At the onset, let me clarify that I am not among those who throw around the word ‘creepy’ easily.
If someone asks uncomfortable questions, I don’t call them ‘creepy’. I am also perfectly fine with people with serial-killer smiles. I am also completely at home with reptiles, gore, and horror.
With the disclaimer done, let me begin at where it all began.
I am freelancing at an office these days, and from the campus I live in, the journey is an excruciating 20 kms ride through the most crowded road in Hyderabad.
To avoid it, I take a detour through the Mumbai Highway, taking the steep road from Dargah to Film Nagar. Unnecessary details, I know, but allow me to go on.
The road I am talking about is a steep slope with curves like Sunny Leone’s, exciting and dangerous at the same time. Across the road lies the pristine Whisper Valley, where lights glimmer like fireflies once the sun has set. It used to be a beautiful location once, but with all the waste from corporate hospitals, the place could be rechristened Stayfree Valley.
The road is a true test of the fitness of your bike.
If you have a fully functional Bullet, you will love the ride.
I, unfortunately, ride a fucking Discover.
My bike is like me – lazy, sluggish, shabby, and reluctant to try anything risky. It croaks and groans every single day, as I hum my favourite tunes, praying that the clutch wire doesn’t slip out of my clutch.
On this particular day, I took a turn from Dargah and was beginning to take the slope, when I saw a little kid stretch his hand out for a lift. He had a school bag on his back, and a tiffin box in his left hand. His face glistened with sweat, and shone with the excitement of going home.
Having never owned a bicycle or vehicle earlier, I have firmly believed in the Brotherhood of Lift-givers. I can’t remember a single time I have denied someone a lift (except when a lady is waiting in her room, pissed off with me for being late).
I duly pulled up next to him, and asked him to hop on my bike.
On regular days, I like to strike up conversations with the people I offer a lift to.
Some of them are eager to talk, others hold back as much information as possible. Some are thankful for the lift, and go through the entire conversation with a plasticky smile on their faces.
That day, I was in no mood to talk, so I kept listening to songs on my phone. ‘What are you listening to?’ I heard the kid ask.
I wanted to tell him about ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’, explain the epic tribute of love and friendship by Pink Floyd. But I chose not to. I told him I was listening to some songs, and asked him what he studied.
He told me he was in Class 8, and we continued on the road through potholes, speed breakers, and cops waiting at tricky corners for a biker to goof up. As my bike coughed and shrugged, the kid held on to me tightly.
Every time I turned, I felt the boy’s hand tighten around my waist, and it made me uncomfortable. I kept silent for a while, and adjusted the rearview mirror to look at him. He was looking at the world below him, a mix of wonder and amazement writ large on his face.
‘What a world we live in,’ I thought, ‘that even the touch of a little boy makes us feel uncomfortable’.
The slope got steeper as we climbed up the road, as the boy loosened his grip and tightened it again.
And then, I felt it. Slowly, his hands slipped down to my thighs, ever so slowly, till he found my crotch.
I froze. My mind was blank, my face flush with embarrassment.
I thought up things to say to him – ‘Don’t do that’, ‘You shouldn’t be doing that to people’, ‘Who taught you to do that?’
But my mind, like Sehwag on a crucial final, just refused to budge.
His hands were now firmly on my crotch, as he rubbed his hands like I was a girl and he was masturbating me.
We rode on, till we reached his destination.
He looked straight at me in the rear view mirror, smiled, and gave my cock a final tug.
‘Thanks, bhaiyya’, he said, and hopped off the bike.
I turned to see him, his bag weighing him down, his tiffin box held gingerly, his dark skinny thighs in the summer sun. He looked this way and that, and darted across the road.