The lives of some people are as interesting as an intriguing book. Full of events, they spent reveling in whatever comes its way as travels taken them deeper into the unknown.
For them every road is a friend and they have a friend in all roads. Such people, who are ready to travel at the drop of a hat, are often accompanied by rustic vehicles that never let them down. The vehicles are as much a part of their story as they are in the bigger scheme of things.
Joerik and Pauline had a similar trip; one that took them from Kerala to Holland, in a Mahindra MaxiCab. When the two decided to travel to Holland by road, the MaxiCab became their sidekick. Like all sidekicks, it carried their weight and chugged along without complaints for about 14,000 kms. The four-month trip took them through India, Pakistan, Iran and Europe. The Maxi Cab braved deserts, snow and heavy winds, but never complained.
The foundations for the epic journey started a year ago when the duo felt that they needed a break from their routine-filled life. That they selected Kerala to start their trip could have been the result of careful planning and consideration; whatever happened later was purely coincidental.
The two had planned to spend three days in Kerala looking out for the vehicle that would carry them and zeroed-in on three vehicles. Papers of the first one were not proper, while the second and third vehicles were very costly. That is when a 2004 model MaxiCab came into their notice.
The final deal set them apart by Rs 1,75,000 and the owner was generous enough to arrange the insurance and fitness certificates for the vehicle. However, they soon found that the vehicle was not sold by the real owner and they were taken for a ride by someone who had hired the vehicle long ago.
Joerik and Pauline thought that their 'Bring Us Home' initiative on Facebook, through which they have requested funds to travel back to Holland, had been booked for eternal disaster even before it took off. However, they had a final meeting with the real owner and after a discussion at an Indian Coffee House outlet, they had their vehicle of choice.
That was the start of ‘phase II’ of the trip as well as the personal lives of Joerik and Pauline. They met four years ago and were friends and later decided to get married on the banks of the Ganges. The wedding took place in Indonesia. During the trip, they shared their experiences with others, who also became part of their journey.
They copied the tastes that they enjoyed on the streets and the smiles that shone on them into their cameras and presented them to the world as vivid experiences.
All those experiences, however, were made possible by the MaxiCab; a simple sidekick without whom the fairy-tale story would have never happened.