Tag Archives: holiday

First Bicycle Ride

It is May, the month of summer vacations in India. I am still moved by the Bicycle Museum. I was remembering my 9th birthday when my father gifted me a bicycle. I was expecting a kid’s cycle with training wheels but I got a regular bicycle for grown-ups. I was not even tall enough to ride that bicycle. For the first two days, it was a big challenge to be able to pedal. My father tried to help me for one week. He would never let go the cycle. I was unable to learn. After that he had to leave the city for work.

The day after he left, I tried and tried but was barely able to pedal. Everytime I mounted the seat, the cycle would tilt on one side and I had to get down. Those were summer vacations, we would cycle till late night until our mother would call out for dinner. A few days later, on a late evening, I thought about staying on the seat and trying to balance the cycle instead of stepping down. I put my feet on the pedals, positioned myself on the seat and tried to put my weight on the other side when the cycle began to tilt. The cycle was steady for 2 seconds and then it happened. I fell down and immidiately felt the ache in my knees and elbows. But I didnt have the time to pay attention to it because I had discovered the trick to balance myself on the seat and that after balancing one must continue pedalling to keep the cycle steady. I was so anxious to confirm this discovery that I forgot the pain, again mounted the seat and balanced my weight. I started pedalling as soon as the cycle was steady. My mother was just about to call out for dinner when she heard me shouting “Mom!! Look I can ride a bicycle!!”. She saw an excited me cycle towards the house with bleeding knees, scratched elbows, torn frock and a triumphant smile. She congratulated me and then started tending my wounds.

That day I learnt the first ever lesson of life. Our parents, siblings and near ones would always be there for us. They would support us but to achieve our dreams and aspirations, it is we who have to put in the effort. In the process, even if we fall, they would tend our wounds but to learn if need be we have to fall. One has to leave the fear of fall to achieve their goals.

A colorful sky

Today is 14th january. This day is celebrated as Makarsankranti/pongal/Uttarayan in India. This is the first festival of the year and probably the only festival to have a fixed date every year. I was brought up in Gujarat and loved the celebration of Uttarayan. Even in the chilling january, people used to go to terraces or playgrounds and fly kites. This used to be a whole day activity. People also take their music systems with themselves thus enjoy music with flying kite. The sky seems to be a collage of different colored kites. People just love the sun in the chilling winter. This combination seems to add extra energy in them. We used to meet up our entire neighbourhood on their respective terraces.

Festival also implies eating delicious meals. Jaggery has a special place in most of the dishes of Makarsankranth. In western India its gudpoli and chikki wherease in eastern India its pitha. My mother used to make pitha and thus we used to have a nice exercise of climbing up the stairs to the terrace for flying kites and then climbing down the stairs to eat pitha. The preparation has to be made a day before. A holiday is declared in most of the organizations.

Pitha

Another kind of pitha

Today special kite flying competitions and fairs are held. Shops are filled with readymade sweets but what was made by mothers and grandmothers still has its special place in my heart and mind.

Happy MakarSankranthi
Happy Uttarayan
Happy Pongal

A snow covered memory

Today’s challenge was to add more personalization to my blog. When I sat to think about it, the first thing that came to my mind was snow covered mountains and roads. This brought back memories of an amazing trip with friends.

I was brought up in a warm place in India. I always used to fantasize snow as I had never seen it. Once I got an opportunity to visit Aspen with my friends during thanksgiving. It was an amazing trip which got finalized just two days before leaving. Six of us drove in a car from Dallas to Aspen. As we started going towards aspen, the sights I saw left me spellbound. I still remember it fresh. We reached Aspen around 12:00 am. It was warm inside car but the moment I stepped out, it was a dream come true. My feet just landed on snow. I was not able to believe it and wanted to play with snow as soon as possible. But we were also tired of driving so we dozed off as soon as we went to our rooms.

It snowed all night. The next day I saw snow covered roads, houses and mountains. I felt as if I was in some fairy tale. We also went and saw a park full of snow. This blog just gave me an opportunity to preserve that beautiful memory. This exercise has allowed me to learn about headers and backgrounds. Probably I will change these based on my blog posts.

An event to remember

An image of december

Today is 23rd december’2013. The month of december always reminds me of snow covered roads with coniferous trees on both sides as displayed in the image above. The most memorable 23rd december for me would be 23rd december’1995. I was in school then. It was probably the last year I was going to spend there. My school was Auxilium Convent high school. Christmas used to be really special as we used to prepare a month before. Since 25th was a monday so the last working day before Christmas was 23rd. I was selected to be a part of the Crip decoration. I was to be one of the three merchants who visit after Christ was born.

We started rehearsing about 2 weeks ago. This used to be so exciting that we used to look forward to the practice times right from assembly at the start of the day. We used to enact the scene where the three merchants arrive after the birth of Christ. The skit used to start with Carols. These carols were so sweet that everyone used to be mesmerised. The house captons ensured everything was organized from the way the choir stood to narration of the event. As the day used to come near we used to start looking for designs for the crowns.

On 23rd december’1995, we started dressing right after assembly. I had borrowed a bright saree from mummy and prepared my beautiful crown with golden paper. After dressing up with the saree, one of the teachers used to draw the moustache with sketchpens. This used to be a challenge as we used to keep laughing due to the tickling sensation. The entire school right from first grade to tenth grade used to sit in the hall. The hal was buzzing with noise when the principle entered. The welcome address was given by the Head girl and then began our event. It ended with a huge applause. Each class had their own dance or skit after our event. We stood as part of the crip all through the event. The closure note was given by the Principal. After this we went to the nearby room and changed. Everyone was excited as we were going to have holidays till 2nd of january. We wished everyone a Merry Christmas and parted with “See you next year”.

These events used to be a window to knowing people of other classes. I had created many friends through such activities. I wish it were possible to have these kind of events in offices as they would encourage team spirit and again give everyone an opportunity to know others. As for the image, years later I got an opportunity to travel in Aspen and saw my imagination come true.