Monday, July 31, 2006

The Joys of Sports

I enjoy all kinds of sports. Well, not true as a whole. I do not understand baseball and golf; but apart from that I enjoy almost all types of sports.

When it comes to sports - umm, I can play volleyball, badminton, cricket, table tennis, football and basketball. I have tried out squash, gymnastics and athletics. Of all the above, I think I am equally good at badminton and volleyball, which is giving a better rating over other games. Once upon a time, I used to be a fast bowler, in IISc I played the role of wicket-keeper and opening batsman and played reasonably well.

As a matter of fact, I have a knack for sports. I can pick up bits and pieces in real quick time.

Sports delights me in many ways. Of course it adds to my fitness level, but most importantly, it refreshes me. When sweat breaks on the temples, it is most delightful feeling. When I am playing, my mind is clear of any thought. It gives the best possible concentration. And at times, when I can't concentrate, I end up playing poorly. If one looks at me, the first reaction (I think) is that well, this guy looks weak - and therefore, easy to beat. And guess what, that's my biggest advantage. I surprise people! And by doing so, I surprise myself.

Quite a few times, my opponents (or partners) have admitted losing concentration on the game because they were actually observing me. That's an honour. And I find myself fortunate for that. They say that I am just too aggressive when I am playing. Well, that's the part of the game. I think, that attitude shows how seriously I want to win. Or rather, put up the best possible show as physically possible. I remember losing twice to the same opponent in successive years in the badminton tournament in IISc - the second time, the opponent had shown way high respect to me on court. And at the end of the game, I felt nice to have lost to that guy!

Another aspect sport brings out is team-work. The individuals may be capable of greatness, but what matters is the team's victory. During my B.E. years at Pune, I was in volleyball team that defeated Ferguson College, which was most fancied to win the overall title. Our team was composed of one very good spiker and others (like me) to support him. The very-good-spiker had a gameplan to which we all stuck with our best efforts and eventually won! The five-setter match is one match I can never forget. Even though we ended up as runners-up team, that victory in the semifinals meant world for us.

Sometimes I think, what would I have become if not an engineer? So many options pop-up in front of me. A writer? A music-artist? Or a sportsman? It is really a very difficult choice. Maybe, if I had continued with the gymnastics coaching (which I did when I was ~9-10 years old) or if I had continued with athletics coaching when I was in high-school, I would have become a pretty decent competitor at higher levels too. But then, as they say, a hobby is enjoyed the best when you have little time for it, I feel the same towards sports.

Had I become a good sportsman, I would surely have wondered what if I had become an engineer! Grass is most certainly green on the other side. But then, we should enjoy whatever greenery that has come our side side too, shouldn't we!

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