A couple of weeks ago, I undertook a gargantuan task: I decided to teach my mother to ride a bicycle. Somehow, during her more youthful years, she never found time to pick up that particular skill, and now she is to rectify this deficiency.
My own bicycle is sized for adult males and as such, it's a little big for Mom. In order to enable her to reach the pedals, I walked down to the nearest pedl.in stand and brought her a smaller bicycle. Pedl.in, for those of you who don't know, is a company run by Zoomcar which lets you rent bicycles for a couple of rupees an hour. It's great, because it spared me having to go around the neighbourhood in search of a bicycle that Mom could use.
Once I brought the bicycle home, the real tribulations began - for Mom, that is. I simply stood on the side of the road and took videos of her travails to contribute to the family albums. I don't know how many of you recall the experience of your first bicycle ride. I remember mine with real clarity, primarily because never before or since have I collected such a large, varied set of bumps and bruises in so short a period.
In spite of not having training wheels to aid her, Mom's feet were able to reach the ground while she sat on the seat, so fortunately, she didn't actually take any tumbles. However, her many attempts to keep the bicycle upright and in motion for more than, say, two pedals at a stretch were quite something to watch. Mom, you see, doesn't go in for very much physical activity, and it wasn't long before she was quite tired. Being the fantastic son that I am, I continued to watch of her attempts as she grew more and more tired, never once envisioning the possibility of coming to her aid.
After about two hours of trying to get the bicycle into constant motion, Mom gave it up as a bad job. She asked me to return the bicycle to the stand so that she could go back inside and do things that didn't require quite as good a sense of balance. I was happy to oblige - I'd had my fun, after all. But you know, writing this post reminds me, I promised Mom that I'd teach her how to actually ride a bicycle. I think I best be getting a move on now, to go pick up another bicycle and dust off the old video camera.