Odyssey Unplugged

It’s eight days since we left Delhi, and we rumble into Leh, on our way to the reunion site where the two groups will meet. There’s music playing at the site where we’re joining up. I park and take pictures of some customised Enfields. It’s a day of rest, a day to stretch, relax, party before setting off back to Delhi.

Around me are bikers being unruly bikers. In the distance are snowcapped mountains bouncing sunlight off. I’m going to miss all this. I’ll miss Harsimran Singh Kohli, who I met at the flag off at Delhi. Harsimran was part of the very first Odyssey, riding on a red 1980 RE Deluxe 350. He was 50 then, and as excited as a teenager about taking his bike to Leh. He’s been doing this route since 1988, but mostly on a scooter.

Now 66, that excitement and his appetite for adventure are showing no signs of dimming. He’s already planning next year’s trip, having arranged a Thunderbird 500 for the job. He asks me to join him on that ride. Now, that’s what you call an offer you can’t refuse.

(Words and Photos: Abhinav Mishra)