Monday, December 06, 2004

The road oft travelled...

An odd title for a post, eh?
Well, before it puts you off, let me tell you that this is not going to be one of those deep, ponderous insights about life in general or philosophical ruminations about what has happened in the past.
No sirree. This one is just about what it says it is about: a road often travelled.
Perhaps I should add the tagline... By bike .
On my way home from office, I have gotten into the habit of taking a rather circuitous route - through Chintadripet, Egmore, College Road, Nungambakkam High Road, G.N.Chetty Road and Habibullah Road to home. It started in the days when lorries were allowed on Mount Road all times of the day and puffed exhaust-pipes full of smoke into your unsuspecting face, not to mention the fact that their tanks (drivers too!) and joints (!) were probably filled with unadulterated alcohol, setting them on a crash-course in driving.
Oops! This post is beginning to meander much in the same way at the route I take home.
Course correction
Well, I should be saying on my bike. Because, she is one of the prime movers of the piece. Saddling her every night, at that hour when only the demons, tanker lorries and journalists are on the roads of Chennai, I would flip up the visor on my helmet and take the cool breeze on my face. O.k. The time I get home, the breeze can't be anything but cool, even in Chennai!
But that's above. I'm talking about below. I would know where each and every crevice and pothole on the road lay. So would my Scooty and she would automatically swerve to take the impact off her already squeaking suspension.If she couldnt swerve, she would slow down and go up and down the bump gently. Ah... what delight in the familiarity of knowing exactly when you will go up and go down...
Especially in retrospect. After several months of having given up scooting home at night (thanks to a bad neck and a good car), I suddenly found myself with my cherry red helmet in my hand and the bike key in the other. No other way to get home and what better way than Scooty. Despite days of disuse, she got purring after just one kick.
The visor was up, the breeze was cooler and my hands were gripping the rubber on the handles, with practices ease and control. She knew her route too and the routine - swerved to avoid a pot hole. Ooops! No pothole.
None of those bumps on College Road that we were familiar with; no sign of the irrationally high speedbrakers on Anderson Road, the road did not cave into mud tracks where it should have on Nungambakkam High Road and what was that new pit on G.N.Chetty road?!
I guess these have been there for a while now. But somehow, you dont feel them in a car! How I miss that familiarity of the road oft travelled now, sinking and sinking with its friendly undulations, feeling secure in its predictability!
I just have to get used to the new road now. Until it changes again...



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