Exploring Northeast through a bike ride

New Delhi: A new travelogue provides a kaleidoscopic account of the Northeast, its flavour, beauty, history, geopolitics, and its people.

“Into the East: 7 States, 7000 km, A Ride to reclaim Life” is billed as a cracker of a road trip to some of India’s most challenging, beautiful, and historical destinations which will fire anybody’s dream of going on an overland adventure to the Northeast.

Author Sabir Hussain decided to write about his experience of riding 7,000 km across seven states in about 50 days also to dispel many misconceptions about the Northeast.

“The Northeast is mostly viewed through a prism that paints it as unstable and often a dangerous place to visit for a variety of reasons. Much of the population is considered alien for their physical features, food habits, and way of life. The reality is very different,” says Hussain, a journalist hailing from Assam.

In the winter of 2018, 53-year-old Hussain threw caution to the wind and set off on his journey on a borrowed Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle to reclaim his life from the monotony of a desk job in New Delhi and to retrace his roots.

The ride that began in Siliguri in north Bengal took him through Sikkim, the Darjeeling hills, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, and Nagaland along some of the most perilous and picturesque roads in the country.

Many of the places on his route were just dots on the map but they have their own charm that left him with priceless takeaways from the once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Among these places is Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh where Hussain was amazed to see a lottery that offers mithuns (large bovine in the eastern Himalayas), pigs, goats, and chicken as prizes.

Hussain thought he owed it to himself to write about his experience. Thus “Into the East” was born. The 335-page-book has been published by Readomania.

Hussain has been a part of several motorcycle expeditions to Ladakh between 1998 and 2008 as a member of a Delhi-based bikers’ club called Pathfinders. His first book “Battlefields & Paradise” was a motorcycle travelogue that he wrote after riding solo through Kashmir to India’s northernmost place called Turtuk on the edge of Ladakh along the Line of Control with Pakistan.

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