The "Cycle" of Bicycle
Recently in my campus, a new cycle vendor company started its promotions. They had brought in a couple of cycles for demo. So, all one had to do was install their app & scan QR code to unlock & get a free ride. Honestly, after seeing a yellow colored geared bicycle with a GPS was a dream come true as it brought with it the memories of my childhood: one of the happiest moments of my life. At the same time, I couldn’t help but wonder, how the circle of “bicycle” came back to its origin.
When we were young, how we started our journey with the mini tricycle after we started walking. I remember how I used to go around and round riding my bicycle on terrace. Sometimes, even when the plastic seat had fallen off, even then I used to sit on the slightly rusted structure & try to ride…. I think that was love & commitment we are looking for these days ;) Then we moved on to the bicycle with training wheels, the one I used to ride with my cousin in the lobby of the building they used to live in. I remember how we used to fasten its pace by bicycling so hard & then slamming into our neighbour’s door & running away before we could be caught….We eventually learnt how to ride the bicycle without training wheels & we grew up ……the same bicycle used to take me to my tuition when I was in 10th Standard : “BOARDS” : only the name was enough. After coming from school, we used to rush through traffic to reach for our classes starting at 5 in the evening. It was also the time when my parents bought me no wait I was given my sister’s hand-me-down : Nokia 1600 for emergencies. So, going out alone by my own “vehicle (read: bicycle)” & owning a phone: all things were a subtle indicator of the fact that I had become a grown up. So, did the bicycle, not literally but in a metaphorical sense. When I came in eleventh grade, my parents thought it was time for an upgrade from my bicycle to my sister’s scooty pep. Hey, I’m not complaining! But In their defense, it was probably for my good as I’m the one who’s not attached to the worldly things & thus , doesn’t care enough about their “preservation” & safe keeping. I know that It’s better not to argue when your whole family is on the other side. Also, riding a bicycle was considered less glamorous & low standard thanks to the amazing marketing of two-wheeler manufacturing companies. As of now, I have started my driving lessons for the next upgrade: “The Car”. Those of you walking/driving on the streets of Indore, please watch out for next couple of months. Though my simulator instructor is petrified too, however, he has assured me that I’ll pass my test with flying colours.
With bigger families, no company can ever make a two-wheeler which can accommodate 5-6 people. Though in India anything is possible (Trust me on this one: I have gone on a LML with my uncle-aunt & 4 cousins). So, here comes the Car at easily available loans at affordable interest rates & EMIs. Driving a car thus, gives an sense of accomplishment & a much needed boost to our ego. With a car under our rented homes, it seems to us that we have achieved the second milestone of the “ROTI-KAPDA-MAKAAN” trifecta. Though the type of car you own gives an insight into your living standards. For E.g.: if you drive a Nano or an Alto, then you are just getting by, however, if you are driving up to a Starbucks in a BMW or Mercedes or Audi, you should start doing some charity !
Though the advent of these vehicles has costed us a ton load of money which our decent bicycle never asked us for. Also, the over-consumption of petrol & diesel has led to depletion of resources along with our health. Read this carefully: “We are driving ourselves to Gyms & other health centers for becoming fit”. When we think about this carefully, one may realize that this vehicular industry has funded more businesses along with its own nourishment. Petroleum industry, protective gear industry (helmets & other stuff), insurance companies, vehicle repairing & maintenance services, health centers, gyms are names of few business which I can jot down at the moment. So, these people are back to us to make us understand the importance of riding bicycles which we already knew from the start. So, I guess the joke’s really on us!