Balaji Suresh
Balaji Suresh

This biker ‘tills’ into nooks and corners

He started his ride on a Pulsar 200 in November 2015. The initial plan was to wind it up within a month, but the ride extended to 120 days

By Sathya Nallasamy

CHENNAI: It is quite common for a biker to narrate about roads, bikes, gears and machines. But this biker from Coimbatore can talk about sowing, harvesting, seasonal rains, onions, turmeric, etc. 29-year-old Balaji Suresh, a mechanical engineering graduate, makes his living from agriculture. He is an avid biker who is fond of traversing through places less explored.

Talking to DT Next, Balaji Suresh says, “I got my first bike when I was in college. I used to do part-time jobs to buy riding gear and other biking accessories. After I graduated, I got a job and worked for one and a half years in Bengaluru. With the help of the money earned from that job, my bike was all set for the dream venture. I made use of a coincidental break from my project at work for the trip.”

I got interested in nature and was not able to convince myself to work in a concrete environment any further. When I came home, my parents tried to convince me to go back to work. Even though I was clueless about my income and future, I was very sure that I’d not like a 9-5 job

Balaji Suresh

While the bikers usually aimed at exploring the Northern tip of the country, Balaji eyed in the direction which was not spoken about often. “The lack of information about the North-Eastern part of India instigated my curiosity towards the seven sisters,” he reminisces.

He started his ride on a Pulsar 200 in November 2015. The initial plan was to wind it up within a month, but the ride extended to 120 days. “I returned only in March 2016. I got my termination letter from my company on the 60th day. I wasn’t bothered to end the trip,” he chuckles.

Talking about the shift in career, he says, “I got interested in nature and was not able to convince myself to work in a concrete environment any further. When I came home, my parents tried to convince me to go back to work. Even though I was clueless about my income and future, I was very sure that I’d not like a 9-5 job.”

That was when he decided to make use of his ancestral farmland located in Boluvampatti, Coimbatore. “My parents are government employees and so they used to lease out the farm. I decided to take full control of the land and became a full-time farmer. I was able to make a good profit out of it,” he says.

In July 2017, he started his second ride. He aimed at covering all four corners of the country. He spent roughly about a month in each state that he crossed and had only Rs 30,000 in his pocket since the harvest was not over by then.

He decided to budget his finances. Fuel and food couldn’t be compromised and so, he decided not to spend money on accommodation. He would ask permission from residents and put up a tent in the forest areas or even in a Dhaba. He says that it started off as a temporary arrangement but ended up being an enthralling experience. A 6-month trip ended up being 549 days long.

“Petrified by my absence, my parents had to block my debit card so that I would return,” he laughs, adding, “I had no money in hand and their trick worked. I was in Jaisalmer then. I borrowed money from one of my friends and began my ride to Tamil Nadu. I went straight to Kanyakumari, covering all the country’s four tips.”

He is currently working on a three-year project to do an international ride covering many parts of the world, which he says will begin in 2024.

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