Do you remember your first best friend, first A+, first live concert, first all-nighter, first accident, first lottery win or your first crush?
Or the first time you visited a new country, got your article published, sang for a huge crowd, failed a major test or won a big competition?
I remember the first time I was learning to ride a bicycle. Assured that I was safe in the hands of my father who promised not to leave hold of the seat no matter what, I began pedaling forward, my face lit up with glee at the new-found freedom, with the air gently brushing my face, only to look back and find that my father had never left his place and there was no one holding me at that moment. Panic hit me in a matter of nanoseconds. Then baam!…I hit the ground. I carry a little souvenir on my left knee even now to remind me of that day.
My first Ferris Wheel experience was beautifully frightening. I always had a phobia of heights and made sure I was nowhere near terrace edges, let alone Ferris Wheels, until my brother challenged me to a dare one day. I sat next to him in the cabin, clutching the metal bar and shutting my eyes as tightly as it was humanly possible. Once we were at the apex and I got a little peek, I couldn’t help but open my eyes to relish the panorama. But man, I was scared! Looking down was almost nauseatic. Too much fright yet too much happiness at once; Ferris Wheels can do that, I learnt.
My first attempt at cooking was, I must say, downright tragic!. You must be thinking what could actually possibly go wrong when making Maggi (2 minutes, they said!). Haha! You could not be more wrong. Never underestimate the power of a cookery disabled-hunger attacked-home alone teenager. After an hour and a half of trying to understand the mechanisms of the mystery i.e ‘Cooking’, I was left with an empty stomach and a burnt bowl. Truth be told, my attempts at cooking continue to remain tragic till date.
I enrolled to participate for my school’s Annual Day and I was chosen to play the lead in a play. Ironically, I hadn’t even been to one until then. Imagine my horror, the clumsy and nervous person that I am. In a hurry of trying to recollect my lines for one last time, I forgot asking my Teacher to fasten my wig with hair pins. Five minutes into the play, and my wig comes off, prompting laughter and gasps from the crowd. I thought I would have died of embarrassment if it was actually possible. Now when I look back, it remains an awkward yet indelible memory, something for my family to laugh at, and for my brother to taunt me with, all the time.
Watching India play the finals live on TV is one thing, but watching them play live from the stadium is out of the world exciting. When half the stadium, none of those people that you actually know, most of them wearing blue and holding the tricolor or a banner, chants the same name as you do, with the same objective as yours, the rush of adrenaline that you get is irreplaceable. And if it’s your first time, needless to say, it’s priceless.
We all have that phase where we grow from being innocent and obedient little kids to mischievous, rule-breaking teenagers. And bunking a class to watch a movie or to just hang out with friends becomes kind of a norm. But the first time you dare to do it, with a little uncertainty and a little eagerness and a lot of hope of not getting caught, is a memorable one. And if it turns out to be right on your birthday, you can bet that it will be one of the best.
There was this one time, while I was on the way to my grandmother’s place for vacation with my family that the car which had been driving right in front of us hit the dividers, changed inclination and then plunged into a ditch. The first thing that came to my head was “Are they alright? Alive?”, and immediately the second thing was “Thank goodness, it wasn’t us!”. I remember the fear in my mom’s face. I guessed it was her first time too, witnessing an accident, and at that close proximity.
There were a lot of other first times too, things that I don’t remember very distinctly. But I remember the feel of it, the feel of doing something for the first time.
The thing about these ‘First Times’ is that, they are like a few specially highlighted lines amidst those numerous other ordinary ones in the yellowing book of life.
You look back and realize that, even though they are slowly fading with time, for that moment they had been extremely special and infact still are. Good or bad, they go along with you. And I’m sure there are loads of other ‘First Times’ to come and they will all be just as special because, sure, you might do the same thing for the second, third, or even umpteenth time, but it will never be the same as it was when you did it the ‘First Time’.