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Shailesh Kumar Pandey, an ex-navy man, decided to be a traveller, one who would travel across the length and breadth of this country, stopping where ever he wished, and getting to know those courageous and great people who make Bharat, a country to die for. Alakh 2011 is the culmination of those journeys that flew over or whizzed past the people, the very India that is nothing short of a mystery. This blog takes you through the glimpses of Alakh 2011. So, dive in, and unleash the mystery of this maati, named Bharat, as seen from the eyes of a fauji.
The first and most obvious question would be WHY I AM doing it? And strangely, I have no big words, no inspiring quotes from BIG BRAINS…Nothing! And somehow that makes me comfortable, because had I done what I quoted above, it won’t have been me. So here is a simple and honest write up about this Journey called Alakh 2011 that I am undertaking. I am sure I will be pardoned for the coarseness & incoherence of my expression as I am still on this road of learning.
In all my more than 30 years of life, I travelled a lot, and more than the scenic attractions, people attracted me more. ALAKH 2011 is the culmination of those journeys in which I either flew over or whizzed past these very people, this very India that always remained sort of a mystery to me. I am sure that people have done this before, and there are a lot of books we can go through, but I thought of taking some time off from the hustle & bustle of this crazed out routine. And hit the roads, travelling in my own time, stopping where ever I wished, and getting to know these courageous and great people who make BHARAT a country to die for. This made me ponder a bit and while I was doing this brainstorming I was reminded of one “Jogi” I had met on my earlier excursions. He went about singing songs in villages early in the morning, waking up people, making sure that they start their day on a positive note, he really had a good voice. He described this as “ALAKH JAGANA”!!
Now I will try to explain WHY of “Unsung Heroes Let’s not forget them”. This again was one of the things that have always made me think. We have a trait of noticing only the BIGGER things and don’t ever bother to even think about those in the back ground. We appreciate the house but never the bricks that make it; we appreciate the dish but never bother about the contents; how many of us ever bother about thanking the guy who sweeps our roads, the waiter who serves us, the farmer who sweats for us, those people in uniform who bleed for us? There are countless other examples that I could go on and on about but I will refrain myself from doing that because I am sure that we all can see these people all around us. They go on about their jobs and lives, never once complaining about the treatment meted out to them. Never once bothering that we have chosen to ignore them over recognizing their contribution and appreciating. We have totally forgotten the Martyrs who gave up their youth, their families, their lives, fighting for independence, so that WE don’t ever have to even dream about a life of slavery. And what did we do? We chose to forget them. What would give peace to these souls? I am sure that ONCE A YEAR garlanding of their statues is NOT something that they would have liked. They defied LOGIC, they set examples before us to follow, they gave up their lives to show us what selfless love for nation is, and this is what will make happy-selfless love for our nation.
My inspiration to leave behind my family, and the so called security of a NORMAL LIFE, are these Martyrs only. In my journey I will try to find out about as many UNSUNG HEROES, as possible, and offer whatever support I could to their descendants, to make them feel that the nation cares for them & we are all proud of them. I have been asked for itinerary of this trip by many of you, but I do hesitate to tell you that THERE ISN’T ANY ITINERARY! How can there be one, when your search may take you anywhere? It may be that I have to make some unscheduled stoppages at places where I might have to help out those who need immediate aid. I sincerely wish to leave behind hearts full of hope and faces with smiles where ever I stop, THIS will be my EARNING from this trip!! And this may result in the blog having more photos of people and their stories than natural marvels & scenic beauties.
In the course of this journey, I will also try to promote “Share a meal” amongst those who could afford to share at least one meal of theirs with someone who is in need. I will do so myself. I will share every meal of mine for these 40 days or so with people who are in need. For every meal I skip, I will provide for one meal to someone. If I get even one person to follow the practice I would consider that as a fulfillment of an aim, and I am sure that I live in a nation where people whole heartily contribute to such endeavors.
Apart from this I will also try to promote the practice of healthy living and create awareness amongst people about their duties as responsible citizens. I will try to execute this through lectures and interactions that I may get a chance to have. I am sure that with the blessings of you all I will be able to create a spark amongst those I come across, to thrive & work for a nation where healthy and responsible citizens are found in abundance!!
