Skip to main content

Hanisha Learns to Ride

I'm 26, and I don't know how to ride or drive. 

There I've confessed (now my shoulders feel light)What a shame right? For all my life, I've been piggy-backing on someone else to get me from point A to point B. So much dependence. Sheesh Hanisha! My sister 8 years my junior took to the wheel before me (shame again, I know...I know!). I'm the only one left out of my four siblings who doesn't who the C of a car or a b of a bike. But don't judge me...I've tried learning both, a two and a four wheeler - a two wheeler in college when all I could manage was riding on the straight empty roads, but having my heart in my mouth on the turns; a car when I was in school, where for two days I'd just drive it in the compound round and round in circles, with a nervous-wreck of a driver sitting beside me. But I never saw through either. Both trainings ended abruptly and my heart wasn't in it either.  

Recently, when I switched jobs and moved back home (which is Pune in case you're wondering), I was auto-ricking it to work and back. This city (and like many other cities in India) has pesky rickshaw drivers who NEVER and I repeat never have any small denomination bills! It's always a fight to churn up the exact amount that the meter charges. Sometimes I actually open my wallet expecting a miracle - those worn out orange ten rupee notes and red twenty rupee notes and some gleaming silver coins! So while the rickshaw drivers expectantly stare at me for the money, my glare shifts to a dozen or so women whizzing by on their little two-wheelers, independent, with the wind blowing through their hair (why don't they wear helmets man?!), I cringe wishing I could be one of them. Sigh! I need to get my own two-wheeler...

But the auto fraternity doesn't get to take away full credit for me feeling the urge to learn to ride. The Vespa. That's right, the Vespa. That beautiful metallic machine in all its glorious colours caught my fancy. I could just picture it - petite me zipping away on my yellow two wheeler in Paris..uh I mean in Pune. Next thing I knew, I was Justdial-ling driving schools and enquiring about female trainers. In two days of making up my mind, I found myself learning how to balance on my loud-mouth trainer's rickety, rusty ol' scooty. 



Three classes down and training isn't going well. I'm scared as hell. And my trainer's not helpful in the least! What's more, my visit to the Vespa showroom was disappointing. That sleek-looking two wheeler is not sleek - it weighs 140 kgs (more than twice my weight) and my feet can barely touch the ground! Vespa dreams down the drain. Anyhoo, other options are being explored. I hope to be the proud owner of one in a few weeks and say hello if you spot me riding by!




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

INSIDE THE GO CHEESE FACTORY

Last weekend, I got a unique opportunity to visit Gowardhan Cheese Factory in Manchar district, a good two hour drive from Pune city. The owning home-grown company Parag Milk Foods brand portfolio includes Gowardhan and GO boasting of a range of dairy products that have been retailed across Mumbai and Pune over the last decade. I first started using their yoghurt when the local kirana store ran out of my usual preference of Amul, Danone and Britannia. One spoon of it and I instantly found it so fresh, light and 'unprocessed'.
I have always loved cheese but now I even prefer it over chocolate. So when I was scheduled to visit the GO factory, it bore semblance to winning the golden ticket and entering glistening gates to its factory much like the popular Roald Dahl's Charlie. Except that it was not all that dramatic! 

Touring A Once-Troubled Belfast As A Guest Of The Duncans

Belfast is the best place to visit in 2018 - Lonely Planet said it, not me. 

But why? 
Belfast, it was never a city on my must-visit radar, until I met a colleague from there. In the months leading up to my trip, I started researching about the city and learnt that for three decades, Belfast was ground zero of The Troubles, a violent territorial conflict over national identity and belonging. The city was fraught with rioting and bombings and was not considered safe. But it's 2018 and on the surface, people in Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) seem to be going about life as usual. Outside of its political and religious issues, Belfast is a beautiful little city, a rising star on the traveler's bucket list, especially in the summer (quick trivia: Belfast usually sees 157 days of rain).
My Hosts, The Duncans
So there I was landing in Belfast one June morning as a guest of my wonderful colleague (let's call her Ms. Duncan). She is the daughter of a former national le…

Shashi Tharoor's 'An Era of Darkness' Illustrates the Rapacity of the British Raj in India

It was August 15, 2016, I was having lunch with someone. Gazing at the news on the television screen behind me, she asked, "It's India's Independence Day today! Independence from whom?" Independence from the British, I answered, shocked. Shocked, because this someone in question was British and she had not a clue about the crimes of her country's colonial past.  Like millions of Indians and non-Indians, I was left aghast and despondent when I heard the viral Shashi Tharoor Oxford Union debate (if you haven't seen it yet, you've been living under a HUGE rock, and I suggest you watch it before you proceed to read the remainder of this blog). Tharoor in all his articulate and intellectual glory spoke in motion for Britain owing reparations to her former colonies. Tharoor's well-researched facts on the brutality of British rule in India for over two centuries left me astounded, and a sense of shame dawned on me - I knew so little about my country's p…