A few months after I moved to the city where I now live and work, I moved my bike here as well. Soon thereafter, while riding home from work, I met a member of a leading motorcycle club at a traffic signal. I accosted him at once and asked how I could join. He explained the procedure to me and soon I was a member as well.
After being part of a few rides within the city, I decided to join the club for a ride to a town about 150 kilometres away, where the club was to celebrate its 15th anniversary. A few other clubs from across the country were also invited to join the three-day gala event.
The ride to the venue was great and a lot of fun, except for a minor mishap when a fellow biker bumped slightly into the rear of my bike, since he was not able to brake properly as we approached a speed breaker.
While most bikers had brought along tents that they pitched in an open ground provided for the purpose at the venue, I had not and joined a few others to stay at one of the rooms available at nominal charges for visitors at a nearby Gurdwara. I also had the option of staying in a tent in which the owners generously offered space, but chose the air-conditioned comfort of the room at the Gurdwara instead.
Throughout the evening and the next morning, visiting bikers kept pouring in from different parts of India.
It was the next evening that I felt ‘their‘ presence at the venue, as standardised comments began to be passed in low voices. A few such comments were also passed by fellow visitors to a historic Mughal-era fort in the town that was also nearby and that I visited with a few fellow bikers.
At the actual anniversary celebrations, where a huge cake was cut in the presence of about 200-300 people, mostly from the biking community, I could hear some trying to intimidate me by making standardised as well as non-standard comments. When I challenged them to a direct confrontation, though, either communicating through my mind or speaking in a low voice, none of them came forward. I managed to identify a small group, belonging to a motorcycle club from a nearby town, that was discussing my ‘Moola‘ and how effective it possibly could be. However, when I walked up to them and stationed myself behind them, a few inches behind their backs, they suddenly seemed to shut up for some reason and stood silently applauding the speakers on stage.
The ride back to the home city was again enjoyable and fun.
During the city-based events organised by the club, I recall ‘their’ presence mostly at a vintage car and bike show to which the club was invited, where some fellow visitors made standardised comments.