Randhir Khare: A Curious Adventure

Our city is not just the home of countless souls dreaming, labouring, celebrating, discovering, taking root and multiplying. We are also the living space that constantly experiences the comings and goings of people from neighbouring cities, states, countries and continents and those who come from afar, spend some time and go their way. Each on their very own search.

Jake Bullough, Irish travel writer, painter, entrepreneur and adventurer was also here. In 2009, he surprised us denizens of Pune with CURIOUS COMPANIONS Ireland To India By Bicycle, a book he had passionately penned while in Pune about his overland journey from his faraway land to ours.

‘To explore the world is a passion that consumes many lives, an obsession one is powerless to control. To deny it increases its attraction, to embrace it breeds one’s love all the more. I was blessed with such an affliction from an early age. I had no choice but to face an ambition that would challenge me both physically and mentally, more than anything I had previously undertaken… Cycling from my home in the peaceful countryside of Kerry, Ireland, to the untamed metropolis of New Delhi, India, would commit me to testing the limits of my endurance and strength of will.’

The book is an engaging account of one man’s journey of discovery across diverse cultures and environments. Compassion, humour and a dose of realism combine to create an unforgettable narrative. Thirteen countries and four exhilarating months on the road dealing with hostility in Austria, romance in Romania, Turkey’s bitter winter, overwhelming hospitality in Iran and curiosity in Pakistan. It brings together a plethora of unique experiences, hurtling the reader from page to page.

I remember how involved he was when writing his book in his mother’s home in KP. We hardly got a glimpse of the fellow and when we did, he was on his way out to Kamshet on a paragliding trip. So then I never really got edgeways into a conversation with him about what he felt after that laborious self-inflicted trial. And of course how did he feel like to be finally chilling in Pune…

I got to do just that when he passed through our city again just a week or so ago.

Experience had of course ‘seasoned’ him because this is what he said.

‘A sense of satisfaction for sure, however also I guess a sense of relief in a way. Not relief that it was over but more relief in the fact that I was able to accomplish what I had set my mind to do. I have always strived to achieve things in my life, not for the sake of that specific achievement but for the sake of knowing that I can do whatever I put my mind to. This gives me a lot of confidence going into any situation in life knowing that I won’t fail as long as I give it my all.

‘I remember Pune well… happy kids, inquisitive people, traffic (naturally), the ancient banyan trees in Koregaon Park, the old houses and small shrines ….’

He has obviously held on to the quaint experiences of our city, to keep himself open and positive. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk about all that has changed.

Pune received the launch of his book very encouragingly and then sent its honorary son off into the big wide world for talks and readings in Ireland and the UK and then further.

But the young Irishman couldn’t stop seeking adventure and travelled to South America where he set up a new business in Bolivia and now employs over 80 people there. ‘ It’s very satisfying being able to provide employment for people and the company is going from strength to strength. I do miss the road but who knows maybe I’ll do it again one day but in the opposite direction! Anyone want to join me?’

 

Randhir Khare

Randhir Khare

Randhir Khare is an awardwinning writer, teacher, artist and storyteller who has mentored a few generations of creative talent. He is Director of Gyaan Adab, Pune’s Premier Cultural Centre. Randhir Khare writes every Wednesday for Pune365.
Randhir Khare

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