Recently I bought an old Hero Honda model, tyo pani guess what, saat lot! Since then a lot of people have asked me, ‘Why?’.
The bike was manufactured 20 -22 years back and I would like to think that I was not even born back then. I find it funny that I ride something that was there before I was born, although not in a top notch condition. But I guess, it works fine for me just to get around.
I love my bike. I don’t know why but as of now, I don’t want to get the new one. In all honesty, I’d prefer to use it even later on. The money I have spent on maintenance and reconditioning has already exceed to my expectation. My friends tell me, ‘yeti ma ta naya bike nai aucha k waiyat kharcha garira yo budo ko lagi’
I got the bike from one of my school mates. It was his dad’s bike just laying there in the garage, simply waiting to be used again by someone who was preferably from it’s generation. But I guess, to it’s disappointment, I am the one riding it around.
This is my first bike. I got it to learn motorcycling and get a licence. But I think it can easily serve me beyond the purpose of getting licence. I feel, the bike knows me by now- the rough kicks in early morning is more than alarming for it to get started and wheel me around, for my immature riding. However, sometimes it does strike back, ‘lau kha ta’. That’s pretty much when I get swollen legs for my kicks.
To be fairly honest, I have had thoughts of getting the new bike whenever this old piece of crooked and cranky machine gets me into trouble. Sometimes riding through the crowded traffic of Kathmandu, the old man has trouble picking up top gear. Sometimes, it plainly ceases to kick start and begins to make a grumpy sound, coughing out huge black smokes. I know people look at me and think, ‘What the fuck’. During many of such embarrassing moments, I curse and spit, throwing disgusting looks at it. But most times, I pity it. Old buddy needs time to rest, maybe retire.
Sometimes I guess it also gets angry at me and it’s like, ‘Come on, you bony piece of shit, just give me a break. Get easy on me. Can’t you see I’ve done my time riding fast and smooth. I can’t do it anymore. You are stuck with me” . Sometimes, it just throws a lot of tantrums at me, reciprocating my own behavior.
I collected so many stories and humors with this bike over these last six months of wheeling around:
A workplace college once told me ‘tapaiko bike le ta petrol sungcha matra hola hai khadaina hola’
Another time, a few local boys and girls hooted and whistled me when they saw my slender figure ride the most slender bike.
One time when I about to drop my brother off to his college, he said, ‘tero bike le malai dhan cha ta. Yedi ukalo ma orlinu paryo vane van hai’. He does insist on getting a new bike, and tells me time and again, ‘yesto bike chadis vane ta ko KT pachadi bascha yar’.
One of my friend told me that even traffic police would salute your bike for it’s age and let you pass by even without checking.
Surprisingly (maybe not), quite a few people have offered to buy this bike at quite a fair price as soon as I give a thought of selling it, I just feel the old man looking at me, all dejected and pleading through its headlights and old side lights, saying, ‘Let me stay with you. I can take no more of strangers ass’. And then I simply desert the idea of selling it.
In all these times, among all these bumpy rides, hustles and bustles, guess what I find so much pride in ? The lightness and visibility as the old man coughs and pants around in the streets of Kathmandu. I know that I stand out as an old school dude, with my old school bike. And I just know, most of them simply compliment, ‘Jasto manche testai bike’.