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Indian Biker Sharat Siri’s Gulf Tour to spread love

By Raji Unnikrishnan

In the heart of the Arabian Gulf, where cultures converge and stories unfurl, Indian biker Sharat Siri pedals forth—a messenger of love and connection. In his Royal Enfield, adorned with both the Indian tricolor and Bahrain’s flag, Mr Siri from Karnataka, India, entered Bahrain donning his biker’s helmet, fuelled not just by horsepower but by the powerful message of bonding, camaraderie, and shared experiences.

Bahrain was the fifth stop for the 55-year-old, where he spent a week prior to leaving for Saudi Arabia. Amidst the rain-kissed streets, Bahrain’s police welcomed him with open arms. Their warmth, a beacon of humanity, left a mark in Mr Siri’s heart, for whom weather is no adversary; it merely adds texture to his adventure.

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“I was so amazed at the way they (policemen) were friendly and helpful—they welcomed me, guided me to the location where I had to go, and cautioned me about the rain,” Mr Siri told Bahrain This Week.“They had a special warmth when they spoke to me and were very encouraging.”

Mr Siri was honoured by the Kannada Sangha in Bahrain, and he expressed joy at this recognition. A visit to the Indian Embassy further strengthened the ties that bind nations. 
“The people of Bahrain and expatriates were all very friendly. The love and affection that I received at Kannada Sangha was overwhelming. I am leaving with cherished moments in Bahrain.”

Two decades ago, Sharath kick-started his biking odyssey, threading through India’s diverse landscapes—the bustling cities, serene villages, and winding highways. But his journey transcends geography. It’s a call to say “no” to drugs, advocating for a healthier lifestyle. Subsequently, destiny beckoned him back to Muscat—the city that once cradled his dreams. Here, he weaved threads of bonding and shared memories for almost 20 years. 
“I thought I would make a road trip on my bike to Muscat and meet my friends, and it was a great feeling. Then on, I thought of making this a Gulf tour, to ride on my bike to other GCC countries, to meet and make friends. My mission in India is to say no to drugs, but in the Gulf, my mission is to spread love and connect with people.”

Mr Siri’s journey into biking was sparked by a simple yet profound passion—the thrill of the open road, the wind against his face, and the freedom that two wheels offered. At the age of 20, he acquired his first bike, and it ignited a lifelong love affair with the art of riding.
“It was not just the machine that attracted me, but the opportunities for exploration, connection, and purpose,” he said.
“As I rode through life, I realised that biking is more than a mode of transportation, it is a canvas for messages, like love and connection.”

Beyond accolades and official visits, Mr Siri’s heart resonates with the flavours of life. Pakistani paya—a culinary delight—holds a special place, which he said was good for riders. While among the staples, his favourites  are the humble neer dosa, reminiscent of his Karnataka roots.

Mr Siri’s Gulf tour was not without its challenges. At the Pakistani border, he faced visa-related obstacles. Unable to secure a visa, he had to reroute his journey back to Mumbai. From there, he transported his bike to Dubai, resuming his Gulf tour. His worldwide bike transportation license or bike passport, carnet, facilitated this transition.

“This bike passport or carnet chronicles my journey and my dreams—these pages are tangible reminders of his touring,” he said.

Riding across different Gulf countries exposed Mr Siri to varying climates—from the rain-kissed streets of Bahrain to the scorching dunes of the UAE and Qatar. Despite the weather fluctuations, he pressed on.

“Weather was never a challenge for me; I have been riding, and I am used to different weathers, especially the Gulf weather, which is not new to me,” he said.

He expressed his gratitude to his former company in Muscat, which is arranging his accommodation in the countries that he is visiting.

As Mr Siri bade goodbye to his next destination, Saudi Arabia, one could see the flag of Tulu Nadu—a symbol of commitment to preserving the Tulu language—fluttering behind him. Tulu, one of the oldest Indian languages, traces its roots to the Dravidian heritage. Spoken primarily in Karnataka’s South Kanara district, it echoes cultural preservation and heritage.

Beyond the Gulf, Mr Siri dreams of a European journey, and this aspiration fuels his spirit. His wheels spin not just on asphalt but on the fabric of shared experiences—a road trip that transcends maps and embraces hearts.

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