|Copyright: Bill Watterson|
The task was simple. The pride of Punjab (PoP) aka KS, was making his way up-country from Hyderabad. Mercifully for all concerned, he chose to bus it rather than fly in. Whether his decision had more to do with economics than benevolence, is up for debate. What it did mean though was that he'd have to be picked up from Bremen Chouk, rather than the airport. From the chauffeur's point of view, in terms of distance and effort, this was more like being asked to journey to the temple around the corner instead of Pandharpur.
For a man on a 10 day visit, KS didn't have a lot of baggage. At least, not physically. He did sound ominous warnings about travelling with 1 big bag (an entry for many jokes, but we're civilized folks), which meant that a bike pick-up was out of the picture. Tempting the fates, I volunteered to show up at the rendezvous point in my car. Between KS & I, our propensity for misfortune over the years can and has out-Murphied Murphy. Still, it was a very simple drive, so what could go wrong, right ?
The car refused to start. I unlocked the door, sat, waited the appropriate minute and turned the key. Nothing. At first, it teased me, making a feeble neighing sound more appropriate for an old mare than an engine. Then it almost started. And did not. Now, I'm not exactly full of beans at 5 am. Between swearing vehemently & volubly at the car and taking calls from KS, the metaphorical cup overflowed with woes rather than coffee.
There was nothing to do. Or rather, I did what I should have done at the start. I fished out the Kinetic keys, revved up without any trouble and raced off. This dependability, by the way, is further proof of why I love my bike.
On that note, its been 5 years since I experienced the delicious Pune cool of a dawn bike ride. That, along with being able to snuggle back into my quilt after, made the whole thing worth it.
Song for the moment: There goes the fear - The Doves