This incident happened to my cousin brother during my school days. He was elder to me but still at that time I learned to swim in just a day. Back there in Riyadh, My uncle’s son invited me and my sisters to go swimming with them. The swimming pool belongs to my uncle’s company, so we had all the privacy. To go swimming is like a dream come true if you are anywhere in Saudi Arabia, at least for my sisters. I and my sisters went for the first time and we had lots of fun. The whole swimming pool just for us!
I didn’t know how to swim at that time and I badly wanted to learn swimming. So I watched the way how my uncle was swimming and after a lot of tries I could swim. I don’t know how to float on water but I can swim without stopping and I try to swim near the platform in case I get tired.
Two days later my uncle invited my cousins to join us. It was their first time to. We were all exited. I was eager to jump into the pool. As soon as we reached there we put on our swim suits and jumped into the pool. In 30 minutes I was able to perfect myself.
As for my cousins, it’s their first time in a swimming pool. My cousin brother started to practice swimming with us all. I remember him asking me this question when he saw me swimming well,” How did you learn swimming so fast?”
I replied,” I just saw how my uncle was swimming and imitated his moves.”
My uncle’s son can swim to and after some time he said lets all go to the deeper side of the pool and swim to the end. I was ready but my cousin who still hasn’t learned to swim properly was doubtful. But still my friend told him it’s ok and that all he has to do is paddle his legs and hands. I wasn’t so sure about this and warned my cousin that it’s risky. Well I didn’t have to say that twice. He was already standing with my friend at the platform of the deepest part of the pool ready to jump.
READY, SET, GO
And in they jumped both my friend and my cousin brother together. I saw that both were swimming to the other side of the pool and I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and dived into the water and started swimming to the other side. The pool was really long and I couldn’t reach the other side of the pool. But somehow I managed to reach the part of the pool where I could stand. And that’s where the nightmare began.
I opened my eyes expecting to see both my friend and my cousin brother to be somewhere ahead of me. But they weren’t. From behind I heard some kind of choking noise and someone hitting the water hard. I turned around and saw my cousin brother drowning. He was trying to reach the platform but he was too far to reach it. Because of that he caught hold of my friend and both started going down. Both were on the deepest side of the pool but if I stretch out my hand I could reach my friend. But for my cousin brother I could do nothing. I was too horrified. Suddenly my friend managed to push my cousin brother somewhere close to the platform and somebody from there managed to get to him and pulled him out of water. As for my friend, I was standing at the edge and I managed to pull him towards me.
I looked over to over my cousin and saw him sitting on the platform coughing badly. After sometime he stood up still shivering out of fright and walked to the men’s changing room. I was still dazed from what happened. I was glad that he was ok. After a few minutes we all got out of the water silently. Nobody spoke a word.
And that incident was – One down and Eight to go.
I don’t remember how old I was. Maybe I was in grade 2nd or 3rd. But I know I was too young to do most things on my own without the help of my parents. Back in Riyadh, me and my family used to go to the American Embassy for Mass. There weren’t any churches in Saudi Arabia, so we had to go to the embassy since that is the only place in Saudi Arabia where no one can catch us practicing our religion.
As usual one day me and my family went for mass. Everything went on smoothly. The choir sang well. The priest gave a wonderful speech that I found boring (maybe I was too young to understand) and my parents found the speech very interesting. I saw everyone taking the host and took a sip of the wine from the cup (In US, the people gets the host from the priest and another person holds a cup with wine. All those who wants to have the host with wine can take a sip from the cup and this practice is not there in India).
“The mass has ended. You may all go in peace”. These were the last words spoken by the priest and then I guess I never wanted to go for a mass in an American Embassy or anything that relates to the Americans for just one reason.
I’m going to tell you what that reason is if you promise to keep my age or height or whatever it is in your mind before I tell you my reason. I mentioned before that I was too young to do most things on my own. So I was just a little boy and I need my mother by my side at all times.
Well, here goes…….
As soon as the mass ended I wanted to go to the rest room badly. That’s not a problem isn’t it? It’s a nature of a human being to dispose of whatever their eaten. There’s a rest room in every home, in every work place and it was easy to find the rest room.
HAAAAAAA!!! The best part of the American restrooms is that, they are so shinny, neat and don’t stink like our Indian restrooms and it’s air conditioned. I took all my time and my mother from the other side of the door was screaming at me to come out.
Once I was done I looked for a hose pipe. Ok… That’s not there. I looked for a bucket… Ok… that too wasn’t there. I looked for a bloody tap….. What the… Where is the… O my God…. How the hell was I going to wash? There was this fear in me as if I was sitting on a time bomb that was going to blow up any minute. Which bloody restroom that doesn’t have a hose pipe or a bucket or at least a tap? I started to scream for my mother. She got so scared and came running to the door and asked what happened? I told her the reason. I not sure if I heard it properly but I think my mother was laughing with her hands covering her mouth. She said she will get a bucket and a mug for me.
