The cycle is a boy’s first crush. A leap from the world of toys to the joy of struggle. From indoors, to liberty. The first gush of adrenaline and the thrill of freedom. From looking out of the window, to catching the first beam of sunlight and smelling the morning dust, never realizing when your dad lets go of the grip.
This is where I went from juggling my dreams to balancing my focus.
It is so easy to grow up and forget the moments that led you through. That sometimes, to stand your ground, you have to get off of it. I remember having a nasty fall on my first bike. Probably my first fall. And I remember that the first feeling I had, was of immense pride. A grand satisfaction. It was my fall, it was my blood, even though it meant putting an anti-septic on the bruise, and secretly hoping it wouldn’t heal. I knew I might lose my balance once in a while, but I will certainly keep my fall.
Cycling is probably under-rated by man’s triumph in flight. But there is an earthy sense to a bike ride which is fascinating. It is a collection of scattered moments, the surprise of a whiff of wind which suddenly brings the aroma of fresh tea from that tapri you are not allowed to go to; the crackling of yesterday’s leaves under the tires, the wet bark of a giant Banyan tree and the occasional puncture which happens only when you are the farthest from your home. Cycling makes you discover the road unlike anything else, even the spider-web of the struggle of life on the crossing of a busy street. Or that every dog is a rabid dog waiting for the night to grow just right!
In times of internal conflict, a detached cycle ride in the midnight calm can give you just enough push you need to take the leap of faith you have been doubting you’d be able to. A cycle makes you deserve yourself, celebrate life between the two wheels of blossom and decadence. Whereas the mad dogs chasing your behind is not as dramatic. Neither philosophical. Its funny. For the bloody neighbouring school-kids whiling their time away, waiting for their bus to come. I hope they at least get through their morning PT period with a bit of a smile that day.
In times like these when one fuel drop can save or murder the future, one would think a simple ride which was a sheer joy in boyhood, would regain its charm a hundred-fold. With an adult mind knowing the consequences of actions; it is difficult to understand why we don’t open our eyes to simple solutions which almost anyone can implement. We only want them NGOs to discuss household cures in regular doses of daily misdeeds at global summits. Isn’t it a blessing if one mere hobby can help us save the planet we live in?
British author H.G. Wells once said, “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”
We are old enough to read Wells.
But are we young enough to understand him?