LOVE AND THE ART OF BICYCLE RIDING
Did you ever ride a bicycle on a lonely stretch of road – at midnight in the shadow of trees, when the moon is softly bathing the world in its light like a hallowed sage smiling kindly upon a confused disciple?
Well, at first you go leisurely, for you can’t see much further. The breeze softly caresses your cheeks, while the rustling of the leaves jostles with thoughts for space in your consciousness. Sometimes winning, sometimes biting dust when the matter of reflection is very engaging – too beautiful for the fear of an unexpected happening to overcome it.
But mostly you are cautious even as your feet pedal constantly and the mind imagines the end slowly coming nearer. And though the act has enjoyment in itself, it’s little compared with the pleasure one imagines will be felt when the destination has been reached.
But then bit-by-bit, the intoxication of speed sucks you in its whirl. The feet begin to move faster and faster, and the shoulders stoop as the body bends forward and the muscles tauten. Gradually every fiber in the body begins to quiver at the thrill of the pace with which you tear ahead in the stillness of the night, while the sweat comes pouring down your face as you breathe heavily. Like raindrops sliding off a windowpane, the wind beating a rhythm on it.
And your perception keeps narrowing, till it can hold in its confines only the awareness of hurtling down the road. Like falling in an endless abyss, while things around you are reduced to abstract entities.
Instead of the fear of death, what you feel is a visceral feeling of joy. And what you hear is a single hum – a ceaseless noise in which the rustling of the leaves, the sound of the wind blowing past your face, the calling of the crickets, the creaking of the machine, all mesh together in a seamlessly interwoven tapestry.
The end is of little consequence now. The joy of the experience is what matters most.
Love is a lot like this. It pulls you in slowly in the beginning – you are a bit guarded in your feelings, sparing in your emotions. But you know it not and it has begun to open your heart valves gently. To completeness. You withhold nothing, as the walls you had subconsciously erected get swept away in that torrent of ambrosial passion that has no origin save in itself. The other thoughts quietly go down before this deluge. Love has now enveloped you fully, making the rest of the world disappear in the background.
Before long, life seems to rush past you as if you were in a dream! And you stop caring where you are headed. That’s what happened to me.
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