Miles to ride, before I Sleep

posted in: Short Story - English | 6

Though not a native of Trivandrum, I spent most of my childhood here. I happened to live here as my parents are government employees. My father being a central government employee, worked mostly outside Kerala and mother being a state govt employee, has worked in different districts of Kerala.

I lived in a government quarters with my mother and sister and our father used to visit us once in a month or so. It was located in a beautiful village called Vellayani. To talk about Vellayani, It’s a beautiful place full of greenery. I used to wake up listening to the chirping of birds and enjoying the serene beauty of the Vellayani lake. Our quarters had a frontage to the lake. Every day spent there was as beautiful as it could be. When you live closely to nature you know more about you and your surroundings, I feel.

We had a gang of friends in the neighbourhood with whom we used to play and hang around. And I would like to mention an incident that happened during my childhood which taught me how the determination to achieve something can lead you to success.

It happened when I was in seventh standard. My neighbourhood friends got a new bicycle and we (my sister and me) longed to have one too. Our loving mother bought a pretty Ladybird cycle for us too. Then came the toughest part. Having a cycle is not enough, we have to learn how to ride it. As my father was not in town and my mom being a working woman didn’t have enough time to dedicate to that.

So, I stepped out of the house with the cycle, got hold of its handle and simply walked with it on the very first day. As I was proudly walking with my new possession, I saw my friend pedalling the cycle and her father was holding from behind so that she wouldn’t fall down. When we crossed each other, my friend’s father asked with a tone of sarcasm, how would you learn this? We have been trying for a month and still not accomplished. I didn’t utter a word, but I was deeply hurt by his words. I continued to walk with my new buddy, ignoring his words. On the second day, I tried to balance on the pedal and board the seat and fell into a pit around a coconut tree and my cycle got hit on the tree, I had minor wounds too. But this couldn’t blow out the determination in me.

George A. Custer said it best: “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up.” 

I stood up and continued the practice for the next few days. By the end of the 7thday, I was riding on the cycle, all by myself. It is a wonderful experience when you achieve something that you really wanted to do, and especially when someone says you cannot do it. I felt like I was on cloud nine and not on a bicycle. I rode the cycle through the beautiful lake side as much as I could.

And then the cycling days began. Every evening I used to go cycling with friends and conduct races too, sometimes and I used to come up first too.

I didn’t give up at the discouraging words of anyone because I have promises to keep to myself and miles to ride, before I sleep.   

Name :  Pooja Narayanan

Company : UST, Trivandrum

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6 Responses

  1. Deepa Soman Ramani

    Amazing read ! And, also an equally amazing ‘ride’ through this page of your childhood. Thank you for writing this, Pooja 🙂 It’s inspiring

    • Pooja Narayanan

      Thank you so much dear Deepa…You have also been part of my ride in childhood, thanks for those beautiful memories.

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