Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Childhood Lessons

It was the first ever Asiad games in Delhi, there was a lot of excitement all around, everybody had tickets for some game or the other. Not to be left behind, I asked my Mother whether we could go and see *any* game – that would take care of the pressure of being in the club of the ‘people who had seen an Asiad even’ in school! My Mother worked in a high profile advertising agency so she did get some complimentary tickets for a game of hockey which would be played between some quite unknown teams right in front of my house at a sports stadium. Hockey was not my favorite sport but who cared as long as I could say in school that I too had seen a game.

The day arrived, the stadium looked brightly lit with the floodlights but there seemed to be no mode of transport available (I can’t exactly recollect why now) and we didn’t have a car. I did what pre teens do best, cried and howled but obviously that didn’t turn a pumpkin into a chariot (or for that matter a Mercedes) to take me to the stadium. Then I turned to my friends – called each and every one of them (being blissfully ignorant and simple) and asked them whether they could drop me to the stadium. The friends tried but their parents said NO. With each NO my heart sank a bit and by the time I finished my last desperate call I saw that the lights in the stadium had dimmed, the match was over and my Mother had tears in her eyes.

Both sights were rather disturbing but despite being a selfish spoilt brat drowning in her own grief I did manage to ask my Mother why she was crying. She did give me what I thought then to be a lecture. Strangely, I cannot recollect what words she used but what seemed to be then the most traumatic event of my childhood coupled with her words made me realize how important it is to be self reliant, self sufficient and not asking for favors unnecessarily, the importance of self worth and the importance of being independent.

Perhaps it was one of those life defining moments that has made me the person I am today, also perhaps learning the hard way has a lot more impact.

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