Friday, January 03, 2014

Charge of the Bull Brigade

It has been a long time since I have ridden a two wheeler, and very clearly, never a Vespa.

 I have ridden stuff which was like a motorized bicycle with a two  litre petrol tank, and an engine so small, it didn't need a license number plate.

Then there have been a bunch of 100 cc scooters , way back in the days when all scooters looked the same , and didn't give in to the dictates of  fancy designs with sloping seats, high backs, and outlandish colors.

Then it was the evergreen M-80, which was a like a scooter unable to make up its mind, on whether to keep in touch with the aforementioned motorized cycle, or clearly take sides with the fancy new scooter types.

The daughter has done some serious pillion riding in her younger days before it became unfashionable to be seen  here and there with me , as I furiously pedalled down a slope to start the lazy engine.

Why am I suddenly talking about his ? Because I just came across a contest  announcement from Indiblogger  about "recharging" (of all things) , my hair , with a particular shampoo,  and the first prize is a Vespa :-)

Words change. Meanings change. 

 The word "charge" brought two things to mind , in the old days.  One, the electron. And two, the poem "The charge of the light brigade", which we all memorized in school back then. "Recharge" as a word, is a modern invention, ever since rechargeable batteries happened.

And it has been made completely insignificant now with its meaning extended to recharging phones with money.

Hair, of course, often had a charge associated  with it, when you combed it in a certain way, and tried to show off in front of folks who had not learnt yet about static electricity.

It also had a " discharge" associated with it, when you went to someone to have your hair cut, and set, and looked acceptable in the mirror one last time, before breezing back on your two wheeler in the monsoon winds, arriving back, totally discharged in a disarray of hair which had meekly given in and blown haywire.

I guess charging  and recharging your hair using a specific shampoo is for those whose curls have a life of several hours, and whose hair falls just so, as they step out of a fancy car, reflecting and glinting in the sunlight deflected by their sunglasses.  

But "charging" and "scooters"  brings back some different memories.

The daughter trained for years , as a competitive swimmer, and since one lived on a campus with various facilities,  I would take her to the pool every single day for her workouts as a child.   

One evening as we approached the steps leading to the pool, the daughter riding pillion,  I saw a person in front staring at me , open mouthed, with fear on his face. 

I knew this person, and was a bit puzzled, and some good sense made me look behind, as the daughter prepared to disembark.  There was a huge black bull, horns pointed in my direction, galloping towards us.  The guy in front didn't know what to say , but his expression said it all. I urged my daughter to get off and run inside, while I accelerated for dear life, and took off at what were considered amazing speeds around the students' gymkhana , ever done by a lady in her 50's on a two wheeler, the bull hot in pursuit, charging behind me. 

We stay in a wooded campus, which has some cattle as original inhabitants.  Occasionally, they get intimidated by the sound of changing of gears.  Particularly , when a calf is around with them.  I had changed gears when taking a turn on an incline,  and had inadvertently threatened the bull, which was now being greatly aided by the slope of the road..

And so we had this big episode of a race between a frightened desperate old lady on a scooter, and a raging charged black bull  bigger than the lady and scooter together, one accelerating to save her life, and the other , in an enraged attack.

A full circle around the gymkhana, watched by dumbstruck students, and the bull lost momentum, as I coasted back to the pool, parked the vehicle , and ran up the steps to the viewers gallery at the pool, to be applauded by friends who were observing this spectacle. 

Don't know about my hair, but this entire chase had charged me so badly, I sat down with friends in the viewers gallery  with my eyes closed, as my daughter watched while doing backstroke in her assigned lane.

I don't know that I am submitting this for the contest,  since I am saying little about the specific shampoo, Sunsilk, and the hair charging  and recharging.

But given that the Vespas are participating , is there any truth to the rumour that Hindustan Unlever has now Italian partners ?     Just saying ......   :-))




  1. HA HA HA .. Wish I was witness to this heroic yet humorous incident! Made for a fun read :-)

  2. Oh My God! thats like the super scariest thing ever! It seems hilarious now, but I have been nearly butted by a buffalo so I can well imagine your situation...

  3. Gasp. If a bull is headin' my direction, I will surely run for my life like there is no more tomorrow :)

  4. Lol! For a second it was scary, I could also imagine you zooming on the vespa did you have a rolling pin in hand even then!? :D :D It would have come in handy! :D

    A post that read with a huge grin on my face :D

  5. I once dreamt that a black bull was chasing my sister and it really happened the following day. The experience still scares me. I can imagine what you might have gone through.

  6. That was scary and funny. I probably would have fainted on the spot :/