To be on the other side of the story

I joined office on July 4 and our Ladakh bike ride had become pretty popular within a week. So much so that a Loksatta veteran Sunil Kaduskar asked me if Loksatta could do a story on the ride.

It came as quite a surprise for I am the one to pose that question to people. I am the one who gets to hear a variety of answers to that questions. I am the one who try to convince the person if he/she is hesitant.

And so I went blank after Kaduskar asked me if Loksatta can write about the ride or if I could write a first person's account on the ride. I thought for about two minutes and said I would prefer if I am interviewed by someone than write the story myself. Writing a news copy in English and Marathi is a task not everyone can do well. I would have never been able to do it although Marathi is my mother tongue.

And so Kaduskar assigned an intern -Sonali Shende to interview me. It was very weird indeed. I had to keep telling myself that it was Ok and the story should be a motivation for numerous other girls who dream of such adventure journeys, but are held back for various reasons. And this is no exaggeration considering that some of our friends, including guys, who wanted to join us had dropped out after their parents refused to allow then to take the ride.

So the interview went fine. Then, came the task of checking the article written by Sonali. She had indeed done a good job and I had to correct only a couple of factual mistakes in the article. The story came in print on July 19.

I got to know of it when a journalist (only journalists read the paper as early at 6.30am) smsed me at 6.45 am to wish me. And then it was all excitement in the house. Except me! I was nervous and did not want to see the article. I wanted to pretend it wasn't me. By then Tejas told me that one of his colleagues had already done the job of putting it on facebook.

I read it online and was horribly disappointed to find a couple of mistakes. I  told Tejas it was a mistake to allow the paper to write the story. Then, my in-laws dared the heavy rain to get copies of the paper. I had told them that there are some mistakes in the story, but they were still excited.

They got the newspaper and we were shocked to see the huge space given for the article. They had also printed three photos with it...three photos with one story is as rare as an eclipse. I read the story again and reality struck me! -the mistakes which I was brooding on were very minor and this was the best that one could print -given the limited space of a newspaper.

But I was still restless because of the thought that people might think that I planted the story to get publicity of the excursion.But, I kept telling myself that people who know me would know that I would never do that...and I should not care about the rest of the world!

Also, I am feeling very confident that some 'married woman' would be allowed to take up a similar adventure after she shows the story to her not-so-supportive in-laws! Ok, even if it doesn't happen exactly the same way, more youngsters would at least think of doing such trips -that are not just adventurous, but also teach to be patient, respect the nature, adjustment, planning skills, risk taking and a lot more...

So go ahead, explore whenever you can, live in adverse conditions, don't run behind money and make the best of your life...


  1. hi aditi,
    really nice thread and pics on BCM touring. We r going to LEH this year in July 2nd week.would like to hatts of you and congratulate to you for completing the journey and definetly a role model for many riders.


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