The original article by Mr. Sachin Rao, and this article is actually an archive of a post from HARD TORQUE on http://www.xbhp.com
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The pleasure principle

25 Sep ’02 – Sachin Rao

It was hardly 60 km from Delhi on the NH8 when I pulled into a highway eatery for a break. I’d been holding consistent three-digit speeds for a blissfully long stretch on the Pulsar and a nice cold bottle of water was in order. I dismounted, dumped all my gear on the bike and drank deep. A man of about fifty-five or sixty paying his bill who was watching, looked at my numberplate and stepped towards me.

“Where are you coming from?”

“Been on a Rajasthan tour.”

“Oh? How many kilometres?”

“1,650 so far.”

“By motorcycle? Alone??”

No, I wanted to say, this bike, luggage and all that gear, it’s just a prop, my gang of loud friends with a boombox and party hats are just behind with the trailer van. What does it look like?

“Yeah,” I said instead.

“Then what is the pleasure?” he asked quizzically.

I only smiled as he walked to his Esteem VX, got in and slowly drove off.

I’ll tell you exactly what the pleasure is, Mr Esteem-Driving Gentleman.

The pleasure is when you finish your day’s ride, and reach in one piece. You’re the smallest vehicle on the road, and you’ve survived.

The pleasure is when you take off your wristwatch, and see a band of untanned skin.

The pleasure is when your motorcycle and you move as one single united form. Whatever shape the road takes, whichever end of the compass it leads to.

The pleasure is when you use your hands, arms, thighs, knees and feet to steer.

The pleasure is when you take off your riding jacket for a break, and feel the breeze dry your sweat.

The pleasure is when you sing to yourself on an empty road. You’re the world’s best rock star.

The pleasure is when your rear wheel slides, and you bring it back, when the front wheel lifts, and you take your time bringing it back.

The pleasure is when you cut through air, at 50 kph or 100.

The pleasure is when you reach a place you’ve never been before, and someone you’ve never seen before asks you for a ride. And comes back grinning.

The pleasure is when you wave to village kids, and they wave back.

The pleasure is when you almost, almost fall. But don’t.

The pleasure is when you fight the wind, and win.

The pleasure is when you get up that narrow path for the view you’ll never forget.

The pleasure is when you view the world at an angle.

The pleasure is when you eat bugs at 90 kph.

The pleasure is when you look at a dust-streaked face in the mirror after a 500 km ride, and don’t want to wash up.

The pleasure is when your pillion moves with you.

The pleasure is when you can see the petrol after a top-up.

The pleasure is when your throttle hand has calluses.

The pleasure is when you jump a speedbreaker.

The pleasure is when you stop to help push a stranded car to the side of the road.

The pleasure is when you stop at the smallest of towns, and somebody asks you technical specifications.

The pleasure is when your book of roadmaps gets dog-eared, rain-splashed, tea-stained.

The pleasure is when you give a stranger a lift.

The pleasure is when you have battle-scars.

The pleasure is when you can feel the cool morning and the hot afternoon, the light rain and the damp fog.

The pleasure is when you leave four-wheeler traffic standing in a jam.

The pleasure is when you aren’t lulled by an air-conditioner.

The pleasure is when you are free. Open. Independent. Liberated.

The pleasure is when you are a biker. But you’ll never know how that feels, will you, Mr Esteem-Driving Gentleman?

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