Picking up a sport

Monica is overwhelmed by the fact that she is back in Chandigarh and can now easily get our daughters to pick sport of their liking. 

My elder daughter does have a strong built but she may not be very regular with any of the sports she is pursuing. But its a different story with regards to my younger daughter.

Within first 10 days of skating in a ring under the supervision of a trained coach, she is gaining the confidence and getting adept at speed skating. Coach has words of appreciation for her and sees a lot of promise in her.

When we were in Delhi, my daughter was doing great at Karate, Bharatnatyam and drawing. Here in Chandigarh, I as her father wants her to continue with Bharatnatyam and Karate. I believe Karate will help her maintain the flexibility and agility she has gained while being in Delhi. Also, I believe her ability to use her drawing skills will keep the creative quotient at peak.

All of these expectations as parents is most likely to build a pressure on our daughter. “Ensure that you do not get carried away by the importance of sport and let her studies suffer”, is my remark to Monica.

I realise that studies no longer guaranttee a future but nor does sports. So we as parents have to be extra careful to find a balance and not burden our angel with multiple activities.

Second thought


Contrary to my impulsiveness, I have begun learning about my second thoughts as well. I have quite a few of them, usually. 
Second thoughts are welcome but the moment they curb my feelings of independence or make me insecure, I desist from encouraging them further. As a consequence, I may have taken decisions that turn out to be wrong but then as a second thought I can take pride to dare taking those.

I had a second thought on whether the decision to move to a smaller city will work. I had a second thought on whether my elder daughter should comtinue for one more year at a boarding school. I had a second thought everytime I wanted to change my job. I had a second thought to be an entrepreneur instead. 

I was critiqued in past for being open about my second thoughts. In hindi I was said, “Thali ka baigan” which means akin to a brinjal in a plate that can swing on either side. One of my friend rates me as an individual who can argue both ‘for’ and ‘against’. 

As a second thought, I realized that this may be a trait that world fails to reckon with. I read Karl Popper on ‘Logic on Scientific Discovery’ and Nassim Nicholas Taleb on ‘Fooled by Randomness’. 

As a second thought I am a special one to be living…

Nostalgic on a ride


The morning chill in air was blowing straight on my face. The grass smelled fresh with dew drops on them. The roads were as smooth and flat as they were 23 years back. 
I had just begun my cycle ride on the 4 km circuit we use to follow as Chandigarh cycling team. I was alone today and was riding quite comfortably at 29-30km/hr. My lungs were inhaling air that was fresh as it was before. I could feel the difference compared to air I inhaled during my workouts in Delhi. 

I was lost in my thoughts – recalling, recollecting, analysing and talking to myself about those years when I was just 17 years old. 

I recalled the stretch on the circuit where I was overtaken during a competition ride. I recalled how a fellow rider was upset when I rode faster than him. I felt that I could not afford a decent bike those years.

I critiqued about my inability to excel and do better in cycling. I wished if my coach, Mr Pyara Singh knew that I had performance anxiety. If I can realize this today as a 40 year old, why did he failed to know himself as a 40-year old in those years? This and many more questions kept popping out every now and then.

At times I took pride that I am special and may be the only one amongst my fellow riders to be still riding. At other times, I felt sad that actually I had lived 23 years with memories of those years fading fast. I was feeling sad that I had grown old. I regretted to not know then that every moment in life mattered. Had I known, I would have done a still better job in ‘living’. 

By the time I finished 30 km ride for the day, I had relived those years of my life in a single ride. Those years when my cousin had to be coaxed to be ready for the training regime in morning. My dependence, selfless, innocent approach towards my room mates. 

I reheard sounds of ‘Palli’ as I was called by all in Chandigarh then. I recalled my weeping while parting my father to stay in hostel for my education. It was a transition so difficult that my father did not hesitate to get my hair cut as a Sikh. I was literally ordered to use drycleaning services if I could not wash my clothes. 

I took a deep breath while recalling the weeping on a landline phone while talking to parents. There use to be a long que after 10 pm at all the calling booths when the calling rates were one-fourth the daytime calling charges. It was a luxury to own a landline phone connection in those years in India.

I have moved on and survived by a loving spouse and two angels as daughters. I am back in Chandigarh with a purpose may be. I am here to relive and realize. I am back may be to help my fellow riders to relate and cherish the great time we had together.

Yes, I am nostalgic and continue to be so..