When I was about 5 years old and visiting my paternal grandparents, I got bit by a dog. In my butt. I remember the raw panic when I saw the dog chase me, me turning around to run and then .... ouch.

Photo by sergio souza / Unsplash

You probably think I am terrified of dogs and have an unholy fear of them. I don't. Never have. I love dogs. We've had dogs in my house from when I was 12 and I cannot imagine not being around dogs, not petting them or playing with them - any dog that I see, I want to play and pet.

I don't know why I was not scared shitless of dogs after that incident. Maybe I just forgot that incident and was just fine. Kids and their naivety eh!

Today, when I deconstruct that memory, and a few details are so precise, I am glad that my 5-year old self was awesome about this. The dog that bit me had just had puppies. Her puppies were on a mound of sand, you know the kind outside construction sites. And I went to play with them and I had a stick in my hand that I was just waving about. The dog thought I was gonna harm its pups and did what it is programmed to do - bit me. It didn't realise I was just a stupid kid waving a stick about for no reason and seeing puppies, wanted to play with them.

There are probably many instances of me being turned off from something because I metaphorically got bit in the butt. And because I did not (back then) have the understanding to introspect and deconstruct a situation, I probably have missed out on doing a bunch of things and have identified myself as "I don't like that" or "I won't do this".

That's just silly.

While I am glad I didn't let that dog incident turn me away from dogs, that memory got me thinking about what I have turned away from. Maybe it will be fun and uncomfortable to try again. For now, only one unpleasant thing comes to mind - learning Hindi. I just never got languages, especially that one. It was the first exam that I failed and back then, I was a 1st or 2nd rank kid - getting under 90 was not on the cards, let alone failing! Unfathomable.

I’m not sure any car will ever match the effortless style and character of the original Fiat 500.
Photo by Jonathan Bean / Unsplash

I did run away from that bite. But maybe, just maybe, as distasteful as it feels, I can give it another shot. Italian, maybe.