Winged Flight '96
Winged Flight '96
The year was probably 1996. I was around 12 years old and had learned cycling merely a year before. I loved to ride whenever and wherever. In the evenings I used to go around our small town. Also, those days my dad decided to send me for tuition classes for English.
The place where I needed to go for tuition was barely 2 km from my place, so we decided on me cycling to cover the required distance. Those days, load shedding was commonplace and the entire town would go jet black for hours at times. The inverter was hardly in use, unlike today.
So, on one such evening, it was drizzling light and I had to go for tuition. When I went for the classes, the streets were well lit and I had little problem in reaching the destination. The classes went well. Nothing significant that I can remember today. But then what happened was, the drizzle intensified and there was load shedding. The entire town was covered under a blanket of darkness. My teacher suggested me to wait till the intensity reduced and I did just that. But then I requested him to let me go as the drizzle had subsided, though it was complete darkness all around.
So, I started. I was in a hurry to reach home and peddled fast. I enjoyed as the water splashed all around and began to hum a tune too. It was still all dark, I could barely see the road. And then it happened. Suddenly I heard a shrill cry and understood immediately what happened. A stray dog was resting on the road and I had probably run over its tail. I felt bad immediately but getting down there to check on the poor thing meant I was guaranteed to be bitten, which I did not want anyway. Moreover, the poor thing was not as poor as I thought, as it gave me a ferocious chase with its companions, all of them after me as if they were the predators and I was the game.
I was probably cycling faster than a cheetah at that point in time and was able to lose them at a distance, but as luck would have it, more calamity was waiting for me.
While trying to avoid getting bitten by the dogs, I had sped much faster and now nearly lost control. I ended up ramming into another cyclist who was much older than me. And he didn't take it kindly. He lost balance and fell down and immediately, signaled at me to stop. His body language suggested that he wanted to give me some nice slaps. So while a moment ago, I was trying to avoid getting bitten, now I was trying to avoid getting beaten!
Once again, I sped up, imagining myself to be a cyclist version of Michael Schumacher! It was as if my cycle had grown wings! And though this guy gave me a chase, I could succeed in losing him at a distance by taking a sudden shortcut inside a park. He continued to abuse verbally from a distance but I couldn't care less.
Finally, when I reached home, I was absolutely drenched in sweat from the experience.
While very few people know about this experience of mine, this is the first time I wrote about it. It was no less than a winged flight!