Shreya had always wanted to be independent. So, as soon as she became eligible, she asked her father to get her a scooter and teach her how to ride.
Her father, Mohan, loved his daughter. He didn’t need to think twice before granting Shreya her wish.
“Now, we must get to practice every day before you can be allowed to ride independently,” Mohan told Shreya.
Early next morning, the two of them went to the street in their neighbourhood to practice.
Shreya was in the front, holding the handle, wearing a white helmet.
Mohan was in the back, instructing her, legs stretched out to prevent a fall.
He gave Shreya the instructions, and she began to go.
At first, the scooter moved forward easily. But as soon as she tried to accelerate a bit, it jumped to a halt.
She started the engine again, only to meet the same fate. The scooter either came to a halt or tilted to the right or left.
Two kids, in their school uniforms, were watching Shreya try from their bus stop.
Seeing her fail, they giggled. Once, twice, and enough times for Shreya to notice them.
She felt embarrassed.
Mohan could understand Shreya’s situation.
“This is it for today. We shall come back tomorrow,” he said to help Shreya out of the situation.
As they rode back, he told her: “I know how you feel. But the only way to stop anyone from laughing at you is to learn to do it right. And you cannot do that if you do not try hard enough. You cannot give up.”
Shreya tried for many days, returning to the street to practice, while the two kids watched her try and giggled at every opportunity they got.
She made many attempts but failed in most of them. Yet, every right step made her confident. She didn’t give up.
A week passed, and came Saturday.
The two kids were waiting for their bus at the stop.
Shreya was not there.
They whispered that maybe she gave up or went to practice somewhere else to save herself some embarrassment.
The thought made them laugh, as their yellow school bus approached.
Before they stepped in, Shreya appeared on her scooter.
She was riding independently, without having Mohan assist her.
She saw the two kids and they saw her.
She smiled at them, and raised her left hand to wave.
They smiled in return.