Black color with thin streaks of grey. Not a single bump (obliged to myself) still carries the grace and esteem of a newly bought, fibre bodied, irrevocably loved two-wheeler. Though I don’t quite look back to the day it arrived at my front porch in the summer of 2009 , all shining and immaculately polished, like a knight in shining armor, ready to barge on the short-noticed wars of life, okay, maybe a quick run to the grocery store. (I LOVE cheese and nachos, so … you get the drill?) The reason being, it was initially bought for my brother. So he was the one who got to ride it. (Perks of being the elder sibling).
We needed to carpool to school. Although dad was always willing to give us a ride (we did it for 6-7 years, surely we could manage another 2?) but considering the responsible kids our parents had, we decided to switch to ‘self-dependent-broad shouldered-two awesome kids on a scooter-ready to take down the world’ version of us.
While my brother rode that amazing thing, I gazed greedily everyday weaving day-dreams of the day I get to ride it myself. When my brother left for college, I was officially handed over the keys with the huge responsibility of always protecting the scooter, riding it safely and dutifully, and not letting IT affect my grades. It’s been almost 3 years since I’ve been riding my exceptionally suave Honda Dio and apart from a minor displacement on my number-plate, I can say I carried on my duties well.
What it took me a while to realize was that my scooter had very slowly and surreptitiously become an imperative part of my life. As it is I didn’t go anywhere without it, reason being I had no other option (not a rich girl with a chauffeur-Gah!) and second, more important reason being that I preferred being independent and third of course, I love to ride my scooter.
As and when I got more practiced and efficient as a driver, I started .. well ..how to put it ..being more reluctant. Not in a reckless eccentric way, but more as ‘I know the gig’ way.
Speaking of now, the only place where I find my cogitative meter booming and sometimes breaking the limit and lashing in the sky is when I’m driving. My mind is literally thinking in the most poetic and thoughtful way. It observes and reacts, concludes and takes obscure notes of all the various activities passing by me like a whirlwind, storing them in some remote corner of my mind. I see everything differently. The wind brushing ferociously against my skin suddenly becomes a career of messages, laughs and sobs of people from distant lands. The rigid, charcoal road becomes a pathway of life, a stairway to heaven. I see station-guards, still drowsing from the insatiable slumber ready to take their morning shift, cycling their way to the railway station.
I see little kids laughing and marching their way to the local schools, jubilant and oblivious of anything but them. I see leaves swaying in a haphazard motion, as if shedding off their sleep and asking the mortal man to rise, waggling and shaking themselves along with the wind.
I confess I’ve been very close to accidents, though nothing harmful ‘worth mentioning’ has happened to me. I guess mother nature has taken up the job to protect me.
Sometimes I cannot help but wonder-Why do I have to be so weird? Why can’t I relate the gentle falling of a leaf with gravity? Why do I have to find hidden, deeper meanings in everything and lead myself into the unfathomable universe of poetry? Or maybe, just maybe, those hidden meanings come to me. Without me realizing it? Reserving answers to be useful in the fickle future. Whatsoever the reason may be, I don’t mind being the way I am, be it having a permanent craving for Chinese food or reflecting over the wonders of life – On Wheels.
“So I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons, and maybe we’ll never know most of them.”
– Stephen Chbosky.