We arrived in Bikaner shortly after noon and I had a mission: to find a replacement for a nut that had fallen off of the bolt that holds the clutch lever in place. We have had a few parts go missing over the last two months, some through the constant abuse, others falling victim to sticky fingers. But nuts, not unlike people, all have a purpose of varying importance. Some can vanish yet their departure remains fully unnoticed, while the absence of others can cause whole systems to collapse. This particular nut was on the more indispensable end of the spectrum. We headed around the perimeter of the 16th century Junagarh Fort wall to a restaurant for lunch and on the way back, I stopped in at a small shop with a pile of bicycle parts out front and enquired about their nut stocks. A kid in his late teens presented a box containing all shapes and sizes of nuts, bolts, washers and other fastening devices but, not knowing exactly what size nut I had left somewhere on the 200 miles of tarmac behind us, I said I would come straight back with the bike so we could size it properly. Five minutes later, I was parked in front of the young man’s shop, one of dozens of six foot wide places of business on this congested street, and beckoned him to come with his collection of hardware so we could find the perfect fit. Then, similar to the effect of throwing chum into a sea of shark-infested waters, the crowd began to gravitate toward my big BMW R1200GS. The kid did his best but could not seem to find the right one and we found we needed to remove the hand guard in order to properly access the mateless bolt. To his aid came an older man, perhaps his father, who seemed to take control of the situation and was joined by two lower ranking assistants. I tried my best to be a part of the process but as the nucleus of activity became denser, I found myself gradually relegated to spectator status. What I didn’t perceive was that, while I was observing the four manpower effort to replace my lost nut, the crowd around us had swelled to such mass that three of the four lanes which form the ring road around the fort wall were blocked. From all sides, arms and hands reached through the spectators lucky enough to have a front row seat to touch the machine. Others, not knowing from behind that I was the owner of this deity from Bavaria, shoved me to the side to get closer to the gleaming metal. I was machine gunned with questions in Rajasthani and felt like a disgraced congressman facing a panel of barking senators investigating moral impropriety. Then came the queries in English, the same ones I had fielded one hundred times before: how much does it cost, how much fuel does it use, how many gears does it have, does it run on gas or diesel. That last one always confuses me. As the four men on center stage continued to fiddle with the nut, the driver of a camel cart parked on the periphery of the bulging, odorous crowd of fifty men, his perch offering him an ideal vantage point to observe the alien activities below. With both his wide load of grain on the rickety wooden cart and his tan, furry beast towering over the men and machine spilling over to the fourth and final lane, the artery was clogged. The ring road around this city of 50,000 was now effectively closed all thanks to my bike and that little two cent nut.