Happy Father's Day: My royal Enfield Bullet 350 is the essence of everything I remember my Dad for
When I was 17 years old, I remember a person in my life who was crazy about cars and bikes. He had the 'Dukkar' Fiat, the Maruti Dinky [SS80], the Maruti 800, Tata Estate, Tata Sierra, Mahindra Scorpio... I had a great time with him. He taught and explained to me a lot of things about cars and bikes. It wasn't just four wheels either. On two wheels he rode a Bajaj Chetak, Hero Honda Sleek, Kinetic Honda and a Bajaj Pulsar.
Learning from him was a great experience because he was very open- minded. I still remember that he used to tell me to "always keep your eyes on the road and to never speak to anyone while driving". Most of the time, this was in the garage with his car or bike, just the two of us. I still remember the time he picked me up from college and took me for a ride - the best ride of my life.
He was driving and I was sitting next to him. The music was on and in a soft voice, I asked my father where we were going. As it turns out, he did not reply and continued driving. After a while, we reached the Western Express Highway, an important Mumbai road.
And I saw a huge car showroom there, called Sai Service [they handle Maruti Suzuki and Bajaj at this place. I thought dad was buying another new vehicle which confused me quite a bit. We went inside and were greeted with a big smile. Followed by tea and cold drinks etc.
Then dad asked the chap what was the newly launched bike they had there. The sales representative said. "Yes sir, we have the all new Bajaj Pulsar 180 with good features and mileage."
Dad turned to me and said, "Rahul, go check the bike out." My heart was racing and my stomach was full of butterflies as I saw the bike. It was red in colour with spoke wheels. So shiny with its fat tank and the round headlight. I was in shock.
I returned to him and said, "So, it's an amazing bike," He turned around and told the sale representative, "Please book the bike in Rahul Yadav's name." There was a moment of silence while I was just looking at him in shock. "That's your gift from me.", he said.
We made the payment and left the showroom. About an hour after we reached home, the bike got delivered. I was going mad. In just hours, my father had done all this! I used to ride like crazy on that Bajaj Pulsar 180. To college, to our shop, to the market for shopping. Everywhere!
But it didn't last. Six months later, the bike got stolen.
I was heartbroken. Dad told me to not worry and we went to the police to file a report. Which was of no use and the insurance finally paid us 60 per cent of what we had paid for the bike new.
And that was that for my riding for a year or two.
Then dad took me once again to a shop. He pointed to a bike and said, "How does that look?" I told him it looks great! So much bigger than the old bike. He said, "Huge? Don't worry, I will teach you."
That is the Royal Enfield Bullet 350 which I still ride.
I am writing this because the person who was with me through all this was my dad and today is Father's Day. I want to make him feel proud and show him the respect that's hidden inside my heart.
You are lucky to have your father with you. For me, he's just a remembrance - I lost him 10 years ago.
So cherish every moment with him and tell him what's in your heart. I am sure he will understand like no one else can.
Happy Father's Day, dad. I miss you.