The great Indian rider

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE

The great Indian rider belongs to a coveted league. Across the length and breadth of our diverse nation, two-wheeler riders of all ages and genders converge to become ‘the great Indian rider’. Commuters from varying backgrounds join hands to sport this fascinating, all-purpose and utility-driven automobile of convenience.

Whether on urban roads, highways or rural paths, the great Indian rider dominates and charms our Indian transportation system. It is with an unmatched style that he twirls and twists his engine onto footpaths and side roads in a jiffy, to beat the ever-growing traffic in rush hour. During the lean hours of the day, when traffic ebbs momentarily, the great Indian rider flaunts the horsepower of his bike to its maximum by zipping past roads with or without his helmet.

In matters of making the best use of space, the great Indian rider has an uncanny knack. He can fit his family of four on the two-seater, just as he has no qualms in loading umpteen namkeen packets in the space between his handlebars to deliver them to retail shops. Whether he is on a four-stroke engine or a modest 50cc, the great Indian rider is the king on our infamously crowded and pothole-ridden roads, riding his bike with an ease that would put even a pro to shame.

The great Indian rider has long belonged to an audacious club. A man or a woman behind the prestigious Royal Enfield Bikes, better known as Bullet Bikes, would rev his or her bike to dizzying decibels, symbolising the true spirit of adventure even before the international Harley Davidson could take the stage. Lesser mortals like me who could never muster enough courage to hold these power-packed locomotives could only stand and stare with awe at the bravery, revelling at the great Indian rider.

I have often wondered if the art of biking is something we Indians were genetically gifted with, or have we acquired this skill somewhere along the way? I used to think it was embedded in our genes owing to the similarities in how my father and I felt towards riding a bike. “Daddy, please get a bike and take me around like the way my friends’ dads do,” begged my older sister desperately one day. “I don’t mind getting a bike dear, but only if your mother will ride,” replied my father with a chuckle, who had always been averse towards riding. That explains why in all my life I have never been a part of the league of the great Indian rider!

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