I grew up in a place where it would be cold enough in winter but would not snow. I would pray for the temperatures to dip sub zeros so that it could snow. Once it went as low as 1C but no snow. I believe it was happening because everyone else was praying for the temperature to rise up and if God is democratic, then of course my prayers could have never been answered.
As a kid, I used to watch all the thriller series of Old Fox, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Peroit and many others. Since these were European programs, they invariably had a case to solve which would take them to some ski resort, if not Alps. All this would fuel my imagination more and I was determined to learn skiing. Of course, the prerequisite was there has to be a snow slope, which means snow, which means I need to spread my wings as my hometown did not have any snow.
Years later, I did come to a place where it snows and which is close enough to lots of ski resorts that I could go for skiing on weekends. The ease at which I used to see people skiing in the various TV telecasts, I overlooked how the experience would be for the beginners.
Few years back, I, H and his friends decided to go for skiing in Poconos. Seeing the snow slopes, I was so excited that I said to H that we should make it an annual affair to come here. H quietly reminded me that I should first learn skiing, see how this experience goes and then make plans for future. I was very confident. I could sense the same thrill that I experienced when I started to learn driving. I have driven in crowded roads and driving in an empty one is a breeze. With that logic, skiing down a scarcely populated slope should be a breeze, right? Well, we'll see..
We had to take a 45 min ski lessons before heading up to the slopes. The lesson was held near the ground where the slope was not steep. In my class of 10, except me and H, others were all kids with age ranging from 5-8 years. Their parents were either in the near by slope skiing or down the slope enjoying snacks.
We let the kids try the slopes first. All of them skied with such elegance and grace that it was a treat to eyes. Then it was my turn. I was making a mental picture of how gracefully I would be skiing down the small slope to the applause of the kids when the reality stuck. As soon as I stood facing downwards to ski, I could not control myself and went down crashing. Forget the applause, I could not even face the kids. H, having tried it before was more careful and skied down pretty fine.
The lessons were over and it was time for us to go up the slopes. We needed to hold on to an escalator that goes up and when it reached the top, we had to hop off and ski down the slope. I could feel pangs of fear creeping in. As I reached towards the top, I was reluctant to let go of the escalator, till the attendant firmly took my hands and made me land on the snow with my skis. I was fine as long as I was looking up the slope. As soon as I turned around and faced downwards, even before I could push myself forward, I came tumbling down, closely followed by my skies. I tried twice or thrice but all in vain. My dreams of skiing zigzagging down the slope, whistling a tune (I cannot whistle but that's besides the point) , all went in a puff.
Our annual visit was just annual, as in just that year. Whenever I recite the nursery rhyme of "Jack and Jill went up the hill" to my sweeties, I get a vivid recollection of my own tumble down. Maybe next year, I'll give another try of making my dream turn into reality. In the meanwhile, I will get my first aid box ready.