Friday, February 18, 2011

The One With The Bicycle Guy

Today when I stopped by a small corner shop to fix my bicycle stand, I noticed an interesting piece of reality. The guy who does the fixes went to get the spare and I was exploring his small (2 by 5 meters) shop. There were a couple of cans of 'Pan Masala' i.e Tobacco gums which I'm not sure he chewed or used to store stuff, a damaged bicycle (not surprising since he repairs such stuff) and a couple of trophies with the same thing applied to them as is applied to the forehead of religious deities and priests in some parts of Southern India as a Hindu tradition. He obviously worshiped the trophies the same way he did the gods. Besides that, there were a bunch of posters of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Saurav Ganguly and the Indian cricket team players. No doubt he was a cricket fan. It was then that I saw a photo frame tucked behind the trophies whose color had faded and the edges worn out. It was the photo of a post-match victory team with a manager, the coach, the players and a trophy, a trophy similar to the one kept there.

When he returned with the spare, I asked him what all the trophies and the photo stood for and he told me his story of being a cricket player and fracturing his arm 4 years ago. He had won several tournaments but the accident changed everything. He had left studies for cricket and cricket had left him dead, almost. So he now fixed bicycles for a living earning a meager amount on a daily basis. He had a wife and a mother to take care of and they lived just behind the shop. The state of affairs wasn't that bad but definitely not as good as it would have been had he been able to continue cricket and reap some dividends out of the cash-rich Indian Premier league or one of the several other money driven cricket leagues.

This reminds me of the dialogue between George Cloooney in 'Up in the air' and Bob, the employee he fires.

Ryan Bingham: You know why kids love athletes?
Bob: Because they screw lingerie models.
Ryan Bingham: No, that's why we love athletes. Kids love them because they follow their dreams.

This cycle repair guy tried his dreams but failed. Maybe I'm wrong in making that assumption here. He seemed content and did not exactly regret what happened. That's why India is such a box of contradictions and its people even more unpredictably brilliant at living lives. Most people around here who have steady jobs no longer have real dreams, the one that they cherished since childhood. Maybe they are just being practical and have substituted their bigger dreams with many smaller ones like buying a house, watching a movie with someone, getting a better job offer, travelling to places and so on. Nevertheless it takes strong guts to pursue strong dreams and hopefully despite eating all that junk food, many of the generation will still be able to build those guts.

Now for some random stuff.

An ode to the valentine's day that was :) The Android bots signify that roses are no longer acceptable gifts for valentine, funky Android tablets are!


Pooja said...

Awesome post!!! One of your best.

chosen1 said...

Ya...refreshingly good post after a few timepass ones ;)

umashankar said...

I nearly skimmed past your post when it gripped me. Unfortunately, the fate of the bicycle man is not an unusual phenomenon, more so, in our part of the world. The irony of the dialogue from 'Up in the Air' renders his predicament all the more naked.

Wonderful post.

Mohit said...

mandark boy experiencing a slice of life.. btw you should thank me for recommending UITA, gives you a new perspective on life.. and nice post.

Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli said...

wow... this is such an interesting post. Good u asked him about the trophies and photos!