BICYCLE DIARIES

Riding a bicycle or learning to ride one is an endearing image in the reels of childhood. Somehow it was one that was missing from mine. I never really tried it and no one encouraged me either. But it was something that was always on my bucket list. By the time I had finally made up my mind, I was at the threshold of my 20s. During one long vacation, I pushed my usually lazy self to do it. My 15-year-old cousin had a bicycle. But I was scared of falling down because he kept telling me technical stuff about how his bike was different from normal ones. It looked threatening too. I decided that I would start with one which I could stop it easily with my legs. My search ended in an old cycle that was meant for kids. I looked like an elephant riding the cycle in a circus. It didn’t help that the people who offered to help me were 6 and 14-year-olds. Embarrassed but determined not to give up, like I’ve done many times before, I kept on. The neighbours obviously had a great time as my antics brightened up their day. To add insult to injury one particular man started teaching his  7-year-old daughter to ride a bicycle that resembled mine and the kid was much better than I was.

I made slow progress. By the time, I thought I had at least some sense of balance I shifted to my cousin’s bike. It was impossible to ride it, to say the least.But the cycle suffered more damage than I did, burning a hole in its owner’s heart and pocket. My muscles ached (as it will of people who lead a couch potato existence), I had bruises and I was teased. Following some very hopeless and tiring evenings, one day when I wasn’t trying too hard, I realized I was peddling with perfect balance. My joy knew no bounds so much so that I crashed the cycle into a nearby wall. But I didn’t care – I had done the impossible.

It may seem meaningless but to someone who continuously passed up opportunities just because of the risk involved, it was something exhilarating. It happens to all of us. We run away from things just because we are too scared to face it and while it may offer momentary comfort it will turn to regret in the long run.Hopelessness pushes us to despair, we feel it as a hollowness within us, but we must persevere. Maybe avoiding obstacles and giving up may be enough for us to survive but it will never be enough for us to live.

Also Read “14 Things About Childhood