The art of balancing oneself is perhaps the most difficult thing in a human’s life. I don’t remember the days when I took the first giant step independently, but I still remember the days I balanced myself in a bicycle.
All bruised, bloodied, I still remember the joys of paddling my cycle and wondering how the whole world is passing besides me, saluting me…hey this boy has grown up, take notice of him…he is not a kid anymore…salute, salute.
The dogs I used to feed biscuits (stolen from the kitchen) everyday, sprang up from their lazy naps. They were undecided on whether to bark or not in this unusual scene. I zoomed past my cycle from the busy hens pecking dusty grains, they started a cacophonous complaint as a new trouble has strike them from the heaven.
I felt proud to be the master of this universe. I was a HE-MAN, wearing half-pant and vest, my sweats drying fast in the cold morning air.
I got a foothold, a mould, and descended respectfully. I turned my bicycle and saw, the whole world was looking at me with amazement and aw. All my neighbors, people who had come to the pond for a morning dip, they were looking at me smilingly. Some had that sleepy laziness still instilled on their eye. Brushing his teeth, Brojoda clapped at me. Mohiruda was standing beside him. I looked at him, he smiled. That means I have passed. First flight without a crash landing. Ten out of ten. That smile of my guru told me I have got the driving license to go beyond Shukli’s ground and cruise upto Pandit’s math. I was only seven, but I could sense Mohiruda’s smile was something more than the approval. I payed him his hardwork of teaching me the sense of balance.
Probably my mother or my father was the one who taught me how to balance on my feet, Mohiruda taught me how to balance on wheels. A much much tougher job done. I remember how he used to run after me, hours and hours, hoding my seat, boxing my ears, slapping me, teasing me on my crashes and then suddenly hugging me when I was at the point of breaking down. Encouraging me to try another bold attempt. With his encouraging words, I used to forget the pain of my freshly bruised legs, elbows, arms, and once again attempt to conquer the metal monster. I made my guru happy.
Whenever I attempted to try a new something on wheels, I have always remembered my guru of first flight. I attempted to drive a scooter, I called him, motorcycle…I prayed to him, four wheeler…again I tried to remember the face of him. Mohiruda. His untimely death left a vacuum in my life, never to be filed by anyone.
(Since it’s a blog, I took the liberty of paying homage to him, now let’s get back to the original agenda)
At a distance I saw my sister, dancing at my feat. Father holding her. Smile on his face. I saw my mother hoding on the grill of our verandah. I couldn’t make out whether she was smiling or not.
And since she was the most beautiful lady known to me so far, and I was always on the lookout to impress her, I jumped on to my bike and paddled hard to impress her with my skills…this time I crash landed…on a dry drain…forgot what happened that day.
I woke up and found myself with people who were encouraging me minutes (or is it hours?) before. I discovered I have fractured my skull, my left leg and has broken two fingers.
Luckily I survived…but didn’t ride my bicycle until I was twelve and could touch the ground, seating on the seat. Cycle was a necessary means to go to my school and not a fun anymore.