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MY AUTOLIFE: ACTOR KARMA

Getting on a motorcycle and heading out to kiss the horizon is what dreams are made of, at least for some of us. Karma has been an avid motorcyclist from the moment he got his hands on his father’s motorcycle, and unlike most families his was very supportive of the hobby. That led to several memorable experiences on motorcycles that Karma shared with us in this interview after his epic road trip to the beautiful Rara Lake in Mugu.

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Here are the excerpts of our interview with the actor and motorcycle enthusiast, Karma.

WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN RIDING AND MOTORCYCLES?

It started with a kid’s penchant for bicycles. I took my grandfather’s classic buda cycle anywhere I could, even before I could reach the pedals; thanks to the old scissor technique. Soon after, my father bought me a small BMX bicycle. I think that’s where it all started.

Luckily, both my father and my grandfather were also interested in bikes and cars and they owned several motorcycles during their time. This was before authorized dealerships started in Nepal, they were the ones who initially brought the first Hondas and Suzukis into Nepal. They were proper fanatics, so much so that some of my father’s friends recognized him as ‘Honda’ a nickname he acquired. So my fascination in motorcycles was always bound to happen.

I first learned to ride a bike on an old Honda CG 125. Later, my father sometimes let me ride his motorcycles on our occasional roadtrips to Pokhara. All of these experiences and moments culminated to my liking towards two wheelers.

 

WE KNOW YOU OWNED A SUZUKI DR 200, WAS THAT YOUR FIRST MOTORCYCLE?

I got the DR around 2010 as I was already involved in a few movies and I wanted a nice bike and I got it. But the first motorcycle that I could really call mine was the Hero Splendor. And I have so many memories on it. This was back when I just completed my SLC or somewhere around that time.

I didn’t have a driving license yet but that didn’t stop me and a few friends from heading out to Pokhara. I’m not proud of it but it was memorable; we ended up stranded there due to a nationwide strike. There was some police bribing involved, not something I think is a good idea to go into detail in.

IT’S GREAT THAT YOU GO ON AS MANY ROADTRIPS AS YOUR SCHEDULE ALLOWS. ANY FUN STORIES YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

Several. After I got the DR I and a few friends rode to Pokhara. Late into the night someone brought up the idea of maybe going to Muktinath since we were already there to which we all agreed. My motorcycle was purpose built for the terrain, my friends weren’t that lucky. But it was an adventure that was worth every bit.

There was another ride to Swarga Dwari where I got the short end of the stick and ended up at the end of the pack. The roads were treacherous and it got dark fast, and to add to it it started raining. The muddy tracks gave way and I had to stick as close to the wall as possible to avoid the cliff on the other side. I took a wrong turn and had to turn back a long way to find my friends. Now that I look back at it it was a lot of fun, but at the moment I was sort of petrified.

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WHAT IS THE BEST PART ABOUT TRAVELLING FOR YOU?

I love travelling, any kind and as an actor I get to travel a lot and I get to see new places, meet new people and explore amazing places. Not only just meeting people and seeing faces, I like to know more about the places, the history that surrounds it and the culture and the language and the stories of the people there.

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THERE ARE DIFFERENT REASONS FOR PEOPLE TO RIDE, WHAT’S YOURS?

Riding has a different thrill and nothing else can compare. It is the epitome of freedom, you have the liberty to travel under your own command and enjoy every bit of it. You can just go with the flow; you may come across new places. In some ways it is a spiritual release which helps me focus about the things around me and after each bike ride I have found peace within myself. It is beyond words to me.

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CONGRATULATIONS ON PURCHASING THE RE HIMALAYAN AND SUCCESSFULLY TAKING IT TO THE RARA LAKE. HOW WAS IT?

It was always a dream for me to go there on my motorcycle and it was as good as I had hoped. There were more people who were supposed to go, but like most plans almost everyone backed out. I was determined to go and Nikun (Shrestha) agreed to come along. The best decision I’ve ever made.

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The experience was simply sublime. But I suggest people to get a suitable bike for going off road, if you don’t own an off road motorcycle I recommend you hire one because it adds to the entire experience.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN YOUR GARAGE?

A BMW GS, for sure. My ultimate dream is to ride around the world, at least Asia. I’d love to see myself doing that on a GS.

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