'I did not listen to music while travelling'

Going solo

'I did not listen to music while travelling'

For Mithun Govind, a cyclist who toured from Leh in the North to Kanyakumari in the south, a rejection of an idea that he had set his hopes on was the reason that made him embark on this ambitious journey.

“I wanted to tour the country on a motor bike, but my protective parents refused. Though dejected initially, I realised travelling the country on a bike was nothing new. That is when the thought
of cycling hit my mind. I immediately booked passes for Vipassana meditation, as I needed an excuse to fly to Srinagar. After the ten-day course, I embarked on this endeavour with the cycle that I had unfastened and carried with me as planned,” says Mithun Govind.

It was a chance remark by a colonel that further paved his path by giving him a direction for his journey.

“While I kicked off my journey from Srinagar, I came across a colonel, who spoke to me about the then border tensions between India and China, and asked me to ‘pray for peace’. That made an impact on me, and thus, ‘peace in harmony’ became my slogan.”

“The same man had also made arrangements for my stay in the army camps at Leh, and that was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life,” he adds.

No hurdle can make it difficult for a heart that holds in it a determination that is tough in essence. Mithun is an archetype of it. “Before I reached Chandigarh, I lost my wallet. I was out of money, but I did not want to end my journey. However, a man who I had met over a social networking app, helped me with money and stay.” 

When asked about his schedule, Mithun says, “I did not have a fixed schedule. Everyday, I
ensured I had enough rest, took food in small quantities once in every hour or two and drank
plenty of water to keep myself hydrated. For this purpose, I knocked on the doors of both houses and restaurants and not even one individual refused to provide me water. During nightfall, I used to rest in dhabas, tents and temples.”

His journey started from Leh and went on to Manali, Chandigarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Mumbai, and then Konkan Coast, Goa, Karwar, Mangalore, Kasargod, Kannur, Kochi, Trivandrum and finally Kanyakumari.

Mithun says, “It took me 57 days to cover a total of around 4500 kilometres. This includes the ten days of the Vipassana course and stops at various must-visit places, because I did not want to miss out on seeing anything. The sense of accomplishment that kicked in after reaching Kanyakumari was overwhelming.”

“I did not listen to music while travelling. My only motivation to peddle on was the people and the children who I met on the roads. Telling them why I am doing what I am doing, kept me going. In the future, though I want to pursue fashion management, my passion for cycling will be still
remain. I am planning to cycle from France to Romania and a few other places in Europe as well,” he says as he signs off. 

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