I always loved following, meeting or interacting with individuals who ride solo in their lives on their chosen path, towards destinations that they only are aware of. Each one of them is an entrepreneurial leader in his or her own right. But what do you say about an individual who literally rides solo to the farthest corners of the world, untouched and unchartered, to explore, embrace and enliven the lives of people. Gaurav Jani is one such person.
Deepa, one of my friends from Delhi Drum Circle has always been different from most individuals I have met in my life. Though graduated from one of the best business schools of the country, she chose traveling and exploring the world as her purpose of life.
I too love traveling. My Omni, Qualis and Scorpios, in the last twenty years, have been the catalysts and also have been at the receiving end of my long road journeys into wilderness. So have been my family, who have now become inured to my traveling and photography. Now, they too revel in such journeys. We have seen almost every state of the country, and measured the roads across – Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Kutch to Kohima.
A month ago, Deepa pinged me and shared about an exciting travel film of Gaurav Jani that is being edited now and wanted me to get her connected with my friends who may be able to help raise funds. She sent across all the links to the exciting work of Gaurav Jani and I was delighted to browse through. I was surprised when one day an invite landed from Deepa for the screening of the first film of Gaurav – riding solo to the top of the world – which Gaurav himself was presenting.
I landed at Attic, the venue for the screening, to find it, as always, very inviting. A journalist was interviewing Gaurav, as I entered. And I realized, like most of the journalists I come across, she too has no idea about the person or his work. They are just doing their job!
I loved listening to Gaurav’s answers to the questions of the journalist – philosophy about life and how these journeys have been satisfying and infusing the drive to do much more. His outlook connected with my philosophy and I thought of writing this small piece.
Gaurav, also known as Jani, Bhatku (wanderer) or GJ, is the prime mover behind and directs films for Dirt Track Productions (DTP). Riding Solo To The Top Of The World is his debut film. Gaurav is a travel freak and a biker. He likes to collect antiques, but doesn’t have the money for it! He is also the founder member of 60kph, Motorcycle Travel Club India. Gaurav functions as a one-man film unit to capture the true essence of travel and it’s highs and lows. He neither believes in planning nor research, preferring instead to trust his instincts and firm resolve. Sometimes things work out the way he wants and sometimes they bomb, but he doesn’t change. He likes to keep things simple and basic, letting his heart rule over his head.
GJ has been an assistant to Ram Gopal Varma (RGV) in commercial films before he realized the futility of this masala world and jumped into realizing his dreams of making meaningful films through DTP. Now DTP has over half-a-dozen crazy people fueling each other’s dreams.
Dirt Track Productions
While the world media has shifted towards drama, hype, scandal, lifestyle and oomph, DTP has consciously moved away from the mainstream to the dirt track, churning out films that inspire, motivate, enrich and at the same time mirror life.
DTP makes films that not only satisfy each of them as filmmakers but also quench their thirst for travel and exploration. Dirt Track Productions was born when the co-founders were on a location hunt in the biggest tiger reserve of India and couldn’t find their way out. Ultimately they walked for 13 hours without food and water to get back to civilisation.
Their main focus is to make films and documentaries on remote regions of the World. This gives each one a chance not only to explore new subjects but also to explore themselves by interacting with the people.
They also scout locations and arrange logistics for films, photographers and ad-films for Indian and foreign production houses.
The first film “Driving Solo To Top of the World” took about 7 years in post-production due to fund constraints. Now they have more or less figured out how they can go about in shorter cycle of time. But always in need of money to do a little bit more. For one who is crazy, money has never been a constraint! He or she will do it, with money or without!
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