Free Bicycle Ride

Those were the good old days of the bicycles.

My slender blue-coloured BSA was my constant companion. I envied people who whizzed past me on their scooters or motorcycles; those who had no vehicles, not even a bicycle, envied me.

One day, I was returning home from the market when a stocky man requested me to give him a lift on my bicycle!

The ride was uphill, and I did not relish the thought of carrying someone. It would have been very laborious. But, having been a Boy Scout during my childhood, I decided to perform my kind act of the day.

I told him to sit on the bicycle carrier. He did not need a second invitation and at once jumped onto the carrier. The carrier was quite slender and I was afraid it would break under the man's weight, but it held on.

It was a tough ride. I panted and panted as I pedaled uphill but my pillion rider was oblivious to my discomfort and sat pretty. Never once did he offer to get down for a while and switch sides.

I was getting angrier and angrier and wanted to tell him to start walking. But having offered him a ride voluntarily, I did not have the heart to tell him to get down.

Having laboriously pedaled for a few hundred metres, I saw a friend walking along the road. I had not met him for quite a while and this chance meeting was really a happy moment.

When I reached my friend, I explained the situation to the pillion rider and asked him to walk the rest of the distance. But he refused to get down!

"You promised to carry me through the whole distance and you must keep your promise," he retorted and refused to budge from his perch.

I was taken aback. This was my bicycle. It was I who was giving him a free ride. I was doing him a favour but he had taken it as his right!

My friend and I, therefore, had to forget our "good act of the day" and we forcibly removed him from the carrier.

The man went away muttering to himself. Well, so much for my act of kindness!

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  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi -
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training -
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) -
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi -
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