Memories, while completing any task keeps us reminding our diehard efforts and determination which we have put into it. The journey itself from Mumbai to Goa is a big achievement for Aanchal Dhara, a Mumbai-based wedding photographer who wanted to escape from the tiredness of urban life. Now the question pops up how can one’s journey become the task or an achievement? Her journey was not as simple as we think. It was without any means of transportation. Yes, she travelled from Mumbai to Goa, on foot covering 583km over 26 days, by walking! It was her attempt to promote the importance of passion. Here’s her story.
Aanchal Dhara, amazingly covered 583km over 26 days, by walking! She underwent physical training for such a massive task. Walking for 583 kilometres is not something you take lightly. Though she walked alone, she was accompanied by her husband and a photographer, Ranjeet, in a support car.
[su_expand more_text=”READ MORE” less_text=” ” height=”0″ hide_less=”yes” link_style=”button” link_align=”center”] It all started because of that one spark in Anchal Dhara, an attempt to encourage the passion in oneself. An initiative called The Audacious Project to create ‘audacious, life-changing experiences’ was launched by Anchal with her ad-filmmaker husband Prashant.
The efforts put in this project would have gone in vein if they themselves have not got into this life-changing journey. With this embarked idea Anchal decided to take a walk from Mumbai to Goa. Husband and wife recently finished their first project, Two Feet & A Dream, a 583-km-walk from Andheri to Morjim. This walk of theirs was completed over a period of 26days. Dhara was followed by her support team in a car and it carried all the equipment to document her travel.
Her support team was comprised of her husband Prashant and Ranjeet, their cameraman. This team was occasionally accompanied by their friends as well. As Dhara said to media, “It can get pretty lonely walking alone on the road 12 hours a day… so it really helped that I had company from time to time.”
This walk was planned long before, nearly two years back. As a part of testing how the things will go, Dhara had walked from Mumbai to Pune last year in seven days. She had started her training 6 months before the Andheri-Morjim walk, combining strength training in the gym with walks ranging from 10 to 30 km. They commenced this journey in October which tends to get unbelievably hot. So, they had to start their walk every day at 6 am to cover as much as possible before temperature increases.
Her journey was rough and tough but she managed it as she had that confident in her to complete her task. She had planned her walk properly. Aachal used to start walking at 6 am every day. After walking every 7km Dhara would take a 15-min break and massage her feet. This would go throughout the day till 6 or 7 pm. After getting back to the hotel she used to massage her feet and ice her feet and hit the bed by 10:30 pm.
While she was completing her journey what made Dhara surprise are the small, highly significant, lessons and experiences that she learned. For example, she realised that we Indians love to honk even in the broad highway. As Dhara says in CNT “Despite wide roads and miles of empty highway ahead of them, drivers still honk like their lives depend on it.”
India is not as unsafe as we have started to believe it is. She says “There were a lot of curious glances and questions, but I’ve never felt unsafe.” Dhara remarks in CNT that people were actually offering whatever they could, from sugarcane juice to a hot meal. That’s how they were trying to contribute to her journey.
This team was not only on the expedition of completing the task from Mumbai to Goa, as Prashant wanted to make a documentary on this walk and so Dhara had to walk a particular stretch more than once, as they wanted that perfect shot and the perfect light. And sometimes she also had to walk on the wrong side of the road. So we can say that Dhara covered more than 583 km that is the distance between Mumbai and Goa. Her strong determination always supported her spirit from achieving this ultimate task.
Anachal and her team met a lot of motivating people while on the journey. One of them was Anandi Chavan, sarpanch of Vardarge village near Kolhapur who invited them to her home for Diwali celebrations. Also Ramakant, a farmer and sugarcane juice vendor who is struggling with his crops because of less rain but he made sure that they had an extra glass of juice for free. A shopkeeper named Sachin who saved up for a year to buy a Firefox bike and plans to cycle to Delhi this year, a truck driver whose son is pursuing an MBA and a daughter with a Ph.D. are few people whom Dhara and her team would always remember as they were part of their wonderful journey.
For their next attempt, Prashant will be riding 5,000 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, which will span across 45 days and will be called the K2K Ride. This project was aimed to create a series of life-changing events that challenge the human potential. It was truly a life changing experience for the team.So we must praise this team and wait for their next wonder.
Everyone has that fear in mind which frightens us from chasing our dreams. It’s the fear of Failure. When you’re afraid of failure, you end up doing nothing and just complain. But if one has to live a life without regrets he has to pass that fear of failure and triumph over it. Successful people like this team has accomplished with this achievement to show people the power of dreams while urging them not to give up. “It’s been a life-changing experience,” Dhara says. They took all the obstacles as an opportunity. Her story will be inspirational indeed.
HERE ARE THE PHOTOS OF HER 26-DAYS LONG JOURNEY:
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Image Courtesy: The Audacious Project