Following the “Cult”
Well, before I start up, I want to make clear one thing to everyone reading this blog, that, this one is a different post from anything I have ever written and regardless of the brand I am about to mention, each biker could relate it to motorcycling passion.
It was a sunny winter day when I got keys to my first Royal Enfield. I remember it was a holiday and I was soaking up the very warm and cheerful sun over the top of my house. I was feeling very drowsy and was about to sleep just when I got a call from the RE salesman saying my bike has arrived and I shall take the delivery! I just ran to showroom in the pajamas and the bathroom slippers I was wearing…. Well bringing it to home and owning it from the day one to the present day after 3 years is a bag full of feelings. Mixed feelings to be precise!
It was never a Suzuki Hayabusa or any other exotic bike that covered up the walls of my room. My room was clean and simple with just a single newspaper cutting of Royal Enfield. Yes! It was my dream. Whenever, as kids, we heard the thump (definitely used to be audible before the bike entering the street) we used to run and shout “bullet gang is coming”. No, we weren’t scared from the guys who owned them but scared of the bike. Yes, the bike! It was heavy, full metal and filled up to the brim with “masculinity” It used to be an infinitely pleasurable moment whenever I got a chance to have glimpse of this heavy metal thumping machine.
Royal Enfield, also primarily known as “Bullet” over the Indian shores, was a motorcycle that was desired by every age group people. Look, my grand dad was a fan of it, my dad loved this bike and whenever they got a chance to have a glimpse of an ongoing, they, ensured they soaked up almost everything they could, of their beloved “Bullet”. See, it wasn’t just a motorcycle to people, it created a magic among the mass…. It was a desirable women that everyone want to hold hand of (feminists please forgive me the mistake I just committed). With time the “Bullet” brand became a cult…. A cult which had loyal and very die hard followers. They didn’t wanted any other bike, nor they were interested into. It was looked upon by the mass, as an “upper class” possession which a “middle class” man could only dream of. Everyone knew the problems that came free while buying this bike (primarily the fuel efficiency issue and the maintenance) but still as I wrote earlier, it was a very… very…. desirable women! But all thanks to the growing economy and the “very hard working” Indian’s, the Indian economy had been growing since ever. People could now afford these “lifestyle oriented enjoyments” easily or by taking loans (most of us does!). People who dreamt of RE whenever hearing the word “bike” could now afford the RE brand.
But, owing one is a totally different side of the coin! Running and buying are two very different things. The bike rattles each bone present in your body, your back would pain as if you had got beating from an angry mob (because you are holding hand of that desirable woman), servicing costs are monstrous (each service costs 1700 bucks plus that is costlier than servicing of a Maruti Suzuki Swift!) Servicing backup is very poor and you would always find yourselves waiting in long ques to get your bike serviced and eventually find yourself waiting your whole day. Spare parts take infinite time to arrive on time besides they cost more than you could think of. UCE engines are “refined, efficient and performance oriented” according to company and that is nothing but just the biggest lie of century. They can breakdown anywhere you don’t want them to…. Things would eventually start going wrong in the middle of nowhere even if you got your bike serviced a day before… Efficiency is so good that you would just keep looking for petrol filling stations over long rides and would also have to carry backup cans to ensure you don’t have to walk with this “desirable woman” to the next petrol pump… And the best part? You would find difficult to hide your face down when a 150cc motorcycle would overtake you in a couple of seconds over highways! “Bullet” is a large, wide, ultra heavy piece of metal that would make you cry at times (plus point is that you won’t cry much at your break up).
But remember you brought this bike because your grand dad and your dad dreamt of it and praised it….. you brought it because it was your dream and the “cult” associated with the bike…. Also you brought this because you thought you looked “cool” (that’s myth you are ugly as hell). You can’t sell it… So what now? Bear it!
Exactly after 2 years 9 months later and 36,000 kms on the odometer I have some reasons to justify buying this “metal junk”….
Enfield is a “cult”, a proper cult that has its own league of followers. Followers, who don’t want changes in it nor they ever wished, infact they hate changes. Followers who are not very settled with the introduction of technology or refinement or reliability or performance and the best part? They don’t even care! Followers who would pack their bags and would do solo cross country runs… Followers who would do anything to reach the mecca of biking “Ladakh” over this “cult” because that was their dream….
These followers don’t care about efficiency and they love to carry petrol cans, tool kits…. Not to save them from breakdowns but to enjoy those breakdowns…. This was their dream…. This was their “cult” their true “love” this was their “Royal Enfield”.
Every time I wear my helmet, and kick off the bike…. This bike isolates me in which every other motorcycle has failed till date…. I have met endless people… seen uncountable places over it. I have witnessed some of the most beautiful and unforgettable moments of my life over this bike. Whenever I see someone on RE going down the street or the highway, in group or solo… I feel grumble rushing into my stomach and I undergo through very sudden and rapid nostalgic trips that I had for this “Bullet” bike. Raising my thumbs up to the opposite going “Bulleteer” 700 kms away from home, in Himalayas, and him replying back by raising his thumbs up…. Is something that would justify you buying this motorcycle. It’s the feel of pure “Enfield-ism” ! The feel that encourages you to keep moving forward and hitting every obstacle in the way, may it be the road or your life. This motorcycle has shown me new directions for life. It has sorted out the way I think, it has manipulated the way I respond to the problems. This is not a motorcycle with some mechanical issues or show off but this is my “cult” and I am proud that I’m “FOLLOWING THE CULT”.