Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

Myself in front of My caravan KINGCOBRA

Remember, realising dreams and having freedom comes at a price! Though, everyone loves freedom and have dreams to realise, but most do not know how to get it in first place and then how to maintain. Everyone has to pay a price for it. And then the next biggest hurdle for most of us is that we want everything in this world.

I have always loved freedom, earned it and have not let it go at any cost, though paid time to time for `renewal’ of it.

Breakfast time, Caravan on the way Barmer to Jaisalmer

I wanted to travel and enjoy doing what I love doing without any restrictions like a free bird. I have succeeded doing that quite a bit and have understood about what is the package in this deal, clarity in your thoughts and vision is a must, however simple you may be. There is nothing which comes as `stand alone’, we must know that anything in life comes as a package, some understand and most do not. One must be prepared that `ups and downs’ and sometimes `living on the edge’ very precariously are part of this kind of nomadic life which is full of freedom.  I take it as adventure, while doing it one has to sweat occasionally. LIFE HAS A LOT TO OFFER US, WE MUST KNOW HOW TO TAKE IT. Its equal for everyone, there is no disparity on earth but we deny ourselves a lot, which life offers as free, almost.  First, take what it gives and its plenty. Beyond this is `greed’  which will never let you go closer to freedom and your dreams. 

For this freedom, I hung my army boots, which I loved the most, bid a tearful adieu to the Indian army in 1990. And for this freedom, once again, I consigned my new profession of fliming to the winds. I loved this new profession of wildlife film-making a lot like a mad young man does and held it above all in my life, therefore got exploited as well. I loved it the most in my life, but then once I got into it, realised its `dog eat dog’ world every where i.e. faking, lies, high-jacking others work, exploitation were common even in the field of wildlife and wildlife film making. I had dreamt of a wonderful world in this field and expected everyone to be a nature lover truly thus very close to God, but the fog which every naive and passionate man has, dissipated soon. In the beginning, everyone in the field of wildlife is good, it seems, but as they start realising the need of money and competition (greed) in life to keep ahead of others and this starts `coloring’ as new profession, all turns as black as the other world of materialism.

Rajbir (my wife) and Sukhmani (our daughter) having breakfast, after we spent our night on the outskirts of NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK, next to Kabini Lodge.

In 1999, when all my friends, classmates and coursemates from the army, were all married had their own houses built; I thought of making my own caravan instead of building a house. I knew this would give me immense freedom to travel and visit villages to spread around about snakes and snakebite. I just did not bother what future had for me, I was excited about having great time on my caravan and travel around in India, as I dreamt. I have no regrets about investing my money into caravan, though I could have bought a three bedroom flat for the same price in those days, which stands at Rs 150, 00, 000 (rupees one and half crores as of now) today. But the freedom and fun I had in life, is undoubtedly priceless and most of you envy me. The money which I paid or say lost to have this adventure, will come back to me but the time gone past will never. I made the best use of my time and money.

In April 2000, I got married to a wonderful lady Rajbir, who has supported me for anything and everything I do in life; I have never imposed  myself on her for anything. My wife and me travelled a lot till 2003 when our daughter Sukhmani arrived in our life and continued till she started going to school in 2006. What a wonderful life for 6 years ! I was paid for this long holiday by Him.

My family enjoying outdoors!

With the grace of Almighty, I have total freedom, I can do what I like doing and I do not have to apply for leave or wait for the weekend. These days, I get up early, go out for uphill cycling and there is no pressure to get back home on time, as I do not have to attend an office. I take my own sweet-time, depending on the energy and the distance I have done uphill and the breeze in the folds of hills of  Morni – the only hill station of Haryana state. How lucky I am … I am next to such a wonderful uphill track for cycling, the best in the region I bet; no traffic, smoke & noise free, full of oxygen, the only noise I heave is that of my cycle chain or the birds, langurs, trees and bushes whooshing of trees. try to imagine about the life I am having … but do you know the price I have paid for it. I am sure not. None of you will have the courage to do so. You have tried controlling your life too much and also let others control your life. Now, most of you are controlled, unfortunately, by your wives. Most of who deny access to your freedom when you try to realise your dreams of having camera or a bicycle to enjoy some freedom or to recharge your energy. Marriage is a subject which all young Indians must understand before they decide to tie this `knot for life’.

