Sometimes you follow your head. Other times, you follow your heart.
WE’RE ONE has been one such journey for us, where we just started DOING what we’ve believed in all this while. Biking has made me meet the most amazing people, introduced me to some kick-ass machines, and above all, given me experiences that I would take as my earnings, as and when I kick the bucket.
One such experience would be our recent ride to Dehradun.
July 2015 was the first time when I visited Dehradun, and I simply fell in love with the place. It looks and feels like just any other city, but just wait for a rain shower and you realize what a heaven this place is. And, it becomes even better to know that in an hour’s ride, you can reach Landour, a quiet and cold little hill station above Mussoorie with the famous “Char Dukaan” (Four Shops) that serve delicious food, much better than most cafes in Delhi.
With WE’RE ONE on our minds, I got to know about The Latika Roy Foundation located in Dehradun. Just a look at their website and I realized that they’re doing some really great work for the differently-abled. Now, our whole idea is to erase those lines of “Normal” and “Differently-abled” through the #weareoneride.
We’re bikers and that is not normal for a majority of the people. So anything that is not normal is close to us. We relate to it. We figured out the e-mail ids for The Latika Roy Foundation and wrote in to Jo, the superwoman running the show. She further put us in contact with her staff and after a lot of mails and discussions, we finally did manage to plan a workshop for the kids at the Foundation.
Why a workshop, many would ask? Didn’t I tell you? I’m a loser biker. I would not ride to a destination to just explore the beauty that place has to offer. I have grown up getting whacked and pushed to work my ass off in school, college and at the jobs. I never fit in to anyone of them cages, but the “doing something” got to me before I knew it.
So with the idea of Dehradun and the “doing something” in my head, we created the event. Loads of people confirmed, most backed out and there came a time when we actually thought we should call it off.
But then, at the risk of sounding like a Salman Khan of the biking world, I must admit that I had made a commitment to the Latika Roy Foundation and I wanted to keep it. So came the 6th of May and me and Shiv Raj sir, got onto our respective bikes and started for Dehradun. I was on my Benelli TNT 600GT and the wise man on his Kawasaki ZX10R KRT Edition.
We reached Dehradun by mid-day, freshened up, had lunch and headed to the Latika Roy Foundation.
There, we were welcomed with big smiles and curious faces. Yes, everyone is not used to the idea of bikers coming to do their bit of good work, but these people had opened up to it. Talking to the kids was a revelation. Leave the camera aside. These kids talked wheelies and stoppies and what not. On one hand yes, it would be a negative thing to say that the image for biking is portrayed as an all-stunting-all-racing sport, but then, on the other hand, it was overwhelming. There was a time I and many like me did not know these terms until we really went out riding with guys who knew better. These kids here were way ahead of us.
The introductions happened and I explained the basics of photography to the kids, telling them how shutter speed and aperture works. They grasped in minutes what I had learnt in years.
As this happened, brothers from The Biker Breed Motorcycle Club (Dehradun) rode into the NGO and all one could hear were cheers and claps as the kids were all excited about meeting the bikers and shooting them, one man at a time.
We had two cameras with us and the bikers from Dehradun were kind enough to lend us a couple of theirs. Then, 24 kids were split into 4 groups of 6 with 1 camera each and they had 20 minutes to try out their hands on whatever we had taught them.
The bikers hung around, happily observing the kids observing them.
Interpersonal photo-sessions happened as the two wheeled heroes stood in all their glory.
Some even tried out what it would be like to live the life of a biker. The atmosphere was one of family, as the kids ran around testing their skills on the camera while the bikers waited for the big experience.
Once this was done, the kids were ushered back so the bikers could ride in and park their bikes for a photoshoot.
One by one the bikers rode in, parked their bikes and posed as the kids directed them like any photographer would. Yes, we did give them a bit of assistance to play with the camera settings, but keeping that aside, the results that came were beyond words.
Here are the pictures clicked by these kids after a half an hour workshop. Bikers featured here can feel free to copy the images and share it on their social media, with the sweet little hashtag #weareoneride
This was the first time ever these kids had used a professional camera and looking at the pictures, just on the first day of our trip, we declared that the ride was a success. The photoshoot was wrapped up with some great delicacies arranged by the Latika Roy Foundation. And, for that and for the one-of-its-kind experience, we’d like to thank this wise lady here, Jo, the person behind Latika Roy Foundation and all that it does.
Jo is also a great writer and photographer herself, and you can follow her blog here:
In the end, we were one big happy group taking back home an experience we’d remember for years to come.
The next two days were spent at peace in Landour.
We also took the Kawasaki off-road and almost killed ourselves, but then, that’s another story.
For now, let me share with you all something that you won’t find in those metropolitan cities, or your air-conditioned cubicles. Go out. Find that connection.