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OHOT Trip Stories: Captain Nero and Supercop Manju

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People who come on trips come from diverse professions. I have had scientists, doctors, actors, besides the regular IT Engineers and management consultants.


But when Manjunath told me he was in the police force, I was surprised. I have taken close to 2000 trippers but he is the first police guy. When Manju came on the trip, he told us he needed it badly. There was a lot of pent up stress. Working on the street during covid times, being ordered to beat up people who weren’t respecting the lockdown, and seeing a lot of criminals had taken a toll on him.

However, the boy I met was the most pleasant soul ever. Funny as hell, he would be the butt of all jokes and yet always grin and take it sportingly. Manju, I kept teasing him, reminds me of the cops in the movies. Once he was searching for his own slippers for three hours. “Manju, how will u find a thief if u can’t find your own chappal”. Manju gets scared of a hundred things.

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He loves taking pics and would get into every frame possible. When he spoke of love, his eyes had the most honesty in them. His thoughts, his words, show what a decent boy nah man he is, and we couldn’t help but fall for this innocent person. We are all naive when we are in our teens, we are all innocent then. But as we grow up, we change a bit cos life happens to us. Manju however is still the same old school boy, that he was when he was 18. How, how can one manage to be like that when you are in the police, when you see some of the worst side of humanity, when you see dead bodies, thieves and worse, I just don’t know.

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In the last two months, Manju did two trips with me. I could see a marked change in his confidence, his personality even when he started the second trip. At the end of both, he has tears in his eyes. At the end of both, I felt a lot of love and affection and protectiveness for him.

I adore this boy, and I hope he finds a way to keep coming back, and evolving, and making people laugh, and taking a zillion pics of himself, and feel less stressful, and inspire us all to know that such old good souls still exist. I miss you, bro.


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Neeraj Narayanan

Neeraj Narayanan, a.k.a Captain Nero, is the founder of OHOT. In the summer of 2013, he quit his corporate job and went backpacking around the world. In a year full of (mis)adventures, he ended up being chased by a bear in a Croatian forest, being held at gunpoint by a mafia gang lord in Turkey, running with the bulls in Spain, and dancing in the clubs of Spain and Italy. A year later, he started leading group trips for people.

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