AUGUSTO RODRIGUES | NT
Rakesh Sharma is an astrologer from New Delhi who cycles to get a feel of India and not to keep himself fit. At 40, the lad from Uttar Pradesh thinks cycling is good for health but even better to develop one’s mind because “there is limit to physical strength and not mind strength.”
Rakesh is on a cycle mission from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and after having traversed 3194 kilometers – Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and now Goa– he feels, after his interaction with villagers on the way that “India will take time to develop because the people in control are trying to show there is development to keep all quiet and happy.”
“Development of infrastructure is good for a few. It does not help develop the majority of Indians living in villages because a common Indian is searching for development of the mind; development of the soul. The soul of India is in the villages and that soul is being controlled by the politicians, the businessmen and so called God men,” is one of the lessons of Rakesh’s cycling exploits.
“I was in Kashmir when Article 370 was repealed. As an Indian, I was happy that the government did it but as a human being, after having been with the people for five days, I think they were robbed of their rights. I find a few people who were happy but a majority were aghast. Initially, the people in Kashmir were against the administration but now they are against the administration and the tourist because they fear the tourist is going to eat into their land and culture,” whilst elaborating on his days in Jammu and Kashmir after Article 370 was repealed.
“I normally meet people from all walks of life when I take a break but have met few sportspeople during my interaction. I think that is because they have a different mindset. Our environment, changes in society may be affecting sports people but perhaps they do not want to show or cannot show their involvement because of their commitments or because of the demands of their profession. It could also be a mindset,” believes Rakesh who thinks a sportsperson with a strong mindset is better equipped than the one physically stronger.
“Sports people are reserved. They could have an attitude problem or lack of confidence that keeps them away or aloof,” adds Rakesh.
“During my journey I met some athletes and they told me that cycling is part of their exercise and that they can cycle for a minimum of six hours a day. They were surprised when I told them that I cycle for around twelve hours a day. I told them it is all in the mind,” avers Rakesh.
“I have never heard that anybody has died of hunger.
Hunger is an attitude. It is created by our thinking. When I travel, I carry no
But some one or the other comes along and provides a meal for me. It is a celestial hand that is doing that. Not just for me but for all and to see that hand, we have to keep our minds open,” thinks Rakesh as he prepares to continue his ride to Kanyakumari.