Vir Nakai, Riding through the Himalayas.
No matter how many times Vir Nakai rides his motorcycle through the mountains, there is always a lesson to learn.
“A client riding with us bought a chocolate bar from a shop. He said, ‘Vir I think I got cheated. They charged me 80 rupees’. I said, ‘There will be a MRP.’ When he checked, he sheepishly said, ‘It says Rs 80.’ I was surprised that the shop charged him at all! There are so many times they are happy just to see you visiting.”
Vir Nakai’s story takes place in a small village somewhere in the Himalayan range. Nakai has built a business of riding into the Himalayas, and showing people the mountains the way he loves them. He is the co-founder of Adventure Motorcycle Touring Company, the motorcycle touring and adventure travel arm of his very popular blog Helmet Stories. Together with Harsh Man Rai, what began as a television show chronicling the adventures of two well-travelled motorcycle enthusiasts exploring Ladakh, is now a travel company curating premium guided motorcycle adventure tours across the country. “12 years later, we are still doing exactly what we enjoyed doing, so I think it worked out quite well,” says Nakai.
Growing up in Chandigarh, with the Himalayas as an ever-present background, escaping into its slopes was second nature, be it a picnic or exploring a new trail. “Every time you head into the mountains is different,” explains Nakai. The solid steadfastness of the roof of the world, the gentle silence that embraces you like the softest blanket, and trees that whisper secrets to each other—the Himalayas are more than just a destination on a map. The mountains taught Nakai something the rest of the world only figured out recently—slow down. “We don’t have to run around like headless chickens all the time. We can take our time and get things done.”
Nakai recognised a kindred spirit in Pahadi Local, where the mountains and its gifts extend into the way you live your life. “I love how they bring the freshness of the Himalayas to everything they put out. Also just the idea to be from the Himalayas, work in the Himalayas and with the very people who live there is amazing,” says Nakai. A testament to the fact that once you’ve been seduced by the mountains, a part of your soul will forever be blissfully lost in the peaks.