Like all kids, I knew that life was about ups and downs and knee jerking situations. I learnt to walk by stumbling, I fell down the first time I rode a cycle, I crashed into hard surface, not even reaching sand on my first attempt at long jump and when I tried diving into the pool, somebody pushed me from behind. Some of us realize how unpleasant it is to keep falling all the time and grow out of it. Not me. I fell in love with the idea of falling down.
My affair with falling down at all the wrong places started at the age of fourteen. We were coming back from a school trip to Gangtok and I was doing to best to pull my extremely heavy stuffed-with-smuggled-goods suitcase down the stairs of Siliguri station with as much pomp and grandeur as my misguided teenaged air-headed self would allow. I looked straight into the air instead of looking below me, and with a calm and self-assured expression pulled the case behind me when all of a sudden I missed a step and instead of gliding gracefully down the steps, I was rolling down, my suitcase following me at an equally gritty pace. We ended at the landing; my skirt had flown up to my face (yes yes…aah cruelty! We had to wear our uniform during the journey), my knees were bruised and my vanity had been crushed. I vaguely remember my teachers looking at me alarmingly and asking me whether I was all right, but I distinctly remember a couple of really cute guys in the station laughing at me. (May their tribe increase but may their children be cursed with polio!)
The next time this happened was after my tenth standard board exams. Out of sheer lack of activity, we decided to host a fashion show in our compound and out of sheer excess of enthusiasm, I decided to walk the ramp. I know what you are thinking, but no I did not slip and fall down on the day of the show. It happened much earlier. We used to have our rehearsals in the terrace and one day I was late for practice and I was rushing up the stairs, when I stumbled and slipped. I never recovered to walk the ramp on that occasion.
If you thought that stairs were my only nemesis, then we both think alike and we are both mistaken. A few years ago, I jumped off a running bus and fell. A few months ago, I slipped and fell on the railway track when the approaching train was just a hundred meters away. In both times, I hurt myself badly enough to stay at home for a month under complete bed rest.
So why am I writing this? Because, I hate being at home on weekends. Every Sunday now, and its become a habit, I have to slide on the floor of the living room, just after our careless maid has mopped it (it’s a different matter altogether that her idea of mopping a floor is to gently wet it with a generous coat of water) and slip and fall. It’s Sunday today and ouch! My knee hurts like hell.