Cycling in India : Famous for a day !!

There we were minding our own business sitting quietly doing our emails, Facebook and uploading photos, blissfully unaware that our quiet existence was about to change !!
The business man sitting to our right was asking us about who and what we were doing, we as I said were busy and weren’t really listening properly, he may even of thought we were rude but he continued to ask and we finally gave him our undivided attention πŸ˜‰
We showed him our bikes, we told him where we’d been and about the charity that my cycling partner was raising money for, he was genuinely interested and asked if we’d been in the papers, we said that we hadn’t, he looked sideways at us and asked if we’d like to ! Naomi and I looked at each other and said yes !!
Well, that was it, within 15 minutes there were reporters and camera men at the hotel, we were interviewed and photographed on our bikes…..20121216-113047.jpg
This is the article that appeared in the local paper the following morning !!
After the reporters left this business man, Hisham Hassan, explained who and what he was. It turns out that he works for a very wealthy business man called Bobby Chemmanur, now Bobby owns a string of jewellery shops and apparently he is a keen runner and cyclist but also does a lot of charity work with the poor !!
Hisham asked if we would come with him to see the jewellery shop in Kunnar, how could we refuse after what he’d just done so we claimed in the car and went for a ride !!
We arrived at this 4 storey shop, the busiest jewellery shop I’d ever seen and we were treated like royalty, they even let Naomi try on a diamond necklace worth over Β£50,000 pounds… 20121216-113842.jpg
Naomi wearing the necklace !!20121216-113920.jpg
The shop, so many people, all buying gold !!
After returning to the hotel Hisham informed us that there would be more journalists in the morning, he also asked us if we would like to go back to Calicut and meet Bobby and see for ourselves some of the ” poor homes ” that he runs ?
We initially said no as it would upset our schedule but Hisham told us that a car would take us and our bikes and bring us back and that if we wanted we could be dropped of further up the coast to catch up a bit, we agreed !
So after breakfast, more interviews and photos we loaded our bikes and kit into a people carrier and settled ourselves into another car with Hisham ready for the 70 mile journey south back to Calicut.
Arriving in Calicut we were taken straight to the 5 star Taj Hotel for lunch where we were introduced to Bobby, Bobby was a busy man and was in the middle of a meeting so he said he would join us after lunch at one of his ” poor homes ” .
Hisham drove us out to a quite nice neighbourhood where we were shown this very nice house, well maintained, clean, nice garden and also introduced to the staff that ran it.20121216-115058.jpg
Bobby arriving in his Rolls Royce !!20121216-115216.jpg
Arriving at the poor home !20121216-115413.jpg
My bike, Bobby and yet more press !!20121216-115504.jpg
Meeting some of the residents πŸ˜‰20121216-115600.jpg
Bobby, us, the staff and some of the local kids πŸ˜‰
As I said Bobby was a busy man and he couldn’t stay to long but before he left he insisted that we stay at his house on the river, he would see us later and get his staff to organise a BBQ, Hisham and his family would also be there πŸ˜‰
Next up was a trip to a school that Hishams father had started some years ago, sadly he was no longer with us but Hisham was obviously very proud of the school and wanted us to see it, we agreed πŸ˜‰
As we turned up at the school it became apparent that we were expected, all the kids were outside , all in immaculate uniforms, boys in one line and girls in the other. As we stepped out of the car they burst into there school song and after they’d finished they cheered as we walked towards the school through there ranks….20121216-120331.jpg
Us arriving at the HHF School, felt like a movie star πŸ˜‰
Brought a lump to my throat !!
Group photo with the staff and headmaster !!
We were then paraded through the school with the kids all wanting us to sign there textbooks, why I have no idea but I didn’t let any of them down !!
Next stop another of Bobbys shops where we were yet again treated like royalty and introduced to all the staff including this old boy who later joined us at the BBQ….20121216-121111.jpg
We were also introduced to the local Police Captain and other notables before finally being taken to Bobbys house on the river…..20121216-121358.jpg
Looks modest but in Indian terms, it’s palace and he only uses it at weekends !!
Naomi and I were tired and hungry so we were looking forward to the BBQ, we weren’t disappointed, the food was fantastic, the company very pleasant but as I said we were tired and finally we found our way to bed πŸ˜‰
The next morning true to his word Hisham arrived and we were driven about 40 miles north of Kunnar where we were reunited with our bikes and continued our trip up the coast towards Kasaragod and Udipi !!
An incredible couple of days, treated like royalty almost, humbled by the kids at the school and very impressed by Bobby’s charity work and poor homes !!
I’ll never forget this couple of days but next time someone asks me if I want to be in the papers I might think about saying no next time !!
Take care


About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
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2 Responses to Cycling in India : Famous for a day !!

  1. ross says:

    i want your autograph when you return, your a star

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