January 13, 2007

My first bike

As a young boy of 12, one day, my eyes alighted on an advertisement in the paper. It was for a motorcycle the line that had caught my attentions was: Take wings and fly. I had never even had a bicycle till then, nor did I know how to ride one, but I didn’t know that one had to learn how to ride it. I thought everyone could do it; one just needed to buy one.

Ten years later.

Somewhere in the process of growing up, among books and more books and then some more books, my desire to take wings and fly got buried. But then the day came when I got my first paycheck. For some reason as soon as I had the money in my pocket, my childhood desire to own a bike returned with a greater force than ever before.

It was as if the heavens were conspiring for me to buy the motorcycle. On the day I got my first pay, and I was wondering what to do with the money, I got a call from a friend. He said he had started working for a finance company and I, naturally, asked him what he did in the company. He said he helped people get loans, loans to buy vehicles in particular. Naturally, I asked him if he could help me get a loan for a bike and how much I needed as down payment. He named a figure and the amount he named was a little less than what I had with me.

It was settled now. I wanted to buy the bike and angels wanted me to but it too. I called my friend, sent him the check and the requisite documents and he offered to bring the bike to me. Within three days, my shining motorcycle was standing at my doorstep…errr I wished it were at my doorstep.

The friend had conveniently left it at his house and I had realized, by then, that I did not know how to ride a motorcycle. So getting it from his house to mine was a Herculean task. I was not going to admit it to anyone now that I didn’t know how to ride a bike.

So one day, when I knew there would be no one at his house, I quietly went to his house and ran my hands over the sleek an shining bike, inserted the key into the ignition, kick started it and got it out of his compound.

Then I heard the sound of inevitability, the engine died and there was complete silence. By now I was on the main road and I had to drag the bike to the side. While I was standing there trying to figure out my next move, people began to gather around me, thinking that something was wrong. I knew they only wanted to help but what help I needed I had no clue. It had taken me a long time to get the bike out and getting it back would not be easy either.

I needed a plan and to make a plan I needed to think and to think I needed to get rid of the people who had begin to gather around and were trying to help. So, before I thought about what my next move would be, I had to think about a way to get people to leave me alone. I bent over the side of the bike and began to file with the various pipes on the side as if I was sure of what I was doing. Finding that they were not needed, the crowd dispersed. But as I was bent down I saw that there was a knob on the side and it said “Off”. So. I knew, now, why the engine had died. I turned it to “On” and tried to start the bike again. It worked and I slowly and surely got it home.

After that, every day, before daybreak I would set out on my bike and drive around on empty roads and learnt to ride the bike. And now after two years, several accidents- three serious ones, I can ride a bike as good as anyone else.

1 comment:

CyberCelt said...

I have a scooter. Its a old 250 Honda Elite and there is nothing better than taking off and driving, anywhere.

Fly free, Neo.

My BYB post is up on Advertising for Success.

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