You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Who says you cannot mix up your profession and passion? All you need is to do some balance, that is what Dr. Arun Theraja did. “Over the years this passion of biking has taken over my life completely, though I am surgeon, my life is bikes and biking, specially super-biking Nothing gives me more high than riding my super-bikes with my like minded biking brothers.” Indeed, a deadly combination that will give anybody a mind blowing high. “I started biking in the year 1984, the moment I finished my MBBS course. My first bike was Yamaha RD 300. Initially I had to do some convincing to my folks. They were totally against it as I was their only child. Gradually, dad gave-in, when he saw that how much I long to ride. My mother never but now she is good,” says fifty-year-old practitioner at Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in Delhi.
“Initially, I was driving all alone as there was no one in the city with super bikes. Then I got to know that there are two more of my tribe with 600cc or 750cc with them. I hunted them down, Arshi Khan and Raees Mohammed. That is how the group was formed in 1998 and today it has 70 odd members. Making us one of the biggest and most mature biking group in the country.” After that there was no stopping but taming the beast on the road.
“It was in one of our regular Sunday rides that this name just struck me. And when I shared it with others they also liked it. Then we decided to get the name GODS registered in 2000.” Indeed it was a witty name but more interesting is their logo, a biker in the alphabetic shape of word GODS. Believe it or not it was designed by Arun Tharaja only. He founded the club, gave the name, drew the logo and recruits the new members. Without a doubt, this man got some serious talent!
When we talk about recruits, so how do a mere human can become a GODS? “After riding for so many years, if it was just about numbers we could have been a lot more then what we are today. However, here we are looking for somebody who understands motorcycling in a positive way. A stable and mature mind to control such a ferocious machine. No showing off, no racing, no stunting in the public and rides with proper safety gear.” Man that is a tough job to do, when there is a beast raring to cut loose, just waiting for your command. If you have all the quality then comes the next stage. One need to have a bike with 600cc or more capacity, at least twenty-five years old and lastly some experience of riding a super-bike Wow, in fact they have rightly named themselves GODS.
For them it’s more than a religion, like Christians they go for ride every Sunday. “We have been riding since 1998, there is hardly been a Sunday when the group has not ridden together. A route is decided and we just ride like one big family enjoying the pleasures of super biking amongst all the bonhomie and camaraderie.” In addition, it does not just get over like that, they also have some rituals to follow. “We select a leader before every ride who leads the pack. In the tail will be the newbie with sweepers who will train them. In the middle are the two-three marshals who will oversee the riders and who reports at the breakfast, which we have after out ride. On that, once a year we always go out for an extreme biking trip. Leh/Ladakh has been an all time favorite destination, done 6 times in the last 10 years. Apart from this 2 small trips (3-5 days) are also undertaken every year,” says the founder.
Bringing on the dangerous side of the rides, Arun Theraja continues, “Nowadays people, especially young one just get in to super biking. I will suggest them to start with humble Indian bikes and slowly graduate yourself to higher ones. Most of the casualty that happen in the rides is either because lack of proper training or not wearing safety gear.” Remembering the tragic accident that happened with cricketer Mohammad Azharrudin’s son, “it was parents fault! Do not blame the machine but the father who gave him the key on his eighteen birthday. Without proper training it is a death machine in wrong hand. There are many times we have not allowed our members for ride as they turn up without proper gear.” He himself is a father with two kids, daughter is in her third year of college and son in twelfth standard. “As father I don’t want my son to take up this hobby. This days things on the road are not like it used to be in earlier days. The best thing one can do to ride is get up early in the morning and get it over by nine.”
After all the conversation he showed his proud possession that he has kept in his garage. “Right now I have these bikes with me,” and he opens the door. There you are shining Kawasaki Ninja ZX12R, Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R, Yamaha RD350 and Hero Karizma, all in shining like new. There are mementos certificates on the wall along with posters of nude women on bikes. Indeed, it was a totally different feeling inside, can feel that adrenaline “I have tried almost all the bikes around the world, have no much desire. But each day new models are coming up, I just want to try my hand on Ducati Panigale, it’s a twin cylinder, fastest and very powerful.”
And before we say adieu, “After all these years, GODS have almost become a household name and it gives the group a big sense of satisfaction when the young riders get inspired by the group. Bikers will get respect only when they themselves give it first. The future of super-biking is very bright in this country and we at GODS will keep promoting this wonderful sport, the passion with the help of like-minded riders (who are welcome to join) and the blessings of the almighty. GODS are one!
(Published in Mandate Jan ’13, Page No. 158)