Now, now, it really isn't that dramatic a situation . But then I wouldn't be a blue blooded Leonine, if i didnt make it sound dramatic at the least.
My older child is 16 now. When he was two and a half years old, we had bought a white Kinetic Honda. I had always fancied a bright red Kinetic Honda, almost tomato red. But when we decided to go in for one, they were offering a sort of a maroonish red and we settled for a white .
Then began the riding lessons. After dinner each night. The older boys in the building (all secondary school children) used to play carrom in the stilt area at that hour. They gallantly offered to take care of the son, saying, "Aunty, yeh hamaare saath baithega. Aap scooter seekhiye."
So with the husband on the pillion, I pressed the accelerator. The sudden power that surged through the scooter stunned me. Then when I tried to take it forward, my hands were frantically clutching the brakes on the left hand and revving the accelerator on the right. The scootie moved forward laboriously. "See you are so fat, the scootie is not moving forward", I said, to the better half. In reply I got a well deserved 'thwack ' on my head.
'Girtey - samhaltey' I managed to go in a straight line, in the society compound, all by myself. Then for the next two days I practised with the son on the tiny kiddie seat. He used to enjoy pulling it up and settling himself. And I would feel very nice and protective of him sitting up there.
The next problem was getting the scootie on its stand. I could manage the side stand, but could not manage to heave the vehicle on its rear stand. It was a "jor lagaake haiyya" exercise for quite some time.
Our housing society was atop a hillock. If going down-hill was difficult , revving up and coming uphill was a bigger ordeal.
The scootie and me were soon comfortable with each other. But one of my fingers used to be on the horn perpetually. The husband would comment that he would hire some one to race ahead of my scootie to herald my arrival and clear the road for me. That person could have a 'dhol' round his neck too and could go on 'dhum dhum dhumaka dhumm!'. More pearls of wisdom followed - I stand tall at 5 feet 10 inches. The husband said, 'If at any time you feel the vehicle going out of control, just stand, with yr feet firmly on the ground. The vehicle will pass on, on its own from between your legs and you have no fear of toppling'. So much for encouragement.
Once I had learnt to ride ,... ride / drive... the mind is muddled. but I did ride it and drove people at home crazy. I had set some rules for myself. When I first started the trips outside the society, I had earmarked the colony entrance as my laxman rekha. I would park it on one side of the street, cross the road on foot, finish all the purchasing and then 'aaroodh' on the scootie, would zip uplhill, to home sweet home. It took a long time to lierally cross the line so to say. Even then for all the 11 yrs that i rode that scootie, it was always refulled by our driver.
The Favourite Scootie Memory I have is of me, ferrying the kiddo to play school and back. His favourite cartoon serial at that time was "The Road Runners". I liked it too and we would both watch it on TV at home.
In this show, a wily coyote named Wilie Coyote, tries to do in a bird named Road Runner. The bird does just that, zip down roads and as he does so there is a typical Beep Beep sound that heralds his entry. It sounds more like PWEEP PWEEP.
It would fascinate and amuse my son, no end, when I would sound the Horn a-la -Road -Runner and go Pwweep Pweep as we went down the slope. Then he would take over shyly and press the Horn button PWEEP PWEEP. And we would both chuckle on our way to school and back. As he grew up other things were more on his mind, but even then a Pweep Pweep, to shake away an errant walker on the road, would bring a smile to his face. This is a special memory that we both shared over the next several yrs.
Today when the scootie, which was lying unused for the last 2 yrs was being taken away in a tempo, to the husbands office, all these memories came rushing through. In all their technicolour glory.
The vehicle will be sent in for major repairs and then kept in the office to run small errands.
I am waiting for my son to come home from college and whistle out a Pweep Pweep at him and see the smile on his lips and the twinkle in his eyes, once more. And for that moment he will be my two and a half year old , once more!