The story behind my first bike..

chakky's picture

There are times in our lives, which when we go back to, brings a lot of memories. The year was 1999 we were studying for our CO(Computer Organization) re-evaluation exams at night when we got the news.

Abhilash passed away in a bike accident near our college. Abhilash was a bright young guy, the only child of his parents and he was at Chengannur, far away from his home at Kozhikode. Being an only child, his parents were reluctant to let him drive a bike and would not buy him one either. So when he came to college he used the chance to drive his friend's bike.

I too nearly died that night.... Jayesh and me, after getting the news, started going around our various hostels situated in Chengannur at 2 am to let everyone know of Abhilash's death. It was a foggy night.

On our way back from one hostel which was on a hilly terrain, Jayesh who was driving the bike, lost in his sorrowful thoughts about Abhilash; that he forgot to take the curve on the road. I noticed that we were suddenly driving on grass and realized what was happening. At the edge, Jayesh slammed the brakes hearing my stop command; I had nothing to hold on to unlike Jayesh who was holding the handle bars... I flew into the air and down the ravine, rolling and tossing till I came to a standstill some 30-40 feet below...We were both lucky to be alive. My lower back was all bruised and Jayesh had a cut on his face. We both fainted on the road and after what felt like ages, we finally came to our senses and I slowly drove down the bike with its front brakes gone to the nearest clinic for treatment..

I love driving and started driving at a very young age. However until I got my license when I was eighteen I was happy driving uncle's vespa and never felt I wanted a bike..

Prior to this accident, I had been pleading with my dad to get me a bike. This incident just reinforced, Dad's decision not to buy me one. He being in Kuwait and I was living with my uncles and aunts, I just felt that it was a hopeless situation.

However when Thomas uncle, dad's younger brother got to know of this accident, he just asked me to come to the bank where he works. He introduced me to a junior there and he then just asked me to go and take a test ride of that guys' Yamaha RX 100. I said it was fine and next day uncle got me the bike. He was my local guardian and he felt that it was better I drive a bike where he can see me do it rather than ride others bike and face such incidents.

I loved that bike for all its plus points and minus points and I have had my moments of glory as well as further accidents with it. I did spend quite some money when its piston seized or when the carburettor got clogged. But I still loved its sound and the drive...

Whenever my dad came down, he would make me take him on a drive, just so that he sees how I handle myself on the road and when he was satisfied, then I had the trust of everyone to drive as I wanted to. I had that bike with me till 2007.

"If my daddy was here, I would not have to go through this..", she said as she wiped tears of her eyes.

I felt sorry for her but same time I realized how much our generations had changed. Just two days back I was almost on the verge of buying her a new scooter with the consent of her dad. But she like the wind, constantly kept changing her mind whenever someone gave an opinion on the scooter she accepted.

I took her for test drives, made her read online reviews, showed her the vehicles; yet if her friends questioned her, she would waver fearing the choice is wrong and what her friends would think..

Spoilt for choices? Or lack of maturity? I never tried to decipher it, but it showed a lack of faith in the decision maker which was me. In such a situation, it becomes difficult to give her assurances everything would be fine because she would not be happy and will always be in , "I told you so" mode of finding fault.

If I had not trusted Thomas uncle's decision to get me a second hand Yamaha RX100 or if I had given in to the chides of my granny,daddy, aunts, uncles and others who kept telling me how dangerous driving a two wheeler is and people asking me if I am showing off at my dad's expense? I would never have owned one.

I swallowed my pride, accepted all the taunts and I trusted my uncle. I loved driving and even though I was being offered a second hand bike it was all that I wanted... I had no qualms. My daddy was not there to give his approval, yet I never felt that my life is different because they were not there. I learnt very early in life that I had to think of my uncles and aunts like my parents itself when I was with them, because then only I would be able to face whatever I saw without the prejudiced eye or see the rationale in what they say or do to me rather than think they would give differential treatment to me as compared to their children.

But I guess it will be difficult for my new generation cousins today because for them uncle is still uncle and aunty is still aunty and whatever they miss in life is because their daddy would have done otherwise...

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