Thursday, 22 May 2008

Root for the underdog!

I love the underdog - has my support always. In sports & games, and in life. It helps of course that I see myself as the victimized underdog in most situations...

Have been playing some basketball recently. Its an old love of mine. Not played in ages though due to being otherwise busy and not having the right company. Last week I decided that I would go shoot some baskets, by myself. Break a sweat. Get some fresh air in my lungs. I love the game (did I say that already?) so it is also useful in improving my mood. But it brought back memories. Which are not always a good thing. Here I was, not bothering anyone, with my own ball, alone at a ring, shooting. After my initial warm-up, I was really nailing the shots. Then some guys showed up. Young people, part of the team, whatever. They were forced to shoot at one of the other rings, which was not that great (the net was torn). They were just two of them, the full team was presumably going to show later. But still, these guys, some ten years younger than me, came up to me and said, do you mind shifting to the other (torn netted) ring. I am very non-confrontational these days, more so than before even. I moved. Same thing the next day. It was fine, no big loss since the monster was getting antsy so I left soon after anyway, and really, a lone person needn't hog the one good ring on the premises. At the same time, I did feel that, if I was a taller, younger person of the opposite gender, without a kid in tow (she was not playing, she was running around the place, mostly) they would not have been so presumptuous. Or something.

This has always happened. Back in college, we girls were always relegated to the very rough tar court on the side, while the boys played in the nice new concrete one. This per-se did not bother me as much as the fact that the boys were always late for practice, and always disrespectful of the grounds staff, and generally quite obnoxious. Not all of them, I suppose, but once they are together like that I cease to view them as individuals, think of them just as a single homogeneous mass. Anyway, I wore out the soles of several shoes that my parents could ill-afford, on that tar court. I even remember owning a pair of PINK power shoes at one time, bought carefully in the Bata Seconds store in Mysore. The one near the single movie theatre that played English movies (and no, did not watch a movie). That one, despite the colour (it was only available in that colour in my size), served me reasonably well. Although I bled on it one time when I fell.

Now I don't worry about my shoes. I can buy new ones easily. Meaning, there is a store nearby with a decent selection of women's shoes in non-offensive colours. But I do like to have a nice net on my ring. I like the ring to be not slanting. I don't like patches of water on the court. I don't like people coming up to me and asking me to move. I really don't. I have as much right as anyone else on those courts, and, looking at it from certain angles, am, possibly, maybe, in some sense at least, better than them at the game (not that that needs to be any consideration). Even if I am older, shorter, and whatever. I don't mind moving, heck, those kids need their practice for sure since they will play matches. I am not going to stay there shooting baskets till dusk becomes dawn. But I don't like their presumption that they have more right over there. Its just that easy to be nice about it. Ask if THEY can join me and shoot there (since I reached before they did), and also incidentally mention that once their team members show up they would need the whole court. That would be just fine. I would feel good.

There is another ring there, as in, another good one. Some hotch-potch mixture of people are usually playing a crazy-ass game at that one. Like ten people playing together in one half court. That is nuts. I guess I could do that. Find a crowd. I have arranged countless number of games like that back in graduate school. We had loads of fun, and no one (typically, unless it was a tournament) asked us to leave. But I am not in that place now. The husband's back is in bad shape. I don't have enough time to make numerous phone calls, wait around for everyone to show, deal with traffic delays, whatever. I just want to go there, shoot around a bit, break a sweat, hear the sweet swoosh when I hit it just right, practise the behind the back dribble, and, at least for a half an hour at a time, forget all about office, home, child, husband, trips, cholesterol, calories, letters, forms, interviews, whatever.

I guess its not meant to be. The odds are stacked against me. The thing I could do is, I could go there in the mornings. No young person in his senses (there are VERY few women there, believe you me) will wake up at 6 am for a game of basketball. Ha! The trick is to be an underdog who is not only clever, but also crazy enough to wake up at 5:30 am. Ha! I will have nature's own light. Fresh crisp morning air. Dew on the grass. Monster safely out of the way, sleeping. And me and the good ring (with the net). Bollocks to the pimply boys then. Here I come...


Serious Lounger said...

what wake up at 530 for basky - gruaaahhh!!.. the closest i come to shooting hoops these days is either on the comp or when I am trying to get the elder brat to shoot thru' his kiddie hoop.. the younger one only looks like a basketball :D :P..

kbpm said...

he does *not* look like a basketball. don't you dare. he is not even as plump as you make him out to be! and yes, i do pretty much wake up at 5:30 anyway. for kick boxing. blogging. gymming. general stuff of that nature. crazy insomniacal oldie eh?

choxbox said...

now you are getting old.
ask them to shoot as well as you, then they'll get to stay at the better ring types.

and, she is NOT a monster. now that i have met her i will say that again.

kbpm said...

well choxbox, my problem is that i don't want to have to have that conversation. oh heck that is too idealistic. i will try it next time. if i go in the evening again. its just depressing cause its the same old story again.

Them: "We need this ring, please move to the other"
Me: "You are only two people, why don't all three of us shoot here?"
Them: "well, aah, we are going to play one-on-one"
Me: "Well, don't till I leave in fifteen mins; or we can play one-on-two"
Smirk Smirk
Them: "Fine fine for about ten mins you can shoot here, then you HAVE to go since the TEAM will be here"
"Gee thanks guys, so considerate and all. Why dont I whack you one on the side of the head, that will give me ten extra mins while you wait for the world to stop spinning"

Oh you get the drift.

JDB said...

Not only basky, it is the case with baddy also. This time by the coach himself. We were in the middle of our game and two more points left to finish and this guy barges in and chases us away..!! And the reason: inter-insti practice (mind you it's vacation time)

Yes this is mumbai..

kbpm said...

but jdb, it has nothing to do with Mumbai. i have been in the same exact place in Chennai too. and if i have to really admit it, in the exalted US of A as well. where the additional factor of brown skin made it all the more irksome... I am sick of it frankly and am plotting to have my own personal half-court, covered for the rains (with cheer leaders on call?) :-)
yeah, and anyway thanks for giving me company that other day. I appreciate it.