what's the most memorable/embarrassing/traumatic experience that you have experienced in your childhood? what makes you cringe/grin even today when you think about this experience?
one such experience, and a funny one at that, that i remember is the time when i decided to single-handedly dismantle my bicycle.
we used to drive our bicycles to school. these were nothing like the fancy bicycles that you see today. they were just plain, functional cycles; but for us they were our hot-rods! and then occasionally (not as often as our folks might have liked us to), we used to get down to some serious cleaning up of our bikes. this meant a couple of hours of washing and polishing and oiling over a weekend.
during one such cleaning session during the summer vacation, i decided to do a more thorough job than usual. i had recently acquired a second-hand set of tools including spanners, screw-drivers, etc. i decided to dismantle my bicycle. i followed a very simple guideline - i unscrewed every possible screw or bolt that i possibly could. i was amazed at the number of parts that go into making a simple bicycle.
after a couple of hours of satisfying labor i had an impressive pile of parts including ball-bearings, screws, nuts (not including the writer), pedals, wheels, spokes, chains, handle, seats, etc. i then meticulously cleaned each and every part which took up a good part of the day.
finally when it came to putting the cycle back i didn't know where to start!
that's when a wave of panic slowly starting engulfing me. try as i might, i couldn't, for the life of me, figure where all these hundreds of parts were supposed to fit. after a couple of hours of trying various permutations and combinations (i trace my dislike of probability theory to this event in my life) i finally accepted defeat.
i then put all the parts into a few large grocery bags, borrowed a friend's bike (of course i couldn't tell him why i needed his cycle) and pedalled away furiously to my favorite cycle-mechanic shop. i handed over the bags and with a rather sheepish face asked him to build me a bicycle. he thought i was pulling a fast one on him, but that impression changed very quickly when he incredulously perused the contents of the bags. he was very amused when i narrated what had happened.
but i was not at all amused when i realised that i had to shell out an amount which was significantly more than what i would have had to pay my mechanic for a 'special' cleaning of the bicycle. but i took comfort in the fact that i was among the only one among my friends who had touched the very heart of a bicycle!
do you have a similar childhood/teenage experience that you would like to share?