It was compulsory, we had to be out on the grounds playing football every twice a week when we did not have any Karate or Yoga classes. Six o’clock was exercise time, for ten years, one month and five days.
We had a Keralian warden, she was very strict and laziness was no excuse. She
made sure everyone was out playing in the morning. First of all we had to jog around the empty grassy grounds thrice, the same in which Maiti Nepal is now located and then take our respective positions. It wasn’t a formal team as such so we could choose our positions. Pattu was our prized goal keeper. A total of four bricks formed the goal post, two on each side forming a boundary. And I can still remeber Pattu clad in her brown tracksuit with yellow and green lines running for the ball. The laziest bunch always chose to be the right and left backs. Now, though its an equally important position the trend was Lazy=BackEE. Most of the times they would be seen sitting on the brick goal post and made an occasional clumsy run at the ball if it was seen making its way half way through the midfield. The sleepy heads Loved this position. I would mostly play as a forward. It used to be Jyoti, Mona, Samjhu and Me there running for the ball..creating action in the field. And as the bell would go for us to have milk puffing and panting, looking as red as a tomato itself, sweating like a pig we would make our way to the dining hall. The sound of running water, girls yelling “Are you still there? How many more minutes?”, banging the bathroom doors, the rush was a usual seven o’ clock commotion. And though late, we were back to our class fresh and clean, but the guys. Man. They made sure they lived upto their dirty male hygiene standards. There was always a rumor about one guy or another of not having bathed for a month or so!! God save those dirty boys,hope they’ve changed now.
So football, Can I say I have a History with it?? Hahaha. History with this, history
with that should perhaps be my tagline…the only sad thing about it is, I seem to have history with everything else other than members of the other sex…Hahahah. Now that the secret is out, don’t ever ask that how many BFs question to me ever again!! Keeping that aside football and schoollife are synonymous for me. My earliest memory of playing football dates back to 1995 ( dinosaurs still walked on earth those days), I was in the fourth grade and it was a Saturday. We were playing the game with Tara Sir and he’d taken a photo of me which I didn’t remember until a friend of mine showed it to me years later. There I was: my uncombed short hair , track suit jacket twisting around my body, barefoot,trousers facing one direction, the jacket in another. A total Badmas Baccho Look, more of how the little boys look like at that age. And when I saw that photo I couldn’t believe my eyes! After all that was what I would mostly comment on, how come little boys are such a mess?? Wish I had
the pic but I don’t. I wonder who its lucky possessor is, priviledged to be laughing
his/her head off seeing the Little Zade!!
Wish I could be out on the ground dribbling football, the same chaotic look I wouldn’t care..but wishing never got anyone anywhere.Times changed..from football to volleyball, tennis craze, grabbing every opportunity to ride on the “Budo Cycle” as we would call it and then Basketball. I played it all, still do but its more of once in a blue moon affair now. Girls and Games….this is always the case. Out from school, joined college and boys ruled the basketball court, the tennis board, the volleyball games…we girls always had to struggle to be out on the ground. Like everything else girls always have to struggle to acquire any damn thing we want. You start playing and there is always one male or other hovering around to comment: Girls can’t play..blah..blah..blah. sometime ago it was just the limit of how badly girls played and all that I banged the tennis board muttering “your chauvinist views. Know what its been some 4 years since I last played tennis..I lack practice, but there you are giving the damn comments..Goddamn it I played the game all my school life!! Thank God didn’t know people like you then.”
Dhungz and I discussed about it later: Why the hell do we girls always need to
PROVE something, PROVE our intelligence, PROVE our skill, give PROOF of
everydamn thing to this damn Existence. So easy to be a male, isn’t it? The one raised to dominate conversations, encouraged to give your views even if its total rubbish you will be blabbering, taught to respect the women folks but never be of any help to them, leave the dishes on the table for the sister to do it while you flick sports channels, term women skimpy clothed, fake with lot of makeup and yet salivate on seeing them, talk politics and equality over a glass of whisky and roar with laughter about nothing while your wife is busy preparing the delicacies you have demanded ..Oh What a Life!! No, I don’t want to blame the great men folks, after all we are but the puppets of the Complex Gender Matrix as they call it….Whatever! Girls don’t you wish life was that way for us too.
Girls are raised to be conscious. Conscious of their physical growth, tugging at their t-shirts worried if it is too tight, always made to weigh the possibilities of continuing anything even before attempting it….Think, think and think to the extent that you give lose all enthusiasm before any thought materializes into action. Games, you barely..correct that for you NEVER see any girl out on a public ground playing football, playing cricket or anything else..It is a tough way up for every woman wanting to make it big in sports in our part of the world..
But as Kamala Bhasin puts it: To be considered equal to men women have to be twice as good as men. Fortunately that’s not difficult.
The Prooving Factor still persists, doesn’t it? Why be twice as good, when you
are already better in the first place!
Hope my daughter namely Bloggu ( hahahah as Hysh once told me Daz Your kids will be blogging before they know how to speak!!) won’t have to Prove Anything To AnyBody. I’ll make Sure of THat.
For now get feverish ..Get the World Cup feel… Chillax and pray My little Bloggu
gets to play in the Women’s World Cup!!