WHO I AM: PRADYUMNA KHAN
RIDING: The Bajaj Pulsar 150
EARLIER I USED TO RIDE MY father’s bike, which gave me neither comfort nor the urge to ride more. The Bajaj Pulsar 150, with its attractive black look, thundering growl and quick torque, invited me all the time to hit the roads. I was keen on biking.
I wanted to study bikes and bikers. I subscribed to the Bike India magazine, which proved to be immensely helpful. Actually, it initiated me into becoming an ardent biker. I learned from the magazine that biking isn’t only about commuting, nor is it about the gust of wind in your face, heat on your body and raindrops on the visor of your helmet. It is about taming adverse conditions, exploring the unexplored and discovering freedom. I also became alive to the fact that it is not the destination, but the journey itself that matters more.
As I became keener, my posting to Purulia let me have the chance to practise what I had imbibed. Nowhere in West Bengal can long stretches of open road be found amid barren, deserted land except here. As compared to the highly populous other parts of Bengal, Purulia is like the virgin province of Arizona in the US. The biker inside me could never have come to the fore had I not lived in Purulia.
After that it was hard to keep me from biking on an idle day. Many roads and spots awaiting
take a direction and ride. I stop where I wish to, feast my eyes on the landscape around and ride on again or return. The outcome is always the same: a sort of rejuvenation.
In this manner I have visited the nearby Asansol, Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Ranchi, Bankura, the hills of Panchet, Jaichandipahar and Ayodhya and innumerable spots in places that have left a deep impression on me. Each ride enhanced my repertoire. I learned the art of munching miles at a stretch and I learned how to overcome fatigue while in the saddle. I learned how to dodge a whirlwind, I learned how not to be tempted by stupid urchins who try to be pace-setters on road. After all, the highway is a tricky place and you always have to be careful.
(Clockwise from left) Pradyumna Khan’s better half; the biker and his steed in repose