A couple of things I saw today while I was casually browsing google reminded me of several incidents that happened to me when I was 12 years old. Officially from August of 1988 till August of 1989. The final year before I reached my teens.
Let’s see :
- When I was 12 I suffered my first attack of bronchitic asthma. I was going with some relatives to the old Cochin airport (now used only by the Naval Airforce) to pick someone up (not sure who) and it was raining cats & dogs. I got drenched and caught a cold & a fever which developed into the wheezing problem that I still have.
- It was also around the same time that my classmates & my teachers at school thought that I was dying! See, I called up a friend called George, who was listening to music played quite loudly at the time, and told him that I had a lung infection and that I was sick and that I wouldn’t be back to school for the next week or so (as ordered by the doctor). I had wanted him to tell the others. Idiot George that he was, got it all wrong, thought hard to remember what I has said (since he wasn’t really paying attention), remember that I had said something about lungs, and it hit him – I had lung cancer! So in the days that I couldn’t go to school, he told all my mates & the teachers that I had lung cancer and they all prayed for me, went to churches & temples for me and stuff. When I came back, safe & sound and no cancer, they almost executed me! Later we found out that George was the culprit and he got a severe reprimand from the teachers!
- At 12 I also smoked a cigarette for the first time! A bunch of us would gather after a quick lunch, near the woods that surrounds our school grounds and share a couple of cigarettes.
- I also tried to shave at the age of 12! Not much peach fuzz but I just wanted try it out. I also shaved my legs – yeah you can laugh out loud now! You have my permission to do so.
- Hmm, let’s see, what else! Ah, I also expanded my musical horizons at that age! I started listening to Def Leppard, Van Halen & the Scorpions at this point. Also started listening to the Beatles!
- I made a really good friend at this age – Jimmy Francis. We were inseparable! He is one of perhaps 10 friends that I have had in my life who I would have died for and who would have died for me. He had to leave our school when we were 14 as his older brother was expelled for pulling a dangerous stunt and their dad didn’t want Jimmy to continue there.
- We got my first dog that year. Lassie, a month old part Alsatian part Pomeranian puppy (we almost named her Madonna). I remember that the day after we got her home, she got scared by the fireworks next door (it was some festival or the other) and it broke my heart as I looked into her sad & scared eyes. She would break my heart with longer lasting effect a couple of days later – while I was at school, she got into the garage, knocked over a can of petrol or something and lapped it up. She died that same day and it turned out that she also had some worm infection.
- Jimmy & I finished runners-up in the school badminton doubles tournament in January. Oh, we were so hot till the finals, then we bummed out and lost to a duo who played a lot together, while it was the first time that Jimmy & I had played as a team. That was my first time playing competition sports.
- I started getting interested in tennis a lot. The previous year Wimbledon had tweaked my interest but in 1988, I was a a big fan of the ATP. I supported Stefan Edberg when he played Boris Becker for the Wimbledon crown. I remember staying up all night watching the US Open finals in ’88 – Mats Wilander vs Ivan Lendle.
- I lost a lot of weight at age of 12. I was always fat but I played a lot of wall tennis – you know, where you hit a tennis ball against a brick wall instead of an opponent. We had some space in front of the house, althought the concrete was layed on a slant, so it made for some fun games! At the bottom of the wall was a row of plants that my mother tended to and I broke quite a few clay pots with my serves & my forehands. I also played a lot of football in school and as a result, I lost a lot of weight.
- I remember going on a trip with my family and relatives during the school vacations. A bunch of us in two mini-buses. Can’t remember whether it was Palghat, Coimbatore, Mysore and some others places. I still have some photos taken during that trip, although nothing scanned. It was a fun trip.
- I also discovered sex and the female form! “Ah, those are her boobs! And that is a vagina! Oh, so dick is meant for other things too!” He he he! My big crush was Samantha Fox (still is) and I had these posters & pictures of hers from magazines, which covered very little and she was my fantasy. I er, ahem,* cough cough*, made love to her many times. Yeah, she was my dream girl.
I think overall it was a very interesting 12 months