Shubham Panda: Our very own Bunny!
Growing up in a middle class family, wanderlust always seemed out of my league until I travelled to the North-East in 7th standard. That’s where the traveller in me took birth. While I got enchanted towards travelling and started riding to the nearby places from my city, it was the Ladakh ride, which awakened the musafir in me.
It was my first ever ride with a bunch of my boys, and will forever hold a special place in my heart. Riding is like meditation to me, I’ve always preferred the bike, even on days when I didn’t have the proper gear. Riding connects you to nature, let it be the trees, the road, the dhoop, baarish ya phir snowfall.
I’ve had a lot of these near death experiences in my journey, now that I look back it only gives me a sense of happiness to see that I’ve made through all those. It’s quite wholesome to look back at all those scary times when our bikes broke down, or when the roads were filled with snow or even when we biked through freezing temperatures.
I feel one should always spend a few days to travel and see the world as at the end of everything, greatest assets will be the rich experiences you will garner through travelling and no amount of money can compare to that.
While the lockdown has put a pause on all our endeavours, it has been a completely different story for my group as we had returned from our Ladakh trip. While we were all aware about the repercussions, there was a ray of hope to return back on the road very soon.
Few days into the lockdown, and we lost one of our group members due to blood cancer. It was such a daunting phase that I couldn’t gather the courage to touch my bike for the next 4 months. While I’ve not entirely recovered from the dark reality, things seem hopeful now as our group wishes to ride soon to Himachal in memory of our expired team member.
It was his dream to visit the Spiti valley and I know for a fact that it will bring him utmost joy watching us getting back on road. I’ve been through the most dangerous roads throughout my life, but this ride is probably going to be the toughest of them all.