Mentally agile!


Here I am, sitting at the gymnastics ground waiting for my son to finish his session. Its pretty dark, the officials having switched on only bare minimum lights. There’s no breeze. The high rises are more than a stone’s throw away, and nothing is fathomable about the life that’s inside there… The air resounds with shouts and shrieks of glee, and wasted efforts and of course, the master’s whistles.

Try and peer as hard as I may, I cannot recognise my son. It’s a sea of orange and black out there, each kid an integral part of the wave. They run and jump, and turn cartwheels. Suddenly a pair of legs appear where the face should be – a kid walking on his/her hands. Sometimes legs splay out or a huge ball of a kid comes rolling by. Each with ease and a finesse that’s a treat to watch…

I scan the ground, again. And Again. Some sign that my son is fine. That he’s doing his bit well. It’s more a sense of achievement for me, rather than for him….

There are other moms with me, waiting. One is pouring her heart out to a friend, another is catching up on work on her phone. One is cutting veggies, while another is reading a book, yet another saying her prayers. But every few seconds, one eye scours the place, ensuring their kid is safe. The mind, multi-tasking this kid with the worries of the old and young left behind at home and the numerous tasks to do…

The whistle signifies end of class and the kids run to line up. The national anthem over, I grab my son. A quick hug and we rush towards home. Now, the cartwheel irritates, the loud chatter evokes a sharp word. Other tasks need attention…

As we leave the board catches my attention: “Gymnastics is a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring flexibility, coordination, and balance.” I wonder who is really doing the gymnastics…I smile.

Pratibha Arvind Sarathy is an alumnus of SJCE Mysore, and XLRI, and worked with Siemens for over a decade. She is a mother and a software professional – loves the outdoors, children, reading, art, dancing and lots more. She consults with entrepreneurs and conducts workshops for children and youth on various topics.