Now, its too late for you to emulate me, long ago you had the opportunity to take this turning, the least treaded path, but it did not have that stylish `signboard’ but I knew that I wanted to be a nomad and roam these open `pastures of life’ where there was no one to discourage me or dissuade me. I married to someone who is a wonderful human-being first, she cares for me and I reciprocate. This another `secret key’ to open the gates of freedom for you. I knew I would roam around like a shepherd with my flute to accompany me and enjoy the music of life flowing through my own `flute’. Everyone gets a `flute’ to play and enjoy in life, some sell it for short term gains and some just dump it somewhere unknowingly. What I walk as `freedom’, you have to work hard to spare time for `morning walks’ even so you could control your `blood pressure’. But I enjoy it like a sparrow, pay no price everyday, though I paid before you all, when you most chickened out to pay. For I knew that I have to pay some price and I paid without hesitation. 

Inside view of my caravan KINGCOBRA …

Soon after I hung my boots, I thought of tourism as my new profession (after all one needs money to survive). Tourism offered me plenty of freedom to travel and that too at others expenses, also my old experience of the army service would be useful. But this new profession could not take off in 1991, which I had planned to set up at Madras (now Chennai), I had no local support at all and was not a rich man to survive till the project had taken off in that `foreign land’ of Tamil Nadu. After about six months, I was forced by the circumstances to look for a job. And after I worked in private sector two years, I realised that I am not cut for any jobs and I have to fend myself. I have been a free bird eversince!

Since I have tasted this freedom and the dream of travelling, seen most of you looking at me with envy filled in your eyes, thought of sharing this with you all. I know most of you, rather majority (about 98%) are in jobs and can not spare time the way I can. I would be offering you all a new kind of travel and photography – full of freedom and next to free air  … so to say… I am about to commission an outfit named as GREEN DOT EXPEDITIONS. Please take a peek and you would love it.

I love the quote of Steve Jobs – “STAY HUNGRY – STAY FOOLISH”. This is the secret to success and happiness.

Our caravan KINGCOBRA was designed by me and my wife and fabricated at home, though I had a carpenter to do wood work and I did the fitting. I did the air-conditioning, electrical fittings and water supply all by myself

My kids, wife and their friends inside KINGCOBRA …our caravan


Comments on: "Freedom and Dreams come at a price …" (16)

  1. Sandeep Singh said:

    Love this kind of life and totally agree that Freedom and Dreams come at a price. Not everyone has the courage to live like a free bird. My best Wishes! 🙂

  2. Loved to read your blog. It is indeed true that many see you with envy filled eyes, but the same even if given a chance to go back and make a decision like you did would be difficult. You are not in the normal distribution. … and some who want to may not have the means to do it…. this aside your comment
    “You have tried controlling your life too much and also let others control your life. Now, most of you are controlled, unfortunately, by your wives” seems like only men want such lives….. it is not so and being a female and wanting this type of nomadic life cannot even be envisioned by a nomad like you

    • Thanks for your comments Chitra. I agree with you what you have written. If I can do then I can assure you anyone can do, one just needs to draw lines about what one needs and what one wants to do. I may have a smaller vehicle and some may have bigger one to build their caravan. And its not necessary that one needs only a caravan to enjoy life, this has just been quoted as an example that one has to pay some price for `freedom and dreams’, most are not willing. If so, then one should not scream for freedom and dreams. I wanted to be travel in caravan and I did it, instead building a house, I paid for a caravan. What future holds for me, no one knows, we worry too much about the things over which we have no control. If we do not have control, as things do get outdated far in future, then why worry. We must make our present beautiful, though one must save some for rainy days. Most young men make decisions about their marriage because family has put pressure and relatives have been nagging. I agree its not easy for a woman to be a nomad. I never forced my wife, as I have mentioned, never imposed anything on her, we discuss things and chalk out a plan which suits both. I married the right person – the only criteria was that I have to get married to a `good human being’, this solved all the things for me, which become complicated for others especially after marriage. I have also mentioned that I reciprocate the respect and support extended by my wife to my activities. Why I mentioned about life being controlled by wives – I have come across many men who can live wonderful life but when they were asked to make a decision about marriage, they married someone on others words. Now, being a misfit they pull each others life and try to control when its going on tangent. That is why I said its too late to go back and undo about the marriage.

