KThomas #Balan #SharmilaPoojari #GaneshRao #Mandakadam #AnupamaParameswaran #UmeshKamat #PallaviWalawalkar #PrakashBawdhankar #PriteshBhosle #ShaileshGotad #PankajDevdas #SunilRaj #NitinKanitkar #PawanChandak #RajeshKulkarni #AshishAgashe #PrashantNanaware #SuhasJoshi #CKTcollege #AllNisargmitrMembers
& #SumeetParinge
I am sorry if I have forgot to mention someone's name here. I am really thankful to all of you for your support and encouragement.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Day 24 16 Back Home

Celebrating My Special Day
16 January 2016

After a tiring train journey of almost 46 hours, I reached Mumbai at 4.40 am. Just as I got down with the two panniers, I saw my father running towards me and within seconds, he had pulled me in a tight hug. A father never speaks words, but his actions always show how much his children mean to him! My mom and Aunt had come to receive me too. Without wasting much time, I went to luggage car. It was a messy sight. There was a lot of luggage and my cycle was kept on the upper rack. Thankfully, it was in good state with no damage to it.
Then I took my cycle to complete the octroi and gate pass formalities. As it were the wee hours of morning, everyone was half asleep. After running around for a bit, we reached the correct office for getting a pass made. Mr. Tavde from Parcel office helped us to get the pass quickly. After completing all the formalities, we came out of the station. Many of my friends from Panvel were waiting for me. After a round of tea, we all left for Panvel.
I am going home, more confident than ever before and with new challenges in my mind..
I have lived a dream for past 1 month and now,
some new ones await me !

Friday, 15 January 2016

Day 23 Now only a few hours left to reach home!

Excitement of Return Journey
15 January 2016

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and then didn't feel like sleeping. I just kept sitting by the window.
With the particular swaying motion of the train, my body too kept swaying. Time and again I was getting lost in my thoughts.. the memories of my ride, the excitement to reach home after achieving something that I had set out for and future dreams... The dawn made way for the morning with me lost in these thoughts..

The girls you see in the picture are my companions for the journey till Pune. They are very affable.
I find the train journey amusing since childhood. The happiness of being a spectator of the different landscapes like trees, rivers, homes passing by.. I really enjoy watching all of this with my head pressed against the window.
Today I had chats for a radio program and for a newspaper. They were interested and curious about my ride.
I wish you all a very Happy Makar Sankranti and Pongal.
Each time I opened window, the winds that carried the excitement of return journey were caressing my face. I remember the all of those who came to see me off, with anxiety and excitement on their face. Now I am looking forward to see happiness and smiles on their face..
Its just a matter of few hours now!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

DAY 22 Kanyakumari to Panvel Train Journey


CHANGING TRACKS!
14 January 2016


ETD (of train) 0655 hrs from Kanyakumari station but since I had to "drop off" my cycle in the luggage bogey my ETA (at station) was 0500 hrs- good thing too as it took quite a while to load it and get it settled! 



Train pulled out a little late from the station ... My return journey had begun ..the last 21 days rapidly flashed before my eyes much like the train that was covering the distance on its journey back...leaving everything behind
After some moments i settled - the next 43 HRS were going to me and my thoughts (solitude)


A family from Kerala was sitting across me observing me in rapt attention .. ( little creepy!) but creepiness went away once i got to know that they had read about me in the newspaper 
Eventually someone took the initiative to start a conversation and we got talking
They offered to have lunch with them -good thing too as i got to eat yummy home cooked chicken and fish
Can't explain the happiness I'm experiencing .. I'm thrilled
I keep remembering the road with the breezy trees ...(bliss)
The last 21 days constantly keep playing in my mind like a cassette on rewind ....
Wishing this journey never ends!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Day 21 Last Day in Kanyakumari

Challenging Horizons
13 January 2016


I slept late last night and woke up early as some journalists called me at 5.00 am! I chatted for some time with them and then had a early morning walk in half asleep state. But I felt refreshed after that.
 I took some time to get ready and then I left to take a tour of Rock Memorial of Swami Vivekananda. As I approached the ticket counter for the boat ride, I realized many people were already standing in line to purchase the ticket. In a little while I crossed the sea by a boat and reached the Rock Memorial.

