On the wings of a bike..!

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

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:bob­s­ban­ter@gmail.com

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