Tamil Nadu

Man rides bike from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu to join his family

Civil Engineer, N. Chandramohan, who travelled all the way from Ahmedabad to Watrap

Civil Engineer, N. Chandramohan, who travelled all the way from Ahmedabad to Watrap   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The civil engineer obtained an e-pass from the Ahmedabad district administration and set out on April 22, reaching Watrap on April 25

A civil engineer, N. Chandramohan, performed the Herculean task of biking 2,346 km, all the way from Ahmedabad in Gujarat to meet his family near here during the nation-wide lockdown.

The 43-year-old man, who was a project engineer at Ahmedabad, did not even think of the consequences of a solo biking expedition for such a long distance before kick-starting his 2011-model Hero Honda Splender. For him, travelling under the scorching sun all day and sleeping on roadsides or in petrol bunks was better than the mental stress he had been under while confined to his small room.

“I survived on the food supplied by an NGO in the mornings and evenings. Otherwise, I was confined within the four walls of my room,” he said.

Meanwhile, his mother, who had lost sight in one eye due to glaucoma, started falling sick and wanted to see her family.

Mr. Chandramohan’s brother and sister could not travel from Chennai and Tiruvannamalai respectively to Sirkazhi, where their mother lives. After he himself fell home-sick, Mr. Chandramohan, decided to go home on his bike on a whatever-it-takes journey.

With bag full of biscuit packets and water bottles, the engineer set out on the road in the early hours of April 22, armed with an e-pass from the Ahmedabad district administration.

Till Mumbai, it was not a big task for him. But, beyond that, the ghat road within a jungle area was a cause of concern. “I planned my travel so that I would pass through the jungles during the day,” he said. He survived on biscuits and water refilled at petrol bunks. “Even refuelling was possible only with the e-pass,” he said.

Riding the bike for 15 hours a day was possible because of his helmet, sun glasses and shoes. “Since the temperature was around 38 degree Celsius to 42 degree Celsius in Gujarat and Maharashtra, I did not feel the need for a jacket,” Mr. Chandramohan said.

After every one hour of riding, he would take a break for five minutes and he spent nights at petrol bunks.

Though police intercepted him at all the checkposts, the e-pass helped him continue his journey.

“After three days of riding, I had my usual food – idli and dosa – only after entering Tamil Nadu -- at a highway motel in Hosur,” he said.

After four days of riding, he finally reached the residence of his father-in-law near Watrap at 8.30 p.m. on April 25.

He was very tired after the long drawn-out journey. “But, I was overjoyed on seeing my children. All of them cried on seeing me returning safe,” he recalled.

While his impromptu plan to travel around 2,500 km worked without any hindrance, his plan to take his wife and two daughters to Sirkazhi to meet his mother failed. Revenue and police officials who came to know about his arrival from Gujarat, have denied him passage out of the district.

Mr. Chandramohan will now have to wait for 15 days before getting a nod to set out to meet his mother under the tightened lockdown rules.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 9:51:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/man-rides-bike-from-gujarat-to-tamil-nadu-to-join-his-family/article31445095.ece

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