(Reposted from a write-up dated July 14, 2009)
It was a wonderful morning for bike riding. The clouds veiled the sun and the wind took its course in serving the commuters with a pleasing journey. Queen’s We will Rock You was playing through my ear plugs as I rode across the freeway enjoying the gentle wind that breezed across my face. Although I was going to office which seemed to be a really bad thing to think about at that point of time, the cool breeze and clear roads were such a relief for a guy speeding across the usually humid Chennai city roads.
I throttled my way across the enticing roads devoid of whatever hardwork lay in store for me today. The free road and the speeding bike made me the Lord of the Streets when suddenly a Van zoomed past me pumping the gentle sportsman out of me. Feeling dethroned, I hit on the accelerator of my brand new Yamaha FZ-S, with a little arrogance and a little anger, overtaking the van in a matter of seconds. Just as I put on a gloating smile which lost its twinkle within the realms of my helmet, a yellow-colored Apache closed in on me.
I was already speeding at 80kmph but the Apache seemed poised to take away my victory over the Van without a pinch. However I wasn’t the one to give up so easily and hence I accelerated. I hit 90kmph. The turnings in the Freeway came into sight; I glided on to my right and then swerved across to my left. I came out victorious and thought for a second that I had beat the crap out of him. But then I saw his front wheel and the yellow tank speeding into my sight.
Frustration crept and an irrational anger arose. Who the hell is this guy, who doesn’t want me to have my day? Irritated, I turned my head a little to give the old man a cold stare. I expected from him an evil smile, but I saw him shouting at me pointing towards my bike…what the hell? A moment’s lapse and he closed up more onto me, now with his entire pillion being visible to me. He was yelling making gestures with his left hand aiming at my front wheel, but the Queen song was draining his words off my ears.
Perplexed and discomforted, I dunked to have a look at my front wheel, then the head light, then the gear pedestal… suddenly, a car came into sight right in front of me. Oops! I hit on my brakes, cut a few gears and praying for luck that I shouldn’t be hit by a truck from behind steered blindly to the left. I reached the corner of the pavement, stopped, got down and frantically surveyed the part of my bike where the man in the Apache was pointing to. Just then my 11th hour Samaritan came and halted beside me. I immediately removed my helmet, pulled down my ear plugs and asked him terrified, “Sir, What is wrong?”
“What’s the mileage of your bike?” he asked.
“Around 35!”, I said.
“Thank You!”, said my good’ol samaritan and rode away. I stood there, watching the yellow bike till it disappeared amongst the speeding vehicles of the highway. Still reeling, I put on my gear, started the bike and rode towards my office. The breeze felt hot for the rest of my journey!
– Tipu Vaithee Swaran