He is all of 23 but Lucknow lad Gaurav Siddharth is on a mission to get his name in the Guinness Book of World Records by covering 12 lakh kilometers across India on a motorcycle.
Gaurav is reportedly just a few kilometers short of the current world record holder Danell Lynn, who travelled 78,214 kms across the US between September 19, 2014 and August 29, 2015.
Interestingly, Gaurav is scripting his own Motorcycle Diaries.
Gaurav embarked on his journey on September 17, 2015. In the first phase he rode the bike on the highest motorable road at Leh-Khardungla.
He did not stray too far off lest he ended up in Chinese hands.
He then turned his bike towards the northeast for his second phase, where he met anti-AFSPA activist Irom Sharmila.
He also explored the indigenous tribes of the northeast.
By the end of the second phase, Gaurav had travelled around 12,000 kms.
On the way he ate and drank whatever the locals had to offer.
In the third phase, he turned west and rode around 14,000 kms through Rajasthan and Gujarat.
He soaked in the vibrant culture of the places he visited.
And also found time to do some fooling around.
During his travel, he met Baba Ramdev and surprisingly convinced the yoga guru to ride his bike.
The bike is a Hero Impulse, which offers a top speed of around 140 km/h. Gaurav calls his orange colour bike Bawri 2.0.
Though he was given a sponsorship offer from Infosys founder N.R. Narayan Murthy himself, Gaurav turned it down.
A psychology graduate, Gaurav is the son of a bank manager. He is currently meeting expenses from his own pocket but has said that he’ll seek sponsorship at a later stage.
During his journey, Gaurav also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother.
He has also met Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and social activist Anna Hazare.
It is not that his journey has been smooth. Gaurav had to often spend nights under an open sky and sleep with an empty stomach.
What kept him going was his determination to experience the vividness of India’s culture, its peoples and traditions, something he had felt first-hand during his 4750 km bicycle trip from Kashmir to Kannyakumari between February 14 and April 9 in 2015.