Rear View

by Dhwani Yagnaraman

Chewing gum and this trip were similar, stretching like eternity. My family consisting of my brother, parents, Dada (grandpa) and I were travelling to Dada’s hometown. I gazed out of the window at farmers sitting in a circle, eating and laughing. Their fields of crops stretched in a never-ending line. A thin road with blue houses framing its sides greeted us.

My grandfather was eager to breathe the air of his childhood paradise. We hit upon the idea of visiting the setting of many stories–the temple. I got out of the car and took hold of my crutch. People said I had changed after my ankle surgery. Well, I had reason to be moody–I could no longer indulge in my passion for running. My friends said that they had almost forgotten my smiles and laughter.

My parents kept encouraging me to ‘look ahead’. I didn’t care–about anything! That was my hurt coming out–and not just the physical hurt. Walking by the track field broke my heart. I used to turn to Athletics like an addict to drugs.

Soon, we reached the temple. Palm trees shaded it. Two clay elephants stood near the entrance. Nearby flowed a river, and beside it stood a tree with only its top branches. The temple was vacant, except for two old men in white. One of them came up to Dada. “It’s been years!” he exclaimed in joyful surprise. “I remember our cricket games, my friend,” he remarked nostalgically. A conversation followed.

A smile flickered on my lips, seeing how happy Dada was. I followed everybody to the river, cursing my foot. “I used to climb this tree and swim here”, my Dada, told me. “I wish I could”, I said and hobbled towards the temple.

“I can’t show you everything I wanted to,” Dada said sadly, “But I can tell you, I broke my ankle just the way you did. After that I wanted to show everyone that I could still climb this tree. And so I got on the top–and it hurt, like walking on broken glass. But I did it!”

I was amazed. He had done something that I had considered impossible without even trying, but he hadn’t thought twice.  After my pain was gone, would I become the happy-go-lucky person that he was?

“We’ll come back, Dada. And I’ll go up that tree.” I assured him laughing, thinking about how he had probably been when he was younger–well, I would never really know that. And I felt good after such a long time …

Dhwani Yagnaraman is 14 years old and is a student at Vidya Valley School in Pune, India. Her hobbies are reading, writing and playing the violin.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sonal Gupta
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 03:16:26

    Very sweet story.. Very well put in words:)


  2. Upasana Pahwa
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:11:46

    A wonderful story. A great lesson for everyone …


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