“Travelling across India on a motorcycle is an intimate way to get acquainted with its myriad cultures, each with their unique beliefs and lifestyle. One Life to Ride takes you across the hot and dusty plains of India to the highest motorable road in the world – the fabled Khardung- La in Ladakh.”
Ajit Harisinghani writes about a journey of the self and not just getting from one destination to the other. ‘One Life to Ride‘ is not just a must-read for motor enthusiasts but it also serves a great deal to inspire others to embark on a similar journey.
Though this book is non-fictional, Harisinghani knows how to set the backdrop for his journey from Pune to Ladakh. He starts off by writing about his journey from Pune to Goa to check his riding ability. He writes about preparing for his one-month long journey and this is the only part where the book turns into a guide.
As his journey begins, the reader gets a chance to enter Harisinghani’s mind and know what he’s thinking and experiencing. Be it the radio stations like Radio Love or Radio Misery playing in his head or an instance from his life when he went to a meditation ashram, he gives us complete access to his mind set at the time. There are times when he gets philosophical as his mind wanders about. He also writes about the loneliness he feels while riding which later on affects his social interactions with fellow travellers.
There are some extremely humorous instances in the book as well. He finds the advantage of being a speech therapist with the way he is able ward off a tormentor on the road with just six words.
Harisinghani talks about the spiritual experiences he has on the road as well. He narrates the time when he met a Sufi saint who is cycling from Vasai (near Mumbai) to Ajmer to reach Mecca. The Sufi saint narrates a story which is penned down beautifully and leaves the reader with much food for thought. During his journey, he meets two imposters who are posing as saints. This is where he shows us the importance of being cynical as the imposters are trying to rip him off in the name of God.
‘One Life to Ride’ is written in such a narrative that you instantly feel what the writer is feeling at that moment. If the writer is hungry, you feel your stomach growl for food. If he is tired then you feel the physical strain of a long journey in your body too. Harisinghani makes the book interesting by recollecting every passing moment during his road trip without making it sound exaggerated or fabricated. This book is entertaining and makes for a good one time read.
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