It was February 2015. There was a bad time in life of which only a select few know till date. It was breaking, shattering and whatever those crazy words can come into your mind. I was out of my home country, far away on a business trip, almost alone. The 12 day trip kept moving, while I took some bit of alcohol 3-4 times and tried to be calm. Being alone and lonely are two separate things. This was one time when I was both. Somewhere, it was a blessing in disguise. There was nothing what could be done, there was nothing required to be done, other than staying patient and keeping the calm.
Back in my home country, the next day I attended an afternoon wedding. I was a little surprised, I was getting back too quickly. The sadness was disappearing, for the good, the mind was playing well, in the right direction. We had a great house party that night with some Poker and Music. Following week, I was back to the thing I loved – Riding the Bike. In less than a week from that, the shattering feeling and loneliness disappeared. It was the Mind, it acted well, it made the strength flow out of the mind into the heart and soul.
Couple of months later, the inception of Summers in April, when the early mornings are one of the good times to ride, but the sun makes it all opposite. A Bike ride on a Sunday morning was planned. We usually ride a total of 30-40 KMs on Sundays and that too very early in the morning. We started around 7. A wonderful ride it was coming out to be, a lot of cyclists, those beautiful songs – the Summer of 69 on the Portable Speaker of a Cyclist with the soothing early morning rising sun, the blissful coolness around. Getting on the side bars of the back-up vehicle to take down the berries (shehtoot) while shaking the trees, picking them from the top of the vehicle, the bonnet, in hands, sharing and relishing with the fellow riders, smiles and laughter and talks all around. The canal waters on the right, the trees on the left, the fields behind them. No one knew how far were we going, but it was a Farmhouse, where the Paranthas were waiting. Finally, after a couple of hrs, around 9 AM, we reached the far waited destination somewhere 35-40 kms from the starting point.
The break was a planned one, quite long it went out to be. The Desi Badam Lotion made of the Pure and Raw Almonds in a huge bucket being applied by the Veteran and one of the most enthusiastic cyclist aged 60+ to all others one by one while they entered the Tube Well. The Paranthas getting on the tawa in a room on the farm, the love and smiles spreading from each and everyone. The homely touch of the Hosts. It was all a beautiful feeling to be and it was one time, when no one wanted to leave for home soon.
As expected it kept on getting late, heat turning harder. It was noon, and there was a place I had to be by 3 or 4 PM. I decided to leave alone. Taking any help while riding is not my cup of tea, and riding back and reaching on time was the only option. I had a couple of Paranthas, with some Butter, and sat on the Saddle.
The heat was stronger, face and head covered with a bandana, over the head was the Helmet, in front was a Long Off Road Stretch followed by straight empty road most of it without any shade, fields on the right and the canal on the left. The only difference from the morning was the heat, the direction of the Sun, shadow, which took most of what trees could shield to the other side. On and off the Goats and Cows being walked, taking a shower in the water and it looked harder and harder. The Silence, nothing to hear other than the chirping of the birds, the sounds of the Jungle, the thoughts from the mind were starting their play, from the good times of the morning, to the happy emotions, to the lost times and to the fought out moments of the recent past. The game was interesting, teaching the self of an individual to the individual. That’s what riding does to you. Makes you Think!
There came a Sugarcane Juice Stall (Rehri on Wheels) on the right, a little break to hydrate was important. Quickly took the juice and left. I have a tendency to avoid breaks, somehow it feels delaying the point of arrival, be it driving, or cycling.
There at a place under the trees were 2 cyclists who left earlier than myself, lying down grabbing some breathe. A while later another one passed, thanks to the lift he got from a motorbike. A couple of more leaving on the car. I was feeling down and came a point after around 20 Kms of riding alone when I was about the give up, my speed went down, my thirst quenched harder, the legs cramped and started saying No, I badly wanted to stop, and I started having the intuition that I can’t do it today.
This was a decider, a point in time which comes in everyone’s lives when we are about to take a decision to give up on something, to stop, to wait and so on so forth. The time when you are about to give up that hope is the time you need to give it the fight it deserves and cross it through. Sometimes though the situation is such that one shall wait rather than get physically or emotionally hurt, sometimes it’s good to stop and not over do, while some times you just HAVE to keep going come what may be. It’s all about the situation one is in and the practical way of getting through it.
There was nothing to decide. The thoughts of all what happened a couple of months back penetrated from deep inside the mind. In addition, all what happened before that, the whole process, the reasons. At the same time, there was no thought of the better things which could have happened, there was no remorse, and there was no sadness. It was a Fight, between the thoughts of the Mind.
No more, the body said to the mind, that the sun is too hot, no more the thirsty mouth uttered a word to the deep conscious, no more the legs said the cramps are on way, no more the arms said it aches, no more was a negotiation between the brain and the heart, for they had come to consensus, thanks to the common enemy, the long lost and now irrelevant fear.
Suddenly, the legs started rolling faster, and faster, and faster. There was no stopping. There was no looking back, there was no getting down, there was no help which was coming, there was no help which was required. A man is what he is, he has to step the foot in the right direction with all he has got and keep giving the best shot. That was one moment when I did not need to make a choice, the mind chose positive thoughts to crush the negative ones, it chose to go on and fight with all the vigor. The Mind and Body worked in co-ordination like the Heart and Soul work. The highest speed of the stretch was attained, and the mind smiled to the body saying “and you thought it couldn’t be done, when we are together, nothing is stopping either of us”
Finally, came the home after a little less than 2 hrs of leaving the Farmhouse. There was a feeling of accomplishment, a feeling of pride, a feeling of happiness, that nothing is impossible, nothing can possibly take one down until the mind is sound. Thoughts come, positive and negative, and how the positives overpower the negatives is what differentiates the humans, and makes life a happiness.
It was a time when there was nothing more beautiful than the thoughts which bought the best out of the rider in those few moments when he almost gave up to the mirage of the road and the lost times. Eventually the same mirage of the road, the same lost times and the right mindful thoughts converged to get it all right.
Keep going, be strong. No one but yourself has the power. Bring it on, play hard, play fair.