Saturday, August 12, 2006

And He Taught Me To Drive…

Learning to drive all over again, feels so much like going back home in time…

to when I was much younger, to the time when my father gave me the handle of the Royal Enfield Bullet, on a straight road sans disturbances, with darkness upon us and the constant whimpering of my mother with my still young sister in her arms, terrified and saying in a little voice that I was too young to do what I was doing…

And I remember my father say through the corner of his mouth, without looking back, checking the road ahead for his young driver son, “I wouldn’t give him control if I didn’t trust him. If there is trouble, I will take over…” and my mother calmed down. I knew that day that even at seven, one could feel ten feet tall.

Eons later, when the Enfield disappeared and four wheels made their appearance for the first time in our lives, it was my father again who made me take the wheel. (Though I fell in love with our bright red Maruti Van at first sight, I had to wait till my eighteenth birthday to graduate from the left side of the Van to the right). Endless slaps on the wrist in a quest to gain steering balance later, my father felt confident enough to agree that the Van had become an extension of my mind and body. And he left me loose, to live life with the car, my own way.

Again, he trusted me enough to permit me to use the car as I wanted to. The trust was always there that I wouldn’t do anything that he wouldn’t with his car.

Years later, when I am on the fringes of getting my own car, trying for a drivers license whose primary concern is that I graduate from the RIGHT back to the LEFT, I miss my father. I miss the days when he sat by my side, never showing the fear he felt, slapping away at each tiny mistake and praising each moment of wise driving.

I started Qatar’s driving classes on the 10th of this month. I believe there is no better time to acknowledge the best driving teacher in the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the award goes to my dad, patience personified, for being the best in the trade when it comes to training his first born, in that delightful indulgence known simply as driving…
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

You Made Me A believer, Thank You...

When I started my blog, I didn’t think much about it.
It died a natural death.

Then Indian Express happened to me and someone there helped me turn a believer.
2000 hits later, I know.

I was meant to be here, in this little space on the web that I call, my own.
Thank you, for being here and coming back, and in the process,
making me a believer, in my own god-given talents.

Thank you!
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Sunday, August 06, 2006

About A Thief, Me...

Forgive me father, for I have thieved.

Eons ago, when I was still a crazy coin collector, I did what is unthinkable for me today, I thieved.

I still remember the incident as clear as yesterday. We were in a moving school bus and there were a lot of kids around, in blue. I was all of nine while he, seven. We talked about everything under the earth and soon enough, talk turned to coins. That was when temptation struck.

It was he who threw me the bait and unashamedly I took it. He looked me in the eye and asked if I knew about the East India Company. I said I did and dramatically slowly, he took out his little black Kodak film roll case. He jingled it near my ear and sure enough, there was the rattle of coins.

I was dying with curiosity and the devil took his time to open the box. Slowly, very slowly, as if the djinn resided inside, he opened the box. There were seven copper coins in all, one huge while others varied from small to smallest. I remember the words I spoke, "May I look at them?"

He wouldn’t let me, at first. But soon he gave in to the look in his friends eyes and gave the box to me.

I took out the coins one by one and deliberately took my time in looking at each one of them carefully. I wasn’t interested in the beauty of the coins, far from it. I was deliberately timing my movements so that the stop where he had to get down was approaching fast. My friend sat lost looking at the glee on my face. I am sure he must have felt contended, at having made me happy.

Then in one sudden flash of realization, he understood that his stop was on him. He tried to snatch the coins from my hand. I deliberately stumbled and barring the view of the smallest coin behind the largest one, I slipped the little one quietly into my pocket. He just ran with the box.

I was truly unhappy that I could not steal the biggest coin. I never felt guilty; it took me many more years before that. But when it did, he was completely lost to me.

To this day, that little coin resides in a corner of my room. It is safely packed inside a little black Kodak film roll case. If I ever meet my friend again from so long ago, I shall take that box out and beg him for forgiveness.

Forgive me father, for I have thieved.
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