It’s happened to almost all of us (unless you’re way too young to do it). The first time is usually the hardest, what with the pain and the blood, not to mention the discomfort that goes on for a few days. My first time was yesterday, at the ripe old age of 27 and a half - I fell off my bike.
Looking back, the day started with a sign of things to come. Agsie (my Bike… short for Agniezka) refused to start in the morning, despite repeated pleas and a lot of kicking and swearing. She finally purred to life, albeit a bit reluctantly. I made it to the karma-bhoomi without incident and spent a long, tiring day working to dramatically alter the life of trillions of car buyers who depend on my team for their car-buying decisions.
Heading back home in the evening, I encountered the usual traffic in the province of Banga-A-Lot - overworked office workers going home to the fat, ugly wife and noisy kids, auto drivers who’ve always wanted that F1 dream, frustrated techies on their bikes heading home to their beloved porn collections… you know, the usual. Into this sea of chaos, I drove Agsie, our benign 350-cc influence no doubt calming the multitude. Cruising along at a demure 30kph, making brilliant plans to end the world’s poverty and hunger, I surveyed my flock, all quietly heading towards the road-on-which-the-BOARD-OF-DIVINE-COFFEE-building stands.
Into this oasis of peace, suddenly, a streak of red, well, streaked into my line of sight. Aforementioned streak then proceeded to cut in front of me and just as my ageing grey cells were beginning to grasp the fact that the streak had four wheels and was driven by someone who’d apparently supped too well and was looking to relieve their umm…burden, the streak stopped streaking and took on a solid shape. It stopped…hard.
My impulses, after years of watching classic kung-fu movies, were honed to perfection. The distal and proximal phalanxes on my right hand, in conjunction with my metacarpophalangeal joint, worked smoothly to jam the brakes, a gesture reciprocated moments later by the metatarsopahalangeal joints on my right foot. I stopped too…even harder.
The world then twisted around sickeningly. During the next second, I saw the car in front roll over to its left. The trees by the side of the road rolled over too and the cars and bikes around me did the same. The road came up and scraped against my side. Poor thing, must’ve had a few scratches. A second later, the world and its mother had rolled over to their left and more annoyingly, stayed there. Why didn’t they right themselves? All that rolling about can’t be good, unless there’s hay involved (wink, wink to someone).
Moments later, reality flitted back into the cranial cavity and I stood up, swayed, tried to lift Agsie and swayed some more. She was hurt, broken but there was no bleeding. She’d live. Hands appeared out of nowhere. People moved me to the side of the road. Agsie was safely put aside. Two guys from Wipro stayed back (Ravi and Suresh?, both natives of Karnataka). Thanks guys, for bringing me water and pushing a 182-kg bike 2 kms to my home. I didn’t expect such generosity. I don’t know what to say.
I was thinking of ending this by wagging my chubby index finger and warning people to watch out for that deadly-combination of bad drivers (usually in red cars) and a mix of sand and water on roads that invitingly say, “Come lie with me.” Instead, if you’re ever in Bangalore and you come across a couple of tall, thin guys working in Wipro who go by the names of Ravi and Suresh from Bangalore and who stay about 5-6 kms from the Majestic bus terminus, thump their backs (gently pat if you have a heavy hand) and tell them they’re good people. Thanks again, guys.
Thump On (somewhat carefully)!