Sunday, June 19, 2011

A man, a blue bike and two pigtails in Love-in-Tokyos

As rewarding as motherhood can be, I have my moments.
Moments when all I could care about is to hand over the job of entertaining my little one to my husband and have nothing at all to do with the kid for a while.
On one such occasion, I left the father daughter duo unto themselves as I did my thing.
What started off with blocks, and went on to the tea set, eventually turned into a wrestling match of sorts which caught my divided attention for just a bit. Here's how it all went. As daddy sat down, firmly grounded (or so he made it seem), daughty, standing in front of him, would  push daddy with all her might  till he fell back onto the ground. Quite simple, really.
I sat there watching my husband resist her initial attempts to take him down, in order to convince the little one of the magnitude of the feat he was about to let her accomplish. He would then give in to her herculean strength and fall back, defeated, secretly rejoicing at the peel of laughter she would let out after every victory.
Yes, it was happening all over again......
A good twenty five years ago, on a quiet, moon lit spring night, a man, a blue bike and two pigtails (in love-in-Tokyos) went through the exact same set of emotions.
Amma had just had the baby and  was at home, resting. It had been this way for a few months now.
Appa and I would go to Ammamma's house for dinner and bring back food for Amma, which meant we would get to ride the bike (yay!) since it was just the two of us.
That night, as we got ready for our ride back home together, Appa said " Bubblyappan, Nee bike e ottariya?" as the pigtails (in love-in-Tokyos) nodded a... puzzled yes.

Appa's strong arms picked me up to safely seat me atop the petrol tank of the bike, all snuggled up against his solar plexus. He then urged me to hold on to the handles of the bike. Just as those hesitant little hands tightened their grip around the cold metal some where mid-span, as they weren't long enough to reach the black, spiky, rubbery ends Appa held on to, the bike zoomed out onto a very quite road. And the wind blew those pigtails... this way and that!
Then, clearly sensing the make  believe-"ness" of it all, I said "but Appa, you are riding the bike, not me". Completely aware of my secret hope, he asked me to push at the handle a little harder. And I did, with all my might. Then, as if by magic, the bike went faster. I repeated the action a couple of times, just to make sure and oddly enough, the bike responded, every single time!!
The pair of eyes that shone bright with glee in the darkness of the night,  in a fleeting moment of doubt, glanced over at Appa's hands to see if it was him after all. As if on cue, he let one hand effortlessly slide off of the handle. "Yes! " I remember thinking, exhilarated...."It is me after all!"
I let out an excited peel of laughter, as the wind blew those pigtails this way and that!
My first ever make-believe yet "Oh! so real" bike ride, that made me in some small way believe in myself a little more. And after all those years it was happening all over again...


  1. Lovely post pavithra! U reminded me of similar great moments with my dad :) I had tears rolling down my cheek as I was reading :) such wonderful memories..thanks :)
    - kavya

  2. Hey kavs:)
    You've humbled me with your heartfelt comment....
    I can feel how much you miss him.....
    I don't know if this'll help, but I believe he still is....may be not in physical form....watching over his princess....Don't for a moment doubt that!
    Hugs!! Thanks again for the wonderful comment :)
    you made my day :)

  3. That was a beautifully written post, Pavithra... such moments live forever in our memories, no?

  4. Thanks Prash :)....
    Yes they do....My parents were surprised that I remembered this, for I was barely four at the time.....But like you said...certain memories live on forever ....Thanks for stopping by...

  5. Beautiful post Pavithra. I'll bet your Dad is as proud of you as you were of him.

  6. Thanks Priya,
    So true! No matter what the world has to say, dads always think their daughters are the best and vice versa.....It's this unconditional love that keeps us ticking at all times.....