It is cold. I pull my sweater at a feeble attempt to wrap the ends around my body. Maybe wearing jeans was not a smart choice. But then I have never been known for my smartness.
It did not have gears. It did not matter. With or without gears cycling does not come easy to me. I have to cross the road. I contemplate doing it while on the cycle and decides against it. I push the cycle over a small mound of untended grass that doubles as a road divider. Once across I start cycling.
The problem is getting on and pedaling. Once I get the movement I am like the wind ( the one that blows sporadically!).
I decide not to wait for Arvind. He is either tinkering with his camera or he is already ahead.
There is blue all over the lake, blue of all shades. A light blue blankets the entire sky. Over it cotton balls like clouds formed steps across the sky, steps that served no purpose since it was too far apart. At places it seemed like the canvas was smeared with a slightly darker shade of blue. Maybe an accidental smear?
Oops! I better watch where I am going. I do not like cycling with kids around. Knowing me I sure am going to crash into one of them.
For six in the morning there is a lot of activity around.
I must have cycled for a good 20 minutes. I still do not see Arvind. Should I be worried?
Yes I should be worried.There is a mini van headed my way. The driver may not read the ‘Hey I cannot cycle’ sign that is written so visibly across my forehead in invisible ink.
I get down from my cycle and respectfully stand aside and let the van pass. Once the van passes I get back on the cycle and pedal away.
The road stretches ahead and there is no vehicle, not even a cycle in sight. Only an elderly couple walking briskly.
The blue of the sky seems to have been usurped by the cotton clouds. The mist has lifted from the water taking with it the mystery, leaving the lake bare and alone and tossed with garbage. Where has the civic sense of the people gone?
“Are you alright?”
Why am I staring into the eyes of the elderly woman who was walking in front of me?
Ouch why does my arm hurt? Oh! Great. While contemplating the mystery of the lake I fell off the cycle.
“But how did you fall? There was nothing on the road?”
How do I explain to the elderly man that its not the road, its me! I can’t.
So I let that question remain rhetorical. I pick myself and the cycle up and limp the rest of the way to the rental.
Damn that Arvind! He has to take my picture at my most vulnerable moment!
[ The Hyderabad Bicycling club rents out cycles every day from 5.30 am to 7.30am near the lake (Opp Sanjeevaiah Park) for a nominal fee. An id card/vehicle keys is requested as collateral].