Gaurav Jani, an icon in motorcycle and adventure filmmaking in India, a trailblazer, a passionate motorcyclist, and the untamable persona embodied the true spirit and soul of freedom, died Sunday, 24th 2020. The cause of death was multiple organ failure due to an infection.
With a heavy heart, I write this Tribute to the “One Crazy Soul who rode alone to the top of the world”. I am writing this as one of the millions who has been inspired and motivated by his films. I still remember watching “Riding solo to the top of the world” a 94 minute documentary for the first time. There was this man who was riding his motorcycle through the toughest terrains on the planet, the Ladakh Valley in Northern India. The astonishing part was that this guy was alone and was shooting the whole movie by himself [jaws dropped]. It’s one thing to ride through the extreme climate of the Ladakh valley, it was a whole other thing to shoot a movie all by himself with old-time heavy camera equipment. Generation Z must be thinking why didn’t he just use a GoPro like all the other bloggers. Because the year was 2006, back then we didn’t even have smartphones. The film showcased life as it is, the hardships, mishaps, enlightenments, and self-discovery. The film showed a side of the Himalayas like it was never shown before. He was a spontaneous guy who preferred to trust his instincts over planning. He was someone who lived in the moment. Sometimes things work out in his favor and other times it doesn’t, but he always remained true to himself. As a passionate man, he did things with his heart rather than his head. His works inspired both motorcycle travelers and movie-makers alike.
Among the riding community, Gaurav Jani was best known for the three adventure films he directed. He was a one-man film unit who could capture the true essence of adventure motorcycling onto a film. At the beginning of his career, he was working as an assistant director to Ram Gopal Varma [RGV]. As a radical thinker, he consciously moved away from the mainstream media which has shifted towards drama, hype, scandal, lifestyle, oomph, and stardom. He made films that are always raw and provided us an unadulterated idea of these places he visited. This is one of the things that I loved about him and his films. Riding solo to the top of the world made its debut in 2006 and went on to win the National Award in the Non-feature category in 2007. His second film “One crazy Ride ” has also won awards at various film festivals around the world. Motorcycle Chang Pa  was his third and final movie. It is about a one year journey to the Changthang Plateau in Ladakh. For the past 14 years, he has been riding solo across India to make films about indigenous people and breath-taking places. He has been working at Dirt Track Productions [DTP]. He was the judge at the first-ever Film Festival at the India Bike Week 2016 [IBW].
Gaurav Jain has been fueling the free-spirited dreams of motorcycling around the world. He died in May this year, but the lives he touched will continue to be brightened by his light forever.
“We make films that not only satisfy us as filmmakers but also quench our thirst for travel and exploration.”Gaurav Jain