The Sports Period!

October 15, 2010
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Every time the school bell would ring, announcing the commencement of 'sports period', all the students of my class would turn into a jubilant crowd, tossing aside the books and notebooks, hurriedly stuffing the pencils, eraser and small ruler in their pencil box, they would jump and jostle with each other to reach the play ground as quick as possible.

And there was me, cute, little girl, short, petite, shy and disciplined, who would nicely fold all the books placed on her wooden bench and keep them properly before leaving the room, with frozen feet, walking slowly.  Was I so meticulous then? .... or was I just killing time?!  I think the latter!  Yes, I did not like that 'sports period', not one bit.

I hated the sun glaring in my eyes (why were we not allowed goggles in school?!), I hated the soil particles vigorously dancing in the air and getting in my eyes covered by my spectacles (ok leave it, no use of goggles!).  I hated the children running madly in the play ground, hated their loud crackling voices as they enjoyed playing - kho kho, chain-chain (a human chain of players chasing other players), kabaddi, langdi-tang (hop on one foot and chase others!), tug of war, cricket, football and throw ball.  Although, some years back they used to play stapoo, burfi, paali, I-spy, tipi tipi tap- what colour you want?, pitthoo, and I used to like those mild games.

But now, this was not a happy time for me. Not having the courage to fight with them, I would join my classmates with half a heart, one fourth of enthusiasm, one tenth of confidence and on hundredth of desire to play, only to be 'out' in one go. "Oh what a  relief, now they won't call be back to play", I would tell myself secretly! Was I reluctant to play or was I scared? I think the latter!
Always averse to games, rather scared of games, I chose to stay away from the sports equipment room, liked Library instead! 
Somewhere I had justified my non-performance in games with my good marks and interest in studies and active participation in debates, extempore speeches, poetry, drama and dance competitions (yes, I was good at blabbing even then!).  Somewhere I had accepted and believed that being good in studies and cultural was far better than soiling your clothes with mud and sweating like a pig.  Somewhere I had embraced the very popular saying of my growing up years " पढोगे लिखोगे, बनोगे नवाब ; खेलोगे कूदोगे तो होगे ख़राब "

Somewhere, I had given in to my comfort zone. I did not feel the need to challenge myself. Never understood the true meaning of sports and it's capability to educate a person.  Never knew sports help in improving concentration power, teaches virtues like - will-power, endurance, goal setting.  Never could appreciate that team games teach us leadership, initiative, responsibility, being a team player (that means letting go of one's ego and being one with your fellow players for a common goal).  Never could realise that above all sports channelize the burst of energy in teenagers and youth.
Sports also teach us a wonderful lesson of congratulating the opponent on his/her win and learning to accept your own failures or shortcoming.  Learning various games as a discipline teaches us big lessons on life skills which books don't teach.  It took me years to understand it.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I got my first flavour for any sport throughout my schooling when my classmate taught me Table Tennis one fine day, when we were waiting for the extra classes of school to begin before our 12th board exams.  That was my rare visit across the sports room when I saw this boy, a good friend of mine, waiting with two TT bats in his hand (probably for someone else).  He encouraged me to learn, taught me the way to hold the bat...he told me it was simple... it was... first I played coyly... an embarrassed smile stuck on my face, but was soon engulfed in the ecstasy of the game... it was quick, spontaneous and such a coordination of eyes with the limbs.... I was jumping with joy that I could play! I just needed some guidance and encouragement.

I was left wanting for more.  Alas! those were the last few days of my schooling, with not much chance to play this game again in my life ever.  But the memory still brings a rush of excitement in me,  more so on that sweet evening with my child, years after my school got over, when I was running... sweating... holding the bicycle of my little son, while he peddled it on the road next to the park.  It was his first brush with the little machine, without supporters, so I was running along with him.

I know how important it is for him to learn cycling and many more sports activities in school.  I was thinking,"I will tell him that even in this age of expensive public school education his teacher won't tell him". 

And I did so, dear reader, as he grew up. No, he is not a sports hero in his school, he is a team player, but he knows what I didn't know at his age.  Let the next generation understand what we were not told, we were not taught.

Let the children go out and play.... enjoy.... a team member.....learn to accept the falls and feel proud on their little victories.....let them not worry about who will win and who will lose....ultimately what's important is participation.


PS 1 : Thanks Blogadda for such a wonderful topic, it was introspection and confession time for me!

PS 2: I have written passionately about how we don't need games.  I still reiterate my stand. Sports as a discipline, as a subject, as learning is very good and essential for our overall growth, but sports as career, or organizing sporting events spending crores of rupees is not what I would support.  Using what you have learnt is important and not just learning and honing your skills for the sake of records is.


Anonymous said...

True. Sports goes a long way in moulding boys to men. Infact, apart from the virtues that you talked about, it also teaches another important aspect of personality and that is Patience. Yes. Sports teaches patience. As also, the ability to take loss in our stride and achieve more.

