When we travel, we come across people of myriad kinds. There are travelers who travel to get lost, others to seek a purpose. Some are looking for solitude, some to end the loneliness . We at Gypsy Shack came across one traveler, who (through 7000 kms with his beloved bike) has discovered a new facet of himself. This is the story of a very special ‘Red Recliner’ and its 25-year-old rider Ashish Malviya - the guy for whom solo travel ‘flipped life inside out’.
“The highest all-weather road is within us. All this journey is to realize that,” says Ashish who traveled on his bike to the north of Leh (18,380 feet above sea level) to find peace. What he didn’t know was that this high-altitude bike ride and the several others that followed, would introduce him with a whole new version of himself. But how did all this come through? Read on and be inspired!
“It is important to press pause in your life for a few minutes and feel the relationship you have with the world around you."
On the Leh-Ladakh Road, riding towards Nakeela Pass, Ashish was traveling with a baggage – a baggage of worries about his career, relationships - things most people in their early 20s carry. And that’s when he stopped for a while, beheld the views of the mountains and the mist of doubts began to clear.
“It is important to press pause in your life for a few minutes and feel the relationship you have with the world around you. It’s like listening to your own heartbeat and breathing sound with open eyes,” he says.
“The main difference such rides bring to your life is in your ‘Thought Process’, the perceptions about yourself and the world. It makes you more confident and less judgmental about life and things around,” says Ashish who felt a strong connection with people he had never met before.
“The highest run-able road is within us..... All this journey is to realize that.......”
Before Ashish took his unforgettable trip to Ladakh, he already had a job offer from a Pune based IT company and was planning to join it upon his return. Little did he know that the enormous skies of Ladakh and the cultural experience he was about to have, were destined to change his life's course.
As he rode up the world’s highest motorable road- Khardung La Pass – it finally dawned on him what he exactly wanted to do with his life.
“I realized for the first time that I couldn’t spend 9 hours everyday in a four-by-four cubicle. My road trips had given me a strange confidence. So I decided to venture into entrepreneurship.”
Despite the doubtful looks from people around him, Ashish went on to establish his own firm - Webricots - based in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh. Today, he is not only an entrepreneur but also a job creator.
“I totally give the credit of my success to the people and places who changed me, my experiences, my journeys and my fellow riders who helped me explore myself. I am clear about my visions now. And this is what motorcycle rides change in you.”
"Driving or travelling in a car is like watching a film via screen whereas travelling on a motorcycle is like starring in it"
Ashish’s constant companion in most of his rides has been a red 200 CC Bajaj Avenger which he bought in 2010. He fondly calls it his ''Red Recliner'’.
“Every time when you drive through different terrains, say for example – sand dunes in Jaisalmer or snow at Bralachula Pass in North India, a motorcycle always works as a savior.” From landslides to slush, from barren lands to off roads, his Red Recliner has been his perfect better-half.
He has often been on impromptu bike trips from his hometown Indore to Amarkantak, Bhopal, Dehradun, Pune, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bhimbetka, Shimla, Manali (when he isn't busy on car road trips and group trips to many other parts of Northern India)
Driving or travelling in a car is like watching a film via screen whereas traveling on a motorcycle is like starring in it, adds Ashish. These trips have inspired him to often pen down his thoughts, something that he had never done before.
“Travelling will make you learn how to appreciate, adjust, not to complain, to be less judgmental and be at peace mentally; how beautiful the people are in a country full of contrasts,”
For Ashish, traveling is like meditating. It is like the regular sips of a strong black coffee that he needs often to get going. He has realized how little he needs in order to be happy. An evening coffee and a sunset will still be beautiful after a good motorcycle ride. “Traveling will make you learn how to appreciate, adjust, not to complain, to be less judgmental and be at peace mentally; how beautiful the people are in a country full of contrasts,” he adds.
So what’s his advice to Gypsy Shack readers? “Travel and explore yourself and the cosmos around you. With every hour and minute your life is slipping out of your hands. Please don’t waste it in cubicles.”
Well said, Cap'n!