Piece Two. Ragnar on all fours is almost as famous as the legend Shiv Shankar of Ranchi named him after. He saw a character resemblance between his pet German Shepherd and the Norse hero from centuries ago depicted in the streaming series “Vikings: Valhalla.” “Both are quirky personalities and fighters at heart,” says Shankar, an engineering graduate, part-time tattoo artist and astrologer who, suffocated by the material world, sought spirituality in travel.
For 350 days, the lively two-year-old watchdog has been traveling up and down India with his handler (@thebanjaaraboy) on a motorbike. That’s 27 states, over 3,000 locations. Ragnar, indeed, is moving forward and becoming a social media celebrity with over 72,000 Instagram followers, who follow his motorcycle adventures which began in the spring of 2021 during the pandemic. Sequestered at home during confinement, Shankar, 29, had all the time in the world to reflect on his life. “I was trying to prove my worth by pursuing wealth, just like other Indian children are taught to do. I was losing peace and sleep in this rat race.
So, one fine day, he packs his bags, puts some money in his pocket, fills up his bike and off he goes “into the unknown” with Ragnar. They first headed south – Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu until they reached the southernmost tip of the country, Kanyakumari. They crossed western and central India, went to the northern states and traveled to the northeast. Ragnar, by now, has developed a fondness for the wind that brushes his soft sable and tan hair.
They slept in the street, most of the time in a tent where sympathizers sometimes welcomed them. Food was distributed, again by sympathizers and kind owners of roadside restaurants, or soup kitchens. There is little money and no sponsors yet. They went where the road took them. “I took a wrong turn once in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand and found myself in a desolate place near a waterfall. I had no warm clothes, food or shelter. Then I grabbed a small light shining higher We trudged towards the light and found an old man in his hut He put us up for the night Shankar says that over the past year he has accumulated all a lifetime of love.” Someone gave me a laptop, another gave me a GoPro camera. Sometimes people donate money.
Social media made Ragnar instantly recognizable. Children flock around him, squealing with delight at his woofs. But Ragnar also had his bad moments – people trying to punch him just for the sake of being attacked by monkeys in Himachal. Monkeys swinging on tree branches slapped poor Ragnar, pulled his hair and tail, until the poor dog recoiled into a furious, frustrated hairball.
Shankar says he now sleeps like a baby, even on a trail, knowing that Ragnar will keep him. “If anything sounds or smells weird, he scratches the tent to alert me.”
look Dog’s bike adventure makes him an Instagram sensation