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Getting a feel of the pulse of `real India'

Staff Reporter

Bari is back after a bike journey along with two other bike enthusiasts covering 16,000 km along India's periphery



PROUD PARENTS: Bari seen with his parents N. Janardhana Reddy and N. Rajyalakshmi at their home in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

HYDERABAD: It all began from the motorbike-themed café in Bangalore, `Road Trip' on September 25. Along the Deccan Plateau and through the Western Ghats, enduring storms, rain and sub-zero temperatures — when it ended two months later, the three biking enthusiasts who undertook a unique `Bharat Parikrama' trip were changed men.

The rich diversity of India, the subtle transitions in language, culture, way of life and terrains as they crossed over from each State to the next, now remains firmly etched in their minds. "Not anymore as mere names or photos, but as something we felt directly."

Bharat Kumar a.k.a. Bari, son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Janardhan Reddy and current School Education Minister N. Rajyalakshmi, is back after a bike journey along India's periphery, prompted by his love for bikes and also to "feel India".

Accompanied by cinematographer Navroze Contractor (61) and Nutrine Confectioneries director Dinesh Reddy (40), 38-year-old Bari, an Emmy Award-winning professional artist living in Los Angeles for two decades, has also understood that driving a vehicle is easy elsewhere in the world, but not in India.

The well-planned Parikrama, accompanied by two jeeps of support crew comprising Joseph Rajasingh (technical support), Naveen Bopaiah (production co-ordinator), Ameet Mallapur (photographer), Sanjiv Shah (filmmaker), Rakesh Haridas (cinematographer) and Ramesh Babu (assistant), is documented and posted on www.bharatparikrama.com and www.barikumar.com.

"We covered over 16,000 km, touched Kargil, Wagah Border, witnessed frequent landslides, crossed Brahmaputra on a ferry on the way from Itanagar to Dibrugarh, and by the time we were back in Bangalore on November 21, without any extensive research, had a glimpse of what India feels like," Bari told reporters on Wednesday.

"We went to places where tourists don't go, to places where we see the real India. That made it more endearing and eye-opening," he says.

"We are proud of him," is what the politician-couple had to say of their son.

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