Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Are you game for this? 

I don't like sports much. Much of my dislike (maybe apathy is a better term) can be traced back to my inability to play any form of organized sport. I pretty much tried playing everything (starting from cricket which every Indian tries, to golf that very few Indians do) and have successfully been unsuccessful in almost everything. Not that I didn't try. When I was five or six, I cried like a baby (because at five or six I WAS a baby) when my friend Jojo was enrolled in a cricket academy and my parents didn't follow suit. Years later my father justified his actions by saying that it was this act of his that led to me becoming an engineer - but I never bought that baloney. My parents killed my cricketing career before it was even born. Like a thin robot in the Star Wars movies, my cricketing career was destroyed even before it made it to the limelight. Sadly, with soccer, I killed the career myself. I realized that my skinny legs were not conducive for kicking bloated pieces of leather. Hockey was a no no too. It appeared like organized violence to me. Why else will they equip twenty two people with sticks and let them loose in a small ground? My parents convinced me that I could not make a living out of tennis unless I was a hot girl. I tried showing them the same skinny legs that ruined my soccer career but they pointed out my thin shadow of a moustache instead. So I couldn't be the next Sabatini. Chaaah! Then I wanted to learn karate. I wanted to learn how to break bricks with my bare hands and teach all my detractors a lesson. Then one day, while accidentally chasing my sister, I punched a wall. My fist turned red in pain; my cheeks turned red with shame and my eyes turned red with some form of saline liquid in them. Nope! I couldn't imagine taking weekly classes to inflict the exact same pain upon myself. Then my father suggested that I play chess. And I did. I was actually pretty good at it. Till I realized that you could never impress a girl with the fact that you play chess. While friends boasted to their girl friends abt how they single handedly vanquished seven opposition batsmen, I tried to woo the women with my knowledge of Sicilian Defense.

"Don't go! Don't go. It gets interesting after this," I would shout out, trying to stop disappearing women who would sulk and leave with the sturdy rugby players of my school. I tried telling them that no other game uses the phrase "Check Mate". "That's got to mean something," I screamed. But alas! Like a man trying to sell me "Cheap Rollex watches for $10" via spam, my efforts would get no replies either.

Every year I made it a point to try something new. Something that gave me the feeling that "this was gonna be my forte". I can be an ace swimmer I convinced myself once, but when I soon needed the help of an actual swimmer to prevent myself from drowning in knee deep water I knew the proof was wrong. For years my friend Abhik and I visited the same swimming club in Kolkata. We were there in the "beginner's pool" for soooo many years that mothers of toddlers had started saying "Hold on to uncle, hold on to uncle" pointing at me (people from Anderson Swimming Club in Kolkata from a junior generation can tell you about Sagnik Mama *affectionate term meaning uncle*).

Years later, I found someone at work yesterday, who shared a similar disgust and apathy towards sports. He pointed out that most games are a result of failed conversations. Seriously, all sporting events should be replaced with bilateral talks. We don't want countries to fight. We avoid those situations by getting their leaders to talk it out. I feel that we should do the exact same thing with sports too. Leaders of Australia and India should meet in a room and come out all happy for the photographers. "We have decided that this year Australia has won the Test Series," they should say. "In return our rugby team will be given two extra victories during their next trip to the continent." How cool will that be. Won't it?

P.S. On discussing this issue with my dad last night, he mentioned a true story he heard from my grandfather. My grandfather had taken someone to watch football and the man asked him "Why do they give so many people just one ball to play with? Can't they just give them a few more balls so that everyone is happy?" Veyr true I must say!

when i read this, i thought it was about me! i spent all those 'PT' classes in school asleep at my desk in class while everyone else chased a football on the field. i reached new heights of 'ghotu'-ness in my 12th std - spent the PT periods studying organic chemistry! :) tried learning to swim a few years ago - was stuck in the beginners' class for 2 months - only, the kids used to laugh at me. :D am no good at chess either - used to like playing chinese checkers!

