Who says Bombay doesn't have people with genuine hearts? Who says people are always running behind money in this city? Who says everyones in a rat race here? I used to say all that until a Sunday February 1 changed my little perception of this maximum city. I started cycling from JVPD and wanted to go till Lower Parel and head back. Once I started climbing a flyover at Dadar, I changed the gear and felt a quicker pedalling than usual and noticed somethings gone wrong so I stopped and found out the chain's slipped. I started climbing up the flyover to get on a flatter road, once there tried to fix the chain, unsuccessful, sad, to make it worse - three guys speeding on one motorbike probably in their late teens or early twenties were smiling, almost laughing mockingly and whistling teasingly as if they were happy to see me in the condition I was in, I crossed to the other side and started going downhill hoping to find some repair shop else will walk back home from Dadar to Vile Parle, which is okay as it'll be a good trek. Once down, asked a passing by milkman on his bicycle whether he knew any cycle repair shop nearby and he said nope. I didn't lose hope. I was walking slowly, sweating at around 7:20am in Bombay winter. Looked to my left and two young men in their early twenties and one man in his fifties were looking at me from their small tea restaurant, smiling, so I asked them if they knew of a cycle repair shop, they said something I couldn't hear due to the wind noise and passing by speedy vehicles so I went nearer to them, they said, there is one nearby and gave me directions to how to get there but said it'll be closed right now as it'd open a little later since it was too early then. I was like hmm.. I've come from Vile Parle, will have to walk back, my cycle's chain came out. The old man said he could've done it on a simple bike but since this was with the gears he wasn't sure how to do it. By then suddenly the young men began trying to fix the chain, I picked up the bike, in 5-10mins it was done, but still unsure so I cycled a little in that small area 5-6 times and was confident it has been fixed. Now I wasn't sure if I should complete going till Lower Parel and then head back or from Dadar only start going to Vile Parle, worrying what if something like this happens again. I wasn't carrying any money, now that the thought strikes me, how would I have got it repaired at a cycle repair shop when I didn't've any money. I was about to leave but before that told them how much thankful I am of them, if I didn't ask them this problem wouldn't've been solved. I said I wanted to tip something for helping me out, by then the owner of the tea shop came there and he felt very bad of what I said, he said what am I saying so I said I mean I would've had tea or something, so he said now you will have to have tea and go so I said no no no I need to continue now, no tea. They forced me and gave me tea, delicious. They fixed my cycle's chain for free and they also gave me free tea. I promised them I'll return there to have one more cup of tea and pay for it that time, they just smiled. I couldn't believe my luck. I continued my cycling, reached to where I had to go to and reached back home safely. If I wouldn't've met them, my journey would've been ruined that day but they let me complete it. We chat about some stuff during the quick repair and while I was drinking tea and we exchanged some good conversation, where one of the things he said was that his son used to cycle daily up to Bhandup which was up to 30kms. I haven't got back as yet but hopefully I will see them soon passing by from there.
You know how much I hate plastic and plastic related stuff yet I'm using some of it in my daily life which I'm constantly guilty about and want to put a full stop to it. Hoping one day soon. Yesterday, while cycling, I stopped by for little to have coconut water after ages. At Juhu Beach. So it was the usual, the guy cuts it, puts straw in it and I have it. It was superb, lot of water. Loved it. We chat for a bit. He said real way to drink coconut water is without the straw, just have it directly, and it struck me yes I didn't realise while drinking and that how much I hate plastic. He said people don't want to dirty their fancy clothing so straw is an easy way of drinking but he was against it. Next time I need to try drinking coconut water without a straw.
Some days ago, while cycling coming from Oshiwara, two guys on a motorbike suddenly call me from behind, Hi! How are you? So I reply the same hi how are you? They go. I would think later why would they speak to me. Was it because my t-shirt said Rancho's School on my back? Or was it because I was cycling?
There're many more cycling stories I'm encountering daily. Once there was a motorcycle diaries, someday there'll be a bicycle diary.
Writing the following on 6 Feb:
I visited that small restaurant at Dadar. Just after the vegetable market and just before the flyover, diagonally opposite Sunshine Tower. I had one cutting chai. Strangely I am wearing Cutting Chai tee of Mid Day and it is midday now. Tea costed Rs.6. I paid Rs.20.