‘That’s the morning round’, says the milkman when you chat him up. He is quite happy. And sports a perdurable smile that is instantaneously strikingly envy provoking! You notice that it’s a can load of milk. Another can on one side. Yet another in the front.
Zipping in and out of narrow streets. Every household’s door knocked and delivered. An important vehicle in the distribution chain.
That causes you to wonder. How much can you accomplish in two wheels ? Especially when the two wheels are not big fat wheels that would take you long distances or are powered by engines that would equal an entire top notch stable.
There was a time, when going to school in a ‘moped’ was the thing! When classmates used to haul themselves and those heavy satchels into the school bus, you would dream of ‘zipping by’. It is completely another matter though, that the needle on the speedometer moving up by another centimeter would mean the engine having to quiver like a frail patient in an air-conditioned room with 106 degree fever and ratchet up a noise that could wake up someone in Hawaii.
But if anyone cared, it wasn’t you. For, you had a moped! You had mobility. You had freedom. You were a teenager looking into the future filled with possibilities and the two thin wheels of the moped had ‘arrived’ you.
Like all things, this status changed. In a blink of an eye, the big bad bikes replaced mopeds as the aspirational status symbol for boys. As life progressed and as the boy morphed into a man the moped was a relic, alive only in his memory.
But then, the moped continues to live on. Like with the milkman. In a very different avatar though. The moped had now dons the mantle of a partner for businesses.
Quite often, slipping to don the role of a load carrier.
These are small retailers. Hoarding their mopeds with merchandise, that any lay person would think that one more gram could appear to break the chassis. That’s when the man will haul himself atop all of his merchandise and drive off with a palpable disaffection for any sentiments and focused solely on getting ahead with business.
Safe travel is fortuitous and living is more than just merely ‘getting by’! The milkman and the shopkeeper represent a world that not many peep into. Taking for granted all that’s delivered at home when the only bones that are to be moved are those in the fingers, to dial a number.
But there is world out there. Still on the moped. Underpowered and over-delivering ! Spare a thought. Say hello. Sprinkle a smile. Pass an encouraging word. Give way..
If not for anything else, atleast for those moped memories from those teenage years!
8 thoughts on “Moped memories”
I think they were introduced when I was a child. There used to be a thing called a “scooterette”. These were considered feminine and not worth a second look by mustachioed milk and sugarcane guys on motorcycles, after a lady’s saree palloo got entangled and unraveled on one of the main Pune thoroughfares. The milk types later used Lunas and M-80’s.
And while the milkcan may be replaced by a wife and 2 children filling in the moped-blanks while going for a wedding in the evening, folks like me enjoyed using M-80’s going for work ,till retirement. (I still have it).
🙂 Phew! spare a thought. What better way to do that than write about the milkman and the small retailers. Good one Kavi.
I remember sometime in middle school. I learnt the difference between a bike and a moped; along with it the limitations of the moped. Yet, I yearn to see a Suvega or a Luna on the road now infested with big bad bikes!!
I am always amazed by those who have such perfect balance…
I have seen a dog being transported probably to the vet on these. And teenage day traffic was not too bad, I am amazed how these little things, most of them in a worn out condition zip past you without a care in the world. Hats off to moped riders.
( two thin wheels of the moped had ‘arrived’ you.)
LOL @ ‘ arrived’ you ! Remembered a piece from ‘ Catch 22’.
Nately : If you speak against the authorities, ‘ you will be disappeared’ !
Yossarian : ‘ I will be dissappared’ ? What kind of grammar is this ?
Luna moped – The first machine and I started driving.
This can happen only in India… the curious case of usage of moped!