You know, there are things that we do over and over again for a considerable period of our life and then, someday we stop doing them, for whatever reasons. We never know if they were for good or bad, for they in their time never held any meaning. Then one day we stop doing them. All they give us are memories, some cherishable and some not so.
The one thing I’m doing ever since I learnt to control handles and balance, is ride. Ride, to and fro, carrying people at my back.
The 2-wheelers that I’ve used are –
1. BSA SLR – Bicycle.
2. Kinetic Luna Super Star – A bicycle with an engine, a clutch and accelerator.
3. Hero Puch Shakti 3G – A mini demon. The smallest geared bikes with the smallest of engines – a mere 65CC.
4. You’ve all already met my 4th companion, Bajaj Pulsar 180CC – One of the oldest and proudest giants in the history of Bajaj sporting bikes in India. Without it, I’m lost.
During my schooling and engineering, my brother rode as my pillion. They were fun times. Nothing except the rides changed over the years. From bicycle to Luna to Shakti, that part of our life is one the longest case of the association between brothers and their rides. We rode for long hours and I don’t remember him, even once, asking me to let him ride. He was happy and content, at the back, watching the world and giving all sorts of running commentary, describing the surroundings. Watching girls, eateries, escaping seniors, riding in the rain – through love and through fight, those days will forever remain fresh.
There was one instance when while returning from our school, it was raining really hard. I decided to have some fun and starting riding through puddles of rainwater, which soaked all of his shoes from the inside. I kept doing it, when in a fit, he opened his water bottle and emptied it straight into my shoes, and all this 60 kmph. We laughed all the way to our home. One of the happiest memories I have with him.
We’ve had our share of accidents as well, when in all the occasions, he jumped off well before the fate hit us. He is thankfully smart in those situations when I’m not. Twice in those accidents, I hair-cracked my left shoulder. But they never deterred me
Then my ride changed to Pulsar and the speed at which I normally rode changed. I remember once, when he was in Bangalore, spending time on bench in his company, I used to drop him to his office. We used to take the ‘Nice’ road. It was one clean and zero traffic road, 16 kms in length. We reached 120 kmph one day. He simply closed his eyes and felt the speed while I just enjoyed the fastest that I had ever ridden, things passing by me in time smaller than the blink of an eye. I miss those moments.
Then came my wife, and so changed my speed. All she ever has said about my riding is – “You are the only one with whom I don’t try to balance the bike”. I clearly am her favorite!
Riding is also the time, I think about my life the most. I contemplate all serious issues, when I’m seated on my bike. I have my commentary running for all that while. “Government must ban all women and old drivers”, “Why the fuck does everyone change their lines at the last moments”, “What happened to them indicators” yada yada.
And then there’s my favorite song by Joe Satriani – “Ride” – that defines some philosophies of my life –
This clearly is my favorite daily ritual!