As children we’ve all done something really stupid or reckless. And as adults, we look back at those times and laugh about it. This post is about something like that - the top three stupid things I’ve done as a kid (or rather self-inflicted ‘accidents’)!
No. 1 – Age: Maybe 7 or 8 years old. Mom knows better.
When we were kids, dad used to make us watch a lot of sports – cricket, football, tennis, WWF (now WWE), boxing, golf, F1… It’s a shame that we didn’t take to it (at all!) inspite of watching it so much, or having a mother who was highly sporty in her younger days. (She was a kho-kho player who represented her school at district level several times and also won many sports events at school. Her teachers still remember her that way. Oh boy! What a contrast she and us are!!). But there was a very WWF-inspired moment in my life, a stupid one at that. It was a normal weekend morning as ever. Dad was having a half-day, I guess. My uncle was staying with us at that time. He was reading a newspaper or was in the bathroom or something. My mom was busy cutting my sister’s fingernails. They were sitting on this sofa next to the teapoy (which was rectangular and had this thick glass on top). I don’t remember whether she was done with me or I was awaiting my turn. I was running around and jumping about the sofa (living in a flat leaves with only so much space). And then I don’t know what got into me (Hulk Hogan?). I climbed onto the top of the sofa. And then I did it. I jumped … onto the teapoy! I surely must’ve been thinking of how WWF wrestlers climbed onto the ropes, at the corner of the ring, and then leapt onto their opponents who’ve been just knocked down by them. Craaaaassshh!! Mom screamed. My uncle came running. I couldn’t quite comprehend what had happened. When I looked around, I found myself stuck in the frame of the teapoy, glass scattered everywhere. Miraculously, I remained unscathed, though the shards of glass all around suggested otherwise. I was shaken (and stirred, might I add)… the gravity of it beginning to seep in. My mom was upset with me, of course, but more relieved that I was unharmed. That made for a fine story when dad returned for lunch that day.
No. 2 – Age: I guess 8 or 9.
Dad used to take us to a tunnel (those who’ve lived in the Gulf know what I’m talking about) a little away from our apartment to play football (as in, we’d kick around a ball). One night after such a game, we were on our way back. He was holding our hands, I guess. We reached a road and was about to cross it. I let go of his hand and ran. I was mid-way across the road, when a car came speeding. I had no clue what to do or what happened. The car screeched to a halt. I was safe! My father quickly ran towards me. He apologized to the driver. And then he beat me. I felt really bad… because he never beat us or hit us often. Only very rarely, if he was that upset. And then I realized I had given him enough reason to. I don’t remember now whether it was the ball that I was after, or I ran on my own whim. In any case, I got to listen to the ‘rules to follow before crossing a road’, all over again.
No. 3 – Age: I guess 10 or 11.
We used to have a great time when we cousins met together at our mom’s place. All of us kids in the world of make-believe, all day long. Our grandpa’s brother’s house was nearby, and some days we used to hangout over there. This third incident took place there. It was around evening time. We were kind of done for the day after the cycle-racing, playing ‘family’ and playing on the swing. A few of my uncles and aunts were sitting around in the verandah and catching up over each others’ (and many others’) lives. We kids were kind of dispersed, each doing what they pleased. And then I saw the coconut tree, with the money plant twining on it. I had a sudden fancy for climbing the tree. I don’t know what got into me (Tarzan?). I tugged at the plant to see if it would stay. Seemed strong enough. And then I began climbing upwards (like in Raavan; much like how rock-climbers climb huge mountains; minus the harness and safety measures here, of course!). And the inevitable happened. The plant gave way. And down I came, with a loud thud! I saw black… I couldn’t breathe. A pain shot through my back. I thought I was dying! I lie there like that for a few seconds. I managed to sit, and then slowly got up. Thanking God that I was alive, I slowly walked back to the house. Some of my uncles/aunts saw this from the verandah, but they had no clue how serious it was (or I felt it was). “Are you ok?”, they asked in jest. “Yes, no problem”, I managed to say with false bravado.
P.S. There are the stupidest things I did according to me (or as far as my memory takes me). I do realize that my parents may beg to differ!