Obsessivemom said...

Hey restless.. shake hands on this one.. I too was an indoor person. It was my kids who introduced me to the world of outdoor sports. Now I look forward to going down to play with them everyday. Good luck for the contest.

Harish P I said...

Used to play table tennis a decade back :-).... loved the post.

Prateek Bagri said...

Yeah, games period!!
The most awaited half an hour in a week. You were into TT. I was more into badminton. :P

Aashish Sood said...

you know what... I have never been particularly interested in sports myself.... and reading through your post, I felt as if I could totally relate to all that was being said (and left unsaid)

I, too, always preferred reading and other such gray cell stimulating activities rather than getting myself all grimy...

a very good read!


MuddassirShah said...

That was a nice post. I may not agree with all that you say about the sports but yes, I enjoyed reading your post.

Good luck with the contest.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

Its good to indulge in dirt sometimes, they say,
"daag achhe hain"

glad that you found taste in TT. Its a beautiful game, but then every game is, even stappu and Chungi. :P

Someone is Special said...

I loved your post.. Nice one.. Good luck for the contest..

--Someone Is Special--

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Anu said...

Lovely writing RS! I wonder how you never liked sports in your younger age! I am a sports person...though not an athlete..I play all games that come my way! All the points you mention as "You hated"(like the glaring sun, dust, mud, sounds etC), were the main reason for me playing :)
Oh And you finally entered the sporting ARENA! I love TT. When we meet, we should hold a TT tournament between us :)

All the best for the blogadda contest!

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Neo - thanks for adding that point for me!

Obssessive mom- welcome to this blog!

Yup, lets shake hands! I played badminton with them yesterday and my arm is paining now! need to play more like you :)


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Harish - ah! ok! Thanks :)

Prateek - nice profile pic!
I love badminton too! oh u used to wait for games period.. must be an active guy!

Ashish - Now i will be shaking hands with u and obssessivemom!

Now, we realise the importance of being physical activity...alright... better late than never!



A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Md Mudassir - hmm, u r free to share what u don't agree with in my posts :)

Thanks for good wishes!

BA- LOL for daag achche hain! yes, I like the advt. yeah even stapu was nice!

SiS - thanka a lot! glad u liked it!


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Vaish - Hey! I guess lack of motivation and fear of failure kept me away from games.

Ah good to know u r a sports kinda person! sure we'll have a match... but haven't played TT ever after that... so gotta practice before that! Ok, how about badminton?!



lipsy said...

Enjoyed reading this post...nicely written

Bikramjit Singh Mann said...

Enjoyed reading this, I was never a indoor person thats why OUTSTANDING :) standing out of the class

I am not sure if i agree with you all the way , I am what i am because of the sports person i was , had i depended jsut on studies i would be no one ..
" पढोगे लिखोगे, बनोगे नवाब ; खेलोगे कूदोगे तो होगे ख़राब "

well it was oppostie for me :)

and yeah I agree with you let the kids go out and play.. sports teaches a lot a lot .. :)


Anu said...

RS..even I've lost touch with TT and Batmitton. I don't mind anything interesting :) Cheers and hugs to you dear!

Anonymous said...

and to add some information... 780 crores is the amount that DDA gave Emaar MGF as a bailout.

650 Crores is the amount that IOA spent on athletes for training ..which is less than the bailout package for a private firm....

300 crores is the amount kept aside for 'inclusive development' by the Union Finance Ministry in the last budget, which is less than half of the bailout....

150 Crores is the amount released for development of the naxal affected areas. and most of this 150 crores goes towards replenshing the Salwa Judum.....


Anonymous said...

...and don't take my comments as a criticism of your view points.. what i say is a macroview of what is happening around us...and it is my attempt to open the eyes of others...thereby taking people out of the matrix.....

...on a lighter note.... probably.. this is what i meant by moulding men from clay

Anonymous said...

...anyways.. i really appreciate your writings and keep posting...

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

lipsy - thanks!

Bikram - so u were the sporty types, good!

Vaish - Thanks a ton for the affection :)

Neo - read ur input. May be u have a point, but was the first comment not for the other post?

glad u like my writings!

It's good to share your viewpoint.


Anonymous said...

Oh Yes. Mistake on my part. The comment was meant for the other post. Disadvantages of Ajax Technology i must say.... The comment window of the other was open and the post was this one. So the clash

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

It's ok Neo.

Vee said...

not much of a sports person. used to be the first one to reach the finish line in slow cycling, and the last in frog jumping :P that's about the winning part. but, who cared about the winning!

i used to spend hours playing cricket with plastic ball and writing pad. and cricket with cork ball in hot sun even an age of 11. total fun those days were. :)

Reema said...

I loved playing badminton in winter evenings..and that was the limit of my sporty activities :)

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