The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I have been a walker all my life. For lack of money; for lack of transport or for the sheer lack of will to wait for public transport to arrive. Walking in a way liberated me from these petty dependencies; giving me that self reliant gusto to reach destinations on my own. Now if you’ve raised your eyebrows and mumbled ‘isn’t that shallow; aren’t you making too much out of this’, I’ll have to add it’s probably also got to do with upbringing.

Ever since I can remember, I had these pretty stories fed into me – of how my dad walked all the roads of big city Bangalore to learn how not to get lost. ‘I was 17 you see’, dad would say, ’and there was no one to show me the way. So I’d set off in the morning with half shorts and cotton shirt and learn all the routes by heart’. I’d listen to the story for the ‘n’th time with wide opened mouth and be inspired.

And inspired I had to be, for I was walked to school as a little fellow with bag baggage and neatly combed hair. But lest you start thinking I was this inspirational story like BBC reports of Sudanese kids walking miles for basic education, the plot’s a little different. And a little less innocent. And the little fellow me with slickly combed hair and name badge pinned up over a handkerchief was not an angel after all.

Barely ten steps from home, I’d feign inability to walk any further and perch myself on top of my mom or my aunt or my dad or whoever it was who was doing the honors of taking me to school. So they walked the mile to school like tireless Sherpas, with me and my bag and my incessant whining for colorful candies and fly laden cut fruits.

But a hundred yards or so from school, I’d suddenly find a new found vigor to walk. ‘Put me down, I’ll walk’, I’d say and would find myself on the ground even before I completed the sentence. Walking was a labour all right but self respect was not worth putting up on the stake. Little me’s big image was under threat of nose diving like a hand made paper rocket if anyone were to see me perched up like a baby. The nursery social circles can get extremely damaging you see and I didn’t want to take a chance.

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