Sundeep Gajjar, 31, has a professional life so passionate; most people would kill to be in his shoes. It’s been more than six years since he’s been on the road riding super bikes. The founder of the online biking forum xbhp.com, Sundeep has ridden through 10 countries on some of the world’s most spectacular motorcycles. With a sharp eye as he travels, his passion for photography has turned into an inevitable part of his road trips – aptly titled MotoGraphy. Emaho spoke to Motographer Sandeep Gajjar about the milestones of his journey through life.
Emaho : So how did this all start?
I got my first bike in 2001 after I found scooters were not stable enough due to their inherent geometry and dynamics. When I got my bike, I was also learning web designing and programming. I decided to design a page dedicated to my bike, and then started adding more features like forums etc. That’s when xbhp was born. I founded xBhp in 2002, since then xBhp and I have gone hand in hand. Whatever I do, I do it for xBhp and to satiate my hunger for biking and travel. I left my job five times, including a well paying one in Australia. I never regretted it. I just can’t stay in the same place for too long, it kills me.
‘Splash! At Bhandhardhara Dam in Maharshtra with two Ducatis’
Emaho : When did the photography start?
I picked up (actually rented) my first camera – a Sony 1.3 MP in 2001, when I took a few shots of my first bike (Bajaj Pulsar) to design my webpage. Subsequently, I bought the same camera for cheap and I used to follow super bikes and big bike owners all over Delhi to take a few pictures of their bikes to put it up on my website for people to see. But the real interest in photography started in 2006.
Emaho : Tell us more about the Great Indian Roadtrip.
The Great Indian Roadtrip was conceived by me in order to prove that even big bikes and off scooters can make this journey and India is indeed beautiful. The photos clicked in this trip were also my first with a SLR.
‘At the Village of Castelluchio, Italy’
Emaho : What are some things about India that surprised you during the trip?
I have gone around India thrice and another 25 times on super bikes. Every time I feel that it is dangerous and mad on the roads, however at the same time I get a feeling in places like Kerala etc that Indian is so vast, huge and diverse, plus it is more interesting than any of the countries I have seen. India has culture, something which countries like Australia etc lack. However, India sure has its big share of problems too.
Emaho : What is your favourite experience from road tripping across the globe?
Someone actually intercepted me in the middle of a highway in south India in India because of a Facebook check-in in the Grand Indian Roadtrip this year! That was unbelievable.
‘Yahoo! At Lavassa in Pune’
Emaho : What has been your strangest moment on the road?
Deja vu. A few times I have somehow felt that I have ridden the stretch once before. But literally this was true in case of India (when I have been around three times), and New Zealand (when I have been twice). In India, I spotted some similar spots where I clicked the bikes I rode in 2006 and six years later in 2012, it was surreal.
Emaho : Besides biking, what are your other interests?
Photography, Designing. A bit of programming, that’s all; if you discount riding and travelling. And yes movies too.
‘The Chase 2: Audi TT chases a Ducati Monster in Mahabaleshwar, India’
Emaho : What are your favourite tunes to take along with you?
I don’t listen to music while riding. It is distracting. However, I do listen to anything that sounds good; I am not an audiophile or a music buff. Though these days I tend to listen a lot to the music track of Dark Knight Rises. I am a big Batman fan.
‘Rider’s Prayer, Nainital, India’
Emaho : Any words of advice for the young kids out there who are itching to get out on the road?
It was serendipity for me. I was always a normal kid and am a normal human being with average IQ. I have no formula for what I did or able to do. I guess it’s because of my parents’ education, support from my family and having the right friends at the right time; plus luck; plus some hard work.
Art & Culture Interviewed by: Ankita Mahabir and Raghav Anand
Pictures by: Sundeep Gajjar