So, Stella rides like a dream, she's crazy fast, can turn on a coin, and can give these electric shaver contemporary bikes a run for their money. I ease my way through the crowded Bandra roads, turn out of Dharavi's slum, out of Sion and onto the Eastern Express Highway. For those of you who live here, you would now realise that after the 25 minutes of crawling traffic until this point, everyone who hits the highway just cannot resist its wide openness, and will break the speed limit, very quickly. So no prizes for guessing what I did. Stella's throttle is like a dream. She sounds like a couple of mad rottweilers thrown into a tube, and God! can she fly. I did the superman thing for a little bit, until I hit Ghatkopar's traffic, cue entrance music for the villain of this piece. This other yamaha screams past just as I slow down for the tangled mess of cars ahead of me. I must mention, the rider had on a skull cap and a beard, not that I have a problem with that, I'd just have preferred if he had on a helmet and the beard.
It is difficult to explain this feeling to people who have never ridden bikes, more specifically, people who have never ridden bikes the way they were intended to be ridden. Stella, is primed for speed. Every inch of her is built to be strong, light and fast. I have customised her, throwing away any un-needed metal, with tyres for better grip and lean, with an engine that is spanking new, and well run in, with a free flow muffler and with a mad balls-out fearless jackass on top. Given all of this, it just didnt seem right that the other yamaha flew past, leaving Stella behind. This sort of thing could ruin her confidence. Shake her self belief. Badly injure her prestige, while insulting her racing pedigree. She'd have nowhere to show her pretty face. Her peers would run her out of town. Maybe I need to stop rambling. Ok, I will. Next paragraph.
So I down shift into first gear, tuck in to offer less resistance to the wind, find an opening in the traffic, and let Stella do what she was built to do. From 5 kmph to 25 in first, upto 35 in second, 60 in third(she's screaming by now), shift into fourth right when she's at her loudest, and fly away at 95 kmph. All this while, I've gone past a whole herd of commuter bikes, about 20 yuppies in their cages, and a pathetic pulsar who thought he could keep up with Stella. I havent really seen the other yamaha that triggered all this madness. Then I hear it behind, struggling to keep up. This situation just had to be utilised. I had to rub his nose in it, right? So I did. Downshifted to third, tucked in again, flew away and left him for dead.
In all this madness, not once did I risk kiling myself, or anyone else (or so I'd like you to believe). I was simply riding faster than the speed limit, and in an almost straight, predictable line, easy enough for others to avoid, but impossible for them to ignore. Its not often that you see someone as big as me, tucked in flying past everything else on the highway. It's probably likely that you thought you saw me, but you cant be sure, cuz I was just so damn fast :) He He. Forgetting all the insult, the chagrin etc, I decided to be a little lenient with the other yamaha. After all, the guy probably tried all he could, and is related to Stella. So, I slow down a little, let him catch up, and signal for him to overtake us, smiling all the way. He moves alongside, folds both hands (yes they're off the bars) in a namaste, bows his head, and leaves the highway at the next exit. Smiling all the way. What a ride, what a ride. The pleasure is just too beautiful to describe. Doing it again tomorrow.