That’s football indeed (at least as far as I’m concerned)! In the middle of my facebooking and running around and cooking and of course, working, I have finally managed to make new friends – notably ones of my own age group. So there’s been a bit of partying, and finally – some football! Almost two hours of running up and down the field, a couple of falls, one brilliant corner, three shots on target (What? Seriously?! They were all to the keeper’s hands though) was more than enough to exhaust me. The kind of game I’ve been used to in the past eight-nine years is very different from how people play ball here in France.
So here’s French football vis-a-vis Indian football. No no, I am not talking about the national team – we all know how good the Indian team is. I’m talking about football at a much lower level – the streets, the schools, the playgrounds. My first love with football began in middle-school. Yes, that’s right before high-school and that’s how we address it in Vidya Mandir. And if you’re from Chennai, you’d probably know the state of school grounds. They don’t have grass, and the mud is pretty red – making your white canvas go a dark shade of brown and your mom go mad at you for having made it a mess. And when it rains in Chennai . . .
The ground isn’t very big either, and it shrinks every year at a rate directly proportional to the increase in the student population in the form of building-extensions. The only times we’ve been to a football ground per se was when the school booked St. Bede’s football ground for our inter-house tournament in high school. That is somehow not the case in Bordeaux – when I went to play, there were 4 football fields back-to-back, with neat grass, proper goalposts, and boundaries drawn, there was a room for changing, and when the clock struck six, practice started.
The weather, of course is more conducive for playing I must admit. But come on! When you’ve the right spirit, you can pretty much play anywhere. And it’s not just limited to football: there’s a huge indoor stadium that’s filled with people and games. They run on a tight schedule: tennis from 4 to 6, basketball practice from 6 to 8, badminton from 8 to 10. There are clubs where they learn mountain climbing, and what not?! You’d find more people out there sweating their fats out, quite contrary to the average Indian teen who’d be licking a good ten rupee softy at Spencer Plaza or an equivalent.
Now after all that shilly-shallying, here’s my point: sport needs to be encouraged in our country. Not everyone gets a view of how well it’s promoted outside our nation, and I’m lucky to find out. I completely agree with Krish Ashok on his view on Indian sport, when he said “bring back those 3 PT hours.” So burn as much fat as you can, stay healthy!
Gawd I knew I sucked at concluding passages, or writing passages at all. My apologies for the not-so-fine structure, but I hope you understood what I meant.
Note to all feminists: It so happened to be that there were only men where I went to play football. I would like to emphasise that my title to this post does not imply that I have something against women playing football.