I had to go to a community in Northwest Delhi today for my internship work (yes, I am doing a summer internship on the basis of which I have to make a dissertation), which was quite far away from my place, not to mention completely unknown to me. I reached the nearest metro station, and pretty much got fleeced by an auto driver while getting to my final destination. I did however reach the correct place and did whatever work I was supposed to. Then came the issue of going back all the way to the metro station. There wasn’t a single auto in sight (this is after all an interior area, bordering a village) and as I sweated it out in the 40 degree Delhi summer, I wondered as to how I was to go back home today.
One of my organization’s representatives (who is in charge of the programmes conducted in this particular locality) came to my rescue even before I could begin bombarding him with questions about the transportation situation, and told me that he would be going towards the metro station and would hence drop me off there. I thanked him profusely as my problem (seemingly) evaporated away. Once my initial relief stopped washing all over me, I began rationally thinking about what mode of transportation he was going to use to drop me back.
My questions were answered when he came back on a motorbike.
Oh dear lord.
I have never ridden a motorcycle before. Never ever sat on one.
As I genuinely considered telling my companion that maybe I should just try sprouting wings and flying off (maybe a Red Bull would help?) rather than getting on his metal steed, I mentally admonished myself and gathered all my courage together. I meekly mumbled out that I had never travelled on a motorcycle before, and he graciously said nothing more than asking me to sit down. I took 10 seconds to decide how I would sit (sideways or rider-style). Ultimately, I decided the sideways pose would be better for the moment.
I plopped myself on behind the guy and clutched hard onto the metal part at the very end of the bike. While that comforted me, I still had another free hand, which HAD to find something to hold onto. As I blindly felt around the other side of the seat for something to hold onto for dear life, I decided that decorum and decency be damned…I would clutch hold of the guy if I found nothing at all to hold on this side.
Thankfully, there’s a lovely groove below the seat which acts as a great handle you know? So I did not end up like Sheldon on Howard’s scooter
So now, the two hurdles of getting on, and something to hold on to, were crossed. Next, was making myself believe that I would fall off, that it wasn’t plausible that I would tumble off just like that. This of course was the greatest hurdle. Every time we reached a pothole or a bump, I held on even tighter (if it was even possible with my usual pressure of gripping), and every time there was some obstacle on the road, I held my breath.
But, we reached, after a supposedly uneventful ride (though for me it was more eventful than any vehicle ride EVER) and I must say my fear of motorbikes has significantly reduced and I think my friend who drove on my first motorbike ride, is the Best Biker Ever.
However (yes, another contradiction), it’s not an experience I’m willing to repeat if there are alternatives available. Because, just as Harry said, and I paraphrase here, while the Floo network is faster and supposedly easier, he’d prefer a broomstick anyday. And I’d prefer my own two feet rather than two wheels.