Monday, May 05, 2008

An Exposition on the Similitude of Bikes and Babes

[Warning: Some heavy-duty self-indulgence ahead]

Before going to college, my parents had conveyed very explicitly that they wouldn't buy a bike for me - ever. They would have happily agreed to my sky-diving without parachutes before they agreed to let me ride bikes. My character didn't warrant such an attitude - I had always prided myself on being mature and responsible in whatever I did (It's funny how nearly every guy I know thinks that way about themselves - but I've got data to back me up. I've never crashed/scratched a bike or car in my 6 years of handling automobiles. That small scratch on the C-pillar of appa's car was the fault of the truck driver, and that broken rear-view mirror was because the Scorpio jumped out of nowhere)

So, throughout the four years of college, I was reduced to begging and borrowing bikes from friends (and sometimes even juniors – oh, the ignominy of it!) whenever I needed to go to Alankar for a movie or Dwarka for job treats from seniors or the railway station to book tickets. There's no public transportation in Nagpur and autos were mighty expensive for students like me subsisting on meagre handouts from parents. Thankfully, most of my friends were rather accommodative and agreed to lend the bike as long as I didn't bring it back completely dry.

While riding a Yamaha RX-100 around Chennai some days back (borrowed, of course, from Barry), I was reminded of those days in college and it was then that I realized something - if bikes were girlfriends, I'd have given Casanova a run for his money. I have ridden so many bikes in my short life so far that I have lost track of the number. In fact, I'd have gone one step ahead of Casanova - all my flames were other people's girlfriends and worse of all, most of the relationships were one-night stands.

So here's the list of ten of the relatively long-term relationships. I've decided to list this down as an act of thanksgiving to all my friends who lent me piece of their heart – their girlfriends bikes. And since I've not been able to put any serious thought into blogging for some time and won't be able to do so for some more time, I thought it would be a good idea to let you in on this. The complete list would be too long to even try to remember.

1. Vinayak's Pulsar 150 - The First Time, when a boy finally kick-starts the bike and makes that first twist of the accelerator to ride into manhood. I used this bike only once later, but the First Time is always special and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

2. Saxena's Freedom - Bad bike, threw more tantrums than a 15 year old (Yamaha that is). I used it more than the owner himself and hence this one is first on the list in terms of usage.

3. Dino's YBX - Not as fussy as the RX 100s, but a Yamaha all the same - second in the list of usage

4. Barry's Fiero - A great bike, my respect for bikes from the TVS stable owes its existence to this Fiero - third in my list.

5. Achal's RX 100 - Extremely temperamental and difficult to ride when I started out. If bikes were girlfriends, a Yamaha would be the plain looking girlfriend who nags a lot, consumes a lot of golden-brown liquid and smokes like a chimney; but with whom sex is amazing.

6. Sujai's RX 100 - Same as Achal's bike, but I ended up using this one a lot unlike Achal's.

7. Bala's Max100 - consistent performance even after 15 years, I've carried more drunk people back to hostel on this bike than on any other (I was usually invited to daaru parties so that I could bring the drunk guys back to hostel. I didn't start drinking until final year). This bike reinforced my respect for TVS-Suzuki bikes.

8. Naresh's Pulsar 180 - Definitely Male. If bikes were girlfriends, this one would be a girlfriend with a LOT of testosterone and I'd be gay. I used this bike very rarely because Barry was on it most of the time, poor Naresh never got to touch the seat covers.

9. Baone's Splendor - If bikes were girlfriends, a Splendor would be the girl to marry - not exactly a Victoria's Secret model but it does its job and never complains*.

10. Barry's RX-100 (his labour of love after the Fiero was taken from him) - made more sound than a train because of its modified silencer, but the power delivery was orgasmic. Saw a lot of this bike during the final year and now, after a long time, in Chennai.

Honourable mention: Anand's Discover, Anshul's Ambition and Amar's Unicorn.

*Before you say it, let me clarify that I'm no MCP. Just imagine what the world would be without sardar / dumb blonde jokes.


silverine said...

Awesome post!!! Though I don't know much about bikes, I could sense the respect between man and the machine here! :)

Achal's RX 100 and Naresh's Pulsar...LOL!!

Mathew said...

Whew! That's quite a lot of girlfriends, er, I mean bikes. I had to make do with a friend's Pulsar until I got my own in first year. Been pretty loyal ever since.

PS. I was talking about a BSA Pulsar, not the Bajaj one.

Philip said...

silverine: Though I happen to know the difference between a conrod and crankshaft, I'm not much of a auto freak. You got it spot-on when you called it 'respect between man and machine' :)

mathew: I had to make do with Pulsar (of the BSA kind) too when I ended up without bikes - which, thinking of it now, was most of the times.

mathew said...

Bala's Max100 must be smelling of old monk rum then.. ;-P

Same at my home where bikes were considered dangerous..and the several accidents my friends met and some tragic incidents didnt help either..

g-man said...

lol my folks won't get me a bike either. hell, ma says she won't let me get a bike ever...she wants me to get a car after i start working. i do get to drive dad's old kinetic though. when he's not using it, of course! but he usually does, on his trip to what seems like all the bars in trivandrum city. otherwise, i borrow someone's bike :) nice post

Philip said...

mathew: Bala's bike smells like a cocktail of Old Monk,Romanov and DSP ;)
Having lesser of those irresponsible friends would surely have helped matters :)

g-man: Has it ever happened that you went into a bar to find your dad inside? or vice versa?

g-man said...

fortunately for both of us, that has never happened yet. my dad has taken me to a bar once, and treated me to two pegs of gin tho :) i guess that classifies as something along those lines

Anand Chakrapani said...

Was reminded of my days in the hostel. Used Anshu's RX 100 (I simply loved this bike. Amazing performance but high maintenance) and Parag's Bajaj Chetak scooter. I was a passenger on some of those trips back from the alcohol abuse sessions. The RX 100 remains my sentimental favourite. Like the first girlfriend ;-)

The Bajaj Pulsar and the Enfield Bullets are of course the Martina Navratilova types. Can't classify them as girl friends.

Used to own a Bajaj Caliber (after I started earning), even that was decent. Maintenance costs were lower than the RX 100 but then so was the joy of riding. Was a little more fun than the Splendour and had a little more fire also.

The Suziki Fiero was a little tom boyish. Fun, nevertheless.