 There was a strong breeze. It seemed that the wind was being my constant companion, throughout my journey and now at the Rock Memorial. But as I stood before the idol of Swami Vivekananda, I felt an unusual sense of peace. It was a different kind of peace, almost like sense of calm spreading within myself. I spent some time basking in this divine experience. After I moved out from the memorial, my attention was captured by the sea, with its presence till the horizon, as far as I could see... There is something about sea. Even when you spend time with it not uttering a single word, you end up feeling you have had the best conversation of your life!
 I returned to my room sometime later, with all the memories engraved in my mind..
 Tomorrow I would start my return journey from Kanyakumari. I had to pack all my stuff.
 The most important of all was undoubtedly, my cycle. I started packing it with some paper, adhesive tapes and other items.

 The home is where the heart is. So the feeling of going back home was enticing and exciting.. But it was accompanied with thoughts of new challenges and new dreams!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Day 20 In Kanyakumari

Celebrating Youth Day  
12 January 2016


Yesterday I attended many phone calls and messages of my well wishers.. It was a wonderful feeling for me. I washed a lot of my clothes yesterday.
I was so occupied the entire day that I didn't realize when the clock chimed 12 at night. I had decided to wake up late the next day. But, bound by my body clock, I woke up at 5 am. I got up and went to watch the sunrise. However the spot was overcrowded.
I started looking out for a calm place and finally I found it. I prefer to be in a calm place at such pristine time. My morning had started on a very nice note. I came back to my room and packed my stuff.
It was Vivekananda Jayanti and Youth day today. I have no words to describe my feelings about the coincidence that my ride ended on such an occasion. 

I went out at 11:00 am to meet Jaylesh Rajani. He is riding solo from Kanyakumari to Kathmandu. We had a nice chat.



It was 01:30 pm by now. I was invited to a college at 02:30 pm. I reached the college for an interaction session with the college students. I was there for almost 3 hours. It went really smoothly and I felt wonderful.
After that I again went to The Triveni Sangam. I spent time there in precious solitude. Thinking about newer dreams, looking at the vast ocean, I felt the world was limitless in what I could achieve more! I always do things that I love to do. Rather I take time out from my routine schedule to devote some time to do things I am passionate about.
 I am cycling on the streets of Kanyakumari now. Riding my cycle without the panniers(the thing that hold my bag) feels very comfortable. I got so used to riding with the huge weight that I was finding it odd to ride without it.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Day 19 Vazuthakad to Kanyakumari ( 87 Kilometres )

Dream Accomplished ...!
11 January 2016


It rained last night and that made way for clear skies today morning. This was a good start for the day. In the morning a few people cycled with me to flag me off. Today was the last day of my ride, the accomplishment of my dream! I was happy.
I faced a lot of traffic, headwind and side wind on the way. It troubled me a lot. Like always, the end was not simple. In the traffic, cars and bikes pushed me so much out of the road that I ended up falling once. Fortunately I was not hurt and I got up to pick my stuff and started pedalling again. Again a parallel to life.. you fall but you have to rise again to live!
I entered Tamil Nadu from Kerala. The fifth and final state of my ride.
The road in the end was very nice, with lot of turns but not much of traffic. There were no disturbing horns and it gave me peace of mind.
My destination was getting near but it was getting tougher to ride against the headwind. I met a media person on the way. He promised me to meet at Kanyakumari.
Now, it was the last stage my pride ride.. Last few kilometres, and hurray, I reached my destination and that too before the predicted time!
As soon as I reached shopkeepers of nearby shops flocked around me. I was overwhelmed by this reception. Everybody congratulated me for what I had managed to pull off.
Who says one needs a formal reception? Good wishes of such simple and common people is what makes us achieve such feats. I was searching for a good site to click pictures and finally I got it. The 'Triveni Sangam', where three different water bodies meet, The Arabian sea- The Indian Ocean-The Bay of Bengal. I felt it was an apt place to click a few final pictures as my pride ride, indeed, was a 'Triveni Sangam' in itself. My resolve, blessings of my family and help from my well wishers!
I clicked some pictures here. But there was a lot of disturbance while I was clicking pictures of myself. Seeing this some people helped me take my cycle to a clean and peaceful spot without any disturbance and also clicked my pictures with my cycle. Samiulla Bhai helped me a lot in all this.
By now the media person I met on the way had also arrived. He took a small shoot. We had a brief chat. By now all the people around were aware of me and my journey. Listening to my story a bookseller (Mr. Mani) gifted me a book on Swami Vivekananda, and that too in my mother tongue - Marathi.
I still had some time left on my hand so I decided to watch the sunset. I took my cycle and secured a calm and silent spot.
Many people were calling me and sending me messages. I took my time to watch the sunset, ignoring the thoughts in my mind and the messages and calls for a while.
Now I am staying at Vivekananda Kendra.
The calls and message are still on. But in this entire journey, I could give a lot of time to myself. And I accomplished my dream..!
Now, it is time for me to spend some time with my thoughts in solitude.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Day 18 Kayamkulam to Vazuthakad 110 Kilometres