GOD bless mothers
I was inside a room that was the size of a telephone booth and it looked like hours since she finally showed up. She got a bucket with water and a mug. I was so happy to see a bucket with water inside it.
I was so glad once I opened the door and got out. I kept repeating these words, “Thank you ma. You saved me”.
Once inside the car I asked my mother,” Where did you get the bucket from”.
She said this as a joke and I believed her,” I ran to the Indian embassy and asked the ambassador for a bucket of water and he gave it to me”.
The Indian Embassy is like almost 45 minutes to reach from the American Embassy if I am to go by car. I think after five years or so I still remembered this unfortunate incident and I asked my mom did you actually go to the Indian embassy and asked the ambassador for a bucket of water.
She just laughed and laughed…
Grade 11th – 3rd term
Location: Class room
I had my accountancy text book open in front of me which is the size of the New Testament and Old Testament combined together. I removed my accountancy record book from my bag and this book almost reached from the tip of my fingers to the elbow. With neither the text book nor my record book fitting on my desk I think I should have the teacher’s desk to fit these two books.
In the middle of the class my P.Ed (Physical Education) teacher came in an asked my accountancy teacher if he takes few minutes of her time. My accountancy teacher happily gave him the permission. I think she was glad to get a few minutes rest. A teacher trying to take care of 30 students in a class wasn’t a joke.
My P.Ed teacher told us that a sports selection is going to take place and all those who are interested can give their names. Those who are selected can go for the nationals in Jubail (Saudi Arabia). Well to start with, I haven’t been in any of the sports activities that took place in my school for the past 5 years and I have no clue whether I could even cross the finish line without stopping to get my strength back. I enrolled. At least if they call me for practice I could skip these boring classes. Sweet! My P.Ed teacher told to all those who gave their names should be there at the football field by 5 pm.
The football field
At 1:30 pm the last class was over and I went home thinking to myself will I ever get selected for the nationals. I’ve heard of other guys who were so fast that you just got to blink once and there they are at the finish line. I wasn’t good at anything. So what if I just give it a try. At least I tried. That was enough for me. I tried……..
At 4:50 my dad dropped me in front of my school and I started walking towards the football field. I froze. What on earth? The whole ground were filled with students. Most of them were taller than me. Most of them were warming up. And I just stood and stared as if I was seeing the enemy getting ready for battle. Why on earth did I ever get myself into this mess? Waste of time. Damn.
My P.Ed teacher blew his whistle and said all those interested in 100 meters race please go to the starting line. Yup! I’m here miles away from home. I have nowhere to go if I turn back now. What the hell… Just go and be done with it.
I went to the starting point and got myself ready. I turned to my left and noticed there were at least 40 of us at the starting line ready to race. All of them were taller than me. Some of them were well built. And I stood there like a dead scarecrow waiting for the crows to peck my flesh out.
I waited for my P.Ed teacher to blow the whistle. I was breathing hard and staring at the finish line which looked like as if it’s going to take me a whole day to reach.
This is the first time after five years I will be running on the track. All these weird thoughts kept coming to my head. It was more like a whisper. Voices……..
“Ryan, forget it. It’s no use. You are just going to fall half way down the track begging for someone to give you a glass of water”.
Snap out of it idiot. I took a deep breath and……
P.Ed teacher: On your mark.
Me: Come on.
P.Ed teacher: Get set.
Me: God please.
P.Ed teacher: GOOOOOO
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and ran. I heard hundreds of shoes scratching against the tarred ground. I ran…. I could feel the breeze on my face…. I felt so light. I opened my eyes half way down the track expecting the other runners to be close to the finish line. What the hell… Where was everybody? Where are the other runners? I was still running and suddenly from somewhere in the crowd someone shouted, “Go Ryan, Go”. Everyone was screaming. While still running I turned back and saw the rest of the runner’s way behind. What on earth is going on? Everybody started shouting my name. I don’t know how but suddenly I felt a gush of strength flowing into my body and I ran towards the finish line with every bit of strength I had in me. I crossed the finish line. Wow! My P.Ed teacher shouted, “11 seconds. A new record”. Wow! Everybody surrounded me and was clapping, congratulating me and…. Wow! I was out of breath, I was like….Wow!
My P.Ed teacher then said out loud again,” All those who wish to go for 200 meters. Go to the starting line.” I went to the starting line with my head up, smiling. Everyone was like;” You can do it, Ryan”.
