the kid on the bike

It was during a walk we took just beyond the northwest reaches of the Old City—where the chaotic lanes give way to streets at right angles and middle-class trappings, but still retain the capacity for surprise: an ice factory? a cluster of stores selling test tubes, electronics kits, and other supplies for science teachers? a tree draped with movie film that, upon closer examination, reveals frame after frame of Shah Rukh Khan?—when a boy on a bicycle decided to practice his English on us.

Spotting Jenny and I from halfway down the street, he peddled furiously towards us. He slowed as he came near and whispered as he slipped by.


A few feet beyond us he stopped, put his feet down, and turned to gauge our reaction. He was eight years old, riding a new bicycle that still had its factory shine. His hair was neatly combed.

Jenny and I kept walking.

Emboldened by our lack of shouting and that we showed no signs of chasing him, he tentatively peddled by us again, making sure to pass a few feet beyond arm’s reach. “Fuck you!” he whispered again as he passed, this time with more confidence.

Laughing to ourselves, we continued onward. In front of us, he circled around for another pass.

“I want to fuck you!”

This time we gasped, a reaction that clearly pleased him. He stopped behind us with a smug look on his face.

“Me?” I asked, pointing to my own chest in mock horror.

“Yes!” he hollered, standing on his pedals and launching himself down the street behind us. When we looked back a few steps later, he had stopped again, and was clearly deliberating with himself. Finally his deliberations ended, and we could hear him approaching from behind, gravel crunching beneath his tires.

“I want to fuck you-oooo!!!”

“Me?” I asked him once more. “ME?!? Are you SURE?”

He skidded to a halt and stared at us, taking a deep breath and then screaming loud and high and sustained: “YEEESSSSSSS!!!!”

His shout trailed off into cackles. He turned and rode around a corner, and was gone.

15 responses to “the kid on the bike

  1. Hahahahahahaha! Sorry about that though…

    But still, Hahahahahahahaha!

    Oh maybe he really wanted to!

  2. haa haaa… where were you in OLD City (Delhi)…

  3. you should have replied – “I want to fuck you too!”

    That would atleast have shocked him or got an even more interesting comment out of him 🙂

  4. “Your place or mine?” 😀

  5. I like how your cool response and attitude toward the kid.

  6. a weird experience u had!!!! .mostly kids are well behaved and afraid of elders in india .i read your posts on different aspects of delhi and i m impressed with your sharp observation.YES delhi is a bit chaotic but still its the most orderly and cleanest city in india.
    i go to nehru place, obviously to buy pirated software and at least twice a week to khan market to see shock and awe on faces of fareigners. may be shock and awe is what foreigners want from us but that boy went too far .
    still you are in first stage of the learning curve,soon you ll know that a city thousand years old cant be changed ,at the most renovate in a small way.learn to accept indian chaos and get lost or rather get immersed in a great human festival called india.

  7. He must have learned this new word recently.

  8. lol, you guys really didn’t thought, that this kid can do some real manipulation with English, did you!
    So now you can worry lil less … rotfl

  9. If there was some Indian guy in your place I am sure the kid would have been spanked for using a swear word (even if the elders use swear words generously). Like Maya I wonder about your cool reaction.

  10. He’s probably a middle class kid who wasn’t testing his English on you (I bet he’s fluent) but his newly learned word which he dare not say in front of anyone he knows. Of course, he has no clue what the word really means.

  11. Oh..! A westerner living in Delhi probably goes through some such interactions/experiences that no one gets nowhere else! 🙂

  12. I don’t think the kid knew what he was saying. Someone older must have dared or bribed him to say it and was probably hiding out of your sight and watching your reaction.

    ROFL. Its a funny incident, no doubt.

  13. hahaha…stupid kid…!!!the best u cud do in such a situation is ..WALK AWAY without giving a F***…!!!I m sure he would understood u meant…”Fuck u 2″….!!!But its mostly in india where u come across such Weird incidents…U ll never knw wat happens and u ll never know wat 2 expect.!!!

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