now you *must* agree that i'm worse off! :D
Dude sometimes guys are intellectuals and they cant help being so...
Love your idea...then the indian cricket team would be able to win a few test matches! ;-)
Gosh..I so hate organised sport and more than that I hate these health freaks who want to talk about their 7 minute miles first thing on Monday morning or chunter on about how much tennis they played over the weekend. I really don't want to know how much exercise your dorsal muscles got or how healthy your abs feel. I'd rather have people who quote Kafka, are given to involuntary outbursts of poetry, sit around discussing vague scientific fundae (plural of funda!) or even better sit around playing PC games around me any day.
Btw, after two semesters of trying to learn swimming in Pilani...BD Paul (yes that instution of a man!) asked me to stop wasting my Dad's money..."aaare Mookherjee, chere dao...tooomshe nahin hoga, Baba ka poysha mat waste karo".
I tried to learn swimming twice. I can still just barely float. :(
when i was young all i cud think of sports was...hey wait! to be frank, i never even gave a thought abt sports...not tat i m doin so these days;)... but now seeing all the hype n glamour tat can be created being a sportsperson i feel mabbe i cud hv given them(atleast the most easiest one;)) a try!:D...oh come on! look at all the waves tat sania is creating! n to think, i m not even close to creating a ripple!hmmm...
*sigh sigh*
The inability to play any form of sports can also lead to the other extreme of loving to watch/follow the game (on the telly/internet)- as it has been in my case.

In cricket, I can perhaps tonk the ball a bit if I get a long hop; I can kick a soccer ball as well and I would be considered good - only if speed and direction of the ball were of no major consideration; I was, however, kind of good at 'hand' tennis played with ping-pong balls on the teacher's desk in school - they said I had the quickest reflexes as the lookout person at the door !

But all that has never kept me from a fanatic devotion to following the fortunes of India/my favorite club team/player in various sports.

PS - undaunted by my previous failures, I have tried to take up golf recently. My efforts so far have...err...at least been amusing to other people.
Looks like 'Blogging' worked for you:)
@chery - it was abt you. what do you think of me? you think i am seriously inept at sporting activities? i am th ebest cricketer to have come out of my family of four - mind you :D

@anwin - sadly for me, i am not even that - and i cant help being so :((

@just-mohit - seriously, and that would help us soo much - wouldn't it??

@anyesha aka bibahito mohila - dont even get me started on the people who like running. lemme go through that - tiring myself, sweating and going far away from home - nope, i don't see the motivation :(

@tele - now come on! with your body weight you should float naturally girl :)

@xyz - now if you were into diving - not creating a ripple will be a great thing - wont it?

@bongo - i forgot to stat emy inability to understand sports either - which makes me a terrible viewer as well :((

@ratna - he he, now who is laughing eh? :)
Yup. Esp. for folks like me who have to deal with the sarcy smiles of people in this videshi-land! I actually get to hear live scores from all around me when india is playing, even when they play someone other than England!! :-((
The more i think of your idea, the more it seems to make sense. I'd have won that volleyball match, and the TT cup...and a few swimming trophies (although can't swim to save my backside) ;-)
Who was it that said something about 'muddied oafs'? I totally agree with you.
"Then one day, while accidentally chasing my sister, I punched a wall."

Ha ha!! I am so happy!! every brother who chases his sister deserves this :D

as far as chess, do you know about gameknot.com?
"Don't go! Don't go. It gets interesting after this," I would shout out, trying to stop disappearing women

Awww, poor you. And now I know why I am single. The Silician Defence would have impressed me no end. But every available young man, using peeple like Sagnik Mama as a warning, is trying to be stud-type person only :-(

P.S: I started karate lessons two weeks back :D If you can't beat 'em, and all that, you know...
@mohit - yeah! i follow quite a few games just so that I take part insocial conversations :)

@ideasmith - muddy MALE oafs you mean - right :D

@bindu - oh! you should know what my sis did to deserve such a chase BUT that's a diff post :)

@rimi-kakima - oh! i could surely use a friend who knows a few karate slices - shall contact you pronto
but 4 me...you are still my superman, spiderman, batman..you are still a man!!!!
hey.. what happened to the "deer" post? I can see it on Bloglines.. loved it ... was about to forward it to friends.. and then I see that it's not there any more!
It really was good... and it might be politically incorrect... but someone's gonna do it :-)
hey wat happ to the deer post? saw it sometime back...now its not there...
Come on! Dont put chess down. If you have a 6 inch bishop, there are a lot of games where you can be sure of a mate....
good on you maite, you can atleast play chess... i cant play even that... i have been waiting for the dice to roll "six" face so that i can atleast start moving my pieces... and my luck has failed me again... guess need to write off chess too :)

madly hilarious post :)
Ei hero. What was that post-which-has-now-been-deleted about? You have a serious side? Who knew?
Stumbled on your site. Cool post. I played women's cric at college and sucked at it, but it was still fun . I can barely run half a mile without panting like a dog, but it feels good to have run that mile.
Now we know where your dad gets his sense of humor from and so forth :)
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