By Moutushi Ghoshdeysarkar

There are many things in a girl’s life that she holds dear to her; dolls, frocks, earrings, shoes, watches; that’s going to be a very long list, let’s skip.  A scooter was one such for me. Daddy’s scooter was way too heavy for me to handle. As a child, I loved to ride a bicycle. The freedom of being in charge of my movements gave me a high. I had an inherent dislike for buses, cars and utmost distaste for aeroplanes. Train was and still is the storybook prince who will always remain a fantastic dream and romantic endeavour. Ships however, are aliens to me, still waiting to board one and find out my feelings for it.

It was not until 2005 that I got my own scooter; TVS Scooty Pep. The brand new shiny black ride felt nothing less than a grand stallion. I loved it. No, I adored it. It was freedom personified for me. I had driven automatic scooters earlier; but this was mine. I could go out at anytime, anywhere. Just pour in some petrol, push a button, roll your hand and accelerate!

It gave me ludicrous joy so I named it JOY.

Joy has seen the happiest days of my life. It was bought for going to college in the second year of my MBA. As Rajib moved to Bangalore I moved in with him into our little one bedroom home. It was the first time we were living together all by ourselves. His office was far away where he had to change 2 buses and my college was also not a walk away.

With Joy around, managing home and college was a tad easier.

Rajib had never driven a scooter and believed that he never could.

I was quite scared and had to be coerced to bring it on road at first. One evening soon after Joy came home, courtesy my friends, an aunty who lived at the ground floor of the two-storey house where we had taken rent was in great pain but in great need to go to a nearby store.

She approached me to give her a ride and I was scared stiff. Yet I wanted to help and possibly deep down somewhere wanted this urgency which could force me to try a hand on my cherished vehicle.

The first ride wasn’t easy, but I managed, and then there was no stopping. Soon I could ride with Rajib to far-away places amidst traffic and my happiness knew no bounds.

Joy has carried me to college, to the office, to ad hoc jobs, to markets and for joyrides. It was only when I was carrying the little life within me; the rides were restricted and then suspended for a couple of months.  

After I went off to Kolkata with my lil baby, Joy had to lie idle day after day with Rajib just giving it some ignition from time to time. One day it didn’t wake up and Rajib consulted a mechanic. The mechanic fixed Joy but warned that he needs to be driven every day.

I came back to Bangalore to be greeted with a very pleasant surprise; Rajib could ride Joy and within a short time he could drive with me.

After giving me joy, Joy succeeded in delighting a one-and-a-half-year-old Raspy. He loved the breeze, as he rode on, sandwiched between Rajib and me, and embraced it with an open mouth. These rides were never long for safety’s sake.

When it was time for Raspy to go to school we brought in Wago, our first car, a golden WagonR. Joy was now more of Rajib’s companion to office and back but weekends Joy kept for me.

As Raspy grew older and Rajib’s office got further away we switched vehicles. Joy started carrying Raspy and me to school (which was just a km from home now), library, small get-togethers and to acquire essentials.

Joy was brought home to JP Nagar, a year later we shifted to Thippasandra that was near my office then. After what seemed like ages, in 2017 May, we shifted to a new locality, Whitefield.

Joy continued its services as before, though it was in need of frequent services itself and finally as the new year crawled in, it could hardly manage a steady ride for a couple of consecutive days.

It was given a new battery on the 31st of January but that too failed within a week. All through my years with Joy I could never put it on the main stand and now Joy could not be started without being pulled on it. Raspy has grown almost as tall as me and my back isn’t as strong as it used to be. Driving remains my passion but now I need a backrest. So I no longer go for joyrides, its only on purpose.

I need a scooter as it is very useful for swift trips. I am hoping for my own shop in the near future near home and that will require fleeting rides. I am also hoping to give Raspy a hands-on-training before he goes for a formal one and gets his own vehicle to drive.

On the 10th of Feb, I took out Joy for the last time with more anxiety than joy due to the trepidation that it might stop on-road and never start again. 12th Feb 2018 the Yamaha Ray ZR rode into our lives with new hopes and I christened it HOPE. Joy went off as majestically as it had come in, never stopping in our vicinity as our gaze followed it until the gate where the road takes a bend and a silent tear fell.

13 years of togetherness through thick and thin from house to house it had become one of us and now it was gone, on a new journey, with new people. I wish it all the best.

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