Friday, October 30, 2015

The ride to Chennai- A Revelation!

A 330km/5hr ride. 

Started on the 17th from Bangalore at 5am, reached Chennai around 10am. Departed from Chennai on the 18th at 5pm, reached around 10pm. Nice eh? 

I’m back home safe now. My head aches a bit, and the waist a tiny bit, but it’s beautiful pain. It was an important anniversary function of a close relative and mom black-mailed me to come. I told her I ride there or I don’t come at all. That’s how you train your dragons, I mean, parents. 

I’ve been excited ever since I decided to ride there. Decathlon helped me buy a few stuff, Funbyk helped with renting the bullet 500 and the helmet. I was set. I started riding I counted the kilometers, stopped at 2 CCDs and waited for me to reach the place. People were waiting for me there. And after knowing I was riding all the way, they got eager much. 

At the marriage hall- 

I had my Power Drift tee shirt on. I arrived at the mandap and some important swaha thing was happening there. I had to tie my scarf around my head (you know what helmets do to your hair). I looked like a total hippie (which I’m not) and people looked at me like a misfit (which I was). As expected, a few overly-protective Brahmin uncles even stopped talking to me. Kids who understood the fun of a bike looked at me with surprised eyes and wanted to go on a round on the bull

I was surrounded by Tamil-Kannada Brahmins staring at me from head to toe. Women came in all dressed and made up, a few girls even sang songs on the stage. I din’t wear a chudi or an anarkali top or whatever. I wore a short kurti and a 3/4th jean. They’d call me a rebel for that. 

Halls like this is where you surprisingly get to see survival skills of people. A few aunties slept on the stage, without pillows. A few slept on the dusty ground, in a dirty room, without a blanket, like myself. Also I rolled beneath a cot and used a saree for a blanket because it got cold, like, shivering cold. I’ve only seen women like my mom and cousins complain, it was too surprising to look at them ignore the discomfort. 

Loud nadaswaram and thavil, some famous uncle talking about some spiritual thing, saxophone performance were all a part of the eventful evening. That uncle who spoke spiritual, glanced and smiled quite a few times, when he crossed me, we spoke. And during the conversation I had to tell him I was an atheist. My aunt asked why I said that and he told he’ll change me. 

I think this would be enough glimpse of how the entire time went for me. LOL. 

Inside - 

On my way back it all happened. Inside of me. I found my zone. I became numb. I went blank. I couldn’t feel my back aching, or my legs hugging the tank, or my feet on the pegs, or my ears shut close by the helmet, or my cold hands on the handlebar, or my ass pressing on the wide comfy seat. I wasn’t counting the kilometers, I wanted to get lost and constantly be on the road. It wasn’t highway hypnosis. It was my heaven. 

After all, isn’t heaven just someplace that has everything you’ve never had or you’ve had too much of? 

And then I realized there was music in the background. I wondered what I’m thinking about and it was nothing. I wasn’t missing anyone, I had no care, I wasn’t sad or happy, it was nothingness. Nothing at all. Nada. 

Then suddenly, when there was a train that appeared from under a flyover that I was on, I cried.
Something inside me changed a bit and I realized it’s a very good thing not to have a care in the world. 

Out - 

Outside of me, on my way back, I constant-ed at 80kmph. It rained very light, but only for seconds. There was green and blue and painted grey on the skies. It slowly became dark. Everything felt shut for a moment. I now know that riding in the dark, with disturbing lights from the rear-view mirror and/or the other side of the road, isn’t a pain, but still a risk. 

I learnt where to use the upper and how to brake while encountering a confused dog in the middle of the road. When I inclined the bike slightly in turns I felt like a racer (on a cruiser, lol). When I maneuvered the bike in slow speeds I got proud. And when I used indicators to shift lanes I felt like a pro. I guess every ride teaches you something, many things actually, and these are just a few.
Occasionally dad or mom called and spoke so casually like I was at some restaurant eating dinner. Even today, they told me to reduce the frequency of my rides, very subtly. My dragons are quick learners, I tell you. Very impressive people! 

Will write soon.

P.S- To all the people who care and message me to buy a full faced helmet- I’ll buy one soon. I’m glad you all care! And, I love the feeling of the spanner in my hand, I’ve only tightened minor bolts on the bull till now. I’m learning the science of how the bike works, must help me in repairing and fixing the bike.


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