Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How To Drive a 2-Wheeler Without Falling

It was a bright Sunday morning in the month of August 1994, when I first laid my hands on a two wheeler. It was a gaudy bicycle in vogue and I was all excited to start riding it. I convinced myself that riding a bicycle would be a cake walk considering the fact that I was an expert when it came to tricycles. Yes, I haven't fallen from a 3-wheeler till date (includes auto). But to my unpleasant surprise, I had to be lifted out of a drainage after ten minutes of uneventful bicycling.

Insert irrelevant BGM.

Seventeen years after the scene in the prologue, I can proudly say that I am a man of multiple accidents that have taken place at various speeds ranging from 0 km/hr to 69 km/hr across two continents. Do I need any more qualifications to preach what I have practised my entire life? Unlike my other boring blog posts, this post will contain something useful and I am sure you can avoid an accident or two by following the tips given below.

Here are few of my major accidents, maybe definitely 6..umm..frankly lost count, in chronological order. Before that, here is a geographical representation of my accidents.

Accident #1
One month after I got my Bajaj Pulsar 150cc, I had my first major fall. I was having a bread omelette after a really long time at Hi-Look (See Map) when something strange happened. The protein molecule in the omelette failed to react in a cordial manner with the bile juice secreted by my liver, thus causing a disquieting and restless situation accompanied by poorly orchestrated sound effects inside my stomach. Quite naturally I left in a hurry and I drove home as fast as I could to avoid a literal scatological joke. But unfortunately, I flew off my bike after 200 meters and I rolled another 50 meters before my body came to complete rest. I got up immediately, like nothing had happened, and tried lifting the bike like a macho-man and got burnt by the silencer .By that time, I was surrounded by well-wishers, annoying free advice givers and couple of my friends whom I had called before I tried lifting the bike. The rest of the story involves the magical transformation of the mental and stomach discomfort into physical pain and hearing problem thanks to the countless counselling sessions on bike driving. Anyway, we won’t be digressing into the injury details and the damages to the bike in this lecture. So, coming to the important part, what did we learn from here?
Tip No.1: Never eat a bread omelette before driving.
Tip No.2: Urgent matters are best resolved before driving. In other words, take a dump before you jump (onto the bike).

Accident #2
A fortnight after my first accident, there was a marriage reception in a pompous marriage hall in Mount Road. Free food is not something I am programmed to resist. So, I went, I gorged and I groggily started driving back home. I was listening to 'Endrendrum Punagai' song and I was inclined to poorly impersonate Madhavan because of the song. In a twist of fate, someone listening to the same song in a Maruti 800 in full volume clipped my bike and drove off.
Tip No.3: Imitating Maddy in ‘Endrendrum Punagai’ is best done with a cooling glass and preferably in daylight.

Accident #3 & #4
It took me a while to start driving again and these two accidents are not something I am not proud of. One accident occurred at 5km/hr and other one occurred at a slower speed, almost at rest. And to my horror and everyone else’s humour, both took place inside my college campus. I was the laughing stock until a classmate of mine did a daring stunt with a TVS 50 inside the college and seized the coveted honour.
Tip No.4: It is better to fall at higher speeds and endure physical agony than fall at lower speeds and tolerate humiliation. The physical agony heals faster.

Accident #5
Being on time has never been my forte. And the inevitable happened when I decided to be on time for a Gas Dynamics and Jet Propulsion lecture on a Friday morning. A girl, who was seriously bad at crossing roads, happened to cross the road after getting down at Anna University bus stand. I have no idea how she missed a black pulsar coming right at her and I have no idea why I didn’t hit the brakes like in the CEAT tyre ads. I dashed her and we fell down and, for a moment, I hoped that this would be a fairy tale beginning to a wonderful love life. But when I saw her chudidhar torn at questionable places, I had to shed the Tamil hero image and assume the role of a modern day Dushasana. I was terribly injured and thankfully one of my friends came out of nowhere and said, "Macha, yaaro kizha vizhundhadha paathen, nee dhan irupen nu anticipate panni vandhen da."  I missed the class and the entire week after that.
Tip No.5: To stop the bike, put the brake. 
Tip No.6: Make sure you tell the world about your accidents. Don't feel embarrassed. There will be a savior watching out for you.

Accident #6
This is the final accident and quite a serious one. Quite aptly, it took place in Kannammapetai, the significance of which Chennai folks might know. I was supposed to go to my project leader's house to type the project thesis as the bright minds of my project group felt I had to contribute something for our not so epic project. I wore a brand new Jockey tracksuit, for which I had got a Jockey underwear free. Somewhere in Kannammapettai road, a water lorry had started and moved 200 meters on that road in 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I drove from Adyar and was right on time to be behind the lorry and made sure the lorry driver frustrated me. I guess the lorry driver was a fan of Gandalf as his mind voiced echoed, "You shall not pass." I tried overtaking him from the left as a dutiful Indian citizen but skidded and strayed under the back wheels of the lorry. Fortunately, the lorry was going too slow to ascend a huge speed-breaker, which was me. My costume was disintegrated and I realized my brand new Jockey outfit was not designed to withstand such high shear stress. And I couldn't fail to notice the irony when my clothes were torn after what had happened to the girl in the previous accident. I recovered in a month and thanks to the sympathy vote, I got 'A Grade' in microprocessor lab exam without even attending it. And I never typed the thesis and thus my effective contribution towards the project was -1% as I had to disturb my project mates to give me a ride home.
Tip No.7: Never mess with a water lorry.
Tip No.8: Never mess with any lorry.
Tip No.9: Do not contribute to anything against your will.  It affects you mentally while driving.

I hope it was a very informative post and I would like to conclude this post with a cult quote from a wise man, who taught me the art of driving a bike:
"Every great bike accident consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge". The bike driver shows you his bike. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if the brakes are working. But of course... it probably isn't. He pledges that he is a careful driver. The second act is called "The Turn". The biker takes the ordinary bike and makes it do something extraordinary like falling while taking a turn, thus getting hurt badly. Now you're looking for the wound... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking or he is tactfully hiding it. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because falling down isn't enough; you have to get back on the bike and drive again. That's why every bike accident has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige"." 


Anonymous said...

this is a blockbuster. i hardly come across such hilarious posts. following u on indiblogger now. btw even i am writing a post on my shabby driving skills, now i have to make sure i don't write anything similar to urs.


Thank you!

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john son said...

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