The misadventure I want to forget


It was her lecture. She entered the class with furious scurry steps. Her one hand was full of bulky books, to refer in between, which were only used at the time of dictation and her other hand had the wide open roll call, which soon was a cause of panic for us, as she called out the numbers as per the seats allocated and started interrogating each one of us hapless fellows, about why were we not present for her lecture on so and so date and how we spent our time.
“This is foolish”, I said inaudibly. “Instead of completing the syllabus they pass the time in such matters, blaming us for the non-completion of the portion.” But my mates were also astute. They told her about how they were sick, many said, they had personal work, and most were just turning the situation upside down by making funny comments. I had no idea, for which I was laughing and passing comments on others, when the teacher uttered these words, “roll no. 63.”
I was shaken by what seemed inevitable. 63 was my roll no. In that period of commotion, I was too confused whether to stand or be seated. Two of my close friends had just told that they had to go to some government office, to collect some document, when they were bunking the lectures, enjoying freely, outside the college campus. I didn’t know what to do. I just got up, in a hasty way raised my hand and sat down. I didn’t know what to say. I parched out of words. I ran out of excuses. With a clear intention I elucidated.
“I bunked, … I bunked the lecture.” I felt nothing. Not even to flinch what I had said, as I believed it was an offense to say it on the face of the teacher, regarding her subject, in front of a fully packed class, which had a full on entertainment show to attend to.
This was just the welcome speech. I knew that the teacher would throw fiery words at me and shut me up for good. After all, she had just started, getting annoyed listening to the 62 lies and was desperate to hear some truth. Well, there I was in the right corner on the last bench.
“But I went to the library.” My friends laughed at my stubborn comment, but their faces also had the glint of, “Whoa! What’s this guy gonna say next?” The teacher looked at me with big eyes, like a woman about to punish her kid, and there was me, who had faced 17 similar situations, seemed the most tranquil in the whole class. “Why?” the teacher reacted. “I got bored so I went and set in the library.” I answered genuinely. “You attended the first two lectures? Didn’t you get bored?” Now, she was talking nonsense. “No, I didn’t bunk the first two lectures. They were good, interesting.” That was the best I could come up with.
“Who do you think you are? You cannot bunk the lectures, you cannot leave the class without the permission of the teacher.” The teacher shouted. ”Like hell I can’t. I’m in College not in KG.” Which fortunately didn’t reach the ears of the teacher. “You cannot behave anyhow in the society; can I slap my father just because I feel like slapping him? Can I slap you if I want to?” Teacher was really not in the mood of forgiving.
“That’s your decision, not mine.” Now, I too was getting carried away. But I thought, what did I do wrong? Everybody was bunking and lying over the top. I just told the truth. I was not interested in whatever she was going to say and still managed to maintain my calm and peaceful frame.
She was on the back foot now and I knew she was going to talk through me, make me feel like I’m the criminal here. This is one of those times, when you feel like you have participated in campaigning and other are playing little game called, ‘politics.’ “I’ve been noticing you, since last year until now. You are a good, sincere student. But you’re trying to change this year. I don’t know, why.” This was , .. I don’t know what that was, but I think she was looking at my hair, when said that. I had grown my hair, even had a hair band on it, to ensure that they don’t run into my eyes.
The teacher was ranting whatever came to her mind. Seeing my apathy, she turned to other students to tell her “Bhagvat Gita, like a sage giving real education to his disciples. After this was over, I realised that there wasn’t even a smidgen of anger on me. I was serene and calm as before. I was back to smiling. But one thing bothered me. I didn’t mean to offend the teacher in front of the full class.


The air that swings by


Remember that scene from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag? Let me remind it to you. Milkha Singh running the race for the first time, gets motivated by the prize of milk and sprints saying doodha doodha. We experienced a similar situation on our four days cycling expedition from Goa to Goa via, Amboli-Kolhapur-Belgaum. Frankly saying, our bums were more than just paining, they were swollen, our hands were tired, above all, we had the burden of bags on our shoulders. We just wanted to get abode as quickly as possible.

