Well it all started when i was 16 somewhere in 1988 in Mumbai as my brother had a 2 wheeler called HERO HONDA CD 100, a 100 cc motorcycle. A black sleek yet somewhat powerful bike ( somewhat is sarcastic tone in comparison to the Yamaha RX100 which was its closest competitor) . Well thats all i had so loved it. In fact is still remember the licence plate number 2543. My first ever introduction to a thing called BIKE
I had mastered that 100 cc beast could easily do stunts , ride at high speeds control less with brakes and more with Gears as the pundits said ” RELY LESS ON BRAKES and more on gears” sounded like a Warning before marriage. Wheelies , 360 Deg, Bunny Hop were some of the terms used to impress the chicks who either took us for CRAZY guys or members of Bombay Circus. We would zoom across on Khar , Bandra streets like manics, race from here ( bandra) to Lonavala and back and what not. What crazy days. I still remember putting petrol for Rs 50 and would calculate ” 2 litres maan, we can run the bike for 2 days or more.”. 🙂
Times have really flown at SONIC speeds ever since those days. Marriage clouds engulfed me, i became a “QUICK” father and got into the usual race of life , earning bread, butter, chicken and some Whisky. Well that was not the only reason that bike was taken away from me. It all so happened one morning i was supposed to drop cheques of my family business to a bank which was 1 km away . My usual route would be 3 kms to reach the bank, 15th Road, Carter Road, Pali Hill and finally the bank at Union Park . That day it was usual day , at Pali hill i met my another crazy friend who was riding in the morning on his HONDA VT250 , Mushtaq actually the late Mushtaq (RIP BRO, he died while doing the rapids at the Himachal) and he asked me “VROOM VROOM ” language, lets race and i was giving him “GYAN” dude its not about the power in your bike only , its the control first, skill & then speed. Vroom we sped off and were negotiating the bends of Pali hill and started going downhill at maybe 60 kmph or so ( no disc brakes in those days ) and i realised ” WOW IM WINNING” and pepped more and saw a Auto rickshaw stopped or screeched right in the middle of the road to pick a passenger ( as usual these guys *#&@%@#” you all must have understood my love for them by now) and in the last minute i tried to slip the bike though a small gap between the stalled Rickshaw and oncoming traffic and i lost control , brushed another oncoming rickshaw and head on in another vehicle, BOOM CRASH . After 30 seconds or so opened my eyes, people around me , im lying on the mud bed on the road only to realise that i was bleeding from top to toe of only bruises “thankfully”. Well that was the last day of my riding in the millenium and the last i saw 2543.
CUT and now straight lets pan our minds to this year 2014. The motorcyclist or the rider in me was in induced coma only to be revived after my tryst with the new age or old age bikes newly arrived in India. The Harley Davidson, thanks to my pal Ameya Kapnadak who had a hereditary rider in him. Credit to his dad Mr Ajit Kapnadak who had a lovely black n white picture of himself with his beast TRIUMPH Bonneville i think. All that glossary was running through my mind and not to forget Ameya ( AK as i call him, though his initials are similar to the Anarchist Arvind Kejriwal) allowing me to ride his HD Iron 883 whom he called “MELLISSA” , yeah we named our bikes, cars . Not Funny !. Well now he has moved to “STREET BOB” , thats his picture with “JESSICA” and none of those names are his ex girlfriends or current 😉
The induced Coma was fading a bit as i felt the KEEDA of riding arousing again in me. Well destiny had something else in store still , there is another Kahani me twist, i went ahead and booked a ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 500 for Rs 1000, waiting period 10 months. Whoa. Patiently waited and was getting that fear mixed excitement and had questions in mind ” will i be able to? what will dad say ? Yes dad would have been pissed off” Well somehow stuck to my guns and got a call in August 12 from the showroom , ” Sir your bike is ready” pay the balance and go ahead. I was leaving for GOA for my son’s cricket tournament so thought will come back and take it. That time a EUREKA thought also came to my mind, ” why don’t i rent a Enfield in GOA so it will acquaint me well with the heavy bike “ and yes all fell in place. Found an agent in Vasco who rented me a BRAND NEW Enfield 350 for Rs 500 a day. I was excited and rode to the hotel , parked it and was loving it so far, me n wifey went for a ride and i felt good back again. Then typically like in a hindi film, lightning struck in the skies above, wind blew hard temple bells started ringing on their own…Stop nothing like that happened just another tragedy struck me and wife both skidded and fell of the bike in motion while trying to save a crossing dog. CRASH BOOM BANG. in Hospital again.
Stiched & bruised three of us flew back to Mumbai and amidst that pain was the joy of victory as my sons school won its first ever trophy in cricket. They won the finals ( typically Indian styles though 😉 ) Well i had to sell off the unclaimed bike and signed the form with a plaster on my elbow and another thought ” I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO RIDE AGAIN” and forgot about it and moved on. Stiches, bruises started curing and so the coma was out guess it was like the Hindi movies if you hit the same place on the head again and voila it revives the MEMORY. So the first accident and now the second hmmmm.
Me & AK again my partner in riding and my Guru went to Royal Enfield showroom and YES booked a New THUNDERBIRD 500 for Rs 5000 and waiting 6 months. Well ok “lets see” was the thought in me. Finally came July 2013 , got the same kind of call ” Sir your bike is ready” again was gripped by that mixed fear with excitement and then finally all fell in place and went and paid the balance. The D DAY was June 14th and it arrived to the showroom and was called and told Sir please take your bike else we will have to park outside the showroom whole night. It was pouring cats and dogs and water logging everywhere so thought what to do. Well nothing stopped me and my wife she handed me my new helmet and said to a sulking me ” Go Get it “ sounded so similar to she handing me a Helmet and asking me to fly my Jaguar and BOMB the shit out of the Enemy ( We all know what i meant here :-)) , and i buckled up, rather saddled up, and left . Oh no tika on the forehead etc. She just clicked a pic on the phone. Ja mere Sher.
And it came home that day itself its almost one year. Ridden like about 1300 kms much much less than AK who must be having a riding record of 10000 kms i guess. Finally felt so recovered , no more coma, loss of memory. Passion was on its high. Love it so much that i ride it everyday for 3-6 kms and now going to take a first solo ride of mine on 26th Jan and also will start a journey of writing / blogging my experiences of my bike n me till i breathe last. RIDE ON.