Monday, August 10, 2009

2 vs. 4

A recent get together of colleagues (all of us who joined together a year back) at an event brought me to date with a lot of happening stuff. Since I'm working in a different location from the rest, I was oblivious to new i10's, A-Stars, Corsas and Chevys filling up the parking lot at the HQ.

In Bangalore, I always considered cars as a handicap. Cars do protect you from the sun, rain, pollution etc but I feel paralyzed in a traffic jam (something not so uncommon in Bangalore). With my bike, I can always come up with a Plan B- Squeeze through, bounce up the pavement (I hate doing but it is still an option at critical times), unbeatable 0-60 acceleration to beat the traffic between two consecutive signals. Considering a drive of 2 hours, having 2 wheels less saves you some 30 minutes.

Though cognizant with all this, some thoughts crept into my mind. As everyone started heading back from Unwind island to our office, it was just Varun and I on my bike. Everyone else had 4 wheels. I couldn't help thinking for a while- is my financial planning any good? Has it been wise the way I have divided my funds to my savings, home, travel and my lifestyle? Should I be thinking about a car? I rubbished such thoughts as sense returned from it's brief vacation.

However, I had no clue that someone (possibly the Almighty had decided to teach me a lesson) wanted to purge whatever was left in my brain regarding this issue.

As I headed home one evening, I was cruising at usual speeds (60-70) on the outer ring road. I love the OOR: well planned, connects most of Bangalore pretty well and is maintained pretty well. Though it costs a few KMs more for your destination, my bike stays in the top gear and I end up saving considerable time and fuel.

This fateful day, I hear an engine gunning at full throttle. A look in the side view mirrors reveal a Wagon-R closing in. The whine of the 1.1litre engine becomes louder. Then I look up ahead at the empty road and think 'Ok, two can play this game'. Deploying the clutch I shift two gears down and open the throttle. 70- gear 4; I see the Wagon R almost next to me (it had attained higher speed before I started accelerating). 85- gear 5; now my competition is losing out as I increase my lead. At 100- a new nemesis challenges me: the crosswinds of Bangalore. I bend

down gradually till my chest touches the fuel tank. Now, the front fairing and windshield are cutting the air for me. The heavy chassis of the 200 and the broad rear tire instill confidence like none other at these speeds. In fact this was one of the primary reasons why I did not go for the number flaunting Apache.

Now that the Wagon-R is at a considerable distance, I see the light about 700m ahead of me switch to red and I switch off my engine (yes, I do want a mileage of 41-42 along with performance). The race is considered to be over. My bike rolls to stop eventually and the speeding Wagon-R overtook me somewhere in between resorting to last moment braking at the traffic intersection.

From the signal, I took a turn and entered the service lane. I cruised easily towards my home. A screeching sound and honking on my right was hard to ignore and I turned my head. I see the same golden Wagon-R whirring it's engine to grab my attention. The dude driving it looks at me and leaves the steering wheel. He holds up his fists in a biker stance, twists the mock throttle and bends down the way I do at high speeds on my bike. In all- replaying everything I had done some minutes back. He smiles and gives a thumbs up sign, a mock salute before shifting up perfectly and roaring ahead. He does a mini drift and speeds away at the next turn.

Though I stick to my limits and rules in the service lane, there is nothing that stops the smile coming up on my face. A recognition from a skilled driver is a big mark of respect for any driver or rider. Had he waited for me to come up? He took the effort to catch me and grab my attention. Why? God knows. Though I ride rest of my way sensibly, my heart does scores of wheelies!

It is after I reach home that I put the recent events together. I step out of my balcony, look up the sky to point out that the message has been received and acknowledged..

1 comment:

  1. yo !! i like it, the whole zeal in the ride must be aaaawesome !!! :) car heeheeheee ;)