With a heavy heart, I have to say I’m planning to sell my bike, Mi. Yes, yes, I know. But it has been in the garage, unused. I can’t be checking on it and dusting it and ensuring it starts forever when I don’t plan to use it. That’s when I had to bite the bullet and make the decision of selling it. I had no idea to where to start. Balaji told me about a site with free ads in India – so obviously I turned to the Internet – where else. A couple of hours later, I have some idea what to expect for my Honda Activa. I saw ads for the same year’s model asking in the range of Rs.19,000 to Rs.25,000. I smiled at the ads that said “lady driven” – and wondered if it was good or bad.

So I’ve called the battery guy who came and picked it up – needed to be charged. He’ll be bringing it back tomorrow. Then I’ll have the bike serviced, take pictures and put it up for sale.

I fondly remember bringing it home on June 29, 2003. And what a smooth ride it has been. Even on cold wintry mornings, the auto-ignition would start when touched. And Vidur and I would look at each other and say “That’s our Honda!”. How many emergency trips to school! What fun we’ve had zooming around on it, even if it was only in our area.

Gosh, I’ll never forget how, within two weeks of buying it, the stepne got stolen. You and I decided to make a quick trip to the market to get some stuff and parked it at the usual place near the temple. Remember how you enjoyed perching your arm on the stepne as if it were an armrest? We shopped and happily settled our bags and were about to ride back home when you asked me where your armrest was and that is when we realized it was missing. Our first instinct was to complain, but the thought of running around over the next few weeks put us off. The funny part was just the previous evening, I was telling you I planned to dismantle it from the bike and leave it in the garage!

Vidur misses the bike – especially while waiting at the bus stop, wistfully recalling how we reached school in 5 minutes. Sigh. Of course I miss it too. But I know I can’t use it any more – the thought of navigating the traffic on 8th main makes even me shudder! I’d rather walk – which itself is a brave thing to do – what with half the roads dug up for cabling work. After that accident last year in January, I haven’t gone out on the bike.

I remember selling my Kinetic Honda back in 1997 before we moved to Mumbai. How easy that was. Bishu had told us months before that he wanted to buy it and it was a smooth sale. Everyone admired how well the bike was maintained.

Sigh. I shed tears then. And there’s no doubt I’ll shed tears now. So sad. But I see the sensibility in selling the bike, Mi. No point shutting it up in our garage, right?

This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make. I am sure had you been around, you would have convinced me to do this earlier. So that’s the scene. As soon as the bike is serviced and ready, I’ll post a free ad and see what happens. I’ve also told a few people.

All I can wish is, may it go to loving hands.

So funny. I haven’t let anyone else ride my bike except the mechanic – out of necessity. Very few pillion riders – you, Vidur, Sury, Ravi, Uma, Manchu and Corinne. I am grateful to all of you for thinking I am a terrific driver. I had a good teacher! Oh gosh, I’ll never forget learning on that Vespa in 1987 – glorious memories. And then buying my first two-wheeler, the Hero Puch.  I’ll never forget Iyer’s face when the boys told him I had taken his motorbike out for a ride at 10 pm with Tanu. He freaked out when I came back and told him it was my first time on a motorbike.

Let me look at the bright side, Mi.

Goodbyes are very tough, no?