We embarked on a prickly journey, which upon succeeding showcased itself as an unending sea of attractive flowers. The first day started off quite smoothly. The mixture of cool fog and warm air were the only palpable things on the road. We hapless pals didn’t know that we were going to face a 17 kms steep road before reaching Amboli. When you do something different for the first time its always full of difficulties, but all we have to do is persist. Damn! Its easy to say.

The Second and the third day were most painful for me as my shoulders below the neck tried to keep up with the paining body. I tried applying Volini cream, but it didn’t seem to have much effect, instead only yelping and groaning were the one’s helping me. Anyway, that was all for the day.

The next day, we were to clear the Maharashtra border entering Belgaum Karnataka. The pain didn’t stop even after taking that painkiller. Now was the time for testing my zeal. Now was the time for that theory to be implemented. Now was the time to get my feet in the shoes of Bear Grylls. Some days ago I read a book “The Leader Who Had No Title” by Robin Sharma. “Embrace the change; do not run away from it”, it said. I thought why not change it to “embrace the pain?” And I did…

This was such an Itinerary which tests you from every aspect, not only physical but mental too. Yes! I felt at times, that this was too much for me. One mind told me to stop; the other to continue. The pain was increasing as the hours went by, I was riding, grunting was the only relief. Then a thought crossed my mind: How did Mahatma Gandhi continue even after taking the latthi charge? How did Bal Gangadhar Tilak ignite a spark of hope in people? How did Vinayak Damodar Savarkar escape the ship even after getting tormented? What about all the Indians who fought vigorously and ferociously against the injustice done with them?

The answer lies in the very same question. Embrace the pain and continue the journey, for which you’ve worked so hard. Enduring the austere conditions, and yes it can be done. Chanting the mantras of Lord Ram and cutting through the hot road will work surely. I reiterate it again, cycling is like a crucible which melts the metal to be used for any purpose.

Lessons a cycle taught me


Its quite obvious that I’m gonna get tired after riding a bike after almost four months. Well, here I am eating more than what is required and the only thing that comes to the mind is dozing off. And here I am writing about it, rather quite enjoying the moment.
With great enthusiasm, we left the house with not even a smidgen of breakfast and as it turned out I felt eagerness to fill my stomach with anything that it could hold. On our return journey there was a steep road(not so sharp) but with my prowess of riding a bike only made me more hungrier than I was, the crows in the stomach had already started dying, all my teammates were long gone and I was left behind like a fawn waiting for the lion to kill it. My legs were hurting, my body felt the weight more than ever like it had taken the burden of the whole world. So I stopped for a while to stabilize my breath and gather all energy I need to ride to my cousin’s house, thats when my gaze fell upon an unknown man in his early twenties signaling me to continue my ride. He was making the gestures denoting/asking why am I not riding? I smiled. I was refilled with a lively energy and excitement.
Strange; strange how a person you don’t know can inspire you, funny, our actions unintendedly matter so much in times. Clearly , there’s more to life than meets the eye.
While I was using this “Affirmation method”, (you know how usually we say “Yes, I can do this”, “Only ten kilometers remaining, than you can devour as much as you want”) many things were running through my mind. The things that cycling taught me after 2-3 hours of riding, at that point of time. Well, many, but uh, yeah! There they are. A person is not meant to halt till he reaches his destination. While riding you face many difficulties, you’re not supposed to give a damn to those things.
Err, no, something is not right. It should have been more like, A person is not meant to halt till he reaches his home to stuff food in his mouth.
Anyways, because of this cycle I got this opportunity to explore and watch the scenic beauty, a great morning alongside a lake filled with small plants, birds doing their chores, some cleaning their feathers, flying over our heads, the Sun glaring his light and the effect of this light on the pure water of the lake and watching this and witnessing it and recording in the mind were some awe-inspiring moments for all of us.