She has got wheels to her feet now. She is learning to move forward with them. Roller Skates are something that I have never climbed on to. Other than the once that I did many years ago and thought I was falling in love with the sudden spurt speed that it seemed to give me. Even as I was falling in love with, I fell hard on my face. Literally. And in every other sense of the word. I had declared then that Roller Skates were for the crazy ones. Retreating to the familiar wear and tear of the old cricket bat, a bunch of incorrigible friends and the unbearable Sun. Roller Skates memories make me squint my eye today.
For today, the little Miss walked with her Roller Skates. Her first class. The picture of calm that I wore on the surface was tearing at its seams inside me, as anxiety ridden memories ebbed. Oblivious to all this, she walked and waved, with a dozen missteps and two dozen ‘near misses’!
The little miss has this unique magic wand in her that brings my own memory alive. These are memories that are so dormant in me, that I never knew were there in the first place. Of my first fall. The words of my dad and mom. The caressing hand of my grandmother. Every now and then, when the little miss says something or does something, my mind wanders and wonders with an unfailing memory pop up.
Several parents I know vouch for this. Their memories stand rekindled by their kid’s action, they too say. As she uses new words, demonstrates new grasp and generally unpacks what is packed into her, the wonder that is creation, does a wild jig in my mind. Bringing up children, my mom tells me often, happens in a jiffy. ‘Savour every moment’, she often says. The touch of lament and a dash of memory of the good old times, I cannot miss.
Even so, I am reasonably sure that I will miss these times. Of walking the little miss to school and taking her to her first Roller Skates class. Time and its many wheels will speed the minutes away leaving us with memories of moments that have sped by. So today, as she makes takes her gentle trod on those wheels, I realise, it is a moment to savour. She does far better than me. She has had fun. She has her friends. And her new wheels.
She finishes, asks for water and asks me, ‘Appa, why don’t you try?’
I smile first. And then laugh. As my eyes unconsciously well up, I realise that’s exactly what my dad asked me. Another of those memories that was tucked away in an inner whorl of the brain popped out to say ‘hi’!
Back then, I remember having told Appa that I would much rather play cricket with the boys. I can’t tell that to the little miss. The boys have all gone their way to sport their BMWs and beer bellies with aplomb . Cricket is not the game it used to be. Even the Sun sports an angrier hue these days.
I laugh with her. I tell her, ‘Next week’.
As the wheels of time spin fast, next week too will also come and go.