It is nothing unusual when a man loves and respects his motorcycle, sometimes maybe a tad bit more than his girlfriend or even wife. What if I were to say I love motorcycles as much as my husband? You don't hear women say this often, at least not married women in my country. Today I am going to share with you how I ended up loving motorcycles so very much. Oh no, I wasn't always a lover of two wheels. It happened over time and I was not born into it. I am going to let you in on my love triangle....me, Akshay and the motorcycle.
The love and passion I carry towards motorcycles and two wheels, well it wasn't always like this. I wasn't born a motorcycle lover nor belonged to a family with motorcycles. I was part of a family that believed in the safety and comfort of a four-wheeler and I was accustomed to one as well. Sitting on a motorcycle, let alone travel on it, was never truly written in my destiny. Honestly, I never was a "Dora - the explorer kind" either. I was a more of a quiet, reserved, sit-with-a-book-in-a-cosy-corner-of-the-house kind of a person. I didn't know motorcycles. I didn't know there was a whole different world out there that lived and breathed motorcycles!
Enter...Akshay. Was he a knight in shining armour? Well...not so much. He was more of a geek behind handlebars (Trust me, he still is!) We were colleagues at our very first jobs. Though we studied four years together, I didn't pay much heed to him, and likewise from his side. It was after we joined the same organisation did we question ourselves, "Was this person in my class all along?" Weird or unbelievable as you may call, it is true. As cliched as it may sound, after settling in our jobs we started learning about each other. He was a geek. A total geek, who loved motorcycles when I met him the very first time. But he wasn't travelling places on his bike back then. I, on the other hand, never really liked motorcycles until I sat on one, well, of course on Akshay's motorcycle, for the very first time in my life. This just made me realise how much I hated sitting pillion on a two-wheeler. I absolutely hated it. I didn't like the fact that in case of an accident, you would be hurling down the road with no safety whatsoever. You see now, that is not a very comforting thought, for a first timer.
Few months down the job, I quit as I wanted to pursue higher education. By then Akshay and I were already in a long distance relationship for good one year. I had returned back to my hometown and Akshay was still at his job. When I went ahead with my Masters, he too quit his job to join me in pursuing his Masters. That is SO not something that happens with everyone. I consider us super lucky. Not everyone has this opportunity to date and study! It was here, where we had our first taste of a long ride on our bike. It was the year 2017 and our first trip was to the Queen of Hill stations - Ooty. Back then we owned a Bajaj Pulsar NS200 who I lovingly called, "Bumblebee". I'm not sure, but for some extremely weird reason I felt he was more like the Bumblebee from the Transformers series. I won't deny that it sounds kiddish of me to say this, but I always imagined that he was our protector and always looked out for us. He indeed did. On several occasions he proved I was right, saving and protecting us from so many things that could have terribly gone wrong with us on the road.
It was this very bike and this first ride that made me fall in love with motorcycles. Bumblebee was not intimidating. He was not an aggressive bike. He was this mellow, calm sweetheart who made me fall head over heels in love with exploring this world on two wheels. It was on this bike I took my baby steps towards riding a motorcycle. He was a bit tall for me, I did drop him on one or two occasions, because of my folly (I cross my heart and say I still feel terrible about it), but I felt he always forgave me. He was more like a member of our family, than just a machine for touring. He was so life-like. Heck, there were times when I have spoken to him, like I would speak to a puppy. I can't explain why I felt this, but I simply did. I still do. We had to sell him when Akshay upgraded his bike to Dominar 400 (whom we named "Prime", after Optimus Prime from the Transformers series). I think, it was one of the hardest things I had to do. Letting go of Bumblebee. It was like losing a loved one. I miss him, even till date. But I am hoping that someday...with some stroke of luck, he will be back with us.
So, these two boys, Bumblebee and Akshay, ensured that I was no more cooped up in a corner reading books on a holiday, but was out in the open, sometimes breathing fresh air and sometimes dust from the tarmac, living life like never before. My love for riding continued when Prime entered our lives. We had loads of memories with him too. He was yet another turning point in our lives. Prime was even part of our wedding! Oh, the memories... And the best part of all was we rode all the way to our wedding. Yes, we rode from Bangalore to Mangalore (where our wedding was to take place) as fiances and rode back to Bangalore as husband and wife. Not just that, Prime was actually there, at our wedding. Akshay rode him to the stage where we were set to be married! He was quite literally part of our wedding. It is a memory we cherish the most. It goes without saying that our parents weren't so pleased about it, at least in front of us, but they too are happy that it was a memorable and safe (it matters the most to parents, i don't blame them for it) ride.
During and after our wedding, many came up to Akshay and told him that he can kiss goodbye to his riding days. No offence, but women I have come across, have settled in for a much comfortable life after marriage. They have sacrificed what they love for the greater good of the family and have come to love what is expected of them. Hats off to them. This is what is ideally expected out of a married couple in an ideal society - earn a 6-digit salary, own a house and a decent car and have kids. But little did anybody (that includes both our parents) know that Akshay and I weren't going down that road. Now that we were married, we had the rest of our lives to plan out our rides to every place we ever wanted.
It's been two years since we are married, and close to 6 years since we have known each other. I consider myself absolutely blessed and lucky that I have a life partner who not only supports my dreams, no matter how crazy they sound, but also is my best buddy who puts up with me sometimes. He is the best of all worlds - family, best friend and of course, the motorcycle world.