Much has been said, written and discussed about Sriram Venkitaraman, the doctor-turned-civil servant who was in the eye of a storm for leading a demolition drive in Munnar. But, there is another side to this man, that of a traveler and a humanitarian.
Sriram is the proud owner of two cars and two bikes. Even though he loves his bullet, he does not ignore his Pulsar, or the duster and a jeep. And he has, like any avid traveler, hit the roads for the sheer pleasure of it.
While he was sub-collector, the Kambam - Theni National Highway, which ran in front of his office used to tempt him. And there were days when he used to drive a short distance more before taking a U turn back to his office. He confesses that there were a lot of times when he was tempted to drive on.
Like every other biker, Sriram has fond memories of his trip to Ladakh. It was the most thrilling one, he says. "It is that 1,700-km ride that no man should miss and the route I picked had about 700 km of off- road drive," he adds. The journey took him seven days. His trip to the Himalayas through the tricky Spiti Valley was one of the most challenging rides.
This is not the only trip he remembers fondly. He goes back in time to the days when he was an MBBS student at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. He says that he along with his friends used to take off to Punmudi at the drop of a hat. He claims that he is in love with the route to Kovalam.
Sriram had been caught for over-speeding and for not wearing helmet too. When asked if the police still stop him for speeding after he became the sub-collector, he shrugged off with a smile.