Rest in peace, Atlas!

first_imgSome things are very close to everyone’s heart and some immortal memories are attached to it when a person grows up. Let’s, for instance, take an example of a cellular phone. Nokia was the first phone of most of the people and once it reigned over the cellular phone market. But, where is our beloved Nokia today? It’s still in the competition, but we don’t buy it anymore. Why?Simple, because there are better options available! Does that mean that we no longer love Nokia or we have forgotten our memories with it? Nope!Memories are just like wine, the older they are the better. Our mind is not ready to accept that we are old, hence we don’t think about our first phone, further, we would tell the stories to our grandchildren about our first phone.Atlas – one of the prominent bicycle manufacturing companies of India – shuttered down on June 5, 2020. Now we’d no longer see the Atlas bicycle on the road henceforth. But, how many of us would remember Atlas after 20 years? I think no one. Because we don’t remember Thomas Alva Edison for making our nights so very scintillating or Richard Trevithick when we travel by train, but it is also a verity that there are still many people who are untouched by electricity and have not even seen a railway in their life.But this is not the same with the Atlas bicycle; everyone in their life has either seen or rode a bicycle that may not be Atlas. But Atlas had become a synonym to the bicycle. We all have seen in the movies how beautiful and handsome looking heroines and heroes singing songs while riding a bicycle for the movie that made Aamir Khan a household name. ‘Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar’ was based on a bicycle race. Thus, bicycles have been a part of our collective consciousness.Atlas bicycle was the only vehicle the working class like us had pre-2000, it was the locomotive of the working middle class and lower rung of the society, ergo I feel that when the news of Atlas shuttering down broke out, there wasn’t any special debate over it as they had done when Maruti800 and Bajaj Scooter had stopped its production.For writing this piece I did some research, I asked my parents that what bicycle meant for them. First of all, it shocked them that Atlas was still making bicycle and running, they had presumed that it might have got closed off after the advent of motorcycles. My mother told me that bicycle was a very big thing when she was a child, she even had seen a policeman patrolling on bicycles in her area. Well, on the contrary, my father has a boxful of memories of bicycles. I know how he was against buying of a motorcycle when my brother demanded it and it was after turning fifty, that he bought himself a motorcycle that too when his bicycle had got stolen.The most important thing of our conversation was that he had gotten emotional when he told me that he had bought a second-hand bicycle out of his first salary, he was as excited as I was when I got my FZS additionally when his bicycle had got stolen he was so depressed and angry as if he had lost his Ferrari, now I completely understood why he was in a foul mood that evening.The memories of my school days are still fresh in my mind that my father would drop me and my brother to school before going to his job for that he had attached two extra seats to the middle bar of his bicycle.However, there are innumerable memories attached with a bicycle, hence shuttering down of Atlas may not have affected the bourgeois because they have cars and motorbikes, metros and in near future Bullet Train, but bicycle still matters to the poor of our country, it’s the only locomotive they can afford, which is evident from the incident related to Jyoti, who carried her ailing and injured father on a bicycle to her home in Bihar.Thank you, Atlas for such a glorious childhood. Rest in peace!last_img read more