Sunday, October 23, 2005

the turning on memory's road

The house is empty, the mood is melancholic. My ears ache to hear the familiar voices when the living room was rocking with loud music and louder laughter. Two weeks of doing things together. The whole family eating pizza and watching telly like 2 nights back, like almost 20 years back, except then there was no smoking joe's and we ate home made pizza. But silence stares back from every corner. I called them at home. Mom and dad. They must be missing us all too. I think of old times, of childhood, and my heart feels heavy with memories.

My leg hurts a wee bit more than my heart. A few days back it took a good fall to remind me, I was no longer nimble footed like the days of yore. My foot had slipped through floor railings outside my balcony and for once I was glad for my fat thigh, which got stuck and prevented me from crashing down to the 7th floor. I had been not-so-gently informed by all, that next time I try such a stunt, the leg might just break into two pieces. But for now, the bruises have turned a facinating purple with tinges of green and a fading yellow. As I pressed them gently and winced in turn, it gave me more reason to put up my legs and reach for comfort food.

But bruises are not new to me. All through school I sported them. At 10 or 11, after some consistent display of tolerable behaviour, I was rewarded with a shining new bicycle. After that began the pleas and tantrums to be allowed to ride it to school as did so many of my friends. Finally after a year or so, the parents relented. But I was to take the little road through tea gardens and people's cottages. The road where you saw a car, or anything with wheels, if you stood at the same spot for 20 minutes. It was so safe you could ride blindfolded, and you knew every person you met on the way, if you met someone, that is.

I sang lustily as I cycled along every morning. The early morning sun filtered through the trees and I played my own little game. I pedalled fully when I hit a sunny spot and pedalled half in the shade. Until. Until that turning that winded like an "S". Every time I turned I would unfailingly hit a deep ditch and land, cycle and all, on crackling dry leaves. It became a regular ritual and one reason I hated going with anyone else. I rode and fell alone in shame. Then I would get up, look around to make sure nobody saw and push the cycle till I hit straighter roads. And it was my little secret. Nobody knew I couldn't make that turning on my way to school. Strangely, I managed it on my way back.

I have often tried to remember but I have no memory of ever managing that turning without falling and one thing that nags me often is whether I will be able to get through it now. What I dream of doing is, take the same road again and give the S turning a last shot on my old bicycle (which is no longer with me). The lane is undoubtedly more crowded and may even have traffic signals. And the S turning may have become a straight concrete road. But still.

Anyway, so I had a permanent bruise that stopped hurting over a period of time. After the initial apprehension, the parents too developed an undeserving sense of confidence in my riding skills. My secret was safe. I was happy. My parents were happy. No reason not to be. Except, mom till today is still clueless that an innocent S turning every morning was responsible for the colourful display on my legs all through the ride-to-school days.

35 Comments:

Blogger kickassso said...

an unfortunate accident with My cycle led me to me being ordered off IT
That is still the reason my folks wont buy me a BIKE :((
BTW....I've got scars from riding my first cycle too!

3:06 AM  
Blogger L said...

Excellent memories..!! Loved ur writing

It was so safe you could ride blindfolded, and you knew every person you met on the way, if you met someone, that is.

Nostalgic isnt' it ?? and u dream of trying that feat again ...LOL..!!

5:06 AM  
Blogger Atul Sabnis said...

Not all wounds/bruises have bad memories associated with them, I guess?

8:11 AM  
Blogger Nupur said...

I have wound mark that I thought would never go!! I used to think that I could never wear skirts again!!

Gosh when we were kids! :) nicely done... as usual...

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Ashish said...

for once I was glad for my fat thigh
see I told you to eat drink and make merry- it helps in life ;)
well... Sorry to know its hurting so badly - get well soon.
nostalgic, eh? you remind me of my "bike" too ;) rode at rocketing speeds all thru' school life!
Oh boy those were the days riding thru' every pothole in rains and dropping dead in the deeper ones :P

3:32 PM  
Blogger shub said...

enice warm-feel post!
err...do you drive?
:p

4:22 PM  
Blogger Ragnar Danneskjold said...

whats an s-turn if not a straight line with two u-turns?

4:14 AM  
Blogger Parna said...

what a wonderful road memory lane takes us down sometimes....i could picture the mountain roads and cycling down it.

hugs for missing the parents.

and take care woman. i know how bad the bruises can be, cos my wrist refuses to get well and even a simple thing like turning the hand is painful.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good gosh, take care of yourself. How on earth did you manage to slip off the balcony??? Mail me, I've lost your address. I'll bookcross some books DIRECTLY to you.

Kahini

11:34 AM  
Blogger hope and love said...

loved the post.. so u were also tomboyish..!! like me..
:))
feeling nostalgic..

1:39 PM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

ohh.. take care Anumita.

Wonder how you manage that S turn on your way back.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

was reminded of my days of 'cycle ki sawaari' - since it was the peon in dad's office who taught me to cycle ,he made sure that I never fell even once, so the bruises started once i started cycling on my own...

