Actors and bikers Satyadeep Misra and Kunal Kemmu on why riding makes them fly
When Satyadeep Misra speaks of riding on a bike, he compares the feeling to flying
Pic Courtesy/Sameer Malhotra
Why am I biking so much? Maybe, because I work only as much as I need to," says actor Satyadeep Misra, who you will remember as Rosie's suitor Johnny from Bombay Velvet and TV series P.O.W. — Bandi Yuddh Ke, where he played a soldier. We are sitting at his Versova home talking about bikes over a glass of gin.
Kemmu and Misra's social media is full of riding clicks, including those taken outside Café Monza in Kharghar, where they ride down on Sundays. Pics/Instagram
The cupboard next to us in the living room, is topped with helmets, which he says will grow in number. If you follow Misra on Instagram, you know that over the last year, he has biked to Uttaranchal, Himachal, Goa, Nepal and Hampi. His biking friends include actor Kunal Kemmu, who will next be seen in Karan Johar's Kalank, and whose social media feed is also full of riding clicks. Some of these see him posing with his bike, and some are taken with Misra outside Café Monza in Kharghar, where they ride down early on most Sunday mornings for breakfast.
Misra has a Ducati Scrambler, and Kemmu used to have a MV Agusta Brutale 1090 RR, and now has a Ducati Scrambler too. Their retail indulgences include biking jackets, one helmet after another, gloves and of course, biking boots. "After the Uttaranchal trip, riding became a big part of my life. I wake up only thinking of riding. The question on my mind always is 'when is my next biking trip going to be?' I think I work, just so I can ride," says Misra.
Unlike Misra, who caught the bug last year, Kemmu harboured the dream of biking since school, because he thought it was "cool". "My uncle bought me a bike, but the day it got delivered, I was in college, and my father sent it back," he tells us. "I have always been a rider. But, it's only in the last six months that I have started to enjoy what it's all about. I have made friends with those who ride with me. And I have been getting all this gear that improves the riding experience," says the new father, who is quick to tell us that the one thing wife Soha Ali Khan tells him, is to be careful.
In Robert M Pirsig's Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the author writes, "In a car, you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it, you don't realise that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming."
When Misra speaks of riding on a bike, he compares the feeling to flying. "If you see my bike, which is an off-roader, it's high up there, and as you are sitting on it, you too are sort of squatting in air. So, when you are cruising along, it does feel like you are flying," he says. When we ask, what he thinks about when he rides, he says, "It's hard to think because you are focussed on the road. All your instincts are tuned to the road, and keeping the bike in control. But as you start doing it more, it gets easier to disconnect and ride. As I said, it's the closest I have come to flying."
For Kemmu, it started off by being about the sound, speed and how the bike looks. But, in recent times, he has felt it become a stress buster. "There are days when you will be stuck in traffic, and feeling baked in all that gear, but then, there will be days where it will be a breeze. The risk factor also adds to the romance. At the end of the day, it's about the relationship between man and machine, and that's priceless."
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