Published: 06th August 2018
This 27-year-old video blogger hitchhiked from Kerala to Nepal to explore real India
From Hyderabad, he decided to opt for inter-state trucks to cover a longer distance
This is probably the ultimate hitchhikers' guide to see India. And that too without spending a penny.
Shakir Subhan, a 27-year-old video blogger from Iritty, Kannur, has covered 3,300km from Kerala to Nepal hitchhiking. In this process, he has become the first person from Kerala to cover the entire breadth of the India unplanned in seven days.
A part-time travel blogger, Shakir began his journey on July 5 when he travelled with one of his friends to Bengaluru in a car. But his real journey started from Bengaluru after decided to travel to Hyderabad.
He had decided to travel on two-wheelers from Bengaluru after he got down on a National Highway to Hyderabad. Shakir started asking strangers for a lift. He had to stand on the road for more than an hour as no one stopped. Finally, a milk vendor came to his rescue and took him for the next 17km. Then there was no looking back for Shakir as he got help from two-wheelers one after the other till he reached Hyderabad.
From Hyderabad, he decided to opt for inter-state trucks to cover a longer distance.
A truck carrying vegetables from Hyderabad was proceeding to Ayodhya on the Hyderabad-Bhopal highway when Shakir asked for a lift. He was alone on the highway. Surprised, the driver asked "Who are you? Where are you from? Where are you going?"
Too many questions amused Shakir. But he chose to answer all of them honestly. "I told him that I am from Kerala and wanted to go to the place where the truck ended its journey." Though startled, the driver offered to take him. That was the longest trip he took. From Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, he started hitchhiking on motorcycles, trucks and mini-trucks again to reach the India-Nepal border.
"It was not easy to travel so much of distance without money. Besides, the major challenge was the travelling with strangers. Luckily, I got the help from some nice people and they were extremely helpful in realising my passion for travelling. They are also very fond of Malayalis and were kind to me," Shakir said.
Though Shakir had plans to extend his trip to Bhutan, he had to give up in midway. So after reaching Kathmandu on July 12, he travelled back to Kerala in the train from Uttar Pradesh after borrowing money from Malayalis he met.
He said he has become richer from experience after the seven-day trip. "I came across different people and their cultures. I went to places where the truckers took me. A major part of the trip was across the villages. So I got to know the real life of the common man in North India. I advise all youngsters to travel like this to know the real India," Shakir added.
Shakir has received appreciation from several quarters for his achievement. The people of Iritty panchayat had felicitated him.
He is now busy completing his book about his experience. He says DC Books has expressed interest to publish it.
For sure this won't be his last hitchhiking expedition. In fact, Shakir has plans to undertake similar trips in the future and to make video blogging as his full-time profession.