Monday, January 17, 2011

Be a Sport!

The massive gold rush at the Common wealth games made me nostalgic and brought back memories of my formative years in the sporting arena. Not that I had much of a gold rush or even an adrenaline rush for that matter. It was more of a mad rush to try not be the last person left on the tracks, and come to think of it my sporting arena was never more expansive than the school ground.

Nevertheless my earliest memories of sports is that of the school annual sports day in KG 2 where we had to roll a length of paper ribbon into a wad and make a dash to the finish line. Though I was the 1st one to finish rolling the ribbon; in all my socialistic benevolence, I waited for the others to finish rolling theirs as I had the misplaced notion that the actual race could begin only after everyone was done rolling. So I waited patiently with a beatific smile on my face, much to my parents’ consternation and the teachers’ perplexity. A couple of seconds later I saw one girl start running. And in a classic example of those tell-tale irritating kids in class, I turned to complain to the teacher who had flagged off the race with her whistle, except my vision was blocked by another girl who broke into a run; followed by another. It was then that by an early display of herd mentality which prevailed over common sense that I broke into a frenzied run for the finish line.

Now in the 1980s, annual sports days in school were quite flamboyant affairs. The dress code for this particular race in 1987 was blue and the format was a frock / gown. I had gone all out with an ankle length ball gown replica with ruffles which proved to be quite a hindrance while running because it wasn’t quite designed for heavy sprinting or even rapid shuffling of feet for that matter. However here again the concept of relativity made an early entry into my life though I didn’t recognize it then. The 3rd girl who had run past me seemed to have gone one step further than me in designing her dress and seemed to have added a blue veil trail to her ensemble which was well in line with the latest autumn –winter collection but didn’t quite go with her running shoes, because it kept getting under them!!

And that was how I managed to salvage the 3rd place (bronze) in the ribbon race with an amusing insight – Lesser clothes works better in Sports as well.

I then moved onto the annual sports day in 1988. This time I was a year older and much the wiser from my previous exploits. Turns out the school was as well. The school tailor in all his sensibility designed shorts for all contestants (to eliminate any added disadvantage that the attire may confer upon the contestants). My parents for their part had geared me up by giving me the added advantage of a healthy breakfast replete with a glass of glucose and all. When the instructions for the race were doled out, I got to know that the task was to drink a bottle of Thumbs Up and dash to the finish line. This time, my socialistic benevolence disappeared as fast as the Thumbs Up which I glugged down at a speed of 1000 cc/sec. The moment the last drop left the bottle I started running towards the finish line but I didn’t get very far. There is something about idlis, glucose and thumbs-up which apparently doesn’t go well together because my sprint was cut short within the 1st few metres by a stupendous, spontaneous arc of puke which effectively blurred the finish line.

And that left me with the 2nd invaluable insight - Wherever lesser clothes don’t help in particular, lesser food definitely does!

Over the next few years I had tried various forms of sports - the lemon and spoon race, needle and thread race etc. I can’t comment about the skipping race because ironically I had to ‘skip’ the race as I tripped over my rope and fell down even before the race started! As for the sack race and shot put throw, both me in my sack avatar and the shot put orb that I subsequently hurled, ended up travelling the same distance (2 and a half feet, I was told) after which both rolled over unbecomingly to the side of the track.

Anyway, years later I can safely say that I am still in touch with my sporty side-

a) I actively participate in the corporate rat race
b) Play ball with the mails that hit my inbox by proactively bouncing them off to other stakeholders with an ‘fyi&a’ note
c) Attend marathon meetings which begin at 9:00 in the morning and go on till the cows come home.

P.S: I try to steer clear of the sack race at work though, for that’s one race where the last one to finish actually gets the sack : )


  1. Awesome post!

    The thums up drinking competition reminded me of the Columban Open Quiz, which had a round where bottles of coke had to be consumed within 10 seconds.

  2. Oh my God!
    That was an AWESOME post!
    Had me rolling on the floor laughing ;)

    ~never knew you were so sporty ;)
    haa haa!

  3. @atombum & the Columban Quiz: That's an interesting version of the Rapid Fire round :P

    @Topper: Thanks dude... sporty? The only thing I sport these days is a grin : )

  4. Hahaha :-D Nice post... had me laughing and reminiscing of my past experiences.

    Also, like the analogy to corporate 'sporty' life.

  5. these posts are golden ..naah ..triple platinum contenders for humour! love your writing :)