If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Nov 28, 2007

Evel Johnny Mario Knievel

You'd outgrown sitting in the drivers seat and making vroom vroom noises when the car was parked. At this ripe old age of twelve what you wanted was your own motorcycle. But you had to settle for a cycle. So you take an empty cigarette pack folded it over and lodged it halfway into the spokes of your bike. It still looked like a cycle but when you started off it sounded like a Triumph, ok a Java at least. The years fly by and you've begged and borrowed and now own a fifth hand Java. You lavish more love and care on it than you do on your Grandmother whom you thought you loved dearly until you got the Java. You clean her, you polish her, you oil her, the Java i.e. not Nana. She's covered up with an old bedsheet every night. The dogs who might want to mark out their territory using her wheel are chased away. You look around for a mechanic with more due diligence than a first time mother looking for a paediatrician. Everywhere you ask you're told " Johnny Mario " .
Mr. Mario's reputation seems to be larger than the crowd at Bandra station at rush hour. You hear the legends of how he can tell what's wrong with a bike just by looking at it. How he has to just lay his hand on the bike like a faith healer all the bikes ill's dissolve and she starts to purr . How he tunes a bike with his eyes closed and heart open. So there you are taking your Java for her first servicing. You ask for Johnny Mario and the grease monkey says who ? Johnny kya Mario ? They're separate ? Yes he says pointing out to a looming giant in cowboy boots and oilfield overalls. Johnny . And then pointing out to a looming giant in cowboy boots and oilfield overalls. Mario. You go up to Johnny ,and before you can say anything he says
"Service ?"
Yes .
Come back tommorow, today is full.
So come tommorow there you are back at the confessional where these high priests of carburretors and gear boxes instruct their acolytes to empty the oil, grease the cables, clean the carb, oil the chain, check the electricals, fill up new oil. While you wait you hear snatches of conversation of which bike Mario is going to ride in th Moto cross in Poona that weekend. And how Johnny is planning on reboring an old Yezdi to make it a racing bike. And you ask someone whats a Mikuni. They condescendingly tell you it's the latest Japanese carburettor.Then Johnny or is it Mario starts your baby up. He leans over the tank and starts making his minute adjustments . To the tension on the clutch cable. The play on the acclerator. The brake set for a quick stop just the right side of a skid. He heads of for a test ride. A tweak here ,a twist there and your baby is handed back to you.
She's purring. She started on the first kick start itslef. The clutch seems to have been dipped into all the butter Modern Stores ever sold. Johnny Mario are on to the next bike having waved their magic wand and reinvented your fifteen year old Java into the lean mean killer machine that she was meant to be.


Alan said...

I reckon this blog of yours is absolutely superb!!!
I would suggest that you could compile all these blogs in a book eventually (possibly 5 years to cover wonderful Bandra!!!)and it will be a Bandra bestseller. Confident it will be thicker than "Shantaram".

ceebee said...

hahhahahahaha .. finalleeee!!!
fuck i so agree with alan .. but dont wait 5 years ... or u may have to sell it in missusaga and melborne only

Karl said...

#$%^^#& !!! Damn Clem how come you never introduced me to "Evel Johnny Mario" the only mechanic I went to was "Evil Sashi", he was so evil he us to rob our gas errrrr sorry petrol.

Anonymous said...

So Very true
Also next to Johny Marios is my Dad's Exide battery Shop 'Khar battery Service, J.B Sequeira, standing still there for the last 35 years

Dilraj Sequeira
Melbourne, Austrlia

neil said...

Oooooh! Memories! Yes, Johnny of the deadly duo never failed to fix my good ole 1971 model Honda 90 cc everytime...
Clement, yer blogs are a single thread that manages to link todays fast paced crazy world with the lovely lazy Bandra of an era gone by..................

Anonymous said...

My dad always used to tell me about Johnny Mario and his CB 400n. Does he still run his garage and if so, where can I contact him? My email id: s.deodhekar@gmail.com