Monday, May 08, 2006

Five Crazy Things I Did As A Kid

I was washing my hands while at work and this memory so strong with me even after numerous years, suddenly raised itself. Something stupid I did as a kid, which would have cost myself my life or at best hurt myself temporarily. I have no clue why I thought about it. So in there lay the genesis of my post today. This is not a tag per se, but if anyone is tempted to pick this up and run with it on their blogs feel free.
They are kind of ranked in increasing order of stupidity and age.

1. This happened when I was may be a toddler. My mom told me about it, although I have no memory of it. She was at work in the bathroom and those were days we did not have a hot water heater, so for baths people heated water in winter. She had her bucket there, with water that was hot. Apparently I crawled about on my fours, raised myself by using the bucket’s top to help myself up and having accomplished that feat, proceeded to promptly thrust my hand in the hot water.
Yeeeeooooowwwww! Apparently I yelped in pain, scaring my mom who had turned her back to get something else. She then proceeded to pick me up and pour cold water on my hand. Apparently I was scalded but not too badly, and I learnt a lesson which a lot of toddlers learn in different ways.

2. We had these water tanks on the top of the apartment complex we lived in and we lived on the top floor (4th I think). In the evenings kids went up to play on the roof that had a 4 foot high wall all around it so it was kind of safe. The tanks were raised a few feet above the ground on concrete supports, and were about 4 feet high. There was a ladder to provide access to the top of the tanks. One of our neighbors had a huge German shepherd that she would also come up to walk. Why she came to walk him up top instead of taking him out on our not too busy street is a mystery to me to this day. Kids while playing sometimes had a habit of teasing the dog and one day we must really have irritated the dog, because he took off. As a bunch of the kids ran by I did too, seeing doggie chasing. I was the slowest and the kids scattered all over the place. A couple of us climbed up the ladder to the water tank. I barely made it up and still remember the dog almost getting a piece of my ass.

3. I was playing cricket on the street like happens at a thousand places in India, the games often was played on the street during times of low foot traffic. There was next to no vehicular traffic on the one way street and the game would pause momentarily as a pedestrian walked by, but it did not always work perfectly.
I was getting ready to hit, and took a swing at the ball. I was not sure why the catcher (wicket keeper in cricket parlance) never bothered to tell me there was a woman close by. I did not connect with the ball however I did connect with her forehead. She cried out and as I turned around in shock I realized what had happened. There was a cut in her forehead and she was bleeding. At that moment all of us kids were scared and we just ran to another kid’s house which was close. When we were brave enough we peeked out to see what had happened. She was ok and other folks passing by had stopped to help. She was then taken to a neighbor’s place which was on the first floor and closest to the scene. I then gathered courage with the other kids to go see her and of course got yelled at by all the adults present and then my parents. I was chided suitably and realized how foolish we all had been, especially me. The lady was not hurt badly, just a cut, apparently I had just caught her towards the end of my not too powerful swing. Needless to say all forms of cricket were suspended on the street for the next few days as the news of my shenanigans spread like wild fire through the apartment complex.

4. Around the time of Diwali, we decorated our house with those electric running lights. My father used to put them up every year and I would help. I was more fascinated as probably most kids are, by the lights and how they worked, We always has spare bulbs and wires laying around as the bulbs frequently blew out. The wires served to jerry rig extensions. So one afternoon after verifying that my parents and sis were asleep in the afternoon, I quietly sneaked out in to the storage closet that had the spares. I plugged in the plug in to the outlet in the wall and the othe end were loose wires. I wanted to badly see if I could light up one of those small bulbs that went in to the runing lights. I picked a spare for my favorite red color. I flipped the switch and carefully attached two ends on the wires (yep..the ends were naked) to the red bulb. I still remember this loud pop that I heard and a flash that made me jump. I was not sure what had happened at that time, but clearly fooling around with electricity was not a good idea was something that my curious mind got in a real hurry. Making sure my folks had not heard anything I flipped the switch off and quietly put everything back.I guess I am happy I did not electrocute myself or something.

5. We were coming back from a painting competition that was held at a neighborhood school. There were may be 8 of us, and we were headed back to our own school. Our arts teacher was with us too. We had to cross this road that used to have a lot of traffic. My memory of parts of this is a bit hazy, I am not sure we were crossing at a walk sign or not. All I know was that we made it across one side of the street and the teacher made sure we were all together on the median, we looked to our left to make sure there were no cars close. For whatever reason the teacher decided we could cross. Yes close is the word here, I for some reason was petrified or slow to take off. Every one seemed to have made it across and as I was crossing i saw a car coming up that would pass behind me and one that would pass in front of me or run me over if I did not move fast enough. I did not think I could make it so I just stood there hoping there would be enough room for the cars to go by me. They did. I am not sure how fast they were. The drivers were ofcourse upset to see this crazy kid doing what he did. I can recall the horrified looks on the teacher and others students as they watched this. Needlesss to say I was again yelled at for my stupidity. This was in India, Bombay ages ago. I don't think they have crossing guards in Bombay do they? The rules we have here that are aimed at making sure school kids get off and on school buses safely and cross roads when they do so did not exist at that time in Bombay. I am not sure they still do. This happened near the busy road in front of the Sion general hospital. I have passed that spot several times after that and I always shook my head silently thinking about that crazy kid who always seemed slow in some ways, but for that moment used some quick thinking to stay where he was and hoped the cars would go past him and not over him.

All those happened before I was 12 yrs old. My teen years were not as eventful I guess in some ways, but may be that is for another day to reminisce.


Keshi said...

U have been a very active kid so cute!

**I barely made it up and still remember the dog almost getting a piece of my ass.


**I still remember this loud pop that I heard and a flash that made me jump.

goshhh ur such a brave lil guy! LOL!


Aditi said...

Very cute makes my childhood seem so bland.. mom are u listening i was a well behaved kid after all
and no they dont have people even now in mumbai to help u cross... as a pedestrian u still try your luck and hope the car stops.. as the driver u pray for ots of traffic on the road cuz if there isnt u have insane pedestrians to deal with. The ones i swear at the loudest are the ones who not only risk their own life by dashing to the other end but have a kid in tow.

karmic_jay said...

heh, ye a pretty interesting childhood I think.

Viewer said...

Some memories just stick on to us fora life time

Silvs said...

oh man! and here i was thinking you were a good boy!!! BAD BAD BAD JAY! lol

Poor mommy!! jeez!! you sure kept her on her toes!

Anonymous said...

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