Nothing comes Easy
10 January 2016


Today, by 07:00 am reporters from a local channel in Kayamkulam were supposed to arrive for a short interview. Unfortunately they didn't arrive and I had to start my ride after a wait of 20 minutes for them. Today again my destination was 100+ Kms away and I had started late


I started with a good speed but had to face heavy headwind today. I had delicious dosas and egg curry for my breakfast on the way.
The route was plain terrain till Kollam. I reached Kollam by 10:00 am. I enjoyed a banana shake there.

Now the road had a lot of climbs and descends ahead. It reminded me that the end is always tougher. Some people on the way today tried to trouble me by trying to eve tease me while on their bikes. But it did not get worse. I had to ignore it and keep cool as a part of my ride.
I was getting tired due to the continuous headwind. But I reached my destination by 05:30 pm.


Today I am staying at Mr. Prakash's home. He took me for a programme. Here, every Sunday people gather on the street for cultural and art performances. This has been a speciality of this place since 2001. Mr. Prakash introduced me to everyone here. I spoke a few words about myself and my ride. The streets are free from vehicles during this programme.
It felt nice to be there.

Today's day taught me that nothing comes easy in life. It tests us till we complete it.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Day 17 Ernakulam to Kayamkulam 100 Kilometres

Mayor flagged me off
9 January 2016


I slept late yesterday. Many people came to meet me and also I had to shift from one place to other for the night stay. By the time I finished my dinner it was 11:00 pm.

In the morning, Junior Chamber International India had arranged a flag off programme for my ride. The mayor of Ernakulam Mrs. Saumini Jain was among the invitees. This programme was scheduled at 08:30 am. So, I had to shift my routine ahead by an hour for this.


. I got ready early and reached a junction in Vytilla. I was happy to see that many people had gathered there and that too, before time. There was a small program and a speech.
.

They had printed banners about my ride. The mayor flagged me off and my ride started. Many people had come there with their bicycles. Some accompanied me for the next 2-3 Kms. The overall program went well.

I started the ride late today and I had to reach Kayamkulam which was 102 Kms ahead. But I kept riding at my routine speed.

While riding a car came by and waved me to stop. I stopped and a lady came to talk. It was Anupama Parameswaran, an actress in Tamil and Malayalam films. She heard about me through a newspaper. We had a brief chat and clicked pictures together. This was the first time a celebrity had come to specially meet me and seeing the treatment I was happy. A completely new experience.

By 01:30 pm I had completed about 50 Kms and arrived at Allapuzha. I had my lunch here. I had 50 more kms to go for the day. I started my ride post lunch avoiding spending any more time on the way now. I had to reach in time as I was yet to figure out a place for my stay in Kayamkulam. 


Finally I reached Kayakulam by 05:30 pm. By then Sudarshanji of RSS had arranged for my stay at Mr Jayprakash G's place. He came to receive me at Shree Ram Krishna Ashram. I also met the swami of the Ashram there. From here I had to ride about 2 Kms to his home. On the way I heard kids calling me by my name. They had heard about the ride on social media, which was shared by the actress Anupama. I had a chat and pictures with them and continued further. Again today's day was nice and it brought me newer experiences.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Day 16 Trissur to Ernakulam ( Vyttila) 85 Kilometres

Kerala Stories  
8 January 2016


Before starting the ride I saw today's News Paper ( in Malayalam) And Mrs. Sudha showed me an article written for me in Matrubhumi Newspaper. After taking a glance at it and understanding its meaning from her I started my ride at 06:20 am.


