Month: July 2016

The Highway Demons

Bike RideLife and Other Such ThingsTravel

imageThe four legged rope stretches out and hooks upon the back seat, holding a bag of luggage and tarpaulin to save it from sudden downpours. The Helmet strap clicks and the early morning warm up of the engine wakes up about everyone in the neighbourhood. A long journey awaits; the highway awaits, for the forthcoming villainous hours in which it will take me through every possible discomfort that it can. I pull down the screen of the helmet only to realise that it is so cold outside that my warm exhales form blinding blurs of steam on it. The warm jacket mischievously lets in some cold breeze through the sleeves, disturbing my little escapes from the exposure. It is so early in the morning that its not even twilight, and chirping of the crickets is still the loudest sound around. The rusty joints of my ankles and knees crackle as I bend them to get on with it. My gloves feel ‘not cozy enough’ to me and I feel like I didn’t tie my shoes tight enough. I sneeze within the helmet, spraying spit all over; and right now, I am only getting started…

Since 2010, till now (2016), I have conquered about 25000 kilometres of Highway distance on bike. And I kid not when I use the word “conquered”, because only the ones who have been out there, riding, for distances unimaginable, know the struggle, the real effort that goes behind being true to oneself as a “Rider” and taking everything that the road throws at you.

Out there, there is no limit to what can happen. Out there, it is you, your bike, and a road that is stubborn and never ends. Out there, you don’t get to give excuses, you don’t get to lay off for a while. The wheels roll, and roll, and roll, and soon a pain climbs onto your back and down to your pelvis. The journey starts and the only thought that rules your mind for next 15 minutes is whether you tied your luggage to the back strong enough that it wont fall, and frequent loud fluttering of the tarpaulin keeps deepening the doubt in your mind. You wish you had not drank that much last night. Light headedness and nausea and sleepiness plunge into you like a dark demon haunting a house slowly. You start thinking you can’t make it, and last night’s whiskey only wants you to crawl back in the warm blanket on a fluff bed next to her tender skin. You try to imagine her, to loosen up your mind, but even in your vision her back is towards you, and your side of the bed is cold, like death, and you are frozen with irritated bones. And to add on, the sky decides to spill and surge and intrude into deep fabrics of the denim jeans. All hell breaks loose onto you; and you have come too far to go back, and too far away from your destination yet…

You’ve come about half way, and the rain decides to give you some time off. The jeans is full of mud and the raincoat dripping gradually inside the undergarment; the cold winds doesn’t spare you from any chills. The bigger vehicles rule on the single lane roads. The government bus driver carelessly tries to overtake a truck in front of him and comes speeding right at you, regardless that you would have no road to ride on. The bike gets down the road and the bus whooshes by hardly an inch away from you; your heartbeat sprints ten times faster but you’re alive, only stuck in a puddle of mud off road.

 At frequent intervals you paas by flocks of crows devouring every dead creature lying slayed on the road. Such scenes are anticipated much earlier by the sharp stench of rotting meat, of death. Dogs mostly only because they are too stupid to be running bonkers on the highway, sometimes cats that were suicidal may be; though I’ve also seen pigs that were unfortunate enough to die under heavy duty trucks and arranged for some good pork and bacon for the scavenging birds. More over, there come times when you imagine yourself in the place of these animals turned vegetables, when you pass by an accident scene that happened last night or a few hours ago. Windscreens smashed, the whole of cars damaged to the core and crooked, trucks fallen askew off the ghat, bloats of blood just lying upon the asphalt; such things that would turn your stomach and give you the shivers.

But… You ride on. No matter what, the gears change, the accelerating happens and never do you doubt even for a moment the person inside you that believes in this highway life despite all it’s demons. It is the answer, travel, riding, hiking; it is the most beautiful answer to life.

I speak of courage, and determination, but the truth is everybody is scared; it is overcoming this fear that takes the real conquering. It is the feeling after finishing the distance, that really makes the difference. One often forgets to acknowledge the one thing that is with you all the times giving a strong face to the highway, the bike. Nothing is possible without it. So many miles, so many journeys and all is worthless if it had not been cooperative and courageous itself. It is one unexplainably profound feeling, riding the highway, and if you haven’t experienced it yet…

Go do it!

Rum on Her

Poetry

Red ThreadOn her fourth, her eyes closed, she throws back her head;
Like the Bernini’s sculpture, only silhouetted in red.

She takes off my skin and I hers. In the gloomy dark room, our rum laced blurs.

The ends of her tresses rest upon the collar bones. While the rest of her only halos in scarlet tones.

We consume each other, sip by sip; Spilling a little on our delinquent trip.

Irresistible strength in her bodily lure; and for this I’m afraid I have no cure.

She dives for a casual swim in the liquor in my head; Her breasts facing heaven, back arched t’wards the bed.

The carmine photons cloak her and sink; Overflowing from her immeasurable brink.

The smoke from her cigarette forms strokes of paint; Our limbs feel lighter and minds fall faint.

Her hair suddenly bow and curtain my face, A familiar fragrance leaves it’s trace.

We exhale some steam but we aren’t done;
Two empty glasses, only getting ready for another one…