Dreams and Woes of The Motorbike…
In the early nineties, when mopeds and scooters were ruling the two tyre roost, I used to dream about a Little Honda (courtesy Beach Boys) and how it would be to ride or probably even sit on one of those… The Royal Enfield and the Bullet were of immense envy at that point in time, limited to only a few rich blokes and of course, the young chaps of the defence showing themselves off in style on the rustic streets of Pune. Every time one passed by my school bus, I used to keep looking at it till it disappeared in the crowd of vehicles and then look back at my brother (who used to quietly bully the juniors on the last seat of the bus) thinking he would own one someday and give me a ride on it..
That however, changed when we moved to the city of dreams a few months later.. We realised that owning a vehicle, especially a two wheeler, would be painful to the owner. Simply because, if Pune had a “crowd of vehicles”… this place is an ocean… On a given weekday, in some areas of the city, you would see less people and more vehicles. And so the dream of the Bike was stalled then…
In early 2003, I had my first bike ride. It was the Honda Unicorn, 150 cc, black in colour with the smoothest engine ever. Although, it wasn’t quite a delight to think about being a pillion, I thought it was pretty cool to share it with people who would want you to see the town through their eyes.
And there it was. To my utmost surprise, I was quite PERTURBED within the initial few seconds of the ride itself. Screams of “that’s dangerous” and “please don’t speed, it may not be too good for someone who is a pillion for the first time” or sometimes just “Holy Shit” might have irritated the rider (him being an expert, owning 3 bikes in his life so far and still going..).. It was terrifying for me to even think of riding through the steep turns, to make full utilisation of the green signal and most of all, COMPETING against fellow bike riders with their chicks as pillions. (I still don’t understand the high that men get out of the last one!)… And so I vowed never to take a ride on a light weight motorbike ever again. (Which I didn’t stick to, especially on days when the roads were empty… Ended up having to pay dearly on some occasions…More on that later)
What was surprising though, was the fact that throughout teenage, I kept dreaming of bikes (barring the technicalities though)… but when I did take a ride.. it somehow felt uncomfortable. I also realized that there is nothing more peaceful and comfortable than the Royal Enfield (except the stupid noises it makes)
Ideas that seem to give an awesome kick in the head don’t always materialize to really give you that kick, do they?