When bikers in Arunachal Pradesh held the Royal Homage Ride in memory of late Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu from June 10-16,Colonel (retd) Sohan Roy who was a guest rider last June in Arunachalpaid tribute from Pune city. With the flag of Royal Homage Ride behind his Royal Enfield,Roy rode through city roads and visited a Buddhist temple in the city to pay homage to the late chief minister,who died in a helicopter crash last year.
Speaking to Newsline,Roy said,Last year,I was invited as a guest rider by Arunachal Bullet Club. I had visited them along with my wife and we rode all the way to Jorhat,north Assam,Dibrugarh,crossed river Brahmaputra and then returned to Itanagar.
While Roy returned from Arunachal with a plethora of biking memories and the hospitality offered by biking enthusiasts as well as the local administration,what made him join the homage ride this year is his respect for Khandu. I was moved by the popularity of Khandu. He served as a jawan in the Indian Army and rose to become the chief minister of a state. I am fortunate that I was offered the membership of the Arunachal Bullet Club. So when the club held a ride in his memory,I decided to contribute in whatever way I could, he said.
Narrating an experience from the June 2011 ride,Roy said,Within a few days of Khandu passing away,I was told by a barber that the entire village was shunning non-vegetarian food to pay tribute to the chief minister they loved so much. The barber told me that even if I paid extra money,the local hotels would not cook meat for me,such was the affection people had for Khandu.
In his ride this year,Roy rode through Aundh,Baner,Shivajinagar,Camp. Many stopped by and curiously asked me about the flag and the ride that it talked about. Though,not everyone knew about Khandu,they conveyed their tributes to him, said Roy.