2:58 PM  
Blogger Prerona said...

welcome back - beautiful post! it reminded me of my first cycle - it was red BSA SLR and i LOVED it :)

4:57 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

kichassso: Aren't the scars precious now?

l: Thank you. Yes, I often think of going back to this little haven and riding through the same road again.

atul: You are right. My bruises are my fondest memories.

nupur: Did the marks go now? But you know I am proud to sport any marks with a great story behind.

ashish: I know what you mean. We did the same with the bicycles and then graduated to motorbikes.

shub: Thanks. :) Yes, I drive and pretty decenty.

ragnar danneskjold: Welcome. You are right. But it is so much simpler to call it and "S" than two "U"s.

parna: What happened to wrist? Gym accident?

kahini: Was trying to move heavy potted plants on the balcony. Sending you address right away!!

hope and love: Yes. And I looked too like a little boy and many mistook me for one.

chakra: I think I managed it because there were always friends with me on the way back and we would be talking and laughing. So I wouldn't even notice the turning.

swathi: You fell too? I have no history of falling off the cycle except on that bend.

prerona: Thanks. Mine was the same except I think the colour was maroon-brown.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Abhishek said...

think ur prone to injury....
are u okay now?
.........
n how is that u get so many comments on ....within minutes of posting a blog...
n it take a lifetime for sum1 to post on mine.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Atul Sabnis said...

@ abhishek - search me! I have been wondering abt that for some time now @ the rate of comments on "a few seasons..."

10:08 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

abhishek: I have my bad days when I bump into anything on my way and even fall from the bed.
It's over a year since I have been blogging and most of the people who comment have turned friends now.

10:09 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

atul: Like I told abhishek, I can offer the same explanation. Don't we always pay a visit to a friend's blog to find out what he or she has been upto?

10:12 PM  
Blogger AF said...

nice post!well writen..

12:37 AM  
Blogger Arundhati said...

@abhishek

thats coz Anu is cuter then you and I..eh Anu?

Jokes apart, hey I do understand what its like to be trippin and falling all the time ...I can't wear short skirts bec of numerous bruises on my knees. Can't tell you how painful that is, especially if you have lost a lot of weight recently :(

4:52 AM  
Blogger Akruti said...

Hey,How are you doing now? Sorry,i was away from this place for last two posts:( Got busy and now ended up with an accident.And when i was reading your post i was counting the bruises and smiling at each of the memroies:( and now i hurt my self at a waterfall on sunday and my bandaged leg tells me abt another story which i need to remember in future:)
Your answer to Abhishek and atuls query is very true:) Even though i dint comment the last two posts i made sure to read them asap.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Geo said...

Great post as usual...

I happen to gather one new scar each time I fall down from my motor cycle. :_)

5:25 PM  
Blogger anumita said...

af: Thank you :)

arundhati: I hope you still call me cute when you meet me :) I sport my bruises with pride. They let me tell great stories.

akruti: Hey, I hope you didn't hurt yourself badly. Take care. And yes, I missed reading your posts too but was glad that you were having a great holiday.

geo: Please be careful. Falling from motorcycle is definitely more painful than falling from bicycle.

11:44 PM  
Blogger Abhishek said...

but i think hardly ne1 check ma blog.may be cuz i am new on blogger.....
but i think 3months is a long time for nebody to post a comment on a blogpage

9:15 AM  
Blogger Gangadhar said...

Nice memories,Anumita...
And I liked the answers you've given to Abhishek and Atul...
take care..

3:30 PM  
Blogger gulnaz said...

that was a dangerous stunt!
i bruise so easily that when i see a bruise on me, i don't even know how i got it. :)
btw, i fell once too often when trying to learn cycling that i left it altogher, unlearnt. (shameful grin) actually i hate wheels!

12:58 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

LOL @ thigh joke! Thank God for small mercies :)

Your childhood was spent much like min....this post took me right back to my first ride to school on my own bike!

Quite a celebrity at school I was that day! Betcha you can relate!

1:00 AM  
Blogger Abhishek said...

slightly...deviating from this blog topic....
saw many pages with blognames like "The 7 tag"
whats the meaning of thus tag basically?...
asked atul but couldn't my doubt cleared.
can ne1 help?

8:44 AM  
Anonymous sherriff said...

the second para of ur post gave a chill down my spine...u had a close save...nice nostalgic blog...normally it is said "that Life is all about looking ahead"...I disagree...what are we without our memories...u described everything so vividly...it was like I was seeing some flashback on the silver screen...BTW it is for the first time that someone has described bruises as "

3:21 PM  
Anonymous sherriff said...

"fascinating purple with tinges of green and a fading yellow"...lol

3:22 PM  
Blogger Ardra said...

enjoyed the ride down your memory lane- and that too without a fall..:-)
love rading u'r blogs
ardra

7:52 AM  
Blogger Hiren said...

Well written. Reminded me of the several times I fell of my bike.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Raccoon said...

but tell me..why are there railings in the floor in the first place? and so widely spaced that you could have actually fallen through them????

loved your cycling post...we used to go on exploration expeditions - take a left turn , then a right turn and so on, till we landed into someones backyard. It must have been beautiful, growing up amongst tea gardens...:)

11:24 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

abhishek: Dont worry about comments. The point is to write for yourself and enjoy it. You are doing great.

gangadhar: Thank you.

gulnaz: Even I bruise easily. And it scares the hubby. :)

gratis: Yes, I can relate :) How you doing, both of you?

abhishek: Nothing to worry about the 7 tag. You get tagged by other bloggers who write about their 7 best, worst, favourites, etc, and in turn tag other bloggers to answer the same questions.

sherriff: Bruises always fascinate me. I often see them on my body at the yellow stage and try to remember how and where I got them.

ardra: Welcome and thank you ardra.

hiren: Welcome and thank you. But please take care as, like I said, a bike fall is much more dangerous.

pranav: You have to come home to see the structure of the grills and why they are placed there! Yes, growing up where I did was definitely beautiful.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Pallavi said...

I have been accident prone the whole time... :) LOL... I hope your missings have gone by now...

12:43 PM  

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