Life in Gurgaon

2 NCR youth embark on 4200kms ride covering India, Myanmar, Thailand to showcase cultural diversity

Source: Hindustan Times

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On Independence Day, two NCR residents set out on a 4,200km journey from near India Gate in New Delhi on their motorcycles. The duo, Abhishek Mishra from Gurugram and Sonia Jain from New Delhi, will cross India, Myanmar and Thailand. The tri-nation journey is likely to end in Bangkok on September 1.

Travelling on the India-Myanmar-Thailand Expressway, also called the Friendship Corridor, the duo will cover approximately 2,500km in India, 1,300km in Myanmar and 400km in Thailand.

Mishra and Jain said the purpose of the journey is to showcase the cultural, geographical and social diversity of the three south Asian countries.

“The Friendship Corridor, which was inaugurated in 2016, is now partly functional. Through this journey we will find out which parts of the corridor aren’t functional; such a journey has never been undertaken before. This is other than our primary aim of exploring different cultures, geographies and stories,” said Jain, who is a competitive motorcyclist and has his name in the Limca Book of Records.

The riders aim to document their journey and showcase it through blogs, social media posts and a documentary.

“This will be a spiritual, physically demanding, emotional and philosophical journey for us as we explore different terrains and cultures, and try to spread the message of harmony and brotherhood among the people of these nations,” said Mishra, a tri-athlete who has participated in the Iron Man challenge three times.

After the ride was flagged off by model and fitness promoter Milind Soman, Jain and Mishra spoke about the difficulties, especially legal ones, they faced while preparing for the ride.

Being a cross-country journey, the riders faced a mountain of legal hassles as they ran to get the numerous approvals and permissions.

“Though we were able to procure motorcycles, coordinating with agencies of three different countries was a pain. There is also a lot of uncertainty regarding what the journey will entail, so that is another challenge,” Mishra said.

Changes in geographical terrain, unfinished roads and rainfall might also be impediments to their journey. “I have been motorcycling for eight years, but we will face difficult hilly terrains and monsoon, especially between Dimapur and Imphal,” said Jain, who had proposed to Mishra the idea of travelling the three nations.

Jain and Mishra first met in September 2017 during a marathon they both were taking part in. After Jain suggested the idea, Mishra initially wanted to run the entire distance, but later agreed to take on the arduous journey on motorcycles realizing that running the distance would not be possible.

“I have been motorcycling long distances every alternate day to prepare myself for the journey, as I am certain that this journey will take a physical toll on us. We need to acclimatize ourselves to the local weather conditions and adapt fast as we move forward,” Mishra said.