My Bike, Parents and Wedding Vows

Picture: From here

(You will need to know the conservative Indian society and the concept of 'love marriages' to fully understand this post)

When I completed my school and started having conversations with my dad about getting a vehicle for myself to drive to college, I was very clear about what I wanted. I did not want the fully automatic Kinetic Honda/Scooty kind of bikes. I wanted a bike that had manual gears but one that looked feminine and delicate. I did not fancy riding a motor cycle -- not fashionable. Dad of course put budget restrictions on how far I can take my fantasy ride of owning the perfect bike.

After many trips to the showrooms and test drives my dad's eyes fell on Hero Puch. Petite but far from being a good looker. It was a moped for God's sake! The specifications were good, had a powerful engine, 3 hand-based gears and the best part, it weighed all of 65 Kgs. I don't remember the cost anymore but dad was happy. I was not. It was not a looker! Dad and I argued and came back home.

Everything changed overnight when my best friend and the prettiest girl of the college Vidya Deviah decided to buy one too. Suddenly, it became a must have fashion accessory and I quickly bought mine. What a great bike that turned out to be. Powerful engine and featherlight body!

That was the beginning of my infamous speeding episodes. People who know me from those days will know what I mean. I would rarely drive under 75 kmph and frequently at 80 kmph which was the max the bike would go. I would break every single rule that slowed me down. The breeze on my face when I rode my bike was an intoxication I was addicted to. Every few days, some one or the other would complain to dad about my driving and dad would lock the bike away. I would then cry and plead and he would melt.

Dad set some sort of a speed lock at one point and that is when I turned into a bike mechanic. I figured a lot of useful stuff about the bike like opening the speed lock whenever I wanted to which was pretty much the moment my bike was out of the gate. I was seeing Ranjit during that time and my parents were completely against it. Mom would quietly note down the meter reading in the morning to check if I deviated from my regular route of going to the college and coming back home and I promptly learnt how to remove the cable that makes the meter rotate and fix it back so the reading does not give away where I have been.

Finally, when I got married (against my parents wishes. Thats another story I will tell some other time) my dad gave me the perfect punishment -- he sold my bike away within a day. Ranjit was not too kind to me either. One of my wedding vows was that I will never drive again and he was very serious about it. I tried to reason with him that now that I had 'responsibilities' I would be careful, I would a drive a four wheeler and not a bike like my Hero Puch...nothing worked. It has been 9 years and I have not driven since then. But I have not changed either. I am still the rebel I was. Next plan, retake my vows with Ranjit someday and trick him to revise the rules. Someday...someday I will drive again!

The rest of the anecdotes about my love story and things associated with it are labeled 'My Love Story'