A Passing Thought

Growing up is a bittersweet experience. You cannot wait to be old enough to stay up late, go to movies un-chaperoned, wear those high heels and pink lipstick…However, the first realization that you have grown is not as exhilarating as it was promised.


I loved to ride on the toy train that they put up every now and then near my granny’s house, where we went for every summer vacation. I would hold my breath in anticipation of a joyous ride as we made our way to the local market. This would usually happen within a few hours of us reaching my granny’s house.

The train was shaped like a caterpillar – green caterpillar with white polka dots. The engine was caterpillar’s head with antennae. It was followed by three two-seaters that rocked and wobbled behind. The train took five circles and hooted seven times. This fantastic experience for a three-year-old girl is unputdownable in words.


One particular summer, as I made my way to the local market gripping my granny’s finger tightly, my heart leaped with delight when I saw the familiar caterpillar. The lime green paint looked fresh but the seats suddenly looked smaller than usual. As I eyed those suspiciously, I caught the train operator (who doubled up as ticket seller) eying me doubtfully. Ignoring everything, I jumped into the engine seat. As I folded my legs to make space for another kid, I felt the excitement slowly fade away. The train started to move but it seemed to be dragging along the tiny circular railroad. I turned around to look at other kids behind me, but their excited grins failed to have any effect on me. The five rounds ended and I got out and stretched my legs.

On my way back home, I asked my granny if seven was an old enough age to sit alone in a Ferris wheel. Her affirmative reply made me smile but I never found myself holding my breath in anticipation of a Ferris wheel ride.



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