Words: Bijoy Kumar
These days I don’t need to see Moto GP on the telly to get excited. Not even the sight of a group of thundering Harleys get my attention. Synchronised wheelies and stoppies on super bikes? Nah! What gets me going these days is the sight of a human being walking. Yes, just plain and simply walking without wobbling, hopping and emitting screams. I think I need to explain…
It has been a month since I walked properly. It all started when I put my foot in an awkward direction while playing TT in the Malaysian Open. Alright that was a lie, just that I thought it was better than saying that I was playing with a colleague in his club house. It started as a niggle that hurt when I walked. So I went and met the friendly neighbourhood orthopaedic who gave me a dose of pain killers and sent me off to Goa for the bike week. I managed bike week alright but the niggle grew into slight pain. Another visit to the ortho and this time he sent me packing on the India-Myanmar-Thailand drive after arming me with large can of Volini.
And somewhere in the middle of Myanmar I decided to walk up a mountain and the slight pain became excruciating pain every time I put weight on the left leg. Trust me, ever since that I have tried crepe bandages of various sizes, ankle-braces that earned me a lot of sympathy, pain killers that can maim a cow or two. I somehow managed to finish the epic drive and reached home in ‘limp’ mode. Back to the ortho and he studied the X-ray and dismissed it again. Two physiotherapists took over and despite them being the pretty sorts, the pain didn’t go. I tried ultra sound and ice therapy but the tissue wouldn’t heal. As we speak I am undergoing laser-therapy which is helping me somewhat. Or so I think. The net result is that let alone saddle time, I haven’t been able to take ten steps properly without looking like a Russian ballet dancer pirouetting on her toes or sounding like Bianca Castafiore live.
It is a terrible thing to happen because December to February is the best time to ride if you live in Mumbai. There is a nice nip in the air, little fog adding to the drama and the motorcycle engines run well, especially the two-stroke variety. And your morning tea tastes better after a cool ride. I tried being driven to the Creek Slayers ride but it was not the same. So one of the days when I was supposed to be resting my leg, I snuck out early in the morning and took the covers off my Harley. With some effort I could roll the machine out of the garage and thumbed her to life. And then I rode! Sure the gear shifts hurt but what a liberating feeling it was to be back on a motorcycle. Once on the move, the pain faded and the motorcycle was easy to handle. I rode my heart out as the road was free of traffic and was back home before the family woke up. My wife still doesn’t know of my escapade and if and when she does, the motorcycle keys are going to be locked for good.
If this is what a two-centimetre long soft tissue can do, I dread to think what professional riders go through. How on earth can Rossi break his collar bone and be back on a racing motorcycle in two weeks’ time? I think Gods and motorcyclists hate down time!