Friday, June 29, 2007

The Bicycle Diaries - Part III

Somename* was very pleased with himself. He was returning to IMSc after attending to some work in Adyar. It was almost quarter to eight. He had promised his friend he will be back in IMSc in time for dinner. Somename was feeling very smug about keeping his promise.

He had traversed heavy traffic on mud-sloshed roads, weaving through honking buses and stuck cars. He particularly recalled, with a satisfied smile, how he had overtaken a Toyota Camry on his rather rickety MTB Hercules, borrowed from a PhD student.

As he neared the bicycle road, (which lies to one side of the very wide Old Mahabalipuram Road) he remembered that the bicycle road was submerged from the thundershower earlier that evening. Weighing his options between riding on the wrong side of the main road and taking the footpath, he chose the latter. His boisterous mood helping that decision. But there was a glitch.

He would have to get off the bike to lift it on to the slightly elevated footpath. That did not feel right. It would be condescending after the heroics on the road earlier. So his buoyant mind hatched a devious plan. He would lift the front wheel just when he nears the edge of the footpath, and get on it. Without even slowing down!

He prepared for the finale by rehearsing a few 'wheelies' of the front wheel. All this while he had not slowed down. Tension mounted as he neared the edge. Biting his lip, with bated breath, he prepared for the jump and prepared for the worst case scenario. "If I fall, there is no cause for embarrassment as the bicycle road is dark and deserted. There might be some minor scratches, but what the heck", he thought. With this positive frame of mind, he jumped.

And lo! The bicycle was over and safe. And gaining speed! Somename was over the moon.

Now, the footpath (which was very wide) had trees lined along its middle. Somename felt he should weave through the trees to celebrate this hazardous accomplishment. As he swung his bike towards the first one, he suddenly realized that the tree was in a pit larger than usual. To avoid it he braked and swerved. The bike slid on the slippery, wet surface and Somename went sprawling to one side of the tree and the bike to the other side.

Miraculously, he felt no broken bones or scratches. So, inspite of the 'high-speed' accident, he felt rather euphoric at the adventure he had experienced. Then there was a sinking feeling of a stinking smell.

Somename realized he was smeared with fresh faeces (commonly known as 'Shit' and sometimes 'Crap' among the Gentry and 'Poo' to commoners) all down one side. One can scarcely imagine the anguish and suffering of Somename. What a fall! From the euphoria and the jubilation...

In vain did he try to find a water tap to clean himself. Frantically he got the bike up and raced to IMSc guest house (the smell following him and making him retch all the time). How he wiped the sizable amount of excreta and washed himself clean will remain a story untold. Somename was too shaken to relive it.

* The identity of the Individual whose alleged involvement in the hypothetical occurrence that has been the subject of the above discussion, is not shrouded in quite such impenetrable obscurity as the author may have led you to assume, but not to put too fine a point on it, the individual in question is, it may surprise you to learn, one whom the author is in the habit of defining by means of the perpendicular pronoun.


  1. very interesting....keep writin...waitin 4 more...u loser...