So it happened. It finally happened.
It had to happen no, considering how it has been twenty-plus years since I rode a bicycle.
If you haven’t yet guessed it, let me spell it out for you – I fell.
Yes, I fell off my bike.
It was inevitable. The one thing you fear the most happens sooner than later, and the more you fear it the sooner it happens.
And so, there I was, sprawled face down on the road in the most undignified manner that is most unbecoming of a lady of my age.
My first instinct was to cry like a baby. Had I been a child I’d have done exactly that. But because I am an adult now, my first reaction was to look around in the hope that no one saw my moment of epic Humpty-like fall.
Once I was satisfied that there was no construction labourer around, no security guard or known or unknown pitying neighbours who had been sworn in as unwilling witnesses to my great Fall Of Shame, I sat there for a few seconds just to gather about my wits.
I wanted to sit there all day or at least until Mommy came running to comfort me or Daddy carried me home in his arms. I called out to the emptiness around me but the only response I got was the wind howling in laughter.
Then and only then, was I was convinced that sitting there in the middle of the road all my life wasn’t going to get me anywhere. The fearing mocking and/or pitying glances from passersby, prompted me to get up and dust myself off.
Because my cycle had thrown me off with such insolence I first glared at it before proceeding the inspecting the damage done to it. Its scratch-free gleaming body showed evidence of none. With the chain slipped off the wheel the usual smile had turned into a toothy grin. Clearly, it was mocking me.
I turned the attention to myself and became aware of a stinging sensation in my palms and knees. The gloves and the double layers of clothes that I had on (thanks to the (in)famous Dilli Ki Sardi) had revealed no tears or cuts, so I knew I wouldn’t have suffered anything more than scraped skin.
That’s when something strange happened. The thought of some young girl, aged maybe four or five years, standing at a window in one of the buildings and watching me made me pause and reflect the impact my actions would have on her.
What would it look like to her? That ‘aunty’ fell, gave up cycling immediately and went home? That it’s okay to quit when faced with the slightest of obstacles?
Determined to set a good example for that imaginary girl, I said to her, ‘No, you can’t give up. Yes, you fall sometimes. Yes, you get hurt too. But you get back up and you try again. That’s the real victory. That’s when you conquer the real challenge.’
Just to prove my point to her, I made an exaggerated display of repairing my bike. My knee still stung but I refused to give up. I rode around the block just for the benefit of that someone who may have been watching me.
It was only later that I realized that someone was me and I was reminding myself an important lesson that we usually forget as an adult – never give up.
As adults, we give up too easily. Had I been a child, I’d have probably cried, maybe even howled and brought the sky down, but I’d have got back up the very next moment.
It was almost like real life – you make mistakes but you try it again. You falter but you don’t fail. And so I pushed away all thoughts of quitting and rode on as if nothing had happened.
The universe was clearly on my side for the song that played right that moment was something to the likes of ‘live every moment to the fullest and appreciate every small and big struggle that you overcome’.
And the big life lesson that I learnt after all this? That it really is a pretty simple task to put the chain back on the chain wheel.
Did you enjoy reading this post? What has your journey of falling and winning been like? Do share your thoughts and feedback via the comment box below.