There is a bike in the parking lot of my office. The bike is very silent and lonesome and very dusty. It never changes its place, as if it is permanently glued to its location. Those who park their bikes besides it, those who roam around and those who go on a mild walk after the lunch through the parking lot, along with housekeeping staff and janitors consistently observe this bike. Some of them let it slip easily into their subconscious, some of them crack a joke about it, some others wonder about it for a moment or two and some others, like me, like to speculate and wonder and write about it. It has been there at the same place since I have been frequenting the parking lot, that is, since last 1.5 years or so. The bike is not very worn out. It’s not very old either. It seems to be a model not older than half of a decade.
Someone occasionally takes delight in scribbling something on it with the aid of the dust layer which is ever multiplying its thickness. Then, someone else comes and writes something else on it. This way, many itinerants and regulars have left their signatures on it, which get replaced by the other signatures.
When parking lot rests and there is no human activity, the bikes talk together about their owners, their adventures and delights, but, this bike never talks to anyone, it just listens and listens forever. The other bikes say that this bike has gone into coma that seems to them as the only reason why any bike would be mute for such a long time.
The distance travelled by it in all these days has been zero. I wonder who the owner of this bike is and why he has left it like this in the parking lot. I also wonder why our office administration does not take any action to displace it; may be they have accepted it as a permanent member of that space. The sum of the digits in the registration number is ‘13’. That might be the cause of its unfortunate impasse at such a young age.
There are few speculations about the bike. The bike might be of an associate who is working from onsite. It’s very much possible that the bike was parked there even more than 3-4 years ago. The owner of the bike did so because he went onshore and none of his friends were ready to keep his bike with them. It is almost sure that the owner of the vehicle had no relatives in this city. He might have died at client-side or he might have taken a permanent residence over there. In that case too, he might have asked any of his relatives or friends to take care of his bike or he might have requested them to sell it.
The curious case of this bike is so intriguing that it seems to have some profound mystery behind it. If the owner is dead then this bike might stay in parking lot for another decade and the pile of dust on it will also multiply itself 10 times in that time. If the owner comes back he might decide to sell it. The owner of the bike did not intend to abandon it in my opinion, else, he would not have parked it in office parking area; rather he would have left it at any random place. Another possibility is, that the owner was in a hurry and got an opportunity to travel abroad and never came back, still, the possibility that he had no means or contacts to make use of this lonely bike is what baffles me!
Note: I wrote this piece in 2010 when I was working in an IT company in Bangalore.
Image courtesy: here