What are the odds? Celebrity Moments!

That’s what I thought when a few days back Matt, the main man on the ground for the Rickshaw Run- for The Adventurists, mentioned that Charlie Boorman & an Indian film Celebrity, Gul Panag (he thought) were going to visit The Rickshaw Run HQ. This was to be part of a TV series highlighting motorcycle stories across a few Asian countries. The TV series, Freedom Riders Asia, is to air during May 2013 and has been produced by ESPN/Star Sports with Shell.

Why the odds?

Charlie Boorman (http://www.longwayround.com/): I came to know of him through a couple of motorcycle TV Series. Both of which featured his close friend, Ewan McGregor (Star Wars fame). The first series, Long Way Round, chronicled their journey on motorcycles from London to New York, traveling East. The other, Long Way Down, chronicled their motorcycle journey from John O’Groats, Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. Excellent series on the trials & tribulations and a test of endurance. Not to leave out some unforgettable experiences.

Gul Panag (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gul_Panag) Less for her film industry popularity and more for her ‘adventurist’-biker credentials, I’ve been a big fan of Gul Panag. Gul was the crowned Miss India 1999. She is a beautiful person, forthright and a fighter for things she believes to be right.

Both of these people who I admire a fair amount, to be in Cochin on one the days that I was in Cochin – on the Rickshaw Run! What are the odds?

I got in touch with Gul via twitter, first to confirm that, indeed, it was she who was joining Charlie Boorman. It was and she hoped that she could meet me when she visited RickshawRun HQ. Not even wild horses would stop me from that!

The ChutneyChungas (with a bit of advance intel) were one of the few Rickshaw Runners milling around at HQ. Gul & Charlie were on a shoot schedule with the TV crew, so we had to wait patiently to meet Gul and show off our Rickshaw and get a chance for a brief chat and a few pictures. As things turned out, we got pulled into an on-camera ‘chat’ with Gul and Charley. After that we had to wait for her to complete her shoot. Gul was gracious enough to get back with us and spent quite a bit of time with us. She even insisted on driving our Rickshaw around the ground, with us as the happy passengers! While taking a few, very nice, pictures. This really made my day and has created a wonderful memory. No doubt, Rama, felt the same way. I know he was impressed by her very grounded personality.

Before she left, she made it a point to say Goodbye and wish ChutneyChungas the very best of luck for the Run to Shillong.

Thank you, Gul & Charley for your time with our team.

Besides, the meeting with Gul & Charley, we also had our pictures taken by a journalist traveling as a participant, and two local papers, Malayalam Manorama and Matrubhumi. We hope to get a copy of these publications and try and get a cutting of the articles/photos.

Moments of Charley Boorman & Gul Panag at RickshawRun HQ and with Team Chutney Chungas!

~ Rakesh

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