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  • Thothathri Raman

Friendship on wheels!


I found this somewhat quaint scene in one of my recent trips to India Gate lawns, of course on my cycle. These two had come on their cycles and were in animated conversation for some half an hour while I was sitting and watching them in addition to the general scene. Most of the cyclists came the place in bunches and a few with their families and the conversation was animated and engaging.

On another trip I found two men, ostensibly farmers taking a break quite away from their fields made possible by their two cycles which were standing by like stallions waiting for their templars. The two could find a quiet spot some half a kilometres from their farm land to catch up with things and exchange notes perhaps. In another trip I kind of trailed a couple with their small child perched precariously on the horizontal frame and one on the lap of the lady equally dangerously sitting on the cycle carrier and a bag bursting at the seams was occupying space meant for her. But the cyclist seemed not worried about and was keeping a brisk pace.

A bearded baker had almost completely stacked his morning's output fresh from the ovens stuffed in tin boxes and large bags hanging from nooks and crannies of the touch frame to which some hooks seem to have been welded. The stacks of goodies throwing out a mixed aroma of fresh bread and buns and the man were in a blend on the rickety bike that seem to be a quite a workhorse and lasted him for decades. The withered face from the scoring Indian summer was full of smiles though.

Cycles are such ubiquitous companions for most, one could see. Despite the appeal of the motorised two wheeler to the next generation the bulk of the workmen preferred their cycles which we could easily see. Part of the reason for the cycles is their affordability and the happiness of not having to spend money on fuel and maintenance which any two wheeler would entail. With cash becoming increasingly tight, cycles may make a big come back , a trend already visible among the Information Technology (IT) workers who commute around from home to office almost as a matter of routine by bi-cycles at least in cities like Bangalore. Of course, the higher education campuses universally encourage cycles on their campuses even though the trend of using cycles to reach the campus is still long way off.




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