Little Shanu was never the sporty types. Eating, reading and watching TV was all she did during her summer, Diwali and Christmas vacations. The more she lazed around, the paler and rounder she got. On the rare occasions that she ventured out, she was affectionately called Potli (bundle) by the kids in her locality. Little Shanu didn't care. She was happy being round and pale as long as she could laze around.
Shanu's mommy was worried. She never wanted a pale milky child. She craved for some hint of brown, some hint of red in Shanu's cheeks. She tried pestering Shanu to go out and play. But Shanu was a stubborn child. She refused to go out and play in the sun. Its too hot to play Ma, she wailed. Worried, her mom called Shanu's nani for help.
"Dont worry, Main hoon na" Nani smiled and presented Shanu with a bright pink cycle the next day.
The cycle was the most beautiful thing Shanu had ever laid her eyes on. It had a tiny flower basket with a Barbie doll picture. The handles had shiny festoons, while the tyres had shiny beads. Shanu was thrilled. The summer heat didn't seem to bother her anymore and she pulled her cycle out onto the road. The trainer wheels made riding the cycle easy and within no time she was zipping around the complex. Shanu started spending hours out in the sun whizzing by on her cycle. She turned a beautiful shade of brown, mommy was happy and the complex found a new cycling champion.
All good things come to an end and so did this summer vacation. As Shanu pulled her cycle out for one last spin that day, she eyed the long winding road that she didnt dare take all those days. The uphill road was extremely steep and Little Shanu was scared. But she decided to take her chance that day.
As she pedaled uphill, sweat pouring down her face, she realized why this road was never used by the other kids in the locality. The ride uphill was very tiring and the top seemed to be nowhere in sight. But ride downhill promised to be exhilarating and little Shanu pedaled on. By the time she reached the top she was completely exhausted.
The ride downhill was something she had never experienced. The steepness of the road ensured that she didnt have to pedal at all. The wind swept her hair as she swooshed down the road. She felt like a Bollywood heroine with her hair blowing gracefully behind her and the sun kissing her cheeks.The speed thrilled her and she went into a trance.
Her reverie was broken by cries of "Aaga baya sambhal..kuthe bagtes". (Watch where you are going!). By the time Shanu convinced her herself that she wasnt Aishwarya Rai, it was too late. She saw a lady carrying a pot of water standing a couple of yards away shouting herself hoarse.
She started shouting back "Utha samorun utha" (Move aside).
The lady was in no mood to budge. Ignoring the obvious danger, she decided this was the perfect time to give Shanu cycling lessons. "Brake maar na pori" she screamed back.
Shanu drew a blank.
Brake? Pedal? Handle? Woh kya hota hai??
The lady's horrified expression was the last thing Shanu saw, before the cycle came to a screeching halt.
By lodging itself between the poor lady's legs!!
Shanu's mommy's wish of a red cheek wali daughter was finally fulfilled and it wasn't just embarrassment that caused Shanu's cheeks to turn scarlet that day ;)
Any wonder then, that Shanu doesn't cycle anymore??