Indian Ameri

Saturday

Day Rider Refueled:

Year 97 someday in April, the time was around 9 pm, there was this sound of ‘Ouch’ from my brother. I turned back after the heavy landing and saw him lying on the road looking furious at me. He stood, looked at me with a red eye and said, ‘You are not supposed to twist your accelerator that much and leave the clutch all of a sudden’. I laughed with caution and told him, ‘your instructions were incomplete’. For people who didn’t get what I have written so far, then here is a recap. That day was the first time I was taught how to ride a scooter. My bro was at the back and gave me instructions. When he said to me not to leave the clutch suddenly I heard it wrong and so the scooter raised to 60 degrees and he fell back whereas fortunately for me I somehow managed to stay on foot and keep the scooter in balance.

4 years later dad taught me how to ride my bike. Most of my risks I had taken in life started from that incident. Some incidences change the way a person lives the rest of his life and one such incident is me getting my bike – TVS Victor. Being a guy learning most of the science and technology that happened in the world via watching cartoons, I had this craze of being the fastest biker in the world. And guess what I was fast but not rash (that’s what I say to myself). I called myself Day Rider and my theme – 4 G experience. I had driven like a hell warrior and had scared myself to death most times.

Then came the day when I had to leave my bike under my dad’s custody. 472 days later I saw him standing like a stallion, a war horse, bleeding red, staring with his panther eyes and when I went and hugged him after taking care of my parents, I felt his impatience, and I felt him saying, ‘only one person can drive me crazy – you but you need the right key to do it’. I laughed out loud and asked my dad to throw the keys to me. It was 5 in the morning and I took my bike for a ride.

Some feelings can’t be compared to anything in the world. It didn’t take me more than a second to feel the past coming into me when I released the clutch and drove my bike for a meter. Unfortunately dad called me in and so had to park my bike back into my house. Later that day I somehow convinced my dad to use my bike (it had been long and dad considered that I had been driving in a country where driving is as simple as walking) and made him sit at the back. The first half an hour was as expected the worst of all times. Dad sitting at the back giving instructions, cautions, warnings etc about the ongoing traffic, sudden crossings by people, veering of autos, vast chasms or road pits, built on bumps, natural traffic inspectors in the name of animals, etc. He was shouting in my ears to keep off the right side of the road, to go slow and be careful spitting instructions all the way. Though I was annoyed, I loved every word he was saying coz that’s how he used to be when I drove with him sitting at the back and to make things more cherishing I liked the way he described the road. My bike was crying coz I didn’t unleash the beast him. My fingers were itching and yet was under control coz dad was at the back. It took 14 hours of coaxing to let my dad take my bike alone. This is the only time in which you can compare freedom to being wild.

It was 10 at night and my dad gave me the bike so that I can go and meet my friend. He was sending me off and so I rode my bike slow, till I crossed the road. As soon as I turned into the street, I started to be myself. Every person in the world feels like a legend at sometime of his life and this was one such time for me. Riding on a road filled with dangerous pits and bumps, skidding with gravel and red sand, with the dust of a zillion microparticles in the air, the sudden flash of yellow light from the oncoming traffic, busses having their own mind, cyclists behaving like grand prix champions avoiding all rules of traffic, autowalas driving like the snake game in our Indian cell phones, old people driving slow at the centre of the road pissing you off in every damn way, women two wheelers driving insane, children crossing roads with no fear, bullock carts moving with poise, and much more made my ride memorable. It was a heavenly feeling to ride in the city of Madras after driving in Chennai.

Things I learnt from driving in Chennai:

  1. Multitasking – listen to songs while I ride and watch front, back, left, right, down, up and in the mirror too. This helped me do multiple things in US too.
  2. Concentration – it doesn’t take a long time to concentrate on something. One can achieve utmost concentration in just seconds.
  3. Risking – life is filled with risks and I learnt it from driving. And I can face them now.
  4. Heart – when I drive I don’t follow my mind. It’s a habit for me to veer through traffic. I don’t think before I make a sharp turn, it happens from your soul and that makes me happy. I value my heart than my mind.

I wish I can be like this all my life. I fear that my emotions might some day over come my sanity. I never feel lonely when I drive, but life is veering into something I never expected. Hope I can be the Day Rider in my life too. Some times I wish life is only a road and I have someone or something like my bike to make me follow my heart and not my mind.

posted by Hariharasudhan Cd at Saturday, January 06, 2007

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