Truck Trail

Western dunes

Ageless tumbleweeds, romantics and proud fathers do not let hardship or filth suffocate their ambitions, on the Ahmedabad-Kherwara-Udaipur route

Photographs by Faisal Magray

Mera naam Kashmir Singh hai, says the Sikh very gently. We meet him on the outskirts of Vadodara, from where we start this journey through Gujarat and Rajasthan. One is obviously provoked to ask him if he has ever been to Kashmir and the answer is in the negative. So, what could the connection be to the place?

When it was time to name the toddler, his parents, in true Sikh tradition, opened the Guru Granth Sahib. The letter that showed up was ‘ka’ and that led them to name him Kashmir Singh. Why they never thought of perhaps Karan or Kuldeep is something he is not sure about. Nor has he ever asked his parents. Fellow truckers pull his leg about how Kashmir is so much in the news lately and the 35-year-old takes all the teasing cheerily.

Singh left Dahej at 9 am and is on his way to Kandla, a seaport in Kutch district. Keeping him company is 25 tonne of hydrogen peroxide. Dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, the man always drives alone and says he loves the solitude.

Bahut mazaa aata hai driving mein,” he says, with a wide grin, as if it’s the first time he is at the wheel. It is right after lunch and the plan is to have sevbhaji for dinner in Rajkot, before calling it a day. It will be just after sunrise when he sets out again to reach Kandla around noon.