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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Chunnu Munnu di Pappa di Gaddi


A Bike is a Bike and then there is a Bullet.
What is it about bikes (geared and un-geared) that has a connect with us mere mortals? Is it the wild spirit of freedom and independence it gives and a sense of balance on two wheels or just the pure un-adulterated and bohemian joy of riding? During my growing up years like many of you I went through the same gamut of emotions when I got my first cycle during my schooling followed by getting a motorbike during my last year in college which was not an easy task as my late father was hell bent on getting me a scooter thanks to a bunch of underachieving sycophants in his office (that explains the tag line Chunni Munnu Di Papa Di Gaddi) which was very uncle type and and I just couldn’t see myself driving into college in a scooter. Lo I woke up and I rebelled in the way I could –cajoled and sweet talked my mom and sister into making the motorbike the dinner table conversation and getting Dad to change his preference. Yes I did get the motorbike and it was one helluva ride. The bike in question was a Yamaha RX 100 and it was a dream on wheels in all aspects from the engine to the top speed of 120 mph (yes it was a key differentiator).
With time I evolved in more ways than one (facial fuzz turned into 5'0 clock shadow for starters) and my love for motorbikes also underwent a sea change.

The Yamaha gave way to a Bullet and I was spell bound by it. The bike was a connoisseur’s delight- it had old world charm written all around it. It's aristocratic black and gold insignia and thumping engine made my heart skip a beat and marvel on the technical wizardry. It was regal and if the bike could speak –only class would ooze from every nut and bolt. Legend has it that this bike is handcrafted by skilled technicians with love, engineered with purpose and
 designed in such a way that each machine that comes out from Royal Enfield stable has its unique character.
I did get to experience the power on wheels thanks to the benevolent nature of my better half who thrilled me in no small measure on one of my birthday’s (I just love the month December for the fact that it’s the last month of the year and my birthday falls on a special day) to the sight of a black and gold Enfield 350 cc playing hide and seek with the streaming sunlight in our basement. I was on seventh heaven and felt a sugar rush running inside my body. We decided in unison to take a long drive across the countryside to get a feel of the machine which meant getting up earlier than usual, forsaking the breakfast and following the drill of getting sunshine parked in her favourite balcony while she quizzically looked on.


The destination was a solid monolithic mass of granite and most scenic hill station in the vicinity of Bangalore aptly named Nandi hills. Haven’t we ever wondered that more than the destination it’s the journey that matters - which is exhilarating especially with the ones that you like and adore bringing in myriad shades of adventure, cheer and romance. We took in the virgin countryside, the random speed breakers and tea stalls which served as pit stops for photo sessions clicked by the trigger happy and very seasoned photographer. The ride was  a sumptuous five course meal with power at the epi-center, the cool breeze smothering the body in its inimitable ways, the drool worthy thump (soft and rhythmic inspiring Beethoven to compose another symphony), misty morning Bangalore in all its glory topped by the one on one equation we had with the forces of nature spread by a blanket of romance (Yes love was in the air and we were literally walking on clouds). Quite ironically monkeys and not the AAM Junta ( Mango People eh!) were at the Spot and they were more than inviting seeing us purring away on the mean machine.
All good things do come to an and and due to unavoidable circumstances (read – medical situation – I fractured my right hand ) I couldn’t ride the Bullet again. The Bullet was sold to an interested buyer and before I could fathom the why, how, when, where … it was done.
Yes I have a death wish to do the countryside with my father in law and my cousin brother along with a side carriage for Sunshine….  You can never say never!!!

Love,Life,Luck and Laughter,
Shekhar Vijayan

8 comments:

nike2304 said...

Sure the bike was liked more than two other living mortals in the house :) the rides definitely were worthy of the bullet hype, but yes Shakes this one roadtrip was truly blissful and this writeup is one for posterity.

G3 said...

Such a romantic narrative will even make the black and gold manly machine turn pink. Could hear the thumping engine as the background score while reading it, thanks to the "direct dil se" writing.
I must add, three years back I may not have been able to relate to this at all, but yes, you love a guy, you've got to love THE BULLET.
Well, like they say, meeting and parting is the way of life, and parting and meeting is the hope of life, I hope your "bichara yaar" manages to come to you soon.

Smitha Venkatesh said...

its a mix of all three... funny, interesting and emotional..Everybody does want to take a ride on the bullet.. i know a lot of ppl (frnds and family) who've borrowed ours for a couple of rides.. My dad & bro have gone on our classic on the Mysore road with their respective spouse ( i envy, i have not been on a long ride yet.. we got bullet and i was carrying :( it sure is a dream bike for men and also equal fantasy stuff for women to be a pillion rider..

Balakrishnan Unny said...

I really liked the "sugar rush" bit and the journey being more interesting than the destination itself. I may not share all that encomia about the 'Bullet' itself though. And yes, I loved that "love in the air" bit as well! Good going. Stay the course.
--Balakrishnan Unny, Gurgaon.

RAJI said...

powerful writing about the power dressing bike. I had this burning desire to be a rider after hearing about my friend's ride on her bike from Tirumalai to Chennai and you know when she rode solo? It was some where in late 70s. How I fulfilled my desire? By being a pillion rider in 2005. So, I see glimpses of Robert Browning in your writing-"love in the air". Very presumptuous of you to think that everyone knows what/who you mean by sunshine or does everyone really know? hmmm...A point to ponder. I learnt another word "encomia". Please, please don't use that expression "mango people" even in parenthesis. I feel like puking.

shevititan said...

Aunty,

Its always a pleasure talking to you

Is Renuka Chaudhary the firebrand friend who rode the bullet in the late 70's ? i hope not because i am sure your esteemed friend would have been one helluva lady with an independent streak. Yes sunshine does get a subtle mention in most of the stories akin to the common man's cartoon in the daily papers. Aunty, on a lighter vein Aam Aadmi is a metaphor for the common man and it sounds better than the term -cattle class - even the cows won't be amused ( a certain minister with the first alphabet of his name starting with s would be thrilled )I will make sure any fruit of your choice ( mangoes a complete no no )will be served as dessert the next time you come home for supper.

we will be only too delighted to host uncle and yourself.

Anonymous said...

very well written Shekhar ! My personal favourite is the Royal Enfield Bulle.Just like you my hubby and bro-in-law are bike lovers too.I'll get them to read your post :D

S. Murali Krishnan said...

Vaare vaa:)

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