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The Man on the Ramshackle Bicycle

September 3, 2019 | By

A man trying to keep his balance on his ramshackle bicycle sings the philosophy of life. Another one cribs and curses to balance his cycle. Its up to you to add coloured feathers to your wheel or make do with rusted spokes in the cycle of life.

Enjoy Morning Meanderings with a hot cup of tea or coffee and some cookies to munch on the food for thought. 😊 ☕️

It was almost after ten days that I stepped out of the house, the humidity had been unnerving and deterring too. The moment I stepped out, I realised things had not changed a bit, it was as humid as ever. But no, I was wrong, some things had changed.

The students in the second storey flat had gone, and I could see absolutely new faces, hurtling down the stairs. A group of girls stood on the stairs, their pouts fully pronounced, frozen in the act of taking a selfie [or is it a groupie?].  I smiled at them and they smiled back, a tad sheepishly, though.
“Carry on,” I said, and they carried on. Their pouts unfrozen, their smiles broader. The next moment the pic was uploaded on Facebook, love’s tenuous bond strengthened, for all to see and comment upon.

The tea kiosk had been upgraded, the wobbly stools replaced by benches and there was a sparkle in the eyes of the tea selling couple.

But Dharmendra’s shack had a deserted look. Maybe he had gone to his village. The three dogs who had become the self-styled guardians of his house, were nowhere to be seen, but a couple of robins hopped and pecked near the morose looking sigri , and a broom lay uselessly by its side. Had Vincent Van Gogh been around, he would definitely have transformed his shack and his sad looking sigri into a thing of beauty, providing joy forever. Suddenly his beautiful painting of a cottage with a woman standing near the window flashed before my eyes, and I found myself drifting into another world, walking up to the woman in the painting, away from the ear-callousing cacophony of an insane world.

Today, I had changed my route, where there seemed to be a profusion of people, profusion of apartments and profusion of chatter.

Hey, what was it? Had some starlings materialised from somewhere? There was a group of ladies walking right in front, speaking in shrill tones.

“What is the point of these student union elections?”

“I agree. Just a waste of time, waste of money.”

“Indeed. There have been so many protests, demands for recounting, violent clashes – students should study and leave politics to the politicians.” She was indignant, and at the word ‘leave’, she waved her hand so vigorously in the air, that it hit the nose of a dhoti clad cyclist coming from behind. He almost lost his balance, but regained it in time, to glare at her.

“Oh sorry, sorry,” she apologised profusely.

Do baar ‘sorry’ kehney sey kya hoga? Agar main gir jaata? Agar main mar jaata” (What can be gained by saying sorry twice? What if I had fallen? What if I had died?) Wary of the third sorry, the dhoti-clad figure quickly cycled away, muttering under his breath.

Behind him, the human starlings continued chirping, trilling, chattering, interspersed with fist thumping and flailing of arms. The flow of their earnest and voluble discussion would have continued unabated, had they not got tired.

Morning Meanderings by Dr Santosh Bakaya

Morning Meanderings by Dr Santosh Bakaya

As my tired feet plodded home, a lapwing burst into a string of pee-wits. The music of the avian community stopped, and I stopped in my tracks too.

My philosophy of life was being sung by a man on a ramshackle bicycle:
‘Kissi ki muskurahaton pey ho nissar
Kissi ka dard mil sakey to ley udhar’

Now everything went quiet, there was just the sound of music. Soothing. Serene. Soul-stirring. I kept watching the bedraggled man on the ramshackle bicycle, as he rode away, singing so ethereally, becoming a speck in the distance.

I walked on, resolving to listen to this classic Shailendra song from Anari, as soon as I reached home.  Till then, I would be content with just humming it, albeit a little off-key. Certainly, off-key humming would not detract from the immense beauty of the song, or would it?

Its up to you to add coloured feathers to your wheel or make do with rusted spokes in the cycle of life.

(Illustration: Pixabay)

Watch this space for more Morning Meanderings every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.😊

Click to read all Morning Meanderings here.

Dr Santosh Bakaya is the author of three mystery novels for young adults, and a book of essays titled Flights From My Terrace, which was recently published as an e-book on Smashwords. Her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad Of Bapu has been published by Vitasta Publishers, Delhi, India in May 2015 and has been receiving rave reviews from everywhere. Although a Political theorist, with a doctorate in political theory, it is literature which has been her first love. She was awarded the Reuel international award for language and literature 2014 for her long poem Oh Hark!, which forms part of the Significant Anthology. Many of her poems have figured in the highly commended category in Destiny Poets, a UK based website and many are part of international anthologies. Right now, she is giving the final touches to her satirical novel, tentatively titled Sanakpur Shenanigans.
All Posts of Santosh Bakaya

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2 thoughts on “The Man on the Ramshackle Bicycle

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    Today’s Motivation

    <div class=at-above-post addthis_tool data-url=></div>Restricted patterns of thoughts penetrate our efforts and constrain our existence which stops our development. Phases in our life are like the plateaus (highlands), the steps towards success.  We should not remain on the steps; to progress, we must go beyond them.<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class=at-below-post addthis_tool data-url=></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->
    Restricted patterns of thoughts penetrate our efforts and constrain our existence which stops our development. Phases in our life are like the plateaus (highlands), the steps towards success. We should not remain on the steps; to progress, we must go beyond them.