Greetings from Goa!
My name is Anoop Babani and I am a retired journalist. I live in Goa, India with my wife Dr Maria Savia Viegas, who is a retired professor and now a writer and painter. (www.saviaviegas.in).
We have founded and manage Saxtti Films (www.saxttifilms.com) which is a not-for-profit film society, passionate about good cinema and committed to cultivating and nurturing film ethos. We are ourselves avid cyclists too, part of a cycling group in Goa called Xaxti Riders.
In 2018, we organized two of India’s first-ever festivals of international films on the theme of Cycling and Running, named ReelsOnWheels and ReelsOnHeels.
The Cycling Films Festival was inaugurated by Alexi Grewal, only American ever to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Men’s Road Race Cycling, while the Running Films Festival was inaugurated by India’s Track and Field Queen, P T Usha.
During these festivals, we also organized – for the first-time ever in India – a photo exhibition on amazing global journeys of Indians who cycled around the world in 1920s and 1930s – all of them Parsees from Mumbai and in their early-to-mid twenties.
This Exhibition was titled ‘Our Saddles, Our Butts, Their World’.
I have attached pictures, posters and newspaper coverage for your information.
That is the background. And now the request.
I have been able to acquire some pictorial material on two of the three journeys (I am trying to get more material) through the families and friends of the cyclists.
I am now in the process of reaching out to families of the third group of cyclists, which was led Mr Keki Kharas and included Rustam D Ghandhi and Rutton D Shroff.
It is in this context that I request your help in contacting the family of Mr Keki Kharas and/or of the other two cyclists.
I am writing a book on History of Cycling in India, titled ‘Peddling History: Rise, Fall and Rise of Humble Bike’, and these global journeys will be an integral part of this book.
I am sure you will appreciate that these stories need to be told to younger generation of cyclists in particular and preserved for the future ones.
I extend my sincere thanks and warm wishes
Saxtti Films, Goa