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A Bike, Its Riders and Related Emotions

Enfield Explorer, a two stroke, three gear motor bike entered our pretty modest life in early nineties when I was about 8 or 9 years . Father with his little savings then thought to have a little taste of luxury, that's how the two wheeler found a space in the veranda of our rented house.

The day the bike's key was delivered to father at his office, Baba as we called our father, did not know how to ride it. The delivery man and Baba rode the new bike to our house at around 11 pm in the night. We were eager to see the new delight and  hear the vroom sound. But our happiness was short-lived when the delivery man told that, he is far off from his place and requested to take the bike along with him and return it the next day. Strangely, Baba Agreed!. Bou as we call our mother was furious with the decision. The celebration mood was smashed down as the delivery man took away the bike, keeping us speculating that If he may never return, then?. Baba, as his nature goes, is a believer and believed in the honesty of the man. But that night became an un-forgettable night and we did not had a good dinner. We all waited till next day, it must had been a sleepless night for my mother.  Till noon not a sign was there of the man. Bou was sure that the man was a fraud and have taken our new bike. But at last the man came with the bike, with the manuals and few other tools in hand. As he explained Baba about the bike we all shared a  smile of relief with each other. Bou was the most relived person then. We as a family were the proud owner of a new Bike. Eventually Baba learnt to ride the bike.

 It was the 1st bike, among our relatives and for we kids we had something to boast about. Some are happy while few were envious. Me and My brother were happy to have it and every now and then wait for an opportunity get a ride on it at pillion while our father take up the gear. Every  Saturday, which used to be a day off for our father, we used to get a chance to boast our new possession, when he comes to pick up us from our school.

It may be six months or so after we are been enjoying our prized possession our eldest cousin, gave a visit. He was then in his late teens and with all hormones at peak. All he wanted is to have the bike by hook or crook. Clever was he and with a false promise to my mother that he will be returning within hours he took the bike for three long months. After many efforts and persuasion he returned the bike but the condition of the bike was worse. He must have mishandled and met with accidents. Many original parts of the bike were missing. Our relationship with his family became sour. Baba had to spend much to its service and the bike was restored to good condition but never like original. The worst part of the incident was that, the cousin became a bad critique and spoil its reputation and kept on telling everyone that we have bought a waste bike, It is nowhere near to bikes like Yamaha and Hero Honda, which he cherished to ride. It hurt to core to we bothers. for Baba it was just a bad phase.

As our family is associated with a spiritual organization called Gayatri Pariwar, then in 1993 Bhubaneswar chapter of the organization was holding Aswamedh Yagna, A mega six day event, which gathered lakhs of visitor from all over India. Baba and Bou pledged to donate Money, Time and Strength as volunteers to make the mega event successful. And our bike became handy to the contribution they made. Baba was a active member in the core team and was then assistant to one of the principal organisers, Reverend Shingji. He was his faithful lieutenant and both rode to offices, places and ministerials and our modest bike had a contribution for the event. Baba use to tell that our bike is blessed to work for the great event. Indeed it was a blessing to have it. The bike smoothly served us next six to seven years.

It was one evening, May be in 2001. Bou fell down from the bike as she and Baba were returning from market. As she was not holding the bike properly, she lost her balance as Baba mistakenly bumped on speed breaker on a dark evening. She had a head injury and thankfully it was not that fatal. She recovered in a month but Baba then on never touched the bike. he preferred public transportation.

 The bike was without its beloved rider. It was slowly turning to become a junk in the garage. But it was rescued and that to by my elder brother, then a balanced teen knew what is good and what is bad. Instead of asking a brand new bike to ride, he requested Baba, few money to restore the bike back into operation. I preferred to become a glorified pillion rider. For we brothers the restored bike was like new found wings. All our pocket money were started getting consumed with petrol for the bike. The bike then found a new energetic rider, My Elder brother. It was useful in many family events and my brother happily became the driver and I, a faithful helper and a Pillion rider. One Such event was also the marriage of the cousin described earlier. All he had to tell about the bike ' you still use the bike?'.

For others it may be substandard bike, for me, more than me for my brother it was a emotional bond which he and me will treasure lifelong.

The Bike, though partially junked still finds a space in our portico and standing still, retired as a reflection to our childhood memory.

The Riders:

1st - The Delevery Man
2nd- My father
3rd- The Cousin
4th - My elder Brother - The Last and The glorified Rider.

 Did I tried to ride It - Yes, I did gave a try but I am poor at Synchronizing the release of clutch and the accelerator. I prefer Going Automatic.


Still finds a place in your garage? Very nice..

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