On the wings of a bike..!
IT was sad reading of the death of Veenu Paliwal on her Harley Davidson motorbike! She was one of India’s most famous female bikers. She died trying to negotiate a turn on a dangerous curve, bike skidded, she was thrown off and died a few hours later. She was just fortyfour years old!
There are many who will say, “What a waste of a life! If she had been home in a kitchen making chappatis she would still be living!” I would like to say to such people that, “She lived!” To really live you have to take risks. You can live your whole life, carefully, safely in the four walls of your home or you can ‘live’ doing things that are truly challenging.
I loved riding the Bullet. In fact I loved riding bikes! I remember one night many years ago, returning from a wedding with my wife who sat pillion on the Royal Enfield bike. I remember suddenly hitting an open manhole on a bridge. The bike was so good that though it went up a few feet it landed solidly on its two wheels, but the impact was so great the rim got bent. I pushed the bike into a compound and some boys told me they would look after the bike during the night. My wife and I took a taxi and returned home, thankful nothing had happened to us.
The next day when I went to pick up the bike, I found the boys had repaired it, also that a big celebration was going on in their compound. “One of our boys from our chawl got selected for the military!” the boys told me, “We want you also to join the celebration and have lunch with all of us!”
I joined and with this incident realised how I loved my country and its people: Nobody felt any different, whether like me I spoke English or they spoke Hindi or Marathi.
My bike had led me to a beautiful moment! There were many other such moments that my bike lead me to. There are many such incidents that risk has led me to. Risk leads you to such moments! Sometimes you fall and get hurt, other times you get up and enjoy the moment. Today as India leads the world in start-up business opportunities there are many who will face opposition from others, “Why don’t you take a steady job! Why do you want to risk doing business?”
Go for it. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs became billionaires because they took calculated risks! Of course study the venture, like I am sure Veenu Paliwal knew her bike was in good condition. I also knew I was riding a good bike! But there’s a good chance despite these good circumstances we might fall! So what? We ‘lived’ and that is all that matters..! —Email:firstname.lastname@example.org