School's out


Some of the best days of my life were spent in school. I studied in an all boys place of learning, and I remember how my heart would skip a million beats if a girl so as much looked in my direction.

Getting up early in the morning was severely despised by me, and that hate is still very much part of yours truly. But the fact that there would soon be an old, green Mercedes bus standing outside my house to pick me up for school would invariably get me off my bed and prod me to ready myself at the earliest lest I miss the experience.

Sometimes, I did get late, of course. But I still made it to school, thanks to something better - my dad and his mint condition circa 1964 Jawa 250. I would run out to my back yard with my bag slung on my shoulders, pull the covers off the bike and then clean the contours of the old Czech two-stroke with a soft cotton cloth. My dad would step out, push the long nail-like key in, turn the fuel cock on and then turn over the gear changer cum kick lever and pump piston in the cylinder to build compression and feed in the air and fuel. One sweeping kick later, the magical beast would wake up from its slumber, large clouds of blue smoke blowing out of the two chromed silencers. When that exercise didn't work as intended after a few repetitions, I would open the right tool box and plonk the sparkplug spanner into my dad's hand. In a few minutes, the whole ritual would be repeated after cleaning the plug, and the thing would spring to life.

I'd hop on at the back, and the rest of my day would pass with a broad smile on my face. Dad obviously knew that sometimes I would stretch out my morning schedule a bit so that I could get a ride on the old smokey, but he never complained. Thanks a tonne, Dad!

If I have heard correctly, St. Dominic Savio High School doesn't have that green bus anymore. They've replaced it with a boring Tata instead. But to keep the nostalgia alive, it seems that it's painted the same shade of green. We still have my dad's Jawa, and I'm sure he loves it a bit more than me. He's had it since he bought it brand new when he was in college, so it's only but natural. Dad's pretty proud that the old girl is kept in good nick, and that both his boys have learned to ride motorcycles on that same very bike.

Soon enough, I'm sure that history will repeat itself.