"Aditya (Mickey) Raj Kapoor is that rare Kapoor, born in the spotlight, into the country's first family of films; he has managed to carve out a fruitful and enriched life for himself beyond the arc lights.
As the son of the late Shammi Kapoor and Geeta Bali, and nephew of Raj Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor, Mickey, who started his career as an AD at RK Studios, was expected to follow the family's gilded path to eventual fame and stardom. Instead, he veered into areas as varied as business, charcoal painting, writing, spirituality and biking. The latter has seen him embark at the ripe old age of 61 on a solo world tour, in which he rode across a staggering 17 countries and clocked an astonishing 35000 kilometers.
As expected, all these pursuits have afforded Kapoor with a rich haul of experiences, wisdom and learnings, hard to come by on a movie set. His newest book Quest, which he describes as a 'soul travel book, is a testimony to his restless, questioning, ever-vibrant spirit, which has seen him go from strength to strength, even when his contemporaries have long hung up their boots.
Part memoir, part travelogue and brimming with outstanding anecdotes, stories and insights not only about the celebrated and famous, but also the simple folk he encountered on his wide travels. Quest is a must-read opus that instructs and reveals, even as it charms and delights, from one of the most enigmatic and original personalities within the famous Kapoor clan."
June 8, 2021
Quest is a soul travel book. It’s a journey on a motorcycle around the world. A solo trip done by Aditya Raj Kapoor at the age of 61. It starts from Mumbai to Vladivostok and weaves through Russia on the Trans Siberian Highway to head to Moscow. From here to Latvia , Lithuania and then to Poland. Austria follows and he rides to Germany and through Switzerland to Italy, heading to Calais in France.
Neha Sharma: Hello Sir, hope you are safe and doing well. First and foremost, Congratulations! Not only for the publication of Quest but also all the accomplishments are leading to it. Your readers would be curious to know how it feels having had a round around the world and then compiling all the memories and lessons in this book?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: Dear Neha, thank you for your best wishes. The process that led to the making of this book shall always be greater than the book itself. For the process involved the sacrifice of so many people. I firmly believe that the process is the book itself.
Neha Sharma: What were your backstage preparations for both the achievements – the world tour and the book?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: My God! It was a task. Being a management guy, I set up this project on a professional level. For one year I tracked the cities and the route I was going. This was done by visiting websites for geographical and social information. In addition to the weather, etc. I connected with lots of people on the route, to ensure I have some local support. Electronic money management and statistics were prominent amongst priorities. Of course I have written all about this. For the book, I kept a diary.
Neha Sharma: How does it feel coming from the most renowned Kapoor clan but going off the beaten track? Do you feel like leading a whole set of people by example or choose to take it as not a big deal?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: Once I had a bad stomach from eating field strawberries. Can you imagine what this means on a motorcycle? Beyond description. My background was of little use here. Medicines helped and settled my condition. Staying calm helps the most. Imagining a worst case scenario and then laughing at yourself helps more. If you have to lead; then from the front and by example is the best. Don’t offer tea if you don’t know what it tastes like. Life is a big deal. To get opportunities is a big deal. Downplaying doesn’t send the appropriate message. But, to overplay is wrong too and that’s where the no-big-deal works. I can never say that doing this trip was no big deal. Too pompous!
Neha Sharma: What is/are the most prominent difference(s) you feel in yourself, your people and life in general, before and after going on the world tour and bringing out Quest?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: Hahaha. I have become more sensible. What I mean is that I now evaluate the end result before getting out of bed. I have quieted down a lot. Not so gregarious. I sleep more. Sometimes, I sleep at midmorning for 20 minutes, like I used to on the road. My biking habits will last me to end of life.
Neha Sharma: Would you like to share your most memorable memory from the tour? What about the biggest hurdle you faced through the tour?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: I enjoyed meeting people. They showed real love and appreciation. No one spoke about world affairs. No one was interested more than what they were doing. Making me dance in Russia, or a free coffee from a gas station in USA, or free service in Jakarta and a party after that. Love poured in. My biggest fear was not the statistics and the bike technicalities. It was the fear of facing death without recourse. This means that I lose my way somewhere and I cannot get back. Cannot walk back. Call back. Alone in a surreal situation. Stuck in space-time. What would I do then? And it did happen pretty close when I lost my way once in a raging thunderstorm.
Neha Sharma: What were your most significant experiences – good and/or bad – while writing your ‘soul travel’ book – Quest?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: I stopped writing a couple of times. Sometimes the memory scared me, as it started to sink in. As I realised what all could have happened. But it was good, that I took my time to write and I matured as a writer when I finally understood the purpose of my trip. To find Aditya. So I wrote about events and people that I remembered the most. Those who made the biggest difference in my life. People I missed and couldn’t come to terms with. You know Neha, if I sit in front of you for one hour and ensure that you don’t move away. Somehow freeze-lock you in or paralyse you, so that you have to look at me. No talking or conversation from me to you. After you stop screaming and struggling and realise the fix that you are in, tell me, what will you think? That was my condition every single day.
Neha Sharma: Would you like to say a word to the future solo travelers who may be planning to go for it once this pandemic phase passes?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: Yes. My friends, whether on a bike or on your feet, do adventure beyond your area of comfort. That’s the only way to stay agile and responsible. When you go solo, you ride with yourself. If with company, do make sure that you are compatible with the co-rider.
Neha Sharma: What would you like to say to the aspiring authors from your experiences and observations?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: From one aspiring author to others: start writing and publish while you can. Sharing experiences puts paid to the experiences that you have learnt from others.
Neha Sharma: Apart from bike-riding and writing, you have also been into charcoal painting and business. What was the experience like, in these two areas?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: My wife is a water and oil artist and therefore I saw a charcoal space and jumped in. I enjoy expressing myself and art works for me. Business was daunting because I had no experience or competency in this area. It was an extremely difficult task.
Neha Sharma: What is the most crucial life-lesson you have learnt from your good and bad life phases that you would like to spread amongst the upcoming generations?
Aditya Raj Kapoor: There is no way out Neha. No way out. You have to go through it.
Neha Sharma: I believe the readers would be waiting for your next book after going through Quest. Would you like to share anything about the same? Probably clue of the content or the expected time it would take to bring it out? Or anything else in the context.
Aditya Raj Kapoor: Well, when I was in the Emirates, the writing bug developed and I wrote a few scripts. I am converting these into novels now. My next book is called: ‘Born upon the land.’ It is about a farmers’ family and the travails that they go though in trying to change their lives. The traditions and the events that happens in real life with real people. Beyond the news. It’s a tribute to my mentor: Munshi Premchand’s-Godaan. It should be out post monsoons.
Neha Sharma: Thank you for your precious time and efforts. Wish you the very best for all your present and future endeavours.
Aditya: Most welcome Neha. Thank you for your good wishes too. You know Neha, answers too need good questions. Thanks for helping me to write this.
© 2024 Dharya Information Private Limited