Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The 50th Brother

You remember those Sports Days when there would be 'Bike Stunts'?

The Bike Stunts were undoubtedly the most exciting bits in the entire day.

A few weeks before the actual day, rumours about the bike stunts would begin. “You know aa, Ravi Kiran brother is going to jump over 50 brothers, ee?”

The challenge would be jump on a ramp, fly through a ring of fire, and cart across 50 guys lying down on the floor, shoulder to shoulder.

So there would be one dude, with a Royal Enfield, who would revv his bike in the corner of the field.

The commentator would add to the tension in the field. “The rider has to maintain a thin balance between the power of his motorcycle and his own riding skills. Tasks such as these are extremely dangerous and need months of rigorous practice. The sheer danger involved could test the nerves of the bravest souls.....”

The motorcycle would be revving, raising a cloud of brown dust. The audience holding their breath, murmurs of excitement flowing like ripples across the sea of people.

The noise of the motorcycle grows to deafening levels, the cloud of dust revealing a speck of black amidst the brown, and fire is set to the ring.

The guys sleeping in front of the ramp would lie still, the fire would consume the ring, a bright yellow and orange, sending off black smoke into the air.

The motorcycle would shoot forward, zoom towards the ramp, and get the elevation...

For a few seconds, the bike stayed in the air, angled upwards, and continuing to rise, as we stared open mouth...

and then land comfortably on the back wheel, amidst cheer, claps, and ooohs and aaahs. The commentator would orgasm, the roar of approval would grow louder.

The rider would dart off into the mens' gallery, the guys would get up, dust their clothes, and walk away into oblivion.

The rider would then come back to the stage, and was generally presented with a chain or a ring, and would instantly have a lot of female fan following. Which is all good.

But I have often thought, what about that guy, that unknown guy dressed in white who was the last in the line to sleep in front of the bike?

I always felt that he should have been given the prize, for it is difficult to jump across 50 guys on a bike, but it is even tougher to be the 50th guy in the row, waiting for the damn bike to jump across you.

I sometimes wondered how they chose who would be at the end. May be the guy who pissed off the warden the most was awarded that position. May be the guys who behaved well were made to lie down near the ramp, so they could live on, and spread peace and love and humanity in the world. And the guys who pissed the warden off were made to lie at the extreme end, ready to lay their lives down for a good cause.

I don't know. But I still feel the 50th brother should have gotten the ring and the chain!

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