“Even when there are a thousand vehicles in one place, a Bullet stands out. The children of the house, all they need to hear is the roar of this machine to yell out “Puli!!”. That’s the kind of familiarity everybody has with this bike.
When I started working on these classic machines in 1964, only a few people owned them- it was a luxury. I worked on all vehicles at first, but gradually came to specialize in Royal Enfield Bullets alone. Those days, apart from Bullets, Yamaha and Yezdi bikes were also really popular. My master Shiva Ram Dada in Old City taught me all the skills I know today, after which I opened up this shop in 1980. People around here lovingly call me Sudhakar Anna, and treat me like a big brother.
My profession as a head mechanic was highly respected, but there aren’t enough youngsters coming into the field now. I generally open my workshop around 9:00 a.m. every day and shut shop at 8:00 p.m. Considering I live near Old City, just the travel distance is nearly 15 km each way. Many young boys have learned the trade from me, but they repair only new models of Bullets and other high-end bikes. As a head mechanic, I always try to update my knowledge of bikes but I stick to repairing the 50s-90s bullet bikes. The youth these days say that the new bikes are better as they have more horsepower and give smoother rides, but I don’t think so! The biggest advantage with vintage models is that they are solidly built with all-metallic bodies, unlike the new bikes which are mostly made of fiber and plastic parts.
I am 68 years old now and more than happy to dedicate the rest of my life to repairing these beautiful machines for my beloved Hyderabadis. Repairing a Royal Enfield bullet for me is not just work- my passion and love for these majestic beasts cannot be put into words!”
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