Everyone knows how mothers are: they want to take the best care of you, they want to nurture you and pamper you, they want to know your every move and they’re always worried about your safety.
I am the victim of a huge network of an extended family of such mothers all over North-East India: ever since my union with Glonț, the bikers and Enfield owners around here are twisting and turning, making sure nothing bad can happen to either of us. These tough Bullet riders with their honed knives and leather boots turn to tender loving swans when they have to take care of me and of Glonț.
If I ride with them, they are attending to my physical health (‘Have you had your breakfast/lunch/dinner?’) so much more than I would actually require, but I’ve literally heard it said that I need lots of food to have the strength to be able to ride Glonț. They are overlooking my manoeuvring technique, giving me subtle advice on how to put the bike on the main stand (can’t do it for my life), how to kick-start the bike (out of the hundred-something tries I’ve had doing this, I did finally manage to start it once or twice), when to start the bike so that it has enough time to warm up, when and how much fuel I should get, what spare parts I should always carry with me and where to get those from… Of course, most of my mothers tend to these issues themselves not letting me exert myself too much and they help me out whenever they think I might not be able to do something, like tying the bags on my bike or tightening a loose screw on Glonț.
The mothers also lovingly tend to the maintenance of Glonț, accompanying me to the nearest available mechanic although, unfortunately, the mothers can’t agree on the best mechanic around. This is how Glonț and I ended up going to several mechanics just in Shillong, each with his own idea and method of fixing the bike (more on this in a future post).
If I want to leave the nest, the mothers join forces and contact other mothers from along my route, so that these new mothers can take responsibility over me, greet me and accompany me wherever I want to go. The new mothers will then assume the duties of caring for my health, for Glonț’s wellbeing and all the other motherly obligations until again I leave the nest for another destination. Other mothers are informed and the circle closes once more…
My own responsibility is considerably reduced through this ingenious method. Mothers, guardians, chaperons or simply just friends always have the solution and I only have to tag along. This is why I don’t have even the slightest clue of the route I should take or even the name of the cities where we stop at night. And if anyone tells me not to worry – because, for some reason, my mothers always think that I do – I don’t have any concerns whatsoever about almost anything.
There is only one drawback to all this and that’s the fact that I need to check in all the time. It started with just one of the mothers but, as time passed and my mother supply got considerably bigger, by now I have to inform at least 10 different people of my whereabouts and my intentions. I get text messages every day which inquire again and again what, where, when, with whom… So now, whenever I stop on the road and switch on my phone, I’m bombarded with messages and calls and there’s not much else I have time for than to clarify every detail of my trip.
And if that wasn’t enough, this mother-network works in such a way that, by the time we get to a place, Glonț and I are perpetually anticipated; and after we leave a place, some mother from a different part of the North-Eastern states will have already known everything about our stay (I’ve heard it say that, because I was riding for about 300km in Assam, all the police force was informed not to even think about flagging me down).
If we tried to be alone, ride solo or stay for a while without motherly contact, the mothers would probably get consecutive heart attacks and would turn the whole of North-East upside-down just to find us (and they would probably succeed in doing so).
Bottom line is this: being a mother is hard; but it’s not easy being these mothers’ kid either.