It was our 1st day Manali, a pitstop after our stretching ride to Himachal Pradesh all over from Mumbai before we get into Rhotang pass (Leh-Ladakh) the gate way to the riders heaven. It was raining heavily at Manali and was definitely a horrible weather to ride ahead as of most of the landslides in the region were now in action. Nevertheless we were pretty chill-axed. It was super cold so we decided to treat ourselves with a bottle of rum. Jagga (Jagdeep Mishra) and me soon left looking for the nearest wine shop. We had to complete our rum session. soon because we’ve got our permits to cross Rohtang pass early next morning.
It was around 8 pm and drizzling after intervals, our minds were occupied with finding solutions for how to deal with possible tasks the rains might put up next morning. Riding towards Leh when its raining could be risky because of landslides, super slippery roads n offroading with at least 35 kgs of luggage on our bikes. Picked an old monk bottle & now we were heading towards the hotel where Vivek Nair & Atul Alex were eagerly waiting for all us. It was cold and dark,we were speeding at 60-65 km/hr when a deep pothole on the edge of the road went unnoticed.
the Royal Enfield Thunder bird 500 Jaggu was riding and I was a pillion on jumped off the road. We were thrown off the seats to land right in the middle of the road. It was only after few seconds of dragging on the road that we finally were at halt. I somehow managed to stand up,still in shock walked towards jagga because we didn’t wished to be hit by any speeding vehicle. I could see some localities running towards us with an intention to help. mean while dialed vivek and lalux for back up Jagga was hit a little above his right eye he was bleeding. The locals offered us water to drink. We thanked them and started again towards the room where we had the first aid kit. After hours of continuous cleansing with antiseptics his wound now looked healing.
This accident was a setback. It was raining again and the weather updates of the region were further demoralizing. Jaggu was hurt, we tried our best to keep ourselves motivated. We asked Jaggu to take the final call and just as he is always n forever a ‘Oh Yes’ no matter how crazy n risky the plan is. That night we realized courage is not the absence of fear. It is doing what you want to do irrespective of all the setbacks and risks involved. Jagga was definitely not feeling up-to himself but his spirit was wound & shock proof. He had decided to stick to our plans even after event of setback.
Thats what riding is all about. Riding is not about speeding and racing with your fellow riders it about backing up each other. Riding is when you slow down if you don’t see the buddy on your tail on the rare view mirror. Its about brotherhood for one must see how riders greet and treat each other even when they are strangers to each other and in middle of nowhere. Riding is beyond regions & Religion. Its about maneuvering yourselves from all the possible obstacles and setbacks the way jagga did. The way babu had continued his raid-de-hind solo ride even after his accident midway. While we were on our way to Manali we faced heavy rains soon after Mandi fully drenched and by the time we had entered Manali its was super cold. Vivek had stopped a couple of times since his bike had started wobbling. He thought there must some issues with the handle bar or a possible wheel out. It was only once we halted for a tea. Break that he checked to realize the bike was just fine the wobbling was since his hands were shivering out of cold.
It really doesn’t matter what bike you are riding as long as you are riding with the true spirit of riding. While we were on our way back from Khardungla, I saw a guy riding towards Kardungla (The Worlds highest motor-able road) on his 100 cc bike. A week after the ride when i was heading home after a dinner party. I heard a Royal Enfield dug dug sound. He was on my tail and now honking for pass. I switched the left indicator and gave him enough space to pass. To my amaze this guy was riding a Cast Iron engine Standard bullet. He had lost his left hand I don’t know how had a thread knotted on his limb and the other end tied to the clutch lever. For some rides are tough,and riders tougher!!!
These are real life stories that has inspired me, And I dedicate this piece to my brothers and riders across the globe.
Wear Helmets & Your Gears……Ride Safe! Ride Forever!!