Ode to my old bicycle

Standing in the balcony,

chain red-brown with rust,

trusted companion

through cities and states,

bisecting forests,

hemming coastlines,

braving rain, wind and sun

and the threat of theft.

No fuel guzzler this,

Simply powered by idli, omelette, coffee

and whatever else it found on the road.

Now rests aging,

joints creaking,

no Hercules this,

powerless

against the same sun it raced towards

in younger years.

Tyres like wrinkled skin,

Handlebar befriending dust – opposites do attract.

Frame – scratched and freckled and mottled,

scars

of battles fought against nature,

and of the endless war it was dragged into by the Bangalore traffic.

True to its name: a chameleon,

blending in

on pushy, cramped office commutes,

on crooked streets,

on yawning highways,

on potholes interspersed with road.

Now

standing still in its twilight years,

recounting in silence

the stories written on its spokes.

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