      We all love and want freedom, it may not be about nomadic life, it could be freedom for anything and having dream to do things the way one wants. Well the subject is too long to discuss here in this small window `comments’. Also, its difficult to emulate anyone, even if we follow someone’s life like a `carbon copy’. Can anyone emulate Steve Jobs, even by following his life and activities bit by bit? I am sure no one can, for every human is made differently. What one needs to know is `one has to pay price for anything you want’. Are you willing to pay?

  3. This is the real freedom Captain ! Like the way of your writing and images are also very good.

  4. Love your style Sir. Can I call you Capt Courageous !!!

  5. What a Wonderful write up. I guess you are more stronger that most of us around. Not that we don’t value Freedom, but we all are way to scared to pay its price. We are too cosy in our jobs, home, family and general scene that anything going a little out of place makes us nervous, loose temper and so on n so forth. Even our Holidays are so governed with time, what to see, in how time, cover everything, leave nothing, run , run , run and run some more. We forget the ultimate aim for the Holiday was to relax, laugh and have some fun.

    I loved what you wrote……”These days, I get up early, go out for uphill cycling and there is no pressure to get back home on time, as I do not have to attend an office. I take my own sweet-time, depending on the energy and the distance I have done uphill and the breeze in the folds of hills of Morni – the only hill station of Haryana state. How lucky I am …”

    My Salutations to your wife, kids as they are partnering you in experiencing life in its real sense. I certainly look up to you and will continue to do so.

  6. […] REMEMBER : Ideally, one should pursue that activity first which is within one’s reach easily, which means select a subject that is not far from your base (this way you cut cost on logistics, travel and no leave required from your job), your basic equipment can deliver good photos, etc. First brush up the basics of photography this way and reach a level when you do not make basic mistakes. One should be able to handle any tricky exposure situation in the field; I have seen people whispering about what settings I should use. If one is doing so, there is no bigger fool than the one who is paying to grope in darkness like a blind man. Everyone, makes mistakes and a humble start with basic equipment and makes one’s way up as per one’s own capabilities, efforts, patience and perseverance. Nothing comes free in this world ! […]

  7. Sonali Dalal said:

    Captain,you are lucky that you can follow your dream! Travelling throughout India by car, without any fixed plan, has been my dream since years. But alas,seems like an impossible one. Being woman,it is all the more difficult to follow such dreams.

  8. Swapnil Tiwari said:

    wow I am so inspired by U…………

  9. Courage is the key…and I am inspired again and belief go stronger. Yes I am ready to and going to pay the price too. Thanks! I would like to keep visiting your blog.

  10. sunil umarao said:

    Oh… ur spirit to life!…..i always test myself and other how independent you can keep ur soul !…..every struggle to keep it independent comes with cost and many a times with much heavier cost…….independence is the oxygen with which the soul lives!

  11. sunil umarao said:

    love you for what you do brother

  12. Hi Captain
    You are very lucky to do what you like. Missed opportunity to meet you at Chandigarh but never the less will meet some other time. I never knew you are a carvan man definitely will make a point to visit Chandigarh in Short time ( Its My Home Town). Hope will come to Chandigarh soon or keep me posted if travelling. Do give me some tips to make House on Wheels which base is good


  13. Gurprataap singh chadha said:

    Sir would lo e to meet you.. Iam also from. Chandigarh.. I would also promote you with people..

    Iam in Austrlaia and people here specially after retirement travel alot in caravans

    It really has occurred to me too. At 25

    That what is good moeny job etc if u don’t have peace of mind

    The best things in life are free

    BTW I hope u read captain ajit vadakayil blog.. He is a gem like you

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