by Jigyansa Mohanty
Aryav was in a jubilant mood that day. For last two months he was after my hubby dearest to get him a new cycle. Not that he didn’t have cycle before but he was fascinated by a certain black bicycle he had spotted in the mall and he just couldn’t wait to have that. When he was rebuked he was smart enough to put forth his point stating he has grown tall and his legs hurt when he pedals. I mustered the courage to say a straight `No’ and the topic was put to rest then and there but 24 hours and again the same became a subject of dinner table conversation. Finally it was decided that a cycle is going to make its way to our home the older one being passed on to my younger son for riding. My four year old was happy to exercise ownership on the old blue cycle of Aryav’s which he has been eyeing since long.
Finally when Aryav saw the black cycle standing on the porch, his happiness knew no bounds. He couldn’t wait and throwing his school bag in the couch he immediately started off. I was anxious as I knew that this particular black cycle was without the support wheels and it may not be possible for him to ride on. I said `wait dear let me come and support you from the back’. No mamma, You don’t worry I can manage’ pat came the reply.
Suddenly I was dragged down the memory lane. I remembered a similar situation when I had not listened to my dad’s words and had suffered. It seemed like yesterday when I was rushing to junior college on my new cycle. It was few months since I had got the new red cycle and just couldn’t wait taking it out on the road. Moreover I was in my first year of college and wanted to show my friends my new possession. That day we had a welcome party from our seniors and hence the excitement was double.
The whole night I couldn’t sleep as I was eagerly waiting for the dawn. When I woke up the first thing I did was clean my cycle which had some dust accumulated on it. The seat, handle and the wheels all were cleaned up. To give it a shiny look the cloth was dipped in some water and was rubbed all over the poor thing. Finally `The cycle’ was ready. The girl in me too was super excited, this being my maiden ride to college on my new red cycle. After much thought I zeroed down on a cute yellow frock and black heels. The feeling was amazing which can’t be put down in words. My mom was posted in Bolangir and we two sisters were at Bhubaneswar with my dad and granny.
All decked up, when I came to my Dad to say him bye he looked with utter surprise. Suddenly his smiling face gave way to stress and tension and with heavy voice he said, `Go dear, but change your shoes as they are high heels and I think you should avoid cycling in high heels now as it may be difficult to balance, You can wear them once you master your cycling skills.’ I
loved my dad and had never said no to him. But that day this teenager was in no mood to surrender.` No Dad, Don’t worry, I can manage and moreover I don’t have any other flat shoes to go with my dress. So I have to wear this’. My Dad loved me immensely and he couldn’t break my heart too. Finally reluctantly though he gave his consent and I rode off. I had just crossed our street and came into the main road when a muddy pit at the intersection was overlooked and my cycle slipped. I fell on the ground and was in terrible pain. My right leg was twisted, feet tangled in the strap of the heels and sliding downwards. Suddenly there was a hand that seemed familiar and touched my shoulder. It was none other than my dad who was secretly following me on his scooter. As I cried in pain I hugged my Dad and that was a point of realization for me that how nagging our parents may sound, but whatever they say it’s for our best and we should listen to them no matter what. As I was wearing high heels I couldn’t balance myself and fell resulting in ankle sprain which confined me to bed for a month. May be my Dad feared the worst and was there when I needed him the most.
That day and Today not much has changed except that now I am a Parent , mother of two kids on whom I keep a watch every time and it’s their safety that matters the most. That day my Dad was worried and today I am. Immediately I ran after Aryav calling out his name at the top of my voice and advising him to go slow on the road. He was on his cycle and I was bare foot on the road. Suddenly something pricked my feet. As I bent down to inspect I heard Aryav scream. Frantically I ran, it must have been the fastest in my entire life, ignoring the tiny glass piece which by then had made it fully into my feet. To my utter dismay I saw Aryav cuddling a small puppy and his new black cycle lying on the ground next to him. All my fear surfaced and holding myself together I asked Aryav the reason behind his scream. ‘Nothing Mamma, it was just that the pup was on its way and I was anxious over my balance on the cycle, Don’t worry all set.” I soon hugged my son not realizing the red trails made of blood oozing out of my feet. But that was nothing compared to those ten seconds when I ran after my boy.
That day I remembered my mom’s words… ‘only when you will be at my place you will come to know why I worry so much’. Indeed, now I realize the anguish a parent goes through seeing the kids in pain. You live, laugh and cry with your kids and it’s their wellbeing which you prioritize. Our Parents may shout or scream at us but it’s only out of concern. Selfless, courageous and full of affection that’s the way they have been and that’s the way we are now when we have stepped into their shoes. ***