The Autobiography of a Bicycle

The earliest memory I have of myself is in the hands of a factory owner who was giving me the final touches of paint and proudly proclaiming to himself that I shall be soon giving pleasure to many young boys and shall be setting off for new adventures. The next lasting memory which I have is being taken out of packaging after a bumpy truck ride that lasted about two days and being unwrapped and placed in a brand new, sparkling showroom in Chandigarh. The place was buzzing with activity, since it was a prime sports store situated in the heart of the city.

So many young boys and girls came, looking for a two-wheeler which would give them the taste of their first real adventure on the street, on their own. A bicycle ride along on the streets spelt independence and freedom and this young blood were eager to have a taste of what it felt like.

I bided my time and waited for a young boy or girl to come and lay claim on me. Till one day a young boy did, holding the hands of his mother. The mother seemed very nervous and hesitant to enter a showroom of this stature but the boy was insistent. He made a straight bee-line for me and pointed his fingers towards me. At Rs.6000/- I was not a cheap buy and there were far more reasonable options on display and his mother took him around trying to convince him for another one but the boy remained adamant.

The mother had to finally give in and after much counting and re-counting of notes, she managed to make the payment and I was packed off in a cart to be dispatched to their address while the mother and son followed me in a rickshaw. I still remember the bright twinkle and the disarming smile on that boy’s face as his mother held him and asked him if he was happy? I knew I was going to be in good hands of someone who was going to appreciate me and take care of me with all his heart.

I was not very wrong. I found a lot of love, warmth and care in that household. The boy knew already how to ride a cycle so I did not have many starting hiccups and the mother was disciplined enough to ensure that the boy did his share of giving me a thorough cleaning every Sunday and keeping me in good shape. Together, the boy and I stepped off for new adventures every evening and every weekend would find us going far and wide in search of old books, record players and vintage items which were affordable. I saw corners of the city which I would have sorely missed out on had I fallen in the hands of a more affluent boy and remained relegated within the four walls of a barricaded house.

I was fortunate that the boy and later his little sister found in me good company and I set them off on their way to responsible freedom. Today, I am old and ramshackle but I still find a place in their household and given a monthly servicing to keep me in shape. I have heard that the boy now has a son and they might soon be visiting me. Who knows what new adventure lies in store for me ahead?

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