Blogger Kaavya Raveendran wishes she was younger and European after she tries something new.
© Sven Menschel
This new year, I made a small trip to Amsterdam with two of my friends. And both of them unanimously wanted to ice skate. The weather was right, the mood was right and the occasion, perfect. So, we purchased the tickets and wore the skates, all ready for the little adventure that was about to follow. Little did I know then that I had just bought tickets to the most dreadful two hours of my life.
Just to give you a little context, none of us knew how to ice skate, and so it was our first attempt to get it right. I personally agreed on doing this only following the endless persuasions of my friends. My reluctance was justified, as I was always more nervous than excited about this winter sport. Before I signed up for this, I constantly had this churning feeling in my stomach followed by feeling too aware or my hands and legs, in other words, I was dreading this. And one step on the ice, I totally realised why.
So, I entered the rink, and with the support of the rink wall, I managed to reach a certain distance. Believe me, I looked like an amoeba learning to walk! It was hard enough to be able to walk or in my case even stand on ice. Even before I attempted to skate, I slipped and fell twice on my backside. Wait, the hard part is not the pain or my numbing palms, but the fact that I had to get back up again. In that moment of dilemma, in that very instant, I realised how much I love friction. Thanks again to the strangers who helped me get back on my skates.
Friction is a lovely thing. It gives you stability, security and, moreover, the confidence to take risks. In the above-mentioned scenario, there was none. With my newly-found respect for Leonardo da Vinci (who discovered friction), I even googled about why I was so terrified to let go of that rink wall. There was no such thing as ‘fear of slippery surfaces’, yet (being hopeful of not being the only weirdo around). So, on this occasion, I decided to term this peculiar phenomenon not as a phobia (fear of …) but as a philia (love for …), because that’s what a strong and independent woman would do.
Fricophilia, is a term which refers to a phenomenon wherein a person really enjoys the company of friction in all his or her activities, refrains from slippery surfaces and the person is reassured that he/she will not lose physical control of oneself. Yes, after this delightful discovery, I hung onto the rink wall again to help myself out of this icy playground. Now that skiing too is out of the picture for me, I wish I was younger and European, so that I could have learnt this sport at an earlier age and not grow up with irrational fears.
PS: On the bright side, my other two friends did alright and made it out with fewer bruises.
Kaavya is a master's student of Food Technology.