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In these trying times, when saving planet earth is of prime importance, the humble bicycle can be our best bet! For most of us, a car is like a home on wheels. We are out on the road but we are under a common roof chatting about the routine, and carrying the same egos, loves & relations like at home. The customization it offers is enchanting: Cosy seats, desired temperature, choicest music, and noise reduction. It has got almost everything that makes us feel like we’re home. The colours on offer are even better: Sunshine Orange, Champagne Yellow, Blazing Red and so on. These ridiculous colours bring a splash of brightness into the otherwise dull lives. Despite being a lovable luxury, a car falls short of a bus.
Indeed, Bus ride doesn’t make you esteemed, as owning a car does. Yes, we don’t have any control over the sometimes upsettingly longer routes the buses take. But to the contrary, a bus offers us an enlightening spiritual experience. The air in a bus is a mix of the body odours of different sexes, races, and castes indistinguishable. The bus could, therefore, smell like a human who loves different sexes, races and castes alike. It’s hard to find such human these days, thereby making a bus ride an exceptional experience and the bus a real human thing. It seems as if the flat floor has been designed to dismantle the suppressing hierarchies. Everyone who enters is on the same level: rich & poor, leader & follower, and employer & employee. While dismantling the hierarchies, it offers us absolute autonomy to just sit, relax, listen to our favourite playlists, stare out of the window and let the mind wander carefree, unlike a car that needs to be monitored and taken good care of. Despite being a spiritual thing, a bus falls short of an auto-rickshaw.
Auto-rickshaw offers a more assuaging and immersive experience than a bus. An auto-rickshaw ride offers us with the chaos of mundane lives: horrendous sounds of horns, swift sneaks into slim lanes, enthralling friction between warped roads and worn out tyres, quilting heat its engine releases from under our seat and vibration that relieves our anxieties. The drivers are a bonus. To you, me and the passers-by they largely seem irrational and reckless but less do we realize that their rationality is different and their ideology is polarized. What gaps they see, we can’t. How eloquently they abuse, we can’t. How they unite amidst conflicts, we can’t. They think different. Despite being a three-legged wonder, an auto-rickshaw falls short of a Bicycle.
A Bicycle can be announced as a symbol of a rebel. While riding a Bicycle we propel ourselves forward wherever we want to go amidst a world that forces its beliefs on to us, makes us abide by the customs, creates uniform humans who are meant to be controlled like machines and kills the beauty of difference in thoughts & deeds. It’s, therefore, a rebellion against orthodoxy. A bicycle ride gives us the sheer pleasure of moving at a pace that is just enough to let us: enjoy the scenes around, smell the aroma of nature, hear the hustle in the woods, and live the moment as it is, amidst a restless world that has hardly any concern for anything or anyone around. It’s, therefore, a rebellion against heartlessness. Where advertisements lure us into making the useless expenditure, a bicycle is egalitarian. It’s, therefore, a rebellion against uselessness. Where our unfit bodies are slaves of the machines, a bicycle presents us with an opportunity to get fit. It’s, therefore, a rebellion against doctors who want us unhealthy. A bicycle would make a perfect symbol of a rebel and this is my hymn to it.
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