Panaji, June 25 (IANS) Decades after Bollywood’s original showman Raj Kapoor blazed a cinematic trail in Russian hearts in the erstwhile USSR, his nephew is now kicking up some snow and dust right though the soul of Russia’s heartland. Also Read - India Slams Pakistan for Persecuting Hindus, Sikhs, Other Minorities at UN Body Meet
Filmmaker and businessman Aditya Raj Kapoor, son of veteran Bollywood legend Shammi Kapoor, is currently on a bike ride across the breadth of Russia, along the popular, but arduous Moscow to Vladivostok route in a bid to relive the enchantment of the Russian landscape and its people. Also Read - Monsoon Session Day 2: Lok Sabha Passes Essential Commodities Bill to Raise Farmer Income, Boost Agri Sector | Highlights
Kapoor, who is currently vrooming across the almost 10,000 km journey on his Bonneville Triumph motorbike, spoke to IANS over e-mail about the challenges which lay ahead in his yet-to-be-completed journey and his passion for biking. Also Read - 'Jammu And Kashmir to Reopen For Tourism Soon', Says J&K Administration
“I am enchanted with history and this route has shaped history and culture. I knew about the Trans-Siberian route and followed the train track, which is quite parallel at times,” he said. The 9,300-km train journey takes 165 hours or over six days.
Built around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the historic Moscow-Vladivostok route — one of the longest train journeys in the world — has a rich history of facilitating trade and commerce and has also been a beacon of sorts for adventurers and travellers through time.
Interestingly, in a more contemporary era, Russia, in a bid to facilitate trade in the South Asian region, has offered Pakistan a rail link from the Trans-Siberian route to the Gwadar port in the Balochistan province.
But trade and commerce are not on Kapoor’s mind, as much as the unadulterated spirit of adventure and the element of challenge is.
“The journey chooses the traveller. The idea of catching up on life appealed to me, so I started planning a year ago,” he said, when asked about the reason behind undertaking the ride on his parallel twin four-stroke bike.
“I have been an exporter’s apprentice, salesman in a Delhi gas stove company, ware-housing guy, pedestrian salesman, amusement park guy, man from Sharjah, wannabe film director and actor, writer and now a biker,” Kapoor said, summing up his life’s journey. Kapoor has assisted Raj Kapoor in the direction of several popular films, including “Bobby” and “Satyam Shivam Sundaram”, apart from writing and directing other movies.
Challenges are many, Kapoor says, but adds that his feisty spirit is undaunted.
“Language is a challenge. Long distance biking is another. So is the daily pack and restart system in daily change of rooms” he says.
Like his uncle Raj Kapoor, who wooed Russian movie lovers of the past decades, with his films and in particular his songs like “Mera joota hai Japani, yeh patloon Englistani, sar pe laal topi Rusi”, Aditya Raj Kapoor says that the natives in the world’s largest country and one of India’s biggest allies are friendly and warm.
“Yes it’s the same messaging, in a different language as the fifties and sixties,” he said.
“I have met Russians all along and I find that they are extremely warm and hospitable,” Kapoor added.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is published unedited from the IANS feed.