CONDOLENCE: Author & biker dead – PG tenzing’s ‘whimsical’ tour ends

CO NDOLENCE: Author & biker dead – PG tenzing’s ‘whimsical’ tour ends – long & winding road ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT

Gangtok, July 26: Former IAS officer and author P.G. Tenzing, who one fine morning gave up the staid life of a bureaucrat in Kerala to thunder across the country on his Enfield bike, passed away at a hospital here this morning.

He was 48 and was in ill health for some time, his family members said. Tenzing had authored Don’t Ask Any Old Bloke for Directions: A Biker’s Whimsical Journey across India. Published by Penguin Books India, the book is a recollection of Tenzing’s encounters and acquaintances: from the roadside barber in Delhi to waiters and mechanics, fleeting human interactions and connections.

Tenzing who hailed from Mangan town in North Sikkim leaves behind his wife and two school going daughters. He had released his book in March last year together with his 14-year-old daughter Dechen P. Tenzing who had penned and sketched a Manga comic, Wolfs Fang.

Tenzing, a graduate of Delhi University had qualified in the IAS exam in 1986 and had been posted in Kerala where he served for 20 years before quitting in 2008. He then embarked on a nine-month 25,320km ride across the country on his Enfield Thunderbird.

Tenzing had strapped a few possessions on his bike, got his retirement benefits encashed, bade good bye to his colleagues at Thiruvananthapuram and had started his ride from the Varkala beach.

The book priced at Rs 250 was aimed to inspire those yearning to break free from the bonds of professional life and embrace the freedom of the open roads. The book had been also been long-listed in the Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2009 but could not make it to the short-listed category which was announced earlier this month.

Raman Shresta who runs the popular Rachna Books here at Gangtok said the highest seller from his store was Tenzing’s book. The father and daughter duo had their book launch programme at Rachna.

Tenzing had also infused new blood in Sikkim journalism in the late 90s by starting an English weekly.

After his India tour on his bike, Tenzing had settled down in Sikkim shuttling between Mangan and Gangtok pursuing various interests. He was one of the founding members of Taktse International School here at Panthang and was volunteering services to monastic institutions.

While in service, Tenzing had been posted in Sikkim on at least two occasions. He had first come as the director of the industries department in the early 90s and later, he was deputed as the census director in 2001.

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