Sipping cups of freshly brewed adrak chai at this quiet home of Biswajit Bharali and his lovely wife Monolisha Sonowal in Dehradun, I had myriad thoughts of success and failure, of how hard work and dedication always pays off, be it at the tryst of hopelessness and despair. This post is about this couple who had been through a lot of odds to make their dreams come true, to follow their hearts with a never-give up attitude.
I am writing today about this biker couple who I met by chance on a trek to Parasar Lake, Mandi Distict, Himachal Pradesh in the year 2015. Meet Mr. Biswajit Bharali and his lovely wife Monalisha Sonowal. A GIS expert by profession, heading the state project of Uttarakhand, an insane biker, a hobby musician and computer freak while Monalisha, an university rank holder in Geography from Assam, a GIS expert herself who worked with the best in the industry in India, currently manages the home and helps out her husband in his GIS mapping projects.
Hailing from a small town in Dibrugarh, Assam, Biswajit pursued Economics as his graduation and post graduation subjects while Monalisha studied Geography in the same college. Love blossomed for these two during their college years. After completing her Masters in Geography, Monalisha worked as a Lecturer with Sibsagar College for some time and later shifted to Delhi for a better paying job.
For anyone reading this, might seem like a just another story. But to be honest, during the 90’s, for a woman belonging from the interiors of Assam, making it to big metro city like Delhi was a big thing. Firstly, because she took this decision going against her family and scripted her own destiny. Meanwhile, Biswaji was struggling to set up his travel agency in Assam. They shared about the societal stigma they faced during their dating years. Monalisha used to earn and support Biswajit and all his expenses. They faced a lot of criticism and stigma because of this from their families and neighborhood.
While in Delhi, Monalisha worked with a GIS firm for a meager salary to support herself and Biswajit, who was yet to find a job back home. Whatever she earned, she managed her own sustenance and also sent part of it to Biswajit. A year later, her family fixed her marriage with some petroleum engineer who was well settled in Assam. Knowing about this, Biswajit left everything back home and shifted to Delhi in the same week.
Their struggle of surviving Delhi started. She narrated incidents where they both survived days with one square meal, saved pennies to be able to fetch groceries for the month, walked across Delhi roads in the heat to save some money for food etc while Biswajit struggled his ways in Delhi to make both ends meet with whatever savings he had. He worked as a driver for three months initially but after much persuasion by Monalisha, did a course on GIS Mapping.
Life was being extremely tough on this couple, who had to not just to deal with moral bashings from the society but also manage everything from job, to supporting her partner in his studies to managing expenses. She narrated of times when they lived in a shanty place in Ashok Nagar, Delhi sharing room with others. The stained curtains in the room, smelly fungus all around constantly reminded them of their luxuries back home. But all this did not deter them to give up.
Luckily, some months later, she got a better offer from a firm based in Mumbai. To be able to manage all the expenses, she decided to shift to the new job as it would help her earn some extra money and support her lover.
Surviving through all odds, Biswajit completed his course and joined an executive level post with a GIS firm. Monalisha joined him in Delhi and both finally decided to return home after a couple of months.
In the year 2014, they both got married with whatever savings they had. They decided to return to Delhi and give a fresh start to their lives. Monalisha remembers the hardship they faced while arranging for finances for their marriage. Also guided by principles, Biswajit did not let Monalisha’s family spend even one penny for their marriage. The marriage was a simple affair with only near and dear ones from both sides.
They returned to Delhi, after their marriage to start a new leash of life. This time, things worked in their favor and Biswajit found a job with the Board of Revenue in Uttarakhand as the State Project coordinator for GIS mapping. They are settled in Dehradun now.
Having lived through extreme hardships, this couple survived all odds to make their long cherished dreams come true. They always dreamt of going out for a world tour on bike for which their preparations are in full swing. They have also traveled far and wide on their bikes across the Himalayan region. When they are not working, you will always find them traveling or hiking somewhere in the Himalayas.
Biswajit has opened a bikers club named “Biker by Choice” and they have strong presence in the greater Himalayan states. The club supports budget bikers with all necessary information on logistics, maps etc. Their home in Dehradun is like a transit for most bikers. Before heading off, bikers stay at their place for their last minute leisure.
To conclude, this couple is truly an inspiration for most of us, who hold ourselves back to follow our hearts. The road to success is never easy, only through hard work and dedication, can we reach there.
To follow their journey, you may like to check their page out at: https://www.facebook.com/team.bikerbychoice/