Delhi-born Krishanu Kona was 23 when he expressed his desire to travel 50,000 kms across India, alone. Today, he intends to set a new Guinness World Record of longest distance covered on a motorcycle within a country. He shared his plans with his mother. “I went to my mom first. I told her I want to go and travel all over the country. And, I want to do it all alone. My mother didn’t react at that time thinking that I wasn’t serious. But in some days she understood that I was. Soon she came to me and told me, ‘son you must do it. This is something I wanted to do all my life’,” Krishanu told The Hindu in September, 2015.
The initial plan was to travel 50,000 kms using public transport. But when Krishanu received financial backing from Design Consortium, he decided to undertake the journey on his new Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS he had bought in February 2015. His journey which began in August 2015, came to be called the ‘green dream challenge’.
Krishanu, now 24, has completed his ‘challenge’ which has taken him across 25 states in India. He travelled from Delhi to Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Kerala, Pondicherry, West Bengal, Sikkim, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Assam and Meghalaya. In a report by India Times, Krishanu states “The idea behind this trip was to explore India’s scenic beauty as well as meet as many people as I could.”
According to Krishanu, despite the variety in terrain, the human sentiment across the country are the same. “In cities, people keep talking about the lack of humanity but once I was out of the city limits, I was overwhelmed by the warmth,” he says. “An incredible moment was when I was in Malda (West Bengal) when a woman at a shanty helped me with food. When I tried to pay her, she said: My son works in the city, maybe someone will take care of him too.” He had the same experience in Uttarakhand. “An elderly woman helped me find water in a remote village I was passing through. She offered me food and said that she hoped that her son would be well-fed in the city as well.”
Like every journey as its highs, it has its lows as well. “In places like Gujarat and Rajasthan, there were several patches where there was nothing along the roads. Not even trees that I could take some shade under and have a sip of water. These made me feel low and I would wonder if I did the right thing. However, as soon as I would meet some people, I would feel refreshed and felt strong to carry on,” Krishanu said.
Krishanu believes that everyone must undertake a solo journey once in their life. “You always keep living according to what others want. A solo trip is the best way to understand yourself. There are not as many highs in such a trip as opposed to travelling in a group but it makes you realise who you really are,” he added.