My father had a Chetak. It was a dark blue one. It was one of those popular two wheelers we used to go around the town. When we had to go out of town, we used the car. But, I loved the open rides more than the careful car driving. There were times when my Dad permitted me to man the handle when we were riding the scooter. One day, without his permission, I took it for a ride. Nothing happened. He was more astonished than me. But, everything went wrong the day I took it for my second ride. The gear cheated me and the scooter flew after hitting a speed breaker, landing perfectly on a telephone post. I landed neatly on my bum. After this incident, my Dad sold the scooter. I thought he did that to save me from any future adventures but years later he told me that he had no other choice because that accident had shattered the frame of the scooter and it was no longer usable. I felt sorry. We bought a motor cycle after that. I learned on it and turned out to be a good rider by the time I was 14-15. At 20, I had my own motor cycle. But, my love for classic Chetak scooters remained. Whenever I could lay my hands on one, I enjoyed driving them. My own classmate had one and I often borrowed it (despite having my own vehicle). SJ compared my Chetak-riding as to ‘having orgasm’. I did not bother to deny it. The classic feeling of having to change the gear using your left hand was something which gave me uncontrollable joy.
A month ago, I met DR. He had just come for a Christmas vacation from his workplace in Muscat and we went for a drive. After coming back from our drive, we were sitting in front of his house and I spotted his Dad’s old sky blue Chetak. I was infatuated. My desire to ride it became wild but I was reluctant to ask. But, DR probably understood it and we asked his Dad if we could borrow it. His Dad had kept the scooter in good condition and it looked like it was brand new. Unfortunately, the brakes weren’t working. But, when did I start worrying about brakes? We took it for a drive through the little country roads… the river side, the road that went through the fields and the village. I was back in the school days. Though, I was worried about getting a backache later (having been used to riding motor cycles and cars, our generation is pampered!!) I did not stop.
Best thing to remember from a vacation which would have gone unnoticed, otherwise.
Months later, sitting in this shithole, worrying about how my chapter (for the thesis) would turn out, I have no option but to think about myself as a free bird, driving a blue chetak through the brown country road…. Height of optimism, you know.
- Mini, Smart, to show electric scooters in Paris (reviews.cnet.com)
- What the Hell, Who Knew You Could Ride Scooters Like This? (gizmodo.com)
- Motor scooter driver killed in Raleigh accident (newsobserver.com)
- Thinking of Beginning to Bike (learnerriderblog.wordpress.com)
- Riding tips and tricks: (weaklywhirlednews.wordpress.com)