Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Skating away

Looking back at 'Western' influences of childhood, it is very difficult to think of too many that haven't grown to be part of my life today - English itself, for starters; the 'western music thing', started off by hearing The Beatles and Elvis; playing cricket on the streets; all of those laid the base for ongoing interests. "Obviously" you say, "the ones that haven't stayed on have been forgotten!": so what am I trying to prove here? Well, nothing much, if it comes to that, was trying to think of something that fascinated me as a child but did not stick on for much beyond that.

That thought was spurred when saw these children practicing hard at a skating rink at the Anna Nagar Tower Park. There were about 25 of them doing the rounds under the watchful eyes of a coach (in blue t-shirt at the right edge of the picture). In the middle was a mother, helping her child with the skates and some others who were taking a breather. Quite a nice sight, but the surprising part was that there were so many onlookers around; a few of them were the casual, nothing-better-to-do-this-evening types, but many appeared to be regulars. There were some sounds of encouragement, a discussion on the sidelines about how one of the children had improved his speed and technique. There was a feeling of a community, bound together by these evenings in the park - one of the surprising spin-offs of encouraging outdoor sports - even skating.

My attempts at roller-skating were usually on the sly upon the terrace of my grandfather's house. The rumbling of metal wheels overhead was guaranteed to get him riled up; it would have been a perfect way to wreck his mood and get him to come storming out of the house to the terrace. But the skates prevented quick getaways - the fun was to get him to chase, and never catch us!


moochhi said...

hey, this is a great photo. incidentally, there is another skating rink on the besantnagar beach which has gone to seed, being unmaintained. i have realised that skating is something the body remembers after some thought - tried it after 30 years and wobbled through, didnt fall down!!

LVISS said...

Yes we do things like these that dont sit pretty on us . A small mug up and u will end up with a twisted ankle.
One more ape act to our credit.

Shantaram said...

>> Moochhi>> Thanks! Good for you, you still have a chance to be the skating champ - if Armaan allows you to beat him!

>> Ravindran>> And you know who was responsible for most of the noise on the terrace, don't you!

LVISS said...

Yes but I never beat young boys u see. I thought it was ur grandpa trying out the skates.