Hello Dear Readers,
I am Bishu Banerjee, Let me introduce myself a little bit. I am a DIM + Mechanical Engineering graduate, have worked for many automobile service industry for almost 9 years. As a professional in the automobile industry, I have a keen interest in the automobile history, inventions, new technologies, advancement, capabilities of different machines, types of automobile purpose of their invention and development and advancement one after another.
In 2006 I was in Jaipur and a 'Motorcycle Mechanic friend' of mine Deelip took me to a Vintage Bike Show. Where he personally participates every year so he has passes for free entry. He took me there and let me sit at place where I can see the entire world of vintage bikes and cars all around me. They were mostly pre WW I, some post WW I, few built at the time of WW II, some of them built post WW II. Please don't feel awkward that I am mentioning time by WW I/WW II times instead of years because its quite difficult to remember with year. The vintage car rally usually starts at the Albert Hall in Jaipur, which is a old memorial hall and its building. The riders and the drivers of those old cars and motorcycles dressed up like the old time 'Hats, Irish caps, Smoking pipe in their lips, Smoke full Cigars in the corner of the lip, Old riding leather caps with brass aviation goggles, British brown leather gloves, High ankle boots' etc. From my eyes the whole scenario pictures me the era of that very old time of 40s' or so. That was the first time I felt an amazing attraction towards motorcycles. That's because I first time discovered that these machines (motorcycles) are still running and gives a great ride after so many long years with some or no service maintenance. I felt that motorcycles are so rugged, long lasting, reliable companion for a traveler who likes adventure and utility at the same time.
Then on my 18th birthday, I asked my father to buy me a motorcycle. He agreed with some discussions over motorcycling and its pros and cons, suggested me to buy a lighter motorcycle like Hero Honda that time now Hero, TVS or Yamaha. But my heart started beating for the most reliable and trusted brand since India had not even got its Independence. The most trusted mighty Royal Enfield Bullet 350. When I came up to my father with this proposal he said the most disappointing of all time a big 'NO'. Though I kept on fighting my battle to get my choice of bike. My father even agreed for a brand new Bajaj Pulsar 150 KS, as I have a desire to ride heavy bike. Though eventually he agreed and said lets go to Dhanbad, a neighboring city in Jharkhand. Because in Dumka, Jharkhand we don't had a showroom. Then I dropped another shock bomb over my father's head that I want an old Enfield Bullet. He somehow agreed and started a search for Bullet. One day a family friend came to our house and in between the conversation he said that he wants to sell his bike. I was a bit away from them but I still over listened the motorcycle topic and ran to them and asked, if you wanna sell your Bullet, sell it to me. How much do you want? I was so excited that I couldn't control my words. Though he was very surprised that a young boy is interested into old but legendary motorcycle. It is a 1971 Civilian Royal Enfield 350. I just mentioned the Civilian word because in the late 70s' Enfields could be bought by two types, one from the showrooms, a brand new condition motorcycle which are mostly available in big cities like Delhi, Calcutta, Madras or Bombay, Ahmadabad etc. Or the Military Auction used motorcycles. Though my deal was finalized in 17 thousand and 400 rupees. I transported that to Lonere, Maharashtra. Where I was studying my DIM (Diploma in Mechanical Engineering). Days passed and I started riding it properly and now my handling became perfect with a opposite riding structure than any of the modern motorcycle of that time.
One day, a friend of mine Ashwin Shinde asked me to ride with him to his home in Nasik, Maharashtra. It was almost 290 kms. I agreed with his idea, he has an old 1975 Jawa 250. We were very good friends in the college because our thoughts matched and our friendship went beyond the bond because we two have same genre of legendary motorcycles. Then the dates finalized for the ride date to Nasik, and the D day came and we started at 0400 hrs from our college hostel. After around 100 kms I started feeling the joy of motorcycling, the freedom and the pleasure of this particular mode travelling one place to another. Wherever we stopped for tea, water, breakfast, lunch or snacks we met a tons of people and talked to them and got to know a little about their culture traditional values and understandings among various topics on various things. We reached Nasik at 2100 hrs. I know its too late for a 290 kms ride on that beautiful road. But both of us lost in the beauty of nature and joy of riding pleasure.
That's how it all started for the first time and after that motorcycling became an addiction. After few years this passion of mine became the most pleasing thing in my life it was like meditation to me. Whenever I got upset I go for riding not too long but still take a short ride.
In my personal belief motorcycling is not only a mode of transport which is less costlier than cars or convenient in the crowded traffic in the city roads, but "MOTORCYCLING IS A LIFESTYLE". Its a routine which gives a choice of freedom and staying young at heart and brain. Because you only get old from your brain. Body is ruled by brain. This lifestyle is opted by few to live, but whoever opted only he/she knows the juices of this lifestyle.