Friday, April 22, 2011

I am a bicycle

I was a stolen bicycle.

I was picked up from in front of a house, in the dead of night, despite the best efforts by my legal owner to secure me with a heavy chain connected with the railing. My legal owner happened to visit me, on the same night, only few minutes earlier. Anyway, I was stolen, abused, mishandled till I looked quite worn out. Then I was sold for a moderate price, not befitting my status, to a young grad student.

As he might be reading this story with you here, and can get a awkward feel of surprise, I will call him John. Just John. So, John was quite happy to land a deal with my illegal owner. He bought a chain to protect me from being stolen again. The chain costed more than me but, that's how it is in lots of earthly matters anyway.

I carried John quite comfortably. He was not very heavy. I served him without getting a flat tyre ever for nearly a year. Then, I faced a sharp stone one day on the way to lab. John was enjoying the breeze while riding and could not care for evading the stone in right time. I carried on till the lab somehow, only when John figured the case out.

John was quite sympathetic actually. He did not care for his work on that day. He tried his best to fix me up. But, the hole was quite big. I needed more than a quackery. John took me the very next morning to a repair shop, where again he was cleverly duped by the shop-owner. He demanded that I need to be replaced with the rubber tube altogether. I thought of protesting - only thought of. John paid some of his hard earned money to get me in shape. I knew he needed me. It was summer approaching.

John came to me one evening together with a friend. I never met him before. John proudly showed me to him and just like that told him - "Sam- you can have it for a while". I was confused and so was Sam.
"Don't you need it?" - Sam said.
"Well, I can manage with bus and walking. But, you do not have a student ticket so, you need it more."
Sam was quite touched by this gesture. He thanked John profusely and took me.
I did not like that very much. But, I thought, it is OK. It is for a while only.

As I said, it was summer. Sam was heavier and he used me to carry all the groceries. I got to see John often though. He kept a vigil that I am doing fine, with all my parts intact. Yep, I was able to bear the brunt without a grudge. No problem mate, you are dear and your dear ones are dearer. I thought of saying to John.

John, Sam and many of their friends had a blast during that summer. Summer of Y2K, as you might remember. Visits, return visits, parties, late nights, picnics.

I witnessed all.

Two months passed quite quickly and one fine morning, I was standing in front of Sam's apartment. Sam was leaving. John came to fetch me back. I was relieved.

Alas, only for a short time. I saw, in my own eyes (or whatsoever you might think), that John grew a bit disillusioned with me. I looked a bit outdated, did not support many gears, lost the shine I had even 2 months back. John bought a completely new bicycle. He kept me tied in front of his apartment. He rode that shiny blue bicycle every morning. Well, at least he bothered to give me a look now and then.

One day, he came back quite late. Walking. He looked dejected. I could not see his bicycle. That blue fella ! Next morning from few friends' discussion, I gathered that the bike is stolen. Another one led to the dark world - I thought. So, John came to me and tried to unlock me, to my great satisfaction. And what ? The key is not working any more. It is cold, with icicles visible in the mornings and evenings. God knows which god-forsaken lock-maker made these locks but, it is not giving up at all. John tried to pull the chain here and there but, it was just too strong for him. Failed, he left.

I was standing like that for months. Chained, without merry. Rust was appearing on my bones. The tyres were getting flatter and flatter by releasing my long breaths in air. John carried on with the bus. One night, even few thieves gave me a miss.

The next summer, John left the town. Or so I guessed from all the luggage he was carrying and from all the goodbyeing friends around him.

I was crestfallen. Deep inside me, I hoped against hope that John will rescue me from this terrible fate.

I do not remember how many springs and summers and winters passed since then. May be 2, may be 3.

And then one day, I heard from other flying bicycles around me that John returned. I felt like jumping with joy. He will surely come to meet me.

And so right I was. He came on a shadowy evening. He looked a bit older, less mischievous. He looked into the frozen damned chain that still tied me and whispered - "memories, memories".

Based on an almost true story.

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