The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

One kick for glory

It eventually rang. I soaked in the shrillness like it were strains of some heavenly music. The history class post lunch was the greatest soporific known to man. We endured; played Chinese checkers; stared out of the window at squirrels scurrying around in gay abandon. The Cholas had built a hundred bloody temples and we needed to cram the height of the gopurams and how they freakin differed from the ones built by the Vijayanagar kings. For what joy, I knew not.

We waited for Ms. Hamalinta to dust the chalk powder off her hand and walk out in grandeur. Bags quickly mounted on shoulders and the randomness soon transformed into a chaotic height ordered double line. Like an unruly army heading for war, we headed for that last hour of school - PT. Hopefully, he’ll just throw the football in our direction and see us disappear in to the dust and grime of the large brown ground.

I looked at my shoes to see if they had been blanco’d. They had. The forgetful were doing a desperate scrawling of chalk on their brown, supposed to be white keds. It often ever helped. As he walked past Arun, I could hear the thud. It hadn’t worked for him again. He walked past me and I stood there motionless; breathless. The cane in his hand glistened and thanks to clean white keds it did not come down upon me that day. The not so lucky sniffed and sobbed. All for a little Blanco. Or for the lack of it.

He signaled to one of the boys who promptly ran into the sports room and resurfaced with three worn out footballs. He picked the first ball, letting it roll a full minute on his fore finger. ‘2B’, he eventually shouted as he kicked the ball skyward. The whole of class B ran roaring towards that object, the mere kicking of which was an act of sporting accomplishment. Another ball. Another kick. ‘2C’ went the cry. Another fifty odd boys disappeared into the far corner of the ground. There was no climax left. We chased the last disappearing ball like madmen at war. And for the next one hour we proved a living breathing example to Darwin’s survival of the fittest theory. Fifty boys of all shapes and sizes, chased, kicked, held and ran with the ball. It was American football, rugby, handball, football all rolled into one. Fifteen minutes of tireless running later, at one magical moment I had the ball rolling towards me in like in a dream. But in that momentary flash of showering glory little did I notice Iman Haider charging from behind me. I touched the ball. Or would like to believe I did. And then Iman swooped down on it like Chengiz Khan and galloped away into the distance ball in hand. I chased, with what seemed like a hundred others in tow, like life itself depended on it.

The bell rang a final time. Another day had come to an end. And for all the dust and grime, it was another ‘I din’t kick the football’ day. Sigh.

[Inspired by a chat conversation I had with a friend earlier today]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If 'Fitness' Preeth was made to run like that, I could imagine how fit the other guys would've been :)

August 08, 2007 3:11 AM  
Blogger as good as it gets said...


August 16, 2007 7:05 AM  
Blogger kanaya said...

very well written. just took me back to the good old days.

The pt sir kicking the ball high in the air and we waited for it to land on the brown ground is what i remembered as i read the article.

September 28, 2007 9:35 PM  

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