Going down memory lane, reminiscing how it all began, I realize the day is still clearly etched upon my mind…
It was early January in Oman and a typical balmy winter morning at Muscat. Anu and I were enjoying our morning coffee on the balcony terrace of our villa with the azure blue sea stretched in front of us. We had each other’s presence in our lives, a warm cup of coffee in our hands and a smile on our face. Life was as perfect as it could possibly be.
We lived in a villa on the Azaiba Beach. In the morning when the sea was calm, we would go out with our paddleboards. Later in the day as the wind picked up, we went out again- this time with the kitesurfing gear. We were beach bumming throughout the weekends- and loving every moment of it. “Life has been kind to us”, I mumbled with a contented sigh. Anu nodded. Gradually, the conversation drifted towards the path our lives had taken to reach the present moment. One topic led to the other and somewhere along the way, cropped up our bucket list- maybe it had to as it was that time of the year- January when bucket lists and annual resolutions come up for review! That’s when the ride plan came up. It was perhaps the one thing that was long pending on our list and a sense of longing pervaded us.
In 1999 I had first planned a long trip- across India. Back then I was a fresher with Tata Donnelley. With little or no money, I sought the help of sponsors but that had to be given up after several attempts. The next time I made another attempt was in 2014 when with the support of a few friends from the automotive media, I attempted to connect with sponsors and plan a ride from India till Europe on a motorbike. This time it was slightly better- with some potential sponsors actually showing interest- but this too did not fructify- and as the weeks turned into months, the summer months waned away and soon it was time for winter in Europe. Yet again, we had lost the window to do a ride- because motorbiking in Europe is a feasibility only in the summer months.
But now, we had to take a call. “Let’s stop kidding ourselves- are we really serious about doing this or is this a fantasy that we use for bragging rights?” Anu paraphrased what was in my mind at that moment. And that was our Eureka moment! We knew it that this was something that we really wanted to do- from the bottom of our hearts! “So let’s go do it!” said Anu. It was a kind of now or never situation for us. And we decided that now is the best time to do it.
That was how it all started. I ended my work contract; we bid adieu to Oman. We paced up things, now with sheer determination. Our belongings were packed and stored at the warehouse in Muscat.
“Where will the forwarding address be?”, asked the relocation company.
“We will let you know when we know”, we replied the perplexed manager.