YES Dad I Can !
YES Dad I Can !5 mins 9.0K 5 mins 9.0K
"Go slow Roshan . I can't catch up with you" shouted a 9-year old boy to his friend into the distance. The boy, on his red bicycle with training wheels, was struggling to keep pace with his elder friend, who was speeding away on the burning tarmac on a hot July afternoon. " Don't be a chicken Sid. Peddle faster" shouted back Roshan.
Sid accepted the challenge and gave it all he had and peddled as hard as he could bringing the distance down to a few feet. Dazzled by the sudden aggression of his friend, Roshan tried to speed up but lost control and came in front of a car coming from the opposite direction. The driver applied breaks and the car came to a screeching halt, but a bit too late.
"Happy Birthday Sid" family and friends chanted in unison. It was Sid's 9th Birthday. All his friends and relatives had come over to extend their wishes and shower their blessings. The boy was elated to see all the fanfare, gifts and affection bestowed on this special day. He was delighted to see the gift from his parents, a bicycle that he had been asking for a few months now. He ardently tore off the packaging. While the family got busy with the guests, he moved his hands over his shining red bicycle in amazement. He hugged his dad and thanked him. The party went on but the boy didn't leave the bicycle, excitedly getting pictures clicked with his best friend Roshan on the cycle.
The next day, he accompanied his dad to a cycle mechanic and got a pair of black training wheels attached to the cycle. The shining white disks on the wheels rotated with them and created a striking pattern. He rode the bike back home with his dad running behind him, holding on to the backrest, to make his son aware of his presence.
A week later on a hot summer afternoon, Sid managed to escape the attention of his grandmother and took his bike for a ride with Roshan. The car hit Roshan and he landed a few feet away from the road. Soaked in blood, Roshan was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple limb fractures, a broken jaw and internal bleeding in the abdominal cavity. It took a few surgeries and Roshan was discharged from the hospital after a month.
The melancholic atmosphere left an everlasting impact on the 9-year old, Sid. The fear had outgrown his desire and confidence. Months passed, but the boy had abandoned his cycle. No amount of motivation and consolation from his parents could make the boy take up cycling again and his parents accepted that he needed more time. The children at school were never so understanding. The boy would occasionally become the laughing stock of his bunch of friends for he didn't know how to cycle; for he couldn't go out cycling with them ; hiding his fear under the cloak of inability. Years passed by and his sister learnt cycling, and all he could do was see her from a distance.
One morning, 7 years later, his dad woke him up and proposed that he should take up cycling again. With eyes half open, he looked at him in disbelief. A shiver went down his spine on realising that his dad was serious about it. He frantically rejected the idea and went back to sleep. It took 2 weeks of incessant motivation and compassion from his dad for the boy to think of giving it one more shot.
To avoid the glimpse of people watching a 16-year old learning to ride a cycle, the father-son duo hit the road in the wee hours of a chilly December morning. The training wheels were gone for he was tall enough now. One foot on the ground and other on the pedal,he pushed forward. He lost his balance and the doleful cries came haunting back. He clenched his grip on the brake levers and closed his eyes. He was breathing shallow now. His dad put his hand on his son's shoulder in assurance, to make his son feel his presence. He held the carrier of the cycle to support it and asked him to pedal and there was this 42-year old man running behind his 16-year old son, supporting him in his fight.
Sid trusted his father completely and his father, in turn, never let go of him and ran behind. They would take a break whenever Sid felt the pangs of fear. Days passed by and Sid grew in confidence and started enjoying it, and his dad was still running behind him for kilometers together. But now, they took a break whenever the father lost his breath. He would look tired, but seeing Sid overcome his fear made him manage an instant smile on his face and they would continue.
After 3 weeks, on a dull cold morning, the father decided to let go of the cycle. He left the cycle frame and started running beside the cycle. Sid realized it and a feeling of fright struck him. He looked at his father, whose eyes brimmed with confidence. He continued to pedal going past lanes and maneuvering around obstacles and traffic. The father stopped running. Sid took a turn and came back towards his father . He stopped at a distance, got down and ran towards him, with tears in his eyes, mumbling words "Yes Dad. I Can".