“Why don’t you donate it to auto museum?” -Mita taunted me with a witty smile.
‘Aree, it’s raining Mita, it can happen with any motorbike,’ I protested while kicking harder for the sixth times!
‘May be no oil, I need to turn on the reservoir, let me check.’ I checked the tank, shook it vigorously, kicked thrice in a row and Voila!! My ‘Champion’ vroomed with a reverberating sound.
‘Let’s go, I told you Mita, the condition is not that bad, it’s only a small glitch due to rain’-I just started boosting with a broad smile but then within 50 meters, my loyal partner again refused to proceed, putting all my hopes down the drain!!
“Oh, great! Another 23rd December, I know we are not going to make it today…” Mita was fuming this time.
‘23rd December!! Really!! You have to remember the date and time also…I can’t believe it…!!!’ I thought to myself without uttering a single word.
23rd December, 11.15 p.m.:
It was a chilly night in Bangalore, I picked Mita up to my motorbike, from her office after her evening shift got over. We were in a very happy mood since it was a long holiday in that weekend. We were planning to catch up a late-night movie show or go home and have a cup of hot coffee at the balcony while chatting leisurely; or just sleep a bit longer inside the warmth of the blanket!
“Can we just roam around little longer and simply feel this poised night riding through the unknown sleepy lanes…” Mita fantasized!
Imbued with her adventurous, romantic thoughts, I geared up whistling her favourite song. Love was on the air!
‘Potato-potato-potato’ …. suddenly my ‘Champion’ (my motorbike) stopped with a weird sound. Even after my sincere trials for around half an hour; when I was gasping breathlessly, sweating profusely even in cold and was looking at Mita helplessly with guilt; my ‘riding partner’ did not respond!
I started pushing it through the dark unknown lanes, madly looking for a mechanic shop, at least an open garage, which was highly unlikely at mid of the night. Mita was walking along side silently…
Good Heavens!! After around 2.5 Km of push, we found an ‘auto rickshaw wala’ entering to his shack, just after calling it a day. I narrated the whole story to him, genuinely pleaded over and over again; that kind chap felt pity on me and took us home, leaving my bike at his place until I picked that up very next morning!!
“Yes, I know, that was a nightmare”-I faintly murmured.
It was a ‘third-hand’ but looked ‘brand new’ at the time I bought it twelve years back, it was my first possession out of my own hard-earned money! It took me far-off, interior villages to inspect ‘fish ponds’ during my first sales job, it traveled miles after miles, withstood all ups and downs of the bumpy ride through out my life, tirelessly. I am so proud of it, my ‘Champion’!!
I cherish that day dearly, when Mita and me went for our first long-drive with it, it was the only witness of our budding affection, our secret mission!
-No, I will not give up on you ‘Partner’. You remember, what that mechanic told during last servicing! The engine is still amazingly robust; few small parts need to be changed, regular servicing and a nice colour painting- then we are good go for our next long ride…!!
I started pushing ‘my partner in crime’ affectionately, looking for the nearest service station…. 🙂 🙂