Reflection #1 – ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’

“Let the world change you;

  then you can change the world”.

There are certain things in our life, which are just waiting for their time. If we just allow them knowingly or unknowingly, they do their part so fine. When you encounter them for the first time they seem like they are yet another same thing that you’ve crossed a million times, but slowly… slowly they breach into you, your most private portions of your soul.

They make you cry. Cry not out of pain but out of ineffable Happiness.

They make you feel your presence and its prominence on this lonely planet.

They change you, make you what you weren’t ever before.

They keep knocking you from within and churn you like anything.

This is one such creation…. ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ a Spanish movie directed by Walter Salles.


When i heard people talking about this movie, i thought it will be yet another movie with some motivational cliches. But it proved me wrong. Not the first time, nor the second time, every ‘n’th time i watch it, it makes me restless, it tears me apart. I had no idea about Che Guevara, nor his revolutions before watching this movie.

The Movie :

The movie starts and ends with the below quote,

“This is not the tale of impressive deeds…Is a piece of two lives taken in a moment when they were cruising together along a given path…With identity of aspirations and conjunction of dreams”.

In 1952, two friends Ernesto Guevara a medical student and Alberto Granado a biochemist embark on a  mission of traveling 8000 kilometers in Alberto Granado’s  bike “La Poderosa” (the powerful) across the villages and untouched places of South America in a span of 4 months. Their mission was to crown Alberto’s birthday with this journey of a lifetime. Their travel plan starts from Beunes Aires and stretches through Chile, Atacama Desert Machu Picchu and end it in San Pablo by the time they would have came across varied people. distinct cultures and living styles, varied landscapes etc. The road leads them into various situations where they meet various people.. a old woman who is waiting in the doors of death, people of Incas (a great civilization which was wiped off), people who travel through desert just in search of a job, poor farmers, leprosy patients of  San Pablo, etc.

Throughout the journey, we can see that the roads are the same for both Ernesto and Alberto. But the journeys aren’t.

Scenes to Remember :

1.  The scene in which they meet a couple in desert who wander for a job.


2.  Ernesto treating the dying old woman


3.  Alberto crying while selling his completely collapsed bike, La Poderosa.


4. The whole sequence in the San Pablo medical camp. Especially the scene in which he says that the river keeps the healthy away from the sick.


5.  Ernesto crossing the Amazon river by swimming, inspite of his Asthma and bad lungs to celebrate his birthday with the patients of San Pablo.

The Motorcycle Diaries DVD2

There are so many such scenes, which rip off a portion of you to make you new.

The music of  Gustavo Santaolalla, keeps pulling the strings of our emotion throughout the movie. It makes one feel heavy and at the same time empty. He has done justice to the movie with his music. His music moved me and shattered me like anything.

The Echo :

The movie, music and all those mixed emotions from the movie echo within me. It laid an imprint on me. It is a strange experience. But am sure of one thing, as the movie’s last dialogue reads,

“I am not me any more. At least I’m not the same me I was”.


P.S :
If you had expected a movie review, I am sorry.

I thank my friend Anand  for introducing the movie to me.

Myself and Anand in the photo above with La Debile (the weak).