An Early Lesson in Humility

One of my favourite memories of childhood…with a lesson for life!

I started cycling to school from Standard IV.

Until then I would often go “dubs” with my elder brother on his bicycle. With this mode of transport, more often than not my back would hurt  so I’d get off mid-way & walk the rest of the way.

Other times my Dad would drop me to school by car.

I certainly preferred the latter.

*  *  *  *  *

Day 1 of cycling to school.

It was now time for the return home from school.

I got on to my cycle. Pride got on to me.

“Tut Tut…not grammatically correct” I hear the English purists say, but what the heck… 🙂

I could not help but think of my friends who had to catch the bus back home.

Here I was in a more elevated position with a bicycle, according to my esteemed 9 year old view point.

*  *  *  *  *

Swaggering style. Over confidence.

One hand on the left handlebar, right hand waving at those mere mortals – schoolmates of mine at the bus stop.

I focused a bit much on the passing them, looking at them, waving at them…in short impressing them.

C-R-A-S-H

*  *  *  *  *

My cycle rammed into a man just ahead carrying a baby. Beside him the wife.

Funny position for him to have landed himself.

Baby in hand, legs astride a school girl’s cycle.

Humbling for me. Humblifying x 100. Humblification.

All this in front of my schoolmates.

The very ones I wanted to impress with this my superior mode of transport.

It was not over.

*  *  *  *  *

A swift  t-h-w-a-c-k  on my back.

Zestily delivered by the wife of the man carrying the baby.

I said sorry.

She snarled at me in Tamil  “Yenna, s-a-a-a-r-y?” (“What, sorry?”)

This too in front of my schoolmates.

Hell hath no fury as a woman whose husband carrying her baby has been hit into. Accidentally notwithstanding.

*  *  *  *  *

The soberest ride back home. Of whatever distance was left.

Pride comes before a fall.

Apparently it’s true.

*  *  *  *  *

 

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