I had the good fortune of visiting, the then West Germany and several other nearby countries of Europe, during the year 1975. During this period on one of the week ends, I along with my friends visited one ice skating rink. There were many persons including young children, practising and performing pleasant and even hazardous acts, to the entertainment of the persons present. I got excited and motivated to participate in this sport. I was very eager, since during my 2 years stay at Shimla, I had learnt this game on an ice skating rink, along with several of my friends. We had also participated in a fancy dress competition on this rink. This was a good experience. With this in mind, I almost decided to arrange the kit and take part in Ice skating, since I got a chance to do so after a long time. Then suddenly I remembered the words of my father that before taking any final decision, just consider the matter once more. On this reconsideration, I realized that I was in a foreign country participating in a programme and if some accident/incident/untoward happening happened and I had a fall in the rink, things will be too bad. So I controlled my desires & emotions and enjoyed the performance of other experts playing at that time and did not get upset due to my decision of not participating in this event. This participation might have given me good feelings, but good that better sense prevailed and I did not participate in this event and thereafter, completed my stay in Germany satisfactorily. We can learn from this episode that we should not jump to conclusions, take well thought out decisions, considering relevant factors, with a cool mind.
It was by good luck that I got an opportunity to get a job at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh in the beginning of my career. It is a beautiful hill station. I lived there for about two years. Our rented accommodation was on the slopes of Jakoo Hills. We had to go up and down the slopes of the hill every day, more than once. One of the attractions there was the temple on Jakoo Hills. Being a bachelor at that time, we had to come to the Mall daily in the evenings and walk on this famous road in Shimla and enjoy the weather and the tourists in the summer months. We also enjoyed roller skating, The Ridge, Horse riding, the Church and several markets in this hill station. We also went to Kufri slopes for skiing down, during the cold winter season. Winters are very cold, as we cannot get sleep even with a quilt, unless we keep a hot water bottle in between the mattress and the quilt. The water pipes get frozen and may even burst, causing lot of problems. We have to face the falling snow, use heavy gum boots to walk on accumulated snow on the road and the slopes. Also there are chances of slipping, falling and getting injured. But we do make balls of soft snow and play and enjoy with others by throwing on them. The offices were also heated for ease and comfort of working during the severe cold weather. Amongst other good decisions, I also took a decision to join the ice-skating rink there. I arranged the skates and learnt skating on ice. The surface for this purpose was artificially prepared. I enjoyed this sport very much along with my other friends. Although I had several falls during the learning period, but fortunately nothing serious happened. After having learnt skating, it was a pleasure and I used to look forward to it. Sometimes skating was on or closed due to bad weather or some other reason, the signal was given through a large size balloon being floated in the sky, which could be seen in almost all areas of the city. There were some expert skaters, who used to practice, provide thrills and also entertain the crowd. Soon there was a fancy dress competition in the rink with skates on. I put on the clothes of a compounder and one of my friends put on the dress of a Doctor and soon we managed a dummy patient and a stretcher. Of course there were several other participants in different dresses. But all said and done, we continued enjoying ice skating till I left Shimla for better prospects, but with an unforgettable experience. In the intervening years, I understand that the ice skating rink has been much improved and modified, though I am yet to see it. Sometimes I have an inherent desire to see myself skating on ice again, in Shimla or elsewhere. Although I got an unusual opportunity to enjoy ice skating during my visit to Berlin, but for some reasons, I could not avail of this opportunity, about which I feel even till today.