Narration of the Event
It was a late summer afternoon around 4pm. Sun was shining bright and hot. Its rays were reflecting off earth surface back into our eyes like fireballs. Temperature outside would have easily been 40 degree Celcius or plus. Our house was at the top most floor of the building. Living inside that house was like living in a Oven. Due to the weather outside, keeping our cool head was a hard task since all the attention was on when the clock will tick 7-7.30 pm. It’s only then the burning sun shields behind dark sky and stars come out twinkling their best to cool fast the hot surrounding and our burnt body-head-souls.
Mom received a call from my aunt staying in Nerul subtown, some 15 kms away from our house. She called to enquire, when we will arrive at their house for a small family get-together, which we had planned 2 days back. We informed, sooner sun cools down, and expectedly by 6 pm, we will start from our house to reach there by 6.20 – 6.30 pm. I thanked mom for not ordering me to start immediately. It must have been annoying since I lay down our house floor for some comfort and peace to my mind. I was, then, feeling lazy and listening to some guzals songs. Hour and minute clock started nearing 5.30 pm. Mom got her readied and I was still lying down. Hurriedly mom asked if she should go alone by public transport. I got annoyed and in 10 minutes I was standing down our building’s parking area with my bike honking. Mom sat behind me. Just before I hit bike’s clutches I had a sense of anxiety, that bike was already running in ‘reserve’ state of petrol, yet I ride. All the while till we hit Palm Beach road highway I kept telling me, should I stop at gas station and fill the tank or should I just avoid sun and run to shades in nerul as early and safe as possible. I didn’t stop, though I kept telling me myself – ‘Chaitanya it wont take more than 5-10 minutes to refill tank ortherwise bike may run out of petrol and we will be stranded’.
We had almost covered 12 kms run and were only 3 kms away from aunt’s house. Suddenly bike wasn’t picking speed; she started to retard her speed and suddenly the accelerator side of bike stop beating its heart. It got silent, as if telling me – Idiot I ran out of steam and now I am just a toy in your hand, you can keep pulling me as much as you desire but sorry the tyres are slowing down and you will have to push the entire machine with all the energy in your arms and strength of your lazy shoulders. My anxiety cum fear was dancing in front of me and I was annoyed on myself. Mom didn’t complain because he knew little. Had she known when we started, she would have 1st asked to refill tank. She was quite and asked me what happened. I told, tank is empty and we will have to walk. With her right palm fully stretched over her eyes she looked up towards sun, then looked down at bike, turned her head to her left to sight the distance between that unwanted pit-stop at palm beach highway and our aunt’s building visible from there. She paused for a second and asked ‘OK I will walk from here but how will you come? Not in a mood to respond to her I uttered low, curbing my anguish – ‘I will drag bike to the nearest gas station, refill the tank and return to pick you up and then head to aunt’s place. She was ok with it. Deep down I wasn’t happy on myself for 4 reasons. First I didn’t listen to my alerts earlier, Second my bike managed to run 12 kms but broke down at the last mile, Third- It was still hot out and I was sweating like a water out of sponge and Fourth- A ride that could have been a comforting experience for mom turned in some trouble to her too. I knew by the time I will return, mom would have walked all the distance hence I kept looking for help from other vehicles running passing by me in good speed. That was all the more disturbing since, here I looked like a fool on a highway pushing a 157kg bike which is supposed to carry my weight and mom handsomely, if I would have had taken care earlier. Luckily, a kid enjoying his ride came from behind and offered help. He asked me to sit on my bike, keep it in neutral gear; he will put his left feet on my bike’s exhaust cylinder and will then run his bike which in turn will push my bike. Slowly and steadily he will then leave me at the nearest gas station. I thanked him for his assistance. We reached at the gas station and just before that kid left, I gave him 2 chocolates bars I was carrying for my cousins, as a token of thanks to him. I refilled my bike and turned back to rush to mom. But as expected, my mom a hardy woman she is, had already covered all the distance on foot and was standing beside gas station. I picked her up from there and went to aunt’s place. All this while I was not in a good state of mind. My evening at family get together was spoiled too. For all other family members it was some kind of joke they enjoyed laughing at me, yet they were sympathetic to mom. Adding to it I was sunk in my own sweat that gave me all the more sickening feeling.
Never since then have I ever misread my bikes abnormal noises or abnormal silences.
Its a short narration of 1 riding expereince of mine, where my bike's noises said to me what she wanted yet i ignored them and ran her for my comfort, only to be troubled doubly when she ran out of steam, on hot sunny summer evening.