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The Second Life

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by , 09-08-2020 at 04:10 AM (311 Views)
9/11 7:15 am
I could feel the cold wind on my neck. It was chilly, foggy and eerie morning.

Dodging as many trucks as possible to catch up my fellow riders. Dancing around the three lanes, the motorbike and the breeze felt nice. I was waiting for this one, it’s difficult to wake up early and leave for a chilly ride, I had missed many just for that one hour of extra sleep. At a hundred kilometres per hour, every inch of that wind could be felt, could be heard. I wanted more and the motorbike agreed as well.

9/11 5:00 am
The alarm rang, it was five in the morning. I woke up at one go, it had already been so long since I took her out on a spin. The plan was to go to Mapro in Wai, our usual place, about 70 kilometres from my place.

The water felt cold on my face. I watched myself in the mirror, introspecting myself. I could skip this one as well and take a nap for another good one to two hours. Making up my mind seemed difficult at this stage.

Ultimately, the urge to have two wheels between my legs early this morning overpowered the urge to sleep extra. The adrenaline was getting higher, as was the temperature of the pan on the stove. I put on the jacket, the knee guards and the boots. It all felt good now, morning rides are fun once you takeaway the part of getting up. The coffee was dark and hot, the omelette was crisp. I was on antibiotics, running nose and a sore throat had had me enough already.

I had two choices this morning and I chose to ride. I had another two choices, the five year old LS2 FF352 or the brand new Bell SRT helmet. Generally, I used the former for small rides and the latter for some long trips. I picked up the LS2, it had some dirt over it, something that made me realise again that it had been too long since my last ride. The Bell used to get a VIP treatment and a luxury of being kept inside a microfibre cover, LS2 needed a cleaning and there was no time. I chose the Bell’s SRT over my laziness.

9/11 6:00 am
I have a thing for classic motorcycles and I had been eyeing the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 since it was first unveiled.

She looked sweet and shiny inspite of being kept in a dusty basement. The cluster lit up as I turned the key to ignition. The sweet note from the free flow custom exhaust could cheer up even a deaf man. The joy of having a powerful motorcycle comes with a lot of fun and double the responsibility. It can take you to anywhere you desire and also to places you never desire to go.

I rode off to an unknown place.

9/11 6:30 am
It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. I can relate to this every time we have a meet up before any ride. We always greet with hugs and handshakes.

Three of us meet and manoeuvre through the city traffic to head over to the nearest petrol pumps. Even the wildest of animals feel thirsty, so is the case for motorcycles as well.

From exchanging jokes and deciding on who is going to lead and who is going to tail, every part of the conversation gave a good vibe. The motorcycles were performing well, these are high on temperament, too much of city hassle and they heat up.

The next stop was unpredictable.

9/11 7:00 am
I got lost, lost faraway in traffic, I was the last one.

I had not put on my winter liner, generally Pune’s winter is not that chilly but if you are doing good speeds, you feel it.

The signal was red and I saw my friends cruising away till they were not visible at all. I knew they would stop in case I don’t catch up early. I had some other thoughts, I wanted to catch them fast.

Blazingly fast, cutting through the traffic, it was not me. I was ridiculously fast though I was familiar with the bad roads and unpredictable diversions it had in it’s sleeves. The drag was high so was the RPM on my cluster and the blood pressure in my veins.

The odometer, One hundred and forty it said.

9/11 7.40 am
Not all are lucky enough for a Second Chance at life.

Everything went off too quickly - the trees, the cars, motorcycles, trucks. I had it all under control, it seemed.

I was closing down on my friends. I saw them in the right most lane as I overtook two trucks from the left most lane, not the wisest of choices. Glanced at them, they were going slow, why slow? Probably just waiting for me to catch up or no cause they had seen the diversion, which I hadn’t. Foggy mornings often mess up with the visibility and that’s what happened. Gravels just before them, the left turn was difficult as it came at a hundred and forty.

These motorcycles have some wonderful brakes as it should be on a dry two hundred kilo bike. The ABS works fine and the bite is praiseworthy. I had relied on them since day one, no complaints.

I put on my body weight on rear brakes and my entire arm’s strength on the front discs. The ABS kicked in, all thanks to the big gravels that really wanted to ruin my day. The wheels didn’t want to lock on the uneven patch preventing a skid, which could’ve been lethal. Managed to somehow dodge it, but I was still very fast. I was relieved on that left turn only for a second, before the second wild card made an entry.

It’s all in the destiny. Whatever happens, was meant to happen. Chills ran through my body as to what I saw next, I wanted to live more, I wanted to ride more. Everything flashed in front of me in a span of three seconds.

A truck. No where to go. Given everything on the brakes. Just as I dodged the diversion and took a left, a truck, the thick metal object is not something you would desire to see in front of you if you have no other way to go. It all took just three seconds and I straightaway crashed into the truck. It was all over it seemed, even before the crash. The Bell crown enclosing my head banged straight into the metal, the visor flew off in the first blow, I was dead I assumed as I had no other feeling other than numbness and my heart revving similar to the digits in the odometer. I didn’t feel anything happening around as people surrounded me. I was not feeling the pain, it was just the shock that made me laugh watching Siddharth coming over and calming me down.

I was strong, yet stammering with replies. I was transported to a local nursing home, I hate the smell of hospitals. Who doesn’t.

Till Eternity
Some scars, mental and physical, should never heal. They remind you of what not to repeat.

I was diagnosed with multiple fractures on my left arm. The bone had popped out from the skin during the crash, I didn’t really see it but must’ve been a gross sight early in the morning.

I was operated with plates and K wires later.

Some friends are family level
It is true that one can identify his or her true friends during the bad times. It came on me hard but it made me realise that I had a family in Pune.

Kalpana aunty
Anil Sir
Madhu Sir
And each and every one of Rumble Brothers who were there!

ishan12 and Sajithkdas like this.

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