Five travel enthusiasts, sharing a mutual love for roads and adventure decided to celebrate their nations’ freedom in their own way. This ride was born from an idea to redefine the scope of ‘freedom’ and to experience different cultures, languages, customs and traditions with the intent of crossing boundaries, both physically and figuratively.
The Great Independence Day Ride was flagged off on Independence day, from the Indian Embassy by the Indian High Commissioner in Singapore during pre-COVID times and ended in India, journeying through Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar.
The five travellers-Nikhil Kashyap, an independent producer and a marketing consultant; Bhanu Pratap Singh; an entrepreneur and aesthetic consultant; Harkirat Singh, a commercial pilot; Divya Raghav, a psychologist and Enaaya, their 5-year-old super trooper. They hail from different backgrounds and despite knowing each other and travelling together for more than a decade, this experience was first of its kind for them.
In Nikhil Kashyap’s words, “The Great Independence Day Ride was an attempt to redefine perceptions across borders, to celebrate independence, savour food, and rejoice music. Road trips let you stop in every small town, learn the history and stories, feel the ground and capture the spirit of the place.”
While on the road, they met various biker groups and many travellers who showed them unexplored parts of their respective countries. Reminiscing the ride, Bhanu Pratap Singh, added, “The most memorable part of the trip was experiencing the feeling of fraternity and brotherhood within the biker communities that we met along the way. Their hospitality and warmth towards us, went beyond our common love for motorcycles.”
The pinnacle of this trip was Myanmar which for the longest time had been closed for tourism. LA-based filmmaker Anshuvijay Rode said, “It was a pleasant surprise that while editing these videos, I felt part of the camaraderie of the group and as an added plus, I got to see untouched and uncovered parts of Myanmar.”
- Riding on the Formula 1 Track in Singapore
- Riding on Motorways with no speed Limits in Malaysia
- Attending a Bike Festival (Betong Bike Week) in Thailand
- Riding on a 20 lane highway in Myanmar
- Crossing 69 bridges, built by the Japanese during World War 2
- Riding on the most expensive highway in the world
- Passing through the Tropic of Cancer
- Riding Through 1300 km long Asian Highway 1 / 2
(Tokyo to Afghanistan via Korea – China – Singapore – India – Pakistan)
The Great Independence Day Ride was shot on mobile phones and has now been documented in its entirety in mini-episodes and will soon be launched as a web series. Each episode encapsulates the bikers’ exploration of exotic destinations, diverse cultures, local communities, updates of highways of all five countries along with food reviews, border formality intricacies and tips on different cultural etiquettes they experienced.
Patriotism was the heart and soul of the trip. Everyone wanted to do something to honour India’s Independence Day and hence this ride. “While we are currently stuck in our homes, this travelogue is a tribute to the freedom of travel and will hopefully encourage people to see that the Highway is the new way. We all hope that the Great Independence Day Ride web series empowers tourism and travellers to look forward to good times again when we can all get lost in the right direction,” concluded Kashyap.