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Sunday, April 29, 2012

(9) An eternal urge to emerge as a winner.

(Continued from the previous Article: Biking -An Urge to surge ahead.If you are visiting the blog for the first  time, please start from the first Post Promotion- Promotion.)

Chabi was son of a rich farmer in Chamoli region of UP Hills, now a part of Uttarakhand. His father wanted him to be an engineer. Chabi too was very much interested in automobiles and biking. While he could not be selected in a Govt. Eng. college in UP, his father ensured to send him in a Private Engineering College in Central India by paying a huge Capitation fees as per the prevailing trend in late eighties.

For Chabi life just meant biking. No body was interested to know his real name. He always had his bike keys (Chabi) in his hands so his friends started calling him Chabi. He was also known as Chamoli biker. The short form was again Chabi. In fact, his chubby cheeks also justified this name. 

He scrupulously enjoyed his life, mostly about biking, in the College without being interested in academics. Though he was intelligent and knowledgeable, finally he had to leave college without completion of degree. Soon his father disowned him. As an engineering college drop out, first of all he started as a bike-mechanic being a bike aficionado. But that was not enough to meet his expenses. 

While repairing bikes of Oil mafia of Tapri, he realized it was a great idea to be a Tank Truck driver to enhance his otherwise languishing career. He managed to impress Topi Pissoo, the Contractor Cum Transporter of SPCL. Topi liked him and made him driver. He remained driver of a Tank truck for three years. Within a year he had purchased a second hand Yamaha and now had enough money to survive for several months.

Topi’s daughter Kammo was very much attracted to Chabi’s pleasing personality, his bike and his biking attitude. She thought Chabi was too sophisticated to be a Tank Truck driver. Hence Chabi was promoted as a Car driver which Chabi dissented to a great extent. While Chabi also liked her, the love story could never start due to Chabi’s lack of enterprise.

Chabi had come to know that Suren Chor, Darogaji and Mangu Mapia had gone bike chasing in search of Changu. He knew the meaning of this bike chase.

He dropped the SPCL bosses at their hotel, parked the car at hotel leaving the keys in the car itself and rushed to his one room house in an auto without waiting for a Cycle rickshaw. He collected his valuables in a bag and kick-started his Yamaha bike to leave Nachpur for good.

He had just accelerated the bike when he saw Mangu Mapia and Suren Chor approaching him from behind on Mangu’s bike. They were only fifty meters behind him. He wanted to maintain at least that distance till he could reach the highway.

He maneuvered his bike adroitly through the crowd at a great speed. Mangu was no inferior in this game. Still Mangu was not able to reduce the distance. Within no time they were on highway. 

Chabi knew both the bikes were powered by the stolen Petrol from SPCL depot at Tapri. But there was a huge difference. Mangu’s bike was powered by stolen ‘SE grade’ PSU Engine Oil from Tapri. On the contrary Chabi’s bike was rather ‘empowered’ by a much better ‘SF grade’ of a private lubricating Oil company; which was the best available Lubricant grade at that time.  Soon, it became one sided race. The distance between both the bikes went on increasing.

Still Chabi was petrified. He did not even dare to look back for the first two hours, though Mangu had stopped chasing him after first twenty Kilometers only. 

For Chabi, now biking meant just an urge to emerge as a survivor.

Chabi drove for the whole evening and stopped at a very famous and crowded dhaba on the National Highway leading from Nachpur to UP around 1-00 AM.  He got the bike tank filled by purchasing petrol for the first time in last three years and slept for four hours at the dhaba amidst a large no. of drivers and cleaners sleeping on the Charpais (Wooden and jute beds).

He got up early in the morning in an effervescent mood and began to bike singing the song originally sung by John Denver- ‘Country roads take me home’. He had heard it in college days from friends. He always ensured to change ‘Shenandoah River ’with ‘Alakhnanda River’ in his version. As Haridwar was approaching fast, he began to sing Garhwali and Hindi songs glorifying mountains and holy rivers.

Once he passed Rishikesh, he began to wonder about the wastage of biking time in Central India. For him the Mountain biking was a rediscovery. The more he biked and sang the songs, more nostalgic he became. He soon realized mountain biking comes in package including: Mountain rivers, vegetables, specialty fruits, panoramic vistas of snow clad mountains, blooming Rhododendron (Buransh in Hindi), meandering roads, Garhwali- Kumauni Cuisine, songs-music, festivals, Mountain fragrance etc. Overwhelmed by the new experience, Chabi finally decided to become a Baba- ‘Chabi wale Baba’ without deciding the exact place of settlement in UP-Hills.

The whole episode turned his biking philosophy to a higher degree. Now, Biking was not just Biking but was Mountain Biking with an eternal urge to emerge as a Champion.

( More about Chabi, Kammo, Topi and other characters associated with Chabi in the future articles.)

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