If you are from a sports background, you know the fun of tournaments which are held at new places. The excitement of a new kit, deciding on matching outfits to wear and which carton of chips to buy. (Yes, you read it right, we are hungry, all the time. Or maybe it’s just me).
Meeting old friends and making new friends from around the country, and supporting them even if they are on a different team. And always complaining about all the arrangements to the friend you have on the organizing team.
Discussing all about the styles and strokes of the star player who has returned, even after you have been seeing him every year and could have bet he would not be returning this time. And passing comments on plays and giving players nicknames when both the teams have nothing to do with yours.
It’s like a break from reality, the week you spend away from the “real” world. It’s so intoxicating you never want to leave.
And why would you?
It’s days and days of wearing shorts everywhere, with flip-flops and caps. Surrounded by the people who always have your back. And no studying whatsoever.
Site seeing is totally different when you are with people who are your kind of crazy. There is not one dull moment. And when you go to states who’s language is not Hindi, its a whole different struggle.
Walking around local areas in the outfit you wore for breakfast and not the one especially packed for this occasion, because planning is not an option. It’s instant and at the end of the day with a large meel, it’s definitely worth it.
And never forget the times you just had to walk the 5kms in blindingly strong sunlight, to find the perfect place for a after tournament treat.
But that’s not where the real fun is, the real fun is the 20+ hours of train and bus travel and lot of sitting at the station waiting. I thank all this waiting around for the numerous card and word games I have picked up over the years. And some of them no matter how many times you play, never get old. Kabu, Satti Centre, Dumb Charades and Antakshari are all time favourites.
And whenever the Bluetooth speaker becomes full charged, it’s dance time.
Dancing in the train is a whole new level of crazy.
You can’t write an article about a team without the mention of teamwork. The planning and the practice and the patience that goes into these tournaments is immense. Everyone just puts their normal lives at hold for these competitions. Most people won’t understand the sentiment, but to those who do, it’s comes from someplace very special within.
The bonds you form within these days with each other and quite memorable. Everything you do is for everyone, you are one hell of a cult and everyone has a place to fulfill, from that of caring mothers to luggage transporters and from money manager to the DJ. And if you have had this experience, you know what role you fulfil.
This is dedicated to all past and present teammates, my fellow sports-persons and friends I have made on opposing teams.