Friday, August 13, 2010

The 2 wheelers (Part 1)

I love watching people going on 2-wheelers..This is the mode of travel for most of the crowd in India, although the people using 4-wheelers have significantly increased.  These 2-wheelers take less space on the road, and causes lesser pollution in the atmosphere.

Now-a-days, its seems more of a health hazard  to the drivers of  2 wheelers to be on road, with the increase in the number of 4 wheelers, the roads are often crowded and jammed.  Most of the time, the 2 wheelers are stuck at traffic signals, surrounded by the bigger vehicles, the drivers inhaling the exhaust fumes from the larger vehicles.

This was the only mode of transport that I was used to growing up.  My dad’s Bajaj scooter! Being kids with smaller frames, our family of 5 could easily fit on the Bajaj. My younger brother would always get to stand in front.  The traffic was so less in those days.  There were the heavier Lamby’s and Lambretas which you don’t find now. And the great kick starts!! Sometimes, one had to keep pressing on the start for a long time to get the vehicle started. My dad, used to keep tilting the vehicle to get it to start.

We 3 siblings grew up, and each of us went to different colleges and I was the one who was lucky( Lucky!, yeah, in retrospect it does feel like that) enough to stay the longest at home, with my college around home. I travelled a lot as a passenger on my dad’s Bajaj around the city, helping him carry the loads of vegetables from the mandi and much more.  When I was in college, my mom bought a 2 wheeler so, she could ride to work independently since my dad was approaching his retirement. That’s when I first got to try the 2 wheeler, a Bajaj moped. Had a few interesting incidents during my driving experience which I will conveniently skip.

During the time of my wedding,  my brother owned a bike. I was excited to ride on it with him, but, found it most uncomfortable and scary compared to the scooter. Pavan, who didn’t have much experience of driving them, tried to take me out on the bike once, after a drive of no more than 3km, he decided to play safe and give up. And that was the last I sat on the bike with my husband. During that short drive, I tried to put my hand around him, holding onto his waist, I even put my hand on his thigh, like I find the women doing here. Nothing felt comfortable….or safe for me. Always felt like I’m going to fall.

(Actually, this was not the only drive on a 2 wheeler that I had with my husband, I remember, the driving we did around Tirupati on his TVS moped right after we got married.. That was fun, although I did fall down once, as we drove into a big pothole on the road. We weighed much lesser then, so the fall wasn’t hurting.)

Nothing has changed much with respect to this vehicle now. I still see a lot of 2 wheelers functioning the same way as when I was young, except most of them drive the scooty’s now, with convenient electric starts. These vehicles, now interest my kids too. As we ride along the city streets, Richa is trying to decipher a scooter from a scooty, a bike from a scooter. An auto from a scooter and so on. The kids got a taste of going on a bike too.

As I watched the 2 wheelers going on the streets, I clicked a lot of snaps of them..and I present a photo blog of the 2 wheelers. Each picture is different as the people driving them.

I hope you will enjoy it.

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