Rewind to 1993, I was 6 years old. Like any child grown up in congested rectangular block house of typical lower middle class Indian family, I dared to dream since then.
I remember my first dream was neither to drive a fancy car nor go to scenic locations that were shown in Hindi movies aired on zee television. It may sound silly now(but justified to my context at that age), but it was to ride a bicycle and vroom through our streets. Cycle bug bit me after a friend of the same street showed off his new bsa bicycle.
My dad had a Bajaj Chetak scooter and neither of siblings had a bicycle. I cried for days and skipped meals and got beaten up by parents for pestering them to buy a new bicycle. Giving their financial situation, finally deal was made, they would offer me 6 rupees on every Sunday to hire a bicycle, which would cost 2 rupees for an hour.
I precisely remember how crucial that 2 rupees were to me. I was darn careful. It wasn’t just about one hour of bicycle riding but about satisfying my whims and ego of the child within. Within two to three months I vroomed all through the streets of my locality to show off my skills. Slowly other friends who couldn’t afford to buy a bicycle followed me and I formed a small gang who would meetup on Sunday after breakfast and vroom all over. Now that I have made a gang of 4 to 5, we used to vroom all through racing in the narrowest streets I’ve ever seen. The friend with bsa bicycle came along and joined the racing only to fall on the stones and get hurt into a bad shape, after I hit his bicycle accidentally.
Next scene was his father summoned my mom, colony heads and others to gather in the common area. He shouted at me saying I was the one who was spoiling others, and gave me the grand title “Rowdy”. I couldn’t stop laughing for that comment, thinking he was over reacting, not realising love for his son, only to get slapped by my mother in front of 20 odd people.
But then the advantage of being a pampered child of a wonderful mother is that she took me to her side later in the evening and told, If she hadn’t slapped me, he would beat me up more than that for the damage that I have done to his son(broke his hand). I asked mom naively, “When everyone else scolded why did she care for me, was it because am her son?”. To that she said “Caring and love doesn’t have to change for what others do to you. One can still chose to love.”Then I knew what mother’s love was.This incident had an indelible impression on me to love others despite their shortcomings and wrong doings during my formative years. Practicing unconditional love has grown on me ever since. Infinite thanks for my mom.
Never after that I’ve embarrassed my Mom and I rode bicycle peacefully till an age of 17 without hurting anyone 🙂