Its 0229 hours now and I must rest so that I am able to be in a good shape to take care of the preparations tomorrow. But before I do that, I must acknowledge the strength and encouragement that has come from TWITTER, to be precise, some of my Twitter friends. They have always been a source of strength and able guidance to me since I came in contact with them, and without them it really won’t have been possible for me to undertake this journey. I am not able to name every single of them
This was the first brief about ALAKH 2011 and I will keep updating you all on a day by day basis. For now please permit me to retire and be ready for that bright day which awaits us all.
Before I start, I would request you to watch this video ... it never fails to emotionally overwhelm me.... I pray to God to give me the simplicity of a Child's mind, which never weigh's the POSSIBLE & IMPOSSIBLE of things and just sets out to what comes to him/her.
Hope you liked it ... Now coming to the route of ALAKH 2011. I intend to take the route mentioned below , I have refrained from scheduling it because it is not a sightseeing trip and I may have to spend some time at places where I feel I need to indulge more. What better way than to leave a place after you have done something concrete? I will keep on posting the details of my movement on a day to day basis. As to the ride, I will be riding mostly at night, and spending time with people in the day. There are a few places like Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Pune that I would love to visit. But that entirely depends on the time I take to reach Nellore, Mangalore & Karwar respectively.
I am very eagerly looking forward to this journey. In the course of journey I am sure I will come across and get involved with many issues which are close to the heart of every Indian. I wish to give my best to them and lead a life devoted to them.
For now please go through the route and please do give suggestions so that I could effectively pursue what I have set out for …ALAKH 2011 Starts from Varanasi on 29 April 2011
Varanasi - Sasaram - Aurangabad - Dobbi - Barhi - Dhanbad - Asansol - Durgapur - Khana - Bardhaman - Shaktigarh - Howrah/Kolkata - BajBaj - Kolaghat - Medinipore - Jaleshwar - Rupsa - Baleshwar - Bhadrak - Chandikola - Cuttack - Bhubaneshwar - Khurda - Chilka - Srikakulam - Bhimnipattinam - Vishakhapattinam - Somavaram - Eluru - Guntur - Ongole - Kavali - Nellore - Chennai - Tindivanam - Pondicherry - Cuddalore - Nagapattinam - Tiruchirapalli - Pudukkottai - Ramanathpuram - Rameshwaram - Madurai - Tuticorin - Tirunaveli - Kanyakumari - Nagercoil - Thiruvanantpuram - Kollam - Alappuzha - Ernakulam - Kochi - Ponnani - Kozhikode - Mahe - Kannur - Kasargod - Mangalore - Karwar - Panaji - Kudal - Mahod - Mumbai - Valsad - Surat - Bharuch - Vadodara - Nadiad - Ahmedabad - Okha - Samakhiali - Radhanpur - Disa - Barmer - Jaisalmer - Pokaran - Nokhra - Bikaner - Hanumannagar - Ganganagar - Malaut - Faridkot - Amritsar Gurdaspur - Pathankot - Kathua - Jammu - Mukerian - Dasua - Tanda - Hoshiarpur - Una - Kiratpur - Rupnagar - Chandigarh - Ambala - Karnal - Delhi - Mathura - Agra - Gwalior - Jhansi - Sagar - Kanpur - Lucknow - Gorakhpur - Ballia - Ghazipur - Varanasi
The day has come when I am to start and strangely I have no "special" words to say at the onset of this journey which is more of a mystery to me at this stage. There is definitely some thing that awaits me, what is it, time will tell!
For now I will post a few words about those who are with me in this journey starting with my son Arya who is really an inspiration for me when it comes to being tough, focussed. I am being very impartial, when I say this, because I have seen him give me a lesson or two in tolerance, all at 05 years of age!
Next comes KHANABADOSH ... The Royal Enfield, 350 CC (1988) which has been a friend & confidante in many exploits of mine. Past some years it has always been with me wherever I have gone. A trusted companion & a part of my family ,I do feel that it responds when I say something.
In a few hours from now I will be starting from Varanasi, near Amra Bypass, taking the NH2 and head towards Mohania, on my way to Sasaram.
I am really overwhelmed by the support I have received and it has made my resolve stronger, to rise up to the expectations...
Tentative route for "ALAKH 2011-Unsung Heroes, Lets not forget them"
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