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Archive for July, 2008

Grace, Fall From

When I was nine I got my first (and only) bicycle- an Atlas Goldline. I pretty much learnt to cycle on my own, though appa was supposed to oversee my practice. I had a lot of wee friends, some of them would sometimes, agree to a race with me on their tricycles. I vividly remember one evening when my cycle and I were at our neighbour’s- I was chasing after the little ones, and everyone had a blast.

I idolized the paalkaarar,and watched the way he would ‘start’ in awe. You know the way they would push the cycle-with-a-bar (the boy’s cycle as it was referred to by us) a bit, and then while it was in motion, would perch themselves on the seat? I wanted to do that. So I pushed the cycle (the road was slightly inclined downwards which I was completely unaware of), a bit faster than I had intended to, and forgetting that the pedals were moving just as fast, attempted to step on one. I missed and fell down on the tar road, with the cycle resting on my legs. Hastily picking myself up, and fighting hard to control my tears (I was never for PDE) I ambled home. Must have made a gory picture what with blood flowing down my legs, and my mother was suitably horrified. We rushed to the hospital and I came back with both knees heavily bandaged with stern warnings to keep off the road (no cycling, no playing). The scars are still around (not emotional ones, I can hardly keep myself from giggling loudly when I think back on those times).

But before the cycle came into my life, I went to school in a rickshaw. One day on the way back, while negotiating a speed breaker, which the rick-anna did by riding real fast over it, I fell off. And the hind wheel (tyre?) rode over my knee. I think within a year the cycle incident happened, so my mom was terrified that I would do more rough play and get myself scars all over my legs.

I’m in class twelve, and still cycling to school (still on my darling Atlas Goldline). Two friends and I are riding back one evening (evening + cycle + me = bruise on the knees) and as we turn left, I lose balance and fall off. But here’s where there’s a twist to all my future trysts with the ground courtesy the cycle- I can actually picture myself fall! Hands outstretched, I’m starting to laugh when I fall. Thankfully I escape with only scratches this time. My friends are alternately amused and bewildered that I find it funny. But it is! ’cause the same thing happens a few more years down the road. I’m cycling back to the hostel from the lab with a friend, and before my eyes I can see myself fall.

Alas, today the cycle no longer lives with me. And so I thought about the fall(s) too. I mean I’ve had enough to last a tomboy her entire life. Did I mention I walk fast? And I hate to walk behind slow walkers. So a few days back on my way home from the bus-stop on a wet evening, I slipped and fell on my behind. In my mind I resembled Tom (the famous cat), flailing hands et al. Thankfully no damage this time, though I do mourn the loss of the beautiful bowls I snagged at IKEA that were the chosen targets that day.

Enough of this, I told myself. So I made the husband walk to the very same spot the next day and say achuven (adichiduven) while stamping on it in mock anger. This better not happen to me again.

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