Monday, October 18, 2004

Drunk-on driving!

Today's quota. Truth to tell inspired by Ravages a/c of getting back his two-wheeler after service. A little cheating, since I wrote it some time ago, but in my blog, I RULE !!! :)

I have a confession to make. I am a chronic two-wheeler addict. Actually, I havent worked out yet whether it is to do with two-wheelers as a genre or my own particular machine. But considering I'm presently writhing in the throes of withdrawal symptoms, I can barely think beyond two wheels.

So much so, my head is spinning, whirring so fast, its strange. Yeah, I know you are going to say its my low pressure. It ain't. In fact every time I think about how I can't just saddle my scooty and rev up, my pressure shoots up. Quite the opposite, I must say.

I'm not trying to imitate De Quincey either in prose or wit, but believe me, I feel as deeply as he did about his servility to opium. Especially because I was once convinced that I could never be an addict. My `mobile' friends have warned me, told tales of their dependency, but I listened to them raving with a superior smirk, comfortable in the knowledge that it could NOT happen to ME. Addiction, I mean. I thought it was a question of will power, until I discovered that it has nothing to do with the will or its power. Addiction, simply happens to you, whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not. I wonder if there is this chemical in the brain that causes two-wheeler addictions, you know, the equivalent of the alcohol thingie.

What happened? Well, this. A few days ago, my bike stopped twice on Mount Road. Yeah, peak hour. Anybody who has lived in Chennai will know exactly what this means. The first time, I just about evaded a cyclist on a suicidal mission. The next time, I managed to avoid becoming an obituary note on the Sports page of
The HINDU. Considering it was a tipper lorry I had side-stepped, there would have otherwise been very little of me to recover. That is a very sobering thought. Does this make me an addict?

Course it does. You'd think after all that stopping it did on me, I'd send it to the scrap yard. I dint. One, I cant afford to. Two, like I said, I am addicted to the damn thing. So I trundled it to the service station and looked frantically for my favourite mechanic. If I love my bike, Rajan understands it best. You could say it all began on Mount Road, or you could say it began when I heard Rajan had quit.

My jaw dropped, "QUIT? You mean Q.U.I.T, as in he's gone, he's not here ...?" I asked like it could not have happened. Rajan's replacement looked at me like I was slightly unhinged (he'd have said `mental' though), rolled his eyes, sighed and explained. Rajan had gone seeking fresher pastures. Well, I dont blame the chappie. Would go myself if there were any to go to, but I felt really sad about not having returned his call the last time. Maybe he wanted to tell me all about it and I wasnt there to listen. Everybody has to have regrets in life, guess this is my quota.

But then, there was this guy waiting with strained patience, wanting to know if I wanted to leave my bike behind or NOT. Just to make sure, I kind of reached behind him, peeped into the work shed for the last time and asked unbelievingly, "Are you SURE Rajan is not here?" In retrospect I can see that it was not exactly the right thing to say, but I dint see it then.

I guess I'm paying for it now. Its been more than three days and I havent seen my bike yet, or heard a vroom. Nothing's wrong with it, I was told, it probably requires an hour's work. An HOUR? It's been days now.

So I get these pangs everytime I step out of home and realise I cant bike it to the office or wherever that day. And then, everytime I see a bus, I blanche. Well, that's still better than when I see an auto. I turn green when I see other two-wheeler riders on the road, or hear another's bike start up. "It's not fair", I think, "Why me?".

Last night after a really exhausting day bussing and legging it around, I put my legs up. I was going to close my eyes, before I saw this wine red helmet, MY new wine red helmet, sitting in a corner assuredly, cocking a snook at me. That was that. I reached for the phone, "Centigo Scooters? I WANT MY SCOOTY NOW".



Blogger Pavithra said...

Scooted over here as fast as I could. So you're one of 'the club', eh?:-). Hah, addictions. They have a habit of creeping up on you...and you're sunk.

