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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Chp 60. Monster Bike: Thunderbird

“It’s simple. It’s just like riding a bicycle. And you’ve been driving a four wheeler all your life. Combine those two and that’s it, you’re driving a bike”.

Those were the exact words from my good fren Isaac.

And last night, for the first time in my life, I drove a bike. Not just drove it around the block, but went all the way from Shivajinagar to Kamanahalli! Mannnnn it felt great!!!!

I have never been a bike person. Unlike most guys, I never had the chance to learn how to ride a bike. 9th grade. That was the time when all my frens in Mizoram started hitting the roads and rebelling. They all had their own two wheelers and they would zoom thru the streets of Aizawl late in the night. I was young then. I begged n begged my dad to buy me a bike. He immediately ordered our driver to teach me how to drive the car. Because after all, I am the youngest and the only son in the family, the apple of daddy’s eye and mummy’s spoilt little pampered child. They were never going to let me drive a bike as they considered it suicidal.

So I started driving a Maruti van at a very early age, followed by a gypsy and finally replaced by a Wagon R (By the way, we were the first people in Mizoram to own a Wagon R when it rolled out from the factory. Boy it felt great driving that car, bcoz everyone would stare at the car as if it’s a foreign car like a BMW or a Diablo or something like that. Plus, till now I strongly believe Wagon R is the best car I’ve ever driven in the small car sector. Indica, Matiz and maruti 800/zen are nowhere near it when it comes to ease of performance. But I admit, it does have a very shitty design.)

Anyway, there I was, driving a four wheeler all over town. And then came College. From our gang, Paolo had a 4-wheeler, and sometimes Johny would bring his car for the weekend. Nobody in our circle owned a bike. So engineering college went by without me ever getting the chance to learn how to drive a bike. Moved to H’bad after college and my Iraqi roomie Hyder owned an 800 and Haj also rent a Maruti now and then. So again I got to drive only a four-wheeler.

Post graduate. IIM-B. From our cirle of frens, Amol had a diesel Indica and Monu had a petrol Indica. Ofcourse they had bikes too, but I was only into the car. So two years went by, discontinued from IIM-B, and yet I never got to drive a bike. I always had Amol or Monu’s car at my disposal.

But the story changed as time moved on. Recently all my frens graduated from IIM (a compassionate post about farewell coming up soon. Promise it will be a real tear jerker) and shifting location means sending home a lot of stuff. Unfortunately Amol was not able to send his bike home because he couldn’t find the papers. So the responsibility of arranging the bike duplicate papers and sending it to Delhi fell on my hands as he could not postpone his flight.

Yesterday I went all the way to KMG, and picked up Isaac in an auto, and went to Nitya’s place near campus where the bike was parked. From there, Isaac drove till T’s place, which was as far as he was willing to go. At T’s place, I started learning how to drive the bike. I mean, I know how to drive in theory, like, bottom is 1st gear, then neutral, then 2nd gear etc. I drove around T’s block nearly 10 times. Soon got the hang of it. My dear roomie Amos was shit scared as hell to sit behind me as I hit the main roads for the first time in my life. But I assured him I am not going to screw up. Finally he sat on the bike coz he really had no other option. Amos was so scared that he hugged me tightly… or was that just an excuse?

Man, the ride back home was AMAZING. Driving a bike is nothing like driving a car. The sheer thrill of zooming 140 kmph on a flyover while I could do just a mere 90 in a car. Plus the noise the monster was making, it was absolute Heaven! Thunderbird. India’s version of a Harley. Mean heavy machine. Powerful as hell and sturdy to the bone.

And today I took the bike to Church. Ofcourse I was still a bit hesitant to go alone, so Isaac came over to my place in his Enticer and we went to Church together on those two bikes. I surprised everyone. Nobody thought I will have the guts to drive the bike in traffic as I’ve just learnt how to drive last night. Even that surprised me too. I guess I got the guts because I’ve been driving a car all these time on these very same roads.

After church I drove back immediately to my place although the guys had plans to meet up at a fren’s place. Here are the reasons why I wanted to play safe and be home before it gets dark.
• The bike had no papers and it was a weekend, meaning cops are all over the city checking bike papers.
• I did not have a two-wheeler license!
• The brakes aren’t working properly
• The battery is wasted. I can’t even see if the indicator is on neutral or not.
• When the engine dies, am having a tough time kick starting coz I couldn’t put it at neutral, and if it is on gear, a Thunderbird cannot be kick-started while gripping the clutch. It HAS to be in neutral.
• And oh one last thing. The freaking horn doesn’t work!

But inspite of all these, I drove pretty well. According to Isaac, I was a prodigy! He has never seen anybody catch up that fast. The only part where I was goofing up was at the signals. I always forget to switch the indicator off after giving a right or left signal. And Isaac has to turn back and shout that my indicator is still on for the umpteenth time. I mean, I am still so used to cars where the indicator automatically switches off. Guess I’ll have to work on that.

Last night after I drove the bike for the first time, I was excited as hell and obviously dreamt a lot when I slept. My dreams were all hazy n fuzzy and there were a lot of people and incidents involved. Can’t recollect much, but what I do remember is that this Thunderbird was involved in each and every part of my dream.

I really hope the bike papers can be made ASAP so that I can send this Monster to Delhi. The sooner the better coz I am starting to get really attached to it. So help me God.


NoHiddenDepths said...

Kim, it took me three days to finish reading this post. *Phew*
A Thunderbird is a Thunderbird and will never be a Bullet!
I still don't know why Enfield changed the position of the gear from the right to the left!! That was what made the bullet so different from other bikes (as in Boy's Toys).
Welcome to the Men's club by the way! hehe

Mizohican said...

Thankyou thankyou :-)

Yeah it really feels like Heaven driving around this bike. And dont worry, I will try to write shorter posts from now onwards :-)