THE FIRST RIDE- a short story

“Get up boy, it’s 6:30 already!”

Shouted Pa. Vivek hated this line from Pa more than he hated the alarm clock. It was a pleasant Saturday morning, the fifth day of Vivek’s summer break from school.

With eyes half closed and feet trying to balance his body, Vivek reached the window. With his left hand he pushed it open. The lovely morning breeze entered Vivek’s hair. It refreshened him enough to open his eyes. The very smell of that breeze brought him back memories of his last summer vacation, when he was in class 3rd- going out for morning walks, watching ‘Disney Hour’, lying down on the floor with the cooler throwing ‘fresh’ droplets of water on his face, having those sweet yellow mangoes in the evening, playing cricket with one-tip-one-hand rules and...

“Vivek, you still not up? You’ll have to complete your ‘cycling’ thing today!”

Pa shouted again with a volume good enough to break those happy summer diaries of Vivek.


Yes, that was one thing Vivek was trying to learn from the past one week.

After watching Mukul and Vinay cycle with ease, Vivek had decided that he would learn it too. Afterall, both of them were of his age, and not elders!

So, on the first day of the summer break itself, Vivek had started learning cycling, with some help from Pa.

Vivek washed his face, changed to his shorts and started putting on his shoes. While wearing his socks, Vivek wondered whether he still liked cycling the way he liked it on the first day.

Because of his successive ffailures to balance the bicycle, Vivek’s interest in cycling had decreased over the week. The only thing he had gained was injuries. He was so irritated of it now that he often wondered,
“Is cycling really important for a successful life?”

Vivek ran down the stairs and on the playground, he saw Pa holding the bicycle by its carrier. Like every day, he had held it with just one hand. Pa said, “Come on Vivek, let’s begin!”

It had been the same sequence of events from the past one week from Pa waking Vivek up to Vivek trying to balance the two-wheeled machine. And every day, Vivek went back home with a failure!

Vivek reached the bicycle and like an ‘expert’, he sat on it. And the day began for him...

Every morning, when Vivek cycled he used to keep looking at the kids playing around listened to the birds chirping. But he had noticed that from the past 2 or 3 days he had stopped looking at the kids and he rarely heard the birds’ chirping sounds. He somehow got involved in balancing the bicycle.

Today was no different. His hands on the handle were making sure that the handle’s not shaking and his legs were trying their best to keep the pedals moving.

Vivek wanted to ask Pa about the progress, but he couldn’t speak. It seemed that even his mouth was somehow involved in balancing the bicycle!

So to ask Pa, Vivek turned his head and Pa wasn’t there. It all happened so fast-
Vivek turned... didn’t find Pa...he got sccared... looked at the bicycle... looked ahead... could not believe it... everything went mute!

Yes, Vivek was cycling, with no help from Pa. He continued cycling. Vivek felt proud of each and every part of his body helping him cycle. He felt the triumphant fresh breeze of success entering the gaps between his hair. He slowly moved his head towards the kids playing and he heard the birds chirping away.

The next morning was a different one. Vivek woke up early. Afterall, he had to show his new ‘skill’ to Mukul and Vinay.

Pa had told Vivek that they won’t cycle on Sundays. Vivek brushed his teeth, wore his shoes, entered Pa’s room and saw that Pa was sleeping.
Vivek cleared his throat and with a smile, he shouted,

“Get up boy, it’s 6:30 already!”

© K. Harish Singh 2009


nishtha said…
One of my favs;-)
Shweta said…
hey.. all the ruskin bond love shows!!! reminds me of him out and out!!! well done..
Beautiful...could have edited the length little.
Thanks Divya...Yes, this is the first draft I ad written, has changed after the first draft...and this is the story which inspired me to write a collecction of short stories on this character called 'Gokul'...Would share it with u sometime :)

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