Since morning I met people wishing me hello and good day. By now many people in these areas have become aware of my ride. Vehicular traffic is less in this part of my ride and so are the problems I face because of it. People today gave me way in the traffic and wished me luck for my journey. Today's route was without much of climbs and descends, this helped me catch a good speed. I had my packed breakfast on the way and moved ahead




After cycling for 2 hours I waited to have fruits. The orange seemed to be juicier. There was no shade on the route, a small tree was where I could wait for this break.
I checked my cellphone and received a call there. I was connected On Air at a Local FM Radio Station. The RJ took a small telephonic interview and a brief informal chat. It was a very nice experience for me.


Moving ahead I halted to drink fresh sugarcane juice. I made friends with two well wishers here, ( Vishnu G and Tony Kuriakose) they had a chat with me and sponsored my juice.
I now started back my ride. I reached Ernakulam at 12:30 pm. I met Mr. Ajith Varma here. He works in a bike store. He invited me to see his shop. I had time and I decided to visit the shop. There I met people and had a nice conversation with everyone. We all had lunch together. By this time Mrs. Shobha arranged for my stay at Mrs. Jayanthy's place. Post lunch I rode for 7 kms to reach Mrs. Jayanthy's place. I am staying with Mrs. Shobha for tonight. This contact is through Shree Krishna College's NCC Professor.

Today's day was pleasant.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Day 15 Guruvayoor to Thrissur (40 Kilometres )

INTERACTIONS
7 January 2016


Today I had planned to visit colleges on the way to interact with the students.
The college in Guruvayoor was 7-8 Kms from where I began and I had been called there at 10:00 am.

The NCC Cadets of Shree Krishna College in Ariyannur near Guruvayoor greeted me with salutes.. I had a nice interaction with the students..

 When the students came to know about my journey all flocked together to chat. Many even clicked selfies with me and gave me best wishes for my journey ahead. I left from there at 11:30am and continued my ride.

I moved ahead 25 Kms to reach St. Mary's Women's College in Thrissur. I reached the place at 01:30pm I got a similar welcome at this college too. I enjoyed answering all the questions these girls asked me. All of them were curious to know about me and my ride.
The faculty of these colleges had asked me to motivate the students to come out of their comfort zones and to try something innovative in their lives. The responses of all the students were great. My ride was altogether a different concept for them. It was a very different experience for me too. I enjoyed it a lot.

The college girls here did not have specific uniforms. They had a dress code but had a liberty to choose colours. I liked this concept.
After these college visits I started riding again and went further to Mrs. Sudha's home. She is a lecturer in Shree Krishna College. I had decided to stay at her place today. We went to visit nearby temples in the evening.

 I liked a few things about all the temples here. The temples are damn clean. The people have carefully preserved the original structure of these temples. All follow the temple rules, right from the dress code. I took this as a chance to wear traditional dress today. After a long time I wore something else than my track pants and t-shirts and jersey which I wear usually while riding


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Day 14 Kozikode to Guruvayur (110 Kilometres)

In Dreamland....
6 January 2016

Today I started at 06:15. As soon as I began riding I had to face a steep climb to reach the main road. After cycling 3 kms I reached the highway.
Since morning there was continuous headwind and the route was full of ups and downs. This was tiring.. After spending long time yesterday to repair the brakes even today the rear brake was malfunctioning. I stopped twice to tighten it but all in vain.
I had my lunch at Tirur. On enquiring in cycle shops it came to my notice that no one had experience in disk brake repairs and thus I had to take time to do it myself. I started from Tirur at 01:00pm. I had to travel 50 more kms now, but the road was plane with patches of sun and shade.

In the afternoon I met many school kids going back home on their cycles. they all must have felt something different about me and so they accompanied me for a while. We also tried to communicate using broken English and hand gestures. All I could convey perfectly to them was that I was riding solo from Mumbai to Kanyakumari. On my way I was blessed with chilled watermelon juice. what more could I want.

Now I am staying in Guruvayoor with Mrs. Bindu.. She served me with bananas, chips and tea on reaching her place. Being in the banana states for so many days today for the first time I had so many at a time..