I'm not a games or athletics kind of person. My interest in sports is limited to live telecasts of cricket and tennis matches. (This can be cultivated as a hobby if you have the right company. I was lucky enough to get some nice people around wherever I go - Keerthi in Palakkad, Meera and Meenu at HCU) Well, I always read my newspaper backwards, that is starting from the sports page. The logic is in case I don't get time to read it completely I will miss only the political dramas and not the interesting stuff.
The only game that I have shown any kind of interest outside television is badminton. During school days, when our school championship dates are drawn, we used to clean the vacant lot in our colony. There used to be this small plot that was just enough for a badminton court. A net was tied, the court was marked, and the matches began. The carnival begins as soon as the classes are over and continues till its too dark to make out the shuttlecock. At a set of sweating stinking school kids get back home, tired but happy. Once the championship at school ends, the net is pulled down, the court forgotten and the kids pulled down into an endless chain of class tests, quizzes, midterm tests, and term exams.
After school, I have been roaming around - college hostels, PGs, apartments - I've always been on the move. I haven't had the kind of friends, time, or space for any kind of games.
Last week one day I was in my hostel room, reading something, when a girl from the next room came asked me if I would like to play badminton with her. Now we are not close or anything. When we happen to meet we do chat casually, asking the kind of stupid questions that we know are stupid, but ask anyway. So that's the kind of friendship that I share with her. Anyway I decide to play and go down with her. We start playing.
It felt good; the feel of a playing, running around. I generally find it difficult to run or engage in any kind of activity that puts strain on me due to my asthma. But playing badminton did not make feel any kind of breathing trouble. In spite of the fact that I was sweating and taking a bit of strain, I felt fine, perfectly healthy. I was happy too.
Then we started talking – about classes, courses that we have signed up, families, home town, food in the mess and a lot of other things. During that half an hour we bonded like we haven’t done in last two months!
“Do you have a boy friend?”
“I didn’t find anyone nice.”
“You will find someone soon.”
We wouldn’t have had such a personal conversation though we live in adjacent rooms if weren’t playing together that day. It was definitely the beginning of a new friendship.
Half an hour of badminton left me tired, sweaty, happy and feeling much better about life in general. It also gave me a new friend. All you need to make life seem better are simple things like this.