A Wandering Storyteller On A Bicycle To Collect TalesMar 26, 2018
Story Telling, Journey on Bicycle
Travelling across the country is a dream for many people. Wanderlust is an unquenchable thirst for many. Can you ever imagine how a journey on a bicycle roaming around the streets of our country? For 30-year-old guy Kumar Shaw, this is a way of life. With an untidy beard and hair tied up in a bun, Kumar comes across as the typical traveller straight out the pages of a folktale.
An actor and storyteller, he is travelling on his bicycle across the country in the search of a collection of stories. Kumar had started from his home town in Aliyar near Pollachi in Tamilnadu on July 7, 2017. He had an instant thought while coming back from a storytelling session where it stuck to his mind to start the journey and he didn’t look back from there. He just started his journey with his Karuppi, the name of the bicycle. Karuppi means the companion.
Kumar who started his journey on the bicycle from a small village in Pollachi travelled across Tamilnadu, covering the length and breadth of the State in just less than five months. He travelled to Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Goa and is now in Ahmedabad. This storytelling guy is on the way to Leh Ladakh. Seems like the impossible task is going towards completion, that too on Bicycle! Interesting, isn’t it?
An Internal Journey
When Kumar started this exciting journey it was only an internal journey. On his way, he met several people belonging to several cultures to exchange his story and learn several things from the artists and people he met. This gives a new dimension to his thought and it has becomes an awareness journey now. Kumar is also planning to call those artists to his hometown so that they can come and do whatever they want to do. His journey has changed after going through so many states and after meeting many artists.
The best story by far for him was when he met a person in Ahmedabad. As a kid, he didn’t know anyone from his father’s side as his parents separated. But when in Ahmedabad, one of his friends with whom he was staying took him to a tea shop to meet his friend and Kumar after discussion with him discovered that he was his cousin. This is the beauty of a long journey when you meet someone you never expected.
Packing is too mainstream!
For you and me travelling involves planning, booking and lots of packing. But Kumar started his journey with Rs 200 in his wallet without even a Bicycle kit or a pump with him. Only a jacket to survive the cold in the night was with him. When he met people sat with them for storytelling people with a lot of love gifted him lights, tents, gloves and even cycle pump.
Every Story is different
Kumar says this journey always taught him a lot as he met several people at several places. Old people who have seen the world develop around them used to narrate the stories of how the world has evolved around them. How the jungles got replaced with highways and bullock carts got replaced with cars and trucks. In this journey, he learnt how the languages changed with states and learned some of them.
You must be wondering how he is surviving with Rs 200. Kumar tells that he was hosted by several people he’s never met in his life. Sometimes he posts the details of his journey on social media and several like-minded people become friends and offer him shelter.
In last eight months, in the middle of an exciting journey, he slept on the beach, spent the night in the middle of the jungle, ridden 70 KM without water and even travelled Pune to Mumbai (222 KMs) in a day to live his life in the way he wants to live.
No plan for future, he says, “What is the rush? I don’t plan anything beforehand. Even tomorrow I can go back home and end my journey. Why set a rule in Life?” he concludes.