Cycle India is an eight part Television show that celebrates human determination, perseverance, achievement and adventure. On a literal level, the show follows the incredible journey of a lone cyclist through rough, unexplored terrains along the entire national border of India.
Producers :Kavita Kulkarni and Tina Nagpaul
Directors: K V Satishraj (Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Orrisa, West Bengal), Ashish Tyagi (Sikkim), Vivek Williams (Rajasthan & Gujarat).
Director of Photography: Madhav Salunke
Mark Ellison, a regular 42 year-old British guy, who lives in Cambodia, and runs a small successful restaurant business, has decided to step out of his comfortable life and taking on a 2 year adventure. With just his bike ‘Dhanya’ for company and some minimal supplies, he is cycling around India, following its geographical and national borders.
Mark’s travels reveal an unusual India; an India that most people never experience. It allows us to be present in rare moments - one in which breath-taking beauty may suddenly lie before your eyes because of an unexpected turn – be it a glimmering beach, or elephants in repose, or perhaps a particular slant of light falling on a majestic mountain peak rendering it molten. We follow Mark through select portions of his expedition, looking at India through his personal lens, sharing his experiences, taking in the local sights and sounds, sleeping at nondescript lodges, getting a taste of his gastronomic adventures with regional cuisine, and most especially enjoying his charming interactions with the people of India. The entire show highlights the diversity of India and captures some never before seen places.
What makes Mark’s effort particularly unique is that he has pledged to donate any sponsorship and gifts he receives to Mijwan Welfare Society, an NGO run by Ms. Shabana Azmi (a well- known Indian actor and activist), that aims to uplift the lives of young village women through education and vocational training.The Series as a Journey:
The series will be an 8-part story of this journey around India, progressing linearly one region at a time as Mark cycles through it. Each 30-minute episode will tell its own story of adventure, trials and tribulations, and the overcoming of obstacles, both internal and external, to arrive at a destination. The journey then becomes a metaphor for life – that which happens along the way!Pilot Episode showcasing Sikkim:
This episode tells the story of Mark travelling through the northern Indian mystical and mountainous state Sikkim and the mountain town of Darjeeling. His journey begins from the capital city of Gangtok. After doing some local sightseeing and exploring some fantastic myths including the story of the dead Indian soldier who is being kept alive by faith, Mark heads into the mountains to visit the heart of Sikkim i.e. its most well-known and unique monasteries. Mark’s visit to the local cheese making factory, traditional Sikkimese welcome in the village of Oakrey, learning to make the local beer ‘Chang’ and finally exploration of the tea gardens of Darjeeling; all weave a story of a man who is interested in intimately knowing the world that he is cycling through, a world far removed from his own. The flavor of the region and the local sights and sounds are showcased through the visual as well as aural layers, including music that heightens the viewers’ sense of being vicariously present.
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