The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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This was the first time my dad was able to experience skiing for the first time on their annual trip to Manali, India. He was 16 years old, and it was one of his favorite memories because he realized how much he loved it.

Beep! Beep! Beep!” Shaking the sleep off his eyes, sixteen- year old Praful pulled off the covers and peeked out the window. The sun had barely risen above the horizon, and that had meant he woke up at the perfect time. He could already hear the rest of his family members up and bustling around getting ready for their annual trip to Manali, India. Being from Vadodara, his family had chosen to get to Manali, by means of a long train ride. Making sure everything was packed, including his brand new ski gear, he made his way downstairs to join the rest of his family.

            Just as he got down, his mom handed him breakfast while the rest of the family began to gather all the luggage into the cab that was waiting outside to take them all to the train station. One by one, his family of 8 piled into two cars, and they all headed for the station. Arriving to the station, they all boarded and waited for their journey to begin. Finally, the train began to pull away and the anticipation of their arrival increased with each passing station. The voices of his cousins screaming, “we’re here, Manali station, finally we’re here" had woken him up. The next thing he knew, him and his family were piling into two taxis and were headed to their hotel. 

            Peering out from their hotel window, Praful could see the snow-capped mountains he would soon be skiing down. The snow glistened in the sun, perfectly smooth and unbothered. Although this was an annual trip for his family, this was the first time he would actually be skiing down the mountain; he was ready to now. Getting to the top of the slope, he put on his brand new ski boots, ski goggles, and his skis. Looking back at this family and receiving a thumbs up and a, “you got this,” he gripped his ski poles and took in his surroundings.  “Are you ready,” Praful looked at his cousin and said, “I’ve never been more ready.” A crisp blue sky, never ending trees, and the glistening slope had been waiting for him. Closing his eyes and breathing out his fear, he dug the ski poles into the ground and launched himself forward. He had never felt anything more amazing then the rush of adrenaline and the brisk air against his skin. From his periphery he could see the blur of trees and fellow skiers fly by him. By that, he could estimate his speed to be around 30 to 35 mph. His senses felt heightened as he could hear people cheering him on. Reaching the bottom and out of breath from the excitement, he looked back up and thought, “I can’t wait to go again.”

Down the slope

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Manali, India

This was the first time my dad was able to experience skiing for the first time on their annual trip to Manali, India. He was 16 years old, and it was one of his favorite memories because he realized how much he loved it.

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Recorded by Vishwa Patel on April 29, 2019
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