Riding

When I’m riding to college, my posture changes 3 times. When I take the ‘sudden’ left immediately after home, my back is straight with caution, my arms relaxed on the handles, and my demeanour polite and undemanding, unlike my mother who watches me from the balcony every morning.

A little ahead and my body picks up speed and hurries past ambling cows who are immune to life and noise outside their bodies and ignore me to focus on the more important things in life- flies.

My body is at its rigid best when we pass by the loud and bellowing temple and its irritating, loyal devotees seated in their vehicles, their palms joined together outside the window. Arms that I’d like my super fast activa to chop in half. These are the only people I honk at mercilessly. I don’t like this excuse they have awarded themselves – that they shan’t be disturbed when they are praying to god in the middle of the road regardless of how many vehicles line up behind.

Near Jain College and its acutely chatty pupils, my grip on the accelerator thickens. They stand in the middle of the road to hi-five, to chat, to greet each other. They should be wiped off the earth.  When I begin honking, girls jump back in fright and roll their eyes, boys point their elongated arms at me in disgust while I flutter off happily.

***

At signals, my body is light and I try to balance the vehicle’s weight, alternating from one foot to the other. My eyes fall on fellow riders, wondering where they’re headed, where they’ve come from, whether they’ve bathed?

Now and then, my face becomes rounder and falls when it sees men who ogle from inside their vehicles. It falls, and then it stares back at them, gaze fixed, challenge accepted. Let’s see who withdraws first. Sometimes they withdraw first and when they don’t, and if I find the courage that morning, I flash my middle finger at them before scuttling off. This is the advantage of a two-wheeler. One cannot scuttle off in a car.

When I cross a busy road, my body is hesitant but my palms are stubborn. They have a tighter grip on the bike than I have on my life and in seconds, without so much as a passing register to the honking truck nearby, I speed to the other side.

***

On route to getting some alone time, my body is warm and I am happy. I smile at trees and the skyline; I appreciate the color in the evening, humming old and forgotten Bollywood songs and tunes of languages that I don’t know. When I am headed to G’s, I’m secretly a little anxious. The writing may or may not happen but there’s always plenty of hot chocolate to fall back on. And it’s always a nice thing to know that there are several plug points at G’s even though I may not need one.

Riding to K is mostly a set of decisions. Is it a rum kind of evening or a ginger chai kind? Cops never make it to this list. (Never been caught *fingers crossed*) Is it August already? Are my Mango Melbas gone? Mixed fried rice or pork noodles? When I’m picky, I flirt with other options but the heart wants what it wants and what it wants every night is mixed fried rice without liver. Because Anand approves.

***

Homewards, I’m goose bumping all over because the night is always chilly and mother is not sleeping until I get home.  When I first stole this bike from my brother, he’d park it inside for me every night. And then one day, just like that he refused. I learnt how to park decently but I don’t feel satisfied until I bang the bike’s bum to the noisy gate at least once before retiring.

White Walkers and Pokemon

 

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It is 6:00 am on a Sunday morning. The thought of a long, free day is making me stretch my arms behind and smile. I don’t remember much of what happened last night. I remember watching Austenland on Romedy now. I remember the Mushroom soup and Hot Chocolate at Glen’s and the good Old Monk at K. I remember tissue papers on which N and I wrote down who is playing whom in the groupa version of Karan Arjun and Sairat and Game of Thrones.

M wanted to be the baby and Manjule in Sairat. He wants to be everything. N held my ear sweetly and congratulated me for my Selvaraghavan piece. After we recovered from the laughing fit and teasing her mercilessly, M decided he was Shea and the Night King and Ramsay Bolton. I tried burning him with my eyes but he kept laughing. I gave up when he started imitating a white walker. Namsies is Jamie Lannister and Archie. N is Mamta Kulkarni and the Scorpion chick. This ended with some Whitney Houston love even as people around our table started giving us bitch looks.

I woke at 3:00 this morning knowing that I had to write. It makes me happy to have this Sunday. The possibilities are endless. It’s nice to hear the day breaking before I can see it. The stupid birds and the stupid dogs are up. The sun is up, I can’t see it but the daylight has washed the whole sky. It is cold, the door is thrown open and I am cocooned in my blue rug.

I am yet to finish the women in pub piece. I am convinced that I’ll be unhappy for the rest of my life if I give up on that piece. I had to abandon Ferrante because leaping to her immediately after Atwood was a bad idea. I am now reading ‘The Illicit of Happiness of other People.’ I am through 120 pages in two days, which is more than what I have achieved since college began. I’m waiting to finish it today.

It’s drizzling now and I wish I could drink some of that smooth Hot Chocolate from yesterday. Everyone’s going gaga over that Pokemon go game. Students aimlessly walked around the department yesterday. I wanted to slipper them. Idiots. I can’t deal with another addiction now, at this point.

I have to watch a long documentary on civil war for class tomorrow. There are DVD’s that must be returned, restaurants that must be eaten at, and clothes to be given for alteration this week and all I can think of is the growing list of movies and plays I haven’t watched and Brahman Naman which is now on Netflix

For now, I’m going to deep breathe the fuck out of this Sunday 🙂

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