It was in December 2001, that Dad finally decided to bring home our first car. And it was a moment of great rejoice, especially for me. For a change, I could leave risqu� one-liners and vulgar cartoons on the grime on my own Maruti. Secondly, shuttling between college, computer classes and home would be so much easier. Not because I could be driven around in an air-conditioned car, but coz Dad would finally leave that old scooter of his alone. No more buses for me!
So I took the scooter away. And it?s a mixed feeling to inherit something that most museums would love to take away from you. On one hand, you no longer have to travel on those Godforsaken AMTS buses. You don?t have to frantically search for 2-rupee coins for bus fare early in the morning. You don?t have to wait 30 minutes at the bus stop for 5-minute journeys. You don?t have to curse your luck while your classmates zoom by on their bikes, as you stand at the bus stop in the scorching Ahmedabad sun. On the other hand, you?re still driving an authentic piece of automobile memorabilia that might give up on you anytime, any day.
I took what was mine. And I love saying this: I was offered a bike by Dad 2 years back. I turned him down. I chose to drive around the family heirloom instead. I?m glad I did. Why should something as expensive as your first vehicle come so easily to you? Dad himself worked his rear end off before he could graduate from a cycle to a Moped in the 70s. Better things followed for him. I wanted to follow that example. Even it?s impractical to the point of being stupid. Principles, yunnoh. Some people just do not get it. Bah! Go ask your rich dads to buy everything for you. And then wonder why the rest of them have to wear Nyki and Reabook.
So I stuck to Chetak for over 2 years. It wouldn?t go over 50 for the life of me. Would give a mileage of 45 once in a blue moon. Would give up on me on rainy mornings. The faulty shock absorbers got my arm in a sling once. The dysfunctional brakes almost got me killed in another case.
Jokes were cracked about the scooter?s size, considering my 6?2 frame. Jokes were cracked about its age, looks and speed, among others. Jokes upon jokes followed. I forgive those humans. Had there been any conviction in what they said, I might have taken them seriously too. They tried their hardest to get me into buying a bike. Some morons also tried telling me how their Scooties and Kinetics were better. Pah! I wouldn?t even spit on your tiny little Leo Mattel scooterettes, you uninformed, ignorant fools!!! If I gave a duck about what you said, then it just wouldn?t be me! Go back and live your comfortable little self-centred, petty lives!!! Like a Bajaj ad once said? ?You will get there faster. But I will get there stronger?.
Six years on AMTS buses. Two years on Chetak. Commuting therefore has never been fun. But, for the moment it will be easier. Better things have followed. It?s time to say goodbye to trustee assistant Chetak after exactly a decade.
Rust in peace, my dear friend.
Gimme that strange relationship
Never felt pleasure and pain like this
Something so right but it feels so terribly wrong
I keep holding on
Gimme that strange relationship
One of us gotta let go of this
I keep pushing and you keep holding on
I'm already gone
Edit at 4: And here?s a pic you?d probably never get to see again, for as long as you live. Have a good laugh! ;-)