Yeah, once a two-wheel addict, you're stuck forever. There's nothing quite like it, is there? Did a last-minute veering away act on Mount Road once, meself - and had the whole populace giving me a 'you're-nuts-go-home-freak' look as I sped away to safety (grin). Those wheels do that to you, don't they? Been to Maamallapuram on two wheels, once. Wind rushing in ears, sea glinting ahead. Ah...exquisite. So, are you mobile again, or aren't you (And do you have a name for your life-on-wheels - a la 'minnal' ?)

7:37 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a two-wheeler owner myself, I understand your feelings but I'm s*** scared of traffic in Chennai - it sucks, full time! Er,um, where does it not? Also, i THINK i commute through the densest traffic in Chennai(Ashoknagar-W.Mambalam-TNagar-Teynampet-Mount Road). But then, who ever said other routes are easy? Ever since my arrival here, I've taken to 'bussing'. I rant about it too(until I purchased my new cell phone with its inbuilt radio). I only resort to taking my two wheeler when - a) i'm late to office or b) when my bones feel too brittle, following the day before's bus ride! Seriously, folks, while I'm a careful rider, I'm terrified of being hit. One has to be a masochist to ride in this crazy traffic! An MTC bus is far, far convenient, guaranteed to make you reach home surely & safely (fingers crossed still)! Ravi
Hey Princess...i worry for you and your carefree attitude re:wind in your hair & all that feeling..whatdya think...Mount Road = ECR ? :)

7:57 pm

Blogger None said...

wind in the hair and sea in my face. u bet! i know exactly what u mean by that.
try doing that on east coast road,when it is about to rain. ABout to rain, not raining yet. it will probably rain in a couple of hours or so...
but the thunder is out and so is the lightning. then suddenly, the lightning strikes the sea. its paradise, princess, believe me!
btw, wrote somehting in the hindu last year about the sea. catch it when u can/ wnat to. link below.

9:23 pm

Blogger None said...

btw, princess, forgot to mention it must be after dusk. or the lightning effect wont be good.

and, the hindu link is not entirely about the sea, but the sea is the protagonist!


9:25 pm

Blogger None said...


i take that arduous route too... o.k. not ashok nagar. but same map till mount road, maybe even further.
i guess its got to be in you to be an addict! like they say, chemical imbalances in the brain. be glad ur brain is perfectly in balance with all its chemicals!!! :)


9:28 pm

Blogger Vin said... a 2 wheeler addict too. But these days being away from India I am okay with walking somehow.

7:39 am

Blogger Pavithra said...

Lightning! Dusk...! Ooh. Those words sound magical (I'm rather doubtful about whether I will get to enjoy these pleasures, though. I would certainly like to!). You know - I've rather fancied watching the sea during a cyclone. (Will read article)

Ravi - your solicitude gladdens my heart :-) Never fear - those days are past. Rarely venture into Mt Rd nowadays without a pang of nervousness/jitters. :-))

8:56 am

Blogger Ravages said...

And today, it's raining, and hard. And that's the best (side) kick. Rain, Chennai and my Bike. Bliss!

11:41 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

:-)) Nicely done...

A woman's relationship with her mode of transport is the subject of much research and discussion. They're even calling you'll 'The Future of the Automobile'! Go figure...

2:00 pm

Blogger None said...


a scooty on a wet road is not exactly the safest vehicle to be on ...


2:52 pm

Blogger None said...


thanks for reading. yeah, for an addict, i kinda quickly got used to walking when i was abroad. not that i had an option. walking and cycling! i shd say, its easier to walk abroad than in india, especially chennai...


2:55 pm

Blogger None said...

yo drive blogger!

cd crust u to come up with anything to do with vehicles! yeah, chkd ur link out! obviously, we are going to be the future, simply because we are untapped potential! as yet! actually, i am only speaking on behalf of the sorority. i myself am very tapped - drive a car and ride a 2-wheeler!


3:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Princess, re: 'solicitude' bit...this simple soul is touched - your knowledge of english is palmary!! But then, me forgets that you are a writer! ;)

10:54 am


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