I generally enjoy riding bikes and driving cars. The journey of how I got to do both is an interesting one. When I was a kid, around eight years old, my grandpa would take me on rides. He would ask me to stand between the seat and the handlebar of the old ‘Kinetic Honda’. While standing there, I won’t find a comfortable place to keep my hand. So, I would place my hands on the handlebar. My grandfather would let me hold it and he would gently place his hands over mine while still keeping control of the handlebar. I I closely observed his riding style. I would notice how he accelerated and applied brakes. I have asked him several times to give me a chance to ride that Kinetic Honda on my own, but he would always refuse because I was too young for it.
When parents say no to something, children would want to do just that. Similarly, each, and every time I tried to ride the scooter, there was a big NO from the elders as I was just ten years old.
One day, I noticed an employee of our parents’ company come in a ‘Scooty Pep’. I approached him and told him that I want to ride his bike. As I expected, he said NO, and the reason behind his objection was, I was again too young for it. I convinced him saying I’m familiar with biked and got on his bike. Little did he know that was the very first time I rode a bike on my own.
As an enthusiast, first I accelerated the bike so high making the engine go VRRROOOOM…… I completely forgot about the brake, and I did not know how to stop the bike. I rode the bike straight into the compound wall of the apartment. Thank god, there was no significant damage. It was then I told him the truth that, this was my very first experience of riding a bike. Then he said to me that I somewhat rode nice as that was my first time. He told me that a few corrections and practice would make me better. Those words were encouraging to me at that time. Then I told my family about my experience with Murugesh Anna’s bike. Seeing my enthusiasm, my grandpa started teaching me to ride a scooter. Noticing this, my dad encouraged and inspired me to drive a car.
At that time, driving a car was way too much for me. I was so small that I could not even touch the accelerator and brake. Then my father would ask me to sit on his lap and drive the car. I will control of the steering while he took care of the accelerator and the brake. Then slowly he taught me how to use the gears. When I was 15 years, I was at my right height, and I started to drive the car entirely on my own.
I only drive our car at my native place as it is a quiet and peaceful village. There are long stretches of road with almost no traffic. Slowly, I began to improve. In 2017, with the support and encouragement of my family I drove almost 50 kilometers from the Rettanai Village to Pondicherry to visit our native temple. That was a moment of achievement for me.