WHO I AM: PRADYUMNA KHAN

RID­ING: The Ba­jaj Pul­sar 150

Bike India - - YOUR RIDES -

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

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