“I had no toilet paper, no water, so how do you do it?”
“You take a shit here, then you move a bit here, throw some sand, then move here and throw some more sand.”
In many ways, Motorcycle Travellers Meet is as opposite to India Bike Week as you can get. There are a few Royal Enfields, even fewer Harleys. Rather than girls in shorts and bikinis, you get girls in jeans and riding boots. Where you have cocksuckers revving the shit out of their machines to prove some point at IBW, you have insane motherfuckers talking about their decade long adventures like it’s no big deal at MTM.
It’s as close to paradise as it gets.
I’ve been meaning to go to MTM since quite a while now. The first time it happened I had no idea what it was. The second time I had no money. Finally made it to the tent at IBW, thanks to a free pass from PowerDrift, and it was beautiful. Even with the whole festival of naked idiocy happening all around, I had fun.
As soon as registrations opened for MTM 2015, I knew I was going.
24th September 2015, me and Nick hit the road, flying from Hyderabad to Bangalore on that amazingly boring highway. We stopped a lot, chatted a lot, and ate a lot. After taking a detour towards Nandi Hills to miss the traffucked Bangalore, we arrived at Camp Shristi at around 5:30 in the evening.
But not without getting lost a couple of times.
The first time I got to the camp, I was like “Holy shit this is in the middle of the fucking jungle!”. I questioned the choice of the location, given how difficult it was to get there, and how cut-off you were from everything that’s called civilization. But over the course of the next few days, I started loving that place.
If you can’t get to MTM because you couldn’t find Camp Shristi, or you couldn’t climb those slippery muddy roads, maybe you don’t deserve to be there.
The more time you spend at the camp, the more you realize how perfect it is. There’s no internet, no mobile signals, so when somebody is telling their story, you don’t have people watching them through a 5 inch screen, Instagramming shit, talking on their phone.
In the 3 odd days I spent there, I took only 1 photo, never touched my phone, wallet, GoPro or DSLR, and had the time of my life.
The other reason why that place is kick-ass, is because it has everything that you need, in a place where you don’t expect everything. I was completely prepared for shitting in the open and wiping my ass with leaves and mud, but what you got were ultra-clean washrooms. Everything is paid for, so you just walk around, sipping tea, eating biscuits, munching on food that’s presented to you at exactly the right time.
There are problems too of course, and the biggest one is mosquitoes. Giant, alien, mutant mosquitoes. Carry Odomos if you ever happen to go to the MTM.
Second problem was the tent, it was too small for 2 people AND their luggage! Intially I just threw some of my stuff outside, but then it started raining, so had to bring it all back in, which meant that stretching our legs was completely out of the question. Oh and water entered the tent when it rained hard, but I just kinda slept through it. Carry your own tent if you are coming for the next MTM, keep your stuff in there.
Also, living in the city for so long, I am not used to nature and clean air and shit anymore. The moment I got in till the moment I left, I had fever, running nose, and sore throat, which was only alleviated for a brief hour or so, thanks to the weed I smoked with a few friends.
But that hour was awesome, because that’s when Dilip Bam was on the stage.
He was the biggest reason I was there in the first place, I did not care much for any of the other speakers. Truth be told, I didn’t go to MTM to listen to those people, I don’t need that anymore. If you could see what I see everyday on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, you’ll understand that I don’t need any more information or inspiration.
I’m surrounded by people who are constantly giving the middle finger to society, there’s nothing too special about a bunch of them together at one place.
I went to MTM to meet people, and to listen to them. As hard as it may be to digest, especially considering my writing style, I’m not much of a speaker. If I talk for more than half an hour, I get a headache, so I just sit and observe. Social media is cool, but nothing beats meeting people in real life.
Dilip Bam maybe called an eccentric by some, or a plain dick by others, but for me he is what motorcycle journalism should really be. What we have right now is nothing more than the manufacturer pulling out some words from the writer’s ass that they themselves shoved down his throat to begin with.
It’s all about numbers.
Day 1 was spent with Shumi and Anand talking about riding skills, pretty fun session. After that came Mr. Tin with info about how to travel through Myanmar, every word of which made me want to stay way from that country till they understand what “travel” really means. Then it was Hubert’s turn talking about his never-ending ride on the sidecar.
Inderjit Singh Jaijee gave a beautiful talk after Hubert’s, which got a little fucked up due to some projector issue though. He talked about doing areas like Ladakh back in 1976, a time when almost nobody wanted to go there, unless you were in the Army and bound by duty to.
Huda Masood had an interesting session about nutrition, explosive diarrhea and the color of your pee, after which we got to eat an energy bar made by her. I’m getting a shitload of those, you can too here.
And then it was time.
Picture this. In 1991, a time when I was still trying to find my penis, this guy called Dilip Bam thought “What’s the stupidest thing that you can ever do on two wheels?”, and so volunteered with 6 other dudes and took 1 Jeep and 2 Kinetic Hondas to ride through the Sahara Desert.
6000 kms in one of the world’s deadliest place on a 7.2 hp piece of shit.
What followed was a story worthy of a Hollywood flick. You can read about it anywhere, but I feel bad for you that you weren’t there to watch him tell it.
The next day had plenty of useful and interesting sessions, but I didn’t attend any of them. I slept, walked around the jungle, ate, and just sat around thinking about nothing. What I had come there to do was done, so I didn’t really feel like watching some more people talk about their adventures.
Everything has value, but too much of it in too little a space kinda diminishes it. You might think that doing an RTW on a motorcycle is insane, but when you have 10 odd people standing within 10 feet of each other that have done it, you kinda wanna do something different.
Which brings me to the reason why I won’t be back to MTM, not anytime soon. I think that’s the purpose of these events, to motivate you to do some shit. If all you do is watch other people talk about their achievements, applaud them, and then go back home to the same dead life you always had, what’s the fucking point?
I won’t be back to the MTM, unless it’s as a speaker.
Time to put Project CD1000 into action.
So after lunch, me and Nick fucked off to Bangalore. Had plenty of people to meet up there, so made Let’s Gear Up our HQ and let the gates open. Met Ssaajan, Ronnie, Sapna, Sukesh, Kusumakar, Mohit and Anuj, with some crazy stories to go around, the craziest of which was Anuj’s. If you ever see that guy anywhere around you, kidnap him, give him food, do whatever it takes to make him happy, and then listen. Just listen to what a brain sounds like when it has not been corrupted by logic and reason and money and ambition and needs and achievements.
Back home on Sunday evening. 4 days lived like a boss.