When Prem Joseph identified Rider Mania , a Royal Enfield event organised by Brothers Of Bullet Motorcycling Clubs (BOBMC), as an ideal occasion to raise funds for Marriott Home, which supports and shelters those with leprosy, he did not know he would be egged on to cover 6,200 km on his motorcycle.
Right now, Prem (director of sales and marketing, Marriot Hyderabad), who began his journey on December 8 from Delhi, is in Chandigarh en route to Gurgaon. He will make his way through 22 operational Marriott hotels across several cities such as Jaipur, Bhopal, Goa, Bangalore and Kochi, where he will collect gift vouchers before finally reaching Mamallapuram on January 17. He will be joining other riders from BOBMC from all over the country. “Around 1,000 bikers will visit Chennai and hand over the money raised,” he informs over phone.
The journey, he says, was a result of a casual remark his colleague made while talking over phone. “The idea was to get three-day-stay vouchers from all the operational Marriott hotels and auction them. It was decided that the proceeds would go to Marriott Home. One day, when I was discussing this with a colleague, he jokingly asked me if he should send them over or if I would travel on my bike to collect the vouchers in person. I thought that was a good idea.”
Despite the fact that he is a regular at the BOBMC events, this particular feat was always going to be tricky. “In a 6,200-km journey, you never know what could happen. On the very first day, my bike refused to start and I had to push it one km to get it fixed. Also, I’m riding solo.” Big support Prem’s wife was supportive of this risk he’s taking for a good cause. “After all, I get only 20 to 25 days off in a year to be with my family since I am living away from them. This journey would take a good 12 to 15 days,” he says. Prem is hoping to celebrate Christmas and New Year with his family when he stops over at Cochin.
And, like all Bullet lovers, Prem too considers his machines part of family. “I have two daughters and two motorcyles — a Thunderbird, which I bought in 2002, and the Classic 500, which is just a little more than a couple of years old.” He is using his Classic 500 for this long, hard journey.