We do a lot strange things when we are kids. Of course, at that point these strange things seem perfectly normal, at least to us. Only after a few years, when we have done some amount of maturing and gained a teenie-weenie bit of wisdom, do we realize how silly are behaviour had been.
I have indulged in my fair share of stupid juvenile behaviour. The behaviour I am going to describe now is most certainly not the silliest of my large-ish repertoire of weird behaviour. But it is one of those, that for some reason stands out in my memory.
For a long time , I had a huge problem with being dropped at bus stops. I think this particular madness lasted from age 13 to age17. If you would ask me what my issues with being dropped at bus stops was, I couldn’t have given you a concrete answer back then. All I knew was I didn’t like it. My parents were never the kind to unnecessarily tag along with their kid. So on regular days I would walk myself to and from the school’s bus stop; which was about 5 to 7 minutes away from our home. This was an easy schedule. The problem arose when either of my parents (mostly it used to be my dad) expressed their desire to drop me to the bus stop. This would generally happen in the winters. If you have lived in Delhi you would know how foggy and cold January mornings are. Visibility is, at times very low in the mornings- you can barely see three feet ahead. So naturally my dad thought that it was safer if someone dropped me to the bus stop and ensured I got on the bus in one piece.( I don’t think I need to mention here how unsafe Delhi is for women. Even if you have never lived there you have herd enough harrowing stories). In retrospect it was the most sensible thing to do. But back then I thought the idea was ridiculous. I didn’t wan to be dropped to the stop. I didn’t see any need for it. Plus other people at the bus stop would see that I was being accompanied by my dad and that was completely unacceptable! And so would throw a fit every time my father announced he was walking with me to the stop. I would argue incessantly trying to convince him how utterly needless his concern was. He in turn would listen, patiently try to respond to my arguments and when it was time for me to leave home, bring out his biggest and warmest shawl and woolen cap. He was coming with me, whether I liked it or not!! In some matters I wasn’t given an option( to tell you the truth I still don’t get my way with everything! Even though I am wise and old at age 26 now!)! He would even offer to walk behind me so that no one would know I was being walked to the stop by my dad. I hated that idea even more. Everyone in the block knew who my dad was. Walking behind me at a distance of four feet didn’t serve any purpose in my eyes. Grudgingly I would walk or rather drag my feet towards the bus stop. ( I remember when we got a car, dad would offer to drive me to the bus stop because it was too cold or was raining heavily. His benevolent offer was met with the same response- a plain, simple “No, I will go alone”).
Some ten years later, I wonder what all the fuss was about!? If someone offers to walk you to the bus stop you say yes! Why would you say no? I would love to be dropped at bus stops now, unfortunately no one wants to do that for me anymore!! I am much too big for this dropping off- picking up business, I know, but isn’t it so much more fun to walk with some one than to walk alone? Sadly when I had the opportunity I saw little value in it. Now dad lived across the Arabian Sea and obviously can’t come to drop me at bus stops. I just wish I had enjoyed those early morning walks a little more and cribbed a little less, all those years back.