You, me and a Royal Enfield
(This article was originally written for Royal Enfield’s quarterly magazine, The Beat. It was published in its edition dated March 2015.)
What do you get when you mix a Royal Enfield and me? Nothing.
That would have been the case till a few years ago when I wasn’t aware if I could even spell r-i-d-i-n-g correctly. Now I can tell when the thump in our Electra 350 CC UCE is off the beat.
It took a few month’s convincing on a certain someone’s part to take me along on a real highway ride. I agreed because I ran out of excuses to say no. However, that first experience of soaking in the highway on two wheels transformed something in me. Seeing the world go by through a heavy riding gear that I was encased in, I knew I was hooked. I loved every bit of those 4 hours of non-stop thumping. As we planned more rides together, I wasn’t sure if the rides were drawing me towards him or was it him that made me love the rides. In any case, I was absorbed in both.
Falling in love is one thing. Falling in love on open roads is another. Holding hands with riding gloves on, clinking helmets on sudden application of the breaks or just being together on two-wheels for hours and not being able to speak with each other is the kind of romance our story bloomed on. I wasn’t surprised when he popped the question over a cup of tea along the highway. It seemed like the most obvious thing to me. I guess he wasn’t surprised either when I asked him if we could go on a 4 day ride after our wedding, long before our honeymoon.
We were engaged before we knew it. All I can remember from the ceremony is that a dear friend gifted us an MRF Nylogrip 3.50 and Vineet was ecstatic. It’s taken us on many smooth rides since then. The wedding was conveniently decided to be held on a Sunday. I am happy to write that my wedding was one of the most fun weddings I have ever attended; thanks to the fact that Vineet came to the venue on our bullet with his family and friends in tow. There was no band-baaja; just the deafening thump and roaring horns of over 21 Royal Enfields. My cousins did not steal his shoes, as is the tradition, but locked the tyre of his bike.
After the ceremony, we rode out of the venue (our first ride as husband and wife) with a cheering battalion of bullets behind us. It was thrilling – so much so that my family almost forgot to get emotional about sending me away. They were, of course, busy taking pictures and videos of the motorcade. For wedding gifts, we received sleeping bags, a new set of helmets, a DIY tent, even riding jackets and the rest of the gear. We rode all the way back to Mumbai from Pune and those first 3 hours of our marriage spent on our Enfield, with a big group of friends riding behind us – I wish I could live those moments all over again.
Since then, we have gone on numerous rides – each one more exciting than the previous. Be it 5 days in Kutch or 4 days across 3 Indian states– I have loved every minute of it! Being on a ride is like meditation – you get to peek within while your eyes see the beauty outside.
I like to believe that this is just the beginning. We are always in the planning mode for our next ride – so we ensure that there’s always a thump to look forward to, always a highway that’s waiting for us to zoom past.
So yes, it is safe to say that a Royal Enfield stormed into my life and nothing was ever the same as before.
And here’s our wedding card (for friends only), which ensured that we had a very high foot fall at the wedding 😉
We are eternally grateful to everyone who made our wedding the most fun and special day for both of us! 🙂