Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina - Jammin thru India

Day 17 - Nashik to Indore, Madhya Pradesh

Entering his sixth state boundary on his long ride towards the Himalayas, Jay fixes a minor breakdown. And in doing so, he shares another Zen moment from the art of motorcycle maintenance

A local breakfast of Pohe (flattened rice) in Nashik.
I knew today would be a long, hot day across Maharastra into Madhya Pradesh but I got a late start from Nashik. The riding was generally easy with most of the way being good 4-lane divided highway with a few patches of construction going on. The heat started early on and now I could feel its dryness compared to the humidity that I was riding in up till now. I had my water bladder frozen overnight and was slowly sipping chilled water with ORS (oral rehydration salts) and staying properly hydrated. 

Farmboy Shashank Parwar came out to greet me when I stopped for a break.

I took a break under some shady trees in northern Maharashtra and Shashank Parwar emerged from his fields to take a look at this curious-looking bike and its rider. He was so polite and well-mannered, which I can't really say for most of the people who are curious about sanDRina and me in urban areas. In all my travels, I've seen a greater sense of civility in rural areas than in urban areas. 

A beautiful farm-scape in rural Maharastra.

I crossed into Madhya Pradesh and enjoyed some short bits of ghat riding. In contrast to my riding up the busy, fast-moving, two-lane coastal highway, the four-lane NH-3 is chock-full of trucks chugging along at 40 kph and I feel like I'm riding on an obstacle course, dodging trucks left and right. 

Enjoying India's new toll roads with no tolls for two-wheelers.

Within sight of a petrol station, sanDRina ground to a halt. She would start but when I twisted the throttle, she would die. Hmm, what could it be?

I pushed her into the station and after putting in more fuel and having the same failure, it clicked, I knew exactly what was wrong: the main jet needle in the carburetor had come loose and was stuck in the main jet. This same thing had happened back in Ethiopia. I opened up the carb, removed the stuck needle and put it back in its place in the slide. And voila! sanDRina was running good again. Now, this issue was in no way related to the work done on the carb in Mumbai but it's easy for the inexperienced mechanic to quickly tie two carb-related issues together and say the carb is bad. It's just a matter of coincidence that two issues with the carb surfaced within days of each other. I apply these lessons that I've learned through my travels to my life -- as in, there is a lot of random chance in the world and unnecessarily drawing connections between unrelated incidents can lead one down a path of a lot of worry. 

Dinner of roti with kuthul (raw jackfruit) sabji with dal and dahi in Indore.

We got back on the road and in the peak of the afternoon, my on-board thermometer registered 47 degrees C! I arrived into Indore, which is considered a mini-Bombay for being such a strong regional, industrial powerhouse and spent the night with the relatives of a good friend from college.   

Watch the video postcard of Jay beating the heat in Madhya Pradesh    

 PREVIOUS: Mumbai to Nashik along NH 3   |  NEXT: Day 18 - Indore to Bhopal                


Central India -- comprising the states of northeastern Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, northwestern Odisha and Madhya Pradesh -- is known for its extraordinary landscapes, cuisine, architecture and melange of cultures.

Read more: A pious journey into the heart of India 
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The Man. The Machine. The Story

There are love stories and love stories, but none tugs more at the heart than a tale of infinite departure. In March 2010, Jay Kannaiyan and sanDRina, his beloved Suzuki DR650, left on a great journey back home to India. Jay quit his secure corporate job, sold his Chicago townhouse and every household possession, and left with sanDRina on a journey that saw them through 94,933 km, 32 countries, and 1,150 days on the road through the Global South -- from the USA through Latin America and Africa, heading towards India. At the core of this seemingly mindless pursuit was Jay’s desire to raise awareness about sustainability and a unique sentiment best described by an archaic Greek term, eudaimonia – the search for things that are true, good and beautiful. 

Homecoming isn’t complete unless you experience the country you call home in all her varied terrain and temperaments. And so Jay and sanDRina will embark on a journey of discovery through India. 

Yahoo India Travel follows Jay and sanDRina on their exhilarating discovery of India with daily updates from the road in words, pictures and video. If you have questions to ask, or words of encouragement for Jay and sanDRina, follow Jammin India on Twitter (hashtag #jamminindia). Also visit JamminGlobal.com for comprehensive accounts of his journey so far as well as snippets and trivia.