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".