CHERRAPUNJEE: Bikers from Nagaland, Mizoram, Maharashtra and many other states rode along rugged routes to the wettest spot on earth – Sohra in Cherrapunjee – to converge for a veritable ‘Mahakumbh’ for those passionate about biking.
“It is a Kumbh Mela with no religion. It is all about moving forward in life with dignity and brotherhood,” one of the riders said philosophically. Facilitated by the Royal Enfield Riders’ Association of Meghalaya – Stormbringers – the first-ever bikers’ conference, Rider Mania 2013, was held at Kut Madan in Cherrapunjee, overlooking the plains of neighbouring Bangladesh.
“This is superb. At one spot under the sky you can get to hear languages from all over India, yet there is no language barrier,” said an exited Embor, a young photographer clicking away to glory at the bikers’ meet.
“Tamil, Kannada, Punjabi, Bangla, Naga, Nepali, Mizo, Khasi, Hindi, Lepcha… so many languages! It’s like having all of India in one place,” observed Venetia, who had come along with her daughters to witness the biggest bikers’ show in the country. “I only wish more girls join the event,” she said, even as she acknowledged the participation of 12 ladies in Rider Mania 2013.
“We do not get any big sponsorships. All the bikers’ clubs get together to organize a meet every year,” said Sohan Roy, a retired colonel of the Indian army. Despite painful arthritis, the 64-year-old is already a “legendary biker”.
“We shall have more such events,” said Vicky Kharkongor, one of the organizers, who helped create the storm at Cherrapunjee, otherwise cold and quiet in winter.
Amidst the vrooming of bikes, little Olitia, made what was perhaps the most profound statement on the significance of movement in life when she asked her dad to buy a bike for her “just to get carried away” to “far off places on earth”.