This past week I’ve sort of shuttled between Hyderabad and Mumbai. I came down to Mumbai on March 26 to welcome my new Hayabusa GSX 1300 RR. She’s a black beauty and unbelievably beautiful.
Before I got the bike I had just one pre-condition, that no one, absolutely no one would ride the bike before me. So she came in a crate, with her mufflers and tanks covered in this thin sheer of plastic. I literally flew down to remove the plastic. I put in all the oils — the clutch, break, engine oil — peeled off the plastic carefully and I was the first person to start her…
I couldn’t get my first ride that night, as I had to head back to Hyderabad to wrap the shooting of Hook Ya Crook, but the minute I got back to Mumbai a couple of days ago, I was all revved up to go. From March 25 to April 2, I had been thinking, eating, dreaming my new bike.
At 5.30 in the evening, I finally got a chance to take that first ride. I’m staying with my parents at the moment as my home is being renovated and my mother came with me and as I was taking the bike out, she said, “be careful”. I looked at her and laughed, ‘Mom, how many years and how many bikes have we been through together?’ But moms are moms, and she simply reiterated, “Be careful”.
I took the bike for a ride along the sea, and I was thrilled. A new motorcycle has now officially been inducted into my life.
Besides being bowled over by my bike, I’ve been busy battling the heat in Hyderabad and Mumbai. I love Delhi and Hyderabad for the heat, dry heat is any day better than the humidity. During the last four days of shooting Hook Ya Crook all we did was play cricket. Lad Sir, our coach (who is also Rohit Sharma’s coach), has been training me for the movie. Everyday from 7 am to 6 pm I hammered that ball. I now have a tremendous respect for Test cricket, and I truly believe that no matter how popular T20 becomes, Test cricket will remain the true test of a cricketer's caliber. The toll it takes on your body is staggering.
Mahi has been advising me on the game and his one advice has been not to listen to the advice. ‘Follow your natural style’ he told me, adding, ‘John, you’re the kind of guy who will not be afraid to hit the ball,’ and he was right. One day after practise, I asked Lad Sir if I could just hit the ball around however I liked, and for half an hour I just rammed the ball around so hard that I broke the bat.