Cycling Lessons – Learning to Let Go

 

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This is your present cycle, a yellow Hercules. Unfortunately, I have lost the picture of your first BSA pink-and-silver cycle.

For a long time, I have wanted to write about how I taught you cycling. I was no expert. I did not know how to ride a cycle. I had never ridden a cycle in my life. So I had to rely heavily on web articles and YouTube videos.

 

Your first cycle was a pink and silver BSA with training wheels. We spent several long hours riding it on our terrace, you and I. You were a little boy of five and you refused to ride it unless I held the saddle or the handlebars. Sometimes, I held you under your armpits so that you could learn the fine art of balancing on your own.

It gave me one hell of a backache, but I was determined that you should learn cycling. When I removed the training wheels and told you that you should try riding without them, you rebelled.  And before we could argue about it any further, the monsoons set in. Your little pink and silver BSA lay forlorn and forgotten in a corner of our garden as long as the rains lasted.

When drier days finally rolled in, I rescued the cycle and got it serviced. Your riding lessons started in earnest again, but this time, you were clearly not in the mood.

“I want training wheels,” you whined.

“No, you must learn to balance without training wheels,” I insisted firmly.

“Then I want you to hold the saddle while I pedal,” you replied.

“Just think,” I tried to convince you. “You can’t go fast if I keep holding you. Don’t you want to cycle fast? Don’t you want to cycle long distances?”

“I want to become a pilot,” you said stubbornly. “You don’t need to ride cycles to become a pilot.”

“Oh yes, you do,” I said firmly. “If you can’t ride a simple cycle, how will you fly a plane? A plane goes much faster.”

You carefully weighed the pros and cons and finally decided to give it a try. But you still insisted that I either hold you under your armpits or grip the saddle of your cycle. Since I was tired of the terrace, I decided to take you to Kadri Park Mangaluru for your riding lessons.

 

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A photo of the new gate of Kadri Park Mangaluru. Absolutely cycle proof. 

 

I will never forget those precious moments when I finally let go of the saddle and let you ride on your own. Blissfully unaware that I had let go, you rode on and on. I was so delighted to see you riding on your own that I clapped hard and cheered. And that’s when you realized that you had actually learned how to ride a cycle. I will never forget the look on your face that wonderful day

The park authorities booted us out soon after, but I did not mind because the purpose was served. Apparently, Kadri Park Mangaluru is meant exclusively for walkers, joggers, and runners, not cyclists.

It was the letting go that did the trick. It was not at all easy for me to let go. After all, I did not want my precious baby to fall down and hurt himself.

But my precious pet, as your parent, I have to let go of you. I have to let you fall and get hurt. I have to harden my heart because you will learn all the essential skills of life only if I let go of you, the same way you learned cycling when I let go.

Letting go of you so that you could make your own decisions and live life on your own terms was the toughest parenting lesson I had to learn. It took me a long time to understand that you are born free.

Letters to St. Jorge: Visiting the Hometown

BulletDear St. Jorge,

When your Royal Enfield Bullet 350 noisily enters your quiet, sleepy little hometown and roars past your little church, your parish priest shivers in his shoes, buries his head in his hands, and groans. Whenever your parish priest, a gentle little man in his early forties, sees your huge body, your huge backpack, and your huge Bullet 350, he wishes he were dead.

Your ex-girlfriend, the one who broke up with you when she realized what a two-faced, two-timing cad you are, sees your Bullet 350 roaring past her house and contemplates suicide. She just cannot tolerate the idea of having to face you in church the next day. Tears roll down her cheeks whenever she remembers how you had spread false stories about her and the parish priest.

Shortly after she broke up with you, she had started visiting the parish priest for counseling and consolation. She was totally shattered by the mental and emotional harassment she had suffered at your hands and the lies you had told her. Since she felt better and less suicidal after visiting the parish priest, she visited him again and again and again. But you, out of spite, told the entire parish that the parish priest was sleeping with her. And people believed you and laughed at her and the parish priest.

Unfortunately, people believe all your lies, St. Jorge. Even the world’s most intelligent people believe you because you tell them exactly what they want to hear. You are least bothered about the truth. In fact, the word “truth” doesn’t exist in your dictionary. You know exactly how to fool women and lure them into a relationship with you. And when you get tired of them, you abuse, hurt, and harass them so much that they flee from you in tears, their spirit broken.

Yet people believe your lies, St. Jorge. When you tell them that women are after you for your money, they believe you. Only a few know the truth, and the truth is that women give a damn for you. Instead, it is you who run around like a cheap cur, sniffing at women’s butts and then snarling at them when you have had enough of the smell.

Even your mother believes all the lies you tell her, St. Jorge. When you get your ass off your Bullet 350 and wave at her, she smiles at you. She really believes that your long-suffering wife is a shameless gold digger. She weeps at night because she thinks that your wife has wrecked your life—your worthless life. She really and truly believes that your wife prevents you from seeing your children and deprives them of a father’s love.

Your innocent mother doesn’t know that you are a monster who used to turn on the music and beat your wife out of her senses. She has absolutely no idea that your first-born, a little boy of ten, hates you and doesn’t want to see your face because he actually saw you screwing the neighbor’s wife. Your mother will never believe that you are capable of such horrific deeds.

The following day is Sunday and you go for mass. Your ex-girlfriend has decided not to step out of her house as long as you are in town. But your parish priest is not that lucky. He has to say the mass and deliver the homily. When he sees you entering the little church, a scapular around your neck, a rosary twisted around your fingers, and a small Bible in your hand, he grits his teeth and feels sick.

He watches you as you park your ass on an empty bench and survey the women in the church. Your eyes linger on exposed skin, rounded bottoms, outlines of breasts, and belly buttons half hidden in the folds of saris. Your parish priest badly wants to boot you out of the church but knows he can’t. He sighs and starts saying the mass.

Never once taking your eyes off the attractive women in the church, you pray to that Lord who died for people’s sins slightly more than two thousand years back. Since he has paid for your sins with his blood, you are now free to sin as much as you like, St. Jorge.

Sinner Brenda

Disclaimer: Dear Christians, St. Jorge has nothing to do with your St. George or any other saints you may be praying to. The above is a creative piece based on real life. If you see yourself or someone you know in the above piece, the writer is not responsible.