Fond memories flooded my head early this morning. it was around 6 o’clock and i was taking my usual morning walk. not that i’m a health freak or anything, but i don’t have a kitchen at home and so go out to have my morning cup of tea and pick up the newspaper on the way back.
so i was walking down the road when i saw this kid on a bicycle, with his father standing beside him giving him instructions like “don’t ride that way, your way too fast”, or “keep looking straight ahead” and stuff like that. the bike didn’t have those lil support wheels – apparently the kid had grown out of the need for them. he was able to ride fairly well himself, with his dad only watching from a distance.
fewer things have given me the kind of joy comparable with riding a bike. i still remember how i cud start riding pretty quickly, but for a long time needed someone to help me get on and get off the bike. that bit, i cudn’t manage on my own. so there had to be someone waiting while i finish my ride and i wud slow down so this someone wud grab hold of the bike and me and everything, so i cud get off! and if the someone wasn’t there – god knows he had to pee or something – i wud just go bang into a hedge or something, that the only way i knew to get off the bike – by falling off it.
and the first time i started doing some of the bigger bikes, i was absolutely ecstatic. coz i was one among them ‘annas’ now. i was a big man too, and cud ride one of their bikes! wait, the kick didn’t last too long. for remember, i still hadn’t figured the art of getting off the bike. so i was zooming away on the street, on one of those big (‘paalkaaran‘ type) bikes and out of nowhere appeared this cow, bang in the middle of the road. on any other occasion, i wudn’t have paid much attention to it, but now, the world seemed to have disappeared from my sight. all i cud see was this cow, which to my mind looked like the size of a dinosaur. i didn’t want to possibly go bang into it, for fear of being kicked by it. so all i cud think of was to jam the brakes, and …the lil four footer that i was, i slipped off the seat – and u know how it is for the boys and the boy-type-bicycles…yow!!! the only other time i felt so physiclly agonised was when i fielded at, what was that – silly point or something and got whacked bang on spot with a cricket ball.
and in spite of all these lil mishaps, cycling was probably the single most thrilling indulgence of my childhood. there was even a point of time when i used to cycle an average of abt 20 km everyday – to school, tutions and then to nowhere, just riding on and on. i miss it these days. these big cities with all the mad rush deny you these lil kicks in life.


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