Heard the whistle and ran as if there were dogs chasing me. Half way again I noticed I was in the lead. Yeah! I’m the man now. Everybody was cheering. That maybe gave me more strength. I ran and crossed the finish line.
I was selected for the nationals in Jubail and I never knew I had this talent in me, this speed. I told this to my parents I was selected for the nationals and they were so happy.
The annual sports week
The next day it was my annual sports week. When I reached school as usual the next day, it was so different. Guys who I never even heard of or seen before were all wishing me good luck. I think the whole school knows about me now. Someone told me my seniors are really nervous. My house captain saw me from a distance and he went on a full throttle and gave me a big hug and said,” The topaz (yellow) house is counting on you bro.” He then started shouting so loud, I guess even the school bell couldn’t ring that loud. He shouted at the other houses, boasting,” Hey, the road runner is here. You guys are dead.” He started laughing. The whole topaz house started shouting out my name. I never felt so lively. I felt I was somebody at last.
The whole school came out to watch. The whole staffs were present to. The first race was the 100 meters. Here I go. I jogged to the starting line. There were a total of 10 runners going to run along with me. All of us with just one mission, that is reach the finish line before others could.
Sir: On your mark.
Me: Here goes.
Sir: Get set
Me: (Looked at my legs) don’t put me down boys.
I ran liked never before. Everybody was screaming. All of them started shouting,” Road Runner, Road Runner …” I broke my previous record. 10.98 seconds. I won a first prize. The other houses started getting really nervous. My house captain was shouting orders like mad. He suddenly felt he should encourage the house much more.
The next race was the 200 meters. The same chanting from the crowd.
Sir: On your mark.
Me: Bring it on.
Sir: Get set.
Me: (Looking down on my legs again) let’s do it again.
We all started at same time. But at the turn I lost my grip a bit. I was so close to the guy in front of me. Well, I reached second place. The timing for me was 14.99 seconds and the guy who won first place got 14.97 seconds. No probs. Still my house was in the lead. The other activities like the long jump, disc throw and high jump went out well for the topaz house. The last race is yet to come. The 4×100 relay race.
I was beginning to get tired. But out of happiness I wanted to run and make my team proud of me.
They called my name to get ready and head to one of the four corners of the field. I will be the last one to get the baton from my team mate and then I should sprint to the finish.
I heard the whistle. It has begun. The first two ran slow. But somehow the third runner made up. Damn, all the three teams got the baton and started running. I got the baton and ran full throttle towards the finish line. I passed the first house and did my best to pass the other two houses. I couldn’t. They were in the lead. Anyway we got the third place.
They called my name three times to go on stage to get my certificates. I was declared one of the fastest runners in school. I got 1st place for 100 meters, 2nd place for 200 meters and 3rd place for 4×100 relay.
The Proud Ones
After all the racket was over, I went out of the school and saw my mom waiting for me and for my dad to come. My mom saw me and smiled. She said, “Everybody in the staff room was talking about the way you ran today.” She was proud of me. We waited for my dad to come. He usually goes over to Girls section which in some other location and then he comes over to the Boys section to pick me and my mom. When my dad arrived, I saw my sisters smiling at me. When we got in the car, my sisters started chattering like monkeys. “Bro. we heard you are one of the fastest runners in school. Everybody in the girl’s section was talking about you.” I was surprised to hear how fast the news reached the girls section. Whatever, the girls were all talking about me. That’s more than enough. Hehe… I turned my head to the left to see my dad. I had a smile on his face. He was happy with me. He didn’t have to say that loud. I just knew it.
Waiting for the Nationals
The next day I was called to be on the football field everyday from 4pm to 6pm. My P.Ed teacher wanted all those who were selected to get ready for the nationals. During the practice I got a fatigue on my right leg and we had only 5 days left for us to go to Jubail for the nationals. I was really disappointed that I had to get this injury at this time. Damn. This slowed me down a lot. Five days went really fast and I was ready to go.
To be continued….
At home in Riyadh….
The only one who uses the computer everyday is me, my mom and my dad. When my dad comes home from work he goes straight to the computer to check if he has got a mail from his manager. My mom uses the comp when she has to type a question paper for the students in her class. As for me I use the system for surfing the net, playing games, hearing music and watching movies. Nothing else… hey I’m telling you the truth… OK fine…. I tried to open some porn sites before but in Saudi Arabia all the porn sites are blocked. So I never got the chance to see how a porn would look like till grade 10th.
The first time I saw 1……….
