During my growing up years, we used to live in the staff accommodation of the college where my mother was a lecturer. There were quite a few families there, and all of us were a closely-knit unit. We celebrated many birthdays, festivals, and family celebrations together.
Right behind our block of buildings, within the college campus was a huge maidan. Often the venue for college events, this used to be our playground on most regular days. My friends and I would congregate at our parking lot every evening and set off to ride our bicycles there.
We spent many an evenings here, racing against each other, exploring a row of trees and wilderness at the far end of the maidan that we referred to as a ‘jungle’, and chasing each other down on our cycles.
One of the boys would kick his feet out, cycling really close to my friend and me. My friend would squeal in fright, and sometimes even slow down and stop lest she disbalance herself and fall off. I’d pedal faster and chase after him. I bellow empty threats and chase the boy until he begged for mercy and promised not to do it again. Only to repeat it right the next minute.
These were some of the memories that I created, only to be later filed away in my memory once we shifted to a new place. Here, the kids preferred to play other sports like football in the front garden, or just walked around in the gardens, chatting. I was the only cyclist and I’d often get bored and lonely. Soon, I quit cycling, they quit football, and we all took up Badminton instead. I created some new memories.
I dislike sports strongly – Badminton, Cycling, and Swimming being the only exceptions. Exercise isn’t my cup of tea. I hate gymming, and I absolutely detest anything that is more active than brisk walking. Yoga and Dancing aren’t exercises but fun activities which I enjoy . Unfortunately, on most days, I am unable to practice either.
A blogging community I am part of announced a new campaign for this year: Health. As soon as I read the announcement I groaned. Yeah, Health was important, sure. But there was no way I was going to sign up with a gym or make any unrealistic new year resolutions. Oh no, siree. These daily/monthly/yearly targets weren’t going to be added to my calendar any time soon.
There was absolutely no way I was going to participate in this one, I thought.
But what daughter disposes, mother (inadvertently) proposes. And so the world conspired to get me to do just what I was resisting.
While watching a recent Bollywood film where the heroine is gifted a new cycle, my mother asked me if I’d like one too. (Never mind, that I had been pleading just that for the past six months and she had been vehemently opposing the idea.) I immediately screamed yes and shot out the door before she could even ask me to switch off the TV.
At the store, we picked out one I liked and added the necessary accessories. ‘I’d get to ride it today itself,’ I thought with child-like excitement; when the store people dropped the bombshell. They wouldn’t be able to deliver it until the day after tomorrow.
I was heartbroken. Our i10 was too small to fit the cycle in, we knew. I glared at my dad for not bringing the SUV when my parents started consoling me about the delay. ‘Just a little longer, it’s going to come in two days. It’s going to be worth the wait,’ they said even as my heart sank with disappointment. The dream of riding my bike as soon as I bought it seemed to be becoming an impossibility. I pleaded, cajoled, blackmailed my parents and finally got them to agree to hire a cab to ferry the cycle home with us.
While bringing it home, I got to ride it for a short distance. I was taken back to my childhood. Those memories of pedaling down the maidan at full speed came alive. That feeling of the wind in your hair is indescribable.
It’s an incredible moment and I am still in a daze that we actually got me a bike. There’s no way I can’t sign up for the Blogchatter campaign now.
Written as a part of #ChatterPrompts