Riding on my bike: An amateur’s view

The other day, a friend of mine said to me that meditation wasn’t his cup of tea. “I just can’t imagine myself sitting in pin drop silence trying to look inward and feel the gush of cosmic energy,” he declared. If you ask me, I don’t think he can even cross his legs to start with. May be he could sit on a chair or lie down and close his eyes, but peace won’t prevail till his mind calms down.

While, I agree that I’m a Vipassana girl, my soul is too restless, too distracted as well. Try to pin me down and I’ll keep bobbing up. It’s as fruitless as drowning a plastic ball in a bucket of water. So how do people like us seek peace?

img_20160216_182804Early this year, I gifted myself a bicycle. The first ever vehicle I bought with my own money. The decision to buy it was partly inspired by a monstrous brother who cycles 20 kilometres one way to work every day and partly because I hate walking. And oh, I was too broke to buy an Activa. Here are three reasons why buying a bike was one of the best decisions of my life:

Turning the clock back
This new baby took me twenty years back when I, along with a big gang of girls and boys with bicycles and tricycles, wreaked havoc in Brahmin society, subjected ourselves to scathing nasal tirades of light-eyed, fair-skinned, waran bhat-eating Ko.Bra Aajis and Ajobas who couldn’t catch forty winks, thanks to our puerile pandemonium. The best part? Nothing has changed since then. May be we’ve grown a tad bit plumper, but everything else is still the same: the coconut tree before my house, the bird nests and the Sunday cricket. Or that’s what I choose to believe. 

New experiences
For me, cycling on the road is way better than cycling in a gym. You can always wake up before the world and can zoom down empty streets sans traffic, pollution and scorching heat. On each ride, you’ll get to see countless personalities — from an army of Sindhi aunties trying in vain to lose decades of accumulated cellulite to housewives and kids waiting for the school bus and marathon runners equipped with headphones and hydration tools to agile men on age-old cycles delivering milk, newspapers and flowers, you’ll hear broken conversations, which when pieced together, could make for an interesting story and you’ll inhale so many different smells — the spicy aroma of fresh curry in the kitchen, the diminishing fragrance of night blooming jasmine and the natural scent of people as they are.

Tale of tranquillity
When I started cycling, I felt no need to meditate. This was my ‘me’ time. I was with myself, figuring out my way with open eyes. I saw my palpable reflection on the wet tar road after a prolonged shower, I felt fine raindrops cosset my unwashed morning skin and I bathed in the golden light of dawn. I learnt that ups and downs are just a part of life. Both will pass. You just need to rest for a bit and start again; be at it till you get through. I didn’t feel the need of a pedometer. It was only after losing my way that I found myself.



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