I just got back from dinner with a friend currently serving in the Indian Army. It wasn’t a normal dinner. We rode 80 kms out of state, him on his 1972 Army Royal Enfield and me on my Triumph Tiger 800 XRx. We stopped at a highway dhaba at the Western Ghats and enjoyed the most amazing chicken masala with roti.
Over dinner we exchanged stories. I told him about my motorcycle adventures in the Himalayas. He told me about his adventures on the borders. I told him about my desire to ride to Tsomgo Lake in Sikkim. He told me about the harsh winters he spent with his wife and child stationed on the banks of the Tsomgo Lake. I told him about my plan to ride to Nathula pass and click a picture with the Chinese soldiers. He told me about the two observation posts his troops built by hand atop the peaks of Nathula pass from where one could see 20 kms into Chinese territory. I told him about my desire to take a picture of my motorcycle parked at no man’s land between the Indian and Chinese flags at the Bum La pass. He told me about the altercations his troops had with the Chinese troops at that very spot.
Tonight’s ride was about two very different men riding two very different motorcycles with two very different definitions of the word “adventure”. One rode an adventure motorcycle. The other’s life itself was an adventure.
As we were riding back home I realized that peace is one thing whose price isn’t paid by the ones who enjoy it.