The hitchhiker’s guide to life and happiness

The hitchhiker’s guide to life and happiness

Duo from Kerala travels to Kashmir riding on luck and passion, and little else

SRINAGAR: Most people’s ambition to travel the world dies at the time when they fail to find a way to finance it. But Nazeer Tahsin, and Vishnu, two friends from Kerala, have proved this deprecatory theory wrong.

The duo in the chilly autumn season of Kashmir have arrived here after travelling through five states for 22 days to make their dream of a trip to Kashmir a reality, spending a grand total all these 22 days that costs only about as much a person’s one-way air fare from Delhi to Srinagar. Their means of transportation was hitch-hiking: taking lifts on trucks, bikes, and even carts.

The duo, in their early twenties, have a modest financial background. Nazeer’s father is a farmer, and runs his family expenses by selling milk of his five cows, and eggs produced by some few dozen hens. The money mostly goes into buying essentials of life and is not even enough to fund Nazeer’s and his sister’s education. Vishnu’s father works as a security guard at a jewellery shop in Kerala, the only source of income at home. The friends are now contributing some little money to their families either by working as catering staff or repairing stoves.

“We are aware of where our families come from. We are determined to work and find a way to bring ourselves out of our present financial condition. But that will not come in the way of our passion, which is travel,” Nazeer told Kashmir Reader.

“It is this spirit that made us reach Kashmir,” he said.

The two friends had two haversacks along with them that had rice, beans, tea, sugar and medicine. Between their hometown and Kashmir, which is separated by more than 3,500 km by road, the duo did not eat at any place, but cooked their meals on roads, in forests, and on trucks. About Rs 10,000 was the total money they spent during this journey. And Google Maps gave the directions to their destination.

In Kashmir, they stayed at a hotel for two days, and explored the city, both its historical and new places.

Prior to this, they rode on their bicycles to Bangalore, more than 300 km away. Now they want to have an all-India tour, that too by hitch-hiking, next year. From Kerala to Kashmir to Himachal and back, is their new travel goal.



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