I saw the first porn movie in school when I was in grade 10th during camp day. I remember when I opened the class room door I saw all my friends around a table with a laptop on it. Their eyes where all out of their sockets and they were all drooling. Hmmmmm…… What could they be watching? I went over and tried to peep over their heads to get a glimpse and then …….. Hehe…… got high fever that night 🙂
My dad as usual came from work and went straight to the comp., my mom was in the kitchen and me and my sisters were watching a movie on HBO. My dad suddenly called me and my mom to the bed room where the computer is and closed the door. He looked at me and said,” Son, You and I know very well who uses the computer the most. Could you please explain this to me”.
The monitor was off. My dad switched it on and …….. O shit……. WTF…….. No way…….. can’t be……..
A porn site was opened. My mom just started barking at my dad telling him why did he had to show it in front of her while I was there. While my dad and mom was arguing I tried to memorize the site name but couldn’t. My dad closed the page…… snif…..
The problem is when my dad opens the internet explorer, this porn site is the home page. My dad called a computer mechanic to change the home page. I would’ve changed it. Well, I guess my dad didn’t trust me then. He even started asking all his colleagues at office if these porn sites get open if a new dvd writer is installed ( I bought a dvd writer before this incident). And the best part is my dad’s colleagues said,”Yes, absolutely”. Damn those idiots. Could have stuffed a camel in their mouth if I was present when they were telling that to my dad.
Advice from the best lecturers
My dad gave me a good advice to the mistake I didn’t make. Great! Two years later I finished my grade 12th and got a seat in a digital media college in Chennai, India. I was at the airport with my family. Just another 20 mins for the me to get the boarding pass and rendezvous. My dad and mom called me aside and gave me a 10 min advice.
Dad: Son, You are now entering a new life and the freedom you are going to get is much more than here (Saudi Arabia). Your friends will force you to drink alcohol stuffs (beer, brandy, whisky, whatever), go ahead and take a sip but please don’t make it a habit.
Mom: No, don’t even take a sip.
Dad: Be very carefull when u get a girlfriend. Study the girl’s character before she tells you her name.
Mom: Don’t get a girlfriend. We will find the right one for you.
Dad: All the sites are open in India. Don’t take that as an advantage. Use the internet for your study purposes. Maybe your friends will show you a porn site, k, watch, as a man i know you will be tempted to see one but don’t make that a habit.
Mom: NEVER….. If your friends show you that filthy stuff just walk out of the room and forget those friends of yours.
Got my boarding pass, entered the plane and goodbye Saudi Arabia.
At Chennai, India
The first time I drank beer and got drunk was with my dad’s brother-in-law.
My room mates were watching porn and yeah ………. 🙂
Don’t have a girlfriend yet but the time will come when I will be with the right girl.
Went to college the day before yesterday and got good news….THE COLLEGE IS CLOSED….they said thats because of the rain. Whatever…. soon after that I went with Sujan to Hari’s place (Besant Nagar). It was raining and I thought to my self what the hell I’ll stay over for the night and leave tomorrow. Me and Sujan left hari’s place the next day by 5:30 pm. We had tea from lovely bakers and we both went our separate ways.
At the bus stop in Besant Nagar….
It took some time for the bus to come…… Can’t blame it……. Maybe because of the rain……… the roads if you notice it’s just like the moon….full of craters….6D came at last…….I thank God for that (6D goes directly to Kannagi Salai)……
It was raining heavily and I asked the guy in front me if he could close the window. He did…..God bless him…..Yeah right….as if…. he was showing off. It was boring and I tried to read the names of the shops but the window panes were all tinted and over that the rain hitting the windows…. It was so stuffy inside….God it was so boring…..It was so painful.
At last Santhome. Just another stop and I reached Kannagi Salai. It was so quiet inside except for the rain hitting the roof. Suddenly everything went wrong. We all heard a huge sound scrapping the left side of the bus and the whole bus just started to shake. What ever hit the bus broke most of the windows on the left side. The bus just slanted on two wheels and fell back on its four with a huge jerk. All the ladies inside where screaming (I don’t have to explain how a lady scream right). It was scary. The lady sitting next to me fell right on top of me and bloody hell when I saw her before the accident she looked like a woman I could carry with one hand…never judge a person with the way they look…. GOD ALMIGHTY….she weighed a ton….. People were screaming and shouting that the bus went over a person….it was a complete chaos…. There were glass pieces on the seats. The bus stopped right in the middle of the road and everyone got out to see what hit the bus. A huge branch from a tree fell on the bus. Luckly no one was hurt. Most of the ladies had their hands on the chest and on their mouth and the men were all just staring at each other.
I took another bus to Kannagi Salai still shivering from fright or was it the rain. Whatever….It was scary and it was like as if I was in some horror movie…. the sound, the screaming, the bus shaking, the fear on the peoples faces…GOD.
In my room….
I was so happy once I reached my room. I layed down on my bed and still couldnt get that scene out of my head. I was happy to be alive and thanked God for another chance.