A free-spirited youngster discovering India on foot

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Civin K.P. set out for Srinagar from his home at Kodenchery on March 6

When 25-year-old Civin K.P. sought 60 days’ leave to explore the country on foot, the initial response of the manager of his Bengaluru-based private company was that the youngster has gone mad though eventually, the leave was granted without pay.

Thus, he set out for Srinagar some 3,300-odd kilometres away from his home at Kodenchery town in Kozhikode with the blessings of his parents, who, though anxious, didn’t want to dampen their son’s adventurous spirit, on March 6. His only possessions being a backpack carrying a tent for his overnight stay and ₹13,000 from the previous month’s salary.

Having crossed Kerala and Karnataka, Civin is now at Manchar in Maharashtra. “I always loved to travel and it was my dream to explore the country though the initial plan was to do it on my beloved motorcycle. But the expenses involved were beyond my means and hence I chose to walk,” said Civin.

Walking, though, is nothing new to the affable youngster who used to cover the 200-odd kilometres to the famed Malayattoor Church on foot in three days flat. He had planned to walk at least 50 kilometres a day but has to settle for at least 10 kilometres less owing to the sweltering heat.

He starts at 7 a.m. every day and walks till 12 noon before taking a break. He resumes around 3 p.m. and calls it a day at 9 p.m. Though he has friends living in places along the way, he avoids visiting them since he doesn’t want to expose them to the risk of COVID-19.

Many admirers

However, his adventure has won many admirers along the way, including members of the biking clubs, who come and meet him with loads of food and fruits. Already having to carry a backpack containing the tent with considerable weight, he, however, accepts very little of the offerings.

Being on a shoe-string budget, Civin leads a very frugal life having a light breakfast and lunch and fruits for dinner while taking a lot of water to avoid dehydration.

At the current pace, Civin calculates that it will be another 50 days before he makes it to Srinagar. He would have exhausted his money by then and hopes to hitch-hike his way back home. But that uncertainty hasn’t dampened the excitement of this free-spirited youngster.



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