I miss my Bajaj Classic. I have some fond memories of the vehicle which I cherish everynow and then.I learnt driving with my so called "UP93". I used to call my scooter with this name as, my friend (Gaurav Mutreja) named it.I liked calling it by this name. The reason behind this naming, as many of you would have guessed, was the vehcile number.The number plate read UP93-C8004. It was a Bajaj model:Bajaj Classic, metallic blue in colour. My dad bought it way backin 1997. I got the opportunity to ride it in 2000. I was 16 then. What is it with this age of SIXTEEN that once you attain it, you think youself as a young man. Is it the consequence of passing yourhigher-secondary examination,a tryst with the so called COMPETITION or just sheer knowledge of SEX which makes one think "I have grown up". I still havent found an answer to this psychological transformation of oneself. But I remember that was the time when I decided to learn driving. My dad was apprehensive about itbecause of the various accidents i had indulged myself into during my cycle riding days. Once i forgot to apply brakes andfound myself dumped in a dry drain with a fractured hand.Many more incidents like this made my dad not to allow me to drive.
But I had turned 16. So one fine day I took the vehicle out of my house. I knew how to start it but I did not know the concepts of gear.I only knew that my dad used to roatae his left wrist and that has to do something with gears. Thanks to my luck, the gear was set to neutral. I kick-started the scooter, removed it from the stand but couldnt figure outwhy it did not move. "Oh the gear-concept",I recollected. I also twisted my left wrist and ghaarrrrrannng. I had released the clutch with an impulse and the scooter jumped in the sky just like a horse stands on his two back legs. I fell on the road and hurt my bums badly. But i didnt loose hope and tried it again, this time releasing the clutch in a relatively softermanner. The vehicle started to move. It filled in me an immense feeeling of joy. A feeling of joy as comparable to one which MAN would have got by inventing the wheel or the fire. The feeling was irreplacable. Within no time i was speeding my UP93 and I was busy talking to the wind. I felt the wind gushing beneath my earlobeand it felt awesome. Speed fascinates- I started to believe. From there on, I regularly started using my UP93 to commute from here and there.Dad was still not happy with my act. Later I used the UP93 to go to school and tuitions and to the nearest cinema hall on every friday during the school bunks.I fulfilled every desire of mine with my vehicle, like driving without using my hands , driving while standing on the foot restand all other kind of stunts which one usually explores while in the later teens.The only wish left was to ride a girl pillion on my UP93. but couldnt get it done during my school days.
After my 12th, I shifted to pune to pursue graduation. During my first year of grad I did not have any vehicle with me and that was the first time when I strongly missed UP93. At the very start of my second year I decided to bring back UP93from jaipur. I asked Dad if he could arrange to send it through the railways. I doubted on him assenting to my decision.But to my surprise he did. After four days I was waiting at the pune railway station's parcel department. I looked for UP93in a pile of other vehicles. "There it is!", I shouted within myself. After completing the formalities, I drove UP93 backto home. Later that day I went to visit the city on UP93. It felt so better, much better than travelling in tumtums orPMT buses. I again felt like meeting the wind but the pune traffic and UP93s age could not let me do so. I realized thatUP93 was ageing. I felt bad.
I used UP93 to commute from home to college to back home: a daily drive of 35 kms along with 4-15 kms of travelling in the evening. Prolonged use of UP93 over the three years of my enginering days had a lasting impact on its condition.During these three years I got the opportunity to seat quite a number of beautiful damsels on UP93. HE was of great support during the examination days and HE never betrayed me in any case of emergency. Though HE broke a number of times during any outing meant for leisure. But never during exams. I started taking HIM for granted and forgot that scooters need maintenace too.After 2 years without a single servicing, the prevalent conditon of UP93 compelled me to visit an auto workshop. The firstservicing was a hefty affair which galloped to 2000 bucks. But i understood the turmoil of the scooter which HE must have undergone during those years of un-serviced conitnuous running. I regretted upon my habbit of procrastinating things.From that year onwards, HE started to demand a servicing session every two months which made me plan my budget every now and then.
After completing my graduation I started working and thanks to the busy life of an IT professional, UP93 became lonely.HE had started responding in 15-20 kicks. Even servicing could not sustain his performance beyond a week. He was going and I could do nothing about it. After few days, I stopped using it totally. If not to me then it came to use for cobwebs and dust. Insects and lizards had found a new home, that two painted with metallic blue. At times when people were living in tin-sheds, insects were living in a house with a painted exterior.I could not bear with the deteriorating condition of UP93. But I could not help. I decided to shift to jaipur and time hadcome to decide the fate of UP93. I decided to sell off UP93. I found a customer in the form of an auto mechanic: M Khan,whose shop was near by. I sold UP93 some days before my departure from pune. I felt bad. A day later I was passing by Khan's shop and I saw UP93. It was disjointed in N number of pieces, with every possible part seperated from the body. The handle along with the headlight lied on the ground, tilted, with the light facing me.It looked like a hen which had been beheaded, and its head layed facing you and staring at you with ailing eyes, tryingto ask its fault after innumerable eggs it had been laying for you.
I had a strong feeling of remorse.
I MISS YOU UP93.
The Light on the Hill
2 weeks ago