Owning a Bullet
Bullet retains its unique position amongst Indians since decades now. Most of the time the experience shared by riders and admirers is same- “People make way for a bullet rider.” Its considered to be symbolic of masculinity and an object of desire.
My father owned a bullet in 1970s when he must be in his teens or early 20s. In those times, in a town like Jamshedpur, it was a matter of pride and something that only a well-off could afford. Jamshedpur in those times was a small industrial town with most work force employed with Tata Steel and or Tata Motors. My father recalls that majority of the population commuted via bicycles and or Lunas (mopeds). Bullet was a rare possession, owned by very few. The other prized possessions in those times was JAWA motorcycle. Bajaj Scooter became common in late1970s.
My father spent a good time riding it and also mastered a few stunts that could have impressed girls but then he met with some minor accident and fearing a serious one in future, my grand father decided to sell it off. Finally, he had to secure his son and also discipline him a little.
May 1 2013 was again a special day when I offered my father to ride the bullet home for me from the showroom. He is today 61 years old and with the style of his ride and control of the bike, I visualized what he would have looked like in 1960s, 7-8 years before I was born.
He said, “It has changed completely since then. Its much lighter, the sound of silencer is also not that prominent like older models.” He must have drawn several more comparisons within his mind and would have restrained them so as not to spoil the moment that I was living through.
While I never owned a bullet before, I had a good opportunity to ride and experience it during 1993-1995 when I was in Chandigarh. My cousin owned it and I had the chance to master its ride. Bullet has a special place in our life (Monica and I) since I was a pillion rider when I went to meet Monica for the first time. Rahul was the one who was riding and he wanted to impress Simran and I had to just accompany him.
Since then, and till a few years back, Monica always doubted my ability to control the bullet since I was very slim. But she, as in most cases, insisted me to fulfill my dream of owning a bullet. While my decision was prompted by savings on fuel cost compared to an Alto and still wanted to have a bike that gave me a sense of pride in my decision. Afterall, I had to live through the peer pressure of opting for a two-wheeler while most were upgrading to higher models of cars.
Stats: 150 Km ride done between Office (Gurgaon) and home.