When 30-year-old Dominic Franks decided to do a cross-country bicycle ride from Bengaluru to Delhi, just in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony, he knew that covering six states in 22 days over a 2100-2200 kilometer stretch would be a tough physical journey. A sports coach and mentor from his high school days, Shikaari, had already covered this ground in 1982, when road conditions and amenities had been much worse.

What Franks was probably not quite so prepared for was the inner journey — emotionally and intellectually — he would also end up taking. Whether sticking to his well-planned highway routes or suddenly wandering down little side-roads to unknown towns and villages, Franks and the documentary film crew accompanying him met and spent time with interesting and diverse characters. Not only did these encounters frequently jolt him off of his single-mindedness of getting from Point A to Point B, they also made him pause and ponder on the complexities and complications of simply making it from one day to the next.

~Rest the rest of the review: Cycling Across Small-town India in Nautanki Diaries

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