Bicycle - A treasured possesion
Bicycle; it was a dream to own one, when I was a kid. The two wheeled, pollution-less, personal mover, has lured me more than anything, till date. The thrill of balancing the iron structure over it's narrow rubber tires, used to instill stinging sensation inside. This was all, I used to dream as a child. Howbeit, never shared this dream with my parents. Mostly, because I thought it was not needed.
One of my friends, who is no more, used to visit our home during summers, riding on his bicycle. He had a troubled family, the reason he used to roam around the town entire day, only to get back to spend night at home. Summers, we used to have morning school. He used to come to my place post lunch. He was little weak in mathematics but excellent in literature. I was exactly opposite. So we complemented each other while studying together. More than boring study of literature, that he had to offer, I was more fascinated by his bicycle. My dream was to have a bicycle like he had, and probably, he dreamt to have a family like mine.
My friend was generous enough to hand me over his bicycle, knowing, I don't know riding. I learnt riding a bicycle on his 20 inches "Hero". It was easier to learn, as whenever I went off-balance, all I used to do, leave the bicycle. I learnt bicycle unhurt. There is a small drawback of it. I never learn, how to climb on the saddle by stepping up through the paddle. My friend used to enjoy delicacies at my home and I used to enjoy my ride at a vacant piece of even land nearby. Those summers, were so cool.
Time passed, I grew up. We learnt about my friend's disappearance. Our families were not acquainted, hence we never got to know the details. I lost my friend and of course his bicycle. Time further passed away. One fine day, my father asked me, would you like to have a bicycle. I couldn't believe on what I heard. The idea of owning a personal bicycle, for me, was like owning a kingdom those days.
My father took me to the only Cycle Store in the area, "Sardar Cycle Store", next evening. The owner sardar uncle, greeted us and showed us a lot of bicycles, with a lot of explanations about features and prices and technology and quality. I understood nothing and my father ignored the details. At the end, of a great salesmanship displayed by Sardar Uncle, my father asked me, "which one do you like". I pointed out to one of the smaller ones, a "Hero" bicycle, same brand, which my friend had, but modern variant. After reconfirming, my father paid Sardar Uncle some rupees and that's it, I had my first and the only bicycle. I was on cloud nine, kept the bicycle inside my room and almost had a sleepless night. Believe me, the feeling on possessing that bicycle remained unmatched, even when I once owned my dream car, Jeep Grand Cherokee. That feeling, of owning the bicycle, made it one of the best days of my life.
It took a while to soak in the feeling. Daily cleaning, adding features and accessories to the bicycle, regular visits to Sardar Uncle's store for maintenance and also to compare and prove superiority of my polished bicycle against the new one's continued for next six months. That bicycle, remained the only bicycle I ever owned, till date.
After so many years, it feels like an era has passed. Thou I can afford a lot of bicycles, known as "Bikes", these days, I may not feel the same zeal, which I used to feel during those summers, I may not have the same sensation to balance the alloyed body over relatively wider tires. Your dream changes and your feelings too. In whatever way, I can still feel the happiness of those days, my friend's generosity and the joy of riding his bike, the pleasure of owning one.
In the memory of my friend and his bicycle.