Travelling on a bike lets you be in touch with nature. The concentration level is very high, it’s almost like meditation
He had a job that others aspire to have, living a life of privilege where pride and power went hand in hand. As an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, PG Tenzing led a life that many of us only dream of. However, after having served his nation for more than two decades, he decided to venture on a journey that was totally different from his bureaucratic professional life. A journey of his lifetime on his Bullet.
“I wanted to help people and work as an IAS officer too, but once you reach a high position, you get distanced from ground realities. After some time the satisfaction level goes down. So I quit my job and decided on this journey,” he says.
He started his journey from the west coast of India — Kerala and has covered more than 6,000 km on his bike. Currently in Nepal, he reached Kathmandu via Kakarbhitta and is now on his way to Pokhara. He will then be going to Lumbini, Mahendranagar and then to Uttaranchal, India.
“There is a word thamzhi in Bhutia, which loosely translates to a sacred bond; in Buddhism, it is believed that the people we meet are bonded to us from previous lives and so have some connection in this life too,” says Tenzing. “If I had stayed at my job, I wouldn’t have been able to meet many people, but by travelling I hope to meet as many people as possible. I may help them or they may help me, or it may just be a chance encounter...”
However, it is these karmic connections that he wishes to fulfil with his journey.
And connections he’s had many along his trails.
“In Dindigul, Tamil Nadu I stayed with some eunuchs, people I would never have met or stayed with if I had not set out on this journey,” he recollects. “Then there was this American hippie who shocked me by eating 12 eggs at one go.”
His journey has also been an experience that has made him see the harsher realities of life.
“In a village in Orissa people just boiled rice, which was of really bad quality, added some salt and ate it. Dogs and cats were now-here to be seen. It would just mean feeding one more mouth, which is not possible for them. Moreover they do not keep cats as they (people) also eat mice.”
But why journey across countries on a bike?
“Travelling on a bike lets you be in touch with nature. The concentration level is very high, it’s almost like meditation,” he says.
And biking is not a new passion for him. He has been riding a Bullet since his college days.
“A few days ago I met some guys from the Himalayan Enfielders. They’ve worked on my bike and it’s all set now. Meeting Goofy and the others was great,” he says musing over his meeting with the Enfield lovers in Kathmandu.
And not just the Enfielders, Tenzing was taken in by everyone. “The people of Nepal are very warm and friendly, ready to help you out. In such a nice country, there should be peace as you deserve it,” he says.
A married man with two daughters, Tenzing says, “My family has been very supportive. Without their support, this journey would not have been possible. My wife is managing her work and looking after the kids.”
Tenzing is writing a book on his life and this journey of his, which is being published by Penguin India next year. “I can’t be selfish, I want to share whatever I’ve learnt from life with others. I hope to touch people positively through this book,” says Tenzing.
Life has taught him a lot as he says, “I’ve had some life threatening experiences. I feel that when you are faced with death, your priorities in life get straightened out. The awareness of death